Chad Swanson's Birthday Gravel Bonanza Version 1.0
Longtime friend and S&M rider Chad Swanson celebrated his birthday a week ago. As a celebration, Chad and his wife Anna led a few of us on a wonderful gravel ride that left from his house in the Columbia Gorge town of Mosier. Rolling up the road from Swanson’s house, we had a solid showing of shop folk, friends, and hood river locals. The ride began on a rough gravel road that stretched out before us and allowed us awesome views of the surrounding area. The beginning roads were pretty chunky, and I was glad with my bike choice of a King Kahuna 29er hardtail, however as the climbs got steeper it proved tough to keep up with the cross bikes. This was reversed pretty soon as we were bombing down twisty gravel roads, reaching 40 mph in some sections. That being said, Patrick Means did the whole ride on his new carbon road bike equipped with 25c tires, like a boss. We arrived back at Chad and Anna’s house after a few hours to a veritable feast, with the highlight for me being a brimming crock-pot filled with excellent pulled pork. I spent the rest of the beautiful Sunday hanging out on the grass, eating way too much, and trading pushes on the tree swing with Erik’s son Gus. It was the sort of idyllic day that made you forget the past few months of crummy weather. But more importantly, it was the sort of day that makes you thankful for being a part of the great community that surrounds, and is at the heart of Sellwood Cycle Repair.
(Not that its important, however shop mechanic "Mad" Mike Lilienthal was the undisputed style champion for the day, sporting the cutoff 90s Marin jersey with matching pink Oakley Razor knockoffs.)
And in case you'd ever like to do this ride yourself, Chad granted us permission to share his map. As Patricky puts it, "It's always a good time to partake in the sacred act of getting schlepped around someone's personal stomping grounds", and with this map you can pretty much do that.