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Too Much Fun
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks!

I'm going to have some time in Portland in the future (spring maybe... not sure yet,) and I'm interested in where the MOST FUN tech stuff is around the city. Just want to start planning ahead just for kicks. Anything good under an hours drive?

Many thanks!

-B
 

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Est. 1971
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Don't know about directly downtown. I'venever heard Forrest Park and 'technical' in the same sentence.

Within an hour of PDX I'd say your best bet is Larch Mtn (#1 IMO) and Brown's Camp (#2 IMO) for east coast style tech riding. A little further south is the Blackrock Freeride Area near Falls City.

If you're interested in any of those, PM me for directions and trail tips. Enjoy.

-Tim
 

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benja55 said:
Hey folks!

I'm going to have some time in Portland in the future (spring maybe... not sure yet,) and I'm interested in where the MOST FUN tech stuff is around the city. Just want to start planning ahead just for kicks. Anything good under an hours drive?

Many thanks!

-B
Define "tech riding."
It can mean widely different things to different riders.
 

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how about a list?

Since moving up here from norcal I've been impressed by how buffed out some of the riding is up here. I love it for sure: high speed sweeping, bermed out turns, and great lines through the woods. So far, though, I haven't found it to be as "technical" as what we left down south, and I'm wondering if I'm going to get soft as a result. This post is not intended to ruffle any feathers.

What made norcal technical was loose-over-hardpack, off-camber, rocky, twisty terrain. Not stuff you can let go of the brakes for very long on. Any mistakes and you're off the side of the mountain. But yes, there are kinder, gentler sorts of terrain down there, but the majority of the Bay Area (Diablo, Tam, H.Coe, even Tahoe and S Cruz) was considerably rougher than what is around here (we live in Hood R.) I'm not complaining, just making an observation.

Having just ridden in Forrest Park on Saturday I can say that you are better off on a road bike if you want it to feel "technical." By the same token I wouldn't steer anybody to a freeride park for technical as that is something entirely different (there IS technical freeride).

So what are the most technical trails for XC bikes in Oregon? I'd say that Syncline has some good technical sections, but now that's in Washington. McKenzie River has got technical sections galore, but more on the slow-speed, pokey end of things (no two-wheel drifts into high-speed rock gardens and shale a la Downieville). How about Oakridge? Bend?

Let's hear it: what are the top "fun technical" rides within 5 hours of PDX?
 

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I got nothin'
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Oakridge

I also rode in Norcal, I think that you might be used to something like Hole-in-the-Ground or Downieville. I would say that the more technical trails that I have ridden in Oregon are in the Oakridge area. Randy or one of the DOD guys could steer you in the right direction there. I would say something like Alpine might be more technical like you are used to.

Oregon trails are more technical due to roots and mud in the PDX area. It takes a different skill to deal with wet roots and mud than loose rock over hard pack, IMO.
 

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tim_fsr said:
Within an hour of PDX I'd say your best bet is Larch Mtn (#1 IMO) and Brown's Camp (#2 IMO) for east coast style tech riding. A little further south is the Blackrock Freeride Area near Falls City.-Tim
Agree. Larch Mt is probably the most technical you'll get in the area. Mostly a lot of roots and rocks. It's a short loop that's a lot of fun, about 6 or 7 miles. I like to start in a cw rotation and do the loop again in ccw rotaton when I return to my starting point.

You could also add the trails in the Syncline/Hospital Hill/Cathrine Creek area. Not all of them are technical but you sure get a variety of terrain. You also may want to arrange a tour guide.
 

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Technical?

I wouldn't call the Alpine trail technical, Waldo Lake seems more technical to me. The only trail I've ridden in the central section of Oregon that would qualify as technical might be the Winchester trail system down by Coosbay, technical but in a slow sorta way. Some of the lava stuff on the upper MRT is technical, if you fall your getting stitches technical, but its not screaming fast, more a test of bike handling skill. Some of the stuff over by Bend can be fast and moderately technical at the same time, especially for a weekend warrior like myself.

