Bakeoven Road - Vuelta a Iberia - CycleBlaze

September 5, 2019

Bakeoven Road

There is more than one fine ride out of Maupin, a place we’ve stayed a few nights before.  For a number of years the Imperial River Company sponsored a criterion with rides starting from the lodge, but it was discontinued a few years back.  We’ve tried most of them by now, but the  one today up Bakeoven Road to Maupin is probably our favorite.  We’re both excited to be riding it again, for at least the third time now.

If you’re tempted to try this ride yourself, the most important thing to know is how isolated and exposed it is.  I’m not sure, but I don’t think there is any shade whatsoever on the road for the entire 26 miles to Maupin.  This is high desert country, so it’s very elemental - heat, cold, wind, hail - anything can happen.  If it’s a hot day, as it often is in the summer, bring plenty of water and wear sun protection.

That said, it’s a totally brilliant ride.  Just my kind of cycling country.  I love terrain like this where you can see forever and there’s enough contour to make it interesting.  And, I like front loaded rides like this.  After climbing pretty much all the way to Shaniko, you can look forward to a long, long coast back with a stunning view of far off Mount Hood in your face the whole way.

Video sound track: The Gypsy, by Urban Knights

Climbing away from Maupin, up Bakeoven Creek. The first five miles, climbing out of the Deschutes Canyon, are the stiffest part of the ride.
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A last look back at Maupin and the Deschutes Canyon before crossing the crest. I think that must be Mount Jefferson far in the distance.
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Looking back west. To the right is the west rim of Deschutes Canyon.
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Such an amazing landscape, isn’t it? And look at all those trees! We’re looking at the greenest part of the day here.
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This photo is zoomed in, so the distances are a bit deceptive. That wall cutting across the middle is the opposite rim of the Deschutes Canyon. Between here and there is a thousand foot chasm.
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The view east. There’s a slight drop just ahead, but beyond that it’s a steady climb for the next 15 miles.
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Another old structure I’ve been monitoring over the years. Not much change that I can see.
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Looking behind us again, at the first sunlit patch we’ve seen today. The sky is just beginning to break up.
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One for the Cycle365 challenge of the month. The theme for September: back of the line.
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Another old stalwart. That close to the pavement, it looks like it must predate the road.
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Bruce LellmanOr the road was a narrow dirt wagon track.
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3 months ago
Didn’t we just see a photo like this? No matter - I still like it.
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We have really great conditions for today’s ride. Almost windless, not too hot, and overcast for nearly the whole climb. It will clear up and heat up before we return, but by then we’ll be coasting.
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Such empty country - not a tree in sight. Hard to beat, if you like this sort of thing. Oh, wait. I might be wrong. That might be a small tree far out on the right.
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We’ve arrived! Let’s find a store and some shade.
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The Shaniko post office, and an annoying streak. Must be time to clean the lens.
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In Shaniko
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In Shaniko
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The old water tower, Shaniko. Looks a bit like a hop kiln.
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Rodriguez makes a pit stop before the long ride back to Maupin.
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Leo’s rule is our rule too: never pass up a summit sign.
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It’s a brilliant ride back - 20 miles of downhill, staring at the mountain most of the way.
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Rachael and the mountain.
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We were really fortunate on weather today.  It started clouding up as we approached Maupin, and by the time we reached Bend ninety minutes later it was lightly sprinkling.  While we were in the motel office checking in, lightning flashed and the roof fell in.  We immediately thought of how awful it would have been if we were in the open half way between Shaniko and Maupin, miles from the nearest tree.

Our tight quarters in Bend for the next four nights. I think you could call this an efficiency unit.
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Ride stats today: 53 miles, 3,600’

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Comment on this entry Comment 1
Ron SuchanekI like to ride in that terrain and scenery. You got lucky with the weather!!
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3 months ago