Bike Craft in Portland
 

Post Ride Sleep Guide

Guest Post by Michael of Blog on Dirt

As a fellow bike rider, I understand the importance of sleeping on a comfortable mattress. If you’re a cyclist, it’s one of the factors that lead to proper growth and development of muscles. Nowadays, many athletes are trying to get their hands on different food supplements for better muscle growth. What they don’t know is that sleeping on a modern mattress can also help too!

I recently came across the best products on Try Mattress review and realized that most of us are not sleeping on the best type of mattress for recovery. For bike riders, you need something that gives your back enough support throughout the night and to promote a sound sleep. We do our best recovery when we’re in a deep sleep and our bodies are fully relaxed.

So, here are my best models for all cyclists.

 

Bear Mattresses

These fantastic models have Celliant technology which increases the flow of oxygenated blood in cyclists. Although it’s commonly found in materials such as sheets and clothing, it still performs the same functions when used in a mattress. I even found that a majority of people consider Celliant technology to be quite beneficial when it comes to recovery of sleep.

Other than just using the latest technologies, these mattresses are also very cozy. Of course, you would expect nothing less from a company with extensive experience in the bed industry.

 

Lull Mattresses

These are highly ranked mattresses that combine both latex and memory foam materials. They offer additional comfort and support and a spring effect because of the latex material. I love them because they allow you to toss and turn effortlessly.

I should also point out that Lull doesn’t have materials specific for athletes like the Bear Mattresses. However, I’ve decided to include it in this list because of its affordable cost and fantastic feel. Also, because of my large muscle mass, I love using the Lull mattresses because they come with some additional comfort!

 

Amerisleep

Here is another excellent mattress with Celliant technology. Currently, I feel that their fantastic memory foam material is the most suitable option for many cyclists. Of course, the main reason here is its comfort. Keep in mind that enough support during the night is a crucial part of a cyclist’s life. Furthermore, it keeps your spine correctly aligned despite your sleeping position. If you get this incredible model, your muscles can finally relax and concentrate on recovery.

 

The PerformaSleep Mattresses

PerformaSleep is an excellent mattress for all cyclists and athletes in general. It uses technology that combines three different layers of foam. Together, they relax muscles and boost recovery. Also, unlike other mattresses on this list, PerformaSleep has a CopperCool gel that not only supports your joints and back but also gives you consistent temperature throughout the night.

From doing further research, I also discovered that it’s perfect for different body types. It doesn’t matter if you’re a cyclist with high muscle mass or fat. Here, the Enersorb and CopperCool layers offer just the right kind of rigidity and comfort needed for deep and uninterrupted sleep every night!

 

 

Just by going through these awesome types of mattresses, you’ve taken the vital step towards sleep recovery. I’ve found that a good number of cyclists have trouble sleeping because the beds that they are using are just not good enough. Luckily, by using any of these products, you’ll have said ‘goodbye’ to those sleepless nights. Which type of mattress do you think suits you best?

 

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Best Supported Bike Rides 2017!

ORbike is the region’s only resource solely dedicated to promoting bike events and helping people find their next bike adventure. Since 2005 we’ve worked with ride organizers all throughout the region to bring more participants to their events.

After a long and rewarding season of getting up at the crack of dawn, following course arrows, exploring new terrain and relaxing with finish line beers, we turn the authority over to our riders – and we let you vote on your favorite supported rides of the season.

575 of you weighed in on 57 regional rides and the results are finally in!

First Place: Strawberry Century

strawberry century

25 years strong! Strawberry Century’s reputation shone through in this year’s contest; they earned a whopping 40% of the votes and came in first place by a landslide.

This ride out of Lebanon, hosted by the Santiam Spokes club, takes riders on a gorgeous ride snaking along the swift Santiam and Calapooia Rivers.

Strawberry Century is June 9, 2018.

