Fat Biking in the Oregon Coast Range

Surly Fat Bike takes a rest while sunrises in the Oregon Coast Range.

Fat Bike takes a rest while sunrises in the Oregon Coast Range.

The idea of building a statewide multi-user trail network has been a passion of mine for the last several years. Along these lines, I have been promoting the vision of an Oregon Coast Pathway since 2010.  This interest naturally led me to the Salmonberry Corridor trail, a project in the preliminary planning phase, which would connect Banks to Tillamook via the Oregon Coast Range. After attending my first meeting last fall, I have been following the project closely and was determined to attend the latest public meeting last Friday in Wheeler as a representative of the Northwest Trail Alliance.

Now, in the children’s story, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, we learn that sometimes a simple action can lead to a complex chain of events.

If a hungry little mouse shows up on your doorstep, you might want to give him a cookie. And if you give him a cookie, he’ll ask for a glass of milk. He’ll want to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn’t have a milk mustache, and then he’ll ask for a pair of scissors to give himself a trim…

Wild Salmonberry in the Oregon Coast Range

Wild Salmonberry in the Oregon Coast Range

In my case, you might say the cookie was a salmonberry. I was determined to attend that meeting at the coast. And I decided I wanted to bike there from Portland. And since I was biking there, I decided I should travel as near to the corridor as possible. And since I was going to be biking out there in the wilderness, I figured I ought to take a friend with some experience.  So I hit up  my good friend, bike shop owner, and endurance racer, Nathan Jones, to join me.  And since Jones has started renting Fat Bikes, we figured it might be a good idea to do some gear testing on a long ride that would tackle many road surfaces. So, if you give a mouse a cookie-of-a-meeting in Wheeler, Oregon. It could turn into fat bike demo and adventure in the Coast Range.Salmonberry Corridor Segments

The four segments of the Salmonberry Corridor.

The four segments of the Salmonberry Corridor.

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2013 Ride Video from The Amgen People’s Coast Classic


Here is a slightly modified version of the video we showed the last night of 2013 The Amgen People’s Coast Classic.  We had a lot of fun and some hard riding over six days down the Oregon Coast. Be sure to check out the great ride reports and photos from Jonathan Maus of BikePortland.org.

bike-portland-astoriaBikePortland.org Photographic coverage of The 2013 Amgen People’s Coast Classic

Support the Arthritis Foundation and join the ride next year!

Here some of our favorite videos since we started participating 2011:

Business Bicycle Retreats. Why not?

While taking my sons (ages 6, 10, and 13) bike camping* near Portland recently, it became clear to me why cycling is not in the same league as golf, hunting or fishing when it comes to activities business colleagues do together. Cycling in and near the city does not allow for good conversation, and there is rarely room for two to ride abreast, even on non-motorized paths.  Sometimes the environment is downright hostile – we had to contend with congestion, fast moving vehicles, noise and air pollution.  Don’t get me wrong we all love riding and will continue to do so in and around the city BUT I would not take a client or colleague on a nearby ride unless I was completely confident they knew their stuff.  Even then, I’d probably pick a different activity.

This got me thinking about the subject of business bike retreats, which I have been promoting on behalf of my clients, Phil and Kathy Carlson of Treo Bike Tours in Eastern Oregon. Comparing my recent bike trip with my boys to the riding we’ve done this season with Treo, I’m convinced Phil and Kathy are in the perfect position to cater to urban business people who want a getaway based around cycling that is safe and supported. Phil and Kathy have been hosting popular bird hunting retreats for 20 years, so they know how to take care of guests and show them a good time.  There is so little traffic on their road and gravel routes that groups can ride two- or more abreast for hours at a time, meaning more quality time among colleagues and clients. And Treo’s fantastic tour support means there are no worries about getting stranded, lost, hungry, or worn out on the road.

The $64,000 question is, will businesspeople be interested in such retreats? I think Treo could be ahead of the curve on this with the right stuff to make it work. Not everybody golfs or hunts, but just about everyone enjoys riding a bike — especially when they don’t have to worry about traffic or flats.  Add great food and hospitality to a low-pressure ride plus good times and relaxing at the their ranch and you have the recipe for a the type of bonding and conversation that business leaders are looking for when they take their customers and employees on these kind of trips.

So, what do you think? Is biking a good activity for a business retreat or conference?  We know it might not be for everyone, but what are necessary steps to make it work?

Cyclists Raise their Bicycles

Cyclists Raise their Bicycles after riding at TREO

*Below, check out our car-free family bike trip across the Idaho panhandle a few years back.

Barlow Road RIde This Weekend!

Looking for a great ride this weekend? It’s not too late to join the Barlow Road Ride.  It’s an two-day century (or you can do it in a day, too) that follows the last section of the Oregon Trail back from Oregon City to Government Camp.  Spend a night on the Mt. Hood and enjoy great beer and entertainment and then ride back down on Sunday.  We highly recommend it!