After giving my highly questionable storytelling skills a break last week, I’m back. You guys didn’t really think you could get rid of me THAT easy, did you?
Too many good rides took place over the 4th of July weekend to not share the happiness!
While I really don’t work all that hard at my job, even I like to take a day off once in a while. So, that’s what I did on Friday. But, instead of sleeping in past my normal 4:45 am, I was up early to join some riding buddies for what was supposed to be a mellow morning ride with a few hill climbs thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, I don’t think Mr. Ryan Gracey knows the meaning of mellow and I found myself pointlessly giving it my all to try and stay with him up Old Military Rd. “Try” being the key word. Despite the unexpected workout, it was a perfect start to the long weekend.
Saturday, it was all about the gravel. In the third installment of the 5&9 Crazy Mofos’ gravel series, The Summer Swing, we headed to the tiny town of Lake Creek to begin a long day of eating dust on several of the backroads between Highway 140 and Butte Falls.
Don’t let the photo fool you, after the rocky creek crossing and a pretty difficult mile’s worth of loose rock climbing, the going got a little easier. 10 miles later, we were on an old railroad bed heading toward Butte Falls.
From there it was up the first real climb of the day to a much appreciated snack stop. Jacob’s wife, Kelly, filled us up with brownies, chips, bananas, and water before sending us on our way. Thanks Kelly!!!
Four more flats, lots of steep climbing and loose gravel descents, and a blazing fast (and often death defying) 5 miles down the paved portion of Salt Creek Rd eventually lead us back to Lake Creek. Ice cream at the General Store was calling!! (After a beer or 2.)
What a great, and difficult, ride the Summer Swing turned out to be. 6000′ feet of climbing and 52 miles. I feel like this was the most difficult ride we’ve put together so far. Special shout out to Jacob, who did 99% of the organizing. Nice job, man!
But, hey! It was a 4 day weekend and Sunday was for relaxing! I headed up to Lake of the Woods to hang with a bunch of old pals who just happened to be riding the High Lakes Trail to Fish Lake and back. I couldn’t resist. It’s such a fun trail, and it turned out to be a perfect recovery ride.
I was thankful for the easy, relaxing Sunday ride as Monday rolled around. Some of my favorite riding friends and I made the journey to the south end of Applegate Lake to tackle the big gravel road climb up to Cook and Green Pass. Ok. We didn’t just go for the climb. Cook and Green Trail is one awesome piece of single track!
The trail empties out on the gravel road that follows the Upper Applegate River back to the lake. It’s a fast 5 miles back to the car from the trail’s end to complete a 21 mile loop.
I can’t think of anything I’d change about the weekend. Lots of burgers and hot dogs. Lots of good times with awesome friends. And, lots of miles to make my legs feel like they could fall off at any minute. Nope. No changes necessary!