Willamette Headwaters 600

 

Ride: Willamette Headwaters 600
Organizer: Michael Wolfe
Date: August 28
Start Time: 5:00
Registration Time: 4:30 - 5:00
Finish By: 9:00 PM August 29
Entry Fee: $80
Start Location: Shanico Inn
Address: 1840 Main Street, Lebanon, Oregon
Driving Directions:
The Shanico Inn is located on US 20 in Lebanon, Oregon. From the north, take I-5 to exit 233. Follow US 20 east to Lebanon. The hotel is just past downtown, one block before Airport Road.

Description:
The Willamette Headwaters 600 showcases a wide variety of terrain found in and around the southern reaches of the Willamette River. Riders will begin with a relatively flat stretch across the valley west to Corvallis. From there, the route turns south and follows the more rolling Bellfountain Road and Territorial Highway. At the town of Lorraine, the course turns east and takes its first real climb, up 500' over a summit to Cottage Grove. From Cottage Grove, riders will have a brief respite, following the Row River Trail (which is built on the railroad grade where Buster Keaton shot his film, The General) up into the Cascades. After hitting the end of the line and continuing on the road for a few miles, the course climbs up NFD 22, and tracks along the spine of a ridge before dropping down to Oakridge. Oakridge will be riders' last chance to re-supply before following the Aufderheide Byway along the north fork of the Willamette River and the south fork of the McKenzie River through the woods to the overnight control at McKenzie Bridge.

The overnight control will be at Camp Yale, at the foot of McKenzie Pass. Several cabins have been rented to provide sleeping accomodations for riders. Riders will be assigned 2 to a room, with each room having a king or queen bed. Showers are available in each cabin. The control will be staffed by several Oregon Randonneurs volunteers, and will be well stocked with food (including vegan and vegetarian options), water/beverages, and tools. Drop bag service will be provided for a small duffel bag for each rider (please exercise restraint, space is limited!)

The second day (or second half, for those riding through) begins with the classic climb up Oregon Highway 242 up McKenzie Pass. Riders will wind up through the lush woods at the bottom of the pass to the lava fields at the top, and down through the fragrant pine forests on the east side to Sisters. At Sisters, the route heads back across the Cascades via US 20 over Santiam Pass. This is the busiest road on the course, but the shoulder is good and the grade up to the pass isn't bad. On the other side, it's a quick downhill to the turnoff onto Oregon Highway 22, which riders will follow to a control at Marion Forks, and then backtrack a for a quick copule miles to Straight Creek Road. Straight Creek Road is also known as NFD 11, and becomes Quartzville Road. It climbs for a couple miles as you leave OR 22, then descends, and then climbs some more. Once you summit for the second time, it's all downhill at river grade all the way to Sweethome, and then back to the final control at Lebanon.

This ride goes through some very remote areas, and riders should be well prepared. A battery powered backup headlight is strongly recomended, as is plenty of reflective gear. The ride is scheduled for a night with a gibbous waning moon, so it won't be pitch black, but it will be just the moon, the stars, and whatever light you bring with you if you need to do any repairs/fix a flat at night. There are several stretches with 60-90 miles between controls, and no services in between, so capacity for three water bottles is also strongly recomended. Finally, the course features some major changes in elevation, and the late-summer weather can be unpredictable, so riders should also pack a compact, lightweight emergency space blanket.

You may wish to review the Cue sheet in XLS.

All riders should be familiar with and abide by rider expectations.

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