Heading out to John Day for some fossil finding? Keep the pedal to the metal and head a little further to Prairie City. This sleepy little town is central to some awesome back road riding!! Rolling into town on a Friday night, we stopped at The Oxbow Restaurant & Saloon. Aside from the amazing bar (complete with naked women) brought in from Milan in the late 1800′s, the place is humming with locals, strapping young men and women of the US Forest Service, and some hearty ranchers. Local color. It’s invigorating! Okay, back to biking… the Logan Valley Loop. Total loop is 74 miles, starting/ending in Prairie City. Download route details in pdf form here (scroll to the list of rides in the blue box – this is route #2.) Just know that this ride is amazingly beautiful. Small climbs through the Strawberry Mountains, riding along the John Day River, visual treats of flowing meadows and prairies. Amazing. Hardly a car passed us. So remote, the cows aren’t even used to seeing you (started a couple stampedes with a simple hello to the cows… call me Connie the Cow Charmer). Dinner in John Day at The Outpost. Another great local spot, littered with those wonderful USFS workers, who work each day preventing devastation to our forests. Day 2 was the Austin-Ritter Ride (see #11 in ride descriptions). This ride requests support.. it’s a 50 miler “down hill” with a vehicle to take you back to the top. We modified it by driving 18 miles down, riding 15 back up and 15 back down. All along the Middle Fork of the John Day River. OMG. It’s a do over! Elevation is slight. What might make a difference in your ride is the wind. Note to self: going slightly uphill with a tailwind is better than downhill with a headwind!
Connie Kelley, Bend