Nothing is more exciting, outside the physical act of riding your bike, than dreaming of where you’ll ride it. Whether it’s a week in Whistler or a day at Duthie, from backcountry epics to bike park sessions, our sport has a wealth of options. As we approach the transitional season, we can start weaning our eyes from bike POD and VODs, finishing up those builds, and planning how to make loamy dreams become ripping reality.
This week, as we discuss bike trips, travel tips, and other self-propelled two-wheeled affairs, I encourage you to impart your 2015 plans as I reveal mine. My objective here is three-fold: get you as excited about your season as I am mine, give you something to look forward to reading in my full reports later this year, and, in a selfish act, solicit any input from those who’ve been to where I plan to ride.
Due to perceived high standards and lack of universal definition, I try to use the “D” word sparingly. In my mind, a mountain bike destination is only second to becoming a “mecca” and to be crowned such seems akin to bearing one of the nineteen rings. While I am certainly in no official position to dole out such a title, I have high hopes in 2015 to bring to your attention a potential destination that has been under the radar for far too long. Situated in the shadows of Mount Hood, on the banks of the Columbia River Gorge, about an hour and change east of Portland, OR, is the quaint-as-quaint-gets town of Hood River. In terms of outdoor recreation, you may have heard of “Hood” referenced for its world-class wind surfing and kite boarding, but did you know about the 250 miles (maybe more) of singletrack within 45 minutes of town? That’s not including the 40 miles of lift-served riding at Mount Hood’s bike park!
You know Jackson, WY as a legit mountain bike destination boasting over 300 miles of trail within 25 miles of town, but do you really know “DAHO-le” picture? Within Teton Valley, ID, Singletracks currently documents about 70 miles among 10 trails, but I’ve tapped into a network of trail slaying bliss just west of Driggs that will enrich your next trip to the Wydaho border.
17K In a Day
What is it like descending 17,000 feet on a mountain bike in one day? I don’t know, but I’d like to, and Oregon Adventures will make that happen with their 17K Vert In A Day shuttlefest. Choose one of four days throughout the summer to ride over 40 miles on six different trails in Oakridge, OR. While you will earn 3,500 feet of those miles climbing, it’s a small price to pay considering the gravity-assisted portion the size of Mount McKinley. In addition to multiple shuttles, the tour fee of $159 gets you lunch (with a vegetarian option), snacks, professional guides, a T-shirt, and a dip in the river afterward. If you can’t make one of their set dates, just grab four friends and arrange your own shuttlefest with Oregon Adventures.
Have you hauled mail in Hood River? Are you tearing up the Tetons? Are you ready to sink 17,000 feet? If you’ve been to these places, what say ye? If you haven’t, what more do you want to know? Or, if you already have your sights set on somewhere else this season, peddle us your plans and tell us why you’re going where you’re going.