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Moving to Salem, OR

Old 05-09-21, 02:45 PM
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MikeVargo
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Moving to Salem, OR

Hello, friends -- I'm moving to Salem in a few months and wondered about the cycling scene there. I've found information on road biking, but not seen much about gravel or mtb options close by. Can anyone link me or provide a quick summary?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-14-21, 05:52 PM
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Black Rock outside of Falls City has some intense MTB trails. I hear there's another area just northwest of Dallas that is set up with similar downhill only trails with jumps. Near Corvallis is an excellent system of cross country trails. There isn't much in the way of single track in Salem itself. Silverfalls State Park has some trails, but I think some of them are currently closed due to the fire last summer. At some point, you should ride the McKenzie River trail which is a bit of a drive from Salem. There's much more - most single track will involve driving some to get to it.

Gravel biking could be anyplace there's gravel - For long epic rides, the coast range is your best bet. A buddy and I recently rode from Fort Hoskins to Valsetz and then followed the Siletz River for a very nice out and back. We could've also accessed Valley of the Giants on that route. Some private timberlands are closed to biking, but some allow it. Some private lands will also shut down if The fire danger gets too high. The fire that hit last summer caused all kinds of damage in the Cascade foothills so any roads heading towards the Cascades may be closed. The same area near Corvallis (McDonald Dunn research forest) would also be a good area for gravel riding.

Good road cycling is everywhere. It doesn't take long to get out of Salem and get away from the crowds. There's certain roads to avoid, but the majority of roads are great.

Be sure to report back after you've explored your surroundings a bit!
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Old 05-15-21, 11:38 AM
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Thanks for the detailed reply, mtnbud! I'm pretty spoiled here as we've got a lot of great riding of any flavor just 10-20 minutes from town, and was hoping to find some mtb and gravel routes that could be accessed after work for a quick spin around Salem. (And didn't see anything on the trails apps.) But I'm excited about the prospect of exploring a new region, and a friend who lives in Portland has been posting some amazing rides around there. Regardless, I really appreciate your reply, and will report back as I discover new opportunities. Thanks again!
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Old 05-18-21, 10:36 PM
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Been awhile since I rode in Salem. Some nice bike paths west of downtown.
Some good shops downtown, The Bike Peddler is my favorite. Never joined a bike club.
I would avoid the two lane HWYs roads mostly between Lebanon ,Albany and Corvallis.
Not a lot of cyclist , but so many car vs car accidents , I try to avoid them when driving or riding.
welcome to Oregon
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Old 05-19-21, 10:21 AM
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This guy has some good info and gravel routes:

https://theloggingroadcyclist.com/?page_id=7

(His site works better using a laptop)

Last edited by mtnbud; 05-19-21 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 05-19-21, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Joeyseven View Post
Been awhile since I rode in Salem. Some nice bike paths west of downtown.
Some good shops downtown, The Bike Peddler is my favorite. Never joined a bike club.
I would avoid the two lane HWYs roads mostly between Lebanon ,Albany and Corvallis.
Not a lot of cyclist , but so many car vs car accidents , I try to avoid them when driving or riding.
welcome to Oregon
Thanks so much for your reply, Joeyseven. I'm headed to Salem in a couple of weeks and will check out the Bike Peddler. It's always fun to browse new shops. I'm also looking forward to exploring territory around the city -- it's always interesting to get the lay of a new land. Thanks again!
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Old 05-19-21, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
This guy has some good info and gravel routes:

https://theloggingroadcyclist.com/?page_id=7

(His site works better using a laptop)
This site looks interesting -- I'm having trouble getting his routes to load, but the pictures are beautiful. His wry perspective is welcome, as well.
Thanks for the link, mtnbud.
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Old 05-23-21, 12:05 AM
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Also one thing about Salem it is very spread out with lots of lights and cameras . Maybe I'm just use to a small town.
I'm also going to be looking into gravel routes around the general same area .And I'll post back here if I ride/find something in the area , because right now I mostly ride on the back roads from my house. I also joined
Riding Oregon Gravel on FB about a week ago , but have not caught up on all the chat.

Salem Bicycle Club might have some good info. Looks like the bicycle century rides in the area are back on this year .


A little off topic. I'm in the market for a new gravel bike. I'm looking at Revolt , Diverge and maybe Salsa Warbird or ?
I might have to wait or settle for whatever I can find in my size , Giant seems to be the hardest to find in my size (XL).
Drove up to Salem today for first time in a few years and was kind of shock to see all the tents put up right off the freeway around the exit I took and the garbage.
But this is not just Salem , it happening in a lot of areas on the west coast.

The fire season was bad last year. And it could be another bad year for wildfires and lots of smoke in the valley.
I did not test ride either a Diverge or Salsa today.
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Old 05-23-21, 12:23 AM
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Travel Oregon was working on putting together some gravel rides.
https://traveloregon.com/things-to-d...gravel-riding/
https://traveloregon.com/things-to-d...t-off-asphalt/
https://traveloregon.com/map/oregon/gravel-ride/?s=

Obviously there are a lot more logging roads than those.

