Tour de Lab - Portland's best bike ride and a benefit for DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital
 

Mt. Bike Oregon = Paradise for Dirt Lovers

MT. BIKE OREGON | July 20-22 and August 17-19 – Oakridge

Sleep Away Camp for Dirt Loving Adults!

Mt. Bike Oregon is a mountain biker’s dream come true. The event takes place at the epicenter of some of the world’s best mt. bike trails. Riders come from all over the world to ride their hearts out for three very full days.

The event features on-site camping, shuttled rides, clinics, free demo bikes, a FREE Drinking Garden under the starry night sky, breakfast, lunch, snacks and so much more – all included with the cost of entry.

Mt. Bike Oregon is all about fostering the stoke of the trail and building community. The 14-year-old event is well known for the supportive atmosphere, friendly riders and top notch setting. This is a particularly awesome event for women coming alone or in groups as there are women-specific rides and a chill vibe.

Non-riding guests are most welcome at the event and they get full access to just about everything other than the shuttles Camp, chill out by the river, fly fish, kayak, hike and explore this outdoor playground nestled between Bend and Eugene.

Watch the Video

 

More Info

All inclusive.

Camping on site.

For intermediate or advanced riders.

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Tour des Chutes

Tour des Chutes | July 9 – Bend

Clear Skies and Striking Mountain Views

With wide open sunny skies and mountains ever-present on the horizon, the landscape of Central Oregon is strikingly gorgeous and ready for bicycle exploration.

Tour des Chutes is an annual journey along low traffic country roads passing large farm and ranch land with beautiful views of Cascade Peaks and Smith Rock. The terrain offers stunning high desert scenery, a few climbs, plenty of rolling terrain and sidebar entertainment as it stops at an Alpaca ranch.

Everyone wants an excuse to spend the weekend in Bend, and we think Tour des Chutes is the perfect one.

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Ride McKenzie Pass – CAR FREE!

CREST THE CASCADES | June 16 – Sisters

McKenzie Pass is of the most scenic areas in Oregon, but the road is only open three months of the year. The narrow, winding pass climbs up and over a moon-like terrain covered in lava rock with 360 degree striking mountain views. It’s the kind of ride that reminds you of your place in the world – that we are just one small part of an incredible natural wonder that is vast. And intriguing. And gorgeous.

The climb is challenging, and on-so-rewarding. There is a quiet out there you won’t find many other places; the slight whir of your tires on pavement, a bird in the distance, the wind gently moving through the trees. It’s you and your bike – slow and steady as you climb the manageable grade.

Crest the Cascades (formerly the Ride for Two Rivers) is your opportunity to ride McKenzie Pass car free – the very best way to experience this magical region.

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Escape the Crowds on Survival Century

  • Great routes
  • A free weekend
  • A new region to explore
  • A destination location
  • Route distances and elevation
  • Friendly + plentiful support

These days, there are so many great rides to choose from. How do you pick? The Art of Survival Century on May 26+27 is a ride that ticks all the right boxes.

So just what makes this ride so special?

Tucked Away Where People Are Nice

For one, it’s tucked away. We mean really tucked away. Located outside of Klamath Falls on the border of Oregon and California, the ride is a hidden gem. You’ll go miles without seeing a car, and when they do come by they give cyclists a wide berth. We asked one of the rest stop volunteers about this last year and he said that’s nothing special, “That’s just how the drivers are here.” Out in the country. Where people are nice.

Our Ride Experience

We ride this event every year and can’t say enough good things about it. Rest stops feature homemade granola bars, the volunteers are outstanding, the routes are serene and the birdlife is extraordinary. The region is wildlife refuge and bird sanctuary. Driving there in the early evening prior to the ride, a sea of birds dove all around our car along a four mile stretch we had all to ourselves – and the birds.

We camped on site at the fairgounds, and were treated to a restful sleep, hot showers and few other campers. Best of all there was no charge and we were just steps from the start line.

A Ride You Can’t Forget

This is one of those rides you simply can’t forget. Make a weekend of it, take the time to get there, and plan to explore after the ride.

Ride Details

The Art of Survival Century was named the Fifth Best Bike Ride in Oregon in ORbike’s riders’ poll and it’s no wonder why.

