Our last day of Cycle Oregon Classic took us 58 miles back to Baker City with only 1800 feet of climbing. It was the easiest ride out of the 6 days, and equally as scenic as the others. In total this week, I cycled 385 miles and climbed 23248 feet.
I started at 6:45 AM this morning and was actually a little glad that it was already 39 degrees. But unfortunately, it dropped to 33 degrees in the first 5 miles across the valley, then took a while warming back up. It was also cloudy most of the time, so it was another chilly ride nearly the entire way.
Our route traveled north to south in the Grande Ronde Valley, which is a beautiful valley surrounded by the Blue Mountains. It has excellent farmland and we cycled passed huge farms and ranches the entire time. About 10 miles in, we passed Hot Lake, which interestingly is a very hot lake giving evidence of the volcanic activity that created the valley and surrounding mountains. We also cycled through a small canyon and up to an elevation that supported a sagebrush plain. There was a windmill farm on the ridge. Cresting that ridge presented a fabulous view of the Elkhorn Mountains jutting straight up from the valley floor, with lush pine forest and topped off with high granite peaks. It reminded me of Jackson Hole, except this valley had more fertile farms. These farm and mountain views just kept getting better as we got closer.
It was a nice flat finish into Baker City and we were greeted at the finish line by cheering staff.
The Cycle Oregon staff and organization are really amazing. Everything ran smoothly for this 2000-person moving city. All the meals were great. The routes we safe and very scenic. If you like climbing, then it was awesome. The only tough part for me was the cold, which of course is not under anyone's control. But these trips are adventures, and having a mindset to ride in any condition is a requirement for enjoying it. Everyone I met or saw along the route and in camp was cheerful and committed. It was a great experience.
Pictures Of The Day:
Zoom and pan the map to explore the route. Click the name or 'View Full Detail' to view more information at Ride with GPS.
Also check out Cycle Oregon Classic Day 7 on Relive! https://www.relive.cc/view/u3148869277