Fast, flowy and twisty, down hills every day. If that sounds like a recipe for a fun weekend of riding, you might just want to check out the riding in Oakridge, Oregon. With shuttles provided by the crew at Oregon Adventures, it’s easy to explore dozens of miles of trail in a single day, packed with so much fun you’ll need botox to wipe the smile off your face.
Randy Dreiling is the man behind Oregon Adventures, a touring company and shuttle service based in the small town of Oakridge, Oregon. For the last decade or so, he’s made it his mission to share the experience of riding miles of trails in the region with the bi-annual bike festival Mountain Bike Oregon. Aside from MBO, they keep busy every weekend with hundred of riders visiting to ride miles upon miles of trail. We headed there for the Memorial Day weekend joining a crew from Tam Bikes (and RideSFO!) in Marin to shralp trail for days.
We began our morning with breakfast at the Lion Mountain Bakery. Shortly after we arrived a few other groups did as well, and we found ourselves in a room full of mountain bikers. After our hearty breakfast and a solid dose of caffeine, we met up with the group at Oregon Adventures, which ended up being a base camp of sorts for the weekend.
For day one our group lined up for the Triple shuttle, before extending it to the 4 for the $ option. A four shuttle run extravaganza, it’s a solid taste of local area trails consisting of Larison Rock, Aubrey Mountain, Flat Creek/ Dead Mountain and Heckletooth.
Our first drop was Larison Rock. Fast, narrow and filled with slippery roots, this trail undulates downhill providing 3.5 miles of high speed single track joy tempered only by the fear of losing your line on areas with blind turns and exposure. (one mistake and you’re rolling off trail and down the embankment.) The mellow tread is punctuated by the occasional root section, with a few rocks here and there.
Keep an eye out for riders coming up up as well, as many of the trails are ridden in both directions. Most mountain biking trail tourists take advantage of the shuttles to cover more ground during their stay, but we did see a few riders coming up the trail.
Larison Rock is a classic first taste of the riding in Oakridge as you descend through the woods on pine needle covered tread. This time around our run was a bit wet with a few slippery spots, but overall conditions were good on our first day of riding. When dry this run is even more fun, though the three miles of trail goes by way too quickly.
Our second run was down Aubrey Mountain, another three mile descent at speed. The most memorable section was a long straight that dropped some elevation in the wet where we all became acclimated to riding in the slick stuff.
Flat Creek Trail / Dead Mountain
Run number three was on Dead Mountain, but first we stopped for photos on the view point. A narrow spine at the top of Dead Mountain extends out of the tree cover offering a view that goes on for miles.
The Flat Creek Trail features a new purpose built flow trail partway down and it was our first time on this trail with the flow trail features. The flow trail was packed with rollers and berms, and the best section of rollers we’ve ridden in a flow trail to date. The rollers were placed so well it was like floating through a series of doubles, and my buddy Levi and I aired through the section like we were riding a rhythm section on BMX trails.
Being a purpose built trail, it adds a bit of flavor to the local area offerings, and yet another reason to come back and visit.
Check out the Flat Creek Trail on MTB Project
We added one more run to finish off day one. The Heckletooth Trail starts with a steep climb, but is more than worth it as an amazing view is the reward at the top. The drop into the descent starts with a fun rock section but goes by all too quickly before dropping into more loamy forest single track that contours through the woods for miles before descending back down.
At the end of Heckletooth, we found the Oregon Adventures crew awaiting, armed with burgers from A&W. Then, when we got back to the shop we were met with beers from a tapped keg, which we enjoyed while cleaning our bikes at the wash station.
They really know how to show mountain bikers a good time, and we can’t recommend those guys enough.
After enjoying a few beers at the shop, we seeked out showers to get cleaned up. Eventually we all ended up at the local pub which is pretty much the custom for a trip to Oakridge.
On day two we did it all again. If you make the trip, tell Randy we sent you. For more info on Oakridge Riding, visit Oregon-adventures.com