best bike rides in Oregon

Help Send Filmed by Bike to SXSW

The Filmed by Bike film festival was started in 2003 as a way to get people excited about bikes and to celebrate the creative Portland bike community. Founder and Director Ayleen Crotty (also ORbike’s editor) says she never imagined the festival would grow to where it is today, with film submissions from all over the world.

Now, in its 16th year, the festival is headed to SXSW in Austin this March.


Filmed by Bike will be hosting a popup event in the heart of SXSW to share a bit of bike culture with the 72,000 attendees of this expansive event, with a side goal of exporting little PDX style.

As a niche film festival, Filmed by Bike says they don’t have the budget for this large scale endeavor. That’s why they launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds necessary to make the project a reality.

You can read more and make a donation on their Indiegogo fundraising page.

About Filmed by Bike

Filmed by Bike features the world’s best bicycle-themed movies. Every May in Portland they host a film festival weekend at the Hollywood Theatre. Their movie collections then tour worldwide throughout the year with more than 30 tour dates in the works for 2018.

Many of the touring shows are hosted as fundraisers for non-profit organizations, similar to the model of the Banff Film Fest.

The 2018 festival is May 4-6 and the Launch Party is March 1 at NW Documentary.

Filmed by Bike Launch Party

Introducing the 16th Annual Filmed by Bike Film Festival

May 4-6, 2018 – Hollywood Theatre – Portland

The Filmed by Bike film festival features the world’s best bike bike movies. Every year they host an expansive film festival weekend in Portland, then their movie collections go on tour year round throughout the world. The Portland event is filled with film screenings, filmmaker chats, bike rides, a street party and more.

Festival Launch Party!

Filmed by Bike has exciting features in store for this year’s festival, including some big changes! Head to the Festival Launch Party to find out more.

  • The unveiling of the Festival Trailer with filmmaker Lars C. Larsen in attendance.
  • Free beer from Base Camp Brewing.
  • Discounted pricing on Festival Passes.
  • Tickets go on sale with early bird pricing.
  • A showcase of Festival Trailers from over the years.
  • Exciting news about what’s in store for this year’s festival.
  • Poblano Food Truck
  • Check out the cool NW Documentary Screening Hall and learn more about what this impressive organization does year round.

RSVP (optional)

Event Details

DATE: Thursday, March 1
LOCATION: NW Documentary – 6 NE Tillamook (at Williams) in Portland
TIME: 6:00-8:00 pm
PROGRAM: Begins at 6:45 pm

It’s COSTUME Time!

You know why the weather has been so nice lately? Because the Worst Day of the Year Ride is almost here.

Most years the ride features relatively mild weather and an excellent time on two wheels.

Wig Out

The best way to guarantee the ride will be fun is to come in costume. Check out our gallery below for inspiration. Even if you’re riding the 40-miler, riding in costume makes this ride ten times more fun. Okay, maybe not ten times, but definitely a lot more fun.

PRO TIP: For maximum fun, your wig goes OVER your helmet, not under.

What are your plans for this year’s ridiculously fun ride?

Ride Basics

Sunday, February 11
Various route options – from 4-40 miles.
Rest stops paced frequently along the way
The 40-miler is an approachable fun route, but MAN that Old Germantown Road can be a doozie this early in the season!
Optional pre-ride party on Saturday February 10
Finish line party

Costume Gallery

How to Beat the Winter Doldrums

February 11 – Portland

Just when it seems the rain will just never end, magically the skies open up and everyone comes out to play in the streets of Portland. Or so it seems when the Worst Day of the Year Ride rolls around.

Every year this beloved event inspires people to peel themselves off the couch and head out for a day of fun on two wheels…rain or shine.

