Photos courtesy of Travel Oregon
Oregon has no shortage of beautiful places, but seven in particular stand out as deserving of special recognition as the “7 Wonders.” For the next few months, visitors to these seven sites will have a chance to walk away with more than just memories and photographs—they’ll bring home a custom bike designed and fabricated by seven of Oregon’s best framebuilders and each inspired by the places they represent.
Beginning Saturday somewhere on Mt. Hood, visitors can use clues from Instagram through the #7bikes7wonders hashtag or on the Travel Oregon website. The bike inspired and built for Mt. Hood’s world-class singletrack is a Wolfhound built by Fred Cuthbert. It even has a name: Bruno, named for the Saint Bernard that lives at the iconic Timberline Lodge.
The seven bikes
Mt. Hood bike: The allure for bikers of Oregon’s tallest peak and playground, Mt. Hood, is simple: scenic riding, with a nearly endless variety of choices. Fred Cuthbert, from the town of Talent, boiled down his design philosophy to make a simple mountain bike that can be ridden hard – and all day.
Smith Rock bike: Seeing a geologic wonder like Smith Rock brings out the conqueror in a person, and that’s why the rugged mountain bike that Bend’s Wade Beauchamp dreamed up has the gearing, the gear and the personality to take on even the most challenging terrain.
Painted Hills bike: The colorful rock layers of the Painted Hills put Christopher Igleheart of Portland in a back-country frame of mind, and he designed a versatile touring bike a rider can pedal through Eastern Oregon’s fossil-bed country in comfort and style.
Wallowas bike: The tag-team of Portlanders Ira Ryan and Tony Periera found inspiration in the wide-open spaces and the vast vistas of the Wallowas – and something about the scene took them back to the Old West; they designed a bike that can carry a two-wheeled cowboy all across the land.
Columbia River Gorge bike: When he considered all the great types of riding available in the Columbia River Gorge, Bend bike maker Ben Farver knew he wanted to create one bike that a rider could enjoy them all on – so he built the Swiss Army knife of bicycles.
Oregon Coast bike: Portland builder Joseph Ahearne took the exhilaration of the moment when you first realized a bike could take you almost anywhere, and brought it to life in a “fat bike” meant to be ridden at The Coast.
Crater Lake bike: Drawing on both the boundlessly deep blue of Crater Lake’s water and the roller-coaster thrill ride of the road around its rim, Ashland’s Mike DeSalvo created a sleek, fast road bike that can take on climbs and descents and leave you with the energy to soak up the scenery along the way.
Tourism is a huge draw in Oregon, and the creation of the original 7 Wonders campaign is credited with a 10 percent bump in tourism spending in the state, according to Travel Oregon. It’s not a small number either, with travelers adding $10.3 billion to the state’s economy and bicycle tourism alone representing a $400 million impact.
You can find the official rules of the contest here, and good luck!