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Throwback Thursday: the 2014 Oregon Outback

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Throwback Thursday: the 2014 Oregon Outback

When we lost our image server bucket from 2014-2016, it was a devastating blow to the visual catalog of bike portraits, rides, events, and other cycling ephemera. I felt like a piece of my own body was taken away since so much time, energy, and in this case, physical effort was put into making that content.

That era, even though it was only a few years back, was a unique time in cycling. Instagram hadn’t quite caught on yet, not at the capacity it carries today. The whole gravel and bikepacking trend was just ramping up.

Erik Nohlin was working on the now-defunct Specialized Adventure lineup, including the AWOL – he was riding the “secret” Poler edition prototype at the time – and I was just beginning to fine-tune my abilities as both an athlete and photographer. I will admit, resurrecting stories like this is painful, partially because I feel like as a website, we’ve grown to present more refined ride Reportage, and also because it was a different time in my personal life. Yet, so many people request that these galleries get a re-up, so here we are on a Throwback Thursday post, digging up old content and re-presenting it. Rather than just re-inserting the images themselves, I culled the selection down and compiled all three ride reports into one. Enjoy!

Am I a Pink Person? Kelsey Reviews Her Scott Contessa Ransom 910 MTB

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Am I a Pink Person? Kelsey Reviews Her Scott Contessa Ransom 910 MTB

A lot of people are qualified to talk about long-travel enduro bikes. You can find me dangling by a thread at the bottom of that list, hanging there with a confusing mix of unfounded self-confidence and extreme midwestern imposter syndrome. I’ve lived near mountains extremely briefly and before that, the closest hill was a highway overpass. At the very least, I can offer you a unique perspective on a big bike. There’s a review in here somewhere, embedded in a long-winded story.

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Hi, Grandma

This video is a tribute to all the slightly-stressed grandmothers whose grandchildren are off riding bikes in distant lands…

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Rideable

Rideable follows Steven Mortinson and Brian Donnelly as they ride two cheap bikes to the Oregon Coast and back with a surfboard in tow.

Portland’s Rivelo: Pedal bikes, Shoot film, and Listen to Bob Dylan… Must I Say More?

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Portland’s Rivelo: Pedal bikes, Shoot film, and Listen to Bob Dylan… Must I Say More?

This is the unofficial mantra of Rivelo in Portland, Oregon, the only Rivendell bike shop in Portland. Crazy, right!?! That’s what I thought too! Rivelo is also the only bike shop in the world that only carries Rivendell. There are no All-City, Crust, Rawland, Velo Orange, Soma, or any other bikes but Rivendells. While many bike shops carry brands that have all been inspired by Rivendell or maybe even wouldn’t exist without Rivendell. Rivelo makes it a point to just carry Rivendell. They aren’t scared of 1″ threaded headsets and rim brakes, that’s for damn sure!

Are You Going to the Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder?

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Are You Going to the Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder?

This weekend, June 19th – 23rd, is the Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder. It’s a point-to-point stage race along the Oregon Trail. For five days and 400 miles, racers and riders will venture into the Cascade Range, get covered in dust, sweat, and then arrive at camp each night, where they can recover and prepare for the next day. If you’re going, we’d love to hear from you, especially if you plan on riding the course and taking photos along the way. Drop a line in the comments and email us.

Big Pedal at the Trans Cascadia 2018 – Jeremy Dunn

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Big Pedal at the Trans Cascadia 2018 – Jeremy Dunn

Big Pedal at the Trans Cascadia 2018
Words by Jeremy Dunn, photos from Chris Hornbecker, Daniel Sharp, Dylan VanWeelden, Joshua Lawton as noted.

Trans Cascadia starts off just how one might think. Like, any other bike race really. An unloading and loading up of vans. A makeshift parking lot or an empty field filled with characters and their bicycles. There is the usual building of bikes and swapping of tires all while eating gas station egg sandwiches and drinking the dregs of coffee on the go. From an uninitiated perspective everything seems to be going as planned, it is a controlled chaos sure, but everyone is working towards the same goal. Making it to camp. “That’s going to mean we’re going to need everyone to take their one bag and load up into the vans lined up alongside the road.” Alex Gardner is simultaneously pointing out vans for people to get into and handing out donuts from a stack of blue and yellow Heavenly Donuts boxes.

“These are the legit donuts in Portland, just FYI” Nick Gibson says to someone over his shoulder before grabbing two maple bars and helping someone load their bike into the back of a rental van. Nick and Alex are two thirds of the crew behind all this and they will be involved in nearly ever single thing that happens over the course of the weekend. From donut logistics to running point on a tricky medic situation on the mountain. Tommy rounds out the trio, but we’ll meet him, and his mom Becky a bit later.

