Sunday, April 3, 2011

Timbuktu- Part Two

It has been a soggier than normal spring here in Oregon. Despite my Karate Monkey being packed and ready to camp for the last 6 weeks, the snow levels have been too low to ride through the mountains. But the last few days have been warm and the rain has melted all the low-level snow that could be seen from town, so a few of us ventured out the try finishing the 50+ mile Timbuktu recon loop we tried back in January.

Velodirt Donnie and friend Nick contemplate walking or riding the gravel climbs. The roads had been freshly graded with rock gravel. While this is probably good for the logging trucks, it changed the game with tire choice. Last time I ran 700c x 32mm (Panaracer T-Serv) tires on the Travelers-Check, and this time I switched to fatter 700 x 35 T- Servs. The rock gravel sections were enough for me to want even bigger tires next time.

We started seeing snow was pretty widespread above the 2,000 foot elevation mark.

Topping the climb to Timbuktu, where we had been on January 22nd, there was quite a bit of snow.

Underneath the 1-2 feet of snow is the road we planned on riding. Nope. Turn around and bomb the hill we just climbed.

I still don't understand why there are just a couple trees left over after a clear cut. Perhaps it's because there was a bird nest in it. But if I were a bird and they chopped down all the trees around my nest, I'd be pretty pissed.

Here is a close-up photo of the freshly laid gravel that make the 700x35 tire look pretty small. While it was still rideable with this tire size, it made it super sketchy on the downhills, created a rough ride and finally caused a pinch flat. For the next day trip I'll either find a fatter tire that still fits in the Travelers-Check frame or just ride my Karate Monkey.

29 miles in a casual 3 1/2 hours. It was so good!

Ride profile here

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