This Awesome Ride Just Keeps Getting Better

Here are some of our favorite new features:

  • Deluxe Hot Cocoa Bar at the Finish Line Party.
    A tasty way to indulge and warm up after the ride.
  • 1/2 Price Family Ride – a 4-mile route.
    Introduce the little ones to this Portland tradition.
  • Kids under 12 ride for free.
    Whether they’re riding the 4-Mile Course or they’re up for a bigger challenge, all kids under 12 ride free this year, so bring the whole family! And their friends! And the entire Girl Scout Troop! What a fun way to all be together for the day.
  • If You’re Not in Costume, You’re Missing Out!

    PRO TIP: Your wig looks better over (not under) your helmet
    You could slip on all of your standard riding apparel and have a good experience on the Worst Day of the Year Ride, but you’d be missing the point… and missing out.

    The Worst Day of the Year Ride was founded as an event that wanted to celebrate the wacky spirit of Portland, rain or shine. Since the very early years, riders have arrived in wild get-ups as they strive to win first place in the coveted Costume Contest.

    But if assembling a complex group theme just isn’t your thing, we recommend you at least wear a wig and a cape – two of the easiest pieces of costumery to acquire. At home, you might feel silly. Riding out your front door past the neighbors, perhaps even sillier. But trust us on this one: as soon as you roll up to the start line, you will know you’ve found your tribe.

    If we’ve learned anything from this crazy ride over the years, it’s that a sea of costumed riders is a powerful force in driving away the winter blues.

    We can’t wait to see what you’re wearing on February 11!

    Riding For a Cause

    Helping get more people on bikes has never been more fun!
    The Worst Day of the Year Ride is a fundraiser for the Community Cycling Center, a nonprofit organization that broadens access to bicycles. They’re known for their many successful youth programs, such as the Holiday Bike Drive, a STEM Education Bicycle Mechanics program and their ultra fun Summer Bike Camps.

    Simply by riding your bike in the Worst Day of the Year Ride, you’re supporting their admirable work in the community, and we think that’s pretty special. Learn more about them at the finish line.


    See You Out There!

    ORbike ambassadors Ayleen, Stephanie, Mark, Greg and a few others will be out there! You’ll recognize us as the people stuffing as many tater tots as we can in our pockets before departing from the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse rest stop (40-mile route).

    Ride Basics

    Various route options – from 4-40 miles.
    Rest stops paced frequently along the way
    The 40-miler is an approachable fun route, but MAN that Old Germantown Road can be a doozie this early in the season!
    Register early and save
    Optional pre-ride party on Saturday
    Finish line party

Portland Winter Lights Festival

February 1-3 – Portland

Bundle up and celebrate the power of lights! The Portland Winter Lights Festival is a dazzling opportunity to explore Portland at night with illuminated displays, kinetic fire sculptures and interactive installations all over the city.

This event is absolutely magical, and it’s free.

More than 100 artists and organizations are involved. The Filmed by Bike film festival is hosting a bike-themed installation along North Williams at Tillamook where their animated characters will dance in the bike lane.

On Friday, join in on the Illumiated Bike Ride, a three-mile group ride with wild lights and sound systems.


Live the Revolution: Bike. Love. Stories

Friday, February 9th
Alberta Abbey, Portland Oregon
Doors: 6pm
Show: 7pm

Every year in celebration of their anniversary Sugar Wheel Works hosts a big-ole party, and you’re invited! Head out for a hilarious night of bike stories told live from the stage of the Alberta Abbey Theater in Portland. This event is co-hosted by Jude Gerace of Sugar Wheel Works and Leah Benson of Glady’s Bikes. The night is a fundraiser for The Street Trust, a non-profit organization working hard to make the streets safer for all.



We’ve been sworn to secrecy by the four incredible storytellers, promising on our hearts that we won’t tell you what they’ll be talking about from the stage. But where’s the fun in that? We’re just too excited – so here’s a little taste!


Owner, River City Bicycles and woodworker
“I suck at riding a bike. There is nothing I do well while riding a bike.”
He’s well known for running one of the largest bike shops in the US, but did you know that Dave likes riding his bike to airports… by himself… along freeways?


