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THEE HOLY MOUNTAIN V2: Suffer Report

I was working in Seattle when my buddy texted me about doing the OMTM Thee Holy Mountain V2 ride.

THEE HOLY MOUNTAIN V2 IS AN EXPANSION ON LAST YEAR’S ASCENT INTO THE RARIFIED AIR OF WY’EAST. BLENDING GRAVEL, FOREST PATH, LOAMY TRAIL, DOWNHILL SINGLETRACK AND HISTORIC WAGON ROAD, THE V2 IS BROKEN INTO BIG AND EPIC ROUTE OPTIONS FOR A SPIRITED ROMP THROUGH THE LESSER KNOWN BYWAYS OF MOUNT HOOD. BY THE NUMBERS, THE EPIC FULL RIDE FEATURES OVER 19 MILES AND 5570 FEET OF SUSTAINED DESCENDING IN A SINGLE SHOT FROM THE SILCOX HUT TO ZIGZAG.
— OMTM

OMTM separated the route into BIG and EPIC. The BIG route is 42 miles and 4361ft of climbing. The Epic route was 54 miles and 7180ft of fucking climbing!

I am a rule breaker, so naturally I made my own route.  I cut out a section of the EPIC to make a 50 mile route with 6000ft of climbing. What should we call this one Ron? Bigger? Here is a link to the Bigger route in case your interested: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/23978009

I am not sure if anyone got a head count, but the parking lot at the Zig Zag Ranger Station was packed. 

Rolling deep. 

It didn't take long for me to get dropped. Climbing alone is probably one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy being lost in thoughts and just settling into my own cadence. 

P.S. Short socks and not giving a fuck. 

We took a wrong turn and climbed Timberline to Town instead of taking the paved road to the Timberline Lodge. Bonus points because this view was the best one on the trip! 

P.S. Enduro bros you're supposed to yield to uphill traffic. 

The Ritchey Timberwolf is the latest addition to the stable and it's quickly become my favorite bike. The spare tube setup on this rig is fucking rad. 

P.S. We still have a few bottles left. Hit up the web shop and use the code below for 20% off. 

GC6HL1C-FRIEND

So the EPIC route included a 1000ft climb to the Silcox Hut... Wine at the top because you just died pushing your bike to the top. 

DKLEIN laying down some smooth lines, follow him on Youtube to see his video on the ride. 

Well that was fun. Huge shout out to at OMTM for the route and getting everyone together.

Head over to OMTM for more routes and trail wisdom. 

5 Questions: Christopher San Agustin of Broken & Coastal

Ron Lewis of Our Mother the Mountain has been working on a series called 5 Questions which is focused on creatives who ride bikes. There is so much cool shit happening in Portland and it's rad that Ron has been uncovering it through this series. Head over to OMTM to read the full story! 

 

"We’re breaking the rules, creating our own scene and having a damn good time doing it."

"The BMX bike was my way to explore my environment, meet new friends and develop my creative spirit. It took me across the world to Thailand where I organized BMX competitions and even met my wife. It inspired me to make my first website, shoot my first film and led me into a career of the Graphic Arts. Everything I’ve done and will do in life can be traced back to those long days spent on a 20” bike."

OMTM Dark Larch 2017

It’s 5pm and I am still in Seattle. I’ve been living out of the Silver Cloud Inn for the past 10 days. Hotel life is great at first but I am itching to get back down to Portland.

It’s 6pm and we’re still awaiting for approval. Our clients are making last minute changes on their big Monday pitch. The office is anxious, the whiskey bottle is already empty and I can’t stop thinking of tomorrow’s Our Mother the Mountain ride.

It’s 8pm,we’re on the road back to Portland and I am in good company. I guess I really am riding the Dark Larch tomorrow.

It’s 6am and I can hear the pouring rain bouncing off my rooftop. The water is boiling and I sip my coffee while watching the weather unfold through my front window. My phone buzzes and my first friend drops out of the ride. I don’t blame him.

It’s 9am and we’re in the Dabney parking lot. A solid crew of brave souls circle the parking lot waiting for the un-official roll out. Words are had and we pace line down the highway.

I loose track of time, I focus on the pedal stroke, my mind wanders amongst the green and the crunching sound of tires over earth. I am thankful I didn't bail, the Dark Larch delivers. 

Route info via OMTM. 

This year’s Dark Larch V2 packs the same condensed wallop of forest road, singletrack, gravel and faerie footpath as last year but with a couple of fantastic improvements to the original course. It will have the same Historic Highway rollout to Alex Barr and Palmer Mill singletrack climbs to the Larch Mountain gate on the front end, but will bypass the decommissioned forest road NF20 in favor of a quick drop down Larch Mountain Road to the elusive Dark Larch Wizard Trail at mile 26.4. This quiet slice of loamy bliss crosses Buck Creek in the way nature intended before dipping off down the Dark Larch Byway, a forgotten bit of forest road with a few punchy climbs which completely sidesteps the Bull Run watershed boundary. The Dark Larch Byway lets out at the legendary powerline gravel bomb to Gordon Creek. Take it easy on the Gordon Creek hairpin descent at mile 41.7, let’s keep the rubber side down this year.

At mile 42.6 we dive into the Jurassic singletrack of the North Oxbow Trail and the Sandy River Beach Club at mile 43.9 (look for the spur leading off to the left). After some rays and a few piña coladas, we’ll coax our bronzed bods up the herculean OXBERG climb and ease back down the Historic Highway to belly up for some burgers and brews at Shirley’s Tippy-Canoe.

Disclaimers, warnings, caveats and wisdoms:

* The ride will be rolling out of Dabney at 9am sharp, so plan accordingly or you’ll be playing catch up.

* This route requires GPS navigation. Please download the route to your Garmin, or use the fine RWGPS app on your phone.

* Tire sizes of 35c-45c recommended. While we suppose you could have feasibly #roadbikesoffroad-ed this on 28c’s last year, the severity of the rainfall and wetness in many areas of the course make it a really bad idea this go-round. Please please please, nothing smaller than 33c. The course is much, much wetter than the late summer run last year, rendering it very difficult for smaller tires.

* Be very considerate of any hikers or ghosts you might come across – though it’s frankly unlikely you’ll see any. We want to convey how nice cyclists are on trails that don’t often see them.

* You will need to be prepared to filter/treat water for refill. There are many ideal opportunities to do so.

* Dabney State Recreation area does require a day pass ($5)…another parking option w/ no fee would be Glen Otto park @ Historic Highway + the Sandy River, a couple of miles NW of Dabney on the Historic Highway. There are bathrooms and great water at both Dabney and Glen Otto.

* Since the route is close to Portland and not very long, we encourage you to ride to your ride. It’s a 15 mile warmup to Dabney from SE PDX.

Stay safe and enjoy!

Bikeportland: A return to Timber’s snowy, logjammed backroads

Head over to Bikeportland.org for some great coverage of OMTM Timber Log Jam by Jonathan Maus.

We rolled through the sleepy enclave on Timber toward our last big challenge of the day: the ascent of Wildcat Mountain. From Timber Road we were back on the dirt for a four mile, 900-foot climb punctuated by more bike-carrying and bush-whacking at the top. The descent from Wildcat Mountain to the finish in Banks was about 10 miles of pure rolling bliss. It started with panoramic views, sloppy mud and snowy singletrack and ended with dry skies and lakes on both sides of Cedar Canyon Road.
— Jonathan Maus