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Mountain Biking

MTB roundup: Helltrack, River View planning, Sandy Ridge award, and more

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
Helltrack is coming!

Just because Portland isn’t known as a mountain biking mecca (yet), doesn’t mean we don’t have our share of mountain bike news. Check out the updates on several fronts below…

Helltrack at The Lumberyard
The Lumberyard has partnered up with PlusSizeBMX on an interesting event next month: They call it “Helltrack.” According to The Lumberyard’s event coordinator Amy Hardesty, Helltrack is a “multi-lap obstacle race with nine riders going head-to-head that combines indoor and outdoor features, a cereal bowl, pallets, bikes, beer, jumps, UCI Bro Barriers, Carnage, and good times.” There are racing categories for all types of riders (even kids!) and everyone is welcome. The course runs inside and outside The Lumberyard and there’s an after-party sponsored by Red Bull. Event dates are November 23-24th and registration is $20-25 per race. More info at LumberyardMTB.com or follow updates on the Facebook event page.
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‘Trailfest’ success (recap and photos)

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Our friends at Northwest Trail Alliance reported a big success at their recent Trailfest event. NWTA’s Kelsey Cardwell sent along the following highlights and photos…

  • Despite the forecast for a downpour, 18 riders showed up for our Forest Park poker ride on Friday night and we were rewarded with clear skies! We handed out prizes donated by Cyclepath and Nike to the best hands.
  • Kids and adults hopped on the pump track Saturday morning. Commissioner Amanda Fritz joined us as well. She wasn’t keen to jump on a bike, but she loved seeing how much fun it was for the kids (and their parents). She mentioned that she would like to see more opportunities in East Portland for kids to get outside and stay active.
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Two new trails opening at Sandy Ridge this weekend

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
Sandy Ridge sign
Now there are two more reasons to ride at Sandy Ridge.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Sandy Ridge, the popular mountain bike trail-riding area just 40 miles east of Portland, just got even better. Two new trails are set to open by this weekend bringing the total mileage of bike-specific trails in the system to over 15.

Adam Milnor, a recreation planner with the Bureau of Land Management’s Salem District, shared the great news a few minutes ago:

Follow the Leader is a 1.65 mile advanced trail that features a challenging double black diamond segment. Riders start at the upper info kiosk and traverse a couple scree fields before fording Little Joe Creek. From there, the trail drops 350 feet in the next mile with some exposure, big grade reversals and plenty of opportunities for skilled riders to get off the ground.

Flow Motion is a 0.75 mile intermediate flow trail with incredible soil and more than fifteen berms. The trail drops 275 feet through a nice Doug fir and hemlock forest before crossing the road and tying directly into lower Hide and Seek Cut. Great pedal to payoff ratio, with an easy session opportunity using Homestead Road. Sure to see lots of traffic.

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Research: Mountain biking boosts rural Oregon economies

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
MTB Oregon
Research shows that the three-day Mountain Bike Oregon event pumps $1.2 million into the Oakridge economy.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

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MTB advocates see reasons to support Metro natural areas levy

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
PUMP's Forest Park mountain bike tour
Metro levy would bring more
single track to Portland.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Off-road bicycling advocates in the Portland area have two major reasons to throw their weight behind Metro’s parks and natural areas levy: Agency Creek and McCarthy Creek. Both parcels are called out by name in the text of Measure 26-152 as having potential for single track mountain biking.

The levy, up for a vote on May 21st, seeks to raise $50 million over five years to help Metro maintain and improve thousands of acres in natural areas and parks they’ve purchased over the years.

The Northwest Trail Alliance, a Portland-based non-profit that maintains, builds and advocates for mountain bike trails, is urging their members to support the levy. They see the Agency Creek and McCarthy Creek parcels as places where a mountain bike trail system could be built. And because they are outside of the northern border of Forest Park, bike access could be developed without any of the political baggage or controversy that has surrounded attempts at creating single track opportunities in Forest Park (which is owned and managed by the City of Portland). (more…)

Guest Article: Urban mountain biking in Portland – What it could be

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
Typical “flow” singletrack on the Beginner Trail in Lebanon Hills.
(Photo used with Permission of Dakota County Parks, Minnesota)

This article is written by Joshua Rebannack. Joshua contacted me after he read our recent coverage of mountain biking in Forest Park. As a way of helping Portland see a different vision for urban, off-road bicycling access, Joshua wanted to share how the issue has evolved in riding areas around Minneapolis, Minnesota. — Jonathan

My name is Joshua Rebennack. I’m a “Dirt Boss” at the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails and a member of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew. I am writing this guest article in response to some of the controversy surrounding the possible inclusion of mountain biking at Forest Park.

