7 Bikes for 7 Wonders: The Wallowas

June 1, 2015
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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 Wallowas.

As Ira Ryan and Tony Pereira considered the Wallowa River Valley and the surrounding snow-peaked mountains as inspiration for a bike to build, it wasn’t much of a stretch to picture the Old West. The rugged landscape, the spread-out population, the jagged peaks looming on the horizon… voila.

“We designed this bike to be a long-distance, go-anywhere sort of explorer machine, because the Wallowas region offers a huge landscape,” Ira says. “The only limitation to a bike like this is where you can pedal. So this is like the old horse of the bike world – it gets you up the steep pitches, down the trail. It’s a rugged, faithful companion.”

The finished product is a “29er” mountain bike, offering the frame, wheel clearance and tough structure to ride anywhere. “It’s an adventurous, go-anywhere bike,” he says. “It reflects how most people ride in the Wallowas – big stretches of valleys and then rugged terrain surrounding.”

Ira and Tony are well-known for the finishing touches on their bikes, and this steed is no exception. The seat is – of course – a leather Brooks model, with the intricate carved designs a custom saddle should have, and the handlebar grips are leather to match. And then there’s the paint: an olive green, “kind of desert-y, with black accents and some ‘mountain-style’ graphics.”

For the two veteran builders, the experience of designing and building this bike was all about a sense of place. As Ira says, “Thinking about the experience of riding in the Wallowas, and then turning that into a bike – what’s going to make this bike serve its purpose for that part of the state? This is a well-built, well-designed bike, and it showcases what a hand-built bike can be. In this case the customer is not a person, but a place and an experience.”

This bike is size medium/large, suitable for those 5’8″ to 5’11″ tall.

Additional Resources

This bike was found on July 18, 2015 by Corrine Vegter, a bike racer from Baker City who raced up Salt Creek Summit to find her new bike hidden between trees on the Wagon Road Trail.

Learn about the other 7 Bikes for 7 Wonders.

About The
Author

7 Wonders of Oregon

7 Wonders of Oregon: The Wallowas
Enterprise, Eastern Oregon
7 Wonders of Oregon: Smith Rock
Terrebonne, Central Oregon
7 Wonders of Oregon: Mt. Hood
7 Wonders of Oregon: The Oregon Coast
7 Wonders of Oregon: Crater Lake
7 Wonders of Oregon: The Columbia River Gorge
7 Wonders of Oregon: Painted Hills

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Ask Oregon

Where can we get the best view of the Wallowas?

There is a tramway at Wallowa Lake that goes up 3,700 feet to the summit of Mount Howard. The Wallowa Lake Tramway is the steepest tram in North America and ascends above the Wallowa Lake Village and Wallowa Lake. Taking the gondola gives you some of the most incredible views in Eastern Oregon. Back on…

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