Survival Century Gravel Ride

Columbia Century Challenge


Sometimes the best routes are hidden in plain sight. The two year old Columbia Century Challenge unveils a network of stunning riding routes that are just on the edge of Portland. Journey through the bicycle-friendly back roads of old Oregon timberlands – Clatskanine and Vernonia – and charming tiny towns like Mist and Apiary. You’ll pedal along historic farm roads through the open fields and pastures along the Columbia River.

The ride snagged second place in our Best Bike Rides of Oregon riders’ poll, and it’s little wonder why, though such accolades are rare for a first time event.

This ride really caters to variety of riders. Though there are purely-pavement routes on the Columbia Century Challenge, this ride is also perfect for riders who like a mix of pavement and gravel grinding. New this year, the ride includes an optional route that is 55% gravel – perfect for riders who like to journey off the beaten path.

This event is an awesome opportunity to test out your gravel skills in a well supported setting. If that 55% is too much, the ride also includes an optional hard pack gravel stretch along the historic Crown-Zellerbach trail, a very approachable 12 mile flat stretch.

This is one of those rides that makes us think, “Wait, why haven’t we been riding here all along?”


Photo Gallery


Device Mania: How to Tune Out on a Ride

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

In over ever-connected world, it’s tempting to share life’s beauty and victories with others. And on a bike ride, beauty and victory are what it’s all about.

But if you’re constantly on your device, sharing the ride during the ride, where are you, really? Are you here? Or are you in Device Land?

The problem with Device Land is that you’re disconnected from the world around you. So much of why we ride is to sink into the landscape, set aside the cares of the world, to just BE.

If you find yourself eager to post, turn off the phone. If you enjoy taking photos, put your phone in airplane mode.

It can be fun to share the ride during the ride, and it’s possible to do this without letting it take over your day. Start with a plan. Take all the photos you want, but instead of composing those posts continually in your head, let it go. Wait until you’re at the first rest stop, and allow yourself a post. A quick one. Don’t overthink it; this doesn’t need to be a masterpiece.

Then continue on your ride and post once again at the finish line. That once can be more of a masterpiece.

That gap in the middle between posts? That’s where you truly sink in. Let go. Disconnect. Enjoy. Ride.

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!


Arthritis Bike Classic Sept 16-22

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all… but getting away from it all shouldn’t mean doing a ton of work. That’s why we love the Arthritis Bike Classic September 16-22.

This ride exemplifies “getting away from it all” on so many levels! It’s no wonder why this ride was named the fourth Best Bike Ride in Oregon in the ORbike Riders Poll of 2016.

  • Small group, but not too small. Enough people to feel like you’re part of a grand journey, but few enough that you’ll get to know nearly everyone by the end of the ride (remembering their names? Well, maybe some of them….)
  • You’ll ride tucked away on quiet roads, off the beaten track.
  • Worry not about a thing, the rider organizers run an amazing event and take care of all the details.
  • Sink into the landscape, soak it in and cruise. Just cruise and relax.

What a Journey!

The Arthritis Bike Classic takes you on an amazing excursion from Portland, through the lush Willamette Valley and on to the thundering surf of the Oregon Coast. This is an unforgettable experience.

With overnight stays, camping or hotels, hot showers every night, evening bonfires and so much more, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to luxury riding heaven – without the price of luxury. This well-priced event is worth every penny, and it supports a great cause – the Arthritis Foundation.

Mark Your Calendar

Mark your calendar now and start preparing for an amazing adventure. Rally your friends, clear your schedule and get ready to sink in. This one is a ride for the memory bank.


COOL ROUTE: Border Crossing

34 miles, average elevation gain

Head out on a clockwise exploration into Vancouver on this two-state ride that offers beautiful views on both sides of the river. Though we’re not going to claim either bridge to be awesome riding, they’re both safe and afford wonderful vistas.

In between the bridges on the Washington side is a lovely portion of Vancouver. Officer’s Row is filled with historic restored homes to the left and a park to your right.


This issue’s route is from the Rubber to the Road website.


Crater Lake – Car Free

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

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

SHUTTLE SERVICE: A FREE Shuttle Service picks up at the Steel Visitor Center/Park HQ and North Junction. The Shuttle travels both directions for the duration of the ride and has limited space each trip – only about 50 spaces.

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.



Levi Leipheimer is Coming to the Oregon Gran Fondo

Levi Leipheimer, American former professional road racing cyclist and Tour de France podium finisher will make a special appearance at the Oregon Gran Fondo.

We’re not too much of a start struck state when it comes to famous athletes, and this is a unique opportunity to learn from one of the most talented and gracious cyclists out there.

Come Hang Out With Levi

Join Levi on Saturday, May 20 at 11am at the Slocum Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Eugene. Levi has raised over $2 million in support of at-risk youth through the non-profit King Ridge Foundation. Proceeds from the Oregon Gran Fondo will benefit at-risk youth from the King Ridge Foundation and HOSEA Youth Services of Lane County.

Levi was twice US national champion, winning the time trial title in 1999 and the road race in 2007, and is an Olympic medalist. Leipheimer was born and raised in Butte, Montana and resides in Healdsburg, California.

