Trail Report: Communication Breakdown-QuidProFlow-2Turntables-HideNSeek

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What winter? Snow levels you say? Normally this time of year social media will share the conquest of a biker braving a ‘push-up’ the snow covered road to ‘attempt’ a lap. This year, its not a factor at Sandy Ridge. Trails are ‘OPEN’ at Sandy Ridge in Brightwood, OR and with a longtime friend of mine in town visiting, I took it upon myself to secure the Banshee Spitfire for Mark Hibdon and took him for his debut mission. I was personally intrigued to see if its ‘possible’ to ride a Transition Klunker there. (review of this bike is coming next!)

I picked up Mark at the downtown Westin Hotel and we both shared stories all the way out the 84, thru Gresham and up Hwy26 to the trails. Explaining to Mark the background of Sandy Ridge was like telling an eager youth a ‘Harry Potter’ story. He was intrigued, his excitement grew the closer we drove. Pulling into the lot I was personally relieved to see only a few cars in the lot on a Sat. Especially the day before a Super D bike race hosted by “portland’s ONLY MTB Shop” and if your in on the joke, you know who I just referenced.

The rain was steady. Solid drizzle hitting us as we prepared for the ride. Mark braved changing in the outhouse- lets just say he did in it record time. We both discussed the bike I chose for him, he normally rides a Rocky Mtn Altitude 29r and he told me he wasn’t too thrilled on the 27.5 wheels. I re-assured him that the bike was literally designed for the trails at Sandy Ridge. His once over resulted in quick attachment of his Crankbrother pedals, he searched for water, which we failed to get. He didn’t get phased and after I got my act together we begin out journey together up old Road 14.

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Mark was extremely patient with me, he knew a single speed klunker wasn’t the ideal bike for climbing 3.5 miles to the kiosk. I pedaled hard as I could to the top. Reaching the top I called for a break where we chatted about the trails, I downed a power pack of strawberry gel. Two other bikers arrived to the kiosk and quickly took note of the Transition “Tonka Truck” Klunker and they stopped dead. Laughed at me. I reassured them I was ‘coaster brake’ ready for a descent. Mark laughed. I did too as we rode off to climb up Communication Breakdown.

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As we roll off the trail- immediate improvements are noticed. New gravel and roller bumps added, the tread was perfectly contoured to handle the thousands of riders expected this coming summer. Baby heads were littered on the climb. But we both motored up to the very top. The views were mesmerizing and the clearing clouds were a good reason to shed the jackets, pad up the elbows and mount the steeds. Away we go!!

Communication’s descent was mint- hero dirt. Lots of sharp rocks litter the the main line. I feared a pinch flat numerous times but managed to roll it quickly and fast.

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Quid Pro Flow- Holy hell, wet rocks intimidated the crap outta us. We carefully picked our lines and I diverted hard to the right to give Mark room to pass. We both stop on a huge boulder.  I convince him to hike back up for a picture. I nail a gem and as he cruises by, he goes for the drop or does he? He stops last second and takes one large step. Thankfully Mark is padded up as the bike air humps him and lands ontop of him in a missionary position. We both crack up laughing. We continue down to the very end- the best park of QPF, the jumps, to the end with smiles.

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The dreaded climb out the Three Sixty Something What-Ever…..I can never remember this goddam number. As I catch my breath- I tell Mark to go ahead and meet me at the Two Turntable’s meeting deck. He takes off like Nino Shurter or Julien Absalon. I just watch him attack the climb as he disappears. Hero Dirt, cause he railed up that, I had to push.

Two Turntables (And a Microphone) was wetter for some reason, but fast. Lots of splash puddles and towards the bottom it started to mush out. I always say this about Two Turntables- its just too short and quick. I wish it was three times longer- but then there’s Upper HideNSeek that covers that- oh the conundrum.

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Lower Hide and Seek- Holy mudfest. Lots of use down here- it was GREASY! Wasn’t slippery, but it splattered your ass thick with trail fudge. A few improvements were noticed, like a huge section of those dreaded cinder blocks were removed in a tight corner- some improved drainage was spotted too.

 

Lastly, it was rad to see all the dogs back on the trails there, Its safe for them again too!

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Sandy Ridge- A pure joy right now. Get some friends, plan a ride and visit Hi5 Bikeshop afterwards to tell us about it!

 

-Mike Estes

 



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