Another Go at the Oregon OutbackJan Heine
The Oregon Outback has been a huge influence for us at Rene Herse Cycles. Back in 2014, the inaugural ride/race over the course made us realize the potential of truly wide tires. Ever since, I’ve wanted to come back with a bike built specifically for riding rough gravel roads at speed.
When Lael Wilcox and I rode the Oregon Outback in May, things didn’t exactly go according to plan. We both had GPS problems, I got off course, and there were some other issues as well. The full story of that experience is going to be in the Autumn Bicycle Quarterly. It was still an incredible ride, and it left me wanting for more: a ride on the Oregon Outback that does this beautiful and epic course justice.
Now the wildfire smoke seems to have cleared, the Autumn BQ is at the printer, all shipments from suppliers are accounted for, and I finally can contemplate another run across the Outback. As you read this, I’m on the train to Klamath Falls. I plan to start on Tuesday morning – the first day of autumn. The season for riding in the high country of eastern Oregon is ending fast. The days are much shorter now. Night-time temperatures will be below freezing. We’ll see how it goes – it’ll be an adventure! You can follow along on Trackleaders here.
One small note: During Lael’s and my ride this spring, it was very sweet to see a few readers come out to show their support. To respect the unsupported ethic of bikepacking, I won’t accept any outside help. But please do wave and say ‘Hi’ if you see me. And if you snap a photo, please send it my way – there won’t be a media team or anybody else along this time, and photos to remember a big solo ride are very precious indeed.
Photo: Rugile Kaladyte