The Year that was: 2016

Here we have a new year, with the old one already largely forgotten and thrown aside.  Still, TDM feels some pressure to reflect from (the) two individuals who frequently frequent this site and leave TDM crumbs of their approval and needs.  So, for them I will now proceed with the (now) annual Magnet awards for the year that was; 2016.  Selfishness will also surface, and some mention of future plans will be mentioned in the below.  You may now commence with the yawning and droopy eyes.


Low snowpack meant riding in places TDM often skiis for the second winter in a row.  If one comes equipped with toys, all eventualities are covered.

The broad summary is this: TDM rode less often, and failed to grab as many list rides as he might have preferred, but dude more than made up for that by the quality of the times had…a few lovable disasters helped as well, as did his 2nd new hardtale of the year (obtained after breaking the Dark Horse only 30 days into ownership).  Dark clouds, then bright sun, then clouds again…repeat.  Life in a nutshell, eh?


Grasshopper delivers, but is better ridden after the saws have done their work.

2016 in Review:

TDM’s 2016 rating: B+, with signs of brilliance.

Best ride nominations: 1) Grasshopper day with the crew ( Finally put it together, and we did a lot of hooting on the final descent)  2) O’Leary w Gnat-Man and Big-Papi (Great to get the boys out on this one), 3) Ollallie via the back door (Big solo day, and saw zero people) 4) Pyramids via Soda w the crew (Great crew, and got to show off the whole pyramids deal….EB off the couch was impressive)  5) Pyramid Day with Tricky( getting to know a rad guy a bit better, snapping some piccies, and laughing and hooting most of the time)  6) Alsea Falls w the Meilo & the schreddy kids(Last time I rode w these kids they were solid.  Now they shred, and we rode tight and pretty fast)  7) Prairie Peak-Alsea Falls linkup w Gnat-M  (A novel linkup of a classic TLRC ride w a good buddy.  The look on an enduro dude’s face as we descended to the top of the normal Alsea singletrack…priceless.) [Shit that’s a lot of stiff competition]


Winner is…a Tie!  O’Leary w Gnat and Papi, or Pyramids W TrickyMeans…, two of the better riding days o TDM’s little life.


A boy and his bike…Trick and his new Honzo atop Crescent Mtn.

Best Descent nominations: South Pyramid Trail, A secret Location in the Cascades, The Twinns,  Marys Peak, Crescent Mountain, The GBC (Grasshopper through Box Canyon), The Mining road off the top of Canal Ridge.

                Winner is…The GBC…but S Pyramid takes 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

                Honorable mentions: South Pyramid and a Secret Loc in the cascades,


The White Pony getting ready to drop the GBC to end a session on Grasshopper.

And now for TDM’s favorite annual award:

Spectacular failure nominations:  1) Bad Bridge- braking my brand new hardtale (and nearly myself) in the middle of nowhere on a cold, snowy day in the cascades.  Thanks for nothing slimy bridge. 2)  Failure to loop due to a cliffband on Canal ridge…I’m coming back, and bringing a rope.  3) Hopper Fail 1 -Trying to do Grasshopper the week before the Cascade Enduro crowd cut it out (lots of trees down, and had to retreat…glad I was alone for this caper).  4) The unmentionable fiasco at a secret location in the cascades…one of the best descents in Oregon, yet I won’t return again….Am I an idiot because I loved it?

Spectacular failure award: Bad Bridge…though I like my new Honzo even more than my departed Dark HorseJ.

Other Notable moments:

  • Amazing partnerships with the USFS, COTA, SATA, and others in working to improve the Old Cascades area trails.  The Pyramids are getting the attention they deserve.
  • One particular moment watching tricky loam-strafe some ferns w detritus on S Pyramid Trail, only to experience the same sensation and sounds myself seconds later….a moment forever frozen in my mind.

Biggest Regrets: Not one bikepacking effort, failed to treat himself to Round-Lookout Mtn AGAIN this year….sigh.  One of my favorite rides in the world, and yet…blew it for the second year in a row.

2016 themes to come

  • Riding with people more frequently…so revolutionary, this social interaction thing.
  • Helping with trail work at the Pyramids, Alsea Falls, and the Mac…get out there!
  • Big 1 day loops linking trails and cool logging road routes, a la Bohemian Crayfish…I’ve got some epics in mind, and at least one grudge with the Canal Creek Traverse and a certain cliffband that keeps fucking up masterful plans.
  • Bigger loops involving bikepacking.
  • A continued ticking away of various list rides and untested areas…TDM has several promising ones already marked on the maps and ready for trial..

Thanks for (not) checking in, and talk with you all soon – TheDirtMagnet.


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