Second Place: Swift Summit 200/100

swift summit
Out of the gate strong! Part brevet, part gran fondo, part self-supported endurance road race, Swift Summit debuted in 2017 to rave reviews. The two courses, 100 and 200 miles, offer scenic views of the Cascades Mountain range and moderate elevation.

Unlike most events on our list, Swift Summit challenges participants to self support for stretches of 40 miles at a time. With 20% of the vote, the event solidly earned second place statues – very impressive for a first-year event, and clearly a keeper!

Swift Summit is August 11, 2018.

Third Place: Monster Cookie

monster cookie

A season opener. The first ever Monster Cookie Metric Century was held in 1977, which is why we’re so pleased to see the event high up on the ORbike Best Bike Rides results.

The event begins at the State Capitol Mall in Salem and snakes along back country roads to Champoeg Park and back to Salem. So what’s with the cookie theme? Well, as legend goes, in 1982 some volunteers baked monster-sized cookies for the riders. The treats were such a hit that the name stuck.

Monster Cookie is April 29, 2018.

Fourth Place: Tour de Fronds

Tour de Fronds

Proof that size doesn’t matter! This hidden expedition takes riders through the forested region of the Southern Oregon Coast Range, stationed out of the little-known town of Powers, Oregon. This volunteer-run event pours gushing waterfalls of heart and soul into the beloved ride every year.

With a ridership hovering just around 200, we were astounded to see little Tour de Fronds snag first place (by a landslide) last year. “Well, the secret’s out now!” said one fan of the ride.

It may not be easy to get to the start line, and that’s definitely part of the magical adventure that is Tour de Fronds.

Tour de Fronds is June 16, 2018.

Fifth Place: The Art of Survival Century

art of survival century bike ride
A very special weekend experience, so it’s no wonder you selected it as a top ride. The event takes place on the border of Oregon and California, staged out of the tiny town of Tulelake, CA – just outside of Klamath Falls. The ride, now entering its fourth year, is part of a movement to bring economic vitality and positivity to the region.

Because the ride is in such a remote setting and on a holiday weekend, it makes for an awesome getaway adventure of exploring other parts of our fine state.

Art of Survival Century is a quiet, introspective adventure like no other with birds diving and swooping along the road in front of you, meandering backcountry farm routes, friendly drivers who pass with wide berth and a friendly wave and ranger-led talks and information at each information point along the way.

Art of Survival Century happens every Memorial Day Weekend. The 2018 event is May 26.

Honorable Mentions

The following rides all tied for 6th place with exactly 57 votes.

Thank You Event Managers!

We would like to send a huge thank you out to all of the region’s hard-working event organizers who put on fantastic rides for us to enjoy. These supported events get more people riding and smiling, and are an incredible way to explore the state of Oregon.

We can’t wait to see what you have planned for 2018!

2016 Favorites

See the results from the 2016 awards here >

Our List of Rides

The following rides were on our voting list. We only included supported rides and events that races sanctioned by a race regulation entity. Don’t see your event listed? Be sure to add it to our calendar so we know about it!

7 Hills of Kirkland

Art of Survival Century

Arthritis Bike Classic

Barrel to Keg

Beaverton, Banks and Beyond

Bike MS

BikeVentures Northwest – Central Oregon

Blackberry bRamble

Century Ride of the Centuries

Coast Hills Classic

Covered Bridges Tour (WVBC)

Columbia Century Challenge

Crest the Cascades

Cycle Oregon – Weekend

Cycle the Sierra

Eola Hills Wine Rides

Gigantic Bicycle Festival

Harvest Century

Jensie Gran Fondo

Joyride by Cycle Oregon

Mt. Adams Country Bike Tour

Mo’s Ride

Mohawk Valley Metrick Century

Monster Cookie

NW Tandem Rally

Oregon 12/24

Oregon Coast Gravel Epic

Oregon Gran Fondo

Peach of a Century

Petal Pedal

Pioneer Century

Portland Century

Reach the Beach

Ride Around Clark County

Ride Idaho

Ride the Heart of the Valley

RIde the Rim

Ride the Rogue

Ride the Willapa

Ride to Defeat ALS

Seattle to Portland

Strawberry Century

Swift Summit 200/100

Team NPF

The Classic – Cycle Oregon

The Gorge Ride

Tour de Blast

Tour de Cure

Tour de Fronds

Tour de Lab

Tour de Lane

Tour de Peaks

Tour des Chutes

WaCanId

Willamette Gran Fondo

Worst Day of the Year Ride

Yaquina Lighthouse Century

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Bike Maintenance Fails: Common Mistakes