Oregon Timber Trail (OTT) Ride Report, Tips, and Gear – Kyle Ng

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Oregon Timber Trail (OTT) Ride Report, Tips, and Gear – Kyle Ng

Oregon Timber Trail (OTT) Ride Report, Tips, and Gear
Words by Kyle Ng, photos by Kyle, Innochi, and Keita

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.

Win an Argonaut Road Bike and Support Oregon Adaptive Sports

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Win an Argonaut Road Bike and Support Oregon Adaptive Sports

It’s not every day you get a chance to win a bike like this!

“Donate for your chance to win an Argonaut! We’re excited to be partnering with Oregon Adaptive Sports in association with the Best of Both bike race to help people with disabilities enjoy the outdoors.

Argonaut along with the help of Chris King, Shimano, and others TBA – are donating a complete custom road bike to be awarded to the drawing winner, which will be held Saturday June 16th during the Best of Both afterparty. 100% of proceeds go to Oregon Adaptive Sports.

A single entry is included with a donation of $50.00, and three entries are included with a donation of $125.00. There is no limit on the number of entries an individual can receive by making a donation.”

Enter now at Argonaut Cycles.

Wade’s Vulture Cycles Klunker

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Wade’s Vulture Cycles Klunker

Wade from Vulture Cycles is one rad atavist. While he and I had never formally met before, I’ve long admired his work. Last year, we saw his travel bike and this year while up in Bend, Oregon at the Chris King Swarm event, I met Wade formally and shot this Vulture Cycles Klunker, modeled after a 1938 Colson Imperial. Now, klunkers are not supposed to be perfect, so turn off your detail-vision, and put on your shred spectacles.

Wade made this frame from Tange Ultra Strong MTB tubing, which he shaped and bent to fit his precedent. It was built around a Morrow hub that Cameron Falconer handed off to him years ago. Fresh Air Cycles, Travis from PAUL’s old shop, had the hub and Cam bought it from Travis, before handing it off to Wade. Remember Travis’ Falconer klunker-inspired MTB? The rest of the parts Wade had “laying around” like all builders and makers do, including the 1980’s Ashtabula forged steel cranks – who coincidentally made tons of components for Schwinn back in the day – and a S&M Redneck stem. The pedals are Suntour XC Pro and those bars are custom made by Wade. Oh and a Campy hub… just because.

Yeah, this bike just oozes cool, style, and the Vulture Cycles ideology. Wade’s a pretty cool guy too. We talked about Death Valley, core samples in Dry Bone Canyon, White Top Mountain, park rangers finding dead tourists and other tales from the desert. Exactly the kind of conversation I like having at a bike event. Party on Wade!

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Follow Vulture Cycles on Instagram.

Road Trippin’ Out to Bend for the Chris King Swarm with Crow’s Feet Commons

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Road Trippin’ Out to Bend for the Chris King Swarm with Crow’s Feet Commons

As the snow melts in the high desert of California, Nevada, Oregon, and the rest of the West, small towns like Bend, Oregon begins to welcome the influx of mountain bikers thirsty for a hefty serving of dirt, before the sun cooks it into dust. It just so happens that Memorial Day weekend in Bend has historically been prime for such a feast of trails.

Years back, the Chris King Gourmet Century was held in this mountain town, tapping into not only the vast amount of singletrack but also the food culture. While the Gourmet Century brought about a lot of good times, it ultimately was a lot of work, eventually causing the brand to move onto more low-key, informal gatherings. That’s where the Swarm idea came from. In short, Chris King wanted to engage with the community of Bend, one of their local dealers, Crow’s Feet Commons, and do it in a lower-stress environment. It was open to the public and best of all, free.

As the invites were posted on social media and this website, none of us knew exactly how many people would show up. Since it was Memorial Day Weekend, the town of Bend was busting at the seams already with tourists and mountain bikers seeking solace on the trails of this mountain bike mecca. Our trip to the event began in Los Angeles, where we loaded up the Cruiser with everything we’d need to camp, ride bikes, hike, and document the happenings. Two days later and we were rolling into the sleepy town of Bend, just prior to the three-day weekend and the first ever Chris King Swarm.

Looking Forward to the Chris King Swarm in Bend and the Lost & Found

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Looking Forward to the Chris King Swarm in Bend and the Lost & Found

Over the next two weekends, we’ll be hitting two events: the Chris King Swarm in Bend and the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s Lost & Found. Both events have a strong community tie-in for the type of riding we pursue over here, as well as a strong support from various brands and personalities. We hit the road tomorrow and from that point forward, you can expect coverage from Central Oregon and the Lost Sierra. See you on the road and if you’re going to these events, be sure to stop and say hello!