The 360 mile route, almost 75% dirt, is the brain child of Donnie Kolb over at Velodirt.com. Starting in Klamath Falls and ending at the Columbia River — words don’t do this route any kind of justice. It is big and small, old and new, remote and yet not, all in the same breath. A mix of terrain including gravel, dirt, pavement, and cow poop, the route has it all.
The following images are my attempt to show a bit of the experience — the joy, the suffering, the beauty and the love I have for travel and image making. A huge thanks to Josh and Erik for making the journey with me.
Day 0 starts in Portland where you can simply fly in; put your bike together at the airport; walk out and catch the light rail into the city and off you go. Meeting Josh at the rail we quickly set out for coffee, a shakedown ride/tour, and then beer!!
We were seriously delayed on the train ride down to Klamath Falls from Portland. The delay has us starting out way late thus putting our mileage goal in serious jeapordy
We wanted it, really, really bad. We had reservations and we pushed oh so hard, but in the end, the delays of the day before and the late start we had kept us from getting out reserved steaks.
Josh’s bout with puke sets us off to another slow start. To his credit, he pushed through like a champ. Now, simply dehydrated and with an empty stomach, we push on for some real food.
We trade dirt and cows for hard pack, dry and dusty gravel roads
We begin to notice how the skies are so big and the roads are so straight, going on for as far as the eye can see
Josh and I both rode our Salsa Ti Fargo’s, a bike uniquely built for this exact type of route
The storm front looked ferocious and there seemed to be little doubt that we were going to get hit no matter how fast we pedaled. In the end, a small building provided some relief and we sat down to enjoy a lunch consisting of left over fried chicken, potatoes, and much cherished Pringles.
We meet Prentiss at breakfast and then again out on the trail. He is cranking out the miles on a Single Speed Surly.
Some times images just speak to us, and this one does that for me.
One last climb takes us up, up, up, to the ridgeline over looking the valley and the river below. The wind hows, the sun is fading, our bellies are empty and our legs are tired — and yet we all take the time to enjoy the views and savor the hard earned accomplishment of a trip near completed.
This was by far my lightest setup ever. A simple bivy, minimal gear, and a single camera/lens combination. Cuben Fiber bags from Porcelain Rocket worked brilliantly.