Oregon Sampler From Leslie Kehmeier
Posted: Jun 15 2016
It's no secret that I love riding bikes in Oregon. In fact, it’s become my go-to destination in the last couple of years. I’m just back from my most recent trip that took me all over the state.
Here’s a sampler of what Oregon has to offer.
Sandy Ridge Trail System
The Sandy Ridge trails are nestled along Highway 26 east of Portland and west Mt Hood. It's the kind of place that has the dreamy Pacific Northwest forest with big mossy trees and loam for days. It’s also a great place for gravity riding. All routes are accessed by pedaling up the road and then choosing your own adventure down. You’ll find everything from rowdy and technical to flowy and fun.
Tyson Swasey is hardly ever seen with two wheels on the ground. Sandy Ridge trails provided plenty of opportunity for him to practice his wheelie skills.
Oakridge has become my epicenter for mountain biking since I first discovered it in the fall of 2013. As with other trail destinations in Oregon, it's a great place to shuttle up to ride down long amazing descents. Don’t miss Alpine, one of the classic rides in the area. If 15 miles with 4,500 feet of descending isn’t enough, add on Tire Mountain and Cloverpatch to build an all day adventure.
Oakridge is a definitely mountain biker’s town; it has a great bike shop, plenty of camping and a local brewery that serves delicious cask ales.
Every ride in Oakridge should end at the pub with a delicious cask ale in hand.
Drying out the chamois after a big day out in Oakridge.
Mountain of the Rogue
Head south on Interstate 5 to the southern part of the state and the small town of Rogue River. There will find the Mountain of the Rogue trail system, just completed last spring. It’s a bit different than Cascadia and features a beautiful dry Mediterranean landscape with steep hillsides and narrow singletrack. The trails here serve any type rider. Just remember, the further you go up the mountain the more challenging (and fun) it is.
Sunset ride at Mountain of the Rogue with fellow photographer and creative Dylan VanWeelden.
I can’t believe that Post Canyon has escaped me for all of these years! This trail network near Hood River has got over 150 miles of super awesome routes to explore. Lucky for me, I had excellent guides in Tyson Swasey and Jason Wells, two trailbuilders/rad mountain bikers. They led me on a beautiful sunset tour via a Kingsley shuttle to maximize downhill and minimize the pedaling. It was especially fun having Jason, who’s done a lot of building in Post Canyon, lead the way on his home turf.
Jason Wells, master trail builder and equally talented rider, catches air on his home trails in Post Canyon
Tyson Swasey gets rowdy on the upper end of Post Canyon.
Bend was my last stop in Oregon before heading home to Colorado. The research to figure out places to ride was a bit overwhelming, so again I tapped the locals for suggestions. Funner and Tiddlywinks delivered the goods as well as a lap on what the locals call ‘Heli-pad’.
Bend is also the honey hole for good eats and drinks. Sparrow Bakery is the go-to for the famous Ocean Roll (not sushi) paired with a very decent Americano.
So when are you going to Oregon?