best bike rides in Oregon

How to Use Your Bike Commute for Training

This article is presented by the Harvest Century, a huge celebration of an awesome riding season. The ride takes place every September out of Hillsboro. Don’t miss it this year!

These days, seemingly more than ever, people’s schedules are filled from the moment they wake until their heads hit the pillow at night. The rare lucky ones get to ride their bikes whenever they like. For the rest of us, finding time to train is often a case of making the most of the time we have.

One way to accomplish this is to use your bike commute as training time. The average bike commute in the US is about 30 minutes each way. Once you add up your full day’s ride, it amounts to some pretty good training time. Depending upon the resources you have at your workplace, there are many different ways to make your commute double as training time. If you can take the long way in (or home) that’s great. However, when time is short, it pays to optimize.


The most pleasant training commute is to use your commute time as active recovery time. Cycling events mostly happen on the weekends, so an easy, ambling Monday commute is just what those tired legs need to help them loosen up and recover. Keep your cadence high, but your effort level low – you should be able to do this in your street clothes without breaking a sweat. Think of it as a gentle massage for your legs.


Another way to make your commute more effective training is to use it for strength training. Take one of your commute days and make it a low cadence, high force interval day. For example, start in a big gear from every stop light or sign and pedal your way up to speed over 30 seconds. Once you’re done, spin easily until the next stop and then do it again. Incorporating five or six of these sets into each direction of your commute will help you build power without becoming drenched in sweat. Think of this as a weight-lifting session on your bike.

Check out other resources like BikeXchange as well. There are many ways to go about this and other rides may have a different style that better resonates with you.



Your commute is a great time to work on technique. While working on technique is often tedious in a normal training session, it is much easier to handle in a short session. Concentrate on your pedal stroke and focus on spinning in nice, smooth circles. Imagine your feet floating on the pedals. You may even want to do some spin-ups while you’re at it. These are short sessions where you start at one cadence and gradually increase it to 100 or 110rpm over about 30 seconds before resting for a bit. They’re like the strength intervals mentioned previously, but without starting in a big gear.

When you’re thinking about technique, it’s also worth remembering your position on the bike. Keep your elbows bent, your neck relaxed, and try to bend from your hips and not your back. After a long day at work, it’s easy to get hunched over the handlebars.


Making your commute useful training isn’t difficult, and it has a lot of benefits. Besides letting you optimize your time, it allows you to do two workouts in a day. This makes for more efficient training and a better training response. You’ve got all day to recover between sessions, and so you can make your second session more effective. If you work on your feet, consider doing your hard work on your way to work, and using the ride home for recovery. Remember to have a good, protein and fruit-rich breakfast, and stay well hydrated during the day. This will help you keep your energy levels high, allowing not only for better workouts, but also for a more pleasant day overall.

Most of all, have a great ride and be courteous to your fellow commuters. Sometimes when we get into our heads, whether we’re thinking through ideas or focusing on our pedal stroke, it’s easy to forget about the people around us. Using your commute for training and focusing does not get you a pass in the courtesy department! Sharing the road always reigns supreme.


Bike Costume Tips

There never isn’t a good time to have fun.

That is why we try to have as much fun as possible even when we ride. One of the most enjoyable adventures is a costume ride. However, riding in costume can also be very dangerous, if you choose the wrong outfit. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

You can look all around for cycling advice, but chances are good no one else will tell you this fun info.

Safety over Fun

Do not overdress, remember that you’ll be pedaling so you don’t want to overheat. This means that furry creatures are a-okay, so long as you don’t mind getting warm. Always be safe, so even if your costume is big and bold. Below are some of the do’s and don’ts of costume cycling.

Tip #1

It is always best to choose a character that already has a bike as part of their gear. Such character’s costumes are usually designed to be bike-safe. Your options are quite large as many of today’s characters ride instead of driving.

