Oregon bike rides portland

Road Racing 101

If the race to the office and back has gotten a little too easy for you, don’t fret, because the Monday Night Bike Racing Series at PIR has plenty more to offer where that came from. Ever try to make critical decisions under high stress when you’re almost out of breath while traveling shoulder-to-shoulder with dozens of other riders at blistering speeds? This is what Road Racing is all about. Let’s get you started.

First Steps

The weekly Monday Night Series held at the Portland International Raceway in North Portland is the perfect introduction for new racers. We encourage you to stop by any of our Monday evening races from April to August to see racing up close and get you ready to jump in on your own.

No need to be intimidated, Oregon’s community of bike racers is one of the friendliest and fastest in the country. Seasoned riders will be on hand to answer questions, and it’s also a great opportunity to meet fellow beginner racers, get to know the officials that make these races possible, and perhaps scout out a few prospective teams you might like to join. Cycling teams are a great way to learn new skills, practice riding with a group, and meet new people.

Photo Credit: Tim Yarnell - www.tyarnellphotography.com

Photo Credit: Tim Yarnell – www.tyarnellphotography.com

Clinics and the Start Line

Being able to ride fast barely scratches the surface of what it takes to be a successful racer. Luckily, there’s a free Introduction to Racing Clinic held at 5:30 pm the first racing Monday of each month, May through August where we’ll give you a few pointers to ensure your first races are as rewarding as possible. Clinics are organized using expert coaches and instructors from Wenzel Coaching. They cover basic group-riding skills, how to prepare for your first race, and if time permits, some tricks on saving energy, riding smoothly, and safely maneuvering during in the group, A.K.A. how to win.

After the clinic, you can roll over to the start line! Take a few deep breaths, listen carefully to the official’s instructions, and when the whistle blows – it’s time to race! The course is a flat 1.9-mile loop and the novice group usually completes 6-7 laps.

Photo Credit: Tim Yarnell - www.tyarnellphotography.com

Photo Credit: Tim Yarnell – www.tyarnellphotography.com

After the Race

Phew! Quite good fun wasn’t it? Take a few pedal strokes to regain your marbles, and then go celebrate and chat with your fellow racers and the clinic coaches. Having completed a race is always an exhilarating experience whether you’ve done it once or a thousand times. Now that you’ve caught the bug, it’s time to keep training and keep racing. If you place consistently well, OBRA officials might upgrade you to the Category 4 & 5 race where you’ll get to test your legs against more experienced riders. There’s always another challenge awaiting in the glorious world of Road Racing. Welcome!

An OBRA license is required to race. Annual or day memberships are available at the race or online.

Photo Credit: Tim Yarnell - www.tyarnellphotography.com

Photo Credit: Tim Yarnell – www.tyarnellphotography.com

Learn More

Want more? Check out all the details on the Monday Night Race Series website

Jim Anderson is President of the Team Oregon Cycling Team and works as Logistics Manager and Soigneur for Axeon-Hagens Berman Professional Cycling Team. This is Jim’s 15th season organizing and promoting the Monday Night Race Series at PIR. When not on the road, cycling or encouraging others to ride, Jim enjoys tricking his Pembroke Welsh Corgi Winnie into chasing non-existent squirrels.


COOL ROUTE: Forested Saltzman and St. Johns

We love this route for so very many reasons! The climb up Saltzman Road through Forest Park is both serene and challenging, but not TOO challenging. It’s a steady climb up, never too steep. In fact, it rarely gets beyond 4% grade. The route takes Newberry Road down, a steep and winding descent that’s either terrifying or thrilling, depending on how much you like steep descents! Ride at a speed where you always feel in control of the bike – some of the turns are shockingly steep.


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


Watch This >

The 15th Annual Filmed by Bike film festival features the world’s best bike movies May 5-7 at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland. After the Portland festival is over, Filmed by Bike On Tour brings the best of the fest to cities around the world.


A Jam Packed Weekend of Fun!

  • Base Camp Street Party on opening night
  • main stage of outdoor entertainment
  • free Vibram Sole Factor cobbler service
  • coffee from Nossa Familia
  • free bike parking and complimentary BIKETOWN rides plus a special pop-up BIKETOWN bike share station at the festival
  • Chris King Precision Components factory tour + chef-hosted reception
  • Filmmaker Bike Ride
  • Awards Ceremony
    + much more!

PRO TIP: Buy a Festival Pass for the full festival experience and deep savings. [ more info ]

Watch This

To get you excited for the festival, we’re sharing some of the festival’s best movies from over the years.


Ride the volcano!

TOUR DE BLAST | June 17 – Mount St. Helens

The eruption of Mount St. Helens was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States, but in the aftermath we are left with a striking landscape and an intriguing region to explore.