Co-Founder of Bike Farm and Operations Director for BIKETOWN
“I’m constantly amazed by where my bike has taken me; the many mountains, countries, carreers, relationships.”
Sometimes it takes a tragedy to build commuinty and shed light on isolation. Turns out it’s actually really good to need help.


Local Shero for Black Girls Do Bike PDX
“I’m falling in love with riding a bike.”
How do we make the bike community more equitable, welcoming and accessible? Keyonda has a few ideas to share. Oh no this is not her first rodeo, Keyonda is a veteran of the stage with storytelling stints and open mic nights in her hometown of Chicago.


Founder of Komorebi Cycling Team and Director of Marketing and Sales for Portland Design Works.
She founded an adventurous cycling team and she’s organizing the big WTF Bikexplorers Campout this summer, but what happens when this rugged adventurer finds herself on the grueling road with some strangers… and things don’t go so well?

Group Riding Etiquette

We originally posted this article a while back, but decided to pull it back out because so many of our readers have told us this info has been very helpful for them.

While every group ride is different, there are some basic rules to follow if you don’t want to be pegged as dangerous or, worse, not be invited back again. Depending on the amount of traffic and the local laws, most groups ride single file or two-abreast. The latter makes for nice conversation and makes it a bit quicker for cars to pass. Sometimes though, a group simply has to ride single file.

By following a few simple rules, group rides become more fun, less dangerous, and more effective cycling for everyone!

This is general info based on the commonly accepted etiquette. You will find that when participating in a big ride like one of the Cycle Oregon experiences, you’ll be glad to know these guidelines so you can be a good steward of the road.

Be sure to check with the ride to see if they have additional guidelines, too. If it’s a club/group ride, simply ask, “Is there anything about your riding style I should know?” If it’s a supported ride like Cycle Oregon, check their guidelines. For safety reasons, they may restrict the number of people who can be in a pace line (Cycle Oregon does).

Rule #1: Be a good guest.

If you are invited to ride with a new group, show up on time. As the group if there’s anything you should know about their group riding style. Also, don’t go immediately to the front and try to drop them. They probably invited you because they want to talk to you and get to know who you are. If they are constantly chasing you, that is impossible. Go for the occasional sprint (if they tell you it’s coming), otherwise just relax and enjoy the ride.

Rule #2: Ride in a straight line.

There are few things more frightening on a group ride than someone who has trouble holding a smooth line. Wobbly riding by one individual is magnified as you go down the line, so bend your arms, breathe and stay relaxed while making sure you aren’t too close to the wheel in front of you.

Rule #3: Avoid braking constantly.

Look ahead and not down at the wheel in front of you. Learn to feel where you are in relation to the rider ahead. One way to make sure you keep your distance from the wheel of the rider in front of you is to gently move to the left into the wind for a moment or two. Catching a bit of wind on your chest will often slow you down enough to avoid having to touch your brakes.

Rule #4: When you are in front on a gentle descent, keep pedaling.

The riders behind you are already coasting in this situation. If you coast too, they will certainly have to brake. They may have to anyway, but if you keep a bit of pressure on, they will have to brake less and the whole group will stay happier.

Rule #5: Point out obstacles.

This could easily be rule #1 because it is so important. When you see a hole/stick/gravel/car-pulling-out-of-driveway ahead, point it out to the riders behind you as you smoothly move to avoid it. Simply pointing your finger down usually does the trick, but you might also want to yell out the hazard.

Rule #6: Look where you are going.

We have all spent time, tongue hanging out, staring desperately at the rear hub of the rider in front, but that’s racing! On a group spin, keep your eyes up and look ahead. Learn to gauge, without actually looking, the distance between your front wheel and the wheel ahead of you.

Rule #7: Leave Room

If you’re riding with skilled riders you know, you can hang tightly on the wheel in front of you. But for supported distance rides, you fully of strangers, leave ample stopping distance. Do not trust the person in front of you to stop in time. If you crash into someone, it is your fault for following too closely.

