CYCLONE RIDES: Mountain Bike Oregon
Blink when you're driving through Westfir, Oregon—population 250—and you might miss it. Situated about 4 miles west of the slightly better known but still obscure town of Oakridge, Oregon. Both are tucked into in the crook of the Willamette National Forest in Oregon’s Cascade Range.
As railroad boom towns in the mid 1900s, many a lumberjack made their fortune in the area, but when the timber industry began to fade an emerging new sport arrived just in time to put Oakridge back on the map—as Central Oregon’s mountain bike mecca.
Since its inception over 12 years ago, Mountain Bike Oregon has drawn thousands of mountain bike enthusiasts from all over the country and around the world. With over 100 miles of steep, rooty, rocky, flowy single track trails—all within a few miles of each other—Oakridge offers something for everyone, from adventuresome beginner to advanced endurance rider. Every year, MBO serves up the trails with a side dish of hot summer entertainment and all the food and drink you can handle.
TOP: a ribbon of tight singletrack cuts through the bunchgrass clearing at the apex of Alpine Trail near Oakridge, Oregon. BOTTOM: The Jedi portion of Alpine offers fast, flowy, serpentine turns through ferny forests.
The trails are the real stars of MBO. Oakridge is one of only six locations in the world to receive the coveted Gold Status from IMBA. With eight different rides offered each day, trail riders of all stripes love this unique event. Each trail has its own unique personality and character—ranging from steep downhill runs, to highly technical climbs, to flowy, bermed singletrack.
Oakridge Adventures provides the shuttle buses (literally old school buses) and trucks to shuttle hundreds of riders to the top of each highlight trail. Hard-core riders who insist they must ‘earn their turns’ may choose to ride to the drop-in at the trailhead, but most opt for the shuttles, enabling them to do multiple throttle-pinning, ear-to-ear grinning descents on a given day. Even without the climbs, all that shredding builds up an appetite.
To feed 300+ riders, trail guides, and vendors, the 15-person volunteer MBO crew dishes up over 700 eggs, 650 pancakes, and countless gallons of coffee. Lunch consists of make-it-yourself sandwiches with meat, cheese, and vegetarian/vegan options, fruit, cookies, and chips.
By 6pm, most riders have had their fill of trail time and head for the beer garden to enjoy the free flowing taps of Oregon’s finest craft beers, ciders, and wine. Many a friendship has been made in the beer garden, and every year there are repeat visitors, some of whom have attended MBO multiple times.
TOP: In order to serve hundreds of bleary-eyed campers with steaming hot coffee, Augusto Carneiro and Larry Ehmke are up at 5am to start brewing using a giant french press welded specifically for Nossa Familia to use at MBO. BOTTOM: Riders are shuttled to trailheads on school buses and vans, sparing them a 15 mile or greater climb up dusty, exposed forest roads.
By Saturday night people are giddy—high on bike and high on life. They’re also starting to be tired and silly, which makes it the perfect time to put a bunch of slightly loopy adults on kids bikes and race for primes. It’s good-natured fun, but elbows definitely get thrown and the rules may change slightly from one round to the next.
About the only thing more fun than a kiddie bike race for grown ups is a kiddie bike race…on a pump track. This year’s switch in location from Greenwaters Park in Oakridge to the base of Alpine Trail in Westfir did just that, adding an extra layer of hilarity to the event. But don’t mistake the race as just a silly, slightly inebriated distraction; competition is fierce, as this year’s grand prize at the July event was a Niner frame.
Mountain Bike Oregon provides an incredible opportunity for riders to not only enjoy some of the best trails in the Pacific Northwest, but also allows riders to demo new gear, with dozens of brands offering opportunities to sample tomorrow’s bikes today.
TOP: Guides lead and sweep each group ride, with a high ratio of guides-to-guests to ensure mechanicals are supported and no one misses a turn. BOTTOM: Though the vast majority of rides are open to all registered riders, there is usually a ladies' ride on the menu each day.
We’ll be back at MBO this month offering demo rides on Knight wheels (details below) and a good old-fashioned BBQ. On Friday, August 26th swing by the Cyclone tent for a veggie burger or real-deal sausage with all the fixin's. Come for the food, stay for the mood, and get ready to party all weekend.
RIDE KNIGHT DEMO WHEELS AT MOUNTAIN BIKE OREGON
Cyclone is excited to join MBO once again August 26-28th with Knight Composites. We’ll be offering Knight wheels for riders to demo. If you haven’t yet ridden carbon fiber wheels, now’s your chance to ride the best on the market. Shred all the gnar, roost the berms, huck the drops, kick the tires. Okay, maybe don’t kick the tires, but do put these wheels through their paces and see how much more awesome your ride becomes with Knight wheels. Once you go carbon, you’ll never go back.
Wheel demos will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Wheels can only be demoed on rider-owned bikes; we will not be able to put demo wheels on demo bikes acquired by other MBO vendors. To preregister and reserve demo wheels for a specific day, please send us an email and we'll get you set up.