Below I’ll discuss an example trail in an urban setting, Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan, Minnesota, and the lessons the citizens of Portland can learn from it.

While it might seem an odd choice comparing a West Coast location with Midwest, there are more similarities than one might think. Both Portland and Twin Cities (including Eagan) are at similar latitudes. While Portland prides itself on its rainfall, actually, the Twin Cities receives somewhat similar amounts of precipitation, though far more of it in snow. They both have similar political climates. And both are biking hot- spots. (more…)

Portland Parks seeks members for River View Natural Area advisory committee

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
Riding and working at Riverview property-3
A trail in River View Natural Area.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you care about off-road bicycling in Portland, take note that a very important planning process is getting underway.

Portland Parks & Recreation is seeking members of the public to sit on an advisory committee that will help plan the future of their River View Natural Area. This 146 acre parcel of land, which was acquired by the City of Portland in May 2011, holds great potential for off-road bicycling; but given the politics around trail access issues, it remains to be seen to what extent bikes will be allowed.

While off-road cycling advocates have already invested many volunteer hours helping PP&R clean up the River View site, and locals have ridden bikes on its trails for many years (when it was privately owned), the agency itself is making no promises about the future extent of bike access. It is clear, however, that a new trail system will be developed. (more…)

NW Examiner highlights “illegal cycling” in Forest Park

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
Cover of NW Examiner April issue.

The NW Examiner, a free monthly newspaper with a circulation of 30,000 homes and businesses in various neighborhoods of northwest Portland, has made mountain biking in Forest Park it’s cover story for the second time in three months. In the April edition (PDF only), editor and publisher Allan Classen has penned an article titled, Illegal cycling muddies drive for greater use of Forest Park.

Classen’s article comes just a week after author and Forest Park activist Marcy Houle emailed Mayor Charlie Hales, city commissioners, and Parks bureau staff photos of bicycle tracks through the mud of what she claimed to be Wildwood Trail (which is off-limits to bikes). Houle is featured throughout Classen’s article, which reads more like an editorial against mountain biking than a news story. (Note that Classen wrote an editorial in June 2010 where he likened people who ride in Forest Park with “bicycle zealots” with “evangelistic fervor” who “love to ride bikes down steep mountain trails at high speed on Sunday mornings.”) (more…)

A report from the Mudslinger mountain bike race

Monday, April 8th, 2013
Mielle Blomberg smiling through the muck.
(Photo: Shane Young/Oregon Velo)

Mielle Blomberg, blogger and team member of Les Femmes de S+M, and sent in this race report from yesterday’s Mudslinger cross-country mountain bike race. — Judd Eustice

As race promoter Mike Ripley blew the starting whistle for the rain-soaked racers, we sounded like a flock of angry geese in the middle of the gravel road as our disc brakes sounded off in unison. 325 of my closest mountain bike racing friends took part in yesterday’s wet adventure, also known as the the Mudslinger, held in Blodgett, Oregon for its 25th year.

Ripley reported that of the 325 total racers, 50 were beginners and, in a sign of the mountain biking’s general health in Oregon, 25% of the entire turnout where first-time riders or juniors. (more…)

Regional mountain biking news roundup

Thursday, April 4th, 2013
Riding and working at Riverview property-1
Portland Parks is moving forward with trail planning
at River View Natural Area.

It’s a great sign of progress when there’s enough mountain biking news for a roundup. In Portland and in hills in almost every direction there are plans afoot to improve and expand off-road riding opportunities.

We are very fortunate around here to have some excellent and hard-working mountain bike advocacy groups. Those groups and their volunteers have been busy building trails and relationships with land managers that make it possible for all of us to have a great ride.

Below are a few updates on what they’ve been working on…
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