When riding in a tight group, stand up smoothly. Once in a while, it’s nice to get up out of the saddle for a bit. When you do this, your bike naturally moves back a bit. So, to avoid taking out the person behind you, who is no doubt carefully observing rules #1-6, make sure you do it carefully by leaving a bit of room before giving the pedals one hard push as you stand.

Rule #8: Warn your fellow riders.

If you are in the back and you hear a car approaching from behind, just say “Car back.” If you are in front on a narrow road with no center line and you see a car approaching, say “Car up.” If you are somewhere in the middle, pass it on. Simple!

Rule #9: Slow down after you rotate off the front.

One thing often seen on group rides is lead riders pulling off only to stay at the same speed. This forces the next riders to go even faster. Naturally, this only works for so long before someone can’t go that fast and the group begins to separate. When you rotate off the front, simply ease back a bit with the pressure you apply to the pedals. When everyone does this, a paceline flows smoothly and motion becomes poetry.

Rule #10: Share the road.

Cars definitely don’t add to the fun of any ride, but we all use public roads so we have to share. Keep right, obey the rules of the road, be courteous towards other road users and ride predictably. Support your local bike advocacy organization (here it’s the Bicycle Transportation Alliance) – they help keep the roads safe.

Adnan Kadir is a USAC-certified Level 1 cycling coach who believes that in sport, as in life, it is important to strike a balance between the various aspects of what one does. Adnan has been a competitive cyclist and triathlete for nearly 25 years. His full-time coaching practice can be found at

Intrigued by Major Bike Competitions?

Guest Post by Jarno Rekoniusluck

2018 promises to be a good year for fans of cycling. There are plenty of worldwide race options to see. It’s fun to travel to the races and watch the big stars of the sport. You can even wager a little cash as several bookmakers have opened up betting online for many cycling tournaments. If you’re feeling the desire to compete, there are also many open tournaments for you to try out in 2018. Arguably the biggest and most thrilling is the European Cycling Championships to be held in Glasgow

About the Championships

These championships consist of four different disciplines: mountain biking, BMX, road and track. This is the first time in history that one city will simultaneously host all four disciplines. The ultimate aim is to become the champion of Europe. Glasgow is an excellent setting for the race, with plenty of terrain and landscape options to make the courses exciting, and gorgeous (though we’re certain the racers won’t have time to notice the Scottish landscape!).

Mountain Biking

The mountain biking challenge in Glasgow will be at the iconic Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails. If you have not entered a mountain biking challenge before, you need to prepare yourself for the ultimate test because this one is steep. If the the thrill of grinding away in the woods on varied terrain gets you all abuzz, this race just might be for you.


The BMX track for the championships is located at the Knights Wood Park. Before being admitted to race at the Knights wood Park, you first need to participate in three rounds of qualification heats. In these heats, you will race with eight other racers; you need to finish in the top three positions in all three heats to get your ticket the big competition.


Cycling road competitions will be held in the streets of Glasgow into the lush Scottish countryside. There are a number of different distance options in the competition. This is a “bunch” event where you race against hundreds with vehicular marshals in slow pursuit until you reach the tail of the race. It looks like a great course!


Track cycling is going to be held at the Chris Hoy Velodrome, Emirates Arena. Track cycling is one of the most demanding as it is all about your pace, nerve, tactics, technique, stamina and speed. Spectators are certain to witness some incredible top speeds during this event.

Worst Day of the Year Ride!

February 11 – Portland – We Ride For the Tots!

You know big fun is about to happen when the Worst Day of the Year Ride rolls around.

This wacky Portland ride, now in its 17th year, is an awesome day to be on a bike. Early season, legs are a little stiff, everyone’s a bit slow, but none of that matters. It’s always fun to see the 40-milers walking up Old Germantown Road, no shame in that!

