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.