Tip #2

Avoid the spokes at all costs. There are many costumes that come with trailing bits. These include long-tail animals like kangaroos or rodents. The list is not confined to furry creatures; most of our favourite superheroes are “caped crusaders” and the cape enjoys interacting with the spokes. However, we are very sure that you will not enjoy the results of the interaction.

If you have to go as an animal or a superhero with a cape consider altering the costume to make the cape or tail shorter. When cycling in costume shorter is better. This means that dressing sexy is a good idea especially when you have safety in mind.

Tip #3

Headgear is an essential part of most costumes. Then again it is also an integral part of riding safety. Riders need to make sure that their costume design has space for the helmet. The helmet always goes under the costume headgear and never on top of it even if it is a wig.

Another important aspect to watch out for when selecting a costume is the peripheral vision that the costume allows. Sometimes it is a good idea to substitute the mask with face paint.

Support Our Regional Trail Stewards

Trails exist all over, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re accessible to all forms of recreation and travel. It takes a lot of love and a lot of work to obtain trail access for mt. bikers, to create new trails and most of all to maintain trails over time. Since 1998, Northwest Trail Alliance has been striving for Portland-area trail access. They were instrumental in the foundation of two new trails systems: Gateway Green and Sandy Ridge.

Over the years the organization has lived varied lives, with different leaders at the helm, various goals and a plethora of projects. But their mission has remained true: help get more people on the trails, on bikes.

The Northwest Trail Alliance Fall Membership Drive is underway and this is a great time to join or renew your membership. Their goal is to reach 2,000 members this year through individual and family memberships.

In the greater Portland area, Northwest Trail Alliance volunteers have helped make many trails happen. They have tamped down berms from Sandy Ridge to Scappoose and built new singletrack from Gateway Green to the Gifford Pinchot. The passion their volunteers and members exude is evident in these impressive efforts.

Membership is what powers this grassroots organization’s efforts like trail building, social rides, Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day and trail advocacy efforts. NWTA is a strong organization founded on a strong base of partnerships with local land managers, elected officials, the bike industry and boots-on-the-dirt volunteers.

Your membership support will allow them to realize the many respectable trail goals they have for the upcoming year, and will help keep mt. biking strong in the region.


Harvest Century is Almost Here!

Harvest Century Best Bike Ride in Oregon

Harvest Century
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Hillsboro Farmland

Prices go up at midnight on Saturday, so don’t miss your last chance to register for this year’s Harvest Century at a discounted rate. You may also register at the start line.

It looks like Mother Nature will be delivering perfect fall riding for this beloved ride: 68 and partially sunny!

Each of the routes offers splendid scenery and a mostly flat profile. Not enough challenge for you? We can almost guarantee a headwind in at least one direction (or as we like to call it “the invisible hill”).

The ride always provides have well-stocked rest stops, mechanical support, breakfast, a catered lunch, and live entertainment. They set up the event, but you make the memories.

Team ORbike will be out there! Come ride with us.

A Celebration of All Good Things

Harvest Century-Montinore Estates winery

The first of falling autumn leaves dance down the street. Summer’s green gently shifts as burnt umber and crimson washes over the landscape. Long shadows reach across the roads in the way that only the late-summer-early-fall light can do. Cooling temperatures mean breaking out the knee and arm warmers for early morning rides. And we do it gladly because for many of us, this is THE season for cycling.

The Harvest Century—long renowned as The Last Organized Ride of the Season—is a celebration of this wonderful season, offering 24, 45, 75 and 100-mile routes west of Portland in the heart of the fertile Willamette Valley. The routes explore rolling farmlands and vineyards from the North Plains to as far south as Canby, and everything in between.

The harvest theme is present in this ride in the amenities and treats found along the way, with stops at small family farms for hot cider and farm-fresh snacks. But perhaps the crown jewel of the Harvest Century is a stop at Montinore Estates winery for a special flight of their award-winning wines.

