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The Oregon Outback – Guest Post by Britten
We’re doing a series of guest posts by riders planning to tackle the Oregon Outback. Look for new posts as long as we keep getting them.
As they tend to do, a one-way flight completely changed my life 3.5 years ago. After graduating from the University of Washington I moved to Central America, where I’ve cycled thousands of miles all over the isthmus as a cycling guide. Now, I’m starting my own bike touring business that will allow me to combine my passions of traveling by bike, Latin America, and community development.
I’m doing the Oregon Outback for a handful of different reasons, but I’ll state the obvious the ones first: 1) it’s a kick ass route and 2) it’s a rare opportunity to ride with uniquely like-minded people. The main reason, however, is that it represents the beginning of a new challenge, a metaphor for this upcoming business venture. My friend David Yousling, a talented photographer and endless source of creative motivation, is helping me move the idea forward. Neither of us having done a long distance bikepacking trip before, we’re using the Oregon Outback as a platform for finding inspiration and polishing some of the details of the project – an entrepreneurial adventure powwow, if you will.
Our plan is to push hard but without hesitating to stop and smell the roses whenever compelled to get off the bike. Coffee in the morning, hunting for off-route views, and an abundance of photos should land us at the finish line in 5 days.
As for our setup, we’re both super excited to test out Traitor Cycles’ The Slot, a rugged yet classy steel build. We’re not anticipating many changes to components, tires, etc. because it comes out of the box well equipped and practically begging to hit the road. With handmade bags from Swift Industries, we should be good to go.
As for training, I’ve been trying to get out as much as possible on the trails around the Laguna de Apoyo here in Nicaragua. The dusty cattle roads that meander through the nearby agricultural communities, combined with the intense dry heat, should be good preparation. Up north, David has been diligently logging plenty of miles throughout the Bay Area, exploring the areas surrounding his apartment in San Francisco. Neither of us has been treating it like “training” per se, so much as just riding our bikes slightly more than usual. Besides, he’s busy as a full-time dad and I, well, I’ve got lots of Toña beer to drink down here.
Both of us are really excited to be in the presence of so many people who get off on this type of riding. Stay safe out there and enjoy!