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Ashland Daily Photo - A picture a day from beautiful Ashland, Southern Oregon USA in the Rogue Valley
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Posts tagged biking

Ride the Rim (of Crater Lake)

33+ mile bike ride around Crater Lake

@CraterLakeNPS

I once tried to ride around Crater Lake on my bike. It didn’t go well.

Fast forward many years to yesterday. I heard they were closing the road to vehicles on two Saturdays this year. Maybe this has happened in recent years as well. In any event, I did it!

Anyway, let me share a few observations for those of you doing it on September 21, 2019 or in future years…

Get there early! Before 8 is good; before 7 is even better. When I left Crater Lake for home at 11 something after finishing my ride the car traffic was crazy. People were circling forever and not finding places to park their cars. In addition, the roads may not have cars on them, but do you really want to ride around the lake when the roads are crammed with bikes? The ride was very pleasant, congestion wise, between 7 and 9. Things got a little crowded after that and seemed to be getting very crowded about the time I finished. Besides the crowd size issue, the lake looks fairly different between 7 and 11 a.m. with the sunrise but not so different between, say, 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Bring gloves and a face shield. The shield will help with the temperature and wind chill–especially before 9 a.m.–and it will also keep the bugs from entering your mouth and nose at 20+ MPH.

There is plenty of water at the five rest stations so you don’t need to carry too much. I brought three bottles which was two too many.

The ride is over 33 miles (not including Cloudcap) and includes a ton of elevation. Basically, there are no flat spots. You are either climbing or coasting downhill. Therefore, you will want to do some training to make sure you can ride uphill for at least 15 miles.

Cloudcap viewpoint adds an extra mile or two and is a big climb. Feel free to skip it unless you want the extra workout. I did it only because I didn’t realize I could skip it, and the bikes in front of me were heading that way.

You can go in either direction. West Rim Drive (not closed to autos) is best done early, IMO, before the car traffic arrives so if you park at the lodge or visitor’s center a clockwise direction is advised.

I would love to do this again, earlier in the year, when there is still some snow on things. It would be nice if they closed the roads to autos as soon as they open the East Rim Drive some year. I suppose a flexible date, based on the weather, would make planning more difficult though.

Independence Day Celebration Week

ashland 4th of July parade 2012 Tyler Hawkins

I’m in Korea for 4th of July celebrations (or lack thereof) this year. (At least I hope I am. I’m actually pre-blogging this week on Memorial Day back in late May.) So I have put together a week of photos from last year’s 4th of July festivities in Ashland. We’ll start things off with a pic of Tyler Hawkins riding a funky bike in the Ashland 4th of July Parade.

Cycle Oregon

thousands of tents and bikes under the stars ashland oregon

Yesterday afternoon while taking my daily bike ride I couldn’t help but notice the thousands of tents being set up on the Iowa Street softball fields. I decided to go back last night to see what Cycle Oregon’s visit to Ashland would look like under the stars.

Eastview Trail – Ashland, Oregon

eastview trail ashland oregon mountain biking hiking southern rogue valley

The guidebooks for hiking or biking Eastview Trail talk about the wonderful views from the trail itself. Actually, there aren’t any views of the east anymore from Eastview Trail as the trees have grown since the trail was created and now the views are all obstructed. It’s still a nice trail though.

Near the trail head you do get a bit of a view from the location pictured here. That’s Mount McLoughlin poking up in the distance on the right.

Bend mountain biking

girl on mountain bike with helmet

Ellie enjoying the downhill on the Paulina Plunge Tour

Ellie said her favorite part of the Paulina Plunge Tour was the last three-mile downhill stretch.

Trails by Lake of the Woods

bikes

Bikes at the Pacific Crest Trail and High Lakes Trail junction

This may be the first photo of my “new” bike I’ve posted. I’ve been riding it for several months, and it wasn’t new when I purchased this Lefty Fork Cannondale. (I take that back. There is a prior photo here, but you can’t see much of the bike in it.)

At this point on the High Lakes Trail you have your choice of continuing to Lake of the Woods (to the right) or Fish Lake (to the left). You can also head to Brown Mountain Trail (which I need to do one of these days), or you can head perpendicular to this trail to go on the Pacific Crest Trail. The possibilities of adventure are not few.

Mt. McLoughlin from High Lakes Trail

lava rocks southern oregon biking trails

Mt. McLaughlin from High Lakes Trail - Southern Oregon - Outdoor things to do in the Rogue Valley

Two thousand years ago andesite lava flows erupted from Brown Mountain near Fish Lake. Many of these rocks can still be seen along the High Lakes Trail. I like the change in scenery while riding a bike along this trail; one minute you are in a forest and the next you are cruising through single track with lava rocks on both sides of you.

Fish Lake

fish lake jackson county oregon

Fish Lake - Jackson County - Southern Oregon

If you are going round trip on the Lake of the Woods to Fish Lake trail (High Lakes Trail, about 15 miles round trip) then it doesn’t matter which lake you begin and end at in terms of difficulty. However, if you want to take it easy and are only going one way then the route from Lake of the Woods to Fish Lake, pictured above, is a bit easier since Fish Lake is a few hundred feet lower in elevation than Lake of the Woods. There is a bit of a summit in the lava rocks between the two so regardless of which lake you begin at you will be going mostly uphill initially and mostly downhill as you approach the other lake.

High Lakes Trail No. 6200

trail signs

Parking place for High Lakes Trail

This past week we went on a little family outing to the east of Ashland. We have done the trail from Lake of the Woods to Fish Lake before, but this was the first time we all made it for the entire round trip.

To avoid paying the $7 day-use fee by parking at one of the lakes, we parked at the sign pictured above which is approximately where the A is on the map below.

trail connecting lake of the woods and fish lake southern oregon

Biking trail map for Lake of the Woods

At this point we made a mistake and went to the right since the sign says Fish Lake is to the right. This does not put you on the High Lakes Trail (which is what you want if you are hiking or biking). Instead, it puts you on the Resort Trail which looks like an old car trail. The Resort Trail is anything but resort-like, and it eventually disappears, but not before you have to carry your bike over lots of fallen trees and ride over other rather difficult terrain. To avoid this pitfall, keep going down the road (to the left toward Brown Mountain Trail) in the top photo a bit (maybe 20 yards) and then hang a right on High Lakes Trail.

More photos and info to come in the next week…

Caterpillar Trail

caterpillar trail mountain bike riding siskiyou mountains ashland oregonsiskiyou mountains bike racingcaterpillar trail ashland watershed

Back on father’s day I was trying out my 24mm prime lens while on a bike ride up in the Siskiyous. As luck would have it, just as I got my D7000 out of the bag to take a photo of the Caterpillar Trail sign, a few riders came down so I got to test out the responsiveness in low light.

For the first rider I had the dial in the “Auto-No Flash” mode and didn’t have time to change it. Needless to say he blurred a bit as they were coming down the trail fast. That first shot was taken with a shutter speed of 1/160, ISO200, f6.3. I had a few seconds to adjust for the second guy pictured above. I quickly spun the dial over to Scene and then moved the scene to “sports.” I then fired off the above three shots in rapid succession. The camera fired at 1/1000 with an ISO of 500 and f4. I was pleased with the result of three well focused, sharp images (in poor light even), with a frozen rider in each.

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