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Siskiyou Mountain Biking

As I write this, the last riders in today’s 12Mile SuperD are crossing the finish line near my house. Although not an easy race, it doesn’t match the Revenge of the Siskiyous races that used to take place here. Those races required some serious uphill climbs as well as the downhills. Today’s race only climbs 600 feet (while dropping more than 5,000).

On Friday, I rode my mountain bike along a good section of the route. I climbed about 1,500 feet before dropping the same 1,500 feet back to my house. On the way, I rode on Toothpick (out and back) and Caterpillar (downhill only).

ashland mountain biking map 

The Siskiyou Mountains above Ashland offer up some of the finest single track in the country. Besides Toothpick and Caterpillar trails, you can choose from dozens of other trails like White Rabbit, Catwalk (from Four Corners), Bull Gap, BTI, etc. Most aren’t for the faint of heart and take some getting used to. Toothpick isn’t very difficult, although, as the name suggests, it is sometimes not very wide. One side of the trail falls off steeply down the mountain. I wouldn’t want to crash on Toothpick because if you left the trail it would be a long way down.

On Friday the trails seemed unusually crowded. Crowded is a relative term however. We saw about 10 other people in our two hours up there. We also saw about 10 dogs. I’m not a fan of dogs–especially when I’m on a bike. I’m sure the hikers with the dogs probably aren’t too happy to see bikers either.

I once road the entire Ashland Loop Road (28 miles including 3,000 feet up and 3,000 feet down) without seeing another human being. I did see a bear on that ride though.

Next winter, after a fresh snow, I’ll have to take a ride up there with my camera. I’ve done it before without a camera and it was amazing. For now, I’ll just have to leave you with a single photo.

Mountain Biking near Mount Ashland with Mt. Shasta in the background

This is taken from approximately the center of this map between the bottom of Bull Gap and the top of Mt. Ashland. I’m on the other side of the mountain as Bull Gap though. (You can’t see Mt. Shasta from Bull Gap although you do have good views of Wagner Butte at times.) Mt. Shasta is in the background.

One Response to “Siskiyou Mountain Biking”

  1. 1
    Thoman Mann:

    As I passed by the Ashland Food Co-op in Ashland, Oregon on my way to the Post Office, a young and energetic Greenpeace standing on the sidewalk approached me and asked, “Would you like to save the Polar Bear?”

    Unable to resists such direct question about my concern for the environment, I stopped to dialogue with the volunteer about Polar Bear and several other environmental issues. I found her to be a well informed and dedicated volunteer. We didn’t see eye-to-eye on every issue, but the conversation was cordial. She did ask if I want support Greenpeace by becoming a member, but when I declined to join, she was pushy or insistent. During the interaction she mentioned that they had run into a problem standing in front of the Ashland Food Co-op and soliciting memberships. In fact she indicated that someone from the Ashland Food Co-op told them they could not stand on the sidewalk out in front of the Ashland Food Co-op and if they continued to they would contact the police.

    I was a bit amazed, I assumed an institution like the Ashland Food Co-op would support the efforts of an organization like Greenpeace. The Greenpeace volunteer was a taken back by their response as well.

    In spite of the objections of the Ashland Food Co-op, they remained there and continued to speak with the people coming and going about the Polar Bear and other environmental issue. Apparently Greenpeace had acquired a state wide permit to canvas for membership, and as long where not engaging in this activity on Ashland Food Co-op property and remain on the public sidewalk, there was nothing the Ashland, Oregon police or the Ashland Food Co-op could do to remove them.

    I had things to do and places to go, but this chance encounter stuck with me through the rest of the day. Know that there a two side of every store, I call the Ashland Food Co-op when I got home in late afternoon. I spoke with the floor manager, since the manager had gone home for the night. She said that they had received complaints from there cliental about the aggressive way that they where approached by the Greenpeace people out in front of their business. That is why they where asked to leave and the Ashland Food Co-op had consider call the police on them.

    Greenpeace can be aggressive in their efforts to save the environment, that they are famous for confronting, for confronting those logging old-growth timber, confronting those that govern us about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and confronting corporations and government whose practices are destroying the planet we live on. These are the people who where willing to put the selves between the whaling ship and the whales, risk life and life in the process.

    The Ashland Food Co-op is a place of business and I can only assume from the floor managers comments, that the last thing that their customers want is someone bothering them on their way into the their co-op. From the perspective of the Ashland Food Co-op this is not the way to work for the environment and way Greenpeace approached their customers could not be tolerated.

    I am only left to wonder if the Ashland Food Co-op and Greenpeace are unable to find a way to get resolve such differences when they arise, how can one expect the rest of the planet to muster the kind of co-operation that is require to hopefully resolve the environmental, political and economic problems our world now faces.

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