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Thread: Oregon Outback

  1. #1
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    Oregon Outback

    Donnie Kolb hasn't posted this yet, so here goes:

    http://velodirt.com/the-oregon-outba...across-oregon/

    First year for what is bound to be a popular epic for racers, bikepackers, etc.!

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    I would really love to do it. Only problem is that I am not a bikepacker, so I'd need to invest some significant cash in equipment (frame bags, lightweight tent, etc.), unless I can find someone willing lend me the gear. The other option is to ride light and have the family meet me at certain intervals with the RV. But that seems like cheating!

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    Oregon Outback

    A couple ideas:

    @ Lots of people have racks and panniers, so these might be easy enough to find and borrow. Don't have to have bikepacking-specific bags.

    @ "Outdoor programs" like the one at the University of Oregon rent out lots of ultralight camping gear (tents, stoves, sleeping bags) for cheap. Would be a good way to try out some different kit before sinking a lot of money into your own.

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    Now why didn't I think of that? Lots of places in the PDX area that rent ultralight backpacking stuff I could use. If only I could find a place to rent some stronger legs for a few days . . . .

    The thought of Cowboy Dinner Tree will keep the legs pumping those first 120 miles . . . .

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    Oregon Outback

    I think there will be riders going at lots of different paces -- from the Tour Divide-style racers to the camp-along-the-way and have fun riders (like me!).

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    Would love to do it, but that weekend is my wife's birthday......

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    Hope you're right, egenemtbing, that this ride attracts some more fun-pace riders than VeloDirt's other events. I rode the Dalles Mountain 60 and it was a ridiculous hammerfest. I proudly DFL'ed it and had a great time doing it (with the notable exception of riding the Biggs Bridge alone!) but it didn't exactly make me interested in doing other events of theirs.

    EDIT: after reading the linked article in more detail, maybe they're opening the door a little more to relaxed-pace riders. The fact that they expect a lot of riders to hit the Cowboy Dinner Tree (115 miles in) on the first night tells you what kind of riders VeloDirt attracts.

    On the other hand, the fact that they expect some "much slower" riders to get there on the second night may mean they hope to expect a more diversely-paced crowd than their other rides. The first 115 miles should be pretty easy ones, but with a fully loaded MTB I personally would be expecting to take two days to reach the CDT.
    "People like GloyBoy are deaf. They are partisan, intellectually lazy & usually very angry." -Jaybo

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    Oregon Outback

    I'm going at my own blissful bikepacking pace. I could honestly not give a **** if others are faster or slower than me. Would be fun to hit the Cowboy Dinner Tree when the pack is there, though. Maybe start a half-day early? I might.

    It will be a great route and a fun event, even if I am overlapping with others only on Day 1-2.

    I have the sense there might be others on On One bikes who will ride at my pace and make a bikepacking party out of it. Will know more about that soon, hopefully!

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    There's no way I could do this ride competitively and would probably finish a week after the fun riders I'm looking at some of the VeloDirt tracks to ride at my own pace.

    Dropped68, I have a framebag for an 18" El Mariachi and a Viscacha seatbag. PM me if you need to borrow them.
    2013 El Mariachi Ti and a motor that needs an overhaul.

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    Funny -- the thing I like best about VeloDirt events is the laid back, non-competitive nature of them. I found the Oregon Stampede to be a blast -- most folks were just taking their time, doing it for fun. Drinking beer at the few convenience store stops along the route. Of course, any ride with 130 miles and 9K feet of climbing is going to attract a certain number of very fast people. Assume the same with the Outback. But I will be taking my sweet-assed time.

    On the Dalles Mountain course, the Biggs bridge is terrifying. No shoulder at all with people going 50 mph past you. I don't know if I will ever do that ride again because of the bridge. When my wife and I rode the course in September, we hit that bridge and rode like hell. About half way across I realized no cars were passing us anymore. I looked back and there was a semi truck behind us, taking its time and holding back traffic. It was very cool of that truck to not try and pass us on such a narrow bridge. We stopped and thanked the guy profusely at the south end of the bridge. He wasn't angry at all about being held back by a couple cyclists. He was just trying to make sure we crossed safely. It was such a damn nice thing to do.

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    What would be a reasonable amount of time to consider for this ride? Five days would be about 75 miles per day, is this reasonable? I havenít done any bikepacking what so ever, but this sounds pretty tough with a loaded bike.

    And what about the weather in May on the east side of the mountains? Has the ground started to dry out, or is this going to be muddy?
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

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    Oregon Outback

    Looks like registration is closing. Anyone wanting to go better get on it.

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    if this an unsupported ride, and people are doing it for fun, then why worry about registration closing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShiverMeTimbers View Post
    if this an unsupported ride, and people are doing it for fun, then why worry about registration closing?
    1. Because it shows respect for the people who put a ton of time into putting this together - for free...

