Boy howdy. It’s been almost a week since I’ve returned from the Oregon Outback and my road rash and legs are still aching. I went on a short packraft on the Willamette to take it easy this weekend, and now my arms are sore because all I’ve been doing is training my legs to prepare for the Outback. Everything is just going to be sore for a while I guess. There’s no winning.

Donnie, Jan, Nelson, and Ira. ie: the mastermind and the crushers

Donnie, Jan, Nelson, and Ira. ie: the mastermind and the crushers

But enough whining. I’m actually blown away. Everyone who showed up for the Oregon Outback rode it faster, smarter, and in better spirits than I ever could have imagined. Y’alls are amazing. Knowing the route and my limits I challenged myself to 3.5 days and surprised myself by accomplishing it. I was even more surprised by everyone else’s goals. Ira Ryan: an astonishing 28 hours. Jan Heine: 30 hours with a broken hand, and then riding home to Seattle. Five or so more incredibly fast times under 40 hours. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think anyone could ride it straight through. I didn’t think anyone would be much faster than 50 hours. The gravel is too deep, too slow, too chunky, too washboardy. I was wrong, you are badasses.

I feel like a badass for my back-to-back 12 hours days. But I also feel like that wasn’t much fun. I like to arrive at camp when there’s still time to dip my feet in the river before dark. Or get a fishing line wet. Or talk shit around a campfire. Or have more than one cup of coffee in the morning. I don’t much like camping in church yards or municipal lots. I like Donnie and I’s seven day timeframe last year. For me bikepacking is about being out there, not finishing.

Bikepacking should be about stopping to check out that bobcat skeleton or setting up camp at 3pm, just because you know it’s going to be a kickass spot to watch the sunrise. But it is fun to step outside of your comfort zone, and I’m super glad I got to do so with a bunch of other inspiring people last weekend!

Check out my photo album below. Sadly I slid out on day 3 and busted my camera up pretty bad, so you only get half the trip documented here. Donnie has a nice aggregate of everyone’s trip reports and photos over on VeloDirt.


 

Loading up on caffeine in Klamath Falls

Loading up on caffeine in Klamath Falls

Rolling out fast along the first 50 miles or so

Rolling out fast along the first 50 miles or so

I thought this was a gravel ride!

I thought this was a gravel ride!

Bikepacking essentials right here folks.

Bikepacking essentials right here folks.

Minor adjustments

Minor adjustments

Fremont National Forest

Fremont National Forest

Setting up camp

Setting up camp

Joshua Bryant's Get Rad Machine

Joshua Bryant’s Get Rad Machine

Riding past the Sycan Marsh

Riding past the Sycan Marsh

Spring meadows in the Fremont National Forest

Spring meadows in the Fremont National Forest

Way ahead of schedule, even time for a break before Cowboy Dinner Tree

Way ahead of schedule, even time for a break before Cowboy Dinner Tree

Cowboy Dinner Tree

Cowboy Dinner Tree

Sunrise, creek mist, and coffee.

Sunrise, creek mist, and coffee.

Pretty sure the steak is better  the second day anyway

Pretty sure the steak is better the second day anyway

Dusty, shadeless roads

Dusty, shadeless roads

Fort Rock Bar happened to be open early, so we felt obligated to stop. The giant frosty mugs are where it's at.

Fort Rock Bar happened to be open early, so we felt obligated to stop. The giant frosty mugs are where it’s at.

Camp on the Crooked River

Camp on the Crooked River

Fast descents through Trout Creek

Fast descents through Trout Creek

Heading into the Ashwood valley

Heading into the Ashwood valley

Matt blasting yet another creek crossing

Matt blasting yet another creek crossing

 

Rodeo Clown Selfie

Rodeo Clown Selfie

 

 

Loose gravel, slide out, dead camera.

Loose gravel, slide out, dead camera.

12 Responses to “Oregon Outback Recap”

  1. Beautiful write-up about a wonderful, hard ride. Sorry to hear about the crash and broken camera. I hope you are on the mend!

    Reply
    • Gabriel Amadeus

      Thanks Jan. I am fine, just some scrapes and bruises. The camera didn’t fare as well, but I’ve certainly put it through the wringer. It’s on its 4th or 5th crash now, tough little bugger!

      Reply
  2. Color me jealous. I wish I could have made it. I planned to attend all winter long, alas life conspired to shackle me to the desk as I plod forward toward repeatedly blown deadlines :) I’m thinking a fall solo trip may be in order. If not, then next year for sure.

    Reply
  3. Gabriel Amadeus

    It’s still out there! Won’t be too hot for a few more weeks and all fall should be good too. And then of course, next memorial day weekend…

    Reply
  4. Lance

    I would love to hear where you camped on your 7 day trip. I am planning on that trip in September.

    Reply
    • Gabriel Amadeus

      All of our campsites are on the full RideWithGPS route, all of them great!

      Reply

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