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  1. #1
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    Best trails in Oregon

    Got a month or so to dick around the state, looking to get some good bike rides in. Hood River, Bend, coastal areas, etc etc. Bringing a trail bike, but open to renting a DH if it's worth it. Any rides I can't miss?

  2. #2
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    Sep 2005
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    Bend was fun. Smooth and fast. I loved riding in Ashland. Thats all I have and not very helpful

  3. #3
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    Apr 2013
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    Goulder
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    430
    Oakridge
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  4. #4
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    Aug 2016
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    No longer Alexandria, VA
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    Post Canyon (in Hood River). Highly recommend a shuttle lap all the way up to Kingsley Reservoir and riding all the way down, about 3400 ft of descent on single track.

    Syncline in Bingen, WA across from Hood River. Fun climbing and great descents. Some technical lines depending on how you descend and a rock slab or two.

    I’ve heard Surveyor’s Ridge near Mt Hood is an awesome all day adventure, but never done it.

    DH at Ski Bowl I believe. Never ridden there.

    When are you around? I’m going to be in HR from 10/20-10/28 and could meet up for a ride. Closing on a house 10/26 and moving there soon after that...

  5. #5
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    Sep 2009
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    828
    Coast area: Alsea Falls and Black Rock, Silver Falls has a short singletrack run that's pretty fun plus you can take some time to hike around the falls, MacDunn Forest near Corvallis if you have someone to show you around (new No Secret trail is awesome, long climb but you can link mostly singletrack all the way back to parking).

    Obviously Oakridge, tons of info online for trails but ATCA is the main ride that comes up. Bend, too (check out bendtrails.org). In the Cascades area, I enjoyed the Pyramids loop (pretty gnarly day trip). I've done chunks of the North Umpqua trail - might best be enjoyed with a shuttle car, not super technical but really pretty in the fall and good fly fishing too. I just rode the McKenzie River trail as an overnight with camping gear and thought it was still fun - some really pretty sections but the trail itself I thought was a little overrated. We lucked out on early fall timing but you wouldn't want to hit that on a busy weekend w/ hikers.

    If you want some overnight, bikepacking type trips I'd check out the Ochocos and parts of the OTT in the Bend area. I did a cool overnight to the Elkhorns in eastern OR in late Aug (Elkhorn Crest trail) that was pretty rad but probably not accessible on bike as soon as there's snow.

    I've ridden all the above on a semi-sketchy hardtail and have gotten more into the bikepacking side of things lately. I just moved here last year too so others would have better advice on DH type riding Bachelor, Mt. Hood area, and Ashland.

    Overall there's tons of all different types of riding - enjoy!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Eugenio Oregón
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    You didn’t say what time of year you will have that month. Is it flexible?

    My recommendations for 1 month to pedal in OR would be early-June to early-July or mid-Sep to mid-Oct.

    Also, where are you coming from and what kind of riding are you used to? Based on your background some trail systems here might be considered “overrated.” Each of the major Oregon zones has a pretty distinctive riding experience IMO.
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  7. #7
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    Feb 2007
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    Leaving tomorrow from Colorado, need to be back by the end of Oct. Should make it to Portland by this Friday and from there can pretty much go wherever/whenever.

    I enjoy just about any types of trail riding. Reasonably comfortable with tech and exposure (I enjoyed riding Capt Ahab and Portal in Moab), but I will be riding alone for the most part so don't want to do anything too foolish. Smooth and fast is great too, love 18rd.

    Open to quick laps near town to a couple all day epics. Wife might be willing to shuttle me up a road or 2. Bikepacking or overnights are not in the cards.
    Thx all

  8. #8
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    Nov 2005
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    Land of Brine Shrimp and Magic Underwear
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    Hit up Sandy Ridge near Portland. Real fun pedal access network. Couple jump lines too, one smaller, one bigger.

    If you’re looking for something in between, Dutch Flats outside Baker City is supposed to be good. The Elkhorns were mentioned above, up near Anthony Lakes ski hill. Ride it ad an out and back from the bottom and see how far you make it. Can be shuttled but I was told by the shuttle folks the top (from the shuttle access) crosses wilderness and Forest Service has been enforcing. They say it’s good to the high point. Mixed messages on Trail Forks.

    Summit Lake looks sweet. Long shuttle though and the local charges $80/person, minimum two. You could think about a wifey shuttle.

    Also second Post Canyon and Syncline. Totally different but good stuff.

    Bend- Funner and Tiddlywinks. We also did a shuttle to Highline(?), finishing in Phil’s World. Fun longer XC type shuttle. Phil’s itself was just ok to me. Mostly flatter but Whoops is a fun smaller pump and jump trail.

