April 28, 2010

Spring is here! Oakridge is as green as one can imagine this time of year. The tulips are blooming, the apples are blooming, birds are all about, and the grass is a growin'. Typically this time of year here is a mix of beautiful sunshine, and nurturing rain showers. This year has been no exception!

After our unusually dry and warm winter the elements seem to have settled into a more normal routine. Two days ago is was warm and dry, trails were clear after many hours of volunteer trailwork, and those who had the day off were likely outside. Then came a BIG WIND. Woosh it picked up everything in it's way, including part of our roof! Branches fell, leaves blew, and we ran for cover. Not long afterwards here came the Oregon rain.

If you're not from here you might imagine a big lightning storm, and black clouds the size of the Cascades, but it's not like that. In Oakridge, Oregon when the rain comes it's usually very quiet outside, not even a breeze. There will already be a layer of low hanging grey clouds floating in and out of the green hills around down, and maybe some mist hanging on the Willamette. Then when you're not even paying attention, pit, phmph, pap, dit, dot, dap, some little innocent drops hit the ground.

It's like the tide coming in then. Incrimentally, almost imperceptibly, the water comes. A few drops turn to many drops, to lots of drops. Before you know it's a downpour. Still it's calm though, hardly a breeze around. Then after a while, maybe a few minutes, maybe a few days, the water retreats just as innocently as it came.

Little by little it lets up, and before you know it there are no more drops coming from the sky. The birds usually notice first and they call out, "come out, come out, the rain is gone it's time to fly.."

And you know what? Those little guys and gals are right! It's time to go! Whether by bike, or boat, or foot, or wing, the Oregon springtime is a great time to get outside.

Check out our new "Trail Conditions" page on our website to see up to date conditons if you're thinking of taking a flight our way. There you'll find current information for most of the Oakridge mountain bike trails updated frequently.

February 25, 2010

High Alpine Tr. Open

It's mid February, and many areas of the country are covered in snow. My hometown Flagstaff, Arizona experienced the second largest storm in recorded history this winter-54" in one storm. Yet here in Oakridge, it feels as if winter never really showed up. There's not much snow at Willamette Pass, to the and the reservoirs around here are pretty low. But, on the bright side the roads and trails around here are mostly open.

Only two days ago my friend and I rode the Alpine Trail from Kate's cut in trail (above Windy Pass on 1912). It was a crystal clear day, and it was amazing to look across the North Fork drainage at the Three Sisters to the east. We were able to drive up 1912 to around 4000' before hitting snow on a north facing corner. We were dropped at the edge of the snow, and biked on the snow about a half mile further to the trail.

Once on trail, there was very little snow. We hit a couple short patches climbing up the trail towards the meadow. The meadow was clear of snow on the western side, although it began about half way across the meadow and we had to walk about 100 yards on the eastern side.

Once past the meadow there is a 20" tree down on the trail. However beyond that the trail was in prime condition. Many people have been out doing treadwork already this year, and the trail was at it's best. We had a great ride all the way down to the Westfir Covered Bridge.
Its raining outside tonight, and the snow level may drop again. But, there's no snow base below 5000', and I don't think it will stick around for long.


January 8, 2010

Tele Fest and Ibis Bikes

This weekend brings a great festival, the 2010 Telemark Festival (TeleFest) at Hoodoo. An annual event sponsored by Bergs Ski Shop in Eugene, TeleFest is a great time for all. Free lessons, lots of demo stuff to try, great skiers to meet, and lots of evening fun. There is usually a gigantic bonfire at some point, and always lots of good people to connect with.
It is Sat and Sun and Hoodoo. Volunteer for the event and get a free day pass, or buy a day pass and get free demos and lessons. If you want to volunteer, show up early and start looking for a way to help.

Also in the news, the Mountain Mercantile is now a dealer for Ibis Bicycles. Originally a small US manufacturer building steel, aluminum and ti bikes Ibis has re designed their rigs and now offers full carbon full suspension bikes made over seas. Built around the solid DW suspension design Ibis bikes climb well, descend well, and look great. While the manufacturing is overseas the bikes are assembled in California. The guys and gals at Ibis are super knowledgeable, friendly, and honest. Check out their website: http://www.ibiscycles.com

If you are interested in checking one out in person we will have one in the shop within the next couple of weeks, and hopefully we will have some demo bikes on the way for the spring and summer.

Hope to see you in the mountains.