Are you making these common mistakes in your approach to bike maintenance? Let’s set the record straight!

#1: Inflating your tire with the valve stem on the ground.

Almost everyone was shown at some point (maybe by their Dad?) that to put air in your tire, you start with the valve stem near the ground and force the head of your pump down onto it. In reality, there couldn’t be a worse place for control or your body position.

THE FIX
Keep your valve stem between the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions where it’s closer to you and easier to reach. This way you can control the stem from the rim side, or push it out by pinching the tire, making it easier to press the pump head on and push it off. Also, no more squatting or kneeling!

#2: Pulling your pump head off to the side.

Too many valve stems bend, break or tear when the pump is pulled off towards one side of the wheel. No one wants to rack their knuckles on spokes, so we pull away from the wheel, bending the valve stem and hearing the sad extended whoosh of air escaping.

THE FIX
Now that your valve stem is up in the air and pointing down to the floor, the easiest way to remove the pump head is to put both thumbs on the mouth of the pump (where it’s pushed furthest on the valve stem), release the clamp and then quickly and gently push down toward the center of the wheel. The small gasp of air you hear released was just the air trapped in the hose—it should last less than one second and have an even sound. If you’re hearing something longer or that the tone changes, you need to re-check your tire pressure as you’ve likely lost air from inside the tire.

#3: Not oiling your chain often enough (or at all).

The bike shop will get that, right?

THE FIX
Nope. You’ve got to oil it every 100 miles—more often if it’s a daily commuter bike or sees an abundance of rain or mud. Not only does it make the chain last longer (and who doesn’t want to save a few bucks?) but it makes it MUCH easier to pedal. Yes. It will make you faster, use less energy and save money. It’s a win-win-win.

#4: Putting too much oil on and/or not wiping it off.

It’s true that too much oil is better than none at all, but not by much.

THE FIX
Oil your chain lightly—a little bit goes a long way. It shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds or about five pedal strokes to hit the entire length. The goal is to get lubricant in where metal meets metal, but not much if any on the outside of the chain. You don’t need a drop on every link—more like a light squeeze across the length. Excess oil will migrate to the outside of your chain, attract dirt, which will carry to the inside of your chain and in some cases, splatter all over your bike. To keep the excess to a minimum, wrap your freshly oiled chain in a rag and while your left hand holds the pedal steady, forcefully rub the exposed length of chain until you can’t see much if any oil on it, then move to the next section. This whole process should not take longer than 3- 4 minutes. So there’s no excuse that “it takes too long”. You can waste more that much time on Facebook, Twitter or whatever your social media of choice is, and it likely won’t help you pedal your bike faster.

#5: Over inflating tires.

This could be an entire article onto itself (and might be soon), but the maximum inflation on the side of your tire is usually not the optimal inflation. In fact, it’s rumored that they find max inflation by inflating your tires till they blow off the rim—then cutting that number in half. Think of it as less of a recommendation than a way to make sure you can’t sue the manufacturer.

THE FIX
What’s right for you will depend on your body weight, the added weight of what you’re carrying and the width of the tire. To find the right zone, try the tire manufacturer’s website. Many now offer guidelines for inflation based on your weight.

#6: Neglecting your wheel rims or disc brake rotors.

These help you stop. Which saves your life.

