Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

North Umpqua Trail: Marsters Segment

Only one segment (okay, out and back) and only 7.2 miles? What happened? Well, it's probably less embarrassing for me to say, "we are wimps" than for me to tell you what really happened… although we are indeed wimps in general.
I'd like people to think that my husband is intelligent, thoughtful, and capable. That would be a nice reflection on me, right? After all, I married him. However, I need to write my trip reports too, and I usually try to be honest in my writing. So, I'll have to sacrifice him and here is what really happened…

If you read my previous post, you would know that Erik didn't put his bike together until the night before we headed out for our trip. I did say something like "I wish you had a chance to do at least one local ride before you take the bike on the trip." I mention this just to show you how well I'm at jinxing things.

Sure enough, as soon as we started riding right before 11am (the late start was due to the fact that we are soft, i.e. being wimps), he realized that he had a problem. The rear tire rubbed on the chainstay whenever he had to pedal. After a couple of attempts to fix it, he found out that the rootcause was two chainstay spacers were missing — they must be lying around somewhere in the house if they haven't been eaten by the kitties. Because the chainstay was super flexy now, the tire rubbed and the chain skipped when he pedaled, and it was worse when he had to pedal hard. Just like those segments we rode two years ago, this one on North Umpqua River, Marsters, has a lot of ups and downs. Some ups are pretty steep and his chain would skip badly forcing him to step off, so I rode ahead. On the way back, after a long stretch of climbing, I stopped at a nice shaded bridge to wait for him while enjoying the sound of the creek flowing down into the rushing river below. After quite a while, he showed up…with the bike on his back.
It turned out he broke his derailleur hanger. We did have a spare hanger in the car, but he decided to try to cyclocross out — coast downhill and run the bike uphill. After he took the chain off, the shifter unit was dangling into the spokes. Hmmm… another problem… So, when I pulled a zip tie out of my camelpak, Erik was visibly impressed. Hehe.

He actually made pretty good time. Now it was my turn to be impressed — he was doing the running mount from either side in all sorts of fashions. I took the following clip without him knowing it.


When we got back to the car, we both agreed that it was a fun trail to ride (if you actually ride it on a functional bike). It has varieties despite being only 3.6 mile long. Sometimes, it is in an old growth forest on hard packed dirt; sometimes it's fully exposed and gravely. Sometimes it's high above the river or away from it, and sometimes, it's almost right by it.
After the ride, we talked to our Titus guy, Mike Wirth. He confirmed for us that their dealer in Portland had the part we needed in stock. One nice thing about doing a road trip without much planning is we can just go wherever we want. Yeah, we were hoping to finish NUT on this trip, but we can probably hit it on our way back down. There is good riding not far from Portland; plus, now we get to visit Erik's good friend Nate.
Oh, I also just ordered on the phone with Gravity Dropper for a small but crucial part that he broke during his bike assembling process and it would be shipped out to his sister's place in Washington. Everything is falling into place perfectly!

Photos: I uploaded the pictures out to our gallery.

I would have stopped my report right here, but earlier, Erik had said I should  put following conversations in my trip report, so I oblige.
1. We were in downtown Ashland. Erik said Ashland looked like Santa Cruz of Oregon. He was still digging through his piles of stuff in the car to look for something (his perpetual state), so I went ahead walking towards the restaurant a block away while looking around like a tourist. When he came up to me,
-E: Did you see that couple selling buds on the sidewalk?
-M: What is a bud?
-E: Umm… (how do I explain this?)
2. I wanted to look for Calf Trailhead (where we ended our ride on NUT two years ago), but we got further and further on Hwy 138 and it felt that we had gone too far. I started mumbling that we should have stopped at the ranger station to grab a NUT brochure, but it was already too late to go back for it.
-E: Yeah, that's really unfortunate. You should sit there and sulk.
-M: Yeah, I'm already doing it…
3. There had been a fire a few years ago that engulfed Calf Segment, so we were looking for some sign of burn looking for the trailhead. The terrain along the river is in general very foresty, and suddenly one patch appeared ahead of us.
-E: Hey, that patch looked bald. That might be Calf segment.
-M: It needs Rogaine.
4. We were still trying to look for the trailhead, but we seemed to have driven quite far from the western end and we kept wondering where we were.
-M: Hey! That sharp bend there! Do you remember seeing that bend in the river before???
-E: No.
-M: Me either.
-E: (WTF?)

2 Responses

  1. Dirk dBon 19 Aug 2010 at 8:04 am

    Too bad about the mechanicals, but it could have been worse: he could e.g. have forgotten to bring the front wheel (happened to me and a buddy of mine on a few occasions, luckily not during a road trip in Oregon). I ran into Erik and his bare Titus frame last Saturday in Thread; now I'm sitting here behind my computer somewhat envious but I guess I had my Oregon-fix last year. Enjoy the trip!

    mudworm

    Thanks Dirk! We might just have to head back home now since the north is all clouded over. It should be pretty cool at Coe by now.