The Willamette Valley has no shortage of vintners but what makes Montinore stand out is their commitment to sustainability. In fact, Montinore is the largest producer of biodynamic wines in the country. This means their commitment to sustainability goes even beyond accepted organics standards. You know when you enjoy a bottle of Montinore’s wine, you’re not just supporting a local grower, you’re supporting sustainable farming practices.

The 45, 75 and 100-mile routes all feature a stop at Montinore, where the winery is offering a special flight tasting for Harvest Century participants.

Harvest Century riders

Find something you like? Buy it on the spot! No need to stuff a bottle into your jersey pocket—the Harvest Century support crew will transport your purchase back to the finish for you.

Portland’s cycling culture is inextricably linked to beer; it seems the two go hand in hand. But if you fancy yourself something of a wine lover, this is the ride for you.

P.S. Don’t worry—the event features plenty of beer at the finish line party if that’s really your preferred post-ride libations.

The Importance of Proper Running Footwear

Running shoes are important to any type of runner.  If you are first time running who just read about the best fitness tips for moms from your favorite parenting blog, or if you are a seasoned runner, you need good shoes–period!


You are likely to be wearing these shoes frequently, at extended periods of time and sometimes in challenging conditions or ruffed terrains and as such, an investment in a good pair of running shoes is imperative. A good pair of running shoes can be pricey, but they don’t have to break the bank. We’ve outlined below precisely why choosing a pair of good running shoes is such an important decision.


To ensure comfort during your run

Feet come in all different shapes and sizes. That’s not just talking about the particular shoe size but other aspects and traits that vary from one individual to another. For example, those with wide set feet are going to find themselves experiencing some problems and discomfort down the line if they try and force themselves into a regular width shoe that is too much of a tight fit. Similarly, different people have different arches in their feet and so they may require different levels of padding and support. Fortunately, running shoe brands are very aware of these variances and as such, you will be able to find a model for virtually every type of foot, across each brand. The store assistants that work in stores which supply running shoes are generally quite knowledgeable about people’s specific needs so don’t hesitate to consult with them when making a purchase. It is better to buy products from a reputable brand such as Nike or Adidas. With these, their reputation precedes them and as such you can feel confident that you are getting a quality product without breaking the bank.


To prevent injury

If you choose not to invest in a proper running shoe, and instead opt for buying a cheap alternative type of exercise footwear then you are likely to come into some problems down the line. Sneakers, plimsolls and walking shoes do not offer the support and flexibility that you need for runs and as such, you are more prone to injuries if you do not make the investment into a proper, high quality running shoe.


To avoid blisters and other small irritations

If you buy a cheap pair of shoes, or you so do not carefully select a pair of running shoes that are well suited to your feet then aside from serious injuries, you will be prone to other undesirable side effects on your feet. For example, if your shoes are too tight – either in terms of width or at the front where your toes are, the material of the shoe is likely to rub against your feet, chafing them and causing blisters, bunions,  and other irritations that can make your run an agonizing experience.


To protect those with a history of sustaining injuries

If you have experience injuries in the past, regardless of how serious or minor they may be, there is every possibility of that injury raising it’s ugly head again when you start running if you are not mindful of providing your feet with the support and cushioning you need. Discussing your previous problems with a knowledgeable shop assistant can help you to identify the perfect model.


To ensure support

The perfect running shoe should accommodate your feet perfectly. You should feel no discomfort during extended wears. The shoes should be snug and your feet should fit inside them well, without being too tight.

Any small irritation that you feel at the point of trying on the shoes in store (i.e. they feel a little tight around the edges or at the top) are only going to be magnified when you go out on a run. If you find that your shoes are too tight (or to the other hand too loose and your feet are slipping around inside them) then not only does that make you more susceptible to injuries and minor irritations, it will actually hinder your running performance and distract your focus.


To accommodate for expansion

Have you ever noticed how your feet can swell up slightly over the course of a day? The extent of this varies on the individual but it’s very likely that this will occur to your feet after a running session. As such, a flexible, lightweight running shoe will accommodate for this, rather than feeling restrictive and uncomfortable.