THE FIX
Giving them one minute of attention when you oil your chain (that “every 100 miles” rule of thumb) will make your bike stop better. Black crud builds up on wheels that have rim brakes and on disc brake rotors. For rims, hold a clean, dry rag against the braking surface of the rim and spin the wheel until the rag seems to run clean. Again, this should take about a minute for both wheels. For disc brake rotors, spray the rag or rotor with 90% rubbing alcohol and wipe the braking surface clean.

If you want to seriously dial in your maintenance, take a class with Gracie’s Wrench or somewhere you can work on your own bike – in a hands on setting, The experience and skills you gain will make a huge difference in your confidence and your ride.


Tori Bortman is ORbike’s resident bike mechanic. She is also an educator, consultant and the owner of Gracie’s Wrench. Tori is the author of The Big Book of Cycling for Beginners published by Bicycling Magazine.

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A Holiday Jersey to Restore the Gorge

The Columbia Gorge is a beloved place for so many reasons, most of which revolve around the boundless beauty of the natural environment. The region is home to dense lush forests, striking mountain views, the Mighty Columbia (the largest river by volume in the US), gushing waterfalls, endless hiking trails, supreme mt. biking, perfect ribbon roads of farmland serenity….

Restore the Gorge – This Jersey Saves Trees!

One bike jersey at a time.

Portland Jerseys, in partnership with ORbike, is supporting the important Columbia Gorge rehabilitation efforts after wildfires ravaged the area in 2017. For every one of their Columbia Gorge jerseys sold, they will donate $20 to Friends of the Columbia Gorge for restoration efforts.

On top of that, Portland Jerseys always plants a tree for every jersey sold.

Buy the Jersey Today!

Wear your Gorge-ous jersey with pride and know you are one of the people restoring the Columbia Gorge, a perfect holiday gift.

PURCHASE NOW >

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COOL ROUTE: Bridge of the Gods

Length: 89 Miles
Direction: Clockwise
Elevation Gain: 4400 ft
Highest Point: 863 ft

The original Bridge of the Gods was created during the eighteenth century by the Bonneville Slide, a major landslide which damned the Columbia River. The river eventually removed the slide, however this event is remembered by the Native Americans as the Bridge of the Gods. It is now the name of the bridge that crosses the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington. And it is one of the most spectacular rides you will ever do. I’ve raced in numerous countries all over the world and nearly every state in the U.S. However this ride to me is the epitome of cycling. I cannot recommend it enough.

Beginning near Mt Tabor Park east of downtown, head north across the Columbia on the I-205 path. Here you’ll hop onto the Evergreen Hwy. If you fancy this road, prepare yourself dear rider. Washougal River Rd/Hwy 140 awaits and it just keeps getting better. The views of the river are numerous as you pass the rushing water and the occasional fisherman. Cross the river where it turns into Canyon Creek and climb to the top and then eventually drops down to Hwy 14.

Hwy 14 runs you all the way to the Bridge of the Gods. It begins generally down hill, so enjoy a snack here if you like. Then climb up to Beacon Rock State Park where you can fill your bottles. If you need food or a soda, carry on to the Chevron gas station a few more miles down the road, past the Bonneville Dam.

Now you’ve arrived at the bridge. I personally can’t resist looking down while crossing over. The bridge surface is a metal grate so you can look straight down at the Columbia. Of course, it should go without saying that you need to pay attention while you ride. And do try and have a look at the view while you’re there. Unfortunately, the bridge doesn’t have any place to stop, so photos aren’t really an option. But the ride home on the Oregon side will offer plenty of opportunity.

After leaving the bridge, you’ll cross under it where an outstanding mural presents itself of the area and how it looked a long time ago. From here, immediately hop onto the bike path and follow it for the next 6 miles. This is my favorite path of all time. I do this ride so often purely to return to this path. The rich history abounds as you realize that many portions of the path are the original Scenic Hwy, which was lost to progress in the name of the I-84.

