Cycle Oregon’s GRAVEL

Gravel
May 17-19
Dufur, Oregon

EVENT INFO >

The Right Kind of Grind

Hold onto your handlebars because Cycle Oregon‘s ride GRAVEL is back! The ride kicked off last year in the Tillamook State Forest to rave reviews.

To mix things up, this year the ride is heading to the stunning expanses of high, lonesome prairie, and forested foothills surrounding Dufur, Oregon for an unforgettable trip down some of Oregon’s most scenic backroads. For one golden weekend in mid-May, you have the opportunity to cruise a combination of gravel and paved roads, with wide-open views of Mt. Hood and Adams appearing around nearly every corner.

Cycle Oregon Style: Fully Supported Awesomeness

When you sign up for an event with Cycle Oregon, they take care of all the pesky details so you can focus on one thing: Mega fun on your bike. As it should be.

This event includes camping, music, food and plenty of fun. Cycle Oregon always caters tasty meals – even magically out in the middle of blissful “nowhere”. They know just how to treat riders right and ensure you have an excellent event experience.

About the Routes

New to gravel? No problem! Each day features multiple options, each one a mix of gravel and pavement.

Day 1

Long: 65.3 miles — 5064 ft of climbing 47% gravel/53% pavement

Short: 31.8 miles — 2140 ft of climbing 67% gravel/33% pavement

Day 2

Long: 63 miles — 5216 ft of climbing 53% gravel/47% pavement

Short: 33.2 miles — 3118 ft of climbing 61% gravel/39% pavement

EXPLORE THE ROUTES >

 

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Why is Gravel Riding so Popular?

Photo: Cycle Oregon’s GRAVEL, May 17-19

Have you noticed that everyone seems to be talking about riding on gravel these days? It used to be that people gushed about smooth pavement, skinny tires and were hypnotized by the subtle whir of tires on pavement.

But these days, everyone’s talking gravel. Just why is that?

Why Gravel Riding is So Popular

Cars. Let’s be honest: it’s because of cars.

The more we ride, the more we crave riding. And the less patience we have for anything that gets in the way of our enjoyment of the ride. Cars and traffic (not to mention close calls or worse) completely detract from our ability to enjoy the landscape and cruise easily along our route. Most gravel roads have very little traffic, and cars travel slower on gravel. Riding away from the cars has become increasingly enticing.

Gravel Roads Tucked in the Landscape

Gravel roads are often tucked in remote areas, closer to nature, away from the bustle of city life and the grime of urban areas. This makes for much more pleasant riding and often gorgeous views. You’ll see more wildlife and notice the birds.

Fun Factor: High!

There is a playful vibe about gravel riding. You might float around a little (That’s okay! Don’t fight it!) You might have to slog through some soupy spots. You may even have to walk through a section or two. When you’re on gravel, it’s no biggie.

You can plan ahead all you like, but gravel often pulls a switcheroo on you just when you least expect it. Riding gravel is more playful; it’s hard to be too serious on gravel.

Bikes Made for Gravel Riding

With changes in bike tech, riding gravel has become easier than simply heading out on skinny tires and fishtailing your way through the grind. Wider tires mean more stability and a tubeless set up (optional but recommended) means fewer pinch flats. Add to that some gear adjustments like eliminating the front deraileur for less flying gravel interference and complications, and you have a recipe for ease on the crunchy road.

The Future of the Bike Industry

Outside Magazine said “The gravel book could save biking’s soul” and many others are inclined to agree. We’re not going to get into the nitty gritty of the implications of new bike tech for gravel (bo-ring! let’s ride!), but we are rather excited to see this incredible surge of freshness and energy pulsing through seemingly every corner of the bike world these days.

We like gravel. A whole lot.

Check Out Cycle Oregon’s GRAVEL

Are you gravel curious? Already in love? Check out Cycle Oregon’s event Gravel on May 17-19 in Dufur, Oregon. This fully supported event is the right kind of grind.

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Explore Oregon with Bicycle Rides Northwest

BRNW Oregon 2019
June 22-29
North-Central Oregon

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About the Bicycle Rides Northwest

BRNW (Bicycle Rides Northwest) is one of Oregon’s best-kept secrets. The 32-year-old nonprofit’s week-long, fully supported, 300-rider tours typically sell out, with a loyal following of riders who relish the small size, all-inclusive pricing (free beer, wine and snacks!) and focus on the rider experience.

