Gravel grinding, rambling, mixed-terrain riding, off-roading, adventure riding — no matter what you call it, exploring unpaved backroads is one of the most popular things to do on a bike these days. What’s not to like? Pedaling on logging, fire, and farm roads gives you the accessibility of road riding and the adventure of mountain biking all rolled into one.
While the gravel trend is strong nationwide, our regional and statewide abundance of quiet backroads has made it a fast-growing part of our cycling scene.
And this year it’s poised to explode: Promoters are launching exciting new events, the industry is offering new gravel-specific bikes and products and local riding clubs are making it easy to find new roads and new friends.
Thanks to a partnership with the Oregon Triple Crown series, Co-Motion Cycles, Rolf Prima Wheels, and Ride With GPS, BikePortland will bring you more gravel coverage than ever this year. I’ll be traveling far and wide to pedal some of the best dirt roads in the state and will keep you plugged into the gravel scene. I’ll also share guest posts from other gravel riding fans, profiles of gravel bike builders, and more.
If you’re a veteran of this site, you’ll know we’ve been fans of unpaved road riding for a long time. For us (and many others), it started with Otto Miller Road back in 2012. In 2013 I rode the “Bullshit 100” ride and was hooked forever.
In hopes of getting you hooked — and/or helping you plan your season — below is a list of major gravel rides happening in Oregon this year (you can also check the Gravel category on the BikePortland calendar for the latest listings):
– Gorge Gravel Grinder – 4/7 (Breakaway Promotions)
– Yamhill Gravel Fondo – 4/20 (Zone 5 Promotions)
– Cascade Gravel Grinder Day 1 – 4/26 (Breakaway Promotions)
– Cascade Gravel Grinder Day 2 – 4/27 (Breakaway Promotions)
– Cascade Gravel Grinder Day 3 – 4/28 (Breakaway Promotions)
– Oregon Gran Fondo (Sherman Route) – 6/1 (Mudslinger Events)
– Skull 120/60/30 – 6/15 (Harney County Chamber of Commerce)
– Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder – 6/19 (Breakaway Promotions)
– Ochoco Gravel Roubaix – 8/24
That’s a seriously exciting lineup!
If you’re like me, you daydream with maps. Check out the routes of selected events in the Ride With GPS map below:
I can’t wait to share more as the season gets underway. Stay tuned for chances to win a free pass to the Oregon Triple Crown series and for lots more coverage. If you have gravel-related questions or story ideas, let us know!
For now, check out our 2019 Gravel Riding Guide for lots of ride recaps and photos, links to local resources and riding clubs, and more.
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