Two weeks before the event I got a text from my buddy in Baltimore, MD ‘MBO… ?’
A quick check of the family calendar, and the rest was history.
Met my good friend Mike W from Baltimore at MBO two years ago, last day, while riding the double, Hardesty-Lawler.
This year’s itinerary:
Thursday: MBO Day ‘minus’ One
All good MBO’s start with ‘proper’ hydration, grain-based in fact at Brewers Union Local 180 in Oakridge, OR. #traveloakridge
Always a great vibe in the pub. Burgers are great too.
What’s that saying? ‘hydrate or die’.
MBO Tech tip #180 (get it?) : As it turns out, you can over-hydrate. Hence an ATCA ride will turn into an Alpine ride. #FunFactsToKnowandLearn
As the sun sets
Friday: MBO Day One Alpine Trail, Wait, didn’t you sign up for ATCA? (read tech tip #180)
Atop ATCA and Alpine rides with the Three Sisters peaks showing on the horizon (right) and Mt. Jefferson barely showing on the horizon through a gap (left). Mike ready to roll… #TakethePun
Here’s what MBO’s site has to say about Alpine:
ALPINE (The Crown Jewel)
Oh glorious Alpine! Known as the Crown Jewel, this is one wicked trail. A combination of every pleasure known to mountain biking, you can’t not love Alpine. Buff and narrow singletrack is the name of the game. Vast views, tight corners between 400 year old trees, high speed railing on steep side slops; Alpine delivers. The trail is not highly technical, however there are many distractions for the eye and mild exposure. Everyone from relative newbies to seasoned pros love to roll tires on Alpine. It’s a ridiculously fast and fun ride.
The famed, iconic Sourgrass Meadow just below Sourgrass Mountain (4783 ele).
As you can see the ‘valley’ floor in the distance, we still have some elevation to scrub off before we complete the day on Alpine.
Why we did not ride ATCA, due to Thursday nite ‘over-hydration’,
Alpine Trail is known as the “Crown Jewel” of trails at MBO… but add Tire Mountain and Cloverpatch to the second half of your ride and prepare for epic scenery, long, steep sections of climbing and descending, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the Oakridge valley. This has long been a favorite combo of locals and guests alike, but it just got better! ATC (Alpine, Tire, Cloverpatch) has somehow gotten even better: We added more trail and gave it a new name: ATC-A!
Say “so long” to the gravel and paved buzzkill that this epic ride ended on and say hello to more scenery, trail and excitement as you head back to the red covered bridge.The local MTB community partnered with the USFS and added a new section of trail taking you from Cloverpatch trail to very near Buckhead shelter and ending your ride on the same trail where you started: Alpine.
Yep, ATC-A stands for Alpine, Tire Mt, Cloverpatch, Alpine. Bring your camera, water and thighs…you’re going to want them all. You get a bit of all Oakridge has to offer on ATC-A: Buff, fast, steep, rocky, stunning views and old growth. There are many fast corners, most with good sightlines, but speed can get out of hand very easily.
Saturday: MBO Day Two Hecklestooth Trail
Trail description from MBO site:
Bunchgrass’ little brother. It’s not less primitive or rugged…or less steep…it’s just shorter. Bring your bike handling skills and nerves as Heckletooth will challenge even the best. Very few clean the whole trail, but go ahead and try, just be aware of the extreme exposure and very steep grades and sidehill action at times. There’s some of the best views in the area off of this one.
Morning ritual, unload the bikes from the U-Haul vans. We ride up in old school buses.
Speaking of school buses
Hecklestooth Peak in the Distance
Victory, yours truly, @perfectdaycalendar on the summit of Hecklestooth Peak (ele 3609) with snow covered Diamond Peak (8600 ele) on the horizon.
Rockin the @Showerspass jersey and shorts from the ‘gravel’ lines.
Rolling off the top of Hecklestooth, trials riders feel free to attack it! Hwy 58 is at the bottom of the drainage.
More of the group rolling off the top of Hecklestooth
Post ride relaxation:
We were basically the only camp to place our tents in the shade (it was 95 deg on Friday). Everyone else seemed to be fine pitching their tents on the tarmac which is left over from the old mill site.
The swimming hole under the main Southern Pacific Oregon-California line was simply too perfect each afternoon.
Re-Hydration takes on many forms: electrolytes, grain-based hops and barley and good old H2O. See that shade!
Sunday: MBO Day Three Hardesty Trail
Trail description from MBO site: (we only rode the ‘Hardesty’ section this yr, two yrs ago, did the full double shuttle)
Lawler: Warm up with a gravel and trail combo climb. Enjoy beautiful old growth trees and buff, flowy singletrack before hitting a brief, steep grunt up a few switchbacks, then get into some ridiculously fast, narrow and moderately exposed singletrack. There’s several tight corners and exposure but good sightlines into most. We say buff…but Lawler has enough rocks, twists and dips that you need to have you’re A-game on to shred this one.
Hardesty: You get longer to warm up on Hardesty, you’ll climb for a couple miles (mostly gravel, ½ mile trail) before you get to the meadow and it flattens out just before the descent into the trees. This is an especially steep trail, fast and smooth with enough rocky patches and roots to keep you awake. There’s a ton of high speed chicanes, jukes and jives on this…like flying on top of dirt. This trail is relatively easy to ride but takes big nerves and good skills to truly unlock the speed and thrills that lie within. The lower mile sees A LOT of mixed use and we’ll slow folks down at the end…but please keep your eyes wide and alert for other trail users. This ride ends at the Goodman/Hardesty parking area.
Looking South to slightly Southwest from the Willamette National Forest divide into the Umpqua National Forest region.
Hardesty Trail: Don’t get ‘Lostt’. This year we hook right, not hook left.
Trails on the MBO, sweet as apple pie, Hardesty Trail
Sunday: MBO Day Three Summing it all up
I should have gone last year, 2015 with 2014 being my first year. Will be there next year. Randy, the founder announced during Saturday evening festivities that the event will only be held on one weekend in late July next year.
Had great thrills riding demo bikes from @Ibiscycles being the Mojo 3 and Ridley LS. Let’s be real, when you can ride demo bikes that collectively cost more than your one-year old Outback.. that’s sweet. Sorry @SubaruUSA.
And how about those volunteers?
Events like MBO couldn’t happen without the support of many volunteers to include our trail guides!
I know I just rode the 1.7 mile gravel up hill to the Hardesty Trailhead, and then the .7 mile singletrack climb to the top…
Here we have yours truly again, with Russ G, lead guide for the day. We are fellow riders on the @Showerspass cycling club decked out in the same kit that day. I told Russ, make sure no one asks me for direction, they might end up in Springfield, OR instead. (45 miles away)