Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bike Route Toasting, Part 4: The McKenzie 600k

This is the first 600 I've designed. I decided to give myself a little more leeway in terms of the starting location, which opened up a treasure trove of roads that I'm absolutely mad to ride:

The McKenzie 600

The McKenzie 600 starts in Corvallis, at the Super 8 on 2nd and Tyler, and takes the nearby bike path to Philomath. From Philomath, riders will turn onto Fern Road before heading south on Bellfountain to Alpine. From there, it's over to Monroe and south on Territorial Highway. The route follows this road all the way to Lorraine, where it heads over the hills to Cottage Grove and riders get on the Row River trail, following it through the hills to Disston. Then it's a stiff climb on NFD 22, the recently-paved 5850, and 2102 down to Oakridge. From Oakridge, riders take the fabled Aufderheide Scenic Byway through the Cascades to McKenzie Bridge on the McKenzie River, and the overnight control.

In the morning, riders start at first light by scaling magnificent McKenzie Pass, through the lava fields, past the observatory, and down to Sisters. From Sisters, it's over Santiam Pass, and north on OR-22. This takes our intrepid randonneurs to NFD 11, aka Quartzville Road, for the last major ascent of the ride. At the top, it's downhill for miles at river grade to Sweet Home, rollers to Lebanon, and flat across the Willamette Valley back to Corvallis.

I've wanted to ride up the McKenzie Pass forever, I've been drooling over Aufderheide since I heard about the Oregon Ultimate Bike Ride, the Row River Trail plus the climb over to Oakridge caught my eye from being on Cycle Oregon a couple years ago, and Quartzville just came from looking at a map, realizing that it was designated as paved the whole way (which I have corroborated), and figuring that it would be an awesome ride. So, this was a way to pack 'em all into one epic rando challenge -- about 50% of the roads on this ride are one-and-a-half lane roads through the forest with no traffic and trees growing right up to the edges. Sounds pretty good to me. I'm hoping to run this as a summer 600 next year; alas, it's not likely to be doable before then because of work ODOT is doing on 242 this summer

Here's the elevation profile. Don't look too hard at it; down that path lies madness.


Anonymous David said...

I'm all over this 600K - awesome!

10:22 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

I just recently came across your blog, and I'm really enjoying it! The maps and route descriptions are wonderful. I added your blog to my own blog's side-bar favorites and wrote about it in my June 16 post...

5:35 PM  
Blogger Samuel Carey said...

Great site! I just found your blog and it is quite inspiring. I am recovering from a genetic liver disorder and just getting back into shape after years of illness. I would love to get more heavily into cycling. Actually, I am planning a ride across my home province of Saskatchewan soon (www.samuelcarey.blogspot.com) I am not in top shape, but I would appreciate it if you would stop by my blog from time to time.

1:54 PM  

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