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The Oregon Outback 2014 – In Aggregate

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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 – info@velodirt.com

Read more →

Dalles Mountain N°5

Five years, five great runnings of the Dalles Mountain 60 solidly in the books.  This ride always serves as a reminder to me about just how good rural gravel can be – it doesn’t get much better than Dalles Mountain Road and feisty Old Moody.  Oregon is blessed with thousands of miles of good dirt and gravel and we hope this experience helps push you along the path of finding ever better, ever more remote roads to explore – like it did for us many years ago.

Special thanks 21st Avenue Bikes, Chris King Precision Components, Wabi Woolens and Sugar Wheel Works.  They support us, thereby making rides like this possible for you.  We encourage you to return the favor.  We also want to give a special shout out to The Dalles’ Burgerville, which gave out coupons to riders before we got started.  I am particularly stoked to see the local community embrace us rather then send us packing.  That was very, very cool.

Please feel free to add links to photos, write-ups, etc. in the comments below.  And hopefully we’ll be seeing the shots from Asylum Cycles soon – they were the ones out shooting photos throughout the day.

Many thanks to you all for making these rides so much fun!

VeloDirt

ps.  Liked the route?  We’ll be posting new routes, one per week, from now until we run out of them.  Keep an eye on the “Routes” section and the “Blog” for weekly updates.

Bikepacking Seminar – February 27, 2014 @ Chris King

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With support from 21st Avenue Bikes and Chris King Precision Components, we’re putting on a bikepacking seminar on February 27th, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.  We’ll be talking about bikes, different types of bikepacking setups, camping gear, etc.  We’ll also be talking about routes, navigation, electronics, and DIY gear.   We’ll have plenty of time for Q&A, so bring your questions.

We’ll have plenty of sample rigs on display, including Surly’s ECR, Ogre, Karate Monkey and Pugsley, Salsa’s el Mariachi, Fargo and Warbird, a custom Ti DeSalvo 29er and bikepacking gear from Revelate Designs and Porcelain Rocket to check out.

The seminar is free and so is the beer.  Come on down and bullshit with us about bikes.  If you have any questions, drop us a line:  info@velodirt.com

Thanks!

VeloDirt

A Healthy Rant

 

So… apparently the demand for a cross-state gravel race/ride is off the charts.  We originally anticipated getting 50-75 people total, but apparently there are hundreds and hundreds of you out there.  That’s super rad, but it also poses a huge problem:  the route cannot handle that kind of traffic.  Part of the reason we love this route and selected it was because the services are limited – there are very few places to buy food, snacks, get water, etc. along the route.  It’s perfect for probably 100 people at one time, maybe a bit more, before it’ll become a shit show and it’ll lose its charm.

So… we closed “registration” because the number of people who want to ride far exceeds the number of people we think the route can reasonably handle at one time.  Yes, we get this is a free event and you could just show up and that “registration” doesn’t really mean anything.  However, given the grossly overwhelming demand, if everyone who wanted to show up actually did, chaos would reign and it would end up sucking for lots of you.   We don’t want that.  You don’t want that.

So… we kindly ask that if you really really want to do this route and aren’t already “registered”, that you go do it another weekend.  The route is ride-able a large part of the year (skip winter, early spring and the high-summer), and there’s literally nothing stopping you from riding this any other time.   We actually encourage it – the route is amazing and we think it deserves a lot of traffic.  However, we just ask that you respect us and all our hard work and not just show up on May 23rd if you’re not already “registered”.  Everyone will appreciate it.

And lastly… please don’t email us to try and get on the list.  If I let you, I have to let everyone.  And I can’t do that.  Go ride the route some other time or wait until next time around – we’ll do this again, I promise.  AND – if we get enough people who decide not to ride, we’ll open it back up again.

Thank you all for your awesome support, crazy enthusiasm, and respect.

 

Velodirt

 

The Oregon Stampede in Dirt Rag Magazine

I have to admit that all the attention we’ve been getting for the Oregon Outback is really really nice.  Folks are stoked and the response thus far has been outstanding.  However, I just want to point out to those new to VeloDirt that this ain’t our first rodeo – we’ve been doing this for years.  Proof can be found in the the new issue of Dirt Rag, where author Morgan Coleman teams up with one our favorite people, Ryan King, to give a brief account of last year’s Oregon Stampede.   You’ll have to track down your own copy to see the goods.

Oregon Coast Gravel Epic

There’s a new pay-to-play gravel event taking place out on the coast next month – the Oregon Coast Gravel Epic.  It sounds like the route is roughly on par with the Rapture, just in a completely different area of the range.  I’m hoping to make it down to check it out.  If I do, I’ll post a run-down.  If anyone else makes it out, shoot me an email to let me know how it went and any photos you don’t mind sharing with the world.

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Happy Endings: Mt. Hood edition

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By every account except maybe Carl’s (who got lost and finished in the dark), the first annual Gender Neutral Rapscallion Reacharound was a resounding success.   We had a great turnout, the team format seemed to work, and no one died.  If that’s not success, I don’t know what is.  And it certainly didn’t hurt that we were blessed with perfect weather.   What a day!  Here are the route details for those of you who couldn’t make it. Read more →

Reacharound Mugs

 

We all love reacharounds… you know, that warm, pleasurable, it-was-made-for-my-hand feeling…

Well, now you can get that same great feeling every day with Laura Cooke Ceramics’s all new Reacharound Mug!  The incomparable Laura Cooke is making a limited run of mugs to celebrate the big day.  While individual results may vary, you can take comfort knowing Laura lovingly crafted your reacharound mug with her own two hands…

Order by August 12 and you can pick yours up day on the big day.   Click here for more information.  Enjoy!

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The Rapscallion Reacharound: Mt. Hood Edition

 

Click here for more details…

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Slideshow – Thursday June 27, 7:00 p.m. @ Velo Cult

Gabe and I will be putting on a slideshow from our recent bikepacking trip across Oregon.  Come share some beers with us, hear us babble on about how amazing the route is, and find out more about next year’s race along the all new Oregon Outback route.  Click here for directions and more information about the Velo Cult bike & beer shop.

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