Portland bikepacker finds and saves man stranded in remote Oregon Outback

An ambulance kicks up dust en route to help a man who was stranded in the remote Oregon Outback. A Portlander who happened to be biking by erected his tent to give him shade.
(Photo: Tomas Quinones)

Portlander Tomas Quinones loves to find adventure on his bike. While out on a bikepacking trip in a remote section of southern Oregon last week, he found a lot more than he ever bargained for.

Read more

When moms escape: Tackling the unpaved Trask River Road route to the coast

Team Sundress ready to hit Trask River Road (after an hour-long ride on the MAX).
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

“It was by far the hardest thing either of us have ever done, but we’d both do it again…though only after some rest and time to forget some of the details.”

While the kids are away the moms will play.

For me that means riding my bike much farther while carrying a bit less stuff than when I have the kiddos in tow. And ideally with a mom friend at my side. My friend Elle of Tiny Helmets Big Bikes came up from Sacramento, tasking me to find us a multi-day bike trip. I decided we’d take Trask River Road to Tillamook on the Oregon Coast.

Here’s the scoop on the route via Oregon Bikepacking:

While not technically easy, this the most straightforward, easiest dirt route to the coast from Portland. Starting from the end of the MAX line in Hillsboro, we route you through the least pavement possible to Mount Richmond and then on gravel up to the Barney Reservoir and along the North Fork of the Trask River directly into Tillamook.

Read more

New Belgium Brewing now offers a 3-day, $300 “Oregon Ramble” ride

The promotion of bikepacking in Oregon just went up another notch.

Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing Company — the eighth largest brewery in America — now offers a $300, three-day ride through rural, unpaved backroads of eastern Oregon. The Oregon Ramble (June 8-11) is one of three “Ramble Rides” the company offers (along with title sponsor Blackburn, a maker of racks, bags and other accessories).

Here’s the teaser from New Belgium’s website:

“Kick Off The Ramble Ride Trio With A Three-day Cruise Through Central Oregon. A fun and challenging fully-supported bikepacking adventure through Central Oregon’s scenic Ochoco mountains and the Painted Hills.

With snow in the higher elevations, we’re choosing a stunning route through Central Oregon. Following the Central Oregon Backcountry Explorer route pioneered by Sarah Swallow. We’ll be starting in Prineville, OR and looping over three days through 150 miles of the Ochoco Mountains and the John Day River Basin.”

Read more

6 questions for the man behind Oregon’s bikepacking revolution

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Donnie Kolb’s new site, OregonBikepacking.com
is sooo good.

People have been sleeping in the woods with their bikes for over a century. It’s nothing new. But in just the past year or so, doing off-road overnighters — a.k.a. “bikepacking” — with a few frame bags attached to a mountain-bike (or a beefy road bike) has skyrocketed in popularity. Especially here in Oregon.

There are a number of things to explain this phenomenon; but one inarguable catalyst has been VeloDirt.com. Now Donnie Kolb, the man behind the site the has done so much to help popularize gravel riding and camping-by-bike, has launched OregonBikepacking.com.

Kolb launched VeloDirt in 2010 with his friends Suzanne Marcoe and Aaron Schmidt. It began humbly as a blog to catalog rides on “those lonely dirt roads you pass on your regular road rides.” That same year, Kolb organized an unsanctioned, 123 mile race on one of his signature backroad routes called the Oregon Stampede. It was a huge success, so Kolb added a few more events the next year and he hasn’t looked back since.

Read more

What I learned at the Bikepacking 101 seminar

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Bikepacking 101 event at Chris King HQ-3

A big crowd absorbed knowledge from
a trio of experienced bike adventurers.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A much larger than expected turnout at last night’s Bikepacking 101 Seminar confirmed that interest in backroads and adventure bicycling is at an all-time high. Either that, or people just jumped at the chance for some great free beer, catch up with friends (and make new ones) and a peek inside the headquarters of Chris King Precision Components.

In all seriousness, the 200+ people that packed the King Cafe was yet another reminder that we’ve hit a tipping point in this type of riding. From “gravel grinding” on beefed up road bikes to multi-day trips on fully decked-out fat-bikes, it seems like everyone is getting excited for two-wheeled adventures these days.

How big was the crowd? It took me a few shots with a wide angle to get it all…

Read more