Have you ever wished to travel the length of the state of Oregon with everything you need connected to your bike? It may sound like hell to some, or a dream to others. Thanks to our friends at Velo Dirt, this unique idea has come to fruition. There will be no support, no one cheering you on, and no mercy – just you and your bike for 364 miles. Although a few have already started and finished the route, the main Oregon Outback ride takes place this Friday, May 23rd. Riders start in the southern part of the state in Klamath Falls and head north through the Outback of Oregon. The route brings riders on 70% of gravel roads to the finish in Deschutes State park. The first section starts on the OC & E Rails to Trails route, a roughly 70 mile section of converted non-motorized railroad grade. The route then takes you past Thompson Reservoir on some long flat roads before things get interesting. At mile 200 the trail starts to have more gradient, traveling through Ochoco National Forest and finally ending with a steady descent to the Columbia River. Although there is no tremendous climbs, each short climb adds up. Along with varying road conditions, this route will test anyones ability.
Oregon Outback
Photo: Velodirt.com – Organizer Donnie Kolb’s Rig
The route contains a handful of small resupply spots giving riders a place to re-up on food and maybe gain a little rejuvenation. Once spot noted is the Cowboy Dinner Tree at 115 miles in. Here you can order a very large steak or even a full chicken. Riders will also need to plan accordingly in terms of water. The Oregon Outback is not exactly filled with natural resources. Specifically in the town of Silver Tree, which is your last reliable water for nearly 90 miles. It is important for riders to have done their research and make a plan well before they start riding on Friday. Although the route is on mostly gravel roads, some dirt sections are very soft. With that, riders rigs are mixed between touring bikes to full on mountain bikes. Some will be using panniers, while some have resorted to the bikepacking mentality. Tire width is also another big factor, some will be running 1.9 on your standard MTB rim, Others will be rocking a 29er+ set up. It is all personal preference, but it is safe to say, sticking on the wider side will lead to less fatigue. Many will be touring and others racing, making finishing times anywhere from 2 days to a week. Although there has been talk of a few folks trying to finish the route in 36 hours, the word ‘road’ may fool a few people. It will be interesting to see how quickly some of the riders will advance in the first year event. If you are interested in tracking the Oregon Outback, check out this link. The first annual Oregon Outback, has over 100 riders expecting to show up, we wish them the best and can’t wait to hear their stories. Good Luck!
Oregon Outback
Trackleaders.com

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