On that note, let’s get to the story of the day. We’ll start with a place name and a person’s name, both of which are very important in the cacophony of the universe as we all (should) know it. Timmy Evans.
With seven folks and no cargo van, we were even less carbon neutral, but got to set up a fun hare n’ hound scenario for the hour and a half drive from Chardonnay Lane in Bend to the Trail Head Café in Oakridge. You see; the doctor-racer (Jon Finnoff) and the IT-racer (Ben Thompson) were able to conspire to rally the perpetually late Canadian (Chris Sheppard) to an on-time departure of 9am. The writer-racer (James Williams) and I were counting on at least fifteen extra minutes of bike loading/sandwich making/bathroom time on account of the Canadian’s reliable tardiness. No such luck. When a cowardly text from the (surprisingly punctual) Timmy came through with “still drunk, I’m not a rock star, no ride for me”, the hare ‘n hound plan was proposed. Canadian-Doctor-IT car would leave stat. Retired, Racer-Writer car would finish up in the bathroom, loading and sandwich construction departments, blaze across town to kick Timmy out of bed, roll him into the car, get gas, then catch the lead group before they finished their first (glorious) muffin at the Trailhead Café in Oakridge.
Two hours and a bunch of snacks, coffee (gross), storytelling, laughing, sleeping, drooling and good music found us in Oakridge just as the Canadian took his first muffin bite. Perfect. Oh, and it was a beautiful day, even more perfect. Leaving perpetually sunny and dry
A couple muffins later and we were on our way down the
Now, to the good part. You see, I really look forward to riding fast on unfamiliar trail with a couple guys who are also down for reckless pinning it. Chris and Timmy are the perfect partners in crime, and we had about 4,000 vertical feet of perfect Alpine Trail singletrack below us (after some chocolate eating and wilderness latrine techniques).
About one minute in we were already riding like dicks, laughing and hanging it out as we blasted through a winter’s worth of fallen twigs, branches and pinecones covering the velvety trail when I heard the telltale metallic grinding of someone getting the proverbial stick in the spokes. Not surprisingly, it was Timmy, and, in the interest of fun and aggression, instead of stopping pedaling, he went ahead and tore his rear derailleur off. Sweet. Great, now our favorite loose downhillin’ companion was riding a chainless coaster bike. But wait, he still could keep up, since the trail didn’t really require any pedaling anyway. We continued to rip it like there was no tomorrow, pausing only once to take in the (pretty spectacular) scenery and let Timmy push his bike up a short climb.
At the end of the trail, back on the valley floor, adrenalin subsiding, the reality of how were were going to get Timmy the four flat miles to the Trailhead occurred to us. How were we going to do that? First idea was to send racer guys back to get the car. As they rolled off in that direction, the Canadian and I decided we could just push Timmy home. Great idea, partner with the puker to push the hungover guy home. I ended up pushing the whole way, which is about as hard as it looks, that being pretty hard…
Back at the café, our ride time was only at 3.5 hours, factoring in the driving around time we needed at least another half hour, preferable an hour, of riding to make our trip responsible… Timmy and the Puker sat out for obvious reasons and the rest of us set out on the quintessential Oakridge quickie, Salmon Creek Trail. A half hour of cruisy singletrack up and a half hour of rooty, rocky slickness on the way back down the other side of the creek left us feeling like we had a solidly worthwhile day.
Back at the café once again, we had some more muffins, peeled off muddy clothes, recounted the day’s events, loaded up, high-fived and were home in time for a cruiser bike ride downtown to get Margaritas and Enchiladas at our favorite Sunday night watering hole and catch up with all the other Sunday one-day’ers in town. Not too bad.