#Oregon-Outback

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Riding the Oregon Outback on the Ren Cycles Ivan – Gabe Tiller

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Riding the Oregon Outback on the Ren Cycles Ivan – Gabe Tiller

Riding the Oregon Outback on the Ren Cycles Ivan
Photos and words by Gabe Tiller

Earlier this summer I set out for my fourth journey on the Oregon Outback. Each time I had ridden a different steed ranging from touring bike to plus bike and this round was no exception: I had the chance to borrow REN’s titanium cyclocross race machine: the Ivan. It’s an adaptable beast, perfect for those masochists who like to race singlespeed as well as Cat A/B. Luckily I was doing neither, and instead going on a 360 mile jaunt through Oregon’s famous Outback.

The Death of the Oregon Outback

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The Death of the Oregon Outback

With all this excitement and enthusiasm for rides like the Oregon Outback, things like this are bound to happen. Scratch that, they shouldn’t happen! It’s sad that such news has to be shared, but the only way to educate sometimes is to show the repercussions of what can only be described as idiocy in the woods. Donnie shared story with me that he wrote at Oregon Bikepacking, in response to this year’s Oregon Outback and it really breaks my heart.

Learn the rules of the woods first, pack your shit out both literally and figuratively. Respect people’s property and kindness. First and foremost, realize that cyclists are already under enough pressure, so don’t fuck it up for the rest of us.

Pints of Beer and Tri-Flow on the 2015 Oregon Outback – David Klayton

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Pints of Beer and Tri-Flow on the 2015 Oregon Outback – David Klayton

Pints of Beer and Tri-Flow on the 2015 Oregon Outback
Photos and words by David Klayton

Looking back on the 2015 Oregon Outback I’m inclined to call it the best yet.

This year was my second run of the Oregon Outback and I finished in two days and 11 hours. Day 1 included a bit of rain, but overall it was a blast and I reached my goal of getting to Fort Rock. Day 2 started rather abruptly as rain fell on my open bivy, but I rallied and rode out with Team Swift and Limberlost.

The Radavist 2015 Calendar: February

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The Radavist 2015 Calendar: February

This is the second layout of the Radavist 2015 Calendar, entitled “Outback”. The camera and location are noted on the bottom left of the document.

Out of all the photos shot on last year’s Oregon Outback, this one in particular continues to resonate and with this year’s event coming up soon, hopefully it’ll serve as inspiration to get you out on these roads…

For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2015 Calendar – February. Please, this photo is for personal use only!

(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)

Poler: Campvibes Comminuqué W15

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Poler: Campvibes Comminuqué W15

Poler’s newest newsprint magazine, the Campvibes Communiqué, is now online and features an interview with Erik and myself on the Oregon Outback. Benji from Poler knows us personally, so this interview goes a bit deeper than your standard interview. The Outback was one of the toughest rides I’ve ever ridden and documented, so it made for some juicy content.

Pick up the Campvibes Comminuqué for $5 at Poler.

On a related note: who is planning on doing it this year? I’m thinking it’s time for round two!

Ruckus on the Oregon Outback

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Ruckus on the Oregon Outback

With the success of the Bikes and Faces of the Oregon Outback post, I figured diving a little deeper into one bike couldn’t hurt. As I said before, a lot of people were on hardtail or rigid MTBs. While the top two finishers (Ira and Jan) were on drop-bar touring / road bikes, a majority of the field chose the stability and control of a full-on 29r, 27.5 and even 26″.

Shawn from Ruckus took the Oregon Outback as an opportunity to create a bike, specifically for this bikepacking outing and the resulting design is pretty bad ass, not to mention, featherlite!

Read up more below!

Rolling Hills and Snakes: AWOL on the Oregon Outback – Day 03

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Rolling Hills and Snakes: AWOL on the Oregon Outback – Day 03

When Erik and I committed to riding the Oregon Outback, we didn’t want to absolutely kill ourselves, but we wanted it to be tough. On paper, 360 miles is totally doable in three days without crushing your spirit. Hell, I think we could have done it in two and we still would have been ok but that’s not the point.

I had a responsibility. One that I take seriously and that’s documenting this trip. Granted, most of the time, I didn’t want to stop to shoot a photo, or hop off my bike, I just wanted to keep going…

Sand Pits and Rednecks: AWOL on the Oregon Outback – Day 02

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Sand Pits and Rednecks: AWOL on the Oregon Outback – Day 02

The second day of any big ride is usually the toughest. Your body just assumes it’s going to be on the defensive for an unknown amount of time and begins to push back. Usually, that is. For Erik and I, we awoke in the Silver Lake Community Park f-u-c-k-i-n-g freezing. The weather said it would drop to 45 degrees as the low, so he and I brought hammocks and 40 degree bags in the interest of space and weight.

At 4am, my phone said it was 28 degrees. A cold front had moved in.

I was shivering uncontrollably, had I known it was going to be that cold, I would have brought a sleeping pad and a tarp, both of which I’ve used to alleviate the loss of body heat that happens in hammocks at such low temperatures. But alas, you reap what you sew. We would be cold on this trip.

All our field guide said about mile 120-240 was that we’d be crossing altitude desert and would be without water for up to 80 miles. I brought an Arundel Looney Bin to hold a 48oz Nalgene, which, after making breakfast, I filled up. Along with my two large Purist bottles. We had to get moving. Fast… It was 6:30am.

Continue reading in the Gallery captions.

Railroad Spikes and Shotgun Shells: AWOL on the Oregon Outback – Day 01

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Railroad Spikes and Shotgun Shells: AWOL on the Oregon Outback – Day 01

With the success and failure of Erik and my last AWOL ride on the Diablo range, we started looking for another mission to continue the story. This couldn’t be just any camping trip, it had to be hard. Like, really, really tough and big and stuff.

Then it dawned on Erik (I was too busy to actually look for anything) – we’d do Velo Dirt’s Oregon Outback. Erik contacted me in his Swedish voice “ok mannn, we’re going to do this really fucking tough ride, called the Oregon Outback, are you in?”. Me: “Of course!” – not wanting to sound like a sissy. At the time, I was probably traveling for something and I didn’t even know what the Outback was. I just assumed it was a chill weekend getaway…

The Bikes and Faces of the Oregon Outback

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The Bikes and Faces of the Oregon Outback

Dissecting my Oregon Outback photos has taken two full days and rather than dumping everything into one huge gallery, I thought I’d break it up a bit into something that everyone can discuss separately: bikes.

People obsess over setups for rides like this. From frame material, to geometry and wheel size, I saw everything.

Erik and I were on stock, straight out of the box, AWOL Comps. Erik painted his to look all crazy. Mine was just black. I had bikepacking bags and my Swift Ozette rando bag, Erik used panniers and the new AWOL rack. Most people used Porcelain Rocket or Revelate bags on their flat bar MTB.

Personally, I felt like a drop bar bicycle offered more riding options and were inherently faster than a rigid or a hardtail MTB. That said, most of the field were on MTB rigs of some sort. There was one fatbike, a few 29+ but for the most part, the rigid 29r ‘adventure’ bike platform ruled all.

A lot of these bikes were built specifically for the Outback, which is insane!

As I began sorting through all of my photos, I realized that my favorite thing about this ride was getting to know complete strangers. Watching their struggles unfold and seeing how they coped with the incredible feat that was upon us.

These Bikes and Faces of the Oregon Outback will forever remain engrained in my riding psyche. The rest of the story will unfold shortly. Until then, enjoy this Gallery.