Argonaut Ride in Mt. Hood National Forest

Every new bike needs a maiden voyage and last Saturday, that’s what we intended on doing. Ben from Argonaut, Billy and I headed out to Estacada, Oregon for some playtime in Mt. Hood National Forest. I had no idea what to expect other than “we’ll be climbing immediately. And that we did. Before reaching the ranger station at mile 25, we were in a good place. Billy’s sidewall blew out, but a simple dollar bill boot fixed that. Aside from the blow out, mechanical systems were good to go. For the time being.

Around mile 48, I noticed Ben and Billy pulled over immediately (I tend to be at the back a lot on 5-8% grade climbs up mountains). In all his crazy torque, Billy popped a spoke on his drive side, rendering his wheel a wobbly mess. I really wanted to finish the projected 120 mile loop but “no man left behind” is a more pressing mantra. At that point, it was snowing, the roads were wet and we were freezing as we descended at a whopping 14mph, awaiting the imminent threat of an exploded wheel. But alas, we made it to the ranger station, where we left Billy to be picked up by car as Ben and I trudged onward.

In the end, 75 miles and 5,200′ of climbing ain’t bad. Truth be told, it was too beautiful up there to make it a hammer fest, so I’m glad a mechanical merited some time off the bike for photos. We ended up at the Safari Club, a vegan’s nightmare. Why? See for yourself in the gallery. This is one of my favorite Recent Roll posts of all time.

Camera: Yashica T4 with Neopan 400 black and white.

  • Phreadi

    Just a quick FYI — Mt. Hood is not a National Park, but rather National Forest land (w/ some nat’l wilderness areas).

  • http://www.rhyshastings.com/ Rhys

    Amazing photoset! Your photos have been killing it lately!

  • http://www.facebook.com/evan.balbier Evan Balbier

    Great photos – I need to make it out there soon, where did you guys start off?

    • guest

      Look at the Strava report.

  • http://twitter.com/wadestevens Wade Stevens

    holy fuck is B+W perfect for this set! amazing light! those tree canyons are luscious!

  • http://twitter.com/mattlingo Matt Lingo

    by far my favorite recent roll

  • SP

    These photos are amazing, they make me want to listen to Darkthrone all day and go ride to the coast.

  • sygyzy

    Beautiful pictures John. It seems B&W and the PNW are made for each other.

  • Jdhhsept

    all awesome but 7 is outstanding.

  • i<3ztaxidermy

    Was the Safari Club worth checking out? My interest is piqued

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      Yeah, it’s pretty nuts.

    • Max

      2nd’d…totally crazy.  There is a free party bus that they run from PDX out there too…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WHQILAHU42PWGRAJABV3NLNUGA Greg R

    nice photo set! 

  • Ian

    You have probably covered this before, but what do you do with your camera on road rides, just keep it on a sling around you shoulder? subquestion #2: how do you take pictures of people riding on rides which you are also riding?

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      jersey pocket and I shoot while riding

      • Ian

        Impressive. Thanks, I will have to practice that a bit.

  • MamaProlly

    Love these photos.  xxoo

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GVLXSUONHVDXMQCYPZ5L7G2K2A Sean Naes

    I especially like no 21…

  • Murray

    Were you attempting the Timothy Lake Loop? If so, you’ve got to come and do it in the summer. It’s truly a beautiful ride. 

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      Maybe? I don’t know, Ben had the route.

  • Mario Cipollini

    getting really good at photography dude..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=16203819 Sze Chun Chan

    I have a Yashica T4 too and it’s my amazing, pocketable, fully weather-proof, full frame.