Outdoors blog

MONDAY, SEPT. 16, 2013, 10:05 A.M.

Oregon a mecca for bicyclists

BICYCLING -- Already the only state in the nation with a Scenic Bikeways program, Oregon continues to prove why it’s a top cycling destination with new developments that make it easier to explore the state on two wheels.

Whether it’s car-free biking around the deepest lake in the U.S., gravel grinding down the Oregon Coast or mountain biking inside and out, Oregon has the trails and bike paths to suit your cycling desires.

Click "continue reading" and check out the latest headlines on cycling in Oregon from Traveloregon.com.


Crater Lake Goes Car-Free, Sept. 21-22 

It’s official. Crater Lake National Park will be car-free once a year starting Sept. 21-22. Whether hiking, biking, running or walking, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy stunning views of Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the U.S., and surrounding forests. Under the plan, the 24-mile East Rim Drive will be open only to non-motorized vehicles from North Junction around the East Rim of Crater Lake all the way to the intersection at Crater Lake National Park Headquarters and the Steel Visitors Center. Visit the National Park Service’s website for details on parking, entrance fees and Crater Lake resources.


Mountain Bike Mt. Bachelor 

For those daring enough to take a ski run on wheels, the Mt. Bachelor Downhill Bike Park construction is trucking along, with three trail runs nearly complete. The Rattlesnake, Blade Runner and Red Road bike routes are set to debut this month. The new downhill bike trails were developed in partnership with the Deschutes National Forest and are being designed and built by Gravity Logic, a British Columbia-based bike park developer known for building the Whistler Bike Park. Mt. Bachelor Resort plans to add a new bike shop with sales and lessons by next summer, when lift-served riding will be offered daily. Trails will be rated beginner to expert, according to downhill riding standards. Keep up-to-date on construction progress here. 


Grind and Wind

Oregon has some of the best gravel riding in the country, and now an epic event to prove it. On Oct. 5, hardcore groadies (gravel roadies) are invited to grind down the Oregon Coast and wind their way through the lush Siuslaw National Forest as part of the Oregon Coast Gravel Epic. Riders of all experience levels, from thrill seeker to casual cruiser, can choose between two courses – the 73-mile, 10,000-foot climb of the “Abomination” or the 37-mile “Son of Abomination.” Well-maintained gravel will allow cyclists to carve with ease through the forest as they race, or meander, to the finish line where sustenance and a post-ride Rogue microbrew awaits them. This is the first event of its kind in Oregon.


Historic Highway Expands 

The Oregon Department of Transportation celebrates the opening of a new $8 million, car-free section of the Historic Columbia River Highway and State Trail this month. Marching toward a goal to restore the original 73-mile route by 2016 for the highway’s centennial, the new connecting path completes the 34-mile ride from Troutdale to Cascade Locks without cyclists having to brave the shoulder of highly-trafficked Interstate 84.  


Bike-related tourism is a significant economic driver for communities in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, drawing $46 million to the region annually, according to a 2013 economic impact study completed by Travel Oregon. Future construction of the final 10-mile gap between Wyeth and Hood River will bring the Historic Columbia River Highway back to its original glory as “King of the Roads.” Watch a video of the project here


Explore the Old West by Bicycle

Located 190 miles east of Portland, TREO Lodge Ranch is a 300-acre former cattle ranch that has reinvented itself twice over – first as a pheasant lodge during the hunting season (October-March) and then as a cycling destination (April-September). TREO Bike Tours offers group bike rides, complete meals, lodging and full ride support and can accommodate riders that prefer paved or gravel cycling and mountain bikers. Cyclists can explore remnants of the Old West – ghost towns and abandoned homesteads – along with canyons, mountains, rolling hills and bubbling creeks that make up the vast Eastern Oregon landscape. Awaiting guests back at the ranch are amenities such as a hot tub, pool table, horseshoe pit, shooting range, an 1800s-style saloon and ice-cold beer on tap. 


Hop in the Saddle

Live like a Portlander for the weekend with the Jupiter Hotel’s new “Hop in the Saddle” package. Guests are equipped with the use of two city bikes, Nutcase helmets, a bucket of Rogue beer, a take-home guide to Portland’s craft beer scene, a copy of the “Hop in the Saddle” guidebook to Portland’s best craft beer spots and a room at the Jupiter Hotel. Participants will experience a full-on “made in Oregon” weekend as they bike from lager to ale, sampling the array of craft brews at Portland’s urban breweries. For guests who consume a little too much, the Jupiter Hotel will gladly arrange for a cab ride home.


Mountain Bike Inside

You won’t find the Paul Bunyan-type at The Lumberyard. Portland’s unique indoor mountain bike park features jump lines, pump tracks, skill sections and technical trail riding for beginners to experts. The ‘Yard offers clinics and after-school programs to improve riders’ technical skills and bike handling. For those needing a break from the track, the family-friendly restaurant Pub @ the ‘Yard refuels riders and on-lookers with a selection of local beers on tap and a full menu of fresh and local food. Nestled inside the Pub, diners can watch all the action going on in the park. 


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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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