all city macho man

Portland to Mt Hood Bikepacking Adventure: Timothy Lake to Muddy Fork

Waking up to an empty lake and crystal clear views of Mt Hood. Does it get any better?  

We took our time packing camp and made coffee over a morning fire. 

From Timothy Lake we connected with Jackpot Meadows which is this lush untouched single track that took us by surprise. We knew we were close to the PCT but it turns out this trail is legal for bikes! Will definitely be planning a trip around this trail in the future. 

We eventually made it up to Government Camp where we filled our bellies with beer and burgers. After stocking up for the night we took the Crosstown Trail to Pioneer Bridal. Cross bikes fully loaded on a 12+ mile MTB descent? Why not. 

For whatever reason Alex didn't feel like wearing a helmet. I warned him. So after Alex crashed and hit his head on a rock we almost had to call the trip. Alex is a nurse and should have known better. We all have to learn some how! 

We camped off the Sandy River in probably one of the spookiest campsites ever. I was so scared! 

Want to do a similar trip and want more details? Feel free to give us an e-mail and we'd be happy to answer ay questions or help you plan your trip.  

A Broken Guide to Cyclocross Part One : Myself and the Bike

Welcome to the Broken Guide of Cyclocross. It is here that I will share my journey through my first season of racing in Portland Oregon. canby_15-147

Photo : Yung Pine Photography / yungpinephotography.com I grew up riding BMX and continued with it all the way into my mid twenties. Racing, trails, street, ramps, the whole deal. When I moved to New York City I picked up my first Road Bike. I used it as a way to get into shape but it quickly became more than that. Fast forward to present day. I am 30 years old living and working in Portland Oregon. Riding single track is hands down my favorite. I guess I’d consider myself a trail rider? Since Portland doesn’t have local single track I spend my mornings before work in Mt Tabor exploring the roads and trails on my Cyclocross bikes. I am on the bike seven days a week and I’ve been like this since I was six years old.

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Photo : Stephan Hawk

So now you know a little about me and next up I want to talk about the bike I will be racing on. A racing bike is a workhorse, something that can be thrashed around and crashed on. So that is why I will be racing my All City Macho Man. Arguably one of the best affordable bikes or frame sets on the market. I purchased the frame on Ebay and has since been built up in many different ways. From group rides to the Oregon Outback the Macho Man has proved itself to be one hell of a bike.

In preparation for cross I’ve made a few changes thanks to the suggestions of Ten Speed Hero / Leave it on the Road Cat 1 racer Jake Szymanski. If your not already following this guy on Instagram you definitely should. Back to the bike! I ditched the heavy steel fork for carbon which has lightened the bike up significantly. To cut some more weight and reduce the chance of mechanicals I’ve converted the drive train to a 1x10. To bring it all together and keep it rubber side down I’ve gone with 33c Maxis Mudslinger tires. They’re a little narrow for my taste but the aggressive tread pattern really digs into the dirt. I’ve already taken this set up on a backpacking trip to Rainer Oregon and never needed the big ring once. So while this rig will be for racing it will still function for any bikepacking trips I’ll be taking! The bike feels really nimble and is built to take a hit.

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Moving over to the vanity side of cycling I am a bit particular in the sort of kit I wear. Traditionally cyclists wear skin suits in cyclocross but that kind of attire is generally reserved for people that are on teams. My personal kit I’ve chosen to use this season is the following:

- Search and State S1A jersey in the now retired Green color way. I’ve had this jersey for a couple years now and cherish every rip and missing thread that it has. Made in the USA, Search and State is a brand I’ve been behind since day one. - Team Dream Compressor bibs made in Los Angeles, California. - The Athletic socks. One sock is blue and the other is pink. I wear the pink one on my right foot because my right leg is a hammer. - Defeet base layer. - Giro Code shoes. The Vibram soles are super grippy. - Giro Atmos helmet. I am from the Bay Area so I got to represent.

Check back soon for Part Two of this long over due guide to Cyclocross.