Once back onto the Historic Columbia River Hwy (or Crown Point Hwy) keep an eye out for the small stone fountain on your left. Depending on the time of year, the stone bowl may be dry or covered in moss. Decide for yourself whether to fill your bottles here, but I stand witness as someone who has drunk from the fountain in all conditions…and survived.

From here you’ll pass numerous waterfalls on your way home including the famous Multnomah Falls. But they are everywhere really between enormous falls and quiet trickling streams. This section of road is life changing. Climb up to Crown Point for your last view of the gorge. If the visitor center is open here, there are bathrooms and a fountain, although they may have you take off your shoes before entering because of the marble floors. Then descend back to Troutdale and head home, smiling all the way.

VIEW THE ROUTE >>


This route comes to us courtesy of Rubber to the Road, the longstanding resource for interesting routes.

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Behind the Event: Meet the Directors

One of the best aspects of supported rides is just that: support. Sign up, get your booty out of bed in the morning, pump up your tires and go.

Take off, and ride. Without a care in the world.

Well, it may not be exactly that magical, but there is indeed a team of magicians behind the scenes making events amazing. We have them to thank for our incredible ride experiences all season long.

Meet the Directors

We recently sat down with our friends Daniella and Elliot Crowder of Oregon Rides to find out more about what they do. Oregon Rides is the company behind Arthritis Bike Classic, Coast Hills Classic, Barrel to Keg, Mo’s 70th Anniversary Ride and many other regional rides.

So just how did they get into this crazy world?

When they’re not busy coordinating events, Daniella and Elliot are also the owners of Bike Newport, a bike shop on the Oregon coast. “Our love of bikes, events, travel and party planning – as well as our many connections in the “bike world” and attention to detail – have all melded together to make us a successful events and logistics company.”

Q+A With Daniella and Elliot

What’s your favorite aspect of being an event coordinator?

Seeing all of our months of planning, preparation, mapping, routing, etc. come together into a seamless event that the participants truly enjoy.

What event do you dream of running?

We have dreamed for years of having a fat tire festival on the beach where we have some fun races, bike demos, beer, music, and family fun – and we are in the planning stages for that to occur in 2018. Stay tuned for more info!

What are the biggest challenges event coordinators face?

Weather and things out of our control! You can plan a perfect event and if a storm, fire, or days of rain come, it really puts a damper on everything and makes the experience much more difficult for staff and participants. You can forecast as much as possible for every thing that may occur but Mother Nature has the final word.

This was a challenging season for many events. What were some of the largest challenges you faced?

The weeks before our six-day Arthritis Bike Classic, the wildfires were raging near our starting point and the smoke made it unhealthy to ride. We had to make a very difficult decision: to cancel the ride or move it to a part of the state that did not have heavy smoke. What took us nine arduous months to plan, we had nine frantic DAYS to re-plan.

By some miracle we were able to pull it off and have a successful event. As a smaller scale event (less than 100 people) and because we have great Coastal connections, we were able to pull this off seamlessly.

Tell us a little bit about coastal bike life.

We are all about fat tire bikes here! We love how they can take you on every terrain possible. Sand, snow, mud, trails, dunes, desert – fat bikes roll wherever you can imagine! We have opened up so many more miles of riding into our lives by being able to ride our bikes on the beach and foredunes.

We are just beginning to scratch the surface of what Oregon beaches we can ride. We also have some great mountain bike trails in our area and are working on building even more. We are excited to help people bring their bikes to the beach and enjoy everything the Coast has to offer.

What’s on the horizon for your 2018 event season?

We are heading down to Baja with our fat bikes to explore the best beaches to ride and plan some tours. We are also planning some guided fat bike tours on the Oregon Coast.

We are just negotiating several new contracts for events we hope to be involved in for 2018 and should have our new schedule of events set by the New Year – stay tuned!

Thank you!

We appreciate all the work event directors like Daniella and Elliot do to give us great rides. We can’t wait to see what you all bring us for 2018!

To learn more about Oregon Rides, check out their website.

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