    2. Because the route has very limited services and if too many people show up it'll be a **** show.

    Obviously we can't tell you what to do, but I hope folks can respect that (and us). If you want to go ride it some other time, by all means - all the information you need is out there. We encourage you to go for it.

    Thanks,


    Donnie
    velodirt.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dropped68 View Post
    Funny -- the thing I like best about VeloDirt events is the laid back, non-competitive nature of them. I found the Oregon Stampede to be a blast -- most folks were just taking their time, doing it for fun. Drinking beer at the few convenience store stops along the route. Of course, any ride with 130 miles and 9K feet of climbing is going to attract a certain number of very fast people. Assume the same with the Outback. But I will be taking my sweet-assed time.

    On the Dalles Mountain course, the Biggs bridge is terrifying. No shoulder at all with people going 50 mph past you. I don't know if I will ever do that ride again because of the bridge. When my wife and I rode the course in September, we hit that bridge and rode like hell. About half way across I realized no cars were passing us anymore. I looked back and there was a semi truck behind us, taking its time and holding back traffic. It was very cool of that truck to not try and pass us on such a narrow bridge. We stopped and thanked the guy profusely at the south end of the bridge. He wasn't angry at all about being held back by a couple cyclists. He was just trying to make sure we crossed safely. It was such a damn nice thing to do.
    Like you said, with the number of miles and vertical feet to cover before nightfall on a route like the Rapture or the Stampede, I do the math and realize i'm not going to make it. That's fine. I sure wouldn't do either of those rides and then complain about being the slowest.

    But the DM60 is a pretty moderate ride, and I guess I was just surprised there weren't any other "slower" people like myself out of the 200+ riders. Maybe what seems "laid back" to the classic cyclist seems hammerhead from the perspective someone like me who averaged probably 10-11mph on the route. For me the whole point of joining up in a group ride like this, as opposed to riding it solo like I can do anytime, is the enjoying the cameraderie of even a small handful of similar-paced riders, and there was nothing like that this time. As it was, I fell off the back (except for one guy who looked ready to turn back) by the time I got halfway up Dalles Mountain. Not that I mind riding alone (except for the bridge) but I can do that anytime.

    And really, maybe the biggest frustration for me with falling way off the back was just that it meant I had to ride the Biggs Bridge alone. And boy are you not kidding. Fortunately I was able to wait for a gap in traffic, then pedaled furiously and made it about a third of the way across before a semi came up behind me - about the same time I entered the main stream of the Gorge wind. Also, fortunately, the driver was polite and patient, and gave me enough room. Could have been a lot worse.
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    Oregon Outback

    I rode the Stampede last year on ~60 miles a week. Needed to ride my own pace, which meant riding alone 95% of the ride. My stops were short so i was also catching riders and being repassed all day. Finished in about 11.5 hrs feeling pretty good and had a great time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    What would be a reasonable amount of time to consider for this ride? Five days would be about 75 miles per day, is this reasonable? I havenít done any bikepacking what so ever, but this sounds pretty tough with a loaded bike.

    And what about the weather in May on the east side of the mountains? Has the ground started to dry out, or is this going to be muddy?
    Put it this way: 360 miles is about what a typical Cycle Oregon ride covers in 5 days. On non-loaded bikes, on pavement. Factor in your gear, and more dirt then pavement, and 75 miles per day is a more aggressive target than what people do on most organized pavement tours like CO. Bear in mind that if you want to average 75 miles/day you will probably have at least one or two 100-mile days to make up for the days when you ride less or even take a rest (!) day to enjoy a lovely camp.

    That said, I'm sure lots of people will average 75/day, and I'm sure there will be people in the group averaging 100+ miles per day, which is doable for fast riders and still fewer miles than many Tour Divide racers do.

    You've already seen me admit to being slower than most serious cyclists ... personally, I'd plan on taking at least a week and averaging 40-50 miles per day. Which probably means some 30 mile days and some 70-80 mile days, depending on the terrain, conditions and my whim.

    By late May, chances are better than not that Southeast Oregon will be dry. That's one of my favorite times to go out there, but it just depends. The weather is really variable out there, and it varies quite a lot from year to year too. Usually by mid-May things have started drying out pretty well, but some years it's wet and muddy, and there are still snowy patches on the north sides of the buttes. Roll of the dice.
    "People like GloyBoy are deaf. They are partisan, intellectually lazy & usually very angry." -Jaybo

  18. #18
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    Oregon Outback

    GlowBoy, ride with me and a couple friends. We'll push ourselves but focus on having fun, picking nice camp spots and enjoying ourselves.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodirt View Post
    1. Because it shows respect for the people who put a ton of time into putting this together - for free...

