What’s better than riding the dreamy roads of eastern Oregon with a handful of good friends? How about door-to-door support for you and your entire group on board on air-conditioned shuttle bus that’s stocked with yummy drinks and snacks? Fortunately, as I found this past weekend, that’s no longer just a dream.
The new service is the latest in the impressive bike tourism arsenal of Phil Carlson, owner of Treo Bike Tours. His ranch is situated 16 miles southwest of downtown Heppner, Oregon (pop. 1,200) and about 200 miles east of Portland. My assignment was to be the embedded photographer as Carlson and his crew supported a group of seven friends on a four-day, three-night bicycling vacation full of riding, relaxation, and exploration. (I tried, of course, to only partake in as much of it as was necessary in order to accurately report this story.)
This was the second time I ventured east to explore the farms, valleys, and rivers of ‘Oregon’s dry side’ as a guest of Treo. Last August I went on one of Treo’s first trips. At that time, Carlson was still fine-tuning his offerings but it was obvious that he had something very special to share: a combination of hospitality and access to amazing rides that I haven’t experienced anywhere else in Oregon.
Fast-forward almost a year later and I’m happy to report that Treo is breaking exciting new ground. His purchase of a shuttle bus means he now offers not only pick-up (and drop-off) at your front door in Portland (!), but an unparallelled level of support when you’re out on the road putting in the miles. Treo has redefined the role of the “SAG wagon.”
Over the next four days, I’ll share photos and brief notes from each of our daily adventures…
Day One: Wasco to Condon via Cottonwood Canyon State Park
That first day would set a tone for what the group had in store for the rest of the weekend. Stay tuned tomorrow as I share more photos and notes from the group’s ride into the John Day River valley where they peeked into Oregon’s prehistoric past and traded spandex for swimming trunks.