New this year, there is an optional gravel ride on day two!

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Celebrate the Rose City by Bike!

PORTLAND CENTURY | August 19 – Mt. Hood Community College

Celebrate Portland on the city’s signature ride, Portland Century!

Fall in love with Portland all over again as you pedal your cares away for a rewarding day.  This ride is all about the Rose City of Bikes.

Consider we are such an amazing city for bikes, it’s not surprising that this ride really goes the extra mile for riders, especially this year. The ride is under new event management and the new organizers are well known for their keen attention to detail – ensuring riders have a spectacular time every pedal stroke of the way. We’re excited to see a fresh burst of energy being injected into this beloved event.

PRO TIP: Use code “ORBIKE-EBA18” during online registration to save $5!

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ROUTES + MAPS→

 

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2 Special Days of Car Free Crater Lake

Ride the Rim | September 8 + 15 – Crater Lake

Ride the Rim is a spectacular opportunity to ride Crater Lake the best way possible – without cars! This gorgeous natural wonder is absolutely stunning, and riding the rim without the chaos of cars is a very special experience.

Oh, but you won’t be alone! Named the 9th Best Bike Ride in Oregon in the ORbike Riders’ Poll, this is certainly a favorite ride among many people. The two car-free days attract huge crowds of friendly cyclists at the free event,.

Mark your calendar early and carve out some time for this awesome event. You have two weekends to choose from: September 9th and September 16th

RIDE TIMES: 8am to 6pm, East Rim Drive will be closed to all vehicular traffic. The East Rim can take roughly four hours to complete, give or take a hour based on individual experience levels. Please plan accordingly.

FEE: FREE! Registration (Park Admission Fees still apply-$15)

RIDE PROFILE: Approximately 25 miles with 3,500 feet of elevation gain.

RIDE SUPPORT: 5 rest stops

Shade
Snacks
Restrooms
Bike Pump
Friendly People
Waste Receptacles
Basic First Aid Kit
Basic Bike Repair Tools
Encouragement & Support
Hydration (bring refillable bottles)

NOTE: There is no support vehicle on this free ride.

PARKING: Vehicle Parking is located at the Steel Visitor Center/Park HQ (larger parking lot) and North Junction

NEW THIS YEAR: The organizers have planned after party and reservable dinner back in Klamath Falls with live music. It’s where everyone gathers after the ride!

BIKE VALET: Ride the Rim offers a free bike valet at the North Junction and Park HQ while you fetch your car in the opposite parking lot using the FREE Shuttle Service.

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Sneak Away to Hidden Routes

THE VINEYARD TOUR | September 9 – Roseburg

The riders of the Umpqua Velo Cycling Club have been blissfully enjoying some of the best routes in our state for many years. They know all the best the hidden gems, winding roads and backcountry roads nestled in their down-state region.

And now, these generous riders are sharing all their secrets with us. The Vineyard Tour is a gorgeous ride through the Umpqua Valley. You’ll cruise along lightly traveled roads as you pass by dozens of vineyards, wineries, forests, fields and orchards.

Select from routes of 15 to 100 miles, each one a delightful tour. For the full experience, opt for the full century. This route meanders along the powerful and scenic Umpqua River and and includes four optional winery stops. With only 3,200 feet of elevation gain, this is a very approachable and well supported century ride.

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Petal Pedal: Blooming Fields of Flowers

The cold, snowy days of our crazy winter are officially over 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 23rd 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 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) Save $5 when you use code ORBIKE-EBA18

Ride Basics

Saturday, June 23rd

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

Breakfast, lunch, snacks and a gourmet dinner.

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Tubeless Tires: Road Edition

In the past decade, tubeless tires have hit the bike scene in one of the biggest advances in technology (with wide-ranging side effects).

In the last article, I dove into everything you need to know about tubeless tires for mountain bikes. This month I’ll weigh in on the latest tire technology: tubeless tires for road riding.

What are “Tubeless” Tires?

As a quick refresher, tubeless tires are actually a system of tires and rims specially designed to not use an inner tube. Instead, a tubeless ready (TLR or TR) rim is designed to create an airtight seal with the TLR specific tire—without needing a tube.