    N. Umpqua>Makenzie for me for the riding, sweet hot springs too. Mackenzie did have amazing scenery though and nice camping. Def go midweek if you do.

    Oakridge was awesome. You’ll want to shuttle there.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2007
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    Eugenio Oregón
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    Quote Originally Posted by grabtindy View Post
    Leaving tomorrow from Colorado, need to be back by the end of Oct. Should make it to Portland by this Friday and from there can pretty much go wherever/whenever.

    I enjoy just about any types of trail riding. Reasonably comfortable with tech and exposure (I enjoyed riding Capt Ahab and Portal in Moab), but I will be riding alone for the most part so don't want to do anything too foolish. Smooth and fast is great too, love 18rd.

    Open to quick laps near town to a couple all day epics. Wife might be willing to shuttle me up a road or 2. Bikepacking or overnights are not in the cards.
    Thx all
    Well then in that case, Oregon is your oyster! With that schedule you'll be able to put a nice roundabout tour together because everything is in play right now (all fires pretty much shut down) and only high elevation areas will gradually start getting shut down by the end of October. It's still dry times right now (still way less dry than Colorado), and by mid-October the high country will start to see some snow and the western side should start to see some moisture; by end of October alpine and sub-alpine trails near the major passes may start to shut down with snow. The trails around Western and Southern O should still be riding really well by late October.

    A month sounds like a long time but it's actually not when you see how much riding we have in OR. You should dedicate 5 days for Oakridge if trail riding is your thing. And you need some off days as well. Pretty much everything you need is on Trailforks or MTBproject, just make sure you have the OR maps downloaded for both.

    Do you *need* to go up to Portland first to visit people? It kind of skews the best lollipop route if you need to start there first.

    I'd start at the eastern areas on the way in from CO - scope out Elkhorn Crest then Ochocos. I haven't ridden there but they are on my list for random remote small town adventure rides - because those areas are kind of far from everywhere else I feel like it will be nice to ride these before it gets too cold, and also because once we finally get some moisture you want to go full on game on in Western O where you can put down bigtime vert and high speed riding. Fall colors are starting in the high country and I'm guessing they're already there out by Anthony Lake.

    From eastern O I'd go to Hood River and hang there for a bit but only if you really like camping and hanging out in Hood River. I think Post Canyon is a bit overrated as a destination riding area but it's a great local's system with everything from family oriented trail areas to more continuous steep high speed sections, but it's also just so blown out this time of year (before the first real fall rains). I'm also now a snob about trail conditions because I live 30 minutes from Hardesty Portal where our version of "blown out" is what Californian's call "buff hero conditions."

    Then I'd go to Sandy Ridge & Portland and get my flow trail riding + city hangout + brewery game going. Guard your bike with extreme diligence in the city. Good to waste time on city living early while trails are still dry.

    From PDX it's a < 2 hour drive to check out Black Rock Mountain Bike Area. Must see destination for 1 day. Best freeride system in the state, but with beginner friendly trail (Banzai Drop) that's insanely fun for a wuss like me and keeps getting funner the more you push it. Step up for Sickter Gnar if Banzai was too boring. Step up to Sunday Stroll if Sickter felt like your typical warmup run for freeride features. You'll probably notice how much less dust you are encountering on this trail system than the others above.

    Spend the night near Salem and Corvallis or drive all the way to Alsea Falls and camp on the Alsea River (dispersed and BLM campgrounds here) then hit up Alsea Falls MTB trails to see if you think it's a better designed flow system than Sandy Ridge. Springboard is probably the most well-constructed "green flow trail" I've ever ridden.

    From here I'd make my first zig for the woods going cross-valley on HWY20, assuming we're like a week+ into the trip and head past Cascadia to check out the Pyramids / Crescent Mountain Loop. This trail system was re-habbed 2 years ago for the Trans Cascadia race and is like land-before time riding:
    https://thetrailhouse.exposure.co/th...mids-of-oregon

    Now you can spend a bit more time in the woods. McKenzie River Trail is really close to Pyramids (and a million places to camp in dispersed or FS camping areas). Only ride this midweek, you will curse yourself trying to ride it while people are hiking on the weekends. You can book a shuttle from Horse Creek Lodge, or drop your bike at the top, drive to the bottom, hitch back to the TH and self-shuttle. It's a scenic unique XC ride nothing like Colorado. Far from the best trail in the state but it is one of the best destination rides we have in terms of raw scenery, novelty, and uniqueness.