Velo Cult Team Ride : Rocky Point Road

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[sliderpro id="10"] Let’s face it. It’s been that kind of winter. The weather has been pretty rough. Even for the most hearty of cyclists who chant death before trainers…….. But what can usually coax anyone into the cold and onto the wet roads of the west hills? A great group of people who actually relish in the exact elements that will drive most folks to a spin class or a trainer (myself included). Thanks to Andy who was the organizer of Sunday’s ride and his choice was Rocky Pt. Road. Logistically we decided it best to car shuttle out of town as opposed to schlepping the sloppy dirty 30. Since it was a day where no amount of gear, no more how high tech or water proof, you were going to be soaked through.

This was a great choice, but it did mean we were in the ride the moment we shoved off and up the average 8% gradient for the first 5 or so miles, eventually reaching the gravel accompanied by steady rain with huge drops making visibility an issue. Everyone had their own pace and seemed to get out of the ride what they wanted. AS per usual with this group, there was no man or woman left behind. This is why I truly enjoy this group and everyone who rides for Velo Cult. It’s about being out there! Being on two wheels and just riding!

Finally at the top of our climbing, we stared down the barrel of a big descent. And once we did descend down the backside of Rocky Pont Rd, streaking by small piles of snow hanging for dear life, the rain cleared up and warmed up a bit making for a super-fast drop to the bottom…where we realized we had to now turnaround and climb up what we just bombed down. Well, some us didn’t realize it was an out and back. OOPS! So, with the same cheer and bravado we had at the start, we made the U-y and headed up.

At this point, I do think a bit of a “ok I’m super soaked and cold. Let’s get back to the cars” mentality set in. So the climb back up and over seemed to be at a quicker pace and we all found a pace that made the turn around feel a bit shorter in length. Maybe it was the cold and wet. Maybe it was a bit of suffering. Perhaps I was woozy from my own effort, but the return trip was a bit fuzzy….unmemorable even. And just like that another great ride was in the books. The hot shower lasted a bit longer than usual, my gigantic robe was oh so welcoming and the soup was steaming hot! SO! Thank you Andy, Adam, Jeremiah, Craig, Chris, Lee and (Bethany?). I cannot wait for the next ride!

Words : Matthew Barney Photos : Christopher San Agustin

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Oregon Outback : Prineville to Shaniko

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The sun rises in the high desert illuminating the canyon surrounding the Prineville Reservoir. One by one we crawl out of our tents. Our weathered hands reach for the sky as we stretch sore limbs and rub sleepy eyes. Brad offers to make everyone coffee and one by one we fill our empty cups. We take our time cleaning up camp and enjoy the beautiful glow of morning. [portfolio_slideshow id=4537 width=1200]

Today is another big push of a 100+ miles. My knees feel broken and it definitely hurts to sit down on the saddle. I take some Advil and try to put the pain behind me.

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We hug the canyon walls as we descend down the Crooked River. Fully tucked, teary eyed, the descent is fucking amazing. We pour out onto rolling roads with the Crooked River to our left and towering Canyon walls to the right. The river runs a 125 miles long and is a tributary to the Deschutes River. Its a short push to Prineville.

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Call it a coincidence, call it fate; I rather believe it was our destiny to eat at yet another place called Brothers. Yesterday it was Brothers Stagecoach Stop and Cafe and today would be breakfast at Brothers Restaurant in Central Oregon. Coffee and the best Chicken Fried Steak I’ve ever fucking had. Enough said.

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It’s a long paved climb into the Ochoco National Forest. My knees crack and I tell everyone to push on. I climb in silence. It’s beautiful here. Alone with thought. Alone with the dizzying pain each pedal stroke makes. I push on and thankful for the friends that await for me at the top. It’s always worth it. Always. The descent through the Ochoco National Forest was good; really fucking good.

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It’s our first time that we’ve had to filter water on this trip. It’s exciting and I don’t know why.

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I’ve been looking forward to this section of the Outback. River Crossings and incredible remote roads that traverse through ranch lands on the edge of the Ochoco National Forest. This feels like Bikepacking.

My knee hurts so I pedal off the front to give myself ahead start. I approach the first creek crossing. There is a group of cyclists on the other side cheering me on. “Stay to the left. Stay to the left.” I stay to the left. My cadence is high as I cross the rocky creek bed. My feet are soaked and I am properly doused in water. I am smiling. I must be smiling. Fuck. This is so good!

