Some local workout rides.

If, like The Logging Road Cyclist you are a poor to mediocre MTB rider, and are usually trying to get fit again after your most recent brush with senescence, you’ll like these  road/trail rides that use some of Mac Forest’s gravel and easy trails, a Short Workout Ride (11mi., 2300′) and a Longer Workout Ride (18mi., 3300′). TLRC saw a big, healthy Bobcat out on the Nettleton Rd. when he did the latter the other day.

Speaking of workout rides, it’s the season for the C2C-FS30 loop around Mary’s peak, so TLRC and Gnat did it on Sunday.  It’s pretty close to town, and about the same umph as the Longer Workout ride. The difference is that most of the climb is in one 8-mile push that is never really hard, but never really easy either…

TLRC ponders Mary’s Peak from the Harlan Valley at the base of the big climb.

Table Mountain Lite

Table Mountain has long been one of The Logging Road Cyclist’s favorite rides. At 27 miles and more than 5000′ of climbing, it’s a pretty stout haul. By the simple expedient of not making the brutal and rather pointless climb up Table Mountain, one can make a more reasonable ride: Table Mountain Lite which has all the nice features of the former, yet at 23/3000 is less debilitating and more refreshing.

Today’s trip was on yet another spectacular clear May day and found the climb up Grant Cr in good shape, but the descent into Drift Cr. especially ball-bearing-y. Poor TLRC found himself gripped and walking the steepest parts. Only his True Purpose kept him from regretting his 35 tires after seeing how much fun the MTB doggies had had last weekend on Little Grass.

Little Grass Mtn Traverse

A few years back, before figuring out with his buddy Gnat how easy it was to get to Little Grass Mtn, The Logging Road Cyclist had spent some time casting about on the ridge to the SW of the peak. This lead pretty much nowhere but up some very steep roads out of the Luckiamute. After getting up Little Grass, Gnat got obsessed with the whole area and this lead to a very steep and loose climb up Miller Cr. from the Luckiamute and some exploration out the spectacularly steep Cougar Ridge. They also extended TLRC’s earlier push and got to the peak from the SW. Thus assured that both sides went through, they had a loop, which Gnat and The Dirt Magnet completed a couple of years ago.

On  painfully clear and cool spring day, TLRC, Gnat and B went out to pedal this steep adventurous ride. A stiff climb from the Luckiamute leads up to the Mary’s River divide. Just as the road starts to drop down, a gate on the right blocks a road that traverses along across the head of the Mary’s River drainage. This gets obscure, but keep the faith.

Marys Peak burning above the West Branch of the Mary’s River

Eventually Little Grass Mtn road is reached and the summit is not far.

MTB makes it to Little Grass

Dropping down from the top, the road swings through the tippy-top of the Yaquina drainage, whence a bit of a climb out and along Green Ridge leads to the top of the road down Miller Cr. This is steep and loose, and poor TLRC on his 35’s got left way behing the MTBs with their 2.75 and 3-point-something tires, which truth be told he was a bit envious of.

Some fast but loose wheeling on the Valsetz road gets one back to wherever one parked.

This is a tough little adventure ride that is close to town and well worthwhile. Once the steep and rather obscure nature of the loop is seen, it is obvious why TLRC and Gnat lined it out from either end. Not a place to explore downhill…