- Associated Press - Saturday, June 20, 2015

BEND, Ore. (AP) - The organizers say there won’t be another of their 364-mile backpacking-by-bicycle rides over mostly gravel and dirt roads in central Oregon because the riders didn’t clean up after themselves.

During this year’s event over Memorial Day weekend, riders left trash and feces along the route, said Donnie Kolb, co-founder of Oregon Outback.

“I’m chock-full of four-letter words and offended on so many levels,” he wrote on his website, OregonBikepacking.com. “Any form of an annual ride is done forever. Kaput.”

In 2013, Kolb and Gabriel Amadeus, both Portland cyclists, mapped out the route that would become the Outback, The Bulletin newspaper (https://bit.ly/1MVDXRM) reported.

It takes riders through remote rural communities such as Sprague River, Beatty, Silver Lake, Fort Rock and Shaniko. It ends at the confluence of the Deschutes and Columbia rivers.

Prineville, whose population is less than 10,000, is by far the largest town once riders leave Klamath Falls. Only 25 percent of the route is pavement.

Last year, more than 100 cyclists completed the ride over Memorial Day weekend.

The rugged, scenic route drew nationwide attention, and last month close to 300 bikepackers attempted to complete the ride.

But, Kolb said, they were less than gracious guests, leaving trash in a barn that a Silver Lake resident opened up for riders the first night of the event and human waste in the yard of a Silver Lake family that had given them shelter.

There was so much trash at Silver Lake’s community park the first night of the ride that a local resident was able to fill her garbage bin, said Tom Roark, a Lake County sheriff’s deputy who is himself a cyclist.

“It’s disappointing,” he said. “That park is maintained by volunteers. Cutting the grass, water, that’s all done by volunteers. . It was all just a little disrespectful.”


Information from: The Bulletin, https://www.bendbulletin.com



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