BQ Un-Meeting and Volcano High Pass Challenge


Smiles all around: That is perhaps the best summary of the Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting. A couple of dozen cyclists met in Carson, WA, for a weekend of exploring with like-minded cyclists.

This year, the weekend started with the Volcano High Pass Challenge, an unsactioned ride/race over 103 miles (166 km) and 10,000 ft (3000 m) of climbing. Fifteen riders set out on Saturday morning, plus others had started earlier to enjoy the beautiful course over several days.

Riding along the flanks of Mount Adams on gravel roads made for a beautiful ride after the challenging initial climb out of the Cowlitz River valley.

The number of riders increased further for the actual Un-Meeting itself. A forest fire brought smoke into the mountains, so we changed course, but the routes we discovered were at least as nice as those we had intended to ride.

Riders came from all over the United States – as far as Colorado, Wisconsin and Philadelphia – with Monica even coming directly from riding the Tour Divide from Canada all the way to New Mexico. Everybody had great stories to share, and the day passed all too quickly.

Monday saw many of the riders return to Portland in small groups. It was another fun Un-Meeting, and I can’t wait for the next one.

For the participants of the Volcano High Pass Challenge, we ask to please e-mail your photos from the controls, together with your complete name and arrival time in Carson, to info@compasscycle.com. Results and additional photos will be published as they come in.

4 Responses to BQ Un-Meeting and Volcano High Pass Challenge

  1. Mark Guglielmana September 5, 2017 at 6:33 am #

    How was the ride back? Fires and smoke all around, I’m sure that kept the rider numbers lower than past years.

    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly September 5, 2017 at 3:15 pm #

      We were lucky that we were below the smoke as we passed the fire. Once we climbed out of the gorge, it was sort of “boy scouts camp fire” quality.

      • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly September 5, 2017 at 3:20 pm #

        The fire was ever-present as we passed through the gorge on our way to Portland. We negotiated our passage with the park rangers who were patrolling the trails. The Oneonta Tunnel always was a favorite when I cycled that route. I hope it will be rebuilt once more.

  2. Champs September 5, 2017 at 11:54 am #

    However long anyone’s ride, the only timing that matters is that you made the trip just one day before wildfire consumed the Gorge. It has claimed the Oneonta Tunnel pictured above, and the Beijing air quality is impossible on the lungs and in the eyes.