Rain or Shine

The Worst Day of the Year Ride is delightfully rain or shine, but magically there is often a brief window of sunshine-drenched warm days in February, and it always seems to fall during the Worst Day of the Year Ride. But no guarantees here, the ride could just as easily happen during a typical Portland winter downpour. And that’s precisely part of the fun.

New Features

Never a dull moment with this awesome event! Here are some of the new features for this year.

  • Kids ride free!
  • A 4-mile Family Ride – and it’s 1/2 price.
  • Deluxe Hot Cocoa Bar at the finish line.
  • A benefit for the Community Cycling Center, a non-profit that broadens access to bikes.
  • Kids who come in costume will receive a special prize.

Join Team ORbike!

We’ll be out there in force, though we’ll be in costume (of COURSE) so you may not recognize us. But if you do, swing by and say hi! We’d love to meet you. Here’s a hint: If you see a group at the McMenamin’s Cornelius Pass Roadhouse rest stop with an insane table full of tater tots, that’s probably us. We ride for the tots!

Ride Basics

Sunday, February 11
ROUTES: 40, 15 and 4 miles
Rest stops stocked with yummy fun treats
Kids ride free!


Post Ride Sleep Guide

Guest Post by Michael of Blog on Dirt

As a fellow bike rider, I understand the importance of sleeping on a comfortable mattress. If you’re a cyclist, it’s one of the factors that lead to proper growth and development of muscles. Nowadays, many athletes are trying to get their hands on different food supplements for better muscle growth. What they don’t know is that sleeping on a modern mattress can also help too!

I recently came across the best products on Try Mattress review and realized that most of us are not sleeping on the best type of mattress for recovery. For bike riders, you need something that gives your back enough support throughout the night and to promote a sound sleep. We do our best recovery when we’re in a deep sleep and our bodies are fully relaxed.

So, here are my best models for all cyclists.


Bear Mattresses

These fantastic models have Celliant technology which increases the flow of oxygenated blood in cyclists. Although it’s commonly found in materials such as sheets and clothing, it still performs the same functions when used in a mattress. I even found that a majority of people consider Celliant technology to be quite beneficial when it comes to recovery of sleep.

Other than just using the latest technologies, these mattresses are also very cozy. Of course, you would expect nothing less from a company with extensive experience in the bed industry.


Lull Mattresses

These are highly ranked mattresses that combine both latex and memory foam materials. They offer additional comfort and support and a spring effect because of the latex material. I love them because they allow you to toss and turn effortlessly.

I should also point out that Lull doesn’t have materials specific for athletes like the Bear Mattresses. However, I’ve decided to include it in this list because of its affordable cost and fantastic feel. Also, because of my large muscle mass, I love using the Lull mattresses because they come with some additional comfort!



Here is another excellent mattress with Celliant technology. Currently, I feel that their fantastic memory foam material is the most suitable option for many cyclists. Of course, the main reason here is its comfort. Keep in mind that enough support during the night is a crucial part of a cyclist’s life. Furthermore, it keeps your spine correctly aligned despite your sleeping position. If you get this incredible model, your muscles can finally relax and concentrate on recovery.


The PerformaSleep Mattresses

PerformaSleep is an excellent mattress for all cyclists and athletes in general. It uses technology that combines three different layers of foam. Together, they relax muscles and boost recovery. Also, unlike other mattresses on this list, PerformaSleep has a CopperCool gel that not only supports your joints and back but also gives you consistent temperature throughout the night.

From doing further research, I also discovered that it’s perfect for different body types. It doesn’t matter if you’re a cyclist with high muscle mass or fat. Here, the Enersorb and CopperCool layers offer just the right kind of rigidity and comfort needed for deep and uninterrupted sleep every night!



Just by going through these awesome types of mattresses, you’ve taken the vital step towards sleep recovery. I’ve found that a good number of cyclists have trouble sleeping because the beds that they are using are just not good enough. Luckily, by using any of these products, you’ll have said ‘goodbye’ to those sleepless nights. Which type of mattress do you think suits you best?


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