mountain biking

Happy mtn bikersTrail crews on the McKenzie River Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest have completed a five-year project to improve the O’Leary Loop into a world class mountain biking trail. Already a “hidden gem” for both hiking and mountain biking, the enhanced trail is a 22-mile, single-track loop with an intense backcountry feel. Local partners and the McKenzie River Ranger District hope that increasing the mountain biking opportunities in the area will encourage visitors to stay and explore the area for multiple days.

The project started in 2011 when the Recreation and Trails sub-committee of the McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce identified a need for additional bike trails to better serve the mountain biking community. The McKenzie River Trail, which draws visitors locally, nationally and internationally, was the only substantial opportunity for mountain biking in the area. The Disciples of Dirt, a mountain bike advocacy group, worked with the Willamette National Forest to identify the O’Leary Loop, which had been infrequently used for hiking or biking, as an opportunity to expand mountain biking opportunities.

Blue Pool/TamolitchMCKENZIE BRIDGE: The portions of the McKenzie River Trail that lead to Tamolitch Falls, commonly known as Blue Pool will reopen to the public on Thursday, September 8th. However, due to continued fire-related safety concerns, portions east of Blue Pool and the fire area remain closed - including Forest Service Roads 740 and 743. Officials said road work was completed Sunday on Forest Service Road 655 at the trailhead near Trail Bridge Campground and Carmen Reservoir. Parking is only allowed on the right side of the trailhead parking area near the Trail Bridge Campground.
“Now that the Blue Top Fire is safely contained away from the McKenzie River Trail, we have determined it is safe to re-open that section of trail,” said Terry Baker, McKenzie River District Ranger. “I really appreciate everyone’s patience during the closure.”

MRT rerouteMCKENZIE BRIDGE: Under plans approved in May, the McKenzie River Ranger District will relocate portions of the McKenzie River National Recreation Trail near Smith Reservoir. Parts of the existing trail were originally constructed in areas that officials determined were too steep, didn’t incorporate effective drainage, or were un-sustainable. Problems included erosion that might accelerate over time causing a variety of adverse impacts to the trails and environment, including damage which makes trails unsafe to use and increased turbidity in adjacent water systems. In addition, two bridges will be replaced.
The work plan calls for the new sections to be constructed by hand (no heavy equipment), though motorized tools may be used at times. Crews will remove brush and construct a tread from 18 to 22 inches wide). Unsustainable portions of the trail would be decommissioned and naturalized following completion of the proposed reroutes. Another part of the works will use water bars  to remove running water off of the tread.
The entrance and exit points of the old trail would be hidden by debris to discourage use.
Comments on the proposed action were accepted from April 8th to May 6th of 2016. No comments, either in support or opposed, were received.

Mtn bike rescueLinn County Sheriff Bruce Riley reports the Linn County Sheriff's Office 9-1-1 Center received a call at 11:23 a.m. on Sunday reporting an injured mountain bicyclist on the McKenzie River Trail near Sahalie Falls. Sahalie Falls is located on Highway 126 near the Clear Lake Resort,  a popular destination for hiking and mountain bicycling.
The trail is narrow and consists of lava rock, large boulders, steep drop-offs and hazardous terrain. Deputies and 19 Linn County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue (SAR) members responded to assist the injured bicyclist. They found Michael Roszak, 72, of Bend, had crashed his bicycle approximately eight-tenths of a mile south of the entrance to Cold Water Cove Campground. Roszak had been riding alone south toward Carmen Smith Reservoir when he collided with a large boulder on the side of the trail, possibly fracturing or dislocating his left hip. Roszak was unable to walk or move and remained on the trail for a short time until two off-duty Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's) out of Grants Pass located Roszak.
The EMT's were identified as Brandon Rigaud and Jared Nichols; they too had been on the same trail mountain biking. Rigaud and Nichols were equipped with medical supplies and administered first aid.
An additional mountain bicyclist in the area rode from the crash scene to the Clear Lake Resort to make a satellite telephone call to 9-1-1. SAR members carried Roszak approximately one mile south to the trailhead at Carmen Smith Reservoir where he was transported by Sisters-Camp Sherman ambulance to St. Charles Hospital in Bend.
The Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Linn County Parks staff at Clear Lake Resort and the U.S. Forest Service.

Photo Courtesy Linn County Sheriff's Office

Mountain bikingThe region’s best mountain biking trails take center stage in Bike Magazine’s annual Bible of Bike Tests issue, which was released today, January 2nd. Bike Magazine staffers recently spent 170 hours riding the epic singletrack trails around the McKenzie River, Oakridge/Westfir,  and Central Oregon, shooting hundreds of hours of video of the jaw-dropping scenery and white-knuckle inducing rides. The magazine showcases a 10-page feature story and web videos highlighting the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region as a mountain bike destination.

 

Olallie TrailLEABURG: A newly recognized challenge to experienced riders has been added to attractions that can be promoted to mountain bikers. That was the message Randy Dreiling had when the McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce met last week at Ike’s Pizza. Dreiling, the groups executive director, said he hopes the Olallie Loop Trail will, “Not only  relieve pressure on the McKenzie River Trail but also get people to stay here longer.” In addition to Ollalie, Dreiling said there are four other back country routes that riders need to learn are also available.

 

 

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.