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  1. #1
    Dream it, Do it.
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    Which tour company for Oregon bike trip? - Cog Wild or Western Spirit

    I'm thinking of taking a long put-off gift of a bike trip. Considering rides in Oregon, but open to ideas of other places to go with great singletrack.

    Anyone with experience with different tour companies? I'm considering Cog Wild as they are based in the area I want to go and Western Spirit. Any experiences with these as well as any other recommendations for tour companies?

  2. #2
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    Both are top notch,I'd go with Cog Wild for the Oregon trip. Ride McKenzie solo via shuttle from Cog Wild,savin some dough for the N. Umpqau tour. Then if you have more time and money do the Hood River trip with Cog. If not rent a car and head down to Oakridge for a day or two and get some of the "funk". Otherwise hang in Bend and drink some headies and hook up with locals on all the stuff right out of town. Sounds like an epic trip, I'm jealous.

  3. #3
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    Did North Umqpau with Western Spirit ,I had a great time . They handled all the cooking and clean up. North Umqpau was epic ,almost all single track. I've also done a McKenzie as a shuttle with Cog Wild another great ride. I'd say you can't go wrong either way.

  4. #4
    Dream it, Do it.
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    Thanks guys. I'm definitely excited about figuring out how to make this work.

    For getting to Bend from the SF Bay Area, would you do the 9 hour drive from the SF Bay Area (~500 miles one way or about $160 in gas and $50 or so in food for the 2 days spent driving) or take a direct flight from San Francisco to Bend ($337 for a direct flight of 1 1/2 hours). Once in Bend, is there a need for a rental car or can Cog Wild do a pick up at the airport? I'm thinking that the flight wastes no time and doesn't cost all that much more.

  5. #5
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    Your Western Spirit experience depends a lot on your group and your tolerance for delays in getting started. My Southern Utah WS trip seemed like way too much cook, clean, gear up, load up, pre-pack lunch, wait on slo pokes to get their shizz together, fiddle with shifting, etc... before hitting the trail. Wake at 7 ride at 11 doesn't cut it for me. Repeat each evening; cook, clean, set-up camp. So they try to get to camp before sunset. (5pm when I went) so I got to ride 6 of every 24 hours. Fail.

    The WS staff was really cool and so were my traveling buds, but it was just way too much being on the group's schedule for me. I repeated the trip the next year (self supported) and loved it.

    Umpqua, being a linear trail system and a more advanced trip may weed out some of those factors. I'd go with Cog Wild though. It's a leaner, trip, but I'll bet it's more fun.

  6. #6
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    Cog Wild

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre
    I'm thinking of taking a long put-off gift of a bike trip. Considering rides in Oregon, but open to ideas of other places to go with great singletrack.

    Anyone with experience with different tour companies? I'm considering Cog Wild as they are based in the area I want to go and Western Spirit. Any experiences with these as well as any other recommendations for tour companies?

    I had a GREAT experience with Western Spirit, but that was many, many years ago. A decent rule of thumb: bigger companies have a more consistent overall experience (food, accommodations, support); smaller companies general excel at one aspect ...usually the actual riding the bike part.

  8. #8
    Just roll it......
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    I don't think you could say anything bad about Western Spirit, but Cog Wild is based in Bend, so I think it's always nice to support the locals.

    EB

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre
    Thanks guys. I'm definitely excited about figuring out how to make this work.

    For getting to Bend from the SF Bay Area, would you do the 9 hour drive from the SF Bay Area (~500 miles one way or about $160 in gas and $50 or so in food for the 2 days spent driving) or take a direct flight from San Francisco to Bend ($337 for a direct flight of 1 1/2 hours). Once in Bend, is there a need for a rental car or can Cog Wild do a pick up at the airport? I'm thinking that the flight wastes no time and doesn't cost all that much more.
    The flight may take an 1 1/2 hours but I bet the total time from leaving your house to pulling up to your hotel is more like 6 hours. Get to the airport 1 1/2 hours early, you can't go anywhere in the Bay Area in under an hour so at least that to get to the airport, flight will be at least 1/2 hour late, arrive at airport in Redmond after a mininum of 4 1/2 hours. Unload plane, wait for luggage and get rental car at least 45 min and then 1/2 hour drive to hotel in Bend.

