About This Site

This site is created by a GIS guy who is also an avid mountain biker and went online in 2008. I wasn't seeing much out there that was informative, with good useful maps for Oregon - Central Oregon in particular - so decided to contribute something to the cause. In case anyone feels slighted that I am purporting to be the sole source of maps and advice for Oregon mountain biking that is not my intent. My ego is no where near that large. The beauty of the INTERNET is that any Joe Blow like myself can contribute. I love it when people publish their opinions about backpacking gear or their latest trip to Baha for instance. I can tell by reading their page if they have much experience or have a point of view that is useful to me. If more people want to do sites like this, the more the better. If you have a good site i will link to it. If I am not linking to it send me your information and I will add it or tell you why not. This is an opinionated site by the way and i go off on a few occasions on things like scratch-less pickups, SUVs and sponsor wear on non sponsored riders. As far as collaborating on the site see the discussion below.

Originally I was planning on just doing some mapping for Central Oregon. I went looking for simple domain names like comtb but when I tried that one out, it was for Colorado Mountain Biking. Hmmm I wonder if anyone has taken ORegon Mountain Biking? ORMTB - No I couldn't believe it. There was only one problem with that in that trying to do a site for the whole state was maybe a little too ambitious. I had ridden most of the well known areas short of Ashland but............

I have thought about setting the site up to do more collaborative efforts to update it and expand it. Here are my thoughts on that. One is that by having one voice at least makes it more consistent. If you do a ride that I say is hard but you think is easy or visa versa then when you read some other write up I did you can have a frame of reference. Another huge problem I am seeing with a lot of write ups on different trails is that a lot of guys seem to want to way over embellish how gnarly, gonzo or epic some ride was. Why do they do this? Hormones? Small Kahunas? To gain more attention or respect from peers? What ever the reason it is not helpful in a review. Yet another reason is, in some cases, is that trail reviews often get a few more stars than they other wise would because the reviewer has some financial interest in the trail becoming popular. Are reviews written by the local chamber of commerce for instance likely to by unbiased and possibly a little glossed over? I have also seen some territorial bias in write ups. One of the big bike mags for instance has at least one editor from the Medford area and in a fall 2009 issue the North Umpqua river trial got voted the best trail in the country, Bend got no mention at all but Hood River was voted best mountain bike town. The North Umpqua trial is good for sure and Hood River has a lot to offer but..."my trail is better than your trail any day", "oh ya well....". Let's face it there is a lot of testosterone in the veins of this sport. All that said I am a big fan of Wikipedia and I am giving some thought as to how that type of site would work and what tools to use. I have decided to refer to existing sites like Open Street Map for collaborative efforts on this page.

Speaking of tools this is primarily an exercise to get up to speed in disseminating maps on the INTERNET from a GIS professional with more desktop focused experience. The html is done by hand to help me learn it and is very basic. The mapping technology may not be the latest in real time server side delivery, mash-ups, etc., but, hopefully, I will get there. You have to crawl before you walk. The focus initially will be on delivering maps in various formats and not on fancy sliced page graphics, flash animations, buttons and fonts, etc.

Most of the trails in the Central Oregon area are from GPS files that were collected with a Garmin 60CSX and in a few cases digitized trails. Elsewhere in Oregon, they are from Forest Service or local government sources and in a few cases gps files. Speaking of GPS just because I use one to make maps with and put some coordinates on maps does not mean that I advocate the tech head gadgetized bike experience. If am not making maps or in some unfamiliar place that getting lost is a real possibility then I don't carry one. Having grown up backpacking in the Rockies I am good at reading maps and figuring out where I am based on terrain, usually without a compass. Some folks might not be and a GPS might be a good idea especially in areas with poor signage or heavy forested terrain etc.

One problem I have is that I have been contacted by agencies like the BLM that request that i not publish the location of some trail even if it has been used for years. One BLM guy went so far as suggesting that i have him approve of all the maps i made before putting them online. On the one hand i do not want to alienate the agencies but on the other they can take years to plan and approve trails. I have been contacted by other agencies like the fish and game wanting trails for wildlife studies. They do not care if they are vetted or not but want something more real than say the BLM data. It is a conundrum. I am leaning toward putting what is on the ground on the map. It is up to the agencies and local clubs to sign them or block access. I asked the BLM guy what he was going to do about all the ways the public now has to make and share trail maps online if they were not approved trails - no response on that one. Generally i will follow the wishes of the local bike clubs if they contact me. I have not had any issues with the forest service yet.


On the to do list is to make 8.5 x 11 pdf maps to print for most areas.

If you have questions or comments send them to:
If you have GPS files of trails you would like to see on the site send them along with a description. GPS files of new or missing segments would be a help too.Also if you have any constructive comments on any of the info that would be appreciated. All it takes is a few positive comments now and then to keep me updating the site.
 
Which brings up another topic. I pay the yearly hosting fee to keep the site running out of pocket. I could place a few adds and make some money but partly this site is a protest to all those trail sites out there that are all hat and no cattle so to speak - all adds, want you to join by submitting a lot of personal info and or cash - slick banner graphics and about zero content - maybe a few marginally helpful random comments from visitors, totally lame mapping efforts - sites that are mostly just a huge *&%$ing waste of time. Hopefully the maps and info on this site are useful to somebody. One thing about being self supported is that I am not beholding to anyone or any organization. I can take the liberty to insert some opinions and have an attitude about a few things which may not appeal to everyone. That is my prerogative. If you don't like the flavor of this site then have fun and cook up your own!
 
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My wife and I did a bike tour for several months in Patagonia and a month in Colombia in the winter of 2012 and I did a blog for anyone who is interrested. 

Yours truly on the Crooked

Photo by Trevor Groves