Mountain Bike Oregon brings trail lovers from far and wide to the foothills of the Cascade Mountains for three days of guided rides, off-the-bike antics and tasty food and drink. (Photo credit: Daniel Sharp)

There’s something coming to the woods of Oakridge, Oregon. It’s the sound of whooping and hollering as hundreds of happy singletrack hounds gather for Mountain Bike Oregon. Held twice each summer, the event brings trail lovers from far and wide to the foothills of the Cascade Mountains for three days of guided rides, off-the-bike antics and tasty food and drink.

“It’s a very relaxed, casual atmosphere,” says Randy Dreiling, Mountain Bike Oregon promoter and owner of Oakridge-based Oregon Adventures. Dreiling says the event has gained a kind of cult status in its nine years. “People tear up saying this is their one vacation a year, and they love it.”

This year, Oregon’s epic multi-day mountain bike rides take place July 19-21 and August 16-18. Each weekend can accommodate up to 500 people. In the morning, riders gather for breakfast, make their own lunches and clamber aboard a fleet of school buses to head off on chosen rides, of which there are usually a dozen or so, ranging in pace (fast, medium and slow) and in length (between 5 and 37 miles). Singletrack trails wind past stands of old growth forest, wildflower meadows, rushing creeks and waterfalls. (Riders should be at least intermediate. The event is not meant for beginners.)

After a day on the trail, people return to camp for yoga, showers, dinner and the beverage garden. “It’s a mini Oregon beer and wine festival in the evening,” Dreiling says. Things get lively with Friday night’s Junk Bike Cross — participants compete to see how far they can throw a crummy bike — and Saturday’s Mini Bike Race, in which adult competitors race on children’s bikes. All food, drink, camping and events are included in the registration fee.

Dreiling encourages people to come enjoy Oakridge’s 350-plus miles of trail, which many riders consider some of the best in the country. If you can’t make it to Mountain Bike Oregon, consider 17K in a Day, offered by Dreiling’s company Oregon Adventures. It’s 17,000 feet of elevation loss in cross country style downhill riding on six different trails over 45 miles with about 3,000 feet of climbing. (“Not for the faint of heart, or thighs,” the description reads.) That ride takes place on July 6 and August 10, but can also be booked by groups.

To get a sneak peak at the trails, check out our video and story: /trip-ideas/itineraries/mountain-bike-oregon/. Whatever you do, put Oakridge on your mountain biking calendar this summer!

about author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

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