Four For The 4th

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.


1 RuthRide
Ruth and Gary show me how to descend Tami Lane after Ryan, Destry, and Doug showed me how to raise my heart rate while climbing it.


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.


2 GravelGroup
After 4 miles along 140, we 12 hearty souls turned onto Obenchain Rd to begin what would be an awesome, if painful, day in the saddle.



3 Rocky
It doesn’t take long for people on our rides to decide whether they love us or hate us. Sometimes, it’s a little of both.


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.



4 Daisy
Chunky, but fast, is one way to describe this section. Jared ended up changing the first of 5 flats the group experienced through the day.


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!!!


5 Mac
Just a quarter mile past Kelly, we got our first of many spectacular views of Mt. McLoughlin we enjoyed through the day.



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.)


6 Finished
Sometimes the only shaded place to lay down and enjoy a cold one is in the gravel right off the road where you drop your bike as you finish a hard ride. Don’t judge me.


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.


7 High Lakes
Carrie and Robert show me how to have a good time while pedaling through the lava fields.


8 Marty
Marty tears down the smooth surface of the High Lakes Trail.



Okay. I really did take some time to relax, but the whole time I was thinking I should go ride up Brown Mountain.


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!


10 Adrian
The entire trail runs through a deep forest, which kept us relatively cool.


11 Girls
Ruth and Sage make their way through one of the creek crossings. They really rode it, but we wanted a shot of them walking, just ’cause.


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.


12 Green
A dive turned into self preservation when my foot slipped on the slick rock. The water was cooooold, but oh so good after the hot ride.


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!

Aaron Mock

Local cyclist, crazy mofo, and good-natured masochist, Aaron Mock, is a Team Cycle Analysis rider with a penchant for taking the road less traveled. Sometimes, that isn't the best choice. Follow his weekly blog series for the latest on his never-ending escapades and exploits!

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