The McKenzie River Trail (the MRT) is situated in Central Oregon, on the west side of the Cascades. This mountain range, predominantly made up of dormant and not-so-dormant volcanoes, does an efficient job of stopping the moisture from the Pacific Coast. On the west side you have temperate rainforests and old growth timber, and a stones throw to the east you are exploring an arid desert-like landscape. The MRT, being on the west side of the volcanoes, features towering Douglas fir, mossy forest floors, a raging river (complete with big waterfalls) and a cool climate. Apparently it rains frequently, but it was nice and dry for our visit down this renowned trail.
Thanks to Treehugger for drawing our attention to the new video from Oregon Manifest; it’s all about the collaborative design spirit going into building the utility bike of the future.
A lot of fancy futuristic bicycle designs have garnered TreeHugger posts. We all want to know what the future will bring in terms of cooler features and entirely novel forms. You’ll notice, though, that most of those future-oriented bicycle ideas sport a bit of a Jetson’s feel while falling short on amenities city cyclists really need – kickstands, fenders, back racks. Oregon Manifest, a bike design challenged sponsored in part by Levi’s (recently out with bicycle jeans), is aiming to find the future of utility bikes. Competing for a $3,000 prize, craftspeople and student teams are looking to innovate, show off their bike builder chops, and fashion a bike that makes people able and willing to get out of their cars…
A lineup of 34 illustrious bike builders and many student designers from Oregon as well as other U.S. states are working with some fairly specific smart criteria for a city bike. The bikes must have built-in anti-theft devices, fenders, lighting, some load-carrying capability, and some sort of kickstand mechanism so the bike can stand while parked.
Manifest’s panel of judges will be looking for entries that also push the envelope in terms of function, materials used, technologies employed, and the ability of the bike to adapt to different environments and lifestyles.
Every Wednesday on Ditch Your Car we’ll be bringing you just another reason to spend more time on two wheels. Be it a photo, a statistic or an inspirational video, we want to keep reminding you about why riding is great!
Barton Park, the last race in the Cross Crusade series, lived up to expectations and was exactly what cyclocross in Oregon is all about.
Barton is a gravel pit. Piles of gravel line the course, steep run-ups and off-camber descents make it technical and challenging and HARD. Barton is just plain hard. There are a couple of pavement sections, a few gravel straighaways and only one set of barriers, but don’t let that fool you. Barton is hard.
I don’t even know how many laps we rode; and it doesn’t matter. I rode hard and I raced. I held the lead for a while and Wendy went around me, I stuck on her wheel. I held on. SWEET. I am still here. I passed her on the asphalt and led for the next half lap. She took the lead through the mud bog; she is stronger period, but I caught her on the run-up. Together we road down the steep descent; I was still right there.
That hurt. From the very start that hurt. My legs were burning before we even climbed the hill on lap 1.
WOW. My teeth were covered in dirt. Dust + heavy breathing + sweat = oh so nice. I hang my body over my bike as soon as I roll to a stop on the other side of the finish line.
Limp. Gasping. Elated.