Most tubeless tires are designed to be used with a thin sealant inside of it to help self-seal and repair small punctures as well as make the seal between the rim and tire have an extra layer of air-tight protection.

On the exterior, tubeless rims and tires look just like regular rims, so they’re usually identified with a “TLR” decal. On the inside of the rim where the tire bead (the thick part that stays hooked inside the rim) catches is extra stout to create an airtight seal.

You can upgrade to a tubeless system on your existing road bike, but if you buy a new road bike there’s a good chance it will come with wheels and possibly even tires that are ready to be set up tubeless.

 

Pros of Road Tubeless Tires

Much like mountain bike tires, road tubeless has a few distinct advantages. The first being protection from small punctures. With a traditional tubed tire (usually referred to as a “clincher”), the only way to get fewer flats is to beef up the materials making it heavier and less supple. Tubeless tires are filled with sealant, so the small punctures that plague most cyclists (thorns, glass, the tiny wires of broken-off street sweeper bristles) are a thing of the past since the puncture is sealed within seconds by the sealant within. This can be a real advantage in a road race or training ride with friends.

Tubeless tires can also be run at lower pressures without risking pinch flats giving you a more comfortable ride without compromising your ability to roll quickly. This is a good leg up for any rider—especially when cornering or on Oregon chip seal roads—and it’s a huge advantage for those that like to head into more adventuresome gravel and dirt roads where the surfaces are likely to be less than ideal.

There’s some debate about rolling resistance (meaning how much energy you have to output to make the tire roll) when it comes to road tubeless tires. In most recent tests, it seems like lightweight tubeless and lightweight racing tires with latex tubes are neck and neck for the best rolling resistance. So if you’re a road racer worried about shaving grams, it all comes out in the wash.

 

Cons of Road Tubeless Tires

Like their mountain counterparts, the cost of the rims is higher and the set-up is messy and pretty much requires an air compressor, so if you’re ready to spend a little on parts it’s best to let the shop handle installation. Of course, if you get a big enough cut in the tire tread you’ll be handling it yourself on the side of the road. In this case, the thicker, stronger bead of the tire can be extremely difficult to get off the rim (the narrower the tire/rim set-up, the harder it will be). If you’re not a confident tire changer with quality tire levers, or don’t have quick access to a lift, this might be a deal-breaker for you.

The liquid sealant needs to be refreshed every 4- 6 months or more often in a drier climate, which is simple but another tick of maintenance. Tubeless tires need to be aired up a bit more often than your tubed tire, but this is a minor quibble considering it only takes a few seconds of time and most of us are checking our tire pressure before we head out for a spin.

 

Why Would You Ride Road Tubeless?  

The best reason to ride road tubeless is because your new road bike came with tubeless ready rims and tires and it’s easy to step up to a higher quality ride. If you’re someone who’s a confident flat repairer and likes to head out into the wild blue yonder, wandering on the unpaved back roads of Oregon and Washington, tubeless tires can also be a game changer. Finally, if you’re just tubeless curious and have some cash to drop on new rims, tires and sealant, most people who’ve ridden them give them rave reviews for comfort, ride quality, and being puncture free.

At this point though, road tubeless is made for extended road riding not commuting. While they do offer great protection from small flats, the rubber compounds aren’t up to tough, loaded commuter miles, so tubes are your best bet for now. Keep your eyes peeled, though. I won’t be surprised to see the technology eventually upgrade to encompass every type of riding.

 


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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Cruising for a (Fantastic) Cause

Ride to Defeat ALS – 7/14 – Mt. Angel

Many of us hop on our bikes without a second thought, but for those who can’t pedal, there’s Ride to Defeat ALS, an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for people living with ALS, also known as Lou Gerhig’s Disease. This devastating disease eventually takes people’s lives after a long and painful decline in mobility.

But there is great hope! There is so much that can be done to support people living with the disease, to make their lives more comfortable, to provide them with increased mobility options and to to support their loved ones who tirelessly care for them. Those good efforts come thanks to the National ALS Association and Ride to Defeat ALS is your opportunity to support their impactful work.

This ride is a gorgeous odyssey through the hushed open landscape around Mt. Angel on the edge of Portland. Sign up for this important ride and be a part of the movement for those who can’t.

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