    Don't forget the cost of shipping your bike on the plane (at least $50.00 each way) or renting a bike once you're here, cost of airport parking. I would say you would want a car as well.

    I think it would be much better and cheaper to drive your own rig with your bike. Just get up and leave the Bay Area early like 4:00 am to beat the traffic and be in Bend by 1:00 - 2:00 or so. Still have time for a nice ride after sitting in the car all morning.

    I've heard nothing but great things about Cog Wild. Depending on what you want to do and how many days you don't need a tour company, at least not everyday. I would use them for a shuttle on the Mckenzie or their N. Umpqua trip, but for all the great riding in Bend just get a map and or hook up with some locals.

  10. #10
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    Drive. 4 hrs north, ride Mt Shasta.
    2 hrs north of Shasta, ride Mt Ashland.
    3 more hours north, North Umpqua Trail.
    See Crater Lake.
    2 more hours north, Mckenzie River Trail.
    2 hours east, ride Bend.
    Heading home, 2 hours south of Bend, ride Oakridge.
    3 more hours south, ride Wagner Butte (Talent, just north of Ashland)
    4 more hours south east, ride outside Chico, if it's not too hot or on fire.
    3 hours south of Chico, ride Downieville.
    4 hours south west and you're home.

  11. #11
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    If you make it to Oakridge, Oregon Adventures.

  12. #12
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    I did a 5 day trip in Sun Valley with WS about 10 years ago. It was great. They have dutch oven cooking down to a science. And the guides work their butts off from 7 in the AM until after dinner. We only changed camps twice, so we didn't have to deal with packing up every single day. And on the last part of the first day's ride, my chainstay broke. They drove the truck all the way back into town to get me one of their rental bikes to use the rest of the week and didn't charge my anything for it.
    Friends don let friends ride road bikes.
    http://www.facebook.com/mikebmiller

  13. #13
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Cog Wild posts all the time on the Oregon forum here.

    Western Spirit? I've not seen it.

  14. #14
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    I've had nothing but good experiences with Western Spirit, but for this trip, I'd go with Cog Wild. They're local, they support the local trails, they support mtbr, and I've heard nothing but great things about them. I got to talk with one of the owners at MBO, and they really have their act together. Go with Cog and report back.
    功夫大师喜欢骑着他的自行车在山上。

  15. #15
    Single Speed Junkie
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    I've done a few trips with a few guide type services over the years. Rim tours in Moab provides a good service and have had positive experience most every trip. Last pair of guides when I took my wife out went cheap on the food in comparison with prior trips. Many of the people in that Rim Tours outing ended up getting a few scraps from Western Spirit.

    That convinced me to go with WS next time out which happened to be on the Umqpau trail. The food was great and timing was perfect as the wild black berries were all out. I filled up a gallon ziplock full of them bringing back to camp. Has a freak accident where a shard of rock shot up from the front wheel poking a hole in my tibia and yes we were picking out bone fragments. Thankfully it was not broke. WS had the first aid equipment and wraps keeping it clean so I could continue riding. Only complaint I could think of with WS is that they were rather hard on bikes as when it was unloaded the down tube on a Ti IF frame was dented in slightly. If it would have been an alloy frame I don't know if I would have trusted riding it with the dents.

    Can not recommend Cog Wild as I have no personal experience with them.

    Regardless who you choose they all try to provide the best experience possible and I'm sure you will have a great time.

  16. #16
    switchback sculptor
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    Don't forget AshlandMountainAdventures for fifteen mile downhill runs in Ashland.

  17. #17
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    theepicride

    I believe they should be up and running soon. Check them out.

  18. #18
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    I have been on rides with the owner of www.theepicride.com out in Bend. I had so much fun just ripping the trails with him and not worring about where to ride when I got out and on the trails..he knows his ****.

  19. #19
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    Hey it's Ryan, owner / founder of The Epic Ride. We hope to begin offering fully customized Mt. Bike vacations beginning this summer. We are still waiting to be approved for our special use permit from the U.S. Forrest Service and until then we cannot begin offering tours.... Keep up to date with us via our twitter feed. twitter.com/theepicride and our blog theepicride.wordpress.com.

    Live to ride, ride to live.

    -Ryan

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