We left Prairie City under blue skies and with crisp temperatures. There was only one stopping place about 15 miles out. It was a small store in Austin, Oregon. We climbed three passes; Dixie (5277 feet), Tipton Mountain (5124 feet) and Larch (5020 feet). The first downhill was 6 miles long and was very chilly.
Most of the day we were in the pine woods of Wallowa–Whitman National Forest with a mountain meadow now and then. It was very pretty. After the last pass we rolled into the Powder River Valley and into Baker City, Oregon.
When I rolled into Baker City, Chad yelled at me. He was having a café mocha with Ken. The following was written by Chad.
The gal in the window looks at someone behind me and asked “You get the 20, right?”. He said, “Yes, and it should be 102°F”. He had driven in on a Harley and looked the part with lots of patches on his leather jacket and goatee. He never took off his dark glasses. I commented he seemed to have this coffee thing down to a science.
Ken has always enjoyed two wheels and he talked about how he has spent $12k on his two downhill mountain bikes (9″ rear travel, 8″ front travel). Frame was from Canada, fork from France, bottom bracket from Japan and so on. He built it custom with a large front wheel and small rear wheel so he could sit level.
He also had a Rocky Mountain RM9 which was only available to race teams. Ken won his last downhill race when he was 60 years old (he is now 72).
Ken was also was the first espresso drink delivery man on a bike in his town and in fact the whole nation. The local news did a story about it because it was first in the country. (He made he made the news for once without breaking the law).
Today, Chad’s bike developed a loose headset. His headset requires two large thin wrenches to adjust. They are too heavy and bulky to carry when riding. The local bike shop was open but all of the mechanics had left for the day. Fortunately, they let Chad borrow their tools and he tightened his headset.
The Trailhead shop was very well organized and it was extremely gracious of them to let Chad use their tools.
Just for the record this is the third bike shop that Chad has visited on our trip. Also for the record all three bike shops have had beer on tap. Perhaps there is a connection?
- Prairie City to Baker City, Oregon
- Distance: 67.7 miles (109 km)
- Climbing: 4053 feet (1235 m)
- Temperature: 35 – 74°F (2 – 23°C)
Hotter’N Hell Hundred
Shout out to those who rode in today’s Hotter’N Hell 100 in Wichita Falls, Texas. The ride always takes place on the last Saturday in August. Here is Jose, Beth and Joe after completing 50 miles. Nice job and the Castelli kit looks good!
This year was the 40th anniversary of the ride. Roby Christie was the instigator behind the ride and has developed it into a well-oiled machine.