Bald Mountain Climb2
by Byron on Aug 05, 2011 at 6:23 AM
1:45 of climbing to get here at a tempo pace
We finished a week of riding in McMinville Oregon with the Bald Mountain climb, the longest, sustained climb in the area. It winds up from the Willamette Valley to Sheridan Peak and the Upper Nestucca Viewpoint at ~3K feet. That viewpoint is actually a distraction from the clearcut valley below you and you’re on Forest Service roads for the last 5 miles.
The climbing starts after a few turns past working farms. The road is shouldered for most of the route and is the smoother flavor of chip seal. We climbed part of this on Monday after our wrong-turn, gravel grind. Watch for broken, sunken pavement, seams, and holes on the way down. There are mile markers on the route too, that aren’t from the Forest Service or State Highway. We counted them out and stopped at 9 1/2 for a photo.
On the way back, there were 4 of these machines harvesting
8% with pitches to 10 and 12
Nice valley on this side, the other is clear cut and the reason the Mountain is called “bald.”
The locals keep going past the peak, descend to Willinia, then back up for a 70 mile, brutal loop. Considering the locals, we singled up when we heard a car or truck and didn’t get brushed or harassed. No one called us fags like we heard in Portland. The Portland area is reeling from 3 deaths in the last week – 2 in Washington.
The risk in this area is not knowing what route is used to bypass 99W. You’re riding on a never-ending, road-to-nowhere in particular and a wave of cars and trucks going 70 MPH roar past you. The “Mac” is in transition to a winery destination and should consider self-guided bike tours in its plans, like the Sonoma Valley. They could do that with lanes and signage.