Blackberry bRamble, Sunday August 2nd

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Blackberry bRamble, Sunday August 2nd

Postby Brian C » Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:54 pm

http://www.eugenegears.org/rides/bramble

I'll be there for my 9th bRamble.

There are shorter distances and an escape route offered by the organizers for those who don't want to do the century.

This is a wonderful ride on some super quiet roads that take us out to King Estate Hwy, Wolf Creek Pass in the coast range and its wonderful views, Fern Ridge Reservoir, and bike trails back to Alton Baker Park.

Tons of food at three rest stops with sandwiches and pasta salad at rest stop #2. A nice change from the standard rest stop menu.

Climbs include the rough 2 or so mile climb on Lorane Hwy leading out of town at about 4 to 5%.

Rollers and a few short climbs leading out to Lorane after this, nothing really tough.

From rest stop #1 to the beginning of Wolf Creek Pass you are in some thick woods with numerous short climbs, none really too hard except for one steep one, and very twisty ups and downs that keep you on your toes. This is a nice quiet road with virtually zero traffic.

The 3-mile climb up Wolf Creek pass averages 4 to 6% the entire way but levels out slightly for the last 1/2 mile or so. The views from the top are super and there is a water stop only at the top for those who need it.

The technical descent from the top is wild with some very twisty turns and its fast. From the bottom its a long somewhat false flat type road that leads to another long 2 mile descent prior to rest stop #2.

After this there are numerous other little climbs for the remainder of the ride into rest stop 3 but nothing hard or long.

The views on some of these roads are beautiful taking in the coast range, rolling hills, and lush forests.

All in all I love this century and keep coming back year after year.

This is a winner and is well worth the trip to Eugene.
Good Riding

Brian C
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Re: Blackberry bRamble, Sunday August 2nd

Postby Alex from Eugene » Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:55 pm

Another beautiful ride. My son and I did the century (almost, took the escape around the last hill on Butler rd) and my wife did the metric. With our recent very hot weather, this mornings cooler temps were a very pleasant surprise. Have to say, though, the food wasn't as good as in previous years - and I wasn't the only one saying that.
Alex from Eugene
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Re: Blackberry bRamble, Sunday August 2nd

Postby Brian C » Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:44 pm

Completed bRamble #9 for myself on Sunday. The temperature was very managable throughout this ride and the course offered up its wonderful views of wild animals, super quiet roads and wonderful views.

There was even a young deer walking up the twisting climb out of Eugene at the beginning that did not even mind me cycling right next to her. Apparently she was a "urban" deer.

Sandwiches were offered at the 75-mile rest stop which seemed a little out of place as they were usually offered at the 50-mile rest stop but the pasta salad was good.

All in all this ride continues to deliver year after year.

Up next, the Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour.
Good Riding

Brian C
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Re: Blackberry bRamble, Sunday August 2nd

Postby Alex from Eugene » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:48 pm

You must be a faster rider than me - pasta salad was gone by the time we made it to Orchard Point (75 mile stop) and the sandwich pickins were slim. Only empty Clif bar boxes in sight, and Gatorade powder was running out.

We hit the usual "Lunch" stop right at noon but instead of the usual wonderful sandwiches and pasta salad there were cut up "everything" bagels with PB and J, and although the Nutella was a nice touch would have been more appropriate for the first stop. My son is a picky eater and didn't get much.

The first stop did have some nice home-made looking cinammon rolls that would have been better if they were baked completely.

Small gripes - but in years past the food was a highlight of this ride, a bit disappointing this year. Can't complain about the weather, that's for sure!
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Re: Blackberry bRamble, Sunday August 2nd

Postby mytrot » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:27 pm

Have to agree with the not so great on the food (and others I talked/rode with agrred). Got a later start than usual and had a slow stretch for rider recovery. Orchard Point stop was out of gatorade (really, gatorade!) and lunch meat. And they were cutting bananas in to slices! Just what I want, a handful of bananas! Glad I had a clif bar with me.

The route and markings were great and the water stops were a good idea with our recent hot weather but the food/drink was a little sub par for Oregon rides.

