we had some lofty notions of reconfiguring this year's timber logjam v2 route into a tortuous beast bookended with at least 417 times more singletrack but the winter storms had other plans and we were forced to concede that sometimes simpler is better.
Timber Logjam V2 ended up being an unexpectedly well-attended affair. If I had to guess I'd land somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty plus riders queued up at the start under sunny skies, an uncommon stroke of luck in late February. Some last-minute tubeless bead-wrangling and a couple quick route announcements and we were on our way.
Things kicked off at a social pace along the Banks-Vernonia trail w/ only a handful of folks charging off the front. The peloton was mighty but dissolved immediately upon introduction to gravel, stretching out over the Bacona hills. Alison + Jay from Cycle Oregon generously greeted riders at mile 9 w/ a social coffee and snack regroup prior to the brutal Genzer Road rollers leading to the top of 'Unfit Settlement', the unofficial backdoor to Stub Stewart.
Despite our best efforts, we opted to streamline our plan for a more extensive running of Stub singletrack due to sensitive trail conditions and recent work, running top-to-bottom along Hare's Canyon trail back to the Banks-Vernonia. Nowakowski Road served as a convenient bypass of the impossibly jammed Tophill segment of the BV (see picture below) before jumping on highway 47 for a hot minute en route to Johnson Road.
The pass over Johnson Road was in good shape however the recent uptick in Weyerhaeuser logging activity has seen many of these roads restricted as 'permit required'. We hopped the gate and were immediately met by a very official looking pickup truck. A prickly standoff ensued as riders continued piling up twenty-some deep. Clever negotiating skills won the day and we were luckily allowed to pass, bombing the remainder of the loose rocky descent to Timber Road.
At mile 24.4 there are a series of fantastic new unnamed logging connectors south of Lousignont Road. The V2 route follows these corkscrews up and over to connect with Carlson Creek Road and eventually back down to Cochran Road and Reeher's Camp. Notoriously muddy, Cochran was true to reputation, delivering comically sloppy liquid peanut butter back into Timber junction. Grateful to be back on pavement, drivetrains gritty and grinding, we floated down through the Timber S-curves to the base of Wildcat Mountain. Climbing through dappled sunlight and idyllic, tranquil forest took the edge off the grueling four mile push up Wildcat.
After a quick breather, we were able to enjoy the fruits of our trailwork, descending the freshly cleared Wildcat connector back to Hayward. Surprised to discover nobody had claimed the stashed lager, it was promptly popped, shared, crushed, pocketed and we were on our way back to Banks via Hayward and Cedar Canyon.
After a spirited city limits sprint, it was time for beers, jalapeño poppers, post-ride decompression, high-fives, hollow-eyed stares into the middle distance, face washing and possibly a couple more beers at Banks Billiards.
Only the best!
ROUTE FORMAT: LOOP
SURFACE: 60% gravel, 30% paved, 10% janky forest connector
TIRES: minimum of 35c. 40c is optimal
BIKE: CYCLOCROSS/GRAVEL/rigid 29er
water/services: no services. water filter recommended