Ride along on the Pioneer Century (photo gallery)

2014 Pioneer Century-46
We saw what pioneers saw.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

This past Saturday was an amazing day. It started bright and early as I woke up from my sleeping bag after a night spent under the trees at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in Canby. I had arrived there late the night before in preparation to photograph the Pioneer Century. By the time I made it back to my own bed — well into Sunday — I had photographed spandex-clad riders on 100 miles of stunning rural Oregon farmlands and thousands of nude (and semi-nude) people riding through the streets of Portland.

If you ask me which event I enjoyed more, I really couldn’t pick. While the naked ride is something near and dear to my heart, so are Oregon’s backroads. And there are very few things in my life that can compare to a nice long day in the saddle on nearly empty roads with perfect skies and breathtaking vistas around every corner.

The Pioneer Century is a fundraiser for the Portland Wheelmen Touring Club and Saturday was the 40th annual edition. The route is, in a word, fantastic. It offers up the best of what makes this state great for cycling: mountain roads dotted by timber stands, verdant hillsides covered in rows of crops, and wide open valleys where vistas are untouched by modern development. In fact, that’s the whole idea of this ride — to experience the Oregon that enticed pioneers to come out here and then provided them the natural resources they needed to survive and flourish.

Check out some of my photos, and consider a spot on your calendar for the 2015 Pioneer Century…


PWTC President Ann Morrow and a volunteer.
Much respect for a bike ride that has a banner about the “Bike Bill” hanging at registration.
Lunch break in St. Paul, home of the famous St. Paul Rodeo.
A neat moment of mutal respect: This farmer commented how hard it must be to carry camera gear and ride my bike; I replied by expressing my admiration for his tractor driving skills.

Hope you enjoyed these photos. And by the way, if you are a ride organizer/promoter, I’d be happy to consider photographing your ride. Get in touch if you’d like to know more about my rates.

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