    After MRT camp at any of the numerous camping areas and then get on a Horse Creek Lodge shuttle to the top of Oleary Ridge. Oleary Ridge to King Castle ought to blow your mind ... it's only considered one of the best trail rides in the state and finishes with an Oakridge-like pumpy descent through hero trail conditions. Butt kicking ride if you can't line up a shuttle drop (25 miles over 6k vert climbing I think).

    Hopefully by now you've gotten some moisture above Sisters & Bend and it's time to explore the high country ... backtrack up HWY20 out to Sisters, where you've got Petersen Ridge and Trail 99. The riding isn't mind blowing but the views can be great and it is pretty fun trail riding if you can line up a shuttle to the top of Trail 99.
    Once in Bend, get on some shuttles from Cog Wild and ride from Dutchman out as high as you want to go before dropping back down for an 18 mile ride towards Whoops etc. This is all XC oriented riding: smooth sandy trails with interspersed fragments of volcanic rock gnar and freeride features on various trails. I feel like all the stuff near Bend town proper is the kind of trails that cater to beginner/intermediate riders on short travel 29ers but the high country stuff is really awesome volcanic scenic and more technical in nature. (Cue bitching from Bend locals). The town is fun and a great place to hang out, drink beer, spend money, but the riding is better elsewhere.

    From Bend jump over to Waldo Lake and camp here, spend a day riding out to Charlton Lakes, Twins, around Waldo proper ... super scenic! Hopefully it hasn't snowed yet and it's still good riding up here.

    Cruise 45 minutes from Waldo down to Oakrdige and find a place to camp near Salmon Creek. Make it a good camp because you want to stay here for 5 days. I'm not kidding.

    Do you want to book a 3-run shuttle that will get you 11K of descending all single track? Because that's not even close to the biggest shuttle ride you can get here! The highlights of Oakridge:
    *ATCA
    *Lawler
    *Heckletooth (+ Bunchgrass if you are one for all day suffering)
    *Lairison Rock
    *Moon Point
    + about a dozen other trails I don't need to name, just try to ride different ones every day, and stay for at least 3 days!

    The guys at Mountain Merc will be able to tell you which trails don't do as well during a hard rain vs. ones that are draining well, and Cog Wild shuttles right from the shop.

    Might be worth a Crater Lake detour going out 58 from Oakridge, before checking out the NUT. Start at the top of HWY 138 near Lemolo Falls, and spend 2-3 days here checking out the key sections ... Dread & Terror, Deer Leap. I can't remember the name of the local shuttle operator ... you might be stuck doing most of these sections out-and-back if you can't set up the shuttle.

    Finish with a bang - drive down to Ashland and book at least 2 shuttle laps with Ashland Mountain Adventures. Southern O is a mix of loam and DG, drifty high speed steep and fast - amazing after fall rains. On Mount A proper there is an awesome mix of flow, granite, jump lines if you're into that, berms ... tons of vert and super fast riding. There are some other local DH-type runs around the area, it's worth exploring for a couple of days.

    Check out Brown Mountain on your way out HWY140 toward Klamath Falls. Fun XC loop in the woods next to a big ass volcano (McLoughlin). Then spend a day riding Spence Mountain in Klamath Falls as your cool down.

    Then you can head back to CO knowing you had the raddest month of your entire life!
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  10. #10
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    Feb 2007
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    Cuntecticut
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    What he said. Granted my knowledge is dated- some those trails didn't exist when I lived there. Buy, yeah, do what he said.

    Haven't been back there with a bike in years but would love to get back and ride some of the newer stuff in addition to the old stuff.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  11. #11
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    Feb 2007
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    Snowmass
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    Wow, thank you. I'll be lucky to ride half of that, but that's enormously helpful. I do have to make it to Portland on a schedule, we'll just backtrack for a day or 2 if needed.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    5,394
    Shralp knows what he's talking about, hard to add anything after that. Beatit covered what he didn't, if you a re heading up i84 on the way there or back and want to take your time. Taking a diversion to Wallowa Lake Tramway way off i84, just for the views and maybe a hike is worthy too, on the way there or back.

    My 2 scents is don't skip Ashland shuttles, it's worth the drive.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    50 miles E of Paradise
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    Shralph brings the comprehensive beta

    If you have to be in Portland anyway and don’t have outstanding warrants or something in WA, go north to the Mt St Helens area and ride Lewis River Trail or Ape Canyon to Plains of Abraham. Both are PNW classics.

    FWIW Central OR trails are pretty blown out right now - no significant moisture for three plus months and counting
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Hood River, OR
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    655
    Post is hammered shit right now. Too many people riding it these days and not enough rain.

