by the numbers
+12,476 / -7,203
avg speed 14.1
here is the route
and the elevation profile
i woke up in portland at ~530 after having spent the night at my sisters, drove the 3 and change down to glide oregon. mounted the bike at 9:40 and headed up river. it was already getting warm. the umpqua river is a glorious river, if youre looking to ride, road or mountain, fly fish, raft or climb, the north umpqua is a great river, perfect color.
the first 30 miles were relatively flat the road is down in a valley and it hugs the river. not too much traffic on 138, what traffic there was tourists, lots of campers and trailers. all the drivers were courteous, even the log trucks, this was good as i usually had 8 inches of pavement over the white line. i got a good sprinkling of fists in the air and thumbs up coming from windows. at one bit of road construction opposing traffic was stopped, 3-4 cars deep everyone honked and whooped as i went by, it was cool. i stopped at steamboat spings, dry creek and toketee falls ranger station, the climbing began after toketee. the stretch between toketee and diamond lake was hot, straight and steady, going from 2,500 to 5,500. here the road opens up and the trees go from sugar pine and doug fir to lodgepole and ponderosa. a consistant shoulder appears above toketee and the paving goes to that flavor of pavement that deals with large amounts of snow better; it offers a little rougher ride on a bike. i pulled off a few times to hang out at waterfalls, i took a nap at clearwater falls to beat some of the heat.
this is pretty standard fare for the 2nd part of the ride.
eventually i got to diamond lake, hot and tired but with 30 miles to go. i went into the cafe for some calories. molly was my server, and i couldnt have been better taken care of had it been my mom. she told me to sit in a certain chair because it was right over an air conditioning vent and then produced an entire pitcher of ice water. she was generally concerned that i didnt finish my sandwhich (body said no more food and i listened) and she offered to pack it up for me, my back pockets were pretty full so i declined. she was super sweet. i work in the service industry, i know when people are faking it. I have faked it myself to tables; she wasnt faking. i told the manager she was great and left a 100% tip, i didnt stop by on the way back because i didnt see her.
after diamond lake the road levels out to rollers and working flats. it also widens out. a right turn takes me to the park entrance.
then its across the pumice desert and some strong gusts
then i start climbing the mountain, only about 1,600 feet of climbing from the desert to the rim. the pitches are steeper, but a 39×28 was enough of a gear to get to the rim. this is the point where i was ready to be done with the day. the sun started to go to the west and it cooled off.
then there is no more up. and i got giddy
the day was ending, but i still had some miles to go, the rim is an undulating ride, i remember it being mostly flat when i visited as a kid. it’s not. i got to the lodge as they were closing up shop and i was feeling the bonk, got a snickers and a 7 mile switchback descent.
found my friends at the campsite. they had dinner waiting for me, which was nearly perfect timing. world class burritos.
the end of a good day, i sleep like crap at altitude, yet that night i dont even remember climbing into the sleeping bag.