Mountain Biking

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...

Activist claims Forest Park trail being "ruined by cyclists"

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
Photo by Marcy Houle sent to Mayor Hales
and other City Council members. It shows bike tires
in the mud on what she says is Wildwood Trail.

As we shared last month, the debate over improving bicycle access in Forest Park seems to be heating up once again.

On March 14th, Marcy Houle, an activist and author of One City's Wilderness: Portland's Forest Park who has been very outspoken in opposition to bicycling in the park, emailed Mayor Charlie Hales and the rest of City Council urging them to do something about people who ride illegally on Wildwood Trail.

Houle's email (sent on March 14th) focused on the Wildwood Trail, which she describes as being, "arguably the most pristine, natural, and heralded city park hiking trail in the United States." Houle shared photos she says show damage to the trail from bicycle tires and she called on the Mayor, City Council members, and Parks Director Mike Abbate to stop the "criminal activity." (more...)

Guest Opinion: The case against the Timberline MTB park

Monday, March 25th, 2013
Amy Harwood

Publisher's note: We've covered the Timberline MTB Park several times since the project became public in April 2010. Last week I was contacted by a member of Bark, a Mt. Hood Forest watchdog group working to stop the project. This guest article was written by Bark Board Member Amy Harwood (she also provided the photo below of Mt. Hood).

This week lovers of Mt. Hood are stuck between a rock and a mountain of issues. On the one hand mountain bike enthusiasts are even closer to getting a world-class bike park on the slopes of one of America’s favorite peaks. On the other, the park is one of the best examples in recent history of how profit can rapidly trump concerns about the future of Mt. Hood’s wildlands.

Bark continues to stay engaged in efforts to stop the expansion, despite the risk of being swept onto an anti-bike blacklist. It’s worth stating why: (more...)

Appeals denied, groups now want injunction to stop Timberline MTB Park - UPDATED

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
Image from Timberline Mountain Bike Park brochure.

When we last shared news about the Timberline Mountain Bike Park in November of 2012, the US Forest Service had approved a permit for the project and things were set to move forward. That permit was issued after an environmental analysis from the USFS lead to a "Finding of no significant impact" from the trails, roads and other development required to build a "world class" lift-assisted mountain bike riding area on Mt. Hood.

But after that permit was issued, two appeals were filed against the project. One came from a individual citizen and the other was a joint appeal from several outdoor and environmental groups including Friends of Mt. Hood, Bark, Mazamas, Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, and Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club.

At the end of last month, the USFS affirmed their original decision and denied both appeals. (more...)

Reader Story: Get a quick-fix of mountain biking in Forest Park

Friday, January 4th, 2013
The magic of Forest Park's northern reach.
(Photos by Hudson Henry)

After I shared a story about a recent ride in Forest Park, I heard from many readers with fun routes of their own. The story and photos come to us from southwest Portland resident Hudson Henry.

Do you desperately need a mountain bike ride, but don’t have the time to get to the coast range or Gorge? Do you close your eyes and picture that knobby tire leading you carefree through the woods? When I feel the stress build up and really need a quick dirt ride, I head out Highway 30 to the northern reaches of Forrest Park. While the legal riding there is technically on firelanes, the northern lanes are often very rugged and trail like.


Bike shop donates $15,000 to help build MTB trails in Portland area

Saturday, December 8th, 2012
Riding and working at Riverview property-3
The donation will help make
more of this possible.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland-based Universal Cycles has donated $15,000 to the Northwest Trail Alliance to help in their ongoing mission to build more mountain bike trails in the Portland metro area.

The donation will go towards the local matching funds required for a a $55,248 grant the NWTA received last fall. That grant, which the NWTA was awarded through the federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) will be used to purchase trail building equipment.

The NWTA is currently involved with trail building projects in many areas including Stub Stewart State Park, Forest Park, Cascade Locks, Sandy Ridge, and others. The RTP grant and this new $15,000 donations from Universal will allow them to buy a "Ditch Witch" machine and other tools to complement the ST240 trail building machine they purchased back in 2010. (more...)

Finding Forest Park

Monday, November 26th, 2012
No joke.

Is it possible to have fun on a mountain bike in Forest Park? Ask five different people and you're likely to get five different answers. In the end, I think it depends on what you consider fun.

On Sunday, I ventured out to discover some new (to me) roads and found that the park — despite having only 1/3 mile of singletrack open to bicycles — still has something to offer knobby-tired visitors.

I first considered exploring Forest Park's northern reach nearly three years ago. Back in February 2010, I joined a park ranger to survey damage of an unauthorized bike trail that had been carved south of where BPA Road intersects with Newton. On Sunday, I returned to that locked gate, which is right off Highway 30 less than a mile north of Linnton. My plan was to stay on BPA Road and connect up to Skyline Rd about 1,000 feet and 2 and 1/2 miles up. (more...)

US Forest Service approves permit for Timberline MTB Park

Monday, November 26th, 2012

A major new mountain bike park on Mt. Hood is all set to move forward. The United States Forest Service (USFS) has just approved the permit for the Timberline Mountain Bike Park, concluding that the plans are in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and that as proposed would have "no significant impact."

The new mountain bike park was proposed back in 2010 by RLK & Company, the same company behind the Timberline Lodge Ski Area. To create the new park, RLK has already hired the same consulting firm that developed the world famous Whistler Mountain Bike Park in British Columbia.

Advocates hope for reversal of Pacific Crest Trail bike ban - UPDATED

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
Home page of Sharing the PCT.

The 2,663 mile Pacific Crest Trail is a hiking paradise that stretches from Canada to Mexico and winds through Washington, Oregon, and California. Up until 1988, people were allowed to ride bicycles on the trail; but then the U.S. Forest Service decided to ban bikes completely. Now, a new campaign dubbed Sharing the PCT has formed to re-assess that decision and mountain bike advocates in Oregon will likely play a role.

Bike advocates say the 1988 ban was done too abruptly, without public comment or opportunity to appeal. The Oregon-based group, Disciples of Dirt, who fully supports the mission of Sharing the PCT, wrote on their website that the ban was "just fear and misunderstanding, mixed with a lot of well funded ignorance." (more...)

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