New event will take riders through the ‘Oregon Outback’

Posted by on November 26th, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Remember the Oregon Outback? Back in June we shared a guest article and photo essay from Portland resident Gabriel Amadeus that chronicled his amazing, 360+ mile bike adventure through the center of Oregon.

Now that epic ride has turned into a (slightly) more formal event put together by adventure cycling promoter Donnie Kolb. Kolb is the man behind VeloDirt, a website he created to share his backroad rides with like-minded adventure seekers. Kolb, an attorney by day, eventually started urging his friends and followers to join him and in the past few years VeloDirt rides have become something of an underground phenomenon. Similar to the De Ronde PDX, Kolb’s rides are unsanctioned and un-permitted, and word about them spreads via social media. Now his Dalles Mtn 60 and Oregon Stampede rides have a large and loyal following.

Expansive view of Fort Rock and our route through the basin.

Adventure and beauty await those who sign up.
(Photo by Gabriel Amadeus)

The Oregon Outback is his most ambitious undertaking. After he and Amadeus rode it this summer, we knew it was only a matter of time before he ironed out the details and invited everyone to join him. Here’s how Kolb introduces the event on his website:

Donnie Kolb-2

Donnie Kolb on one of his
many adventures.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

For years we’ve stayed up late poring over maps trying to find a perfect dirt race route across Oregon. This past summer we had the opportunity to give the most likely route a look-see and it turned out even better than we imagined. We are extremely excited to announce a new self-supported, Tour Divide-style race across Oregon along the all-new Oregon Outback route.

For off-road adventure riders, the announcement of this ride is very big news and it’s already creating a lot of buzz. This is sure to be a memorable event and if all goes according to plan BikePortland will be taking part and bringing back photos and stories from the (dirt) road.

Like all of VeloDirt’s rides, the Oregon Outback is 100% self-supported. That means all participants are on their own to bring food, supplies, water, and take care of mechanical issues. Kolb and his cohorts are providing some logistical help for Oregon Outback participants by blocking out Amtrak reservations to Klamath Falls (where the route starts) and organizing a shuttle from the end of the ride (the Deschutes River State Recreational Area about 20 miles west of The Dalles) back to Portland.

The Oregon Outback is set for May 23rd. Learn more at

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  • metropoliscycles
    metropoliscycles November 26, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Hey Jonathan, I think you mean Oregon Stampede, not Sisters Stampede.

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    Trek 3900 November 26, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Here’s some real outback ridin’ for ya:

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    Jim F. November 27, 2013 at 8:10 am

    I’m in for sure. Can’t wait.

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    Peter R November 27, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Would love to do it… wife’s birthday is that same weekend. As the saying goes “happy wife, happy life”.

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    Joe Partridge November 27, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I’m looking forward to this event. Donnie does a nice job and his rides attract lots of fun folks. This will be one for the ages!

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    Suburban November 27, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    But who will drive ahead and set up my tent? This bike ride sounds hard. I quit now.

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    GlowBoy December 1, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Looks like a great route. But in fairness, it only BARELY skirts the fringes of the real Oregon Outback. I don’t think this route even spends that much of its time in the Great Basin. There are many possible touring routes that get deep into the real Outback and would be far more worthy of the label.

    I’ll have to ride it someday, but I’ll be riding it solo or in a small group of more relaxed cyclists, not with the VeloDirt crowd. I loved DM60 route, but if that ride’s pace was typical for VD (and from everything I’ve heard, it is) I’ll look elsewhere for riding partners.

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      GlowBoy December 1, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      OK, OK, maybe the pace won’t be so bad. After reading the linked page in full, it looks like they’re expecting that people will be riding at a variety of paces.

      Count me among the people that would be arriving at the Cowboy Dinner Tree (115 miles in) on the second day of riding a fully loaded mountain bike. And if it looked like there would be other people riding at a similar pace, it might be a lot of fun after all.

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