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Two Klamath County bicycle events on tap

Courtesy photoRide the Rim events are scheduled at Crater Lake National Park Sept. 10 and 17.

Unusually warm weather may be lousy for cross-country and downhill skiing, but it’s been a bonanza for mountain and road bikers.

Despite two years of uncertainty, plans are being made for rides that lure local and regional bicyclists and mountain bikers — the Ride the Rim weekends at Crater Lake National Park in September, and in May the Art of Survival Century that takes participants into Malin, Tulelake and Lava Beds National Monument.

The Art of Survival is a series of rides held over a two-day period May 28-29, with a range of distances. The May 28 events will begin from the Malin Community Park in Malin, while on day two rides will take off from the Butte Valley Community Center in Dorris. The Art of Survival’s kickoff, a preride party, is set for Friday, May 27, at the Malin Broadway Theater.

“What is unique about this event, which is a ride, not a race, is that each rest stop offers educational components and/or ranger- or historian-led talks highlighting the cultural history, geography, environment issues and geology of the area,” said ride organizers. “Along with providing fluids and nutritious snacks at the rest stops, riders will have the opportunity to learn about the areas they’re passing through.”

Last year, the Saturday rides were rerouted to include sections of the historic Applegate Trail that was used by settlers headed west in the 1800s into what was then uncharted territory and the ancestral home of Modoc Indians.

The Saturday rides, which all begin and end in Malin, feature four distances. They pass through portions of Lava Beds National Monument, as well as the farming and ranching communities of Malin, Merrill and Tulelake.

The Century, or 100-mile ride, meanders along back roads. Other, shorter rides include the Metric Century, a distance of 59 miles; a 38-mile ride; 22-mile mountain bike route; and a family-friendly 14-miler.

On May 29 the focus shifts to the Butte Valley community of Dorris for the Gravel Grinder. Mountain bikers have a choice of 74 and 54 miles on mostly unpaved roads, but there’s also a family-friendly 13-miler. All the rides pass through the Butte Valley Wildlife Area, with frequent views of Mount Shasta.

For information and to register visit the website at survivalcentury.com. Routes, maps and other information is provided.Registration fees range from $25 to $85 for Saturday events to $25 to $75 for the gravel grinders before May 20, with increased charges after that. Family/group and two-day fees are also available.

Hoping to make a return in September are the Ride the Rims events at Crater Lake National Park. Last year’s event was canceled because of concerns about COVID. Although it primarily attracts bicyclists, the event is also open for walkers and runners. Both days, Sept. 10 and 17, Rim Drive from the North Junction to park headquarters will be closed to motorized vehicles.

It’s a challenging ride because of the many up and downhills and the elevation. The elevation at the North Junction, the starting area, is 7,050 feet. The route goes 4.6 miles to a rest stop at Cleetwood Cove then climbs steeply over the next 6.8 miles to an elevation of 7,630 feet for a rest stop near the Mount Scott Trailhead. From there it’s 6.1 miles to a third rest station at Dutton Ridge.

Most participants end the tour in another six miles at park headquarters. But it’s also possible to continue on from the headquarters another 11.1 hilly miles and back to the North Junction. All of the rest stops offer snacks and water along with restrooms, basic bike repair tools and first-aid kits. In all, the route includes about 3,500 feet of elevation gain.

There is no set starting time but people are encouraged to begin early enough to complete their chosen distance. East Rim Drive will close to motorized vehicles from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. At present, no shuttle service is planned so people will need to go the entire 33-mile distance, take an out-and-back route, or make arrangements to be self-transported from the park headquarters parking area to the North Entrance parking area.

Because of the elevation and hills, it is recommended that bicyclists be at least intermediate level riders. Most electric bikes are permitted. No sag vehicles are provided.

There is no registration fee but participants are encouraged to make $10 donations at boxes at the North Junction or park headquarters or through the event’s Facebook page, https://ridetherimoregon.com, to cover costs of snacks, water and other supplies. Registration opens April 1.

Reach freelance writer Lee Juillerat at 337lee337@charter.net or 541-880-4139.