To ensure durability

It’s true when people say that nothing lasts forever but you want to ensure that you are getting sufficient use out of your running shoes. If you opt for a very cheap pair of shoes, only for them to become damaged and fall apart after a few running sessions and for you to have to replace them then that was a wasted investment. A good pair of running shoes should last you up to 400 miles of use.. They may seem like an expense at first, but ultimately this is the more economical choice, since they offer you more longevity and durability.

12 Adventure Ideas for the Summer

Summer is one of the most anticipated seasons all year. Maybe it’s because school is out or the fact that it’s so hot making for a perfect excuse to go out to the beach.


Whatever it is, summer is a beloved time of the year filled with potential things to do. If you’re struggling to think of an idea for adventures to do this summer, below is a list of things you can do.

1. Learn a new cuisine

Find a cuisine or several dishes that you have never tried before and make it.  The more challenging it is, the more fun. Even the process of scouring for ingredients at the grocery  will become a great adventure!

2. Pick apples

Go to your nearest orchard and pick a whole bunch of apples! This goes very well with the tip above. If you know a few good recipes, make a meal with friends and enjoy a nice meal together. Apple pie is always a good idea and make for a perfect summer treat!

3. Go on a hike

Work off those calories you gained from the cookoff by going on a hike. Go to your nearest state park and explore nature. You can make this date a multi-day activity where you both camp out underneath the stars for the next few days, or just make it a day thing. Whatever you prefer!

4. Make a bonfire

Snuggle up in front of a bonfire and grill s’mores with your buddies. You can even have them bring their significant others and friends with them to make the evening event more fun and social. If you don’t have a bonfire, a fireplace acts as a good replacement. Share stories with each other while enjoying the cozy warmth of the fire.

5. Rent a boat for the afternoon

Impress your friends with a boat rental and go wherever you please whether it’s the beach or the lake. Make a stop in the middle of the ocean or somewhere scenic and enjoy a nice picnic with your companions. What could be more fun than spending some time on the water with a rented boat?

6. Rent a bicycle for two

If boating is not your thing, you can just go biking. Doesn’t make it any less fun. In fact, it’s nice to ride along this warm weather. So go ahead and rent a bike and make a plan on the routes you’ll be cycling into.

7. Go on a road trip

Enjoy the beautiful view of the countryside during this season by going on a road trip. If it’s a long drive, take turns with friends on the wheel. Bring some snacks and drinks along with you so you have something to consume in between stops.

8. Get coffee

Starbucks released their pumpkin spice latte earlier than the usual this year, so even if it’s only summer, you can already start enjoying your favorite fall drink! This gives you a good excuse to head to the coffee shop and grab yourself a nice warm latte with a friend. It doesn’t even have to be Starbucks. You can go to the coziest cafe in your area and hang around there all afternoon.

9. Head to a karaoke bar

Get loose and sing your heart out at a karaoke bar. Take turns singing your favorite songs. Yes, even the Celine Dion hits.

10. Wine tasting

If you have a knack for wine, why not do some wasting? No need to go out of town for those expensive wine tours. Just do it at your own home. Pick up some inexpensive wine bottles at the store and whip out your wine glasses. Don’t forget to buy some cheese and crackers to pair your wine with. You can sit outside your patio, taking sips while enjoying the nice, warm weather.

11. Create a new cocktail

A twist on the previous tip, this one involves a little bit more creativity. Grab whatever liquor you can find in your house along with some basic cocktail ingredients (juice, lime, mint, etc.) and try to concoct a delicious cocktail. Play nice music in the background while you’re at it.

12. Shop for summer outfits

Going on break this summer? Why not take this opportunity to go shopping for outfits you’re going to wear for the holiday. Plan first the outfits you want to wear and bring along some friends who can help you decide which items you should get. Even if you end up not buying one, it’s still a fun therapy trying new clothes on.


