It's not time to hang up the bike just yet. The weather is turning, and so too should be your wheels for the final long rides of the season. What's ride-able now may end with sufficient precipitation soon, so high time for mountain bike and road biking ventures, and what some call the best riding of the season when temps are cooler, the dust is down, and the trails are free of the masses. Call it biking's last hurrah.
Getting in that last long loop is key in the next few weeks. And Pine Mountain Sports has a few suggestions. Tumalo to North Fork to Happy Valley, then onto to Flagline to Swampy to South Fork, is one such loop. The higher single tracks like Tumalo and North Fork will be unridable with snow, so starting up high and working down at the biking season finale is wise. So far a couple of dustings of snow have only made the single track forgivingly tacky.
A shorter high elevation loop is also suggested by Pine Mountain Sports mechanic, Henry Able, and takes riders from Tumalo to North Fork and Happy Valley, but bails out on the Farewell Trail. In the event that bad weather is looming or shorter fall days narrow windows to ride, the short loop at Tumalo is a viable option. Metolius-Windigo is also a "classic" in fall.
On the road, the Old McKenzie Highway en route to Sisters climbs up over the pass and descends into the valley where fall leaves are peaking. But gearing up for cooler temps is a must and an out-and-back is certain to satiate road cyclists. "This is the best time of the year to ride...the dirt is good, the dust has settled, the tourist have gone home and the trails are less crowded," says Able. "We always say, don't put the bike away yet. It's a little too soon. There is still time to get a long loop in."