team dream

The ATCA Trail

My buddy Chris always told me "The less you know the better." This has been my approach to mountain biking in general so when we loaded up the truck and left for Oakridge I really didn't have an idea of what I was getting into. Now don't get me wrong. I am not one of those foolish people that show up to ride in the backcountry unprepared. In fact I am the opposite in that sense. When my friends are rationing their last bits of a cliff bar I am the guy on the trail that will pull out a slice of left over pizza. Ok so back to the ATCA Trail.

The ATCA Trail is a legendary point to point in Oakridge linking up Upper Alpine, Tire Mountain, Cloverpatch and Lower Alpine. 24 miles of singletrack bliss. For some more detailed information on the ATCA Trail system head on over to the MTB Project.

It's late when we pull into our campsite in Black Canyon. We set up our tents and our tents and head right to bed. Rest.

Apparently some people climb up the gravel road but since we had multiple cars we shuttled our way up to the trail head. We even gave a couple other riders a lift up. Trail karma.

"From Windy Pass ride 1.2 miles on Alpine until you come to a trail junction. Tire Mountain is carved into an old log, turn right here, it’s a sharp little climb but mellows out quickly for awhile until you begin a very fun descent to the junction for the Cloverpatch trail. Be sure you are indeed heading up Cloverpatch and not dropping in on the Eugene to Crest Trail. Cloverpatch requires a bit more climbing to get to more run flowing trail. At the end of Clover patch you will be on a forest service road. Up until 2013 you would have had to descend this and ride the North Shore Road back to Westfir but thanks to local trail building efforts and the Cascade Cream Puff they built a connector trail to bring you back out just above Buckhead Shelter. To get to the connector just ride down the road until you see a green forest service gate on your left…it’s a bit set back from the road you will be on so don’t miss it. Ride past the gate and up Road 130 for 1.9 miles until you reach the connector trail. It can be a bit tricky to see so don’t miss it. Climb another 1.9 miles until you reach Road 683 and turn left which will bring you back to the Alpine Trail. Most of this trail is considered to be intermediate except the Cloverpatch section which is rated advanced." - Oakridge Bike Shop

" This trailhead can either be reached by bike or car. Oregon Adventures runs a shuttle from May to October (start up and shut down dates are contingent…please call Oregon Adventures to verify) to the start point (Kate’s Cut In) which leaves you with a 15.4 mile blissful ride, most of which is downhill. The trail itself is considered intermediate but if you want to increase the aerobic aspect (or you just don’t want to shuttle) you can ride up from the Office Covered Bridge. From the bridge take the Aufderheide Scenic Byway to either forest service road 1910 to Windy Pass (7.9 miles) or 1912 (9.8 miles) all the way to Kate’s Cut In. If you take the 1910 to Windy Pass you will then need to locate the 1912 and continue heading up on that the remaining 3.1 miles. Be aware the 1912 is steeper than the 1910 and many people choose the longer road because of this.

The 15.4 mile ride from Kate’s does include a few short sections of singletrack climbing. Right from the start you climb a gentle grade up to Sourgrass Meadow then it’s downhill until you cross over the 1912. Another set of climbs brings you to the fabled Jedi Section. Once you reach the bottom and cross the road it’s a short pedal until you cross over the 1911 and begin another climb for around a mile. Past the viewpoint there are a few short hills to climb but the majority of the ride is downhill so check your brakes and make sure your pads have some substance to them.

If you’ve never ridden Alpine you might be surprised to learn there are a few variations to the trail you can do if 15.4 miles isn’t enough for you." - Oakridge Bike Shop

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Where to camp while in Oakridge? Black Canyon Campgrounds is the perfect jump off spot for shredding in Oakridge. Fall asleep to the sounds of the Willamette and trail access can be ridden to from your tent.

Where to eat? Cedar Creek Meats and Provisions is located on the Willamette Highway just a stones throw away from camp and has always been our go to spot. Breakfast burritos? Brisket burritos? Yes, please. Take one to go you'll want it on the trail.

Bike broken? Definitely make sure to head over to the Oakridge Bike Shop. Show your support. Buy a trail map and whatever else you may need for the trail. Most of not everyone in the shop plays a huge role in the trail system your about to ride.

Need a shuttle or a guide? Oregon Adventures has you covered. Hell they even offer a 17k day!

So thats about it. The ATCA is an amazing trail system. It's a big day. Be prepared. Hope this article helped. Leave a comment below if you have any questions or want some recommendations for other trails in or around Oakridge.

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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.

