But then I made the mistake of looking at this page. Next thing I knew I was headed out on Stark not entirely sure if I was ready for a long day in the saddle. A couple weeks ago, after the 6 hours of Mt Hood and the Test of Endurance, I was in primo shape. Everything was working smoothly, and my endurance was on point. But a week and a half of traveling in a car, and little to no sustained riding took it’s toll. I may only be thirty, but I’m fully aware that if I want to stay in good shape, I’m going to have to work on it – constantly. Not like that’s a bad thing.
Unlike the heat we had last week, yesterday was a mild day. But it was still warm in the sun, and I was happy to find small amounts of shade where I could along Stark. That’s a nine mile stretch of sprawl. No trees, no tall buildings.
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After paying the traffic dues, a turn onto Historic Hwy 30 is a welcome reward. The climb starts about here, and it goes for about twenty miles. Eventually leaving Hwy 30 and taking E Larch Mtn Rd means the last fourteen miles await. The mile markers click it off all the way up.
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Once at the top, there’s a short trail leading to a look out. If you’ve ridden this far, you would be an idiot to not take the extra 1/4mile bit. Once on top, everything comes into focus.
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Mount Jefferson, Mt Hood, Mt Adams, Mt Rainier, and Mt St. Helens are all visible from this one spot. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was about 80 degrees. This is what Oregon is all about.
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I’ve lived in Portland for almost two years now, and I’m becoming more familiar with our nearest mountain. Mt Hood has many faces, this being one of my favorites. Sharp, tall, and covered with snow. After a short stay, it was time to head back home. Forty miles to go. Back in Corbett I stopped for a can of coke and while I was enjoying it in the shade, my rear tire blew. But I was in such good spirits, I took it as an excuse to relax a bit more before dealing with the city traffic, which was in full swing by 5: 30.
This weekend: Rickreall farm roads.
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