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September 16, 2008

Bend: Phil’s Trails or Trail Navigation by the Numbers.

Filed under: MTB Travel, OR WA 2007 — anotherheader @ 7:22 pm

By the numbers, a trail junction sign

By the numbers, a trail junction sign

The Crew: Brian Warkentine, Becky, and Dave

We loaded up and headed down to Bend for a fine German breakfast at Han’s on Wall Street in the historic downtown section. At Han’s we scoped out some of the bike shops in Bend on Becky’s Crackberry and headed down after breakfast to Hutch Bike Shop on 3rd Street for some trail information. We received enough trail information to keep us in the saddle for a week and purchased a detailed trail map.

One of the places highlighted by the folks at Hutch was the “Phil’s Trails” area. Phil’s Trails is a local favorite with miles and miles of singletrack options. We decided to head over there (it is just out of town) and take the suggestion that condensed down to “Go there and wander. With a map you can’t get lost.” Besides, all of the trail junctions are numbered and correspond to the map so all you have to do to describe a ride is to connect the “dots” of the trail junction numbers.

At Phil’s Trailhead, we climbed the gentle gradient on Phil’s Trail to Junction 7. From Junction 7, we took KGB to Junction 14 and continued up Kent’s Trail through Junction 18 to Junction 19 where we took Voodoo to Junction 17. At Junction 17, we headed up Ben’s trail to Junction 24. All the trails to this point were swoopy, gently sloped, windy singletrack with smooth treads in pine forest. At Junction 24, a sign advised that our planned trail, Whoops, was preferred in the in the downhill direction and not the way we intended. After consulting with some locals we did a fast middle ring climb on Forest Road 310 to Junction 28 and then on up to the Helicopter Pad area and Junction 28. At Junction 28, we headed down Phil’s Trail with its double black diamond labeled upper section. A double black diamond does not mean the same thing in Bend as it does in Whistler as we all cleaned the rocky slot without issue. If only we could say that on a lot sections of blue trails in Whistler. After blasting down Phil’s we hit Junction 19 again and this time took Voodoo. Voodoo, a single black diamond trail, was a tighter and twistier trail that winds in amongst some large rock outcrops. Numerous short rocky technical sections and a little grade inflation give the trail its black diamond rating. At Junction 15 we took Grand Slam through Junctions 11 and 10 to Junction 9. Grand Slam was quite similar in character to Voodoo, but added some North Shore style build-ups over some of the rock outcroppings that added to the experience. Though no official poll was taken, this seemed to be the group’s favorite trail. From Junction 9, we climbed the gentle rise on KGB to Junction 7. From Junction 7 we returned the way we came on the fast roller, Phil’s Trail.

Rolling time was around 2.5 hours with about 1500 feet of climbing and around 20 miles distance covered. Overall, the riding was pretty buff with smooth, swoopy singletrack. The climbs and decents were typically middle ring stuff. This is a great place for singlespeeds, tandems, and novice riders. Dave gives it one star—a must ride if you are close by.

We noted with some amusement the common names between the Phil’s Trails area and the historic trail names at ECdM. We aren’t certain whether there is a connection. We are pretty sure that the people that some of the trails are named after don’t have to be dead for a least a year before the trail can be named after them, as is the case in Belmont. Otherwise, there’d be a lot of extra dead bodies around….

Pictures (some of these were accidentally shot on the lowest resolution mode):


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