Ride Log: Green Ridge Trail Overnighter on the Pine Mountain

Marin Ambassador Lynnee Jacks is back with another story and phots from a quick and local adventure, outside Sisters, Oregon.

Pine trees in a mountain scene, Oregon.

This adventure started as a Monday night scramble. At 3 pm, I was shoving clothes and food into bike bags, excitement and last-minute doubts competing for attention.

Sometimes it’s tough to commit to a solo adventure. With no one holding me accountable, every minor hurdle is an opportunity to say, “Maybe next week.” But this is how it goes when trying to squeeze outdoor time into a busy schedule. I’m on the road for work, and it’s a perfect window – an early evening ride – to get back online by 10 am the next day.

Marin Pine Mountain 2 with bikepacking bags and a mountain backdrop, Oregon.

With a quick final decision, I threw my Marin Pine Mountain in the car and loaded it up just outside Sisters, Oregon. By 4 pm, I was climbing the 2,500 ft to the Green Ridge trail, and by 7 pm, I was riding along the top. The Cascade range to my left—a clear view of Mt. Jefferson, Three-Fingered Jack, and South Sisters welcomed me around every turn along the ridge.

It was going to be a 40-mile loop. A mini-adventure, something to get the blood pumping and out into the backcountry for the night. I planned to gain the ridge and travel along, taking in the views during golden hour — descend an unknown fire road, then take the river back the last 20 miles. I’d fill up on water there, make dinner, and rinse off in the cool water.

Camp food and supplies.

That’s how it started, and the climb up was a familiar dance – easy climbing, even better maneuverability. Even fully loaded with gear, I hardly noticed a difference once I found my cadence.

Like the trip plan, my pack list was last minute. I opted to travel with my entire sleep system and just one extra layer for after sunset. Considering the lingering heat, I felt good about the light layers and knew I was all set on food, but at 17 miles in, I was getting a bit concerned about water.

Marin ambassador Lynnee Jacks packs her bags for an overnight bikepacking trip.

I still wasn’t used to riding in the dry heat of central Oregon. After a few hours of singletrack winding its way up to a ridge with no water source, I was down to one and a half liters of the four I’d started with. Still, according to plan, as long as I made it to the river, it was beautiful up there. The sun was getting low, and I wished I’d strapped on one more water bottle since I’d had plenty of space.

Paused in a clearing with a sweeping view that would only get better as the sun dipped closer to the horizon, I started weighing my options — did I have enough water to stay up here tonight? Enough for my dinner, breakfast, coffee, and the ride back? It would be mostly downhill, but not without some punchy climbs. I’d be cutting it close, and I’d probably have to swap coffee and dehydrated breakfast for a few sips of water and a protein bar.

All this ran through my head as I started to unpack my bike, the decision already seemingly made. I’d set up camp here and use water sparingly. Suddenly, I was even happier I’d decided to pack that last-minute beer, which I drank while the sun set.

Marin ambassador Lynnee Jacks with her tent and Pine Mountain 2 at sunrise, Oregon.

If there’s one thing I can always count on when planning a bikepacking trip, it’s knowing that I will have to make some tradeoffs. These little decisions are the backbone of any good adventure. Half the fun is in the planning and the weighing of things — the gear, the food — how much water, when will I refuel, and what can I sacrifice to make space for the extra bit of snacks that will get me through a tough spot?

Do I pack a stove? Do I ride further tonight or make camp while the sun is still high?

There are these little decisions and last-minute pivots — and the bigger ones that bring me here to begin with — like knowing that I’m still afraid of venturing into the backcountry alone, that sleeping in a tent in the middle of nowhere is still out of my comfort zone. So do I wait for friends, or do I go alone and do it scared?

This time, one tradeoff was clear. I didn’t get the best night of sleep — every sound might have been a wild animal, and I didn’t know what tomorrow’s ride would bring. But I woke up to an incredible sunrise that was just for me, and I packed up my bike in the quiet morning, knowing I’d pushed through and made it here for this beautiful experience.

Mountain viewed through a tent door.

I heated water for half a cup of coffee, saving all the last bits I could for the ride back. I was sparing and thirsty all the way down, but as I ripped through the cross-country singletrack, I knew I’d made many great calls.

This ride was 24 hours of decision-making — all great, but a challenge nonetheless.

There are a thousand things to think about, especially when riding alone, but I can rest easily, knowing at least that my gear is solid, starting with my bike.

Marin Pine Mountain 2, loaded with bags for bikepacking.

My Marin Pine Mountain 2 was a no-trade-off decision – it’s made for adventures like this. The hardtail mountain bike flew up and down the single track. It has so much space for bags and mounted cages, and I couldn’t have asked for a better bike for this adventure. The sturdy CrMo frame that can handle the impact of a fast, risky descent — the way it feels even more stable downhill when it’s fully loaded, and how the weight hardly makes a difference on the climb up once I’ve settled into a comfortable gear.

When everything else felt a bit iffy, I could rest easy knowing this bike was the perfect companion for this adventure.