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  1. #1
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Oregon Coast Gravel Epic

    Is anyone riding this?

    Oregon Coast Gravel Epic

    I am not, but it intrigues me as a possible recreational (!!) ride come this next spring. With 73 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing, I'd love to do it as a bike/camp trip.

    Honestly, I have never even heard of it. Has anyone ridden these roads before? It seems like a hard tail would ride best.

    Any input would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Yep -- the wife and I are riding it. We're using our cross bikes with some knobbies (just a guess on the terrain -- we usually use Conti speed cross when riding the dirt roads in The Dalles, but those roads are in really good shape). We both love to climb more than anything, so we're looking forward to this. Never ridden in that area before. Will report back.

  3. #3
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dropped68 View Post
    Yep -- the wife and I are riding it. We're using our cross bikes with some knobbies (just a guess on the terrain -- we usually use Conti speed cross when riding the dirt roads in The Dalles, but those roads are in really good shape). We both love to climb more than anything, so we're looking forward to this. Never ridden in that area before. Will report back.
    Please do! Again, I'd like to take my hardtail out there this spring to at least ride some of those roads.

  4. #4
    2OFME
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    I'll more than likely be headed down. Bringing my Fargo with slant 6 tires. Figure that should do me fine. It won't be the fastest, but I should have plenty of gears. Right now I am debating on camping nearby or grabbing a dirt cheap hotel. It depends on if I can get the wife to come or not.

  5. #5
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    I'll be heading over from Bend to ride the long route that Saturday! We'll put some cx tires on the touring tandem and cross our fingers for no rain. Should be a beautiful and epic ride regardless!

    Henry & Amy
    Bend, OR

  6. #6
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    I've ridden the area and those very roads as a bikepacking trip twice on my Bridgestone mb-3. You don't need much grip up front but a knobbie on the back is nearly essential for the climbs. 1.75 or 2" tires on a rigid mountain bike seems to me the way to go.

    I think I'm up for it, but can't decide between the long or short route. I live on the coast so it would be a shame not to do it.
    1989 Bridgestone mb-3
    2013 Salsa El Mariachi 2

  7. #7
    I should be out riding
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    I can't make this one. Looks like a fun ride. I've ridden a lot of logging roads in the west side of the cascades and some in the coast range. I like a hard tail Mtn bike better than a cross bike for that sort of riding. Lowers gears, better brakes and tires. A rigid fork can lighten things up a bit.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4

  8. #8
    Get to dah choppah
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    My wife and I just rode the shorter course. It was essentially dry. The long course will likely have some additional surprises. Some observations -

    The name Gravel Epic is misleading. There is very little in the way of what i would call gravel roads. There are two dominant surfaces, paved and "standard" Forest Service roads. The FS roads are the typical mostly dirt with some gravel type.

    Bike selection - 26" HT with XC race tires like a Kenda Small Block 8 or a cross bike with Richey SpeedMax or Schwalbe XC Pro type of tire (fairly agressive). Anything more is both unnesessary and a burden.
    If you intend to be competitive, those with fast wheel /tire combinations will run away on the paved sections, and the only real difficulties with hills is steepness, where full slicks or very narrow tires may cause you to walk due to loss of traction.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by icsloppl View Post
    My wife and I just rode the shorter course. It was essentially dry. The long course will likely have some additional surprises. Some observations -

    The name Gravel Epic is misleading. There is very little in the way of what i would call gravel roads. There are two dominant surfaces, paved and "standard" Forest Service roads. The FS roads are the typical mostly dirt with some gravel type.

    Bike selection - 26" HT with XC race tires like a Kenda Small Block 8 or a cross bike with Richey SpeedMax or Schwalbe XC Pro type of tire (fairly agressive). Anything more is both unnesessary and a burden.
    If you intend to be competitive, those with fast wheel /tire combinations will run away on the paved sections, and the only real difficulties with hills is steepness, where full slicks or very narrow tires may cause you to walk due to loss of traction.
    Thanks for the intel. I'm doing it on my cross bike with some fairly aggressive knobbies. It's geared low enough for me to climb super steep roads, which I do fairly often. Glad to hear there is more dirt than gravel on the roads -- that is definitely my preference. Regardless, 10K of climbing in 73 or so miles is fairly epic. Really looking forward to it.

  10. #10
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    Sounds fun!

    I just drove back from Cycle Oregon, and if I'd known about this event, I might've left my gravel grinder (Salsa Vaya) in Oregon for a more few weeks...

  11. #11
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    Interesting course. . .

    Flat bar cross frame running 40c Happy mediums, 50/34 rings and 11/36 cassette might be quick and cushy for this ride.

  12. #12
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    What an incredible ride this was. The roads were, in my opinion, in perfect shape. No doubt 9 inches of rain followed by a dry spell helped that. The roads were largely soft but not muddy. Drier in areas with direct sun. Spectacular scenery (not that I was doing much site seeing -- mostly just trying to stay alive). The weather was perfect.

    Like another poster said, the roads are primarily dirt, with a little gravel. This made for fast descents -- no need to "surf" across loose gravel piles. The climbing was f$%king endless. The course only went two direction: straight up and straight down.

    Very well organized event, by the way. The course was extremely well marked and had very friendly volunteers at every "tricky" point to send you in the right direction.

    I rode it on a cross bike with knobbies, with my lowest gear being 34/28. Nothing you could not ride up with a 34/28, but I have to admit that I would have liked a few more gears during the last 3rd.

    The winner did it on a 29er -- not a bad choice at all for the course. 2nd place was on a road bike (?!?!?!?). 3rd place was a cross bike. I would say 95% of the participants were on cross bikes, with a few 29ers, a couple full suspensions, and one fat bike (hope he did the short course).

  13. #13
    2OFME
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    little writeup at ON & OFF RHODES | Go Big or Go Home.
    I rode it on my Salsa Fargo. I was able to rip the decents, but the climbing would have been nicer on something lighter. My legs decided not to show up, so it was a much longer day than I anticipated.
    There were actually 2 fatbikes. One guy did the short course the other did the long course.
    I only have 2 "complaints" about the whole day. The first being that with an 8AM start time there was very few (like 2) options to get something to eat on Saturday morning. A Subway and a gas station quickie-mart. The fireside hotel (one of the supporting lodging options) did not even start serving their continental breakfast until 7:30 AM. Most of the other breakfast joints in Yachats or Waldport that I could find opened between 7:30 and 10AM. Had I known this I would have brought my own food.
    The second little quibble I have is that the raffle at the end of the race was skewed towards early finishers. I finished in a time of 7:47 and the raffle was just wrapping up. If you wanted to be fair hand out tickets BEFORE the ride starts, have the people put their name on the ticket. Hence if you won something but were a later finisher you could still get your prize after you finished.
    Other than that, the course was awesome (brutal) and the volunteers were outstanding!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by onrhodes View Post
    little writeup at ON & OFF RHODES | Go Big or Go Home.
    I rode it on my Salsa Fargo. I was able to rip the decents
    I think you flew by me on the downhill after the first aid station. I was doing pretty well on the downhill, passing lots of folks. But you passed me like I was going backwards and you were shot out of a cannon. When I caught you on the uphill and commented on it, you pointed out the beefy 2.1s you were on (I was riding my Kona Major Jake). Or maybe it was some other guy on a Fargo who flies downhill.

  15. #15
    2OFME
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    Yup, that was me.

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