The Rear View Mirror: Oregon Bicycle Ride 2017 Recap

Bicycle laying on the ground

The bike, she is tired.

What an unforgettable week we had during the Oregon Bicycle Ride 2017! To all who rode the event, thank you for sharing your week with us; we hope your bodies are recovering and resting up today after an epic adventure. To the crew who made last week possible, you are magicians. To the folks of Sisters, La Pine, Cottage Grove, Oakridge, and Blue River, we can’t thank you enough for your hospitality.

We will soon be sharing blog posts to recap each day. In the meantime, we wanted to note some highlights and lessons learned from a week of up(hill)s and down(hill)s:

  • Rest stops are oases filled with tasty goodness
  • Few things are more welcome than smooth pavement
  • Next summer (8/18/18?) is the place to be in Cottage Grove to help them take back the Guinness record for World’s Largest Toga Party
  • Cool, shady descents beat hot, exposed climbs every time
  • Oregon’s natural beauty is varied and vast enough to be cosmically improbable
  • There is no graceful way to close the door of a “blue room”
  • Bicycle Rides Northwest is lucky to host a cadre of thoughtful, enjoyable, and kind riders Every. Single. Time.

We’ve loved seeing your photos on social media using the #OBR2017 tag. We will be sharing some of our own posts, videos, and photos over the next several days on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

And now for a nap. Thanks, Team!


The Pines from La Pine: Oregon Bicycle Ride Day 2

Ride Basics

From/To: La Pine to Diamond Lake
Number of miles: 93 miles
Elevation: +3910 feet
Weather: Hot with a dollop of thunder and showers

On the Road

Riding into Diamond LakeThe shade of the pines coming out of camp was a welcome way to start the day through undulating forest. Roads less travelled allowed the legs to warm up and the body to relax into a full day of riding. Riders got to know their neighboring cyclists as they traded positions on the uphills and downhills (tandems and recumbents, ahoy!). Lakeside views beckoned past the first rest stop.

Turning onto our first highway of the day, I heard the WWF (or is it WWE now?) announcer in my head say, “Are you ready to rumble(strip)?” Whichever answer you chose, the rumbles were upon us. The good news was that traffic serves up a tailwind, the road proved mostly flat, and the pavement was smooth. Winning!

And then we made that right turn that revealed the road Stan rejoiced in sharing the night before—the road to Diamond Lake. This road stretches out and up to exhibit the fullness of the climb before each rider. But on the other side of that climb held a descent to beautiful Diamond Lake.

Rest Stop Love

Is there any sweeter written word during a ride than “Rest Stop?” It’s the oasis of any long route, stewarded by angels who cut watermelon and offer zucchini bread. Such magic.

They have cantaloupe. They have bananas. They have pineapple, grapes, and cookies in a vast variety of ingredients and textures. The olives, crowning a stack of crackers and cheese, delighted the palate and brought body and soul back together, if they were ever in danger of separation.


“Will This Climb Ever End?” Oregon Bicycle Ride 2017 Day 1

Ride Basics

From/To: Sisters to La Pine
Number of miles: 77.9 miles
Elevation: +3904/-2900 feet (The descent was a welcome respite)
Weather: Hot. Really hot (high of 90).

Tales From Camp

Who Is on the Ride

Bill and Roger, together againBill and Roger taught at the same school in Oakland about 30 years ago but haven’t had the chance to be face-to-face since. Until now.

Bill taught history and went on to become a school principal. Roger taught shop. With seed money from the local Rotary Club, Roger was able to work with his students to build energy-efficient homes for three years.

Bill recently retired and lives in Oakland, CA. Roger moved to Eugene, OR where he teaches energy sustainability practices at Lane. While Bill and Roger go back a long way, the 2017 Oregon Bike Ride is the first time they have seen each other in person!


“It All Started with a Bang”
George Fry, lover of the Newberry Volcano National MonumentGeorge Fry is a volunteer ranger from Discover Your Forest, a nonprofit based in Bend, OR. He joined us in camp to share his love of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

As it turns out, everyone on the Oregon Bicycle Ride is sleeping tonight on a volcano, and not just any volcano—one of the largest in North America. As George told the group, “Volcanoes are all about rebuilding themselves, and that’s what Newberry has done” multiple times.

To learn more about the area from a passionate lover, you can join George every Thursday on Lava Butte.