Oregon Outback

Glenn Charles had just broken his thumb bikepacking the Coconino. Conversely, Erik Mathy had a previous leg injury that had kept him off a bike for months and had only ridden about 15 miles before arriving in Klamath Falls. I had just barely healed from a gravel over pavement bike crash that left both of my palms without skin and rocks surgically removed. To this day, I still have one pebble left in my right hand and am an owner of bike gloves. All being photographers, it was obvious we should not try and speed ride the route, but enjoy it leisurely, taking photos and enjoying camp time and the beauty of the route. In the end, it was far from what we expected and an incredible journey, full of challenges. These are some of the standout moments.
_MG_7997 EDIT_1
The first challenge is the gates. Lots of em. Some are hard to unlatch or swing open. And you have to close them. Both mean you must dismount your bike. Keep smiling or they will win._MG_8014 EDIT_1

This spot left me reflecting on Day 1, so far, and wondering what the rest of the route would be like.Oregon Outback

A dark reminder of the harshness of the desert. Immediately after taking his photo, Erik began to pedal away and a long strand of barbwire became grape-vined around his front wheel and fork. Luckily, he caught it before destroying the entire front end of his bike. The first scars of the trip.Oregon Outback
Big sky country isn’t just a thing in Montana. I loved this section for, if nothing else, all of the bird life in the fields, wetlands, and ponds. I used my bird app on my phone to point out different species to Erik & Glenn. In this first section of the route, Erik’s Surly ECR proved to be a great bike. The soft miles of Day 1 kept us a handful of miles short of the Cowboy Dinner Tree.Oregon Outback

Attempting to be good trail stewards, we stop to let the horses pass and strike up conversation with the local cowboys and cowgals out enjoying the day, much like we were. A real treat in the day, both socially and photographically, for me.Josh Oregon Outback

A rare moment for me: I joyously accepted this fast stretch of downhill pavement, having woken up on Day 2 puking my guts out from a breakfast sandwich with cream cheese gone bad. Ahead was a tiny town with a diner and greasy, grilled food. Adversity heightens appreciation. Read More…





Check out the links below Erick’s and Glenn’s reports and a few more stories…
Erik’s start here: http://www.asometimesphotographer.com/oregon-outback-day-1

Glenn: http://stories.glenncharles.pro/the-oregon-outback

My Salsa story: http://salsacycles.com/culture/fargoing_the_oregon_outback_route

Glenn’s gear: http://salsacycles.com/culture/oregon_outback_gear_setup_glenn_charles

My gear: http://salsacycles.com/culture/oregon_outback_gear_setup_josh_spice

The post Oregon Outback: Grin & Grit appeared first on Bikepackers Magazine.

Source: Oregon Outback: Grin & Grit