The weather alone doesn't explain my enthusiasm for getting out and stretching my legs. I got invited to the Oregon Scenic Bikeways event at Chris King last month and drank some free beer, had some good food and saw some excellent videos produced by Russ and Laura of Pathlesspeadled.com. The Scenic Bikeways look good on paper, but the videos took it over the top for me, and I REALLY want to get out there and ride them.
With all of these things in my head, a trip to the Washington coast for some bike fishing on logging roads in a super secret location confirmed that the Stumpjumper is going to be the bike of choice for exploration.
The change from 42cm B-136 Rando bars to 46cm Nitto Noodles on this bike has been a good one. The Noodles are much more suited to the way this bike handles, and the 2.4" Mutano Raptors do not disappoint for speed or grip.
As it stands now the bike is light on carrying capacity and wearing a backpack on this ride reminded me just how unpleasant an option that can be. The long chainstays of the stump make it prime candidate for a rear load, so a rack of some kind is probably in the works. I love the basket on the Surly so much that I really want to put the same on the Stump but I'm concerned that it may affect the handling too much. We'll see what happens.
Now all I need is a route. The VeloDirt routes all look good, but the dirt route from Hillsboro to Tillamook is especially tempting. http://velodirt.com/portfolio/north-trask/ The fact that it parallels the Trask river and the possibility to scout some bike fishing along the way might seal the deal.
The dirt routes out of the Dalles look amazing too, in particular the Old Dalles route. http://velodirt.com/portfolio/old-dalles/ The views here look great, and soon it will be too damned hot out there to do it, but it is an out and back. Nothing wrong with that, but an expedition to the coast seems like more fun right now.
I have a weekend in mind, and some prep to do, but I would like someone to ride it with me. I don't really have someone in the area that I can call for this kind of adventure, so that is the final missing link. Hopefully some digging will find a willing candidate.