Friday, September 05, 2008

It's Official!

Cycle Wild is a reality, even if at the moment it's just me and a handful of friends.

Cycle Wild is my attempt to blend my 2 greatest interests: Biking and the wilderness.  Put simply, Cycle Wild's mission is "To reconnect people with nature via the bicycle".  The main focus of this group is bicycle camping.  Starting from home, riding out to a location to camp, camping, then riding home.  Totally self-supported, no private motor vehicles involved.  Taking transit or Amtrak to extend the camping range is ok, but no personal automobiles.

It works great in Portland since we have so much great camping within one day's ride (40-70 miles).  Within 100 miles of Portland, we have a half-dozen or more state park campgrounds, a state forest, a national forest, 3-4 dozen federal campgrounds, an 11,000' volcano, 2 major mountain ranges, 2 major and countless minor rivers, 2 major river gorges, and the Pacific Ocean.  Yet we have people who never camp, and rarely leave the city.  Those who do usually do so in cars - which was fine when gas was $1 a gallon, but more problematic when gas is $4 a gallon.  A bike can be outfitted to camp for less than $100 (2-3 tanks of gas!) and allows a 40 mile trip to a state campground or the national forest for camping at $4 a night (or in the case of the national forest, for FREE).  All it takes is some muscle power.

What it also takes is knowledge.  Where are the parks?  What are the best (low traffic) routes to get there?  What do I need to know when I'm out there?  Cycle Wild aims to teach people the answers to those questions, and to lead bike camping outings (usually weekenders) to help people develop the skills they need to enjoy camping by bike.  In effect, we want to create a nation of bike tourers - one metropolitan region at a time.

I hope that the Cycle Wild concept can be extended to other cities - Eugene, Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco - and eventually across the US.

You can see the site HERE.

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