gravel riding

Gravel ‘Epic’ lures riders to Oregon Coast Range and delivers on its promises

Avatar by on May 7th, 2018 at 1:53 pm

Lush green forest canopy was a constant companion along East Buck Creek Road.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

The sixth annual Oregon Triple Crown kicked off in Waldport on Saturday in nothing short of ideal conditions for a day in the saddle.
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Love riding gravel? Meet Washington County’s unpaved road “Kahuna” Dan Morgan

Avatar by on March 2nd, 2018 at 1:14 pm

Dan Morgan on Smoke Ranch Road, one of his favorites. After riding roads like these for years, he’s now helping make sure they stay unpaved.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s fitting that I first met Dan Morgan on a gravel road.

The 66 year-old former dairy farmer, IBM retiree and Beaverton resident has been riding unpaved country roads his whole life. Now that the activity has become one of the biggest trends in cycling, he’s become an ambassador of sorts. He’s also working to prevent the county from paving over this newly discovered paradise.
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Finding heaven on the Hell of the North Plains

Avatar by on January 22nd, 2018 at 4:04 pm

And then there was this bright green meadow on our way up to the top of Wildcat Mountain.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Sometimes all it takes to find a good adventure on two wheels is to just look a little harder.

Many of the best roads on Saturday’s Hell of the North Plains ride were in places I’ve ridden or driven near for many years. But somehow, someway, the routefinding raconteurs at Our Mother the Mountain (OMTM) manage to go deeper into (relatively) local backroads than most of us will ever venture on our own.
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The Ride: To the Oregon coast and back via Nestucca River Road

Avatar by on August 30th, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Dirty Sellwood Ride-15.jpg
Nestucca River Road is a fantastic way to get from Portland to the coast.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Riding to the coast from the city is something of a rite of passage for many Portlanders. Getting there via Nestucca River Road is a privilege.

This past Sunday I was lucky enough to try it for the first time as part of the Dirty Sellwood ride. The ride was the fifth annual epic ride collaboration between two great bike shops and their owners: Erik Tonkin of Sellwood Cycle Repair in Portland and Mitchell Buck of Dirty Fingers Bikes in Hood River.
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The Ride: One century to rule them all

Avatar by on August 22nd, 2017 at 11:56 am

There’s more than one way to get to Vernonia – if you don’t mind getting dirty.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post is sponsored by River City Bicycles.

You know I have a soft-spot for Columbia County. A ride I did this weekend made it even softer: A 100-mile loop that pulls together adventurous riding that’s relatively close to Portland and offers everything from expertly crafted singletrack and primitive logging roads to carfree paths and smooth country roads.

I call it the Scappoose Vernonia Singletrack Century.
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The Ride: Exploring the ‘dark’ side of Larch Mountain

Avatar by on May 16th, 2017 at 12:59 pm

The Dark Larch-1.jpg

Few things make me happier than a narrow dirt trail that meanders beyond a “road closed” gate. (Oh, and there was a roaring creek just to the right.)
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Ride is brought to you by River City Bicycles.

Larch Mountain stands 4,061 feet above the Columbia River in east Multnomah County. The 14-mile climb up the paved road that leads to the summit of this extinct volcano is a thing of magic and/or misery for local bicycle riders.

But there’s another side of this majestic mountain. A side that was revealed to many people for the first time via The Dark Larch ride on Saturday.
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New Belgium Brewing now offers a 3-day, $300 “Oregon Ramble” ride

Avatar by on April 26th, 2017 at 4:44 pm

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.”

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The Ride: A return to Timber’s snowy, logjammed backroads

Avatar by on February 27th, 2017 at 12:42 pm

(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The Timber Logjam ride is a symbol of modern adventure cycling culture. Without formal organization or promotion, word of the ride spread through social media. And by Saturday, as welcome sun beat down through frigid air on the Banks trailhead of the Banks-Vernonia State Trail, about 70 people were on their bikes and ready to ride.
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Escape the City: In search of Hobo Joe

Avatar by on October 14th, 2016 at 5:19 pm

In search of Hobo Joe with Dyno Dan.-8.jpg

Just a few miles north of Hillsboro and Highway 26 are miles of unpaved roads waiting to be ridden.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Before we get to know Hobo Joe, I want to share a brief programming note…

When I started mountain biking back in the 1990s one of the things that really drew me into it was the solitude. In just a few minutes of pedaling (I was lucky to live close to mountains), I could get away from busy roads full of smelly and loud cars.
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The Ride: Exploring the Gifford Pinchot National Forest ‘Hinterland’

Avatar by on May 3rd, 2016 at 10:01 am

Into the Hinterland we go.(All photos courtesy Ron Lewis/OMTM.com)

Into the Hinterland we go.
(All photos courtesy Ron Lewis/OMTM.cc)

Welcome to The Ride, our occassional series where we share amazing adventures in Portland and beyond. If you have a ride to share and want to see it featured here, drop me a line.

Just across the Columbia River from Oregon the Gifford Pinchot National Forest beckons bike adventurers. Last year I spent a very memorable day getting to know it better during the Gifford Gravel 50 (which is back for its second running this Saturday).
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