Braving the Elements on the Oregon Ramble – Robin Sansom

Braving the Elements on the Oregon Ramble
Photos and words by Robin Sansom

We all met at the EconoLodge on 3rd and Main Street in Prineville. Good adventures usually start at bad hotels, so it seemed natural to stage there before the Oregon Ramble. The Ramble is a newish event that is something like a 3-day summer camp on bikes. You bring all your camping gear to ride with friends, old and new, and experience places that you might not normally get to in your everyday life.

After a decent night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, we lazily rolled out of town with the other 50 or so riders. On the climb up to the first camp we saw the entire variety and nearly identical tempo of the weather cycle that would visit us throughout the event: sunshine, rain, hail, cold. Although this first day’s mileage was relatively short, which gave us a little too much time to indulge in the pro bono New Belgium beers at camp, the remaining days would see many more miles and loads more climbing on everything from paved roads to bumpy double track.

On days two and three, conditions changed so much, that plastic bread bags were being scavenged for DIY shoe covers at one moment and the next moment you were trying to find a place to strap your helmet because you couldn’t bear the heat of it. However, any insults and injuries to the body were more than tempered by delights of the heart, mind, and pallet. I met truly interesting and engaging people, experienced amazing landscapes that were somehow both bucolic and bold, and was satiated by great food the entire way.

If you’ve wanted to try camping on your bike, the Ramble is a great gateway drug. But, if you are an old hat at this and were into bikepacking when everyone just called it “touring”, then you might enjoy not having to worry about finding the route or carrying all those calories. Either way, there will be two more Rambles this year: Steamboat, CO, July 27-30 and Asheville, NC, October 19-21 and we would love to have you there.

To learn more about the Ramble, visit newbelgiumramble.com or blackburndesign.com.

____

Follow Robin on Instagram.

FOOTER_1600px

  • Mark Reimer

    Hi Chris!

    • that dude is the best!

      • Chris McNally

        Aw man! Miss you dudes. We got to hang soon!

  • Daniel Powell

    Man, this was a fun ride!

  • Bradford Smith

    Sounds(and looks) rad! Been doing some similar stuff out on the east coast with overland base camp http://www.overlandbasecamp.cc/
    Would love to explore more of the pnw dirt roads and trails.

  • Ryan McKee

    Great write up! Though you’d figure this out once you hit the New Belgium Ramble site, both the Prineville and Asheville Rambles were/are loops. The Steamboat ride, however, is a point to point, staring at New Belgium, in Fort Collins, and ending in Steamboat.

  • Great photo set, definitely need to get on the next one of these. Whaddup Robin!

    • Robin Sansom

      you are cordially invited sir

  • Jake Kruse

    wow, looks like a nicely curated time in the great outdoors.