July 22, 2016
Photos and words by Leslie Kehmeier
A big adventure launched itself today from southern border of Oregon. Sam Clark and Kim McCormack have set out to ride across the state on mountain bikes, all the way north to the Columbia River. They hope to ride as much dirt as possible, sticking to trails and dirt roads.
A journey of over 600 miles and lasting three weeks is obviously no small undertaking. Kim and Sam are more than prepared with plenty of maps, a support vehicle piloted by Kim’s husband Ben and a simple philosophy. “We’re going to ride as far as we can on any given day and have a really good time doing it” shares Sam.
Kim and Sam forged their friendship during a mountain bike ride two years ago, both invited by friends in common. When the group was finished riding for the day, Kim wanted to keep going so Sam jumped on her wheel for one more lap. That led to another and a few more after that. They discovered they shared a love for the outdoors and the ability to ride "until our legs fall off."
Little did they know that their shared passion would be the groundwork for their big adventure across Oregon.
The idea was hatched after Kim vacationed in Colorado and discovered that it was possible to ride from Durango to Denver on trails (mostly). She pitched the idea of tackling the Colorado Trail to her husband, and when he graciously declined, Kim invited Sam who accepted immediately.
As they planned the trip they realized that the Colorado altitude and afternoon thunderstorms could be hurdles, not to mention the time and cost to travel. As luck would have it, a mutual friend of theirs suggested riding across their home state.
So here they are...Day 1 of what will someday be called The Oregon Timber Trail.
When finished Kim and Sam will be the first people to pedal across Oregon on knobby tires. The stoke factor for riding in their ‘backyard’ is high. They’re also excited to be exploring a new frontier. “There’s something extra special that drew us into it, this idea of pioneering something and then being able to look back on it years later and think, wow, we got to be a part of something big."
Photographer and writer Leslie Kehmeier followed Kim and Sam on their adventure across Oregon in July of 2016.
This story was originally published on Club Ride.