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Packing for Your Bike Adventures

Are you headed to WEEKENDER by Cycle Oregon this weekend? How are you preparing for your journey?

There is a better way

You know those multi-day supported bike adventures where your bag is an absolute mess of riding gear, dirty laundry, sleeping clothes, hang out clothes, bathing suits, winter coats (oh Oregon!) and sunscreen? Oregami Luggage was convinced there had to be a better way… so they created one.

Check out their video below to see what their bags are all about. Crafted with events like Cycle Oregon in mind, the bag is made to be used for days on end with features to allow you to sort your different items.

Enter to win a free ride on Cycle Oregon!

BONUS! From now through August 15th, you can enter to win free entry to THE CLASSIC by Cycle Oregon, a week-long adventure on wheels in Central Oregon.
ENTER TO WIN >

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A Pump Track Timelapse

We love this awesome timelapse of the exciting new Salem Geer Park Strider Pump Track made possible by People For Bikes and Specialized Bicycles

Watch the video

Special Thanks

Special thanks to Mike Estes for the tip! You can find him on Twitter as @m_estes where he does an excellent job of sharing off-road and BMX news throughout the state of Oregon.

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Are You Ready for WEEKENDER?

Every summer needs that one epic weekend – you know the one we’re talking about. You’ll tell your kids about what really happened, but only when they’re older. You’ll gush to your coworkers the next week. You’ll try new experiences. Your entire family might all be together. You’ll rally a posse. You’ll definitely meet new friends.

And MOST CERTAINLY you’ll be on your bike.

That’s what WEEKENDER is all about. Spend your days riding to your heart’s content and your nights reveling in the magic of being surrounded by a sea of fellow bike lovers who understand your passion for pedaling.

The routes are extremely well selected, the food is amazing and the nightly entertainment is the perfect way to cap off the day.

WEEKENDER by Cycle Oregon is July 7-9 out of Linfield College in McMinnville.
MORE INFO >

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5 Points Every Mountain Biker Should Know Before Exploring New Trails

Article by guest contributor Amanda Wilks of Mountain Bike Reviewed

Mountain biking is a thrilling sport, which is why it attracts such diverse fans as the rugby star, Nicolai Geometron, the rock star Duff McKagan, and even, somewhat surprisingly, former president Bush. There is nothing quite like the thrill of going down a new trail, but there are a few points every mountain biker should keep in mind before exploring new sites.

Let’s discuss the important details to keep in mind before exploring new trails.

1.    Trail Difficulty

Like ay sport, there is always a risk of injury when mountain biking, but some trails are harder and more dangerous than others. The difficulty level of a trail depends on how rough the terrain is, how many plants or other obstructions are in the trail and how much room it leaves for errors.

The difficulty of the trail should determine how bikers ride it, since they can manage the risk through riding behavior. Simply slowing down and carefully watching for hazards can make a dangerous trail manageable. It’s also worth going along with someone who has already been down the trail and knows the rough spots. There are some trails that are simply too hard for some riders, but don’t let that thought discourage you; there are always easier trails out there and you can train up for the more difficult ones.

2. Safety

Safety should always come first, especially on a new trail. A biker’s inexperience with the area introduces new risk factors, and taking steps to manage those risks is essential.

No biker should ever go on a new trail without a way to call for help. Remember that not all trails will have a cell signal. A signal whistle of similar tool is necessary as a backup, or for trails without reception. It’s also important to bring a map, since it’s easy to get lost a new trail if it ever splits or turns. Most importantly, bikers should inform a few different people where they are headed for the day so those people can get help if the biker fails to get home on time.

3.    Weather

All bikers should check the weather report before they head out for a trip, especially if they intend to spend a long time on a new trail. Bad weather brings reduced visibility and poor trail conditions, so it’s even worse for people who are on a new trail than those who are on an old one.

Most trips down a new trail will be fairly long, so it’s important to look up a detailed forecast in case the weather is going to change part way through the trip. Hourly forecasts that are released on the day of the trip will be the most accurate. They’re also the most useful, since they can provide a specific range of time when the weather is likely to be good.

4.    Physical Limits

Every mountain biker knows that biking is an intensely physical sport that takes a lot of energy. The ACSM Health and Fitness Journal found that the challenges of biking over uneven terrain lead to a full-body workout that also trains coordination and good decision-making skills. That physicality also means that bikers need to take their endurance and physical limits into account when picking trails. Biking down a trail that is too long or difficult means turning around early, and nobody enjoys that.

The biggest factors to consider are the length of the trail and how many slopes it features. It’s important to remember that any trail which isn’t a loop also includes the journey back to the starting point, which doubles the workload to bike it. Biking back is unavoidable, even for people who get tired and stop early, so planning for it is vital.

Bikers who aren’t sure if they can handle a trail should train their endurance before they try it. The best way to do that is to start out on smaller and easier trails. That’s also the best way to discover limits, so it’s a good idea to start small and build towards bigger challenges.

5.    Bike Design

Mountain bikes come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, and bikers should make sure that their bike is suitable for the trail. The bike’s suspension is usually the most important factor. Some mountain bikes, like cross-country models, are fine for relatively smooth trails but can’t handle extremely rough terrain. Using them on a rough trail is an exercise in discomfort, so it’s best to check for compatibility before heading out.

The bike’s weight will also matter on some trails. Some of them include serious obstructions, such as shallow water or fallen trees. Bikers sometimes need to carry their bikes over or through those obstacles. That’s much easier with a light bike than a heavy one. These obstructions are rare, so it’s usually easy to find out if a trail will feature them in advance.

Preparation Counts!

While it seems fun to just “wing it” and embrace the adventure, a little preparation goes a long way – and you’ll still be in for plenty of unexpected delights on the trail. That’s the beauty of mt. biking.

There is always some risk for a mountain biker when exploring new trails. Most problems arise from carelessness, when people don’t stop to think about whether they can handle the trail. Researching the trail and preparing for its challenges does take some effort, but the reward is a safe and pleasant outing.

There you have it! Cross every point off your list and… what are you waiting for? Your trail adventure is out there!

Amanda Wilks is a veteran mt. biker and the author of Mountain Bike Reviewed.

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COOL ROUTE: Swimming & Trolley Trail

We love this route for the mostly off-road paths. You can stay on the I-205 bike path most of the way unless it’s under construction, as it was when we rode this route last.

VIEW THE FULL ROUTE HERE >>

This route comes from the Best Bike Rides in Portland book by ORbike editor Ayleen Crotty and published by Falcon Guides.

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Barrel to Keg

Barrel to Keg on July 23 is a gravel grinder’s delight (with a pavement option, too). The ride begins in Philomath and ends in Newport.

Snake along the river and through the woods on backcountry gravel roads for 44 miles on your way to the Oregon Coast. The final stretch of this incredible ride is on pavement as you emerge in Newport for a total of 67 miles and 3,200 ft. of elevation gain.

New this year, you can opt for an all pavement out-and-back route starting in Newport. Riders begin the journey along the Bay Road which meanders along the Yaquina River and climbs into the town of Toledo. Enjoy a lovely rest stop at Elk City Park directly on the river, and start looking for gravel grinders; this is where they join in on the ride. This new route enjoys low traffic, nice shoulders, scenic views, a couple of great climbs and 45 miles of road bike worthy pavement.

The finish line party is at the Yaquina Bay Yacht Club for craft beer from Rogue Brewery, food carts and sweeping views of the bridge and bay.

A return transportation option is available.

MORE INFO→
ROUTES + MAPS→

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