The longest mountain bike trail in the world: OROGENESIS. It’s an idea now, but with your help we’re going to make it real. Ever since the early days of the Repack riders, mountain bikers have dreamed about a trail that spans the mountain ranges of the North American continent. Now, 40 years later, we’re building it. In 2016, the instantly popular Baja Divide bikepacking route landed on maps and, shortly afterward, the Oregon Timber Trail appeared as well. It was obvious that we needed to connect the two. Five years and five thousand miles later, here we are. A new way on old ground.
Last week we received news that the founder of the Oregon Timber Trail was stepping down from leadership to pursue other life goals:
“Since 2015, when the Oregon Timber Trail was just a sketched line on a map, a concept to bring long-distance backcountry mountain biking to Oregon, Gabe Tiller has been there.
With his thirst for adventure and breathtaking photos, he crafted a story, a promise that with a dream and a bit of teamwork, we could all take the path less traveled, from one rural town to the next, The OTT was born. Gabe has been one of the key visionaries, along with Harry Daalgard and Chris Bernhart, to develop the specific alignment of the Timber Trail.”
Read the full story at the Oregon Timber Trail and we’d like to wish Gabe smooth trails for his future endeavors.
In the early 1840s, John C. Fremont undertook several exploration missions for the U.S. government. The Oregon Territory was disputed and claimed by both the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. Just to the south, California was still a part of Mexico. Fremont’s mission was to assess the American West and determine how well it was defended by these other nations. Of course, all this land was already—and still is—Indigenous land.
Last month, bikepackers from all over the country gathered in the southernmost Oregon Timber Trail Gateway Community of Lakeview for the inaugural OTT700 Race. Lakeview’s mayor, Ray Turner, set up his famous BBQ station the evening before in the city park and treated the racers and their families to a final warm dinner before days of eating ramen and snickers bars. It was great to see the camaraderie already building between riders and proved the value of bringing the rider community together around an event like this.
Trails don’t just build and maintain themselves. It takes time, personnel, and money! The Oregon Timber Trail is in the middle of a fundraiser, where you can donate money and get some of their limited edition swag. Head on over to the Oregon Timber Trail to see more!
Our friends at Oregon Timber Trail have a new initiative to raise money for a BIPOC/FTW/Q Scholarship Fund:
In an effort to include those often overlooked or excluded by the cycling and outdoor recreation communities, the Oregon Timber Trail Alliance is offering five $1,000 scholarships to support and encourage Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color as well as gender-expansive, trans, non-binary, women, and queer riders to make their adventure on the Oregon Timber Trail a reality.
This $1,000 scholarship can be used for anything you need to begin your adventure at the Grand Depart on July 10th: gear; travel expenses; food; rent; child care; whatever you need.
Along with the $1,000 scholarship, BikeFlights has generously donated five $300 shipping vouchers and BikeFlights Bike Boxes in case any scholarship recipients need to ship their bikes to/from the trail. We hope that you can join us and look forward to learning more about you with your application.
Learn more and apply here before the April 30th deadline.
Please donate to this fund here, we still need to raise $3,700 to make this a reality.
700 miles in 5 days? Sounds crazy to us but some folks think it’s possible. Since we launched the Oregon Timber Trail (OTT) in 2016 one of the most common questions is “How long does it take?” Most folks spend 2-3 weeks riding the almost 700 miles, but we’ve heard there’s been a few in the 11 day range.
This year our curiosity has gotten the best of us—we’ve partnered with Laird Superfood and Rapha to track Fastest Known Times (FKTs) on the whole OTT route and each of the four tiers. Similar to the Colorado Trail Race, The Arizona Trail Race, and the Tour Divide; the Timber Trail 700 is a free, unsupported endurance challenge. Anyone can attempt a record at any time, though we have a suggested Grand Depart date of July 10th if you like company.
Since 2017 the Oregon Timber Trail‘s ambitious stewardship initiative has been valued at over $80,000 annually and as a result, hundreds of miles of fallow trails have been reopened for access to all. Due to Covid-19, all of their stewardship events have been canceled, leaving hundreds of logs down, blocking the trail. If you’ve ever been riding and have come across downed trees, you know how much of a bummer that can be and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Like a lot of trail organizations, most of the OTT’s humble budget is funded with government grants and many of these grants require a match in the form of volunteer labor. Which means their grant funding is in jeopardy as well.