What other fun adventure ideas do you recommend for this summer? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

11 Extreme Adrenaline Adventures To Try

Extreme adrenaline adventures are something that you should try at least once in your lifetime. They give you exhilaration that makes you appreciate life even more. Once you get a taste of it, you might never want to stop. Thankfully, there’s an endless list of extreme adventures you can do. Below, we list the top ones that you should definitely try!

1. Bungee jumping

Interested in free-falling activities? Bungee jumping might just be the activity you’re looking for. It’s understandable to get paranoid about the straps suddenly breaking during your jump. But that’s something you never have to worry about as multiple staff in these places ensure that all your straps are in place.

2. Ziplining

Want to know what it feels like to be Superman? Ziplining will take you there. The longer and more elevated the zipline is, the better. Don’t forget to look down. The best part is enjoying the beautiful scenery that’s underneath you.

3. Mountain biking

Mountain biking is one of the more accessible extreme adventures out there, but don’t mistake this for a simple activity. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart especially when you’re doing it on pavement going upwards. To make it even more daring, you can do it on a mountainside. You get to enjoy the scenery while making sure that you don’t die falling off from the cliff. Woo!

4. Tree camping

Instead of camping on the ground, why not tie your sleeping bag to trees? It’s definitely a unique way to camp in the woods with you suspended in air the whole time you’re sleeping.

5. Mountaineering

Mountaineering allows you to see Mother Nature at her best. To make it a true challenge, go hiking for several days. This forces you to carry only what you need as you’ll be bringing your backpack with you throughout the trip.

6. Drive a Porsche

Why not go rent a Porsche and find out what it feels like to drive one of the fastest cars in the world? If you know how to choose between your Porsche 996 exhausts and pipes, you might just end up with a Porsche model that gives you the best drive of your life. If you don’t know how to drive one, you’ll be trained by highly experienced Porsche drivers who will train you on cornering, avoiding skids, and split surface braking.

7. Skydiving

Skydiving is almost synonymous with adrenaline adventure. You can’t be a junkie unless you have tried it yourself. You’ll be launched out of an airplane and plumet through the air on a breathtaking free fall. You might not even feel like you’re falling at all. Once you unfold the parachute, you’ll be able to take a deep breathe and this time, actually appreciate the beautiful view around you.

8. Canyoneering

A great way to beat your fear of water and heights at the same time is canyoneering. Basically, you go through multiple canyons through different methods whether it’s cliff jumping, climbing, floating, or swimming down the river. It’s a challenge but you are guided every step of the way.

9. Shark cage diving

In the mood to become predator food? Okay, maybe that doesn’t sound as fun but if you’d like the ultimate adrenaline junkie experience, you can go shark cage diving. This is where you step into a cage to be submerged underwater while the crew throws fish head and guts on sharks around you.

10. Water rafting

Be prepared to get wet for this one. Grab a paddle and go through some of the most turbulent waters. There are plenty of variations for this and the difficulty depends on your comfort level. There’s ones with multiple turbulent rapids while others are as calm as going through an underground river. Take your pick.

11. Dog sledding

Nothing brings you closer to winter scenery than dog sledding. Stand or sit behind four powerful husky dogs as they pull the sled at full speed under the freezing weather. The dogs used in this activity are quite the intelligent as they can respond very well to the driver’s commands. Be sure to check the background of the company arranging the activity before participating in any dog sledding activity. You want to make sure their animals are humanely raised and trained.


Nothing ruins an adventure faster than an unexpected accident so make sure to get proper certification or training before partaking in any of these activities.


