A couple of years ago when he did the Rhododendron Ridge Loop, The Logging Road Cyclist felt sad that he had no mountain bike with which to go back and explore the Rhododendron Ridge Trail. Well, he has now, and with shiny new red rims to boot. Thus the first real backcountry test of his wheel building skills was just that ride.
Granted, TLRC did not take the most rational approach to the RRT this time, but he was nostalgic for the Humbug Cr. start and the climb up the 4698 Rd, with it’s healthful climb and great views. He had forgotten just how steep it, and the final climb up to the Ridge actually were, and how much real MTB time they would consume. Next time, he will probably explore a couple of other sections of the RRT, and take a more direct start up the 6350 Rd., right off the pass between the Clackamas and Breitenbush.
This ride covered that part of the RRT between Cachebox Meadow and Graham Pass. It’s a nice and moderate sort of trail that even TLRC rode most of, walking the occasional steep-ish or rocky part, he ever mindful of incurring excessive fatigue on a hot day, or injury way out there by himself. There are spectacular views of the High Cascades,
and lots of nice rhododendron-y forest:
From Graham Pass, it’s a pretty easy spin back in your middle and big rings along the 6350 with a lot of very nice views to the north.
Back at the pavement 9 miles of fast downhill lead back to the start. TLRC got up to nearly 40mph on his new wheels, and they were solid, dude, like being on a rail. He is coming back for more soon.