Monday, June 22, 2015

Popular biking event through rural Oregon shut down after riders litter trail with trash, feces

A popular 364-mile bike ride/backpacking trip through rural and remote areas of Oregon has been scrapped after tourists left large amounts of trash and feces along the route, Beau Estes reports for The Bulletin in Bend, Ore. The Oregon Outback, a bikepacking trip offered by, takes about 5-7 days to travel from Klamath Falls, the southern-most full-service stop in Oregon on Amtrak to where the Deschutes and Columbia rivers meet in the northern part of the state.

Last month about 300 riders attempted to complete the trek over Memorial Day weekend, Estes writes. Organizers said "riders this year were less than gracious guests, leaving garbage throughout the route. Some of the most outrageous offenses were reports of riders not properly disposing of human waste, leaving toilet paper and feces in impromptu campsites." Cyclists also reportedly left trash in a barn that a Silver Lake resident opened up for riders the first night of the event, and "someone pooped in the yard of the Silver Lake family that had graciously given them shelter the night before." There was also enough trash in Silver Lake’s community park to fill up an entire bin.

Ride organizer Donny Kolb wrote on the group's website: "If you can’t follow Leave No Trace ethics, if you can’t literally take care of your own s--- properly, if you can’t show respect to the folks who live on this route, and you can’t respect the wild nature you ride through, then stay home. Oregon is closed. We don’t need you, and we most definitely don’t want you. You ruined something super awesome, something I was immensely proud of.” (Read more) (Oregon Outback trail)

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