About the Oregon Gran Fondo

The Oregon Gran Fondo features a Challenging 117 mile Gran Route (6,000 feet of climbing), or 71 mile Medio Route 4,000 feet of climbing), both starting from downtown Cottage Grove on Sunday, May 21. The routes feature fresh fruit, espresso, and mechanical service at all aid stations as you meander some of the most scenic terrain in the state. After your ride, unwind with Plank Town Brewery and Backstage Bakery post event meal and complimentary massage for all and learn about King Ridge and local advocates HOSEA.

More Information






Until June 1, register for Levi’s Gran Fondo and get 10% off and 20% will be donated back from Levi’s Gran Fondo to HOSEA Youth by entering referral code oregongranfondo

The organizers behind these efforts are working to raise 10,000 and give road cyclists an advocacy role through all the work Levi has started with his team.


Increase Your Endurance

Article by guest contributor Mike Jones of Exercise Bike Exert.

Whether you are a runner thinking about signing up for a marathon or a cyclist contemplating that distance ride or you just want to improve your overall cardio fitness, you need to work on increasing your endurance. Endurance is what helps you power through longer workouts and gives you the energy to get through your day. To help you meet your fitness goals and boost your energy levels, below are four ways you can increase your endurance.

Train in Stages

If you want to increase your endurance, you don’t want to start too hard. Otherwise, you risk injuring yourself and derailing your progress. Instead, you should start with a manageable distance or length of time, and gradually increase week by week.

If you’re building up to a big ride, start at least six weeks out, and start by cycling for half of the distance. The next week, add five miles. The next 2 weeks, add ten miles each week. By week 5, you should be at least at 90% of the desired distance. Read more about this training regime.

Essentially, you need to make a realistic goal of where you want to be in six weeks, start with half, and work your way up each week.

Start Spinning

If you can’t get outdoors on a regular basis, consider spinning or using a trainer.

Even if you are not a regular cyclist, using a spin bike can ramp up your cardio to the next level and power your legs and endurance levels. Spin bikes are also easy to learn and your workouts can’t be derailed by inclement weather. Spend your time focusing on building your fitness, not on cars, traffic and other road hazards.

Start Weight Training

Although endurance typically refers more to cardio, your endurance can actually benefit from incorporating regular weight training into your exercise routine. Weight training makes your muscles bigger over time, which increases their exercise potential and gives you more energy to get you through your day. It also improves your flexibility and balance, bone density and blood pressure. When your whole body is stronger and healthier, you can exercise for longer.

If you have never done weight training before, start small until you figure out your limits so that you avoid injury. As you get stronger you can increase the weights that you use and you will start to notice a difference in your endurance levels.

Prioritize Good Nutrition

Increasing your endurance isn’t just about what you do in your workouts, however. It’s also about what you eat. Some foods slow you down and sabotage your endurance levels, while others can fuel your workouts and give you the energy to go longer and harder. Cut out saturated fats and sugars and focus on complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. To keep your energy up between meals, you can snack on nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

You should also make sure that you are well-hydrated, which means drinking plenty of water. When you nourish your body with the proper nutrition and hydration, you power your muscles and give them the fuel they need to increase your endurance.


Increasing your endurance takes time, but it is an achievable goal if you follow the right steps. Take it step by step, try a spin bike if you can’t make it outside, incorporate weight training, and focus on what you are putting into your body and you should start to notice an improvement.



COOL ROUTE: Pete’s Mountain

We love this ride for the ferry, municipal elevator, Pete’s Mountain Road and Wisteria! So amazing.

CLICK HERE for the full view >>

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.


Down Time: Post Ride Recovery

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

We could fill this space with fancy talk about lactic acid and muscle recovery, but many of you would probably tune out. So instead we’re going to keep it simple:
Sit back, relax and have a beer.

Actually, we’re not kidding… though there is more to recovery than that.

Post-ride recovery is a multi layered activity that has many benefits. In yoga, the final relaxation pose is savasana. It’s meant to be a time to let the practice sink in, let your muscles remember the poses and activity, to imprint the good feelings on your system. Post ride recovery can serve much the same benefit.

Kit Sitting

Kit sitting is a term coined by bike event expert Brad Nelson of Axiom Event Productions. He’s a firm believer in the value of the relaxing time spent sitting with friends after a ride, before the hassle of removing your riding clothes and taking a shower. That can wait until later, Brad says.

Eat well!

You earned that burger and fries, but immediately following your ride, as quickly as possible, your muscles crave protein and nutrients.

A well balanced recovery smoothie is the best thing you can enjoy directly after the ride. If you’re fortunate enough to be on a ride that has a smoothie vendor, you might even be able to enjoy yours before you even dismount the bike. Bananas and protein are two excellent ingredients to look for. A lot of the aches and lasting pain that result from a hard ride can be eliminated this way.

A beer. With friends

Socialization after a ride is an awesome way to seal in the experience. Relive the moments, laugh at the mistakes, and learn tips from other riders. This camaraderie is our bike community, and it is a huge aspect of why we ride. Enjoy it – you earned it.

And no, your drink doesn’t have to be a beer. The point here is to enjoy a drink among friends in good company. Maybe that’s your favorite tea, a soda, wine or a cup of coffee. Savor your favorite beverage, and that time with friends.

Stretch gently

It’s a good idea to stretch out after a ride, but there’s no need to be to extreme about it. Go for the areas that you know tend to tighten up after a long ride, such as hips, quads and calves.

How do you recover?

Share your thoughts below.

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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