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.”
If you thought bikecamping was a new fad or that it was just for extreme adventure-seekers, consider this: This weekend I joined several other families on a two-night campout at Stub Stewart State Park. We rode 40 or so miles each way from north Portland to the park’s wonderful little cabins nestled in the woods of bucolic Buxton (about 10 miles south of Vernonia).
What gets me so excited about what we did this weekend isn’t about how “epic” the ride was. In fact it’s the opposite of that. I love how accessible and doable it is for just about everyone. Not only did we have kids as young as six riding their own bikes the entire way, we had adults with us that had never done anything like it.
Portlander Nathan Jones, who some of you might recall as the energy and spirit behind the weekly Thursday Night Ride, is about to tackle a ride of a completely different magnitude: An 18,0 00 journey around the world.
This past summer as bikepacking reached new heights of popularity, it also faced its first major PR crisis.
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.
A team of documentary storytellers is getting on mountain bikes to trace the trail of Oregon’s most famous canine.
Though they don’t want to actually find the wolf, known as OR-7 since 2011, when he became the seventh wild wolf to be electronically tracked on his journeys up and down the West Coast, the goal is to tell “a story not based on old European tales, opinions and hearsay, but the story of an actual wolf.”
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…]