Take a ‘journey through time’ on this 3-day eastern Oregon adventure

Treo Bike Ranch trip Day 1-16

Fly down smooth and nearly empty roads as you cross the John Day River at Cottonwood Canyon State Park.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Note: This post is part of a paid promotional partnership between BikePortland and Treo Bike Tours.

Imagine following in the tracks of Oregon Trail pioneers and ancient dinosaurs from the perfect perch of your bicycle. Now imagine doing it in a weekend with all-inclusive support from one of Oregon’s premier bike tour operators.

Treo Bike Tours has put together a “Journey Through Time” ride that departs from Portland on August 25th and they have a limited number of spaces available.

For $565, you’ll get an all-inclusive ride that includes, lodging, food and snacks, full ride support, and door-to-door shuttle service (via a fully-stocked bus with nice big windows) from Portland to the dream-worthy roads of eastern Oregon. I’m not just promoting this trip because Treo is paying me. I’ve done these rides and can vouch not only for the excellent routes and mind-blowing landscapes they roll through; but also for the world-class hospitality of Treo proprietors Phil and Cathy Carlson. To get a better sense of what to expect, check out the photos and reports I did from a trip on these same routes back in 2014.

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Grab tickets to these guided bike tours for the ultimate total solar eclipse experience

TREO Bike Ranch Day 1-7

Desolate eastern Oregon — the stomping grounds of Treo Bike Tours — will be an ideal place to view the eclipse.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Back in April we shared a post from BikePortland subscriber Tom Howe on how to plan a bike trip to see the total solar eclipse. With the Big Day — August 21st — just eight weeks away, it’s time to get serious if you want to make something happen.

If you’re looking for a bit more support and a guide to help you find your way to a viewing spot by bike, I’ve got some great news: Two trusted bike tour operators have just made tickets available for (nearly) all-inclusive experiences that will get you to a prime location, under your own power, and with all the comforts you could want.

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Day 4 with Treo Bike Tours: A taste of gravel (and more)

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Treo Bike Ranch Day 4 - Hardman to Condon-21

It was finally time to hit the gravel. This is Courtney Martin and Jenn Dederich cresting a climb on Hale Ridge Road with the Blue Mountains in the background.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is our final post in a series on riding in eastern Oregon with the support of Treo Bike Tours. See the other posts here.

The group’s final day of riding in eastern Oregon was filled with mixed emotions. It was the first taste of gravel road riding for some people, it included a fast, curvy descent, and it’s conclusion meant a return to work, routines, and the end of a magical four days.

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Day 2: Riding the John Day River valley

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Treo Bike Ranch trip Day 2 - John Day River Valley-36

This is how riding in the John Day River valley makes some people feel.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is the second in a series of four posts on riding in eastern Oregon with the support of Treo Bike Tours. Our journey began yesterday with a ride from Wasco to Condon highlighted by a stop at Cottonwood Canyon State Park.

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Exploring eastern Oregon by bike (and bus) with Treo Bike Tours

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Treo Bike Ranch trip Day 1-12

The descent into Cottonwood Canyon State Park.
(Photos by Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

What’s better than riding the dreamy roads of eastern Oregon with a handful of good friends? How about door-to-door support for you and your entire group on board on air-conditioned shuttle bus that’s stocked with yummy drinks and snacks? Fortunately, as I found this past weekend, that’s no longer just a dream.

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As bike tourism takes off in Oregon, so do transit options

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For just $30 you can get 7 days of
bus service between Portland and several
destinations along the Oregon Coast.
(Photo: Tillamook Breeze)

As bike tourism matures throughout Oregon, its economic ripple effects are being felt in many interesting ways.

With more people seeking out the growing number of bike adventures being developed by both the public and private sector, transit providers are responding to meet a growing demand for car-free tourism. This demand is growing because for many people, having to drive a car to their riding destination is a major buzzkill, if not a deal-breaker altogether.

Fortunately, we’ve noticed a growing number of developments in bike/transit options that allow people to access destinations they could never (or don’t want to) reach by leg-power alone.

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Latest Travel Oregon vid shows power of bike tourism for rural communities

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Riding the gravel roads of eastern Oregon.
(Still from video – Watch it below)

Remember last August when I had the very good fortune to sample the Treo Bike Ranch in eastern Oregon? I didn’t mention it at the time, but during that trip we were joined for one of the days by a professional film crew that was shooting for Travel Oregon.

It turns out our riding at Treo was just one of several pieces of an impressive new video just released by the statewide tourism agency. Communities Powered by Travel: Bicycle Tourism highlights several bike tourism success stories. It features business owners and community advocates that graduated from Travel Oregon’s Rural Tourism Studio training program which the agency says, “is designed to assist rural communities in sustainable tourism development.”
The three success stories in the video are Treo Bike Tours, the Old West Scenic Bikeway, and First City Cycles (based in Oregon City). Watch it below…

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An unforgettable eastern Oregon en-cow-nter

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My TREO century

Morning sunrise behind me, the dream-like Hail Ridge Road in front of me.
It would be a very good day on the bike.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland unless otherwise noted)

Spending three days riding some of the most exhilarating roads in our state has left me with many fond memories and new excitement about the bike tourism potential of eastern Oregon.

But there’s one thing that happened on my last day that was particularly memorable: a tense encounter with a huge angus cow.

On Tuesday, my last day at TREO Bike Ranch in Hardman, Oregon, I attempted to tackle the “TREO Century.” The route is one of a seemingly infinite number of routes mapped out by TREO owner Phil Carlson and his crew. I set out from the ranch and headed northwest toward the sweet little town of Condon. After about 15 miles of dreamy, carfree, hard-packed gravel on Hardman/Hail Ridge Road, I popped out onto highway 206 with about 14 miles to go until Condon. Right after the intersection of Hail Ridge Road and 206, I finally got to experience the “Condon Curves,” or what former Cycle Oregon Ride Director Jerry Norquist refers to as, “The best downhill in all of Oregon.”

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Eastern Oregon hunting ranch reinvents itself as bicycle tourism destination

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Their logo pays homage
to pheasant-hunting roots.

A 300 acre ranch located near a ghost town about 190 miles east of Portland is the latest sign that bicycle tourism is poised to deliver a jolt to Oregon’s rural economies.

Phil and Kathy Carlson founded Treo Ranches as a bird hunting destination in 1987. Since then they’ve built a strong business, but now they’ve realized there’s another market worth shooting for: city slickers on bikes. A press release about Treo Bike Tours‘ new, all-inclusive group cycling retreat packages states that the ranch, “is reinventing itself as a vacation destination for urban cyclists who want to experience the Old West by bicycle — and maybe even shoot few rounds while they’re at it.”

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