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Fat Tires To Easy Waters: Carl Decker takes tops at Worlds, Skyline mtb, and more! 

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Coming off Super D mountain bike race wins in Wisconsin and in Bend early in the summer, local mountain bike racing pro Carl Decker headed down to Downieville, California July 9 and 10 to try for his second straight All Mountain World Championship - the true test of who's the best all-around mountain bike rider.

The All Mountain Championship starts with a cross-country race followed the next day by a downhill race. "Once again, " Decker says, "Saturday's cross-country turned into a bit of a rout. The ball-breaker of a climb (3000 feet without shade) saw another rider and myself off the front with a sizeable gap. By the finish line I had just over four minutes on second place."

"Winning Sunday's downhill was a personal goal I set last year. I don't normally set goals, but I had an axe to grind, as some people looked askance at a 29er cross-country bike winning in the realm of 6-inch travel trail bikes last year. Winning the downhill on the same bike as last year made me want it badly.

"My run wasn't perfect. I took a small crash in the waterfall section and did a pushup in the streambed, but I kept it together for the most part, and I was flying on the bottom half of the course. Nobody has a perfect Downieville downhill run. I rode past nearly half of the people who had started before me on the 38-minute descent, all of them with broken bikes or punctured tires."

Decker placed second to Aaron Bradford in the downhill but his combined effort in both races took home the prestigious World Championship title. Congrats to the "Deckerator".

Forest Update

In the words of Deschutes Land Trust executive director, Brad Chalfant, negotiations between the Land Trust and the 33,000-acre Skyline Forest's owner, Fidelity, are currently, "intense."

While negotiations continue, mountain bike riding in the forest is on hold until the first rains of fall tamp down the dust and loose soils.

That noted, many people wanting to ride Skyline complain that they get lost trying to find the trailhead. And if they're able to find it, they're unable to put together a decent loop ride. Let's try to rectify both problems.

To get to the trailhead, take the first left as you head north up the hill from Shevlin Park. Head down this paved road until you come to a "Y" junction where you go right onto a dirt road. Follow the dirt road for over a mile past and just past an open yellow iron gate take the first left onto a spur road and immediately look for an open parking area (just past a white sign high on a pine). Pull in and park. If you there's a huge old heavy equipment tire where you park, you're in the right spot.

From here, you can head due west from where the tire rests and follow singletrack trails that take you out to Bull Springs and beyond.

A better option is to head south on a little used access road which leads to singletrack. From this first section of singletrack, you can link together a more challenging set of trails that end with a run along the old Columbia diversion canal and a snaky section back to the parking area.

Should the acquisition, which would create one of the largest urban community forests in the country, come to pass, Chalfant notes, that the trails will be officially marked and mapped.

New Rides

Now that their beer garden is open, GoodLife Brewing hopes to serve as the gathering place for regular road, cross and mountain bike rides. The rides will meet every Thursday at 6 pm and every Saturday at 10 am at the brewery. Contact GoodLife at 541-728-0749 for more information.

Easy Water

Thanks to more water from snowmelt this season and a successful water leasing and flow restoration program, the short run on the Deschutes from Tumalo State Park to Twin Bridges is a lot of fun for those new to whitewater kayaking (read no 100-foot waterfalls or ultra scary rapids). The first leg of the run from the State Park to the town of Tumalo (take out at the second bridge you encounter) has plenty of eddies, riffles and surf spots.

From Tumalo to Twin Bridge it's more of the same except for the tricky s-curve rapid just above Twin Bridges that can be easily scouted and portaged if it looks a bit too ominous.

Be sure to pull out on river right at just before the bridge at Twin Bridges.


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