Bicycling Crater LakePosted by Jason
This last weekend I decided to attempt to destroy my body by biking 35 miles around Crater Lake taking us six hours in total during the annual Vehicle Free Day (they close off the majority of the crater lake roads to cars). Though I’ve been biking every day to/from work, have done the Portland Bridge Pedal (35 miles over the 10 Willamette crossing bridges), and a number of other rides-this ride kicked my ass. I didn’t do any planning or extra rides before taking this on, so I feel pretty good about how it all went. The ride ranged from 6,450ft to the highest biking spot of 7,700ft with a total mileage of around 32 miles. I said 35 because we added a few miles here and there. There were many climbs with many downhills. The weather was great and the views were incredible. The beauty of Crater Lake and those downhills made the ride worthwhile, though I’m not sure I’ll be doing it again anytime soon. If you want more info about doing the ride, go here.
Minh, Nick, and myself left Portland around 7:15p Friday evening to head down to Crater Lake. This was a definite first for me and I’m super excited for the ride and to be back to Crater Lake after almost five years. We stopped in at “The Tap and Growler” in Eugene to pickup food and load up a couple growlers for the next day. Food wasn’t too bad, though probably better had we eaten there. We continued on I5 then onto Highway 58 towards 97. On the way, we stopped at Pilot gas station where we ran into Marcella and a number of others from or crew. Back on the road, we heading into the national park for our first cold night of camping.
After a cold night of camping, we got things together and prepped for ride. I was glad I grabbed some trail mix the night before from the gas station so that I had some extra snacks for energy on the ride. It was intense. Once we finally figured out our route, we left the Crater Lake lodge and went down the main road until reaching the East Rim road. It was quite a distance downhill from the lodge which made me already know that this was going to include a lot of uphills. There were around twelve of us who came down during the weekend for the ride, two stayed at their camp, and the other ten started it together. Well, after the first major hill climb, some of the crew bailed out to go biking on another section (there weren’t any “better” sections to ride though). I, along with four others, ended up continuing on and tackling this beast of a ride.
We ended the ride around 6pm, and spent the rest of the night hanging out relaxing by the fire. The next day Minh, Nick and I took off around 9:30 to head back to Portland. I had a great weekend and feel quite accomplished with the ride.
Let me share some pictures: