Riders along the Ochoco Overlander route. Photo courtesy of Good Bike Co.

Golden rides for the golden months

There’s not a better time to ride bikes in Central Oregon than the last days of summer and the start of fall. The air’s crisp, the trails are clear and there’s usually a delicious harvest beer (or two) waiting for you after your ride. Here’s some of our favorite area bike events we look forward to this time of year:

Ochoco Gravel Roubaix
August 18, Prineville

A Grand Fondo-style race through the Ochoco National Forest, riders have the option of doing 45- or 80-mile loops. The 80-mile route features 5,683 feet of climbing – the 40 miler has about half that – and both loops highlight spectacular views of Stein’s Pillar. Bonus, first place from the men’s and women’s races – from any category – wins their weight in beer from Deschutes Brewery.

MBSEF Thrilla Cyclocross Series
September 6, 13, 20, 27 & October 4; Bend
It’s cyclocross season! Thursday night races at the Athletic Club of Bend serve as pre-season ‘cross training for diehards and a great season unto itself for newbies and less hardcore riders. The Athletic Club of Bend’s course offers a great mix of singletrack, obstacles, off-camber corners and even a bit of pavement to catch your breath.

Oregon 24 Mountain Bike Relay
September 29-30, Bend

Ride mountain bikes for 24 or 12 hours with a team of your buddies on the trails at Wanoga Sno-Park. Bring your RV or tent set up as team members race throughout the night! Teams of four or five riders are most common, but corporate teams can have as many as 10 riders. And yes, you can do the race solo!

Bend Fat Tire Tour
October 5-7, Bend

Three days of epic mountain bike rides around Bend and Mount Bachelor totaling 30 to 60 miles of trails each day. Local guides help set the pace and provide mechanical and navigational help. Just as important, 10 Barrel hosts refueling bashes Friday and Saturday night after the rides.

Ochoco Overlander
October 5-8, Prineville

Riders will spend three days exploring the Ochoco National Forest, traversing 220 miles over 18,000 feet of elevation. You’ll haul your own gear, but Good Bike Co. will provide fully catered dinners and breakfasts each day. Riders will also enjoy lunch and aid stops, full sag support and fishing opportunities at each campsite along the route.