Horse to Horse

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This ride has a split personality. Kind of like comparing Mr. Ed and the Black Stallion. It’s a great winter ride; summer is a different story. But we love that it’s close to town and always offers up big views. This is a simple loop that passes by Horse Butte and then circles around Horse Ridge.

Begin by riding  out on China Hat road heading southeast, past Horse Butte, and slightly uphill. As China Hat transitions from paved to gravel you break out of the Ponderosa pines and on to the plains of Horse Ridge with Pine Mountain looming in the background. The route climbs over Horse Ridge via the old, abandoned section of Highway 20 and drops down to the other side via a descending single track section. After a short stint on Highway 20, you can race back to the barn on slight uphill quiet paved roads and a very smooth section of gravel.

Ride the route in the direction mapped (counter clockwise) as the “washboard” on China Hat road will feel less severe. 

Winter is best for this ride as the traffic is less, the freeze thaw cycles keep the hard pack in place, and the lighting is incredible. Summer can have a bit more traffic, roads can be dusty and the washboard can be harsh. 

**Adventure / Gravel Route
– Loop : 38 miles / 1800 ft gain
– Style: Mixed (3 gravel sectors, 17.7 miles total / 1 Roubaix sector, 2.7 miles / 1 single track sectors, 1.8 miles total)**
– Location: Bend, OR
– Best ridden: Late fall to early spring
– Route Author: Dennis Krakow
– Date Posted: February 2018

Intermediate. Most of the ride is on good gravel roads with no significant climbs. However, there is one single track sector that will have you wishing you were on a mountain bike. If you came from the mountain biking world, you will have a blast, even on your gravel bike… if you are an ex-roadie, swallow your pride and walk.

**The Start
A dirt, ad hoc, parking lot on the west side of Billadeau road just past Faith Run Farms.

**Food / Water

**GPX Track File
Click to download.

Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road / double-track
Blue = single-track
Purple = paved bike path and/or Roubaix

For help with Ride, GPS files, etc see the “Help with …” page. To learn how to download the routes for free, see “Using Our Routes …” page.

4 thoughts on “Horse to Horse

  1. November 11, 2018 Ride Report. Counter clockwise along China Hat started out with washboard but smoothened out considerably after several miles. Instead of taking Fort Rock Rd we chose a curvy alternate route to the north which hugs the south side of Horse Ridge and provides a fun descent, some interesting Breaking Bad scenery, and in our case three groups of kind folks engaged in target practice. We joined back up with the route where Fort Rock Rd meets Hwy 20. The single-track of Horse Ridge was firm and frozen in some places. We very much enjoyed the surface diversity along this route. Highly recommended.

  2. Ahhh … it is summer time and the washboard on China Hat road is now severe. Wait until late fall to ride again. But … the road construction is completed!

  3. I just rode this last week, April 9 of 2018. Quite a fun ride, got stuck sucked up into a real life stampede of cows, calves, and a random coyote! Thankfully no bulls or I might not have lived to tell. A good solid intermediate gravel ride.

  4. This is an excellent ride for beginner gravel riders, virtually no traffic in winter, more or less flat, short and relatively kind single track. Loved it!

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