Mountain Bike Oregon’s 10th Anniversary
“I’ve been to mountain bike festivals all over, and nothing compares to Mountain Bike Oregon. I’ve never seen another festival that’s so much about the riding,” says International Mountain Bike Association representative Anna Laxague.
For mountain bikers who love to immerse themselves in the trail, Mountain Bike Oregon is a dream vacation — a three-day opportunity to leave behind the daily grind, with a team of volunteers and staff who make it easy to sink in. Every day is all about riding as much as possible; the event takes care of the rest, including shuttles, meals and a beer garden.
Nestled in the heart of the Willamette National Forest, Mountain Bike Oregon draws dirt lovers from all over the world who flock to the small town of Oakridge to ride some of the best trails in the entire United States. Oakridge boasts a network of 500 miles of single-track — the narrow trails through the forest just wide enough to get through, yet subtle enough to make riders feel they are one with the woods.
In July 2014, Mountain Bike Oregon celebrated its tenth anniversary of introducing the world to the sweet mountain biking of Oakridge, a town where an impressive 5 percent of economic development comes from mountain biking and outdoor recreation (compared to a national standard of 1 percent). The event quickly filled up with riders eager to be there for the big celebration in the woods, and the organizers dug deep in their archives for photos from the early years to show on-screen in the nightly beer and wine garden under the stars.
While some things about Mountain Bike Oregon have changed over the years, the best features still remain:
- Mountain Bike Oregon is capped at 350 riders — those lucky enough to secure a spot at the laid-back festival.
- The team of 90 friendly trail guides ensures everyone has a fantastic experience on the trail.
- The beer and wine garden features a selection of Oregon’s best craft drinks, showcasing to visitors from around the world how we drink in Oregon.
- And most importantly, cell phones are tucked away, email goes unchecked for days and social media posts about Mountain Bike Oregon mostly happen when the event is over.
This is what sinking in is truly all about.
Happy tenth anniversary, Mountain Bike Oregon!
Mountain Bike Oregon happens every July and August. Registration is now open for 2015 at MTBoregon.com.
Ayleen Crotty is a freelance writer based in Portland. She is the director of Filmed by Bike, a festival of events and the best bike movies from around the world.