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What offseason?
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
May brings some of the best riding to Southern Oregon. The days are long and the weather is about as good as it gets with highs rarely going above the low 80's under clear skies. I planned on taking a long ride this weekend and managed to get myself out the door and on the bike at 11:30 with nary a cloud in the sky and temps right around 70.

I want to get in about 5 hours with some good climbing but nothing too outrageous. Starting at my doorstep, I figure I'll be able to ride into the Cascades to Butte Falls, cut over to Prospect and come back in something approaching that timeframe. I've ridden all of the roads before but never this exact route so I didn't know exactly how long to expect.

I live right on the city limits so I'm fortunate to be on rural roads pretty much as soon as I get on the bike. Except for a short section through the lumber mills of White City I'm riding through farmlands over rolling hills. The contrast from White City to the green hillsides along Agate is pretty startling. Agate is a great stretch of road for riding with fairly light traffic and about 4-5 miles of short rollers.
 

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What offseason?
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I leave Agate on the aptly named Mountain View Drive. There are views of Mt. Mcloughlin (9,495 feet) all day but despite trying to get about a dozen shots of the very extinct volcano, I didn't get a single good shot. Heading east, I bypass a stretch of riding on the busy Hwy 62 and take Ball and Reese Creek roads to get to the Butte Falls Highway.
 

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What offseason?
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The road to Butte Falls brings the first concerted climbs of the day. There's nothing too difficult climbing a cumulative 1,500 feet in 11 miles with some undulations and descents built in. There are couple "steeper" sections with a 4% section of a couple miles before a short descent and another 2-3 miles that's consistently between 5 and 6%. In end though the climbing is fast and the wind that will start to be significant later in the day is starting to pick up and is at my back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After Butte Falls, I take a turn to the North for 25 miles of unforgiving roads on the way to Prospect. I immediately cross Big Butte Creek and start to climb steeply out of the little gorge that Butte Falls sits in. This is great riding - there isn't an inch of flat road between Butte Falls and Prospect and the scenery is great. There are a few big meadows, lakes and you'll occasional get glimpses of Mt McLoughlin, Union Peak, the Crater Lake rim and the Rogue-Umpqua Divide. Unlike the lower elevations earlier in the ride, the big firs have started to dominate the roadside. Riding down a two lane canyon with 200 foot trees isn't uncommon around here, but it's always a cool experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
This section of road climbs fairly quickly over 3,000 feet but crosses four or five small drainages before dropping down to the major forks of the Rogue River. The road takes some pretty impressive switchbacks down into and out of the South and Middle Fork canyons. The climbs out of the gorges are short but the steepest grades of the day. After crossing the Middle Fork, I turn a little to the west and it becomes clear very quickly that there is a very strong wind out of the west. I'm also out of water and probably have 45 miles left so I pop into the Prospect General Store for a refill and a snack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As I head west out of Prospect on Mill Creek Drive, a small bridge over the main fork of the Rogue River shows clearly that Spring Runoff is in full force. This is the most water I've ever seen at this point. The Rogue drops over 1,000 feet from down to Lost Creek Reservoir in almost no distance. Mill Creek Dr parallels the canyon down to the Rogue - you can never see the bottom but I saw a kayaker who had probably just ridden the class 5+ section of whitewater on the South Fork carrying his gear to his truck 1,000 vertical feet above the lake/river. At the end of Mill Creek Road, I have about 8.5 miles on Highway 62 which is wide, and usually has tons of traffic. I was spared the traffic today but got a pretty good headwind. Crossing the bridge over Lost Creek Reservoir was interesting thanks to a 20mph crosswind. There's a mile long 7% descent where I could hit 55 on a windless day but the wind limits me to 42 despite my my best aero tuck :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
After I leave Lost Creek, I hit Crowfoot Road and the final climb of the day. The last time I rode Crowfoot late in a long ride, I completely bonked and I think I remember getting frustrated and yelling at the road for not looking as steep as it really was. It makes a big difference to have a Snickers in your belly. It only climbs 500 feet in just less than six miles so it's really an easy little climb. I actually sat back and took it easy knowing that I was going to have some headwind to contend with later. My last photo of the day comes near the intersection of Butte Falls Hwy. It's the only decent shot I got of McLoughlin and I couldn't hold the camera straight. How annoying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
From here, I'm heading into the sun so I knew that photos wouldn't turn out. The rest of the ride has a headwind or crosswind but even though I'm starting to feel the miles, I don't struggle with the wind too much. I cross over the 100 mile point not long before I get home, finish the day with 100.66 miles in just under 5.5 hours on the bike and 5,066 cumulative feet climbed.

The routeslip.com map is here: http://www.routeslip.com/map.php?map=774
 

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Wow

Great report, the picture of the reservoir is amazing!

Loved the story about bonking and yelling at the road, too. We've all been there. Snickers and a red bull--every gas station has'em :)

BTW, what time is it over there? Sheesh.
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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Hey very nice report. I've driven through that area a couple of times; it's beautiful. That's a pretty fast ride too. Looks like today is going to be beautiful too.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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That's pretty country. I've never been there, but hope to some day. Thanks for a great report.
 

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Most excellent roads. I counted 3 cars in all those pictures with the beautiful background. Something i very much miss since moving back to Hawaii. Different type of beauty but i am envious.

Do you ever see any wildlife on your rides?

Thanks, Jaime
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
FatTireFred said:
Not meaning to be a d!ck, but I'm curious... why is this sticky'ed?
Surprised it didn't get moved (to Commuting-Touring-Ride reports)
I was wondering why it got the sticky treatment myself. Speaking as the creator, it's not that special a ride report.

General discussion is the right place for general ride reports though.. the forum description even says so :) I guess I do remember that it was common practice by the moderators (a few years ago) to sticky all ride reports.
 

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Bacon!
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Nothing wrong with sticking them up. Great report. Like the link to the route site. I'm going to play with it some.
 
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