"Sometime in High School I realized mountain biking was more fun than prom. But it wasn't until a couple years ago I realized I could combine the two. I love exploring, challenging myself, and finding new landscapes that few others have seen"
1. What is the goal/mission of the Oregon Timber Trail?
The Oregon Timber Trail is just a route linking up existing trails and dirt roads across Oregon. In order to shepherd it forward and ensure its longevity we recently formed the Oregon Timber Trail Association. (OTTA) The four key tenets of the OTTA are Stewardship, Education, Community, and Experience. We're committed to sustainably maintaining the trails along the OTT corridor and educating our users on responsible use. We're connecting the trail's users with the small communities it passes through as well as engaging the communities and getting them involved in the trail experience. We're also dedicated to maintaining and expanding access, connectivity, and quality trail experience along the OTT.
2. What is your backstory?
I've always been an outdoorsperson. I grew up camping and fishing and canoeing, and sometime in High School I realized mountain biking was more fun than prom. But it wasn't until a couple years ago I realized I could combine the two. I love exploring, challenging myself, and finding new landscapes that few others have seen. I've ridden some amazing backcountry mountain bike routes all over the American West, Mexico, and British Columbia; but the ones that I've spent the most time agonizing over maps about always seem to be the most personally rewarding. A few years ago some friends and I started Limberlost as an adventure guiding company but soon focused on the trip development aspect. We developed the Oregon Outback, Three Sisters Three Rivers, and the Oregon's Big Country routes and now Limberlost has spent the last 18 months building the Oregon Timber Trail as a consultant for Travel Oregon.
3. What is your favorite cycling route in the NW and why?
The Oregon Timber Trail! I haven't ridden it contiguously yet, but it's been the most fun thing imaginable to dream about, research, explore, and introduce to people. Southeastern Oregon comes in a close second: Oregon's Big Country took three years of trial and error but we linked up all of the best features down there and exploring it by jeep road is some of the most awe inspiring times I've had on a bicycle.
4. What is the go-to bike in your personal lineup and why?
I was an instant convert to the plus tire movement. Plus tires make hardtails fun again, and they lend themselves so well to rugged bikepacking routes. My Ti Carver Gnarvester 29+ was one of the first plus adopters and still holds its own against all the big brands. I can pedal it for 10 hours and still get rad with wide bars, a dropper, and tucked rear wheel. For everything a little less rugged I have a REN Cycles Ti Waypoint. It's got a lot of fat road tire/wheel options and can handle just about anything shy of deep sand and plus bike territory.
5. What does the next year look like for the Oregon Timber Trail?
The OTT is a route that is pretty damn rugged right now. A lot of trails have been buried under beetle kill forests and are disappearing. Other areas will have detours as the alignment continues to be configured. Long sections without water and food, etc, etc. A few dangerous sections are currently routed on short chunks of busy highway. Throughout the development process we've identified the priority needs of each Tier and action items to address them. We're working towards building some new trail miles, assisting other trail groups in their stewardship efforts by organizing work parties, developing a communication strategy for our users and communities, and partnering with other groups around the state to defend threats to public lands. If you want to learn more about getting involved in stewardship or educational events join the OTTA on OregonTimberTrail.org.