The organizers tell us that a whopping 100% of riders reported they got a good value on BRNW Oregon 2018 – we think that’s rather impressive. If you are looking for a ride that will treat you right for the week, this outfit is a wise selection.

An Oregon Exploration

Fortunately, BRNW Oregon 2019 still has some spots open. The intriguing route traverses the underrated riding paradise of north-central Oregon: geologic wonders, deep-carved canyons and meandering backroads, with overnight stops including Maupin, Fossil and Heppner.

When the blue skies open up for the season, the soft warm air flutters around bare arms, the days get longer and the riding is sweeter. Spend this summer on a multi-day ride with top notch support with Bicycle Rides Northwest.

Watch the Video

The Region’s Best Bike Ride

Tour de Fronds
June 15
Powers,Oregon

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About Tour de Fronds

Though it has been named the Best Bike Ride in the region many times over, you may be surprised by how small, report, quaint and volunteer-run Tour de Fronds is. Proof that small towns are mighty, and big isn’t always better.

An Insider’s Perspective

By John B.

Looking to this year’s 22nd Tour de Fronds, I wondered if anything could be added to the long list of positives about this event.  Well, I found one – it’s a sorry thing, but true that cycling events in Southern Oregon after mid-summer are going to be smoky, unless there’s a big change in what’s been happening in our forests the last several summers.

Good news!  The Tour is June 15 in smoke-free Powers.

Register on the Tour’s website to get one of the remaining spots in the field limited to 300.

Each year the Tour improves on its perfection. Getting voted the #1 ride for by readers of ORbike.com reflects the excellent work of the volunteers who make this ride such a perfect combination of natural beauty and a community working hard together and enjoying it.

Friday night is a spaghetti feed at the county park with live local music, Saturday is the ride and a fabulous dinner following the ride (think berry cobbler…), then a pancake breakfast on Sunday. The drive home, quite frankly, is kind of a downer.

There are six rides to choose from, the shortest being the 30-mile out and back over mild rollers along the Coquille River to Daphne Grove. Or, you can continue past Daphne Grove to Eden Valley, which is just as beautiful and quiet as the name implies, for a 63-mile round trip. Or, keep going past the Eden Valley rest stop to Arrastra Saddle for a 77-mile ride that climbs to a rest stop on top of a ridge before you turn back for home.

For the young, the strong or the delusional, go over Arrastra Saddle and complete the 117-mile Cruiser Loop. Last year this ride was known as the Mahaffy Century named for the 75+ year old local legend who you might pass on this route, but you might not.  He rides like it’s milking time for the cowherd he tends.

If you’re not in Mahaffy’s league, do what I do – ride the Rogue River-Singing Springs option.  It’s 71 miles and 5,500 feet of climbing. Up over Agness Pass, then six miles down a bumpy gravel road until you get to the smoothest pavement I’ve ridden on. This route follows the Rogue. You can stop at Foster Bar and put your feet (or all of you) in the Rogue, dry off and ride that smooth pavement down to Singing Springs Resort for lunch on the patio looking over the river as mail boats and rafters go by.

After lunch, hop on and ride up the gradual 11-mile climb to Agness Pass.  Stop at the cold-water spring that’s about 2/3 of the way up, as if a Hollywood director said ‘wouldn’t this be a good spot to have a cold-water spring coming out of the bank next to the road.’  When you get back to the top of Agness Pass, you can just about coast back to Powers.

If you like a cycling event where there is only occasional car or pickup traffic, the Tour de Fronds might not be for you – there isn’t even enough traffic to call it “occasional.”  And it’s an event that is just about guaranteed to be smoke free.

Tour de Fronds is well worth a lot of effort to get there and when you leave you’ll start thinking about next year.

MORE EVENT INFO >

Photo Gallery

Inspiring Bike Movies at Filmed by Bike

Watch the Trailer

About This Year’s Filmed by Bike

74 Films

72 Filmmakers

12 Awesome Events

6 Film Programs

3 Days

1 Inspiring Festival

PRO TIP: for the best festival experience, buy a Festival Pass. You’ll save $40 and it makes getting into the theater much easier.

The World’s Best Bike Movies

The 17th Annual Filmed by Bike features the world’s best bike movies. This year’s festival is their most ambitious collection of films to date. They are bringing to the stage and screen the voices of people who are often left out of positions of prominence and celebration within the bicycle arena – that means tons of exciting films.

