Shredwinning with Breadwinner Cycles

“John, let’s just ride bikes, don’t bring your camera.”

I’ve heard it countless times and history has proven that no matter what, if I don’t bring my camera, I end up wishing I had. Especially when it comes to new trails. Extra especially when it comes to new trails in the Pacific Northwest.

On my last day in Portland, Ira and Tony from Breadwinner Cycles invited me on a Sunday afternoon trail ride, about an hour outside of Portland in the Brown’s Camp trail network. Up until that point, all I had ridden in the PDX area was Sandy Ridge and a few trails in Forest Park. Not exactly a sampling of the land.


Personally, I’m more into riding cross-country trails, rather than gravity parks or overly-groomed systems. I want to ride narrow, steep hiking trails, not jumps and smooth berms. While Sandy Ridge had plenty of that, I was looking forward to Brown’s Camp, because everything I’d heard about it sounded promising.

The party wagon has arrived!

We woke up relatively early, scooped up a rental for me from River City Bicycles (thanks guys!), drove the hour outside of Portland and began to set up bikes at the Gales Creek parking lot. At that point, it was just Ira, Matt Hall and myself. We knew Tony and Hurl were en route, but were unsure if our wildcard guest would be joining us.

Igleheart's vintage jersey

Sure enough, as we were ready to roll, Chris Igleheart pulls into the parking lot. The significance of this really made the afternoon for me, seeing as how the last time Chris had ridden these trails was over 20 years ago. A lot has changed since then, including mountain bikes.

Old and older

For those of you who don’t know who or what an “Igleheart” is, I might suggest a quick Google query. The short of it is, Chris has worked for a number of builders over the years. From Fat City back in the day, to his own company and now, he’s aiding Breadwinner in fabrication of their bikes. Having a guy like Chris on board has helped Tony and Ira make their process smoother and in turn, they get to support a living legend, all while making incredible bikes for people to ride. Not bad if you ask me.

Anyway, onward.


We take off, after Ira stashed a 6-pack in the frigid river for later, and began climbing. We were assured that even though the north side of the range would be a little damp, most of the trail was dry… Dry ish. We’d spend the morning walking around the big mud holes.


Some sections are ridable, others are not. Such is mountain bike life. Sometimes you make the climb by digging in hard and other times, you just walk it. From there, we crossed the highway to Brown’s Camp, which is where it got interesting…

Crossing the highway

Check out the rest of the story in the Gallery and see our ride at my Strava.

  • cuppow

    Wicked good!

  • boomforeal

    ira rides trail in dickies cut-offs because of course he does

    • John Watson

      He’s had them for like 6 years too!

  • Tony Clifton

    Chris Igleheart is straight up OG. If you ever wanted a Yo Eddy style segmented fork for, say, your Black Cat monster cross singlespeed, Chris is your go to guy.

    • James

      What’s Igleheart’s lead time like?

      • Zach Roeder

        I just picked up a fork he fabricated for me yesterday. It is absurdly well done. Give him a call, and I’m sure he’ll be happy to give you an estimate!

      • Tony Clifton

        I’ve ordered three forks from him on separate occasion, and he was very quick, like 4-8 weeks.

  • HurlEverstone

    Welcome to the Thunder Loam!

  • Matt O’Donnell

    What year is that land cruiser??

    • Tony Clifton

      ’74-’84. It has the factory roll bar in the back for U.S. spec FJ40s.

      • boomforeal

        good eye! i find it hard to tell, as the bodies didn’t see much change for long periods, but i’ve no idea what details to look for

      • Matt O’Donnell

        Thanks! It looks like a blast!

  • Isaiah Kramer

    Like that shot of the dirtbiker speeding by. Man, I miss Oregon.

  • Tim

    is the chameleon your loaner bike? what did you think?

    • John Watson

      Oh, I’ve ridden the Chameleon a bunch over the years. It’s a seriously amazing hardtail. In fact, I’d argue it’s one of the best beginner MTBs on the market. Wheelie machine, slack head tube. Straight ripper. Although, I don’t like the feel of aluminum… I wish they made that bike in steel.

  • Sean

    I’m a fan of that stove-top espresso t-shirt. Anybody know where it’s from? Thanks in advance.

    • John Watson

      It’s a shirt from the Athletic. They’ve long sold out though.

  • Zach Roeder

    Looks like you packed in the fun on your trip. The trails around Gales Creek are some of my favorites!

  • stateofnonreturn

    Is there going to be a gallery for that rigid twentysixer? Please say yes.

  • Hope Cyclery

    any idea what that carbon fender is?

  • TrailYeah

    Brown’s is a fun trail. Took the lady there the shortly after she got clips; not such a great idea on my part. I still hear about it to this day.

  • Tyler Morin

    I love that blue that breadwinner has for one of their paint options. Looks like an awesome time!