Eagle Rock + Big Basin Jay Camp

I didn't really let my buddies Mike and Brian know this but my goal for this trip was to suffer. The original route made its way through UCSC and up Empire Grade to Eagle Rock. At Eagle Rock we'd hop on the fire roads to Big Basin and make our way up Middle Ridge to the Butano Fire Trail. From Butano Fire Trail we'd connect with Olmo and drop into camp at Butano State Park. The route featured over 6000 ft of climbing which was mostly on dirt. I quickly realized that the route would be too challenging for this trip so I went back to Strava and made some tweaks. The final proposed route was 37.8 miles with 5490 feet of climbing which can be viewed here. EagleRock_BigBasin

The first 20 miles of the trip was pretty much one long climb up Empire Grade. Brian was running Odyssey BMX pedals and Mike was on a borrowed bike (thanks Jackson!). I've only climbed sections of Empire so I was stoked to finally get a chance to climb the entire stretch.

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After making the long ascent up Empire we found ourselves at a dead end. We could see Eagle Rock and the abandoned Fire Lookout that sits at the peak but we couldn't find the entrance. We did however find two locked gates. Are only other option would be to back track up Empire and ride down Jameson Creek which would have just felt like a defeat. We could see the Lookout spot and we could see a labyrinth of trails leading its way up to it. Brian and Mike found a pretty clear depression on the barbed wire fence next to one of the locked gates which made us think that it's used quiet frequently. I decided to do some recon while Brian and Mike tried to rid their legs of all it's lactic acid. After pedaling down the trail a bit I was pretty set on taking this route up to the Lookout so I pedaled back with the good news.

Getting loaded bikes over tall gates is never an easy task. Team work is generally required. I definitely do not condone trespassing but we were left with no choice.

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After taking runs around a motorcycle track that we found it quickly became clear that the trails we had found would not lead us to the Fire Road. Mike is an Arborist and was the most qualified person for a recon mission in the woods. He quickly found a route through some bushes and up a steep section of loose dirt. With some team work we were able to get our bikes up onto the Fire Road and we were on our way!

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I don't think any of us expected that the view would be so damn good. Eagle Rock sits at 2488 ft of elevation on Ben Lommond Mountain which is located in Little Basin. The Panoramic view is absolutely breathtaking. From mountains to oceans; here you can see them all!

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I am pretty sure Brian's brain was turning when we got to this place. Brian's photography is next level so I could only imagine how much fun he was having capturing the vastness of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Brian wrote an awesome article which is accompanied by some incredible photographs from the trip onThe Radavist!

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After Eagle Rock we got to shred an amazing ascent down the Eagle Springs Fire Road. Eagle Springs dropped us off right into the Little Basin Campgrounds. We got a little turned around here but with a little help from some strange wilderness instructors we found our way to Pine Mountain Road. The initial climb up Pine Mountain Road was really steep. I watched my Garmin top hit 30% which is definitely the steepest incline I've had the privilege to climb. Brian was motivated and made it up the steep section as well but you should have seen his face! Everyone has a Pain Face when it comes to cycling. Brian and Mike both found them on this trip. As sick as it sounds I am pretty stoked I was able to curate a trip that would do that to them. We all walked away stronger and I am sure Mike and Brian would agree.

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After reaching Blooms Creek we came to a group consensus that we should wrap things up and camp at Big Basin. Big Basin has a really nice Hiker / Biker campsite and it's within walking distance to the camp store which is over flowing with beer, chips and all that other good stuff. The nice part about ending the trip a bit early was that we had time to sit back, relax and really enjoy the redwoods.

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We rolled out of camp fairly early. The climb out of Big Basin was cold and slow. Once out of Big Basin we basically had an endless descent into Boulder Creek. Nothing like an early more descent down twisty country roads to wake you up and put a smile on your face. Once in your Boulder Creek there aren't too many options to get back into Santa Cruz. Mike worked out a cool route that took us down highway 9 to Felton. In Felton we'd pedal through Henry Cowell and pedal along the train tracks back into town. Highway 9 could be a world class cycling route if it weren't for all the angry drivers. Its safe to say that we all just wanted to get down into Felton and the hell off of 9.

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Rolling into Henry Cowell felt like a huge achievement. We made it down Highway 9 unscathed and now we were in the redwoods jamming over tree roots and hobo single track.

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This was the last of three railroad bridges that we'd cross to get back into town. As we got closer to town we slowly found ourselves near Heroin Hill AKA Pogonip. Small encampments could be seen littered through the brush and we occasionally passed a group or two of the lost, the high and the soon to be dead. It's a dark side of Santa Cruz that is rarely seen.

Towering redwoods opened up into blue skies. The sound of the ocean. The sound of the Boardwalk. Lost in our own thoughts. What a rad fucking journey.

+ If you liked this make sure to check out Brian's write up on out trip at the Radavist!

