Well that was one wild ride… I’m exhausted both mentally and physically and frankly, I’m ready to move on from talking about the Oregon Outback. But before I do, I wanted to do a quick recap and begin aggregating links to photos, stories, etc. While I tongue-in-cheek quoted someone else saying that this was going to be the “most well documented bikepacking event ever”, it’d be hard to deny it now. There were enough video crews, professional photographers, writers, bike fabricators, and industry folks mixed in with the rest of us normal people that nothing happened that wasn’t documented to the n’th degree. And if you missed the live show on Instagram, I highly recommend going back and looking through the 1,200+ photos posted under #oregonoutback. It was wicked fun following along with everyone before and during their rides. So there’s that. And it’s admittedly all pretty rad.
I had a few comments I wanted to include without going into too many details. First, Amtrak was great. They were super friendly and cooperative and made sure everyone was able to get their bikes and gear on the train. They even went so far as to put everyone coming down from Portland in one big passenger car so we could all hang out together. Color me impressed. Second, I was taken aback by how responsive, friendly and cooperative all the small towns were along the route. They let us take over their churches, parks and other open spaces to camp, businesses stayed open late and opened early, and overall everyone was very receptive to our bunch of spandex-clad city folks traipsing through. And while I acknowledge there’s always an economic incentive to opening doors to people who intend to spend money, I thought the response we received all along the route went above and beyond that. Again, color me impressed.
Lastly, I’ll just add that I’m humbled and honored with the overall response to the route. You folks put a lot of time and effort and money into doing this, and it’s a relief that everyone seemed to enjoy it. It’s always nerve wracking doing something new, especially something this big and committing. However, we seem to have mostly pulled it off and folks are already talking about coming back to ride next year. That’s awesome. Plan on it – same 7:00 a.m. start time the Friday of Memorial Day weekend.
Also, for those interested, the crushers came in as follows:
- (1) Ira Ryan – 28:04
- (2) Jan Heine – 29:58
- (3) Ethan Stehley – 32:00-ish
- (4) Owen Murphy – 35:00
- (5) Blake Bockius – 36:28
- (6) Rick Hunter – 37:00-ish
- (7) John McCaffery – 37:56
Send me your time if you want it included, crusher or not – firstname.lastname@example.org