What. A. Summer!
With high temps and plenty of sun, this has been an extremely rewarding summer to be outside adventuring by bike.
But, quickly, before summer is over (I’m pretty sure we have a good few weeks left, despite what the calendar says), what Oregon summertime must-do bike fun is still on your list?
We asked, this is what you said:
Learn how to wheelie…..before it’s too late!
Bike picnic on the bluff in #PDX, Willamette Blvd. S of Going.
Ride to and around Mt. Hood!
I’d like to ride a bike into at least ONE river!
Dutch canyon is on my list! Anyone? Anyone?
Ride around Waldo lake…
Larch Mtn. then fried chicken at the Corbett Market
Blackrock, Raven’s Ridge, Crawfish…
I would love to do Waldo!!! And Dutch Canyon is a great fall trip. However, I might be riding to San Diego from Portland soon!?!?
Bike! Drink! Bike!
Timponagas, Cowhorn to Sawtooth and down the Middle fork Willamette river trail! 50 miles of Awesome!!!
Ride around Crater Lake. I hear it’s a “no cars” weekend coming up.
Yeah– ride the rim road at Crater Lake on Saturday September 27…cause it’s my birthday.
We are going to McKenzie River sometime soon…
How about you?
How are you spending the remaining sunny days of biking bliss before months of rain set in? Let us know in the comments below.
This year’s Cycle Oregon, the Magnificent Seven, afforded riders from around the world striking views of seven mountain peaks while traversing challenging-but-rewarding courses over seven days of riding the Oregon countryside.
The ride began in The Dalles.
Day 1 – Glenwood, Washington
Day 2 – Dufur
Day 3 – Tygh Valley
Day 4 – Madras
Day 5 – Madras rest day with an optional loop ride to Smith Rock
Day 6 – Tygh Valley
Day 7 – Finish line in The Dalles
Each day’s ride had a different tenor and hue, be it the intensity of sustained climbs, broad high top views, the aurora borealis glowing in the Madras night sky or forested gravel adventures.
Nightly entertainment gave riders a chance to relax and unwind as they prepped to do it all over again the next day.
Riders ventured into Washington, then back to Oregon. They braved strong wind storms in Madras that left many wind burned and exhausted from pedaling down descents along some 20 miles of headwind and a windy camp that offered no relief from intense gusts. They rode days with 6,700 feet of elevation gain followed by 6,200 feet of elevation gain. They conquered a 14% grade climb that challenged even the strongest of riders. And all of it was totally worth it.
What did you think?
Did you ride this year’s Cycle Oregon? What did you think? Share your ride experience in the comments below.
So, you’ve signed up for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s Bike Commute Challenge – now what?
If you’re not already a daily bike commuter, the pressure is on to help your team come out on top. But even though the weather has been fantastic this summer, it’s not always easy to get on your bike every morning. Busy schedules and a general reliance on the car can easily steer you in the wrong direction.
We’re here to help.
1. Just Say Yes
You were going to bike in, but you woke up late. You forgot you need to go to the grocery after work….
Just say yes to biking. Alter something else. Can you be five minutes late? Can you skip your coffee at home and have it at work or on the bike instead? Make an adjustment today because otherwise you’re going to start coming up with excuses all the time. Don’t start slipping.
2. Tell People You’re Biking In
There’s an accountability in making your plans public. And accountability is something we could all probably use a little more of these days, what with the way so many of us cancel plans on a whim via text. Declare your next day’s ride to your coworkers. Post on Facebook that you plan to ride every day next week. Tell your spouse, riding buddy or a friend. Make it known, and stick with it.
3. Set Out Your Gear
Oh sleepy morning you, getting ready so early is rough. So go easy on the little fella and get your gear ready the night before. Pack your work bag, gather your riding essentials, check the weather and set out your clothing.
4. Find a Riding Buddy
Especially if you’ve got a long ride in, having a buddy can make the ride more pleasant, and help ensure you stick with the riding plan. Ask around on your team – you just might find that someone in your office lives hear by or is on your route to work.
5. Reward Yourself
You were going to bike in, but you woke up late. You forgot you need to go to the grocery after work. But you did it! You said YES and biked in anyway. Now you find yourself at the grocery checking off all the sensible items on your list. Make sure you swing by the pastry case or through the beer aisle and pick up a treat for when you get home. You’ve earned it.
Meet a friend (or make a new one) at the local watering hole that’s on your way home. A quick beer stop is always a nice way to round out the day.
What Are Your Tips and Tricks?
How do you motivate yourself to commute to work? Share your ideas below.
