I’m in Medford, Oregon, about to embark on a mountain bike tour with the good folks from Western Spirit. What I know of my schedule for the next five days you could fit in the coin holder of a subcompact, after a freight train has been parked on top. I know we leave tomorrow morning. I know I’ll be riding the epic singletrack of the Umpqua Trail. I also know that I will get back on Friday afternoon.

Oh yeah, and I’ll be sleeping in a tent.

There you have it. I know more about my son’s preschool schedule.

Not that I mind, mind you.

I drove up here and made a couple of stops for brief rides on my way, taking in a pretty killer descent off Mt. Pinos in Kern County and then some stunning singletrack in the shadow of Mount Shasta, captured above.

The real point of this post is to say that while I have a cellular modem, I’m not sure if/when/whether I’ll ever be able to post updates while we’re out. This will be the most literally off-grid I’ve been since we started calling it the grid.

I’m hoping that when I’m not on the bike or setting up a tent I’m unfamiliar with, I will be able to get some serious reading and writing done. And if I can’t get posts uploaded while I’m gone, then they’ll go up once I’m plugged back into the Matrix, er, grid.


  1. Jan

    I went on a trip with them in Yellowstone a few years ago (road cycling) and they were fantastic. I hope you have a great time!

  2. David

    Off grid can be the most liberating feeling in the world. The should I or shouldn’t I check email/facebook/work email boils down to I can’t. I think it is something that we all need to do more often.

  3. JPrumm

    Not a good time to be down in that part of Oregon. There are a lot of fires and thick smoke. I am on my way down on Wednesday to those fires unless I catch a break and they send me to a better spot.

  4. Alex

    I did that exact Umpqua trip with Western Spirit two years ago with my brother, it was awesome! The trails are fun and full of flow, the views are great, and camping by the river every night is the perfect way to end each days ride. Bring your appetite as Western Spirit will fill you with great meals as well. Enjoy the trip!

  5. Paul.

    I just got back from 6 days road cycling in Oregon, including Cascades Scenic Byway (Umpqua national forest), Aufderheide Scenic Byway, Mckenzie Pass, Mount Bachelor, Crater Lake Rim and Rogue Umpqua Scenic Byway. A truly beautiful place, although the smoke was a bit of an issue at Crater Lake.

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