This is a powerful collection of hard-to-find films from all over the world, with a little of something for everyone.

BUY A FESTIVAL PASS >

Enter to Win Tickets!

The brand new Gorge Pedal Experience is July 20. One lucky winner will get a free pass to the ride.

  1. Enter to win (one entry per person)
  2. Cross your fingers
  3. Tell all your friends to enter
  4. Enjoy the ride!

BEST OF LUCK!

Blooming Fields of Flowers

Petal Pedal
June 22
Silverton

EVENT DETAILS >

About Petal Pedal

The rain is here to nourish the land and all around there are plants in bloom.

But you’ve never truly seen flower power until you’ve ridden through the Silverton area in June with entire fields are bursting with flowers. What a perfect place to ride a bike, and Petal Pedal on June 22 is the best way to traverse the Willamette Valley’s roads less traveled.

Those Legs Love You, or Love You Not…

Like a flower, the ride features interlocking petal loops that give you the choice of how far you ride without having to make that decision in advance. Cruise through the gorgeous landscape, and let your legs tell you where to go. Feeling strong? Keep riding. Itching for a beer? Head off to the finish line.

About the Petal Pedal Route Options

30-miles
A lovely flat ride past farms, fields and flowers that passes through the covered Gallon House Bridge.

50-miles
Extend the 30-mile route with some rolling hills and river crossings.

70-miles
Explore the broadest section of the valley WITHOUT the climb to Silver Falls.

100-miles

The whole shabang. Starts with a climb to Silver Falls. Enjoy panoramic views, then an extended high-speed descent before rejoining the 70-milers.

Generous Support

With onsite lodging, an awesome dinner, free Hopworks beer, extremely gorgeous courses, free bike checks, breakfast, lunch and snacks all included, Petal Pedal makes for a perfectly relaxing ride. Plan to spend the weekend riding the region and exploring the quaint town of Silverton, widely regarded as the friendliest town in Oregon.

Pro Tips

1) Register in advance to save big.
2) Bring three friends and you’ll ride free.
3) Stay overnight. The Oregon Garden has lovely accommodations.

Ride Basics

Saturday, June 22

30, 50, 70, 100 miles with plenty of combos along the way

Breakfast, lunch, snacks and a gourmet dinner.

MORE INFO >>

 

Photo Gallery

Escape the Memorial Day Weekend Crowds

Survival Century
May 25+26
Tulelake/Klamath Falls Area

About the Event

Survival Century is a remote bike ride tucked into the landscape around Klamath Falls, Oregon. The event features two days of incredible riding with many route distances to choose from, making it the perfect Memorial Day Weekend getaway for all your riding buddies, no matter each person’s ride style.

Event Layout

Day 1 – Road or Mt. Bike
Choose from a variety of road routes – from 8-118 miles – or a killer mt. bike course through the Modoc Forest with varied terrain.

Day 2 – Gravel
This cool ride takes you to the remote Juanita Lake, a swimming hole only popular with the locals. The ride is only 30% gravel, which means new gravel riders will delight in a day of (relative) ease. There is a little bit of climbing, and tons of incredible views far away from cars.

Day 3 – Explore on Your Own
Bring your boat, kayak, tent, hiking shoes, camera… all the fun outdoor playthings! There is so much to see and do in this region. You can stay on site at the fairgrounds, or move on to another cool destination for the evening.

An Outdoor Playground is Waiting

This region is on the way to and from so many incredible outdoor gems like Crater Lake, Bend, Oakridge, Mt. Shasta, Ashland and more! Plus, once you’ve made it this far, you may as well take the opportunity to explore far-out oasis that you likely wouldn’t get out to otherwise, like Summer Lake Hot Springs, one of the most relaxing places on earth.

More Info

Ride Details

Routes

Register

 

Photo Gallery

VR Cycling Through History: A Feasible & Fascinating Idea

Virtual reality cycling is starting to catch on. While we wouldn’t quite call it mainstream yet, several early demos have made headlines online at sites devoted to VR news. Most recently, we learned that a VR cycling experience was on the way from one of the biggest names in home fitness. This speaks to what appears to be the main use of combining VR and cycling, which is, precisely, fitness. However, even if this is the purpose that drives innovation and generates popularity, VR cycling will also have more leisurely and entertaining applications.

