Scottish Duo Links up the OTT from Northern California to British Columbia

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Note: This is a guest post from 2018 OTT riders. If you’ve ridden the OTT and want to share your story, don’t forget to fill out the 2018 Rider Survey and then email us:

We rode the OTT as part of a longer, 4 month trip through Northern California to British Columbia. By the time we reached New Pine Creek we were pretty comfortable with our set-ups and ready for some adventurous trails... and adventurous trails we got! 

We began the OTT in mid June. As with the rest of our trip, we weren’t focused on smashing out miles, but enjoying the journey and soaking up all the new experiences. We stopped in both Oakridge and Bend for several days to ride the trails unladen, which we can highly recommend - even if it takes a lap or two to get used to riding a light bike again! We rolled into Hood River by mid July. If you can spare a few more days, both the town and the trails are worth exploring too. 

We didn’t encounter any large snow patches (although it had been a low snowfall winter) and no issues with fires or smoke. Although we did use approximately 16 gallons of 100% deet, especially around Timpanogas Lake where we attempted the optional extra of summiting Sawtooth. We couldn’t move fast enough up hill and returned to the lake, empty husks, drained of all our hemoglobin...

If you’re thinking of riding the route but feel unsure due to lack of experience or intimidation, I highly recommend joining the ‘OTT riders’ group on Facebook which is a helpful, supportive and inspiring place, as well as downloading the Route Guide which is extremely handy in both planning the trip and for reference whilst on the trail.

We both rode 27.5+ hard tail ‘trail’ bikes, Jen going for a Specialized Fuse and Andy running a Mondraker Prime. Neither of us were unhappy with our choices or longed for different steeds. If you’d like to check out our choice of kit, and reasons for choosing certain items please keep an eye out on our website and/or Facebook page where we’ll add gear lists soon (we’re still Bikepacking through BC as we write this).

Enjoy the trail, keep smiling and soak it all in!

- Andy & Jen - MTB Highlands

Jen and Andy live in Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands. They’ve been mountain biking for around 10 years and adventuring in the outdoors for many years more, but the OTT was their first foray into Bikepacking. 

You can follow them on Instagram or check out their website.