Alpine Century 15AUG09 is another mid valley option.
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Re: Blackberry bRamble, Sunday August 2nd

Postby Alex from Eugene » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:11 pm

Well, as long as we're ventilating, I'm going to get this off my chest - a run-in with another rider that I probably could have handled better. On the first downhill run on Lorane Hwy, another rider blew by us quite close without an "on your left" or even an "outtamyway!".

He then slowed down in front of me with another couple of riders, so I passed him, ostentatiously chanting "on your left, on your left". This led to a "frank exchange of views" with one of the other riders identifying himself as a GEARS member who helped organize the ride. He told me that if I would just ride straight I didn't need to worry about people passing me without warning. I didn't mention then that the rider I was with was my autistic teenage son who sometimes doesn't ride completely straight - and he's a solid kid on my old Trek Reynolds 531 touring bike so if someone hits him, THEY'RE going down!

The original culprit passed me/slowed down on and off during the rest of the ride, on one occaision passing slowly on an uphill and giving me back the overdone "passing you now, just about past, now I'm past" treatment. Kind of uncomfortable and if this was an indication of the general behaviour of GEARS members (I know it isn't) I'd quit the club. (I only just joined this year).

Not sure I'm going on the bRamble next year - I live here and can do that ride any day; and can get better food at the stores in Lorane and Crow than what they served on the bRamble this year....
Alex from Eugene
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Re: Blackberry bRamble, Sunday August 2nd

Postby tavi-1 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:10 am

My 3rd Bramble and again: wonderful weather, delightful course (we live in the area and ride this route several times), great volunteers, TERRIBLE FOOD! Not sure what is going on with GEARS, but the rest stop food certainly does not warrant the cost of this ride :evil:

Won't be doing this one again until I hear differently; too many exceptionally fine supported rides in the Willamette Valley. Have always enjoyed the upcoming Covered Bridge Tour and the Peach of a Ride.

"Cycle On"
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Re: Blackberry bRamble, Sunday August 2nd

Postby Organic_Haus » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:15 pm

Hello,

I just wanted to chime in and let everyone know that it was not intentional that we ran low on Pasta Salad and Sandwiches at the #2 and #3 rest stops. As many of you may know, it is challenging to figure your food quantities when so many folks sign-up that day for a big ride. We were able to re-supply the rest stops but not fast enough. I know there were a few folks that were very disappointed. As the president of GEARs, I know our club will learn from this and make improvements - providing more sandwiches and pasta salad next time. We did have a record turn out with 350 riders, and I talked to a lot of folks that had a great day.

So, please accept my apology and know that we will learn from our mistakes.

Paul Adkins
GEARs President
paul@eugenegears.org
http://www.eugenegears.org
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Re: Blackberry bRamble, Sunday August 2nd

Postby mordac » Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:04 pm

I will add my voice to the less than vocal riders on this course. I had a pace line of 12+ blow past me shortly before the first rest stop in Lorane, with not a single rider calling out. Maybe they were all just sucking wind trying to hold the wheel.

Shortly after the second rest stop I had to avoid a rider weaving over all of the road while trying to change the music on her iPod. With her headphones on she didn't hear a word I said. I hope she made it home safely.

The good:
That marvelous stretch of Siuslaw River Road where I saw 5 cars in 15 miles.
The climb up to and the descent from the Wolf Creek summit.
The 50mph I hit on the Butler Road descent.

I would do this ride again.
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Re: Blackberry bRamble, Sunday August 2nd

Postby riding2live » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:54 pm

Mordac, I would tend to have to agree with the inappropriateness of some of the riders--the so-called pros riding in a line and the sunday bikers weaving all over the road with little or no regard for the safety of those around them. The first should know better and the second needs to get a clue. IPODs should be outlawed just as wearing two earphones (stereo headset) is in an automobile.

I did enjoy the ride overall and it was very laid out. I took the metric route and thoroughly enjoyed the ride across Spencers Creek and out to Noti. I'd done the loop up Spencers Creek and Lawrence before except I eas going the other direction.

Gene" I'll be baaaaack, next year" Jones
Ride like the devil's behind you, becuz he is---and he/she is drivin' a car textin' on the phone.
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