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Old West Tour

Old 06-02-12, 10:26 AM
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Old West Tour

Iím thinking of doing the Old West Tour in Eastern Oregon with possibly an added loop to Mitchel. I have some questions for anyone who has done it or a similar tour in E Oregon

Did you like this tour and do you recommend it?

Will I need thorn proof tires or tubes? Recommend a brand?

Was wind a problem? Not sure when I will be going.

I have trouble getting enough to eat on tours in remote areas. Backpacker food and grocery store fare donít give me enough calories. I like to hit a supermarket deli or a restaurant to load up, but I donít think I will find such in E. Oregon. What was your experience?

Full disclosure: I may decide to tour the coast again instead of this interesting looking, but problematic tour.
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Old 06-02-12, 11:09 AM
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We rode through there on the Trans America and enjoyed the area quite a bit. It is a very nice area for touring.

Tires... something fairly flat resistant is a good idea. No need to go overboard though. To me thorn proof or slime tubes are not necessary and indeed have too many negatives. I would skip the Mr Tuffys as well. A tire with reasonable flat resistance and some care to avoid riding over goat head thorns is all that is needed. BTW, be sure to know what goat head plants look like and where they grow.

It was open country so there were winds. I do not recall them being especially bad there compared to other parts of that tour or others.

We found plenty of decent stores there. I reread our journal to refresh my memory and remembered lots of places with a decent stock of food. I don't remember the restaurant situation all that well since we were cooking most of the time there, but I think there were plenty of towns big enough to find plenty of options.

BTW, the coast is very nice too.
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Old 06-02-12, 02:29 PM
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Always tour on puncture resistant tires. Schwable Marathon Dureme maybe, or others in the Marathon line. I like Maxxis Overdrives, but Schwable sets the standards for durability, rideability, and puncture resistance. I have found the Overdrives to be reasonably puncture resistent, light, easy on/off. Last 2/3 as long as a similar Marathon, or about 5000 miles. $30.

You should find a restaurant of sorts in nearly every town in Eastern Oregon. Supermarket deli's will be scarce. V-8 is your backup for vegetables to balance carbs. Snicker bars a cheap source of quick energy.

Winds could be from anywhere at anytime of course. No problem with them when I rode through NE Oregon. No punctures either. I thoroughly enjoyed my crossing of Oregon.
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Old 06-02-12, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by wulge
I’m thinking of doing the Old West Tour in Eastern Oregon with possibly an added loop to Mitchel.
I followed part of this route last weekend in a ride from Portland to Boise. More specifically, I came via Mitchell, Dayville, Mt Vernon, John Day and Prairie City and then via Austin Junction and on to Unity, Vale to Boise. I stayed in hotels in Mitchell and Prairie City.

The John Day River valley is a nice ride with some good scenery. When I went there were very light winds or perhaps slight tailwinds in that stretch. I stopped at the quick marts and there were enough of those as well as some supermarkets in bigger places. The Market in Prairie City was closed (Sunday) but there were ones in John Day and Mount Vernon.

The climb out of Mitchell was 6 miles of pretty consistent 5-6% grade. I was carrying some stuff so it was a slow steady ride. The climb out of Prairie City was 9 miles but less total climb and a little more variable in the grades.

I didn't notice any particular extra abundance of glass or goat head thorns or other reasons for caution - however I tour on basic reasonable tires and haven't had a huge number of flats due to that.
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Old 06-03-12, 08:05 AM
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Thanks for your replies everyone. It is good to hear from riders who have been in the area. Your information is specific and helpful.
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