The week of May 4th, we built our wheels, picked up our brand new bikes, figured out how to strap on all new bike packing gear and headed out on our first team adventure. Two short weeks later, I'm rolling my bike and gear onto an Amtrak train and headed to Klamath Falls for the Oregon Outback.
My partner in crime Alana took the reigns on the route planning (I'm still working on that skill) and we decided on three 100ish mile days and a so called "easy" 60+ day into Deschutes State Park. Aggressive for my second bike packing trip on a brand new bike and set up? Yup. Was I worried/nervous? Yup. Should I have been? Hell No!!!!!
On the train down to K-Falls, we talked to others who spoke about the previous year's soul-crushing segments of red sauce, epic head winds on what should be a killer decent, and endless 5% grades that made them feel they would never make camp...hey, at least I had all that to look forward to!
Some of that did make an appearance on my trip but all of that was out shined by days of leap frogging with some pretty rad folks, enjoying the generosity, pride and enthusiasm from the locals and, of course, the beautiful landscapes.
The day I was dreading was Day 3. I'm not a climber (repeat, I am not a climber). The thought of slothing a heavy load up 6K feet on what I thought would be tired legs was heavy on my mind from day one. But that dread was completely wiped out as this ended up being my favorite day of the trip.
Rolling through the Ochoco National Forest, fast gravel descents, creek crossings and incredibly valleys made all the climbing relatively "easy". I can't help but think the bike made a huge difference as well as the company I was riding with.
In the end, I feel incredibly grateful to have experienced this adventure and I add it to my "Holy shit, I did that and it was awesome!" life list. And the summer hasn't even started yet!!!!
Post by Sharon Sandoval.