What other extreme adrenaline activities do you recommend? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Proper Nutrition Guide for Cyclists

There are a number of aspects influencing the success or failure of a cyclist and diet tops the list. Proper nutrition affords you sufficient strength to get you through the race. Your diet could also make or break your cycling ambition when it comes to surviving long miles on the saddle in addition to determining your ability to train without fatigue. It is, therefore, imperative to consume a well-balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, and fiber. Ideally, bicyclists should ensure to take dense meals prior to a race. Read on if you’re wondering what cyclists consume to fuel those epic pulls, swift climbing stunts and exceptional sprints to the finish line.


The Day Before


On the day before your big day, you can eat a normal meal but remember to drink a lot of water. This is because your body should be optimally hydrated in preparation for the race. Water should be consumed in plenty the day before the race date rather than in the morning of the imminent event. Last minute rush will result in unnecessary toilet stops. If you are traveling long distance the day before your race, don’t rely on station service food. Take time to pack yourself a bread sandwich, unsalted nuts as well as some fruit for your mid-afternoon snack.


During the Evening


To ensure proper nutrition, you will want to order your evening meal and breakfast for the following day well in advance if you are going to spend the night in a restaurant. Remember that your body can only host a certain amount of carbohydrates comfortably. For optimal results, take a small portion of carbohydrates in the form of pasta, potatoes or rice and don’t overload. You should also avoid heavy foods that are difficult to digest like red meat. Instead, go for light protein foods such as fish or chicken. Moreover, do not overdo fiber and stay away from highly spiced food.


In The Morning


Start taking your breakfast at around seven to seven thirty to afford you a 90-120 minutes break before embarking on racing. Also, in your diet, include fruit drinks that are both healthy and full of nutrition. Furthermore, visit Veranda Interiors for more information on healthy and nutritious drinks. Eggs and meat should be excluded from your breakfast as they take more time to digest than carbohydrates. Oatmeal, toast, and waffles are the best sources of energy-based carbohydrates. Add a bit of syrup or jam to provide your body with vital sugars needed to start a race dynamically. Coffee also provides a good energy boost, but too much of it can make you feel sick moments before the race.  Equipping yourself with an energy bar in your cycling jersey is reasonable, but generally, the energy from your breakfast and dinner is enough to see you through the race.


During The Race


Pacing and fueling link intrinsically. If you push yourself too hard when pacing, your body will be unable to absorb and utilize the whole amount of fuel that you fed it. Therefore, you should settle for a pace that that will be realistic and sustainable as the race begins. Don’t forget to sip from your water bottle as soon as the race starts. And since many cyclists forget to drink their water especially on cold days, you should set an alarm that will remind you of it after every five minutes.


After The Race


Because of fueling and pacing in the course of a race, you are likely to feel hungry but not ravenous. You should, therefore, consume a little energy recovery drink. This gives you sufficient energy to keep you strong as you sort out your bike and kit, as well as changing and showering. It also helps to prevent the urge of overeating when you get the chance to take a meal. Your lunch, which is likely to be delayed, should contain some quality carbohydrates and proteins; ideally, you can consume a tuna sandwich. Just like pre-racing dinner, after-race lunch doesn’t need to be huge.


As a cyclist, irrespective of the sportive distance you are expected to cover, there are two elements that you should take seriously; these include your training and nutrition. For instance, appropriate nutrition is not only important for surviving the long miles, but also to allow you to enjoy the racing event. Do not allow your hard earned miles through months of training go to waste due to poor nutrition. Remember to test everything including your biking equipment and diet during your training. Adequate preparation significantly will contribute to your success. More importantly, stay away from alcohol to avoid dehydration but utilize the hydration stations during the race. Maybe after finishing the race, you could thank yourself with a glass of wine or a bottle of beer at dinner.

The Backyard Collection

September 27 – Portland

Rare films. Backstories. An intimate setting.

The Filmed by Bike film festival has created a very special experience. Join movie lovers in the backyard of the Filmed by Bike headquarters for this magical night under the stars.

Filmed by Bike is showing a curated collection of rare films from their archives along with conversation and special guest presenters.

Seating is extremely limited so reserve your tickets today.

Get the unlimited popcorn.


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