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Shoulder Season: Plenty of post summer and pre-winter fun to be had 

It's a dog's worldNow that autumn has arrived, Oktoberfest has come and gone and the days are (alas!) getting noticeably shorter, "Shoulder Season" is just

It's a dog's worldNow that autumn has arrived, Oktoberfest has come and gone and the days are (alas!) getting noticeably shorter, "Shoulder Season" is just about here. For those who have been reading this column lately, you'll catch my double entendre. Life in a sling can crimp your outdoor style unless you're creative. Likewise, the in-between season can present a motivational challenge when the roads are too icy to ride but there's not enough snow yet to ski. No telling what this year has in store for us, but last year I hiked through 6 inches of snow on the Green Lakes Trail on October 6th and skied into Todd Lake on October 20th. The Farmer's Almanac is predicting a warmer and wetter October than normal for us, and lots of snow in mid-November. No matter, Shoulder Season is an ideal time to take a break from your normal sports and do something a little different.


If you are a bike racer, you can extend your season with cyclocross which is not only a killer workout but excellent for bike handling skills as well. The final race in the WebCyclery Thrilla Cross Series ( will be October 2nd at 6pm across from the Cascade Lakes Brewery. After that, a whole contingent of Bend riders starts commuting to Portland for the Cross Crusade Series which commences October 5th and culminates with the OBRA Championships on November 16th. The Portland races are sure to involve more mud and less dust. Visit for more information.


Although I understand the value of sport-specific training, I personally believe to every sport 'tis a season, which is why you won't find me out on roller skis and will rarely find me on a spin bike if my arm is not in a sling. Skis should have wax on the bottom and a bike should take you somewhere. But that's just my philosophy and I've got oodles of friends that you'll see V-1-ing up the Cascade Lakes Highway or double-poling around Tetherow these days. Of course, they will also be way faster than me on Opening Day. Please keep your eyes open for them.


This is also a wonderful time to give back to all the trails that provide us so much enjoyment year-round. The parking area at Meissner has just been expanded from 60 to about 130 spaces and the Tumalo Langlauf Club is hosting several work parties there to build 6 ½ miles of new trails and a new shelter. Most of this work is relatively easy - cutting branches, clearing debris, dragging brush, etc.- and they can use your help at one or more of the following work parties: Sunday October 5th from 8am to noon, Saturday October 11th from 8am to mid-afternoon, and Sunday October 12th from 8am to 1pm, followed by a celebration. Wear long pants, a long sleeve shirt, sturdy boots, a hat and gloves. Also, please bring water, food and some tools like bow saws and limb cutters, if you have them.


When in doubt about what to do during Shoulder Season, you can always go shopping! I know people addicted to, but I prefer the annual Skyliner's Winter Sports Swap which benefits MBSEF. The event, set for October 18th, is a great place to sell that hot pink anorak and pick up a pair of perfectly matched skate skis from an Olympian's quiver. Visit for more information.


Congrats to Bend's Max King on becoming the X-TERRA National Trail Running Champion at the half-marathon race held in the Old Mill this past weekend, coasting to victory by over a minute. Even though Max was talking smack - "Galaxy is goin' down!"- his dog Kaly didn't fare quite as well in the K-9 Challenge. The competition was fierce, however, as favorites J.D. Platt and his dog Galaxy, who recently finished third in the "Greatest American Dog" reality TV show on CBS, only managed a third place finish.

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