There is something about gravel rides out of the Mosier/Hood River area. They are hard! It is a toss up between last years Gorge Ground Up and this weekend’s ride to tell which was harder. This weekend’s ride was a “non-event” put together by the folks over at Our Mother The Mountain. We ended up riding some of the same area between the Gorge and Mayhem, but Mayhem introduced a whole new series of roads/trails connections to me.
Mark (AKA Bogie) was kind enough to drive the two of us out from Beaverton. We both opted for the more gravel-centric 50 mile option leaving the Surveyors Ridge and Whoopdeedoo for those more inclined and better equipped.
No idea of the final count of riders but the group was pretty huge as we rolled up 3rd and towards the boonies. It didn’t take long for things to spread out either. There was no easing into the climbing today, it more or less started from mile 1.
I waited for Bogie at the first major intersection so that we could ride together. I feel it is bad form to head out with someone and then not ride with them. Plus, Bogie is pretty entertaining! At 9’10” tall (or at least 6’3-4″ range) he likes to complain about us “pint sized riders”. He is an awesome draft on the PV Saturday rides though.
This whole stretch of Ketchum is pretty neat. A nice gravel road cutting through some open grazing land and stellar views of both Adams and Hood. Reminds me a bit of sections of The Oregon Stampede route after you leave Dufur.
Right about 15-16 miles into the ride we bang a left and head down this absolutely brutal descent of baby-head sized rocks. I’m not bashful about saying that I killed it! These are the types of sections I live for, I’m going to chalk it all up to the years I spent riding with guys like Freestyle back in NH.
The next section was definitely the most scenic. Great views of Mt. Hood plus we got to ride through an area that was the site of a forest fire sometime not too long ago judging from the looks of things.
The last 6 miles back to the car was on a screaming fast downhill. The first part was gravel and man some of the washboard sections where rough this late in the game. The final 2 miles or so was on pavement and felt almost magically smooth after the previous 48 miles.
I had a blast on this route and will definitely be back to do it again. Might try the mountain bike next time and toss in the hero sections. I also have to thank Ryan and his crew for mapping this out. Whomever gave me the two fizzy waters at the end plus the gal with the chips and salsa….Thank you too! I did not catch either of your names but thank you.
Until next time……Thanks for reading,