Theres a few more creek crossings. The last one is deep. Dave almost makes it but pinch flats. I dip my cap in the ice cold water while we wait in the hot Oregon sun.

We descend. My front wheel hits a pot hole. I am going fast. I am loosing air and my front wheel is feeling really soft. I corner and my wheel sends me out of control. I panic knowing that I could be going down hard on this fast gravel descent. I have one foot out and carefully apply the brakes in hopes to not skid out. I loose control and point my bike towards a ditch. I feel lucky to walk away.

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After I fix my flat we regroup at what looks like an abandoned church. There is still a lot of riding to do. My legs are tired. We fill our bottles in someones yard and push forward. We’re climbing. The road is steep and the gravel is loose. I crack. The sun is really intense, sweat stings my eyes. My legs will not turn the pedals. I walk up the rest. Frustrated; I look down to realize I had been in the big ring the entire time. Fuck. Back in the smaller ring John and I decide to go at a more sustainable pace.

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It’s the final stretch to Shaniko. We’re on pavement now and it feels really good. The climb into town seems to go on forever. We’re buried deep in our own thoughts. The sun is setting and the light is incredible. Such an amazing and tough day on the bicycle. It’s rare to live in the moment these days. Setting up camp I come to realize what that truly means. We’re in the moment now and thats something I will now forever search for.

Oregon Outback : Klamath Falls to Silverlake

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I wake up to the sound of Dave’s alarm; my sleepy limbs are draped over the hotel floor and the distant sound of rain slowly fills the room. Dave’s already packing and I know it’s time to get up.

We warm up our legs in route to the Mavericks Hotel, the start of the Oregon Outback in Klamath Falls Oregon. We are greeted by a parking lot full of riders ready to take on the infamous 369 mile route created by Velo Dirt. It’s 7am and the group rolls out. Bikes are everywhere. It’s fucking chaos. The first 8 miles of the OC&E Woodsline State Trail is paved and here riders scramble to find their friends and get into position.

The pavement quickly gives way to the rugged rail bed that once carried timber and cattle through the Pacific NorthWest. It feels real now. We’re on the Outback. This is the fucking Oregon Outback. Our group of three forms into a group of seven; Dave, Don, John, Calvin, Bryan, Brad and myself. We’re a goofy bunch from Portland, Berkeley, Los Angeles and New York. I know Don; Don knows Dave, John, Calvin and Bryan. Calvin knows Brad and so on and so on. We’re an eclectic bunch and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of dudes to ride with.

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The gravel dances beneath our tires as we make our way through the vibrant green. We eventually catch up with the clouds as we make our way through Switchback Hill. With our rain jackets on we navigate our way through the muddy switchbacks in route to Sprague River.

We spit out onto the road and grab lunch at the Running Bear Deli. The place is packed with BikePackers. The line is out the door and my mouth is watering. Pulled Pork Sandwich or Burrito? I went with the locally smoked ham sandwich. Winning. After filling our bellies and our bottles we head back on the road. The trail follows the Sprague River and I recall this particular stretch being pretty muddy from the rain . At some point Dave hit the deck and I narrowly missed running over him. We had a good laugh and took a detour in Beaty to load up on Water and most likely some form of Junk Food.

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Back on the trail we pedal along Five Mile Creek in the Fremont National Forest; which is just fucking beautiful. I recall moments where the woods opened up and the creek twisted through a lush landscape of green. It was so cinematic. The long day on the saddle was taking a toll on me. My body was longing for food and I set my eyes on our 7pm reservation at the Cowboy Dinner Tree. Dave had legs and set off to make sure we could eat our 30oz Top Sirloin Steaks.

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The sun is setting fast and we realize we’ve missed the turn to the Cowboy Dinner Tree. Was Dave there waiting for us or did he miss it too? We take a moment to figure out our options. Do we ride back and look for the turn off? Do we push forward and hope Dave meets us at camp? My energy levels are at an all time low and we decide to push forward.

Dave is shivering in the Silverlake general store. The sun is nearly down and the temperature is quickly dropping. We all missed the turn for the Cowboy Dinner Tree. Bummed but it’ s a huge relief that we’re all back together again. Cold hot dogs and frozen burritos kinda taste good after a 120 mile day anyways.