I may be a little late on this one but info on the 2015 Oregon Outback is up! I first heard about the ride from Jan Heine’s account of the ride in Bicycle Quarterly earlier this year. I was immediately determined to do the ride this coming year. Why do a 360 mile rando-style ride on the road when you could do it (mostly, 75% to be exact) on gravel and fire roads!? I’m all for getting on dirt whenever possible and the route sounds like too much of an adventure to pass up.
For those who haven’t heard of the ride before, the Oregon Outback is a 360 mile ride in the backcountry of the Beaver state, starting in Klamath Falls in the south and ending up north above the Deschutes River. The route links up dirt and gravel roads, with the recommended tire width being about 2″ knobbies. Upon first hearing about the ride I thought to myself, “But damn, I bet registration’s pricey.” This is one of my favorite parts about the event; because there is absolutely no support whatsoever – no sag wagon, no assistance with injury or mechanicals, nothing – it’s totally free. There isn’t even registration. Just a start time and an awesome route. All you’ve gotta do is show up with a bike and turn the cranks over (and then ride 360 miles). Which brings me to the next issue: what kinda rig do I whip for a ride like this?? And how to tackle the distance? One big push? Take it easy and camp? Everyone’s got their ideal tool and strategy for a job like this; post your ideal ride and approach in the comments!
There’s a bicycle I believe would be perfect for the application that occasionally lives in the shop that is begging to be ridden in the Oregon Outback. Expect a profile of the bike and why I think it’d be the best for the task later! To be followed by a reality check and what I will actually be riding (to be clear, a bike I’m equally in love with).