The crew arrived in Bend around noon. After the epic in Oakridge, they were looking a shorter ride, in the 1 to 2 hour range so we headed up to Bend’s most popular riding area, Phil’s Trails.
Phil’s Trails describes a network of trails to the west of Bend. By some accounts, Phil’s trail system includes up to 300 miles of trails. The singletrack trails were purpose built for mountain biking. If the Phil’s system doesn’t offer enough mileage, you can connect to the Skyliner’s and Cascade Lakes trail system for mega epic possibilities that can reach around Mt. Bachelor.
From Phil’s trailhead, the trails ascend on a well used, middle-ring crankable grade that twists through the Ponderosa pine forest. Farther from the trailhead, the paths become narrower and have a greater variety of tread characteristics. Don’t expect major technical challengers here, though. There are some rock drops, rock gardens, ladders, and a teeter-totter, but their density is low. Most of the riding is on buff singletrack.
The route for the day took us up Phil’s Trail itself to the helicopter pad. From the top, we crossed over to Whoops Trail. Whoops is modestly sloped crank ‘em up trail with berms, whoops, jumps, and table tops. It’s the Phil’s Trails equivalent of A-Line at Whistler with the features in Oregon being a 1/10th the size of the BC equivalent. At the bottom of Whoops, we went down Ben’s to Voodoo.
At Voodoo, the group split, with Charles and Sean coasting back more directly to the trailhead, out of gas. Bill, Berry, and myself took Voodoo, with Berry splitting off for home a bit later. Bill and I continued to Grand Slam, with its rock gardens, drops, and North Shore style build-ups. There is nothing particularly hard or challenging on Grand Slam, just good clean fun.
From the bottom of Grand Slam, we cranked the slot car style singletrack back to the barn. The trails are gradually sloped, so a little pedaling effort goes a long way. It was a great high speed run with banked and apexed turns whipping through the pines to finish the day.
Bill and I arrived back at the vehicles shortly after the others. The short ride took the anticipated 3+ hours and covered around 20 miles.