Let’s Try This Again

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. 3 weeks in a row. Boom. I’m on a roll. Or, I’m just doing what I’m supposed to. That’s probably it.


For the one or two people that enjoy hearing about my brushes with death while hiking the wilds of Southern Oregon, I apologize. No hike last week. Just good ol’ fashioned suffering on a bike.


A busy non-riding schedule kept me off the bike until Wednesday, and when I couldn’t find my keys (plain sight apparently isn’t a good enough place for me to find them), I was starting to think I wouldn’t be riding until Saturday. After a half hour, I looked right at them, hopped in the “Adventure Mobile” (way cooler than “Honda Element”), and raced out to Jacksonville to meet up with Jacob.


We started with a climb up Ol’ Miner’s and Boulder before tackling Twin Peaks, Atsahu, and Arrowhead Pass.


1 Break
Enjoying a view of the Rogue Valley from a newly constructed viewpoint shelter on Twin Peaks Trail.



4 Skid
I promise. We really don’t have as much fun as we make it sound like we do. Ok. I don’t promise.


A little more climbing, and a little more skidding, and it was time to head down the hill for dinner.


2 Sketch
If you look close, you can see skeered lil ol’me at the top of the trail. I’m always afraid to ride down this thing. I did most of it this time though.


3 Skech Down
And, there’s Jacob from my vantage point. I only “almost” crashed on the baby heads just before the road where he is standing.


Another good Wednesday night on John’s Peak in the books. Riding up there never gets old.


Once again, my schedule was full until Saturday, and by then I was itching for a big ride. I hadn’t ridden a century since way back on June 5th, and if I wanted to get one in July, Saturday was my last chance.


Joined by Jared, we rolled out of Central Point just after 6 am with the hope of beating the heat.


5 Sunrise
Jared looks surprised I’m taking his picture as we approach Ross Lane. You’d think he’d know by now.


30 miles or so later and we were starting up Old Siskiyou Highway on our way to the Mt Ashland Ski Lodge.  We didn’t make it far before seeing one of the coolest couples I know rolling down the hill.  We had to stop and say, “Hi”, to the Dwyer’s as they were doing an overnighter along the Lakes Loop.  Happy anniversary guys!!


Back on the bikes, Jared seemed to be feeling a little friskier than me, so I told him to cut loose and I’d see him at Callahan’s. He was gone in a flash.


6 Goodbye
Bye Jared! This was the last time I’d see him until I reached Callahan’s Lodge.


7 Crushed
My favorite part of the 6 mile climb to I-5 is the corkscrew overpass above the old highway and the train tracks.


Upon reuniting with Jared, he gave me the bad news.  He had pulled a muscle in his leg and wasn’t sure he would be able to keep riding, and unfortunately, just after making the turn to the Mt A access road, he was forced to turn back. The day was starting to warm up and I was a little envious that he wouldn’t have to finish the climb, but as I didn’t have an excuse, I had the pleasure of going on.


8 Almost
It’s SUCH a good feeling when you finally get your first glimpse of the top of the mountain. So close!


9 Masi
I certainly know how to take a picture. Hey! Let’s put the bike behind a sign post!


It was such a relief to know that most of the climbing was done.  At least until I realized I would need to add a little more mileage to the ride if I were going to reach the century.  So, after blazing back down the access road’s 8-1/2 mile descent, I climbed the extra mile or so to the Siskiyou Pass.


10 Pilot
Hiking fans!! I forgot! Here’s a picture near a good hike. Pilot Rock is an easy one and has some of the best views around!


I ended up getting the century. Just barely, but it was over 100 miles.  100.4 to be exact, but who’s really counting?  I felt way better than I expected and I didn’t even suffer nausea like I did all last summer!


I figured I was done riding for the week, but when plans fell through on Sunday, I wasted no time in hopping on the mtb and rolling around Roxy Ann for a quick 15 miles.


11 Al
I was joined by my buddy, Alan, for a good portion of the ride.


12 Hush
Eventually, I couldn’t help myself and I succumbed to the allure of uncharted territory. Shhh!!


13 Pond
I’ve probably ridden on and around Roxy Ann 50 times or more and I’ve never seen this pond. Good things are happening up there!


That’s it!  Not a very exciting week, but I am actually pretty enthused with the way I felt during the century.  Having ridden so few miles this year, I was starting to worry if I still had a big ride in my legs.  Apparently, there’s still just enough.



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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