Tour de Blast takes you on a journey through the “blast zone” on an intense ride that’s both challenging and rewarding. It’s one of those rides you’ll forever feel proud to have accomplished, and you most certainly will never
forget those amazing views.



Photo Gallery


Hydration Station


Effective hydration is a healthy habit and especially important for athletes. Being properly hydrated prevents muscle cramps and keeps your engine running smoothly.


The general rule of thumb is one bottle per hour when it’s chilly, and up to four per hour when the weather is hot. This is based on a 150 lb cyclist and a 16 oz water bottle. Most bike bottles hold 24 oz so drinking two per hour on a warm day is a good average.

Water bottles are not all created equal. Our favorites are made by Camelbak. Their Podium bottles hold 24 oz of liquid, and won’t leave a “plastic-y” taste in your drink. If your water tastes better, you’ll be more inclined to sip as you ride.


Water is great, but electrolytes are golden. Electrolyte tablets and powders dissolved in your water bottle replace the minerals your body depletes during exercise. Products like the small individual Nuun tablets are more convenient than a powder. They are easy to carry and can be added to water at any point in your ride. Plus, they’re tasty, which will also encourage you to drink more.


If it’s going to be hot out, pre-hydrating can really save your bacon, so putting away liquids before the ride is never a bad idea. But as important as pre-hydrating can be, your top priority will still be taking in fluids on the road or trail.

Staying hydrated during the ride is your best bet for strong and efficient performance. The purpose of post-ride hydration is to replace fluids you’ve lost, so if it was a sweaty ride you’ll want to keep that in mind and double up on the water and electrolytes. There are tons of specific nutrition products aimed at each of these categories, but look for a powder like Cytomax, which is formulated for pre, during, and post-ride use.


Powders, gels, tablets: we’ve mentioned a few of our favorites, but they may not be yours. Read the labels to make sure the ingredients, calorie and sugar count are right for you. Taste matters – if it’s icky, you won’t drink it. You may never find a brand that tastes like sweet water to you, but chances are good you can at least find one that’s not so bad.

TIP: Gather up a group of friends for an electrolyte sharing group so you can try as many products as possible without investing in a large container only to find you don’t like it.

Taste test the options on your training ride or a warm evening commute. Get your preferred hydration option dialed in well before riding an event, and plan to bring your own electrolytes. Some rides provide them, but you never know which brand will be on tap.

For more options, check out the complete nutrition line at Western Bikeworks.

This article was contributed by James Walsh of Western Bikeworks


Healthy Snacks on the Go

This article is presented by WEEKENDER, two days that will make your whole summer.

We’ve all been there. You’re headed out on a ride. It seemed like there were a million things to get ready for the ride, and you’re just glad you finally made it out the door. It’s not until you hit mile 20 that you realize you didn’t pack any snacks. Maybe you’re fortunate to have a convenience store along the way, but chances are you’re pretty far from the luxuries of your favorite grocery store.

With a little know-how you can survive this mishap, and hopefully prevent it in the future.

What’s Good In a Pinch

These convenience store staples may not be your favorite foods, but they’re a good grab-and-go.

  • A bar that has the fewest ingredients possible – we like Kind and Larabar for this reason.
  • Raw or roasted nuts.
  • Jerky, Slim Jim, etc.
  • Pretzels or other salty snacks that aren’t heavy in fat.
  • A quality dark chocolate with nuts – the simpler the better.
  • When all else fails, get the corn dog from under the heat lamp. Your body may not thank you, but your taste buds will.

Better Luck Next Time

Stock your kitchen with these staples for awesome, healthy grab-and-go snacks.

  • Hard boiled eggs.
  • Date rolls (bulk section, coated in coconut, no added sugar)
  • Raw nuts. Mix them with pretzels if you like a little more of a snack
  • Your favorite bars. Buy them by the case and keep them on hand.

The ORbike Mix

Create your own mix based on what you love to have on a ride. This is our favorite snack mix for rides.
1 part raw walnuts
1 part raw almonds
1 part dried cherries
2 parts date rolls

Mix these together and store in a jar on the shelf.

Before the ride, load up a ziploc and add in some pretzels.

WEEKENDER a ride by Cycle Oregon, is July 7-9, 2017. Bring your friends. Bring your neighbors. Bring your family. Bring your bikes. Everyone is welcome for Cycle Oregon’s two-day bike bash! Linfield College campus is home base for a weekend of great rides, live tunes, and activities galore. Choose from a short, medium or long route through wine country, then camp under the stars or crash in the dorms. It’s two-wheeled fun for everyone!


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