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작성자차차차 조회 5회 작성일 2021-01-13 20:47:56 댓글 0


Lael Rides Alaska

Lael Wilcox is a 4th generation Alaskan and an ultra-distance cyclist. In 2014, she began pushing her limits in her home state and dreamed that one day, she’d ride all of the major roads in Alaska-- connecting the dots and traveling under her own steam to places she’d heard of but never seen. In 2017, after her first year running Anchorage GRIT, Lael spent the summer riding all of the roads, some 4,500 miles. She had the time of her life but rode mostly solo, and that experience was all her own. In reflection, she wanted to share more–to show people the beauty and truth of Alaska and inspire more people to ride there. The global pandemic of 2020 provided a unique opportunity to revisit this project–ride from home, spend time with her family, bring them along, and encourage others to pursue their own adventures.

Riding roads is feeling topography and weather, seeing history and reality, and experiencing everything along the way. If the finish line is home, how much farther can we go? If we bring along our loved ones, how much more will it mean?

This project is in support of the Anchorage GRIT project and the "Lael Ride Alaska Women's Scholarship Program." Learn more at https://blog.pearlizumi.com/lael-rides-alaska-femme-trans-womens-scholarship-application/

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Follow Lael Wilcox on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laelwilcox/
Film by Rugile Kaladyte: https://www.instagram.com/rugilekaladyte/
Original Music by James Wilcox

Underexposed EP 12 – Cannon Beach, OR

Brice's Dispatch from the trail:
I don’t know what Paradise looks like for you, but I have a good idea of what it looks like for me. It includes a beautiful coastline, some rolling and rugged mountains that jut up against the said beach, massive evergreen trees with fuzzy green trunks, and the best dirt on the planet, blanketing the forest floor. But that’s just me. Enter Cannon Beach, the coastal community of 1,700 in beautiful Northwest Oregon. Cannon Beach is flanked to the east by the Oregon Coast Range and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Cannon Beach is probably most famous for its appearance in the venerable 1980’s classic adventure film, The Goonies, during a chase scene along the beach in the shadow of Haystack Rock. This 235-foot tall iconic landmark sits about 100 feet off of the beach in the water. Cannon Beach, a part of the traditional territory of the Tillamook tribe, is a fairly quiet community despite being a popular tourist destination. While very much anchored to the ocean, it benefits a great deal from its proximity to the mountains.

The Coast Range is a 200-mile-long north to south running range that tops out at just over 4,000 feet above sea level at its highest point. The mountains are relatively young, having formed about 65 million years ago. They’re responsible for a rain shadow over neighboring Willamette Valley to the east, which is precisely where we find the Klootchy Creek trail system.

Klootchy Creek County Park is home to what was once the largest tree in the state and is now a massive stump due to damage sustained during a 2007 storm. It is also home to a rapidly growing network of trails built and maintained by the North Coast Trail Alliance. It offers up a bevy of trail options, including plenty of flow lines, a properly fun jump line, and the trail featured here, the mile-long rough and loamy descent called Defibrillator.

Defib is easily accessed via a 15-minute climb up a comfortably graded gravel road that meanders through a beautiful forest of hemlock, spruce, and cedar trees. Klootchy Creek is effectively divided into two sections: the westernmost area (rider’s left) will take you up to Defib and provide access to a couple of other short and loamy trails. To the east is where you’ll find some of the newest trails in the network so far, which tend to favor flow, jumps, berms, and other delightful trail attributes. When comparing Trailforks to the map at the trailhead kiosk, you’ll see that Trailforks isn’t entirely up to date, and with more and more trails being flagged and built, I suspect Trailforks will look very different sometime soon.

The riding itself is brilliant. The scale at Klootchy Creek is very manageable, but there’s enough vertical and miles to keep you happy, and the diversity between the trails is really quite impressive when you consider how young the network is. Of course, the proximity to the coast is something special, not just because of the range of recreational activities it presents but also because of the ocean’s impact on the trails themselves. While this year has been a disastrously dry one for much of the American west and has seen some truly terrible fires raging across Oregon, the Coast Range’s western slopes benefit from the coastline being so close by. Summer highs rarely exceed the low 70’s (F), and the consistent precipitation leads to deep and lush forests as well as deep and lush dirt. Defibrillator, in particular, seems to celebrate these characteristics, as it sweeps down the fall line for much of the ride, accented by lovely corner pockets, loads of off-camber sections, and a handful of purpose-built features to keep things lively.

The thing about Paradise is that it’s a very relative and subjective place. Personally, it is tough to beat those rare corners of the globe where the mountains and the sea coexist, and the convergence found along the northern coastline of Oregon is a perfectly realized embodiment of my love for both. It’s as rough and rugged as it is serene and beautiful, and of course, the amazing trails check off one of my most important boxes. While the Pacific Northwest is renowned for its plethora of world-class riding, the magnetism found in those unexpected corners will always draw my attention. Of course, my affinity for buried treasure, pirates, and Sloth doesn’t hurt either.

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See more great trails at https://blog.pearlizumi.com/tag/underexposed/
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Emblem Cascadia - Lush Connections

The visceral memory of a ride years ago brings PEARL iZUMi athlete Brice Shirbach back to the Pacific Northwest for another full-sensory riding experience.

I’ll never forget my first time in the Yacolt Burn State Forest. It was a cold and wet day, and the lush green layered landscape was shrouded in a heaving mist that seemed to rise and fall over the Cascade Mountains as if some massive and unseen force were drawing in deep breaths throughout the day.

I first fell in love with the Pacific Northwest several years prior. Still, this trip would ultimately cement the dense evergreen and temperate rain forests of Cascadia as the pinnacle for exploring our planet aboard two wheels for me. It was sensory overload. It was the blur of deep green trees and dark brown trails, and the smell of wet pine and loam, and the muted sounds of my tires pressing through pockets at speed, and the feedback I felt through my grips from top to bottom. It was new Earth and a forest teeming with life, and these forces of nature combined for one hell of an amazing ride.

Like everything else, my first ride would quickly become a memory, but I knew immediately that the imprint it left behind would be permanent and magnetic, as I had been feeling its pull ever since.

My next trip to this corner of the globe would see very different conditions. The misty conditions were replaced by brilliant blue skies and warm temperatures. The dark and damp loam was now hard-packed and bone dry. I was worried that perhaps my connection was now lost. Until I wasn’t. The sensory overload was very much intact. The sun-baked pine forest filled the air with an incredible scent, and the once muted sounds of tires over soft Earth were replaced by sharper sounds of rubber meeting the hard pack with an endless symphony of creatures calling out from the warm and vibrant forests. The moss seemed to glow this time around, and the iconic peaks of neighboring Cascade summits were crystal clear in the absence of the misty shrouds that covered them previously. The speeds were higher, and the feedback more robust through my grips. It was a new side to this place for me, and while very different from the conditions that drew me in initially, I realized through the buzz of all my senses that the connection was still very much intact.

We all have places that speak to us. They may differ from one person to another, but they provide an opportunity to connect with the planet in a very tangible sense, and ultimately they prove to be a connective tissue among us. For me, the gravity of the Pacific Northwest is inescapable. It’s a place that pulls me in no matter how far away I may be or how long it’s been since my last visit.

We all have these kinds of connections, these places that pull us in. Where are yours?

#pearlizumi #mtb #cascadia




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