ON BIKE CULTURE IN EUGENE | Fine blogging since 2010 (with periodic long breaks)
In response to this comment the other day, I have only one thing to say …
I’m looking forward to your return! I always enjoy hearing about life on a bike in Eugene!
I just figure the posting level correlates inversely with the quality of the weather.
How much longer till Hwy 242 opens?
Anybody doing the Gran Fondo ride in Cottage Grove?
… are there any organized rides that start a little later?
Has everyone else been noticing more Yuba Mundos around? they must be selling well.
Re McKenzie Pass, it should be open very soon if it is not already.
The latest e-mail alert said “As of May 15, ODOT has about 4 miles of plowing remaining until the entire Old McKenzie Pass Highway is open for cyclists. Probably around Memorial Day.”
And I have definitely noticed a few Yuba Mundos around, especially since I ride an Xtracycle (and love it) and have my eyes out for other longtail cargo bikes. The apparent increase in Yuba Mundos may just be a sort of confirmation bias on my part, though, since I’m looking for them.
McKenzie Pass is cleared of snow, as of today:
Get up there with your bike before the infernal combustion engines get access for the summer.
I took the family up to the McKenzie Pass Memorial Day (thanks for posting a notice jonesey). The ride was great! Everyone should do it. It was a bit of a long climb, but 12 miles from the (west) gate gets you to the lookout at the top. Parking wasn’t a problem right at the last gate, although some riders we talked with seemed surprised at how few riders were up there.
I can’t believe how many times I was struck by not needing to peer over my shoulder anticipating a car behind me. Really a nice treat to not have to hound the kids to watch out for traffic.
In case you’re planning a ride, here’s some beta: Drive up the old McKenzie Highway to the second snow gate at Alder Springs trailhead. Park there, or close to it. From there, it’s four miles of very steep uphill, then eight miles of pretty easy rolling stuff, to the top. 24 miles round trip. Bring a sandwich and a thermos.
If you’re hard core, bike about 15 miles down the other side to the Sisters Bakery for a doughnut and a thermos refill, then return the way you came (54 miles round trip). The ride from Sisters to the pass is easier than the ride from the west side.
The last four miles back down to Alder Springs require well-functioning brakes. Dress or pack for weather.
It is an excellent ride when there is no car traffic. When ascending, watch out for crazy downhill bombers. Correspondingly, sing some Puccini on your way down to warn the climbers that you are on your way.
I finally made it up to 242 on Sunday. We stupidly started at the first snow gate, and man, 7.5 miles of continuous climbing is a lot! Next time I’ll definitely park at the second gate.
It was shocking on the way down when I saw a car – after 2 hours I’d forgotten that they exist!
(it was also shocking when I came around the corner and saw the gate – I’m a timid enough descender that it wasn’t a problem, but I noticed lots of skid marks on the pavement!)
The latest from ODOT, from a message sent at 6 AM today: “The McKenzie Pass Highway (OR 242) will officially open to all traffic on Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 8AM.”
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