I guess how technical a trail is depends on your skill set, which means most any trail is technical to me.

Good luck finding what your looking for.
 

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so let's define technical a bit...

hydrogeek, I agree that mud and roots add to the technical nature of trail riding as I've found on a few wet trips to Post Canyon as well as on Lewis River in the Fall with wet leaves covering slippery rocks. Something to get used to for sure. But it sounds like the trail you recommended to me, Alpine, does not qualify as technical to jollybeggar.

So does technical mean dangerous fall potential? De we need a rating system like in Rock Climbing? When I first started riding I remember how important "no-dabs" riding was and I also remember doing some pretty burly stuff on my hardtail. These days with four or five (or more) inches, and way better tires, the limits are much broader. But the fact remains: some things are easier to ride than others.

I don't think technical has to mean scary. I would argue that a 10 foot drop onto a smooth dirt transition isn't technical if the rider is properly equipped (it has been equated to "riding off of a curb") but it is scary and there is potential for breakage.

My definition of technical would have to relate terrain where an experienced rider would have a distinct and measurable advantage over an intermediate or beginner rider. Speed always adds to the equation. This all comes back to "fun technical" which suggests that we all have our own idea of where our limits are and what we find challenging and fun.

With that said, there are certainly some areas of universal agreement; people don't flock to Moab and Fruita for nothing. So maybe I should rephrase the question. If you had a week in Portland and were a skilled XC rider, what would be on your "must do" list?

So far: Larch Mtn, Brown's, Syncline...
 

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Too Much Fun
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My definition is loose...

shiggy said:
Define "tech riding."
It can mean widely different things to different riders.
True indeed.

I guess my personal definition of true technical riding is simple... I look at the trail and ask "Is that rideable??" :) Can I imagine a bike getting over that?

I come from an old skool stock trials background, so I can ride a lot of F'd upped lines, and in my mind I can ride even bigger stuff! Technical for me would be rough, rocky, rooty, whatever, but true tech for me is the kind of trail where you might have to stop and think about what you're about to pull off. Somewhere between trials and freeride is where I like to play.

Now mind you, I like flowing, buffed single track too... But my ideal ride will still have some technical bits to break things up and make it extra interesting.

...Hmmm, that may not have answered your question! :p
 

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Too Much Fun
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good points!

jollybeggar said:
Some of the lava stuff on the upper MRT is technical, if you fall your getting stitches technical, but its not screaming fast, more a test of bike handling skill.
I think thats a key part of my definition... Technical means you have to know how to handle your bike, not just toss it over the edge.

Its not about speed either. More about keeping the bike moving and the flow going on sections where that might not be so easy.
 

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tim_fsr said:
Technical riding is like porn. Everybody has there own definition of it yet we all like it when we come across it. :p
So THAT"S why technical riding gets me hard!!! :D

Technical riding IS like porn. Everyone's tastes are different, and what gets you off might make other folks think yer a freak. :p
 

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tim_fsr said:
Don't know about directly downtown. I'venever heard Forrest Park and 'technical' in the same sentence.

Within an hour of PDX I'd say your best bet is Larch Mtn (#1 IMO) and Brown's Camp (#2 IMO) for east coast style tech riding. A little further south is the Blackrock Freeride Area near Falls City.

If you're interested in any of those, PM me for directions and trail tips. Enjoy.

-Tim
Ore or Wash larch mnt?
 

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obaby said:
If you had a week in Portland and were a skilled XC rider, what would be on your "must do" list?

So far: Larch Mtn, Brown's, Syncline...
Ok, the only thing these discussions determine is that evrybody has a differant opinion of what is technical.

So...if I were to visit Portland, Larch Mt and Browns camp would not be on the "Must Do" list, Syncline yes. If your looking for must do riding there are many more trails out there.

If your coming out in Late spring or early summer I'd start with the Lewis River trail, anything off of FR road 44, Surveyor's Ridge, and if you come out late enough to miss the snow the Ape Canyon/Plains of Abraham are all good trails around Portland. Most of these wont test your technical skills but they will be a good tour of the area.