If you do road riding,
Salem is about dead center in the middle of the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.
https://traveloregon.com/things-to-d...cenic-bikeway/

Also not gravel, but Crater Lake is open for 2 weekends a year for "Ride the Rim".
https://ridetherimoregon.com/

I rode up there starting in Eugene. Whew, it was quite a ride. It took me a day and a half to get up to the rim... then kept riding on their route around the rim,and back home the next day and a half. The first half of the third day was a metric century ride of mostly downhill (same route I had ridden up 2 days before).
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Old 05-23-21, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Joeyseven View Post
Also one thing about Salem it is very spread out with lots of lights and cameras . Maybe I'm just use to a small town.
I'm also going to be looking into gravel routes around the general same area .And I'll post back here if I ride/find something in the area , because right now I mostly ride on the back roads from my house. I also joined
Riding Oregon Gravel on FB about a week ago , but have not caught up on all the chat.

Salem Bicycle Club might have some good info. Looks like the bicycle century rides in the area are back on this year .


A little off topic. I'm in the market for a new gravel bike. I'm looking at Revolt , Diverge and maybe Salsa Warbird or ?
I might have to wait or settle for whatever I can find in my size , Giant seems to be the hardest to find in my size (XL).
Drove up to Salem today for first time in a few years and was kind of shock to see all the tents put up right off the freeway around the exit I took and the garbage.
But this is not just Salem , it happening in a lot of areas on the west coast.

The fire season was bad last year. And it could be another bad year for wildfires and lots of smoke in the valley.
I did not test ride either a Diverge or Salsa today.
Thanks, Joeyseven -- those are all great tips. I'll particularly look at the Oregon Gravel and Salem Bicycle club sites. By "lights and cameras" are you talking about traffic lights and cameras? I did see a number of homeless encampments when I was there, and that's really sad. As you note, it's a much bigger problem -- here in metro areas in Michigan we have the same thing. Clearly we need to figure out ways to provide better access to affordable housing (and I'm not inviting any sort of political discussion here).

All of those bikes you mention are top-notch gravel rigs. I have a couple of people I ride with who have the Warbird, and they really love it. One just won the CO2UT 184 mile gravel race on it yesterday. I bought my wife a Cannondale Topstone last year, and it seems like a very solid rig, as well. I ride a Lynskey gravel bike, and really like it -- I have a second set of road wheels for it and it works well there, too. Obviously, inventory is thin all over the place. I hope you are able to find something you really love!

Thanks again, Joeyseven. Best of the road to you!

Mike
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Old 05-23-21, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Travel Oregon was working on putting together some gravel rides.
https://traveloregon.com/things-to-d...gravel-riding/
https://traveloregon.com/things-to-d...t-off-asphalt/
https://traveloregon.com/map/oregon/gravel-ride/?s=

Obviously there are a lot more logging roads than those.

If you do road riding,
Salem is about dead center in the middle of the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.
https://traveloregon.com/things-to-d...cenic-bikeway/

Also not gravel, but Crater Lake is open for 2 weekends a year for "Ride the Rim".
https://ridetherimoregon.com/

I rode up there starting in Eugene. Whew, it was quite a ride. It took me a day and a half to get up to the rim... then kept riding on their route around the rim,and back home the next day and a half. The first half of the third day was a metric century ride of mostly downhill (same route I had ridden up 2 days before).
Wow, CliffordK! Thanks so much for that! The Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway article and variations sound really exceptional! And the Crater Lake trip is now definitely on my "to-ride" list. The option of taking Amtrak from Salem to the park and back sounds perfect. I've done a bit of train-bike point-to-point (along the Great Lakes and Chicago) and really enjoy it.

I'm going to dig into the rest of your post in a bit, but just wanted to say thanks sincerely for taking the time to put that all together!

Mike
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Old 05-23-21, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeVargo View Post
Wow, CliffordK! Thanks so much for that! The Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway article and variations sound really exceptional! And the Crater Lake trip is now definitely on my "to-ride" list. The option of taking Amtrak from Salem to the park and back sounds perfect. I've done a bit of train-bike point-to-point (along the Great Lakes and Chicago) and really enjoy it.

I'm going to dig into the rest of your post in a bit, but just wanted to say thanks sincerely for taking the time to put that all together!

Mike
Amtrak goes to Klamath Falls which is 44 miles or so south of Crater Lake. The page suggests a shuttle, or it would be a good ride up there. You'll be 4000 feet above Salem, but still 4000 feet or so climbing to the park.

The official "Ride the Rim" usually goes around just one side of rim between the North and South entrances, but many people do the whole loop.
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Old 05-28-21, 02:07 PM
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Ah, got it. When the link said "Take Amtrak to Crater Lake" I didn't read closely enough to realize it meant "Take the Amtrak to Klamath Falls... and then take a shuttle to Crater Lake." As long as there is a reliable shuttle, that would still be a real winner for me! Thanks again.
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Old 06-05-21, 03:25 PM
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Yeah, I meant traffic lights and cameras. But I just read in another forum they may and most likely be traffic sensors that look like cameras.
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Old 07-12-21, 01:51 PM
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This is pretty early in the fire season. And, the Ride the Rim comes up in September.

However, there is a small fire to the North West of the lake, as well as a moderate sized fire to the South East.

A lot can change in the next two months, but it is worthwhile to keep an eye on air quality in the region.

The fire season tends to wind down in the Willamette Valley by mid September, but it could take just a little longer to the South.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
This is pretty early in the fire season. And, the Ride the Rim comes up in September.

However, there is a small fire to the North West of the lake, as well as a moderate sized fire to the South East.

A lot can change in the next two months, but it is worthwhile to keep an eye on air quality in the region.

The fire season tends to wind down in the Willamette Valley by mid September, but it could take just a little longer to the South.
thanks for circling back, Clifford. Just got to Salem on Saturday and rode with Salem Bike Club on Sunday. Very nice group of people, and what beautiful countryside! Thanks again.
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