  15. #15
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    Mar 2007
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    Eugenio Oregón
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    I just finished a great day on ATCA ... finally getting a bit of moisture!
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  16. #16
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    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchralphMacchio View Post
    I just finished a great day on ATCA ... finally getting a bit of moisture!
    Such a great loop - did it Friday for the first time in a decade.
    .
    .
    grabtindy - I'm in Ashland if you want a trail guide or shuttle and the stars align (open invite for all mags, etc). We got rain today and the trails are going to be riding really well in October!

    Otherwise, Schralph pretty much nailed it with the beta dump.
    Collectively enlightened since 2008.
    Eddie would go.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    583
    Second nearly everything Schralp mentioned.
    I wont go back to Bend to ride, but its a cool town i guess.
    Black Rock is awesome, Sandy is cool, Post Canyon seemed over rated to me. Oakridge was awesome. We pedalled everything. Lawler day 1, Moon point day 2, Alpine day 3 (not the tire/clover patch but full alpine). Finished in Black Rock on Day 4. Found the climbs very easy and gentle compared to here. Can just grind them out. Shuttles were very expensive with Canadian Peso's at something like 40 bucks each.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    828
    Everything Shralp said!

    I'd add to double check the weather conditions for the Elkhorn Crest trail. I would not want to ride that with any form of precipitation (a lot of loose rock and exposure). It sits around 8-8500ft. If you're driving that way it's definitely worth looking into. One of of most scenic rides I've been on in OR. For the Ochocos, there's good camping and fly fishing along the Crooked River just past Prineville. I did a gravel race through the Ochocos in August so can't really speak on mtb specific trails but I'd imagine any general biking through that area in the fall would be rad.

    I just rode Gunsight Ridge this AM near Mt. Hood. Not a very difficult or far trail but awesome views and now is peak foliage. If we had more time there were some other trails and loops with lakes you could do in that area too.

    Also if you're in Corvallis and have time, I do recommend two rides in the Mac Dunn just outside of town: Vineyard mtn trail and Dave's trail (Lewisburg Saddle) - about 9-10miles altogether and doable in 1-2hrs, really fun semi-fast, flowy singletrack in a cool forest that you can connect as a loop with gravel roads and No Secret off McCulloch Peak for a long grind up but fun semi-tech descent - you can add singletrack pretty much all the way back to Oak Creek trailhead (give yourself 2-3hrs plus extra time for when you get lost...). There are steep trails off Mary's Peak, too, on the way to Alsea but I haven't ridden there yet.

  19. #19
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    Mar 2007
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    Eugenio Oregón
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    Last night’s rain made for hero conditions on our Oakridge shuttle today ... Lawler, Eula, and Lairison Rock. Dark moist steep loam and Bigleaf Maple all golden and just starting to drop huge leaves. Not a bad day, just over 10k vert I think.
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  20. #20
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    Feb 2004
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    208 State
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    ^^^ just watch out the slick wooden bridges on ATCA, my buddy just about ate it on the wooden bridge in the Ewok forest run a few years back after a rain

  21. #21
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    Dec 2006
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    bestcoast
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    wife and I have been down to OR a few times for biking trips, would agree with everything Schralph said, Oakridge is really the only place I jones to get back to, a lot...frig that place kills it

  22. #22
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    Feb 2007
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    Snowmass
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    Wow. Only a couple rides in and im pretty blown away. We had to skip Elkhorn, but rode MERA as a small consolation. However, today i rode Post Canyon and that shit is legit. You know its a good sign when you roll up and a world cup racer (elliot jackson) is packing up and raving about the trails.

    About pooped myself rolling into some of those hits blind.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  23. #23
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    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchralphMacchio View Post
    Last night’s rain made for hero conditions on our Oakridge shuttle today ... Lawler, Eula, and Lairison Rock. Dark moist steep loam and Bigleaf Maple all golden and just starting to drop huge leaves. Not a bad day, just over 10k vert I think.
    Man. I love where i am now. But would totally be lying to say I don't miss that shit.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  24. #24
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    Mar 2007
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    Eugenio Oregón
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    Quote Originally Posted by grabtindy View Post
    Wow. Only a couple rides in and im pretty blown away ... Post Canyon and that shit is legit.
    Nice!

    Just wait till you see the features at Black Rock though if you really wanna poop yer pants!
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    50 miles E of Paradise
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    8,387
    ^^^Yup
    Here is a little video on Black Rock


    The section from :35 to 1:20 is a good overview of Cheese Grater - view from the top, how to hit it, how not to hit it.

    PM Forty if you go. He had a big hand in building out Black Rock and is a great guy to hang with
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