A Good Ride, and One of the Best Rides Yet

Weekend before last, The Logging Road Cyclist went up and completed the ride up to Condenser Peak. Last Friday, on a spectacular warm Spring day, he went out to Five Rivers to do a loop-de-loop he had spied on the Siuslaw Forest map. TLRC intended to park on the Cape Perpetua road a mile or so west of Madera’s grave at the 58-37 junction, and then head down Cummins Ridge to Tenmile Cr, go back up Tenmile Cr. to the 58, head south and loop down the ridge north of Big Cr to Hwy 101, thence back up Big Cr to the 58 and back to the car. He only got the first loop done, and a bit of exploring.

The Cummins Ridge-Tenmile Cr. loop by itself is one of the best Coast Range rides, in TLRC’s humble opinion. Going down Cummins Ridge, one skirts the Cummins Cr. Wilderness. Between the trees, there are impressive views of untouched forest in the wilderness area. TLRC has no pictures to show, since none of the views would have made a good shot because of all the trees. Get the picture? Bad views=trees=no clear cuts. A good thing, right? Go see it yourself!

The ride up Tenmile is quite pretty with some bottom areas with huge old maples. Tenmile itself is a surprisingly large creek, and if TLRC was still in that phase of his life, he’d go back next winter and paddle it.

By the time he got up to the 58 at the top of the Tenmile Cr. road  (the 56), TLRC knew he was running short of time and wouldn’t be able to complete both loops. As a consolation, he rode down to the start of the Big Cr. ridge road (the 1055 on the Forest map), just to find it, and since he was a bit bewildered, he wandered around a bit on the north side of Saddle Mtn, just looking for something…

Back at the car, TLRC had gone about 35 miles and 5000 ft, not a trivial ride. No wonder he felt tired- he had pushed a lot of it in his middle ring, thinking there wasn’t much climbing going on!

The Year Zero

Things were not well in The Logging Road Cyclist’s Forest Estate. A nasty, reactionary insurgency threatened to undo all of his progress towards building his own little socialist Utopia in the woods, where each contributed according to his means, and received according to his needs. The Utopia had a population of 4: TLRC and the three dogs, Good, Affable, and Devil Puppy. TLRC had almost all of the means, while the dogs had almost all of the needs. Their means were, respectively, to be devoted, friendly and to sit around and look beautiful, like a model or gun moll. Still up for debate was whether or not Devil Puppy’s need to be snuggled was a means or a need.

In any case, since the means were his, TLRC thought it appropriate that TLRCFE was run as a benevolent dictatorship. Under TLRCSoc he alone directed for the benefit of all. “Call me Big TLRC,” he would say while his big soothing eyes would calm the proles, “tonight we will all have our Pro Plan. Pro Plan has always been our food”, even though they had switched from IAMS not long before, when it had always been their food.


Those fortunate enough to have been on a long (say more than 4 1/2 hours) ride with Big TLRC knew his political views in some depth. He admired that sturdy and reasonable socialism born in the Upper Midwest, Manitoba and Saskatchewan and lamented their recent decline beneath the rising tide of corporate reaction spawned during the Reaganite/Thatcherite surge.  Imagine his dismay, then, when under his own nose he found a similar plot.

In his muddling Socialist way, TLRC had brought Devil Puppy to the Utopia with the best of  intentions. She would provide some cheer to The Good Dog as she approached her senescence. The Affable Dog would, no doubt enjoy the company of his own kind.

At first, all went well.

(l-r): Good Dog, Devil Puppy, Affable Dog.

Then, slowly, little things began to go askew. Discontented mutterings rose from Devil Puppy. She wanted more for herself, and less for the others and was willing to use raw intimidation to get her way. Fights erupted. Snarls and snaps ruled the roost, all emanating  from DP. As the other dogs cowered, Big TLRC thought he heard Devil Puppy murmur to them “…four legs good, two legs bad, four legs good, two legs bad…” over and over. Suddenly it was clear to Big TLRC. Although man of peace, he knew his Trotstky, Mao and Ho. This was reaction, pure and simple. A textbook Sendero Luminoso tactic, adopted for reaction instead of revolution: terrorize the populace to bring on repression which will in turn bring uprising. Devil Puppy was not above co-opting  classic leftist propaganda and tactics to seize control of the Utopia for her corporatist ends! Doubleplusungood!

No fool he, Big TLRC realized he was out of his depth, and co-opting corporatist tactics himself, called in a consultant, an Animal Behaviorist from a northern tier state in the EU. She would brook no nonsense, while at the same time avoiding the repression Devil Puppy was seeking.  TLRCFE was turned into one large re-education camp. It was, in the words of Pol Pot, The Year Zero.

Re-education Camp, Year Zero, TLRCFE.