There will always be an exercise component of course, but just as some applications might help people to race or go through specific training programs augmented by VR, others will simply provide people with immersive, interesting environments that they want to pedal through. And the interesting idea we’re touching on here is that those environments don’t necessarily have to be real. The beauty of VR is that it can essentially render any environment, which means we have just as much of a chance to wind up cycling through fictional or historical places as real routes and roads.

Taking this exciting idea into account, these are some of the places we can only imagine falling in love with via VR cycling programs….

The Great Wall of China

It’s a fanciful idea to cycle along the Great Wall even now, in person, though this is easier said than done. Even if you were able to set such a trip up, the Wall is not uniformly smooth and simple; several portions of it are actually quite treacherous, to say nothing of the occasional crowds along the top and other obstacles. In VR, however, and transported back in time, this could be a breathtaking cycling fantasy of sorts. Imagine instead of the modern tourist attraction, the Great Wall in all its former glory, at the height of its functional existence. The surroundings on all sides would be lush and inviting, the walkways would be populated not by tourists, but by silent sentinels (perhaps they’d wave or nod as you passed by), and you might glimpse a camp of marauding would-be invaders off in the distance now and then. On top of it all, the twists, turns, and ups and downs of the wall could make for a good simulated workout if a cycling machine could provide resistance accordingly.

The “New World”

We tend to think of the “New World” – the Americas in the Age of Exploration – as being full of untamed vegetation and wild lands. But where civilization was, it’s not as if there weren’t roads and paths. There’s actually some precedent for exploring areas like these in VR, albeit with a decidedly fictional tinge. “Gonzo’s Quest” is best known as a free game on the internet, enhancing a slot arcade with a rich theme of exploration in ancient Peru. The same game now exists in VR, and works such that as you play, you follow Gonzo deeper into ancient civilization and toward treasures and structures. The surroundings are what make the game unique though, and indicate that there’s interest in this general concept. A VR cycling app with a similar idea but a more realistic approach – such that you could cycle through jungles and ancient cities, and past members of the Incan, Aztec, or Mayan civilizations – could be an incredibly fun experience.

The Amber Road

The Great Wall is a fairly obvious choice for this discussion, and “New World” civilizations suggests vast areas to explore, with perhaps multiple roads and routes built into a single large program. But there are also specific roads from history that would make for fascinating VR cycling experiences, and while it’s difficult to choose from among them, the Amber Road might be one of the most interesting. Linking Russia with Italy, this was essentially a trade route by which amber was mined and traded between the Baltic region and the ancient civilizations near the Adriatic Sea. As with the two examples above, this would be made interesting not just by the route itself, but by the surroundings. You could essentially be cycling among the people from many centuries past, at least as we might imagine them, and get something approximating a realistic feel for what it might have been like to traverse such a route (but for the fact that you’ll have the benefit of a bicycle!).

The Silk Road

Dubbed the most famous trade route in the world in a fairly thorough write-up of ancient trade roads (and likely in a fair share of history textbooks as well), the Silk Road would be a different sort of option simply because it would have to be incredibly long. This would present a lot of challenges for a VR development team – perhaps like an “open world” video game in VR form – but done well, it could be endlessly fascinating. Essentially connecting China with the Roman Empire, the Silk Road stretched thousands of miles, meaning this experience could work with constant, saved progress. That is to say, you could start at one end or the other and cycle along such that every time you get back on your bike you begin where you last left off – ultimately seeing all sorts of beautiful lands, as well as people spanning much of the ancient world.

We could go on, but you get the idea, and in a way it’s fun to think up your own ideas and examples. Right now, it’s all fairly hypothetical – but it’s possible, and VR is only going to see more creativity moving forward. This is a general development we’d be all for.

EvergreenHealth 7 Hills of Kirkland

May 27 – Kirkland, WA

What does your summer riding season have in store for you?

Set the tone for a powerful season of strong riding with the EvergreenHealth 7 Hills of Kirkland – a hill climb challenge on gorgeous routes. Your legs will thank you all season long. There are several routes to choose from, each one of them guaranteed to make you feel victorious at the end.

This Memorial Day weekend, the cyclists will outnumber the cars on these hushed roads. Travel at your own pace through urban, suburban and rural roads. It’s a holiday weekend crafted for doing something special on your bike.

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