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Breaking Trail and Grinding Gears: Local ultra runners, crust skiing and Chainbreaker results 

click to enlarge lift off time for ryan trebon at last week's webcyclery chainbreaker.
  • lift off time for ryan trebon at last week's webcyclery chainbreaker.
lift off time for ryan trebon at last week's webcyclery chainbreaker. McDonald Forest 50km

Several of Bend's ultrarunners made the trek over to Corvallis to run the McDonald Forest 50 km ultramarathon this past weekend. Runners braved an impressive 6400 feet of climbing. According to local Chris Askew, who finished in 23rd place out of 184 entrants, "The race course was a good mix of single track and logging roads with several nice climbs. Some of the climbs were run-able, some were not. A bluegrass band greeting us at the finish line was definitely a nice touch." The Bend contingency also included Joel Wirtz, who finished in 8th place in 4:37. Evelyn Dong and Darla Brader were the 1st and 2nd place women to finish in 4:38 (a new course record) and 5:04, respectively. Other strong Bend finishers included Aubrey Robbins, Jon and Karen Gnass, Colleen Moyer, Al and Nancy MacInnis, Lana Turner, Mark Pearson, and Dan and Kathy Harshburger. Good job to all of you!

Crust Cruising

Good afternoon skiers and snowboarders. This is Kevin with your 6 AM spring ski report. The entire Three Sisters Wilderness and beyond is groomed for skate skiing. Mother Nature has come through once again. Catching the spring crust cruising conditions just right is better than sliced bread. After individual snowflakes blanket the mountains in the spring, magic happens. The complex snowflake turns into a sphere when subjected to warm, sunny, spring days. These small spheres become larger spheres - over time - combining with neighboring spheres. During the day, the sphere's outer region melts and forms liquid water that percolates down through the snowpack. At night, provided the temperature drops below freezing, this liquid water freezes and connects multiple surrounding spheres creating a bond that 'locks' up the snowpack. Now instead of individual spheres, the snowpack is one single, tightly bound unit. Under the right conditions, the 'crust' is completely solid supporting the body weight of a hiker, skier, or snowshoer. A skate skier finding these perfect conditions, normally confined to a groomed track, can set themselves free from skiing circles and adventure out into the great beyond. Classic skiers and tourers love these conditions, too. The great beyond can be anywhere, including the Three Sisters Wilderness.

There is more to know before setting out on a crust cruising adventure, however. If the temperature drops well below freezing the night before an outing, these bonds between the spheres will be more solid and last longer, supporting a skier later in the day. If the temperature does not drop below freezing, the bonds may not even form during the evening and the crust will be more like mush. Mush is much less fun to ski than crust. If the temperatures hover around freezing, weak bonds may form that will not last long into the day. (It's good to be home before this happens!) Knowing and paying attention to the conditions can make or break an enjoyable 'crust cruise'. In May, the crust cruising conditions are typically good between 8 am and 11 am, especially after a solid freeze. A clear night is usually an indicator of such a freeze. The most favorable conditions occur after early morning rays melt the connections of the top one to two centimeters of snow to hold the edge of the ski. It's then like skiing on butter. Give it a try, pay attention to the conditions, experiment, and the mile-wide smile will tell you when you find the 'goods'.

2008 WebCyclery ChainBreaker

The 2008 edition of the WebCyclery Cascade ChainBreaker MTB Race, drew more than 270 racers on Mothers Day. The race, which is held on the Cascade Timberlands property just above Shevlin Park, gives competitors a chance to ride some otherwise inaccessible trails.

Ryan Trebon (Team Kona) took top honors in the Pro Men's race with a single-speed riding Carl Decker (Team Giant), and Barry Wicks (Ryan's Kona teammate) landing on the other two podium steps. Barry even had his Mom cheering him on. She looks just like him, but not nearly as tall.

Sue Butler nabbed the top spot in the Pro Women's race. She took the race by just 4 seconds, and won on the 5th anniversary of her first mountain bike race. (Five years ago Sue raced in, and won, her very first race in the beginners class of the 2004 Cascade Chainbreaker.)

The Single Speed race saw some close competition and was won by a fiercely motivated John Rollert (Team

Full race results can be viewed at (Henry Abel)


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