Carrying a jacket or a water bottle on your bike is pretty much a no-brainer. You put the water bottle in the bottle cage, and when you get warm you probably tie the jacket to your waist or stuff it in a jersey pocket.
But what do you do when your cargo moves beyond these basic items?
Fortunately, you have many options: Front basket, rear basket, front rack, rear rack, back pack, handlbar bag, saddle bag, frame bag, front panniers, panniers, back pack, purse (seriously) or messenger bag. And those are just the basics.
Why use a Pannier
Carrying cargo is a matter of personal preference, and there is no one correct solution. It’s a good idea to try a few methods and find what works for you.
For most applications of everyday cycling, a pannier is a practical, comfortable solution to your cargo carrying needs.
- Keeps the weight off your shoulders.
- Keeps your back from getting sweaty.
- Distributes the weight to the rear, which makes it easy to carry heavy loads.
- An easy to remove storage solution you can bring into a store with you.
- Comes in 100% waterproof varieties.
- Most have a mount for a light and reflective points for extra visibility.
- Most panniers are nicely set up to accommodate a grocery bag – makes loading your bounty a snap.
What to Look For When Buying a Pannier
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, a 100% waterproof pannier is a must, or at least one that comes with an extremely durable (though dorky looking) waterproof cover that tucks conveniently inside the bag so you never have to look for it.
Here are other aspects you’ll want to take into consideration:
- How durable is the bag? Delicate, pretty bags will serve you well as a going-out bag, but not a daily commuter or grocery hauler.
- How will you carry the bag when it’s not on a bike? A comfortable handle system or shoulder strap is a good idea. Some bags convert to back packs, a feature we think is the way to go.
- Do you like internal pockets? Some fantastic bags (like Ortlieb’s basic bags) have none, they’re just a big waterproof cave – perfect for those of you who prefer to organize your supplies with a series of smaller sealed bags you add in yourself.
- Do you like the way it attaches to your bike? Does that attachment seem secure? Easy to release? There are several common systems out there, and some of them aren’t for everyone. Maybe a test ride is in order…
Invest in Good Gear
We believe in buying a solid bag that will last you for many years to come. Buying local is a good idea whenever possible, and all of the local bag makers we know offer a well-made product. Plus, if there’s something you don’t like about the bag or need adjusted, local makers are much more likely to be open to your feedback.
It’s 89 degrees and sunny at 4:30pm as I type this message – a sign, if ever there were one, that summer still wants us to party on our bikes.
Fall officially begins on September 22, but we predict there’s plenty of nice weather still to come. Don’t start thinking about skiing just yet, here are a few upcoming rides that have us rather excited.
Ride to Remember | September 20 – Canby
You could dump water on your head to support a cause you care about, or ride your bike in the beautiful Oregon countryside. We choose option b. Ride to Remember, which raises funds for Clackamas Women’s Services, features yummy lunch from Portland’s famous 808 Grinds and gorgeous rolling routes.
[ more info ]
Ninkrossi | September 27 – Washougal
Ninkrossi, with it’s signature N shaped course challenge, is a well-loved race within the Grand Prix Ryan Trebon cyclocross series. Because the course is creative. The site is cool. The beer is Ninkassi….
[ more info ]
Harvest Century | September 28 – Hillsboro
Pumpkins mark the way on this time honored tradition, a ride that closes off the season with gorgeous routes tinted with fall colors and a festive atmosphere. The ride raises support for Community Vision, an organization that helps people with disabilities lead rewarding lives.
[ more info ]
Eugene Disaster Relief Trials | October 11 – Eugene
When disaster strikes, roads are clogged and the power is out, how will we get supplies to those in need? The Disaster Relief Trials, which started in Portland, aim to showcase how bikes can come to the rescue. With a heavy dose of cargo bike action (and a showcase of the steeds) this event is sure to be exciting for watching or competing.
[ more info ]
What’s Left on Your Riding Schedule?
Where are you and your bike headed?
Watch out, rural Oregon, ’cause ORbike is coming your way.
This year’s Cycle Oregon (September 6-13) promises to put all thighs to the test as we crank our way up steep inclines on routes with as much as 6,600 in elevation gain some days. Yikes.
There has been… some… training. Kind of. We’ll see. I call it “relying on my reserves”. You know, those endless miles I’ve clocked as an everyday rider and bike tourer.
Get ready to be inundated with photos and quips along the way, provided we have cell coverage.
Will you be there?
Are you riding Cycle Oregon? How are you feeling about this year’s ride?