    2. Because the route has very limited services and if too many people show up it'll be a **** show.
    Those same little towns handle thousands of cyclists when Cycle Oregon passes through. Get over yourself, control freak. Don't go organize a flashmob on public land if you are going to be a wimp about the outcome.

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    Oregon Outback

    Don't hijack my thread, please. I will be a rider in this event. I posted this thread to generate interest among others who might want to go. Several weeks passed, and now registration is closed. It will be a blast to ride. Enough said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
    Those same little towns handle thousands of cyclists when Cycle Oregon passes through. Get over yourself, control freak. Don't go organize a flashmob on public land if you are going to be a wimp about the outcome.
    Huge difference between Cycle Oregon and a Velodirt event. Which is why I ride Velodirt events and wouldn't touch Cycle Oregon with a 10 foot pole. But seriously -- lay off Donnie. The guy does one hell of a job putting together routes and events and promoting gravel road cycling. For nothing. I don't think he deserves any disrespect. If you're unhappy about "registration" being cut off after it hit 400 people in a few days, just take all of the route Beta that Donnie developed and ride the route one of the 51 other weeks of the year. No big deal, since it is completely unsupported anyway.

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    Anyone want to do some "practice" rides in the coming months into say the Tillamook range or something else in the Portland area? I'm in Beaverton.
    I cannot do the actual ride since it is my wife's birthday weekend, but I would be game for some sub-24 or possible Friday, Saturday, return Sunday stuff in the coming months for those who want to "train" for this event.
    PM me if interested.

    -Pete

  23. #23
    newfydog
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dropped68 View Post
    -- lay off Donnie. I don't think he deserves any disrespect. .
    Here's a guy, who has contributed all of three posts on this forum, telling us he deserves respect. The same guy who showed utter disrespect for the Nature Conservancy land, dragging his bike through wetlands preserve closed to bikes, posted it on the 'net, and called it some of the best part of the trip. Suddenly, he is telling us who and when we can ride on our public land. Sorry, respect is earned, not demanded.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
    Those same little towns handle thousands of cyclists when Cycle Oregon passes through. Get over yourself, control freak. Don't go organize a flashmob on public land if you are going to be a wimp about the outcome.
    [shaking head...]

    CO doesn't compare to the Outback ride in the slightest. CO is fully supported and towns are well prepared for their coming. Imagine if every CO rider had to buy all his/her food from the same tiny convenience store... Do you really think there'd be anything left for the 200th rider, much less the 1000th?

    The rider limitation has absolutely nothing to do with "controlling" things. It's about trying to maximize the experience for everyone who rides. The Cowboy Dinner Tree is tiny and we'd like anyone riding to have the opportunity to go there if they want. If 300 people ride at the same time, only a small fraction of them would get the chance to eat there. There are several tiny, but critical campsites on the route - they can't handle a ton of traffic. Services are limited - convenience stores would get wiped out and slower riders would get screwed. The shuttle back to Portland that we're trying to arrange only holds about 15 people at a time (thus per day). Etc., etc., etc.

    I never imagined having to turn people away - we didn't expect this kind of response - but the limited services on the route dictate showing some restraint if everyone wants to have an enjoyable experience. It isn't fun saying "no" to people who are stoked to ride; and frankly even less fun dealing with people like you who act like participation is an entitlement... it's not.



    Donnie

    Quote Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
    The same guy who showed utter disrespect for the Nature Conservancy land, dragging his bike through wetlands preserve closed to bikes, posted it on the 'net, and called it some of the best part of the trip.
    Re: the Sycan Marsh - The state website for the OC&E said the Sycan Marsh is part of the trail system. That's why we went there in the first place and didn't know it was off-limits to bikes. Once we learned better, we took it out of the formal route. But people should go there and see it, its amazing - it really was one of the best parts of the trip. Just make sure you walk your bike through it...

    Btw - Given that several cars had driven through it recently and we kept to the gravel two-track the whole time, I suspect our trip wasn't the ecological disaster you make it out to be...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodirt View Post
    [shaking head...]

    I never imagined having to turn people away - . It isn't fun saying "no" to people who are stoked to ride; and frankly even less fun dealing with people like you who act like participation is an entitlement... it's not.
    ...
    Actually, it is. You have no event permit and no authority over public lands. If you want fewer people out there your only recourse is begging people not to come, because they have the same right to ride as you do.

    Sorry if I am underwhelmed by the sincerity of your concerns----here's something from your own blog:

    , the route technically ends at the entrance to the Sycan Marsh. Itís now a nature conservatory. ......we rode it anyways. .....it was one of the most amazing and memorable parts of the trip.

    The Oregon Outback | VeloDirt

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