Joe Bike

Oregon now has a ‘VIP’ all-inclusive gravel training camp

Posted by on February 25th, 2020 at 1:15 pm

What’s the latest sign that gravel riding has taken over the cycling world?

How about a new, five-day event organizers describe as, “An immersive VIP gravel training experience” where the price of admission can cost up to $2,100.
The new Bend Unpaved event (May 7-11) is headlined by Bend-based professional cyclist Carl Decker. He’s inviting up to 15 people to join him and his friends Matt Lieto and Barry Wicks for an all-inclusive training camp where they share their vast knowledge and favorite central Oregon rides.

Here’s more from the website:

“Riders will enjoy gourmet catered meals, lively story-telling, and informative fireside chats each evening at Unpaved Basecamp–a stunning private 20 acre ranch. Day and night, campers will learn from these veteran sports personalities, and close personal friends– improving riding techniques and gaining knowledge about gravel topics as diverse as nutrition, gear choice, and race tactics…

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The goal of Bend Unpaved is to help riders gain a foundation of fitness and gravel road riding skill that will serve them as they ride into the bulk of the gravel racing season. Barry, Matt, and Carl have made long careers in the sport by keeping training sustainable, interesting and fun. At Bend Unpaved, we strive to prepare and empower anyone who loves to ride mixed surfaces–to leave Bend riding better, with more confidence and poise than ever.”

Decker racing to victory at Portland’s Bridge City CX in November.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Along with downloads of amazing wisdom from these excellent veteran racers, campers will stay at a 20 acre, 4,100 square foot cabin where you’ll have mountain views from the outdoor spa and enjoy cold ones from the pond-side bar. A queen room is $2,100 for the five days. You can share a room for $1,900 or choose the #Vanlife package and hook-up a van or RV for just $1,600. Prices include all drinks, fully-catered meals, airport shuttle from Bend/Redmond, and free transport to town for fun excursions (if you’ve got any energy left after riding). Daily massages available for an extra fee.

The evolution and growth of gravel riding in Oregon (and beyond) has been remarkable to watch. This is just the latest manifestation of the intense popularity and interest of this “new” discipline. Oregon ride promoters have stepped up their game accordingly and now we’re seeing a new, entrepreneurial opportunity develop.

All that’s missing in Oregon is a massive, marquee gravel event that attracts major national attention on par with Dirty Kanza, Grinduro or the Belgian Waffle Ride. Who knows, perhaps it will be dreamed up and planned at the pond-side bar at Bend Unpaved in May.

Good luck Carl!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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8 Comments
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    todd boulanger February 25, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    2020: Gravel is the new “cobble” or “smooth asphalt”?!

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      Alan Love February 26, 2020 at 9:05 am

      Very small rocks (picture of filthy English peasants)

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    jered l bogli February 25, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    We have the Skull 120!
    Not a true “destination” “race” but is a pretty epic event in an amazing part of the state.
    Skull 120 is on my schedule for this year.

    An epic gravel race in Bend would be the High Cascade 100. That course would work just fine for a gravel epic!

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 25, 2020 at 3:18 pm

      Yeah no disrespect to all the great Oregon gravel races and rides – many of which I’ve done myself. I’m just trying to do a bit of pushing and prodding for us to get a massive one to stick. So far we’ve got great events but nothing has really turned into a massive hit on par with those others in terms of $$$ and draw and national cycling industry attention.

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        Steve Scarich February 26, 2020 at 8:24 am

        I’m agnostic on the event, but why do we need it? Do we really need to create an excuse for people to drive, fly, consume massive amounts of energy resources to ride their bikes? I would rather see promotion of smaller, local events, that you can just ride your bike to the start.

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          Middle of the Road Guy February 27, 2020 at 12:31 pm

          We do a lot of things we don’t need to. Some people do things for fun.

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            Steve Scarich February 28, 2020 at 9:27 am

            We need to examine the greenhouse cost of ‘fun’. My siblings rail on me for driving a Crown Victoria and they drive Prius. Yes, I only get 25 mpg on the highway, but I drive less than 4000 miles a year. They drive 35K a year, and they fly ten’s of thousands of miles a year visiting Europe, India, Argentina, etc. Whose carbon footprint is bigger?

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        BradWagon February 26, 2020 at 1:02 pm

        I’d argue last years Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder race drawing Dirty Kanza male and female winners plus Rebecca Fahringer (who also did Skull 120) as well as other “national” level riders shows it’s that event as of right now. Imagine this year will draw similar high level turn out. The Ochoco Roubaix is also another high level event if not in competitiveness at least in growing to the level of salsa chase the chaise status last year.

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