7 Bikes for 7 Wonders: The Painted Hills

  • Author:
    Ride Oregon Staff
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** July 11, 7:55 a.m. update: Kayla Webb camped overnight last night and rode the Mitchell-Service Creek “Lollipop” early this morning. She found her new bike waiting for her behind a tree at 5:50 am at Gird’s Creek Road, after spotting the third clue, a chalk bicycle we drew on the road. Congrats Kayla! **

Each of the 7 Wonders of Oregon offers a different, exciting ride. To celebrate this, we asked seven of the best bicycle builders in the state to each build a one-of-a-kind bicycle, one for each of our 7 Wonders. This bike was built for the Painted Hills.

To build a bike that does justice to the rugged beauty of the Painted Hills, Portland-based builder Christopher Igleheart drew on two separate sources of inspiration. One was based on his formal education, the other on an entirely different kind of learning.

“I studied geology in college, so the ancient processes that made the Painted Hills inspired me to build this bike,” he says. That connection resulted in this bike’s unusual paint scheme – it has horizontal stripes of earth tones, which directly mimic the vivid strata of rock that give the Painted Hills their name.

But the other, bigger-picture element Christopher drew on is what he’s discovered riding bikes – especially in this state.

“In Oregon, bicycling is a whole other attitude than the rest of the country,” he says. And that’s a product of the diversity of terrain and riding here. “I’ve always had a philosophy of any bike, anywhere,” he says.

So that’s the kind of bike he designed and built for the Painted Hills. While he casually calls it “a straight-ahead touring bike,” there are tons of details intended to make it that “anywhere bike.”

The frame is made of steel, Christopher’s favorite building material, for strength, light weight and stability. Disk brakes provide added stopping power on any surface in any conditions. Wider tires and a set of fenders keep things comfortable and clean. Expedition-quality storage bags from Portland maker Black Star let you take enough supplies to be out for days – and the hub generator powers a headlight for riding all hours.

And the final touch: If you need to find sustenance on an extended trip, there’s a case below the top tube to carry a fly rod; in this part of Oregon, dinner is often found swimming nearby.

This bike is size small, suitable for those 5’3″ to 5’6″ tall.

Learn about the other 7 Bikes for 7 Wonders

Additional Resources


  1. […] Painted Hills bike: The colorful rock layers of the Painted Hills put Christopher Igleheart of Portland in a back-country frame of mind, and he designed a versatile touring bike a rider can pedal through Eastern Oregon’s fossil-bed country in comfort and style. […]

  2. This contest sounds really fun. How do we register to get the ‘hints’?

  3. I’m excited about this bike! Great idea, travel Oregon! I’m Definitely searching for this bike!

  4. I would love to find this bike for my husband…he has an old Schwinn that weights 100lbs…he needs a new bike!

  5. I would love to ride the painted hills, riding is the best way to see and feel the country. I live in Bandon, have 2 yurts for bicyclists to stay in while touring 101. Want to begin a bike hostel and repair station. Just have work (pay out) the legal details…. Think a bike hostel in Mitchell would be a good idea?

  6. This is such an amazing adventure. Cant wait to see all of you when you come see our area. and Astrid.. a few of us have discussed opening a bike hostel here, there is a house and store for sale that would be PERFECT!!! :)

  7. Seen many road trippers ride through John Day….. If I had these sweet
    wheels, I could too!

  8. Great idea, biking is a way of life around here.

  9. I’m ready to find & ride!

  10. this is cool

  11. Bike Hostel!? Totally awesome.

  12. […] Painted Hills: As a former student of geology, it made perfect sense for bike builder Christopher Igleheart, of […]

  13. Cool bike

  14. Wonderful idea! My husband and I are mid 40′s and just started cycling last year.. We love it. Try to cycle/ride as many places as we can. Oregon is beautiful and the experience is so much better when you are on bike!

  15. I would love to ride this bike. I want to inspire my kids to bike more.

  16. Keith Anderson painted this bike – keithandersoncycles.com : ) Opening Rogue Cycles soon!

  17. As a cyclist, artist and one who loves western USA, this bike calls my name!

  18. Visiting Oregan that week!

  19. One of a kind -and a work of art!!

  20. What a sweet ride! I live on the John Day and love watching all the bikes go by.

  21. I like this one!

  22. Do you have any sizing info on this or any of the other 7 Wonders Bikes?

  23. I would love to find one of these special bikes. Like most of the public we work weekdays, we dont have the chance to find these bikes hidden on weekdays. It would be great to hide these bikes on Saturday or sundays so we can even the chances for most of us.

  24. The Painted Hills bike sounds GREAT!!
    I would love to be sent the HINTS!!!!
    So I have registered….I am gonna look forward to the HINTS and look for the BIKE……Thanks…..Cathy

  25. Also….I noticed that you started giving HINTS on July 6th…..Will I be able to get ALL of the HINTS that you have given so far?? I hope so…..Cathy

  26. Riding bikes is what I live to do the most. I love cruising around with my friends on our bikes. This bike sounds so spectacular and finding it would be a dream come true.

  27. […] wifey and I made a last minute decision to go look for the Painted Hills bike. She went by car and I went by bike. We didn't get it, so I had to settle for this crappy early […]

  28. […] Igleheart – Painted Hills Bike.  This came up much earlier in 2015 as a competition to explore the hidden treasures of the state of Oregon, U.S.A.  Even though the bike is very small (for me) I could not stop staring at it.  Why?  Again, adventure on two wheels.  In addition, Chris Igleheart is someone whose bike building skills I admire since years.  That fork is amazing and the paint job is stellar.  What’s not to like here? […]