Know Your Boundaries
The urge to explore is irresistible to some people, but COTA recommends caution when encroaching upon this moving boundary. Crossing large snow drifts and negotiating downed trees can force you far off the trail where it is easy to lose your bearings. Even with modern conveniences such as Spot GPS, help can be hours away. It is always a good idea to tell someone when you intend to be back, never travel alone and carry plenty of water, extra food, clothing, a first-aid kit and repair supplies. It is a great feeling to challenge yourself, but it is irresponsible to rely on only a cell phone or GPS (as helpful as those are) in the absence of common backcountry sense. Being safe out there also means having more fun, so please be safe and know your limits.
One limitation comes in the form of trails with an impenetrable amount of snow and/or downed trees. North Fork trail, Metolius - Windigo and the South Fork trail are still "impenetrable." This is especially important to mountain bikers on the North Fork trail who are only permitted
to ride uphill. At a certain point (well before reaching Happy Valley), the trail is blocked so COTA recommends not starting something you can't finish! The trails in the Swampy Lakes/Swede Ridge area are open, including Sector 16 to connect to the top of the Whoops trail. In fact, Cog Wild Bicycle Tours is starting their local shuttle to Swampy Lakes Snow park this week.
To gain a new appreciation for the effort required to simply have trails, please come join a COTA Trail Work Event. Since our work events are held on Wednesdays at 5:30, this Wednesday, June 16, at Webcyclery, then again on Wednesday, July 7 at Sunnyside Sports, it's very easy to become involved.
Pickett's to Break
The first XC Mountain Bike race on the new Wanoga trails is scheduled for Sunday June 27. Pickett's Charge! 2010 Memorial XC Mountain Bike Race, an off-road race for all levels and abilities will start at 10:00am. Pickett's Charge is race number 10 - the series final - in the 2010 Oregon XC MTB Series. Pre-registration and packet pick-up is at Sunnyside Sports - 930 NW Newport Avenue in Bend on Saturday, June 26th, from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. Check out www.sunnysidesports.com/picketts for more info on this long-time Bend mountain bike race.
Woody Starr is the chairman of the Central Oregon Trails Alliance, the Bend-based mountain biking and trail maintenance organization. Please send an email to email@example.com with any trail info you want to share.