First a program of collective punishment was imposed. No beds, no furniture, no rushing out or in doors like a pack of wild hogs.  No feeding from the table. Sit, Stay, Sit, Stay, Sit, Stay, on and on… For Devil Puppy, special treatment was reserved. No more sitting on Big TLRC. No more snuggling in bed, indeed, she was to be crated away from the bedroom. No more sitting on Big TLRC’s feet. No attention or affection without it’s price: Sit, Down, Stay, Heel, and, for snarling, snapping, fighting or  other completely proscribed behaviors there was:

“You asked me once, what is in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.” O’Brien to Winston Smith, 1984.

For Devil Puppy, what is in Room 101? Nothing. No dog, no Human. Not even a harsh word, just no word. Just her, a Springer Spaniel. Alone. The worst thing in the world. A minute sufficed….

After the crisis, the dogs were at The Long-Suffering Girlfriend’s house, watching her in the garden. Big TLRC was away on a ride. It was a beautiful day, periods of warm sunshine punctuating cold rain.  The Good Puppy sat under the awning lapping at her clove-flavoured Victory Gin, gazing fondly at the other dogs. The gate rattled: Big TLRC was home. Good Puppy trotted over to where he knelt, stroking The Good Dog’s head. The puppy came up behind Good Dog and lay down, touching her and smiling up at Big TLRC. He looked down with his large, soft eyes, and petting them both said over and over, “Good doggies, good doggies…” The Good Puppy rolled further over on her side and drifted off to sleep. She loved Big TLRC.

TLRC Magnets Are Here!

In the six months or so that the website has been up, The Logging Road Cyclist has been overwhelmed and humbled by all the great comments from so many nice people. The first two, one from a bail bond company and one from an automobile VIN search site particularly touched TLRC because they aren’t even cyclists, yet they still reached out to TLRC in it’s infancy. Since then the steady stream of folks offering Prozac, Viagra and Cialis, Ugg boots and a lot of other stuff that TLRC can’t even figure out because they are in some odd language that looks like English but isn’t has made him realize that there are just a lot of very friendly people reaching out. Adding in the other 4 comments, 3 from friends and one from a real cyclist with his own website brings TLRC nearly to tears.

To thank you all, TLRC has had a specially designed TLRC magnetic sticker made. Now you all can can show you are part of the TLRC community! Get one for your old truck:

Or enough for the whole family!

Get yours today, and show the world that you too love TLRC! And Thanks!

Slouching Towards Spring (with three new rides!)

Oregon Spring, that fickle vixen, is up to her old tricks. Just two weeks ago, The Logging Road Cyclist strung together yet another loop out in the Siuslaw in tank top, shorts and blindingly sunny conditions (Cannibals, Indians and a Grave). Doubtless this contributed to the sense of daring that lead him to really step out and participate in the first “organized” ride of his life: the brand-spanking new 2013 Rickreall Gravel classic, for which torrential rain, punctuated by sleet and a minute here, minute there o’ sunshine obtained.  At the start, TLRC felt  bit out of place in his subfusc gear, and then was stunned at how rapidly the bulk of the peloton vanished into the curtains of rain and mist, leaving  him alone (as usual) and in the gap between the merely pathetic and the hopeless. Since the ride was, at that point, much like any other ride (except for all the tire tracks), he decided on a diversion from the “official” route and snooped around again for the elusive Rickreall Limestones that are supposedly well exposed in a quarry or two nearby. After being warned by some civil locals of a crazy coot who lived at the quarry entrance and who had a penchant for greeting strangers with a gun, TLRC hewed close to The MORE Fundamental Axiom, gave it up, and completed the “lite” version of The Classic, the better to get home early and take The Long Suffering Girlfriend out for a penitential (and pricey!) dinner to make up for an indiscretion from the week before, namely not signalling enough with the SPOT,  thus needlessly raising her anxieties. TLRC was looking forward to a dinner with a vaguely French-sounding name himself. Besides, he was tired, and wanted to go home and get dry.

The next week was cold and rainy, and TLRC found it difficult to get out for his usual training, although some time in there he went out and put Outback in the Mac-Dunn rides section.  Just this weekend, he decided it was time to stop moping around and get on with life, no matter how Spring had deteriorated. Clearly what was needed was one of the good old classics on Saturday, come rain snow or shine, and some company who knew and loved the ride. The Ride: Feagles Cr. (40mi, 4500′). The Company: The steadast and sturdy D., who has  is an apparent tolerance for both TLRC’s alleged chattiness and his (TLRC’s) conviction that poor D. can never know enough local geology.  Two can play at that game: D., a man of letters with a keen political eye always teaches TLRC a thing or two himself. Between the two, a veritable cyclo-Chautauqua.