Furthermore, it’s been a bad year for wildfires. The trail has been torched by at least six(!) separate fires in 2020, which will undoubtedly require extensive rehabilitation work in addition to the 3,000+ hours we’ve already committed to the Watson Fire Rehab project in 2021.
Not only do they have an $80,000 budget shortfall, but they also have a backlog of maintenance compounded by multiple actively-burning wildfires. The Oregon Timber Trail needs your help. The trail needs your help. If you’ve had the pleasure of riding any section of this trail, please consider donating something, anything, if you can and have the means. Consider it a usage fee ;-)
Donate now and ADOPT A TRAIL ➜
Last Autumn, I found myself wondering, “How do I pack for a bike ride through Narnia?”. I had just been asked to sample a small section of the wonderful Oregon Timber Trail by my friend Gabriel. I packed a grocery bag full of Voile straps, my foul weather gear, a laminated local mushroom-foraging pamphlet, and prepared to step through the magic wardrobe.
Start ’em young! … and not just with racing, because there’s so much more to cycling than racing! In the Summer of 2019, the Oregon Chapter of National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) took 18 of its riders bike packing along a section of the Oregon Timber Trail (OTT)…
Building trails require funds and one way for trail organizations to raise money is by raffling off a brand new bike. The Oregon Timber Trail is working with Giant/Liv so that one lucky winner will walk away with a new Giant Trance Advanced 29 2 or Liv Intrigue Advanced 2 carbon mountain bike in your size, plus a full set of Giant bikepacking bags and a guided trip with Cog Wild. This explorer’s prize package contains $3,000 worth of prizes and all the proceeds from this giveaway go to support the work required along the Oregon Timber Trail.
Sign up at Oregon Timber Trail!
Three Norwegians take to the Pacific Northwest to tour the Oregon Timber Trail.
The Oregon Timber Trail totals in at 670 miles long and it is far from a walk in the park. Giant’s Adam Craig and Eliot Jackson lead a crew of four on the southernmost tier.
To preface, I was invited to ride the Oregon Timber Trail by my friend Rie, who immigrated to the states recently and runs Simworks USA. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to do the tour, but thought it would be a good opportunity for me to ride with her two friends from Japan: Keita and Innochi. Keita is a Chef that started Earlybirds Breakfast and Innochi makes really cool backpacks under his brand, Welldone Nagoya. There was only one issue: they didn’t speak English.
Our buddy Gabe from the Oregon Timber Trail gets some mic time with Russ from Path Less Pedaled in the latest PLP Talks video.
Photos by Gabe Tiller
The Oregon Timber Trail has a lot of activities planned for 2018:
“It’s the new year and we’re gearing up for a busy twelve months on the Oregon Timber Trail. A lot of you have been asking about our popular Stewardship Campouts and Sawyer Certifications so we’ve been busy getting all our ducks in a row. Here is our 2018 calendar of events covering a broad spectrum from cooking in the backcountry, to slideshows, to weekend-long certifications and remote trail stewardship events. We hope to share these inspiring and educational experiences with you. ”
Smoked and Stoked: Riding High in Central Oregon
Words and photos by Colin Frazer
Growing up outside of Eugene, I’d spent Summers camping and swimming in the rivers, lakes and hot springs that define the west side of Oregon’s Cascade range. Mountain biking was still a fledgling sport at the time and I was only vaguely aware of the burgeoning meccas sprouting up around me. Since I really only started riding after high school, I’ve been wanting to get back home to do some bikepacking for a while, but the right conditions just hadn’t come around. With all the rad work that Gabe and crew have put in making the Oregon Timber Trail a reality, the interest was brewing and a small crew started to form. Adam and Sam, childhood friends from Colorado, would come over with me from Bozeman, Corey and David, childhood friends from Ohio, would come from Seattle and LA respectively, for a week or more of shredding central Oregon.
330 Miles of the Gorge Backcountry
Photos and words by Gabe Tiller
The Gorge Backcountry route is a 330-mile loop leaving Portland which encompasses lesser known vistas and lightly trafficked asphalt and dirt ribbons through lush forests, river canyons, and rocky escarpments both north and south of the mighty Columbia River.