The Eugene, Cascades and Coast region is home to amazing cycling events and races that take riders through breathtaking Oregon scenery. Communities across Lane County such as Cottage Grove, Oakridge, Dunes City and Eugene offer everything from 20-mile community rides to 130-mile adventures! Here are some of our favorite road and gravel cycling events in the region.
In 2022, Eugene was the home to the Northwest Tandem Rally (NWTR), an event that exists to bring together tandem bicycle enthusiasts once a year to promote bicycle tourism, camaraderie and to raise funds for bicycle infrastructure and awareness. Riders checked in at the Lane Events Center and started their race on the first Saturday of July out of Armitage Park. The mass start ride went along the McKenzie and Mohawk Rivers and rolled along the valley of the Cascades foothills. The Saturday routes had four distance options from 20 to 100 miles while the Sunday routes took riders on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway with four similar distance options.
The Blackberry BRamble is an annual race organized by the Greater Eugene Area Riders (GEARs). GEARs is a non-profit organization with the mission to promote and encourage bicycle riding for transportation and recreation. They coordinate weekly rides, provide safety and skill education, defend the rights and responsibilities of bike riders, and work to enhance bicycle culture in Eugene and surrounding areas. The Blackberry BRamble is a leisurely bicycle excursion for pleasure. The cycling event offers four different routes to choose from with the longest route being the Classic Wolf Creek Century which is over 100 miles long. The other three routes are 61 miles, 40 miles and 21 miles. Upon finishing their “ride for the pie” bikers can enjoy a piece of blackberry cobbler with a side of ice cream waiting for them at the finish line. All the rides but one explore the metropolitan downtown area of Eugene and the more rural woodland area southwest of Eugene. The exception is the shortest ride that only rides through the Eugene-Springfield metro area called the Community Ride. The 2023 Blackberry BRamble is scheduled to take place on August 19.
Less than an hour drive southeast of Eugene, Oakridge hosts the Sasquatch Duro. Known as a premiere gravel cycling race, the Sasquatch Duro takes riders from Greenwaters Park toward Hills Creek Lake and begins a large loop to the west whose size depends on which route the rider chooses. Choosing between the 32, 47 or 54-mile routes, all the participants finish at the same place they started and can look forward to relaxing by the river with their fellow squatch-cycle enthusiasts! This year the event will be held on July 29.
‘Gran Fondo’ is Italian and translates to “Big Ride.” These “Big Rides” have their origins in Italy and France where people are invited to ride a single stage of one of the professional grand tours, such as the Tour de France. Everyone of all ages and skill levels would be invited to participate. Different from your typical race, Gran Fondos are more of a mass start event designed to draw the community together in enjoying the fun of bike riding! With a tradition of hosting this event on the first Saturday in June each year, Mudslinger Events is planning the 11th anniversary of the Oregon Gran Fondo cycling event. For one big day in Cottage Grove, two all-road cycling routes of 117 or 71 miles, two mixed surface routes on the Adventure Route and Mini-Gravel attract cyclers from all across the country. The Adventure Route goes as far as 130 miles and the other mixed surface route goes for 26 miles allowing riders of all skill levels to challenge themselves in this iconic cycling event through the Siuslaw National Forest.
If biking isn’t enough for you, Lane County also hosts triathlon events that offer duathlon course options. The duathlons take place on the same courses as the triathlons except you get to skip the swimming portion of the event! So if you're a biker ready to embrace the running tradition of the Eugene, Cascades and Coast region or a runner wanting to try something new, these next events may be perfect for you!
The Tri at the Grove race is a triathlon hosted in Cottage Grove. They offer a duathlon with the choice of participating in either the olympic or sprint course that has a 24.8-mile bike course and 6.2-mile running route (Olympic Course) or a 13-mile bike course with a 3.1-mile running route (Sprint Course). Bikers will loop around Cottage Grove Lake on the road and run on the beautiful lake shore on a combination of pavement and compact gravel. Race-goers not only love the Tri at the Grove for the beautiful scenery in the Oregon wilderness, but they also appreciate the social atmosphere and fun of the race. This year, Tri at the Grove is set to take place on July 22.
Finally, we’re making our way west to the famous Oregon coast where Dunes City hosts the Oregon Dunes Triathlon and Duathlon. This event includes four races with scenic courses that swim through Woahink Lake, bike along beautiful country roads, and run along winding trails through Honeyman State Park all leading up to the finish that ends with an epic climb up the Oregon Dunes. The duathlon competes on the same bike and run courses as the triathlon athletes, however, duathletes will begin in time trial fashion on the bike when the first triathlete of the given race distance exits the water. With a 10.5-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run, the Oregon Dunes Duathlon is perfect for those looking to explore the Oregon Coast in an adventurous fashion.
On pavement and gravel, through the woods and next to lakes and even over sand dunes, the Eugene, Cascades and Coast region of Oregon offers a plethora of spectacular natural venues to host cycling events of all kinds. Come compete and explore!