Lemolo Segment … An Easy Ride High in the Cascades
The Lemolo segment is the first of five that made up our ride on the North Umpqua Trail. To read about our struggle to find the trailhead for this ride please click: North Umpqua Trail.
Length: 6.3 miles
At first the Lemolo Segment parallels a small North Umpqua River, then climbs away after a mile of so. I was cruising along the south riverbank, totally enjoying the cool, fresh, air and the sight of the sunlight reflecting off the water like a single golden ribbon wound tightly around a floral arrangement of mostly greens. When I got to where the trail pulled away from the river I tried to downshift. But instead of the usual clear click of my Sramm rear derailleur I heard a horrible metallic grinding sound, heard a pop, and found my pedaling real easy. That was the first time in all my riding I had broken a chain. I’d had a chain get bent up in travel through my derailleur, but never had one snap.
Fix It Time
I got off my bike and had turned it upside down. Next to arrive were a whole cloud of mosquitoes … followed by Steve. As Steve cruised to a stop he asked excitedly, “What’s wrong.” I replied, “My chain broke.” He then asked, “Do you have another one?” I calmly said, “No, but I can fix this one,” as I turned and got the necessary items from my pack. When I turned back toward my bike, I saw Steve with my chain in his hands inspecting it. “Look at this chain!” He exclaimed. “How old is it? It looks terrible!” I responded with, “That chain is brand new, remember? The reason it looks so bad is because it broke and landed in the dirt.”
Steve handed me the chain, and using my multi-tool, I popped the pin out of the broken link. Then I inserted the little hook I’d made from a coat hanger to hold the end links in-line with each other … removed one half of a master link from my pack (I always carry at least 3 of these) and I slid it into one of the ends of the chain. I then applied the matching half of the master link and locked it into place by sliding them outward. I worked fast … not wanting to lose a quart of blood to the mosquitoes that were quickly moving in. “All set,” I told Steve.
“Wow,” he said with amazement, “That would have taken me a half an hour.” Wrenching is not one of Steve’s strengths, but I didn’t really think it would have taken him that long. Steve is the master of electronics and photography (which are my weakness) and riding incredibly long distances on a mountain bike.
Riding Along the River
We paralleled the upper portion of the North Umpqua River for about a mile before we came to where the trail intersects Road 60 … right next to the outhouse I had made use of just a half hour earlier. After crossing the dirt road we did some small climbing after which the trail stayed somewhat level. We found ourselves hugging the side of the mountain as it skirts the outer boundaries of Lemolo Lake and eventually came upon a dirt road (#2610). We had both started with jackets, but had quickly peeled those off as the 6+ mile Lemolo segment proved to be a good warm up.
Road #2610 marks the end of the Lemolo Segment and the start of the Dread and Terror Segment. This location is officially called The White Mule Trailhead, for some reason I have yet to figure out. According to the literature, the Dread and Terror Segment got its name in 1908, when two rangers were referring to the possibility of fighting fires in this area. Dread and Terror was the most incredible stretch of trail I have been lucky enough to ride anywhere … ever … and not real dangerous.
The following information was collected by my Garmin 800 Edge … taking readings every second.