team velo cult

The Bacona Backroads

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Don is a legend. Not because he has over 60 thousand Instagram followers or that he is an insanely talented photographer but because he's the kind of dude that shows up for the Oregon Outback (a 380 mile ride across the State of Oregon) with no sleeping pad. He's the kinda dude that wants to ride a 100+ mile back country gravel route on his road bike because he doesn't want to pack his Adventure Bike. Gotta love Don, that dude is a legend. So with that said it's quickly becoming a tradition to do an epic ride when Don is in town. So why not do a 100 + mile ride in the backroads of Washington County aka the Bacona Backroads.

The route was conceived by Ride With GPS Ambassador Unpaved and the first paragraph of the ride description is pretty accurate.

"This is truely an epic route. It has something for everyone -- as long as everyone likes adventure. This isn't an easy ride. The climbs, distance and gravel make for a hard day. You shouldn't even think of attempting this route without a solid GPS. Though you're not far from civilization, you will certainly feel like you are."

- Unpaved

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The ride was littered with steep gravelly descents. The safest thing to do was let go of your brakes and have faith in your tires. Easier said than done. Speaking of tires.Don got 4 flats or was it 5 flats? It was probably 5 flats. Never mind the flats. Don almost died. Like I mentioned before the route was littered with steep descents. Don almost went head first into a truck on one of those descents and it was one of the scariest things I've ever witnessed. Shout out to the guy driving the truck because his reaction skills definitely saved Don's life.

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Craig kept the group together as it slowly began to fall apart. Craig's awesome at that. So if your masochist like us, by all means....Learn more about the Bacona Backroad ride here.

De Ronde PDX

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[sliderpro id="12"] Written by Matthew Barney Photographed by Christopher San Agustin

Well, the 9th year of the De Ronde is in the books and it was a really impressive showing for us! TEAM VELO CULT! I apologize for not recalling all who where in attendance, but I believe we had close to 10 folks in all. Maybe a dozen?

ANYWHO! For me, always a highlight is seeing the mass of cyclists head down HWY 30, both lanes tightly packed just about as far as the eye can see before the left turn onto Saltzman. And, once we all hit Saltzman it's up, up, up up filled with spirit and camaraderie that I feel can only be had in PDX. Another highlight, amongst the suffering is seeing all the AMAZING homes tucked away in the hills. WHO LIVES IN THESE HOMES?! Seriously, each home looks like it's straight out of Home and garden or Dwell or Sunset Magazine. What about College Rd. OY!!!! Let's just say there is no shame in walking and leave it at that. Perhaps one of the funner highlights is the whiskey, beer and nacho rest stop. You know the booze is NOT a smart choice, but I'll be damned if ya take it anyway! OK, Ok...let's be real, it does quell the hurt for a bit. Finally and last but not least, is the feeling of accomplishment! There is no grand finish, no awards ceremony, no medal, no certificate for you refrigerator, no finishers t-shirt or podium to be stood on. Just the over whelming sensation of "thank goodness we are DONE" (insert your own four lettered colorful language) mixed in with high fives and hand shakes!

Make this ride a priority next year. Chase those lions, it's a must do and one that you won't tuck away under the "it was OK" file. See ya on the road and happy pedaling!

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Broken Shorts : Mt Tabor Trail Roast

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[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuDs1ZGzvEA[/embed] This is video number two of an on going series of shorts I am filming. The objective is simply to create a short that captures the ride. Before I moved to New York City and worked as a professional Motion Designer I was a filmmaker. It feels good to play around again even if it's just with my small point and shoot. I have no desire to purchase nicer gear but rather just focus on capturing these little moments out on the trail or the road. I hope you enjoy it and thanks for checking out Broken Shorts.

Velo Cult Team Ride : Rocky Point Road

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[sliderpro id="10"] Let’s face it. It’s been that kind of winter. The weather has been pretty rough. Even for the most hearty of cyclists who chant death before trainers…….. But what can usually coax anyone into the cold and onto the wet roads of the west hills? A great group of people who actually relish in the exact elements that will drive most folks to a spin class or a trainer (myself included). Thanks to Andy who was the organizer of Sunday’s ride and his choice was Rocky Pt. Road. Logistically we decided it best to car shuttle out of town as opposed to schlepping the sloppy dirty 30. Since it was a day where no amount of gear, no more how high tech or water proof, you were going to be soaked through.

This was a great choice, but it did mean we were in the ride the moment we shoved off and up the average 8% gradient for the first 5 or so miles, eventually reaching the gravel accompanied by steady rain with huge drops making visibility an issue. Everyone had their own pace and seemed to get out of the ride what they wanted. AS per usual with this group, there was no man or woman left behind. This is why I truly enjoy this group and everyone who rides for Velo Cult. It’s about being out there! Being on two wheels and just riding!

Finally at the top of our climbing, we stared down the barrel of a big descent. And once we did descend down the backside of Rocky Pont Rd, streaking by small piles of snow hanging for dear life, the rain cleared up and warmed up a bit making for a super-fast drop to the bottom…where we realized we had to now turnaround and climb up what we just bombed down. Well, some us didn’t realize it was an out and back. OOPS! So, with the same cheer and bravado we had at the start, we made the U-y and headed up.

At this point, I do think a bit of a “ok I’m super soaked and cold. Let’s get back to the cars” mentality set in. So the climb back up and over seemed to be at a quicker pace and we all found a pace that made the turn around feel a bit shorter in length. Maybe it was the cold and wet. Maybe it was a bit of suffering. Perhaps I was woozy from my own effort, but the return trip was a bit fuzzy….unmemorable even. And just like that another great ride was in the books. The hot shower lasted a bit longer than usual, my gigantic robe was oh so welcoming and the soup was steaming hot! SO! Thank you Andy, Adam, Jeremiah, Craig, Chris, Lee and (Bethany?). I cannot wait for the next ride!

Words : Matthew Barney Photos : Christopher San Agustin

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