Tuesday, June 22, 2004

The Face

Tuesday night ride from Cyclotopia, gotta love it. I guess the guys were tired of entering the forest via Oak Creek. So we rode out 29th by Timber Hill and up a trail named "Snot". People paved the bottom portion of it, and the upper is pretty mellow - but all up hill, and pretty windy. Snot hits forest road 612, right about where it heads north (and downhill). We directly hopped on "Humpy Bumpy" which cuts across the forest to meet "Dan's Trail" right about the 'D' - right where there's a bridge. It's a nice little single track with some up and down. OSU did some logging through "Humpy Bumpy" about a year back, and it's amazing how well the forest has recovered. It shows how well the forest likes thinning as opposed to clear cut.

Anyway, after riding up the middle section of "Dan's", we headed up 612.4 to "Horse Trail", up it, and over to the top of Dimple Hill along road 600. There I was properly introduced to true Corvallis riding.

For those of you not blessed enough to come through Corvallis, we have a ring of hills to our north that make up McDonald Forest. On parts of these hills are fields, and when the grass isn't too high, you can generally see a little brown line coming down the center of the field. These are not your average, "let's grow some hay and corn" fields, they are fields you would think twice about walking through because they are so steep. Perhaps they were clear-cut in the past, but just imagine the bald spot on uncle Lou's head, that's what they look like, and that's how steep they are.

So there we are, on the top of Dimple Hill, and I ask, "what are we riding?" I knew Dan's Trail is useless b/c the fallen trees haven't yet been cleared. "The Face" was the response, and down we went, straight over the edge - kind of like riding a roller coaster, slowly inching to the peak, and teetering at the top, balanced like a basketball on the rim, ready to drop in.

The first part was really cool, it wasn't terribly steep, the grass was shoulder-height, and the 8-inch wide trail wove through it like a garter snake. Then the grass suddenly changed and we could see where we were going (this is the teetering part). The trail got steeper-and-steeper, the grass only about a foot high - giving you a clear view of the guys who'd already finished and were waiting at the bottom. I've never done a section of ride this steep on dirt before, definitely not one this long (about 100 yards). This rivals anything I've ridden in Moab, it was about this steep or this steep. Seriously. I couldn't stop speeding up at one point - I was too afraid to hit the front brake any harder (I needed to get my belly on the seat - but it was up too high for me to make that shift).

Since you don't believe me, you'll just have to come and ride it with me.

After that we cruised down some overgrown, unnamed roads until we hit "Hocus" and "Pocus" some really sweet single tracks that steeply descended through forest. The only drawbacks to those two trails were a little patch of poison oak and they weren't nearly long enough.

Now that we were back road 600, but right near the entrance at Oak Creek, we decided to basically climb to near the top of McCulloch Peak. It was a day for climbing. So up 6020 to "Uproute", then up 680 to 770. From there things got kind of confusing. Somehow we did some descending and hit 770/6021 again (perhaps we started a bit above?), then we road along 6021 to another unnamed trail that had some bulldozers criss-crossing parts of the trail. So down we went, eventually coming out on 6020 right near where we finished "South Side Slip". At that point it was nearly 9pm, so we all headed home.

2 and a half hours of riding, 22+ miles. Not a bad night.

Now it's time to saw some logs.

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