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Sunday, February 9, 2014

A gravel riding goldmine in eastern Oregon | Bike Portland

TREO Bike Ranch Day 1-23

There's been a major discovery among the vast golden wheat fields surrounding Hardman, Ione, Heppner, and other cities here in eastern Oregon: gravel roads. Typically considered second class citizens to their paved counterpart, gravel roads are fast becoming the toast of the cycling industry and all lovers of bicycle adventures.

And for Phil Carlson, proprietor of TREO Bike Ranch in Hardman, gravel roads might just be the claim to fame he's been looking for. Carlson has owned and operated his TREO Ranch since 1988. Over the past few decades, he's built it up as a bird-hunting business and now it's one of the most well-established "fee hunting" lodges in the state. But as we've reported in the past, his new focus is bicycling. At first, he figured the hundreds of miles of paved roads criss-crossing the towns and valleys where he grew up would be perfect for cycling enthusiasts. Recently however, thanks to a random meeting with Beaverton resident (and gravel riding veteran) Dan Morgan, Carlson is starting to see gravel roads in a new light.

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