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Finding Strength Through Feeling: Insights from the 2022 Odyssey of the VOG

Reportage

Finding Strength Through Feeling: Insights from the 2022 Odyssey of the VOG

What’s your intention for the race?” Jaimie asked as we gathered with others the evening before lining up at the start line of this year’s Odyssey of the VOG, which is a 350-mile bikepacking event that takes riders through the rural farmland of the Willamette Valley, the rugged and vast Oregon coastal range, and the unrelenting gravel climbs found in the Willamette and Tillamook National Forests.

Excitement and nervousness-filled conversations about bike setups, weight, steep climbs, estimated times… are you going to sleep? Over an inch of rain was forecasted to fall the next day. Some wanted to win. Most were intrigued by the adventure. I told Jaimie, “I want to be present and enjoy while challenging myself. I want to feel it.”

Fish Pedalers: A Bike-Snorkeling Micro Movie by Skid Lizards

Reportage

Fish Pedalers: A Bike-Snorkeling Micro Movie by Skid Lizards

It is true in cycling and in life, that unique combinations make for unexpected outcomes. Equal parts scientific and spiritual, exhaustive and reactive- planning an epic bike ride starts with finding contradiction. Modern rigid mountain bikes meets old-school singletrack. Pedaling meets snorkeling. Average Joe’s meets filmmaking pros. Cold beer meets used-to-be-frozen pizza. Skid meets lizards.

Adventure is the alchemy of people and place. Get these right and the story will write itself. Get one right and you can always make the best of it. Get ‘em wrong and you might as well have eaten that frozen pizza alone on your couch. Luckily, we got all the chemistry just right for one magical summer weekend that we get to share forever through the wonders of streaming cinema.

Alone Together: The Big Lonely Bikepacking Adventure

Reportage

Alone Together: The Big Lonely Bikepacking Adventure

Sometimes we don’t understand our reasons for doing something until we’ve fully emerged. That was my lesson learned from waffling around the start and finish lines of The Big Lonely with a camera and disconcerted heart. What is this big and lonely thing that I speak of? Described in one word by the riders themselves: it’s “relentless”, “jarring”, “cold”, “delightful” – “resilience.” It’s “incomplete” and it’s “grueling”. It’s “epic”, “stoke” and “go.” For one rider it was “mom.” Most commonly though, it was described as “community” and I found this to be a curious notion. The dichotomous idea that a 350-mile self-supported ultra-endurance bikepacking race called The Big Lonely cultivated the word “community” more than any other is sort of like a metaphor for life and all the funny ways our experiences are everything at once.

Radar

Valley of the Giants

This video was showcased in today’s Reportage but we’ll put it here in Radar as well:

Odyssey of the VOG is a 350 mile self-supported bikepacking race through some of the most rugged terrain through the old-growth forests along the the Oregon Coast. The event name pays respect to a section of the route comprised of 51 acres of massive old-growth forest found on the North Fork Siletz River at the western edge of Polk County, Oregon. Most of these huge trees are Douglas-firs, with a few large western hemlocks as well, many of which are close to 500 years in age. 2021 was the inaugural year for the Odyssey of the VOG. This film provides a glimpse in to the experiences of a few of the participants.

For more information: odysseyvog.com

The 2021 Odyssey of the VOG: Event Recap and Film

Reportage

The 2021 Odyssey of the VOG: Event Recap and Film

The Odyssey of the VOG (Valley of the Giants) is a 350-mile bikepacking event that takes riders through the rural farmland of the Willamette Valley, the rugged and vast Oregon coastal range, and the unrelenting gravel climbs found in the Willamette and Tillamook National Forests. The event name pays respect to the Valley of the Giants forest preserve, 51 acres of old-growth forest that are home to some of the largest Douglas Firs and Western Hemlocks on the Oregon coast range. Many of these towering giants have existed for over 400 years, and have grown to heights of 200 feet or more. While the route does not go through the hiking trails of the forest preserve, riders are still embraced by the dense trees and lush overgrowth that the remote forest provides. The Odyssey of the VOG route consists of bold landscapes, remote forest roads, and unrelenting climbs, all of which invigorate and challenge those who choose to ride it.  The grand depart for the 2022 event takes place on May 28, 2022, at 7:00 am PST. Registration is now open here!

Abbey Bike Tools Announce Three New Tools

Radar

Abbey Bike Tools Announce Three New Tools

Abbey Bike Tools manufactures its entire tool catalog in Bend, Oregon and today, we’ve got three new tools to announce on its behalf. The Saw Guide ($100) assists in cutting exact lines on your steerer. The guide is two-sided and is compatible with 1″ and 1.125″ steer tubes. Next up is the DUB Crank Dust Cap Tool ($30) which loosens and tightens those pesky DUB bottom bracket dust caps. Perhaps the cleverest design is the Lever Setter ($35) which when used in conjunction with the Abbey Bike Tools HAG to help align your brake levers and shifters.

Abbey Makes great tools with a favorite being the 4-Way Multi-Tool ($40). See the entire catalog at Abbey.

The Trans Cascadia 2021 Race Report from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Reportage

The Trans Cascadia 2021 Race Report from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Trans Cascadia explored a new region this year in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. This land is the traditional indigenous territory of the Wenatchi and Syilx people. As a blind enduro, racers are given each day’s map the night before, with no chance to explore the trail prior. Race Director Nick Gibson was excited to get started. “I’m stoked to get people on course after a year’s delay. We’re excited to show people this area, this is the first-ever bike race on these trails.”

With a full volunteer staff, spending countless hours in preparation, racers shuttled into Foggy Dew Campsite, their home for the next 5 days. A remote backcountry experience with all the amenities save cell service, racers are treated to a camp that feels more like a living village. After Covid testing and orientation, participants devoured a stunning southern-inspired meal prepared by Hannah Carlos of The Bayou Catfish under the stars…

Stiletsi & the White Crane: Oregon Timber Trail’s Newest Tier Loop

Reportage

Stiletsi & the White Crane: Oregon Timber Trail’s Newest Tier Loop

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.

A Look Back: Rider Portraits from the Inaugural Race on the Oregon Timber Trail

Reportage

A Look Back: Rider Portraits from the Inaugural Race on the Oregon Timber Trail

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.

Race the Oregon Timber Trail: Register and Join in on July 10th

Reportage

Race the Oregon Timber Trail: Register and Join in on July 10th

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.

Radar

Shift: A Bike to Board Journey

This film dives into Stratton Matteson‘s personal journey of shifting away from fossil fuel-powered transportation and opting for a pedal-powered pursuit of his passion for split-boarding. It’s a story of adventure and a call to action: How can we shift our lives *now* to preserve a livable planet for ourselves and future generations? Through biking to board he finds a way to continue doing what he loves while feeling integral in his actions.

Socially-Distanced: Odyssey of VOG Grand Depart is Coming This May

Radar

Socially-Distanced: Odyssey of VOG Grand Depart is Coming This May

Banking on the idea that the pandemic numbers will continue to drop, organizers have announced a 50-person capped Grand Depart for this self-supported ~350 mile Odyssey of the VOG bikepacking event in the Oregon Coast mountain range. All the details can be found here:

-Event Website: https://odysseyvog.com/
-Instagram: @odysseyvog
-Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/odysseyvog

Head on over to odysseyvog.com and register for the first annual Odyssey of the VOG on May 29th, 2021.  While you’re there, consider purchasing an apparel item at registration – all proceeds from apparel purchases benefit the Oregon Timber Trail Alliance.