Merlin cyclist completes epic 1,000-mile journey

Merlin cyclist completes epic 1,000-mile journey

After cycling 1,000 miles over three weeks from the Pacific Ocean to Missoula, Mont., one of Myrna Rafalovich's first thoughts was, "I may never camp again."

The 69-year-old retiree from Merlin completed the epic journey to commemorate the 40th anniversary of an even more epic cross-country bicycle ride in 1976, the nation's bicentennial.

She was front and center on that ride, part of the Sprocket Rocket team that is featured in the recently published "America's Bicycle Route:...

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Mountain bike trail taking shape at Prescott Park

Mountain bike trail taking shape at Prescott Park

Medford's Prescott Park is in the midst of its most significant recreation makeover in eight decades as crews carve out mountain-biking trails that riders say will be a new destination for two-wheeled, backwoods cyclists.

Contractors armed with chainsaws and small excavators are creating 6.8 miles of new trails that will run from the top of Roxy Ann Peak to the current parking area at the end of Roxy Ann Drive.

"We've always done road work and small-trail work, but really this is....

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Sport of Kings — on wheels

Sport of Kings — on wheels

ASHLAND — Two opponents get tangled in the corner when the purpose of their confrontation, an orange ball, squirts toward Eric Michener, who's quickly off to the races.

With short, powerful pedal strokes, Michener glides his bicycle down the tennis court while pushing the ball along with his mallet, circling behind the goal before eyeing a teammate coming into play.

With a hard whack of his plastic mallet, the ball, about the size of a tennis ball, flies toward his...

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Trails in the Ashland Watershed will reopen for hikers and bikers this weekend

Trails in the Ashland Watershed will reopen for hikers and bikers this weekend

ASHLAND — The intersection of the Catwalk and Toothpick trails is a good place to survey changes that will greet hikers and bikers this weekend in the outdoor playground known as the Ashland Watershed.

For years the watershed has sported a dense forest canopy and thick underbrush that curbed visibility so completely that mountain bikers bombing down Toothpick would surprise uphill hikers and vice versa.

"There is that element of surprise," says Chamise Kramer, a...

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More trails coming to Medford's Prescott Park

Work will start this summer on a project to add more hiking, biking, jogging and equestrian trails to Prescott Park, which includes Roxy Ann Peak.

The Medford Parks and Recreation Department secured $75,000 in state funding to add to the $200,000 it has budgeted for major improvements to the park, said Brian Sjothun, director of the department.

Earlier this week, a master plan for the 1,740-acre park was approved by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. Although the park is.....

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Cycle Oregon to tackle Southern Oregon mountains, coast

Cycle Oregon to tackle Southern Oregon mountains, coast

Two thousand cyclists rode together for hundreds of miles across the state, making overnight stops in Myrtle Creek in 1998 and in Riddle in 2011. This year, Cycle Oregon announced its plans to return to Douglas County and other parts of Southwestern Oregon for the annual Week Ride.

The seven-day bike ride will cover either 365 miles or 457 miles, depending on whether optional rides are taken, and climbing elevations will range from 25,853 to 33,689 feet. Cycle Oregon chooses a...

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Oh, the joy of floating on the snow on a bike with fat tires

Oh, the joy of floating on the snow on a bike with fat tires

SUN VALLEY, Idaho (AP) — When Sun Valley-area cycling enthusiasts wanted to ride their fat bikes last winter, they groomed their own trails.

They'd get together in the evening at a trailhead like Adams Gulch, ride their bikes as far as they could, dismount and snowshoe the rest of the way — packing the snow.

Then they'd return the next day to ride their bikes on the "groomed" trail.

That kind of effort showed the passion cyclists have for the growing winter...

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Trail builders: Bike, hike and ski trails developed on Spence Mountain

Trail builders: Bike, hike and ski trails developed on Spence Mountain

The views are incredible from viewpoints along the Spence Mountain Trail, Southern Oregon's newest network of trails. Depending on the vantage, the panorama can include Mount Shasta, Upper Klamath Lake, the Cascades peaks surrounding Crater Lake and Mount McLoughlin.

"It's even better than we imagined," said Drew Honzel, a member of the Klamath Trails Alliance, the Klamath Falls-based outdoor group that's developing Spence Mountain, of sights along and from the trail.

Creating...

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Ashland watershed trail network to be expanded and upgraded

Ashland watershed trail network to be expanded and upgraded

ASHLAND — Mountain bikers barreling down legit trails built for hikers and horseback riders were already causing headaches for Ashland watershed managers in 2011, but then things began to get egregious on a little stretch of hiking heaven called Marty's Trail.

Someone drove a backhoe around a trail gate and dug in a series of bumps and jumps for "downhiller" cyclists, much to the chagrin of darn near everyone else.  

"That was a bold move," says Jeffrey...

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A preview of Mount Shasta's ambitious rail trail

A preview of Mount Shasta's ambitious rail trail

Northern California's latest Rails to Trails project has brought an epic multi-use trail opportunity within easy excursion distance of the Rogue Valley. 

The three-pronged Great Shasta Rail Trail is planned along the old McCloud Railway between the towns of McCloud, Hambone and Burney. Two sections totaling 37 miles were opened in late September.

Most of the proposed 80-mile system is ready for public use. The ties have been stripped off the old railroad bed and a.....

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