Monte Bello + Castle Rock State Park Trail Camp

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Sam and I have been talking about going on a BikePacking trip ever since I moved back to the West Coast. Life threw me a bone and work brought me out to the beautiful city of Santa Cruz for two months. Since Sam lives in Santa Cruz it didn't take long for us to plan a trip. Castle_Rock_BikePacking

Sam rode a full suspension Santa Cruz Nomad. Josh had a hard tail On One. I had All City Macho Man cyclocross set up. We all pretty much had the same bag set up.Castle_Rock_BikePacking-2Castle_Rock_BikePacking-3

Less than a mile from the car we were quickly greeted with a notorious Bay Area climb called Monte Bello which was one hell of a way to start the day. My cyclocross bike flew up the road giving me the opportunity to shoot some photos of the guys and taunt the road bikers. It's always a good feeling when you can pace with a road cyclist when your fully loaded down with gear.

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Monte Bello Rd in Cupertino starts at Stevens Canyon and climbs for 5.3 miles. Monte Bello climbs up to 1940 feet with an average grade of 6.9% (elev. gain/dist) and walls steep as 16%. The road is a dead end for cars but cyclists have the option to take the fire roads to Black Mountain and continue on single track to Page Mill Road.

Monte Bello means "Beautiful Mountains" in Italian.

Stats on Monte Bellow from Stanford University can be found here.

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This is me stoked to be on my first legit BikePacking trip.

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My set up was light and nimble. Check out my detailed post on my bikepacking rig here.

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Sam and Josh ran into BMX legend Chris Rothe on the way up Monte Bello. Karl was one of the pioneers of Flatland and it was an honor to meet him.

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"Black Mountain is a summit on Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains of west Santa Clara County, California, south of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, and west of Cupertino. It is located on the border between Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve and Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, with the summit located in the former. "

Elevation : 2812 ft (857 m)

Click here for a Topo Map.

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Monte Bello O.S.P. offers a handful of incredible fire roads and single track. Some of the routes we took were : Old Ranch, Bella Vista, Stevens Creek Nature Trail, Ridge Trail and Saratoga Gap.

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Sam has been the master planner and navigator for these trips linking us up with some incredible routes. Sam is also a proud owner of the droopiest Revelate handle bar bag ever! Hahaha.

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The views on the Ridge Trail were breathtaking.

"The preserve's grasslands include California poppy, checker mallow, purple owl's-clover, bluedicks, and blue-eyed grass. Large mammals in the preserve include coyote, bobcat, deer, badger and mountain lions. Common raptors include red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, and American kestrels, and less commonly, rough-legged hawks, prairie falcons, merlins, and golden eagles can be seen during fall and spring migratory seasons. Monte Bello hosts a wide variety of owl species, including great horned, barn, pygmy, long-eared, western screech, and northern saw-whet. "

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Download the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve map here.

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Open hands. Open mind.

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Castle Rock Trail Camp is 2.6 miles from the main parking lot via Saratoga Gap.

The camp features 20 sites at a first come first serve basis. There are currently no fires allowed in the campsites. Pitted toilets and running water available.

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Pro Tip : To the right of this gate at Castle Rock is the Los Altos Rod and Gun Club. When open you can go in and purchase Sodas, Candy, Chips and a bunch of other junk food!

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This is where we parted ways. Sam and Josh had another day of riding bikes while I made my way through Big Basin and Jamison Creek back home. I will never forget this trip. With my first BikePacking trip under my belt it would be an understatement to say that I am hooked. Huge shout out to Sam and Josh for such an incredible adventure.

Multnomah Falls (Multnomah County, Oregon)

The 75 mile Historic Columbia River Highway in Oregon offers an assortment of amazing rides. I've only had the opportunity to explore a few of them but I can already tell that the trip out to Multnomah Falls is going to be a classic in my books. multnomah_falls_larch_bridge_division

- Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in Oregon. - It's located east of Troutdale, between Corbett and Dodson making it accessible via bikes. - Round trip from SE Portland is just over 60 miles. - You will climb over 3700 feet. - At some points you will be going really really fast. Pedal, tuck and smile!

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Pedaling from SE Portland to the Larch Bridge is definitely the worst part about this ride or any ride along the Historic Columbia River Highway. Don't jump.

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That horrible ride down Stark St was worth it right?

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This view never gets old.

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And the views just keep coming.

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Forget the training and just keep on looking.

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You'll pass a few waterfalls on your way to Multnomah Falls but this one is the best. This is also a great place to refill your water bottles, use the restroom and pick up some food.

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Now it's time to enjoy some awesome climbing!

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The Radavist + Team Dream. multnomah_falls_riverfoot2multnomah_falls_beachbumRiver vibes.

Notes :

- Once you cross the Stark Bridge you can use the bathroom and refill water bottles at the Dabney State Recreation Area. - Theres a couple of small stores on your way to the Portland Women's Forum. - Refill water bottles at the Portland Women's Forum. - There are plenty of bathrooms and places to fill up bottles once you pass the Vista House. - At Multnomah Falls you can use their nice bathrooms, refill your water bottles, take photos and even get a warm cup of coffee.