But if you need a quick fix, Larch Mt (Washington and Oregon) and the rides in the Tillamook Forest would be great rides very close to Potland.
 

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Add Gail's Creek to that list (near Browns camp). I think some of the most technical stuff about Oregon riding is the wet roots. Tarbell trail in in WA is about an hour, I am guessing, and a great ride. Also don't forget Woop dee in Hood river, and Post Canyon.
 

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I'll 2nd what most have said, and add my $.02.

Syncline area sounds right up your alley for tech, there are a bunch of trails that make smallish loops: Little Moab, Coyote Canyon, Hidden Valley, Wizard all have fun tech spots. Make a day of it, ride for a couple hours in the morning, go eat, ride the rest after lunch (or go hit something else nearby like whoopde).

St. Helens has the most beautiful scenic (and fun) rides, Lewis River, Siouxon, Ape Canyon/Plains, Falls Cr. You'll be doing yourself an injustice if you don't ride at least one of those.

Mt. Hood is mostly set for ripping burms, but still lots of fun. 15mile and Dog River are about the only things that come to mind with a little tech there. Surveyor's is beautiful and worth a ride though.

Blackrock and Post Canyon have the best freeride around.

On my secondary choices list:

Both Larch Mts (OR/WA), are fun. GT400, Scappoose, Browns/Gales, Tarbell have fun tech spots and these are all the closest to town (depending on what part of town your in)...

If you have time to get down to Oakridge it is impressive to see what a community of bikers can do. Waldo, Alpine, Larison, Middle Fork are all good.

If you are going to make a trip out of it Mckenzie or North Umpqua are amazing.

Damn I've got myself all worked up now just thinking about it... :rolleyes:

Have fun. Post when you'll be here, someone will be happy to show ya around.
 

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thorir said:
I'll 2nd what most have said, and add my $.02.

Syncline area sounds right up your alley for tech, there are a bunch of trails that make smallish loops: Little Moab, Coyote Canyon, Hidden Valley, Wizard all have fun tech spots. Make a day of it, ride for a couple hours in the morning, go eat, ride the rest after lunch (or go hit something else nearby like whoopde).

St. Helens has the most beautiful scenic (and fun) rides, Lewis River, Siouxon, Ape Canyon/Plains, Falls Cr. You'll be doing yourself an injustice if you don't ride at least one of those.

Mt. Hood is mostly set for ripping burms, but still lots of fun. 15mile and Dog River are about the only things that come to mind with a little tech there. Surveyor's is beautiful and worth a ride though.

Blackrock and Post Canyon have the best freeride around.

On my secondary choices list:

Both Larch Mts (OR/WA), are fun. GT400, Scappoose, Browns/Gales, Tarbell have fun tech spots and these are all the closest to town (depending on what part of town your in)...

If you have time to get down to Oakridge it is impressive to see what a community of bikers can do. Waldo, Alpine, Larison, Middle Fork are all good.

If you are going to make a trip out of it Mckenzie or North Umpqua are amazing.

Damn I've got myself all worked up now just thinking about it... :rolleyes:

Have fun. Post when you'll be here, someone will be happy to show ya around.
I second what he says! (hey z, I am peepin' in from home while nursin' from the flu)

Yeah, there aren't a lot of rocky, loose tech rides to choose from around here due to all of the dirt and precipitation we have, but a lot of world class lush, pristine singletrack to be had about 1-2hrs drive from PDX. If you like trials and challenges w/ladders and jumps amdist beautiful forest, Blackrock out of Salem or Post Canyon out of Hood River shouldn't disappoint or hit the natural stuff with tech roots at Brown's Camp out of Glenwood in Tillamook NF or some tech rock sections at Syncline out of Bingen, WA.
 

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I know what you about the trails around Portland not being very technical. Try riding them on a rigid single speed rather than your long travel bike and you will find that they much more difficult.

I would try Larch Mt and Syncline in Washington for some tech features.
 
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