Jedi … Best Trail Segment in Oakridge
Jedi is the most famous segment of the Alpine Trail in Oakridge, Oregon. This page describes the Jedi segment, plus the lower portions of the Alpine Trail. To read about the first part of the ride please click: Alpine Trail (top part).
Van Driver Favored Jedi
We waited on the road next to a pick-up truck and a guy who looked to be camping. We already knew the next section (Jedi) was supposed to be the best of the day. When the shuttle driver had pointed out how we would enter in front of the pick-up truck the young fellow sitting next to me asked, “Is that the section called Jedi?” The van driver confirmed that statement and said, “The Alpine trail doesn’t get any better than Jedi.”
Please enjoy this interactive map of the Alpine Trail. The yellow portion represents the Jedi segment. We were shuttled to Kate’s Cut-in by Oregon Mountain Biking.
- Below you will find a map for Potato Mountain.
- Click the Green or Red balloons for driving directions to the trailhead(s).
- Click Tracks or Icons for Specific Info.
Have you done this ride? What did you think of it? How about sharing your thoughts on our Visitor Stories page?
Jedi Segment Review
The Jedi was tremendous … fast, fast, fast down a steep single track, weaving in-and-out of trees sometimes 10 feet in diameter. The sharper turns were banked, the tread was mostly smooth, the forest to the side of the trail … a blur. This time I led as Lee stayed back to help Nancy. When I popped out of the Jedi section onto the fire road … guess who was standing there ….? The shuttle driver!
“What are you doing here?” I asked. He said the van wouldn’t start and he had to walk this far down to get cell reception. “I have some help coming up the hill … they should be here at any time. It’s one of the guys from the bike shop.”
Just about then Steve rode out from the Jedi segment. He asked the driver why he was there and was also told the van wouldn’t start. I pointed out to Steve that a guy from the bike shop was coming and maybe he should wait to have the guy look at his bike. I was thinking maybe he should load his bike into the truck and go back down with the bike shop guy if the fellow determined the problem would cause major damage to the frame.
Below you will find two videos from the Jedi portion of the Alpine Trail.
Not more than 3 minutes later Steve said, “Well, let’s ride.” I guessed he must have decided the problem was not going to prevent him from completing the ride. So Lee, Steve, Nancy, and I said goodbye to the shuttle van driver (and the Jedi)and headed down the fire road in search of the next Alpine Trail segment.
Trouble Finding Trail
The van driver had said the new segment started just a little ways down the fire road but I think we were all shocked that a “little ways” was about a half a mile.
Steve went ahead while I waited a little with Nancy as we climbed a pretty steep incline. I told Nancy to go in front of me as Steve, most likely, was setting up to take some photos as we passed by. I told her, “Why don’t you go next, Steve is going to take some photos of us and he already has a million of me. He is an excellent photographer, you know.”
We rode across a large, flat, grassy clearing and then into a ravine with three huge trees crossing the trail. Luckily for us, the tree that had fallen on the trail had been notched out, the one that was head height had been buzzed off, and the third one was high enough to duck under. We took several photos of riders passing through the notch.
We had planned on doing that extra loop (before Steve’s mechanical problem) but decided to save it for another day. We said goodbye to Lee and Nancy (they were doing the extra loop) and continued down the Alpine Trail.
For a part of the downhill stretch I let Steve lead so I could film him. He wanted to know why anyone would want to see him do a downhill, so I told him he might want to see himself and could learn a little more about how he could possibly improve his riding.
Below you will find some video of me following Steve on the lower portion of the Alpine Trail.
As I followed him I did notice a few things that could help him ride faster yet stay under control. I asked him, “Did you ever watch those videos I linked to on my Intermediate Skills Page … the ones done by that foreign guy?”
I continued, “He says … when descending, we should always keep our heels down.” To which Steve said, “What, keep your heels down … for what?”
So I explained, “If you keep your heels down and your pedals level then you will naturally be in the perfect position to do the descent. That will place your body right behind your seat, with your legs almost straight, your arms slightly bent, both ready to absorb all the hits you will take.”
I showed him, then said, “Now your heels may not be much lower than your toes, but get them as low as you can.” He said, “Wow that will really stretch out the calves!”
I told him I agreed, but forgot to remind him to lower the outside pedal and lean the bike (but not the body) when entering the turn. A couple of rides previous we had already discussed getting his butt off the seat to help him with executing a sharp turn.
The last segment of the Alpine Trail offered some serious elevation loss. As we dropped the trail got rockier and the temperature climbed. Steve said he preferred the loose, slippery shale as opposed to the moist, packed, soil we had experienced the entire ride. I found this trail tread tricky to manage. I figured Steve just preferred the extra challenge.
When I rode from the woods to the flat river bottom that marked the end of the Alpine Trail the heat hit me like opening the door on our wood stove. As I went through the gate and under the bridge I saw a whole bunch of little boys riding bikes on a pump track someone had built on the side of the trail … and a very tall young man monitoring them.
I looked at the man once, and then did a double take. On my second look he looked right at me and said, “Hey, it is you … are you guys just now getting done with the ride?”
I answered, “Yup, you know we did that extra loop at the top … and then Steve had some mechanical problems, and we also waited for some of the more unsure riders to do some of the steeper inclines.
Wasn’t that trail a blast?” He said he had had a great time. He added, “I think I might have burned out a set of front brakes just on the Jedi segment.”
He said his wife was up there doing the trail as we spoke. He said when he had finished the ride he had shuttled her up there so she could try it out.
Then I looked around and asked, “Are these the kids you told me about on the shuttle?” He said, “Yup, these guys are mine.” I watched the three guys (ranging from 2 to 6 … I think) attack each hump of the track. I watched the youngest, who was riding a strider (bike with no pedals) go halfway up the largest bump, stop, and roll back down, maintaining perfect balance. “Wow, I am not sure too many mountain bikers could pull off that stunt,” I exclaimed. I asked if I could put a photo of him and his kids on my website and he obliged. But when he got the bigger kids together the youngest took off so we included the dog instead.
After the photo shoot I turned and pedaled through an old (but restored) covered bridge which officially marks the end of the ride. Steve had already gotten his bike into the car and was waiting for mine.
Below you will find a video of the covered bridge at the end of the Alpine Trail.
We zipped to Willamette Mountain Mercantile (the bike shop in Oakridge) to see if we could get the bike fixed for the next day’s ride. The worker started looking at the bike right away while we ran across the highway to get some iced tea across the street. When we returned the mechanic said he couldn’t fix the bike. He said he couldn’t even get to the lower bracket as the head of the bolt through the crank stripped out. He said removing the bolt required a tool called an “easy out” (which he didn’t have).
I suggested we head to Eugene in search of a Specialized bike shop. We used the smart phone to locate one, which lay adjacent to the University of Oregon. The traffic was horrendous but we managed to get there before they closed.
The mechanic there said he knew he could fix the bike but was not sure he would get to it the following day. Steve offered to pay him a “rush fee” but the man said he had to fix bikes in the order they were taken in.
We drove back to Roseburg with high hopes for the bike. However, the next day Steve called and left me a message that the frame was cracked and he was on his way to get the bike and go home.
During most rides I take many more photos than I can place on a ride page. The following is a slide show for the entire ride … 41 photos in all. I suggest you view them in a full screen.
Alpine Trail… my favorite all-time? No. The “Most Picturesque?” No, but not bad. Fun trail to ride? Oh yeah! The most fun I have ever had riding? Maybe.
The following information was collected by my Garmin 800 Edge … taking readings every second. Just click on the ride title to access stats, graphs, and maps.