Gravel 2019 Special Coverage

Cycle Oregon’s ‘Gravel’ goes east into wide open Wasco County

Avatar by on May 21st, 2019 at 7:24 am

Once home to the Molalla Tribe before white immigrants forced them out, this area east of Dufur is now dotted by large farms and ranches — and perfectly groomed gravel roads. This view is from Roberts Market Road looking northwest toward the Columbia Hills that rise above the Columbia River in Washington.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Dufur City Park was our host.

With its second year in the books, it feels like the Gravel event has found a home with Cycle Oregon. After three decades of their signature, 7-day “Classic” event, the nonprofit has found a sweet spot around one of cycling biggest trends: riding unpaved backroads, a.k.a. gravel grinding.

The tiny eastern Oregon town of Dufur (est. 1893, pop. 604) was home base for two full days of riding. The routes traversed land where the Molalla Tribe lived for generations before being banished to a reservation by the U.S. government in 1851. Today the land around Dufur is wide open country dotted by farms that raise livestock, wheat, and other crops.
[Read more…]

Photo gallery and recap: Oakridge and Westfir host ‘Sasquatch Duro’ gravel event

Avatar by on May 20th, 2019 at 11:19 am

Click for captions. (Photos: Harry Apelbaum/Apelbaum Studios)
[Read more…]

Photo gallery and recap of the Oregon Coast Gravel Epic

Avatar by on May 9th, 2019 at 6:06 pm

Riders concentrate one one of several roaring descents at the Coast Gravel Epic last Saturday.
(Photos: Harry Apelbaum/Apelbaum Studios)

Before we jump off into another weekend of great riding, how about some inspiration from the last one?
[Read more…]

‘Gravel Epic’ on Oregon Coast kicks off Triple Crown series this weekend

Avatar by on April 30th, 2019 at 11:06 am

(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon’s gravel riding season is in full swing and this weekend it gets even better with the seventh annual Oregon Coast Gravel Epic, the kickoff event of the Oregon Triple Crown Series.

If you’re on the fence about this one, I have three things to say: 1) See my recap and photos from last year; 2) Come out and pedal a few coastal forest miles with me; and 3) I can help a few lucky readers with a free registration!

The routes and support are top-notch. Mudslinger Events is one of Oregon’s oldest and most respected event promoters and you can rest-assured they’ve covered everything so all you have to do is ride your heart out. They’ve mapped out two adventures: “Abomination” is 61 miles with 6,780 feet of climbing and “Son of Abomination” is 38 miles with 3,900 feet of climbing.

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Oregon roads. Oregon bike.

The forecast for Waldport is sunny and mid-60s. Come out and make it a weekend by exploring nearby Yachats before/after the Gravel Epic.

You can register online until this Friday (May 3rd). If you want a free entry, just email me (jonathan@bikeportland.org) a few sentences about why you deserve the prize. I’ll let you know if you won right away.

I can’t wait to get out there! If you head out, look for the special Oregon Triple Crown-edition Co-Motion Klatch. You’ll find me and this awesome bike at Yachats Brewing from 4:00 to 6:30 pm when you pick up your ride packet.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Meet Portland’s adventure riding ‘route master’ Ryan Francesconi

Avatar by on April 16th, 2019 at 1:41 pm

Ryan Francesconi at the 2018 Hell of the North Plains ride.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

What makes a great cycling city?

We often think of bike-friendly policies and politicians, or bikeway miles and ridership statistics. But if you ask me, the most important part of what makes a place great for cycling is the people who live in it. Here in Portland, we’re lucky so many smart, dedicated, selfless, and inspiring bicycle lovers call this place home. Why? Because most of them share their passions with the rest of us.

Ryan Francesconi is one of the people I’m grateful for. He’s one of the leaders behind the local gravel riding revolution. He’s the chief moderator of the “Unpaved” Google Group and he (along with his friend Ron Lewis) is one of the main leaders and organizers behind the legendary Our Mother the Mountain (OMTM) rides. Beyond that, he’s always quick to share his vast knowledge of routes and riding tips with everyone who asks (we shared his winter riding tips in 2017). [Read more…]

Unpaved road fans raise red flag over Clackamas County forest project

Avatar by on April 11th, 2019 at 7:13 am

Roads and trees like these could be forever altered.
(Photo: Ron Lewis/Our Mother the Mountain)

The US Forest Service is eyeing 4,000 acres of land near the Clackamas River for a major project and local unpaved road enthusiasts are concerned about how it will impact riding conditions and the environment.
[Read more…]

Oregon’s gravel riding season starts this weekend

Avatar by on April 4th, 2019 at 1:18 pm

The Dalles will host the inaugural event of the 2019 season with the Gorge Gravel Grinder on Sunday.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

2019 is going to be a big year for gravel. And it starts in The Dalles this weekend.
[Read more…]

Pedaling through timber reserves and history in Columbia County

Avatar by on March 25th, 2019 at 3:41 pm

A second-growth timber reserve on Camp 9 Road in Columbia County.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where we ride. Whether I’m in on the streets of inner northeast Portland, or way out in the middle of the woods, I want to go below the surface and beyond the pretty views. I want to know about the people who lived on the land long before we pedaled through. I want to know what they did, what they cared about, and why they’re no longer there.

When it comes to unpaved roads in the hills above Scappoose — from camps and mills established in the 19th century, to the active harvesting we see today — much of that history revolves around logging. On Saturday I witnessed some of it first-hand when I joined a group of fellow unpaved road lovers at a gathering hosted by the Coastal Mountain Sport Haus in Vernonia. [Read more…]

Check our Gravel Riding Guide and get excited for the season

Avatar by on March 21st, 2019 at 1:31 pm

Scene from the Hell of the North Plains ride in January 2018.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

This special coverage sponsored by Oregon Triple Crown, Co-Motion Cycles, Rolf Prima Wheels, and Ride With GPS.

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.
[Read more…]