All Comers Meet 2008
I have learned that not all mountain biking events are alike, some are downhill races that last just 4 minutes, while others are multi-day races or events that are simply fun to attend. The All Comers Meet (ACM) fits that definition. While the trails have fun and creative names, the trails you ride are not on any maps. You park “by the gravel pile”.
ACM is held in the middle of the woods outside the tiny town of Lorane, Oregon.
The trails are not on any map, because they are on private timber land and built by your event host, “Disciples of Dirt” (DOD). DOD is a local mountain biking club, and its riders are also the guides for Mountain Bike Oregon.
Club founder Davey Sprocket says, “All Comer’s Meet is DOD’s annual regional winter group ride held each January (’08 was the 4th Annual). Every year DOD starts getting ready for ACM in November by cutting new singletrack. The Whypass network includes around 15 miles of trails. The network straddles a ridge so you’re almost always either climbing or descending — there’s over 2500′ of gain if you ride everything. There’s not a flat trail out there.”
To find out where the event is held you have to contact the club and get directions to meet them and then follow them to the “gravel pile” to park and start the ride.
88 people from all over the west coast showed up on a cold January morning for ACM. My friend Jake and I left Oakridge at 7am to have breakfast at the Lorane Café before the event.
After the ride leaders explained the event from the top of the gravel pile, we divided up into 4 ride groups based on skill levels. I was excited to get going because it would only be the second ride on my new bike, a Giant Trance XO. I rode in the mid-level ride. After about a mile climb on an old skid road, I got my first taste of the trails in that area in nearly 15 years. Yes DOD has been riding and building trails in that area for a long time. I use to ride out here with DOD back in the early 1990′s.
The first trail was a steep climb of about a mile. I was told it was the worst climb of the day, so I was glad to be done with it right away. After that we rode 5 trails, all of them great, because each one was different. The Tree Prison trail was fun because it was really tight in spots and tested your skills in bike handling. The SST trail was a downhill blast because the corners were banked and burned. At the bottom of SST, a rest/food/beer stop showed up in the middle of the woods. The stop had a couple of pop-ups with a heater inside, a couple kegs, snacks, coffee, tea and more. I hung out and visited with some old friends and made some new ones. In the process I missed the fact that my group had headed back out, so I rode with the “slower” ride.
Well by now it was mid-afternoon and most of the “slower” riders only rode ½ the day and had headed home before the snack stop, so now the “slow ride” consisted of the guides and many of them had finished the Cascade Cream Puff 100. The Puff is 100 miles long and 20,000 feet of climbing in one day. It is rated the hardest one-day mountain bike race in the USA.
After the snack stop we started riding again. This time we rode onto a trail built the month before, and then we shifted onto a trail that was built the weekend before the event. It amazes me how great the trails built by Disciples of Dirt (DOD) are. They spend many hours hiking and laying out the trails before they build them and it shows. The trails have such great flow. Most trails out there are ½ to 3 miles long. I would NOT go out there with out someone that knows the area. There are trails crossing each other in many spots and no trail signs or arrows. If there were trail signs, you’d know the DOD had a fun time naming them. Here are a few examples of their trails:
Stumps Don’t Win
Blue & Yellow
…and many more
After the ride we were treated to great food back at the gravel pile. We had hot dogs, chili, chips and salsa and of course beer.
It was a great ending to the day.
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