McKenzie Bridge > Westfir Adventure Camp

September 6-8, 2024

REGISTRATION IS OPEN

ABOUT ADVENTURE CAMP

​At Special Blend Adventure Camp, we'll enjoy three days of riding through the lush forest of the Cascade Range, from McKenzie Bridge to Westfir, and back again, with a day in between exploring the wonders of the Oakridge surroundings. This camp is a bit different, as we will be mostly on paved forest roads, with minimal vehicle traffic, and provides an introduction to what we call "credit card touring" - a point-to-point adventure without carrying all your gear! We transport your luggage, provide all the food, and offer education about nutrition and bike-packing. Rest assured, the rides will incorporate some gravel and provide the top-notch coaching and support you have come to expect from the Special Blend team.

Can you think of a better way to spend the first weekend of September than adventuring by bike alongside friends, in an awe-inspiring landscape?

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • 3 days of riding, food, community, and education
  • World-class routes, amazing aid stations, and mechanical support
  • Small group size with awesome professional coaches
  • Dinner on Friday and Saturday
  • Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday
  • Lunch/Recovery Bar on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Awesome goodie bag!
PRICE: $1600 - $1950 depending on lodging choice at the Westfir Lodge

We want to create an immersive experience for all campers, one where we are all as present as we can be. In this effort, we ask that you leave your non-camper friends, partners, kiddos, and pets at home.

THE RIDING

We will ride from the McKenzie River Canyon up and over the historic Aufderheide road to the tiny hamlet of Westfir, Oregon, and back again. This narrow, paved road follows the South Fork of the Mckenzie and the North Fork of the Willamette Rivers, crossing over the Cascade crest. On our stop-over day, we will explore further into the Willamette National Forest, returning to Westfir in time for lunch, recovery, and education.

Tire recommendation: 30-35mm slick or semi-slick, the Schwalbe One 32 is ideal.

WHAT MAKES THIS AN ADVENTURE CAMP?

Anytime you get to ride point to point, it is an adventure. And this adventure comes with luggage transport!

This is also a great opportunity to explore the idea of credit card touring, learn about bikepacking, and prepare for Special Blend Gravel Bikepacking Camp, which will be coming to a National Forest near you in 2025!

During each ride, our professional coaches will be there to provide feedback and direction to help you hone your confidence and skills, including riding in a group, body positioning, cornering, braking, climbing, and descending.
Campers sitting around a campfire chatting.

ALL THE EXTRAS

We want your experience at Special Blend Gravel Camp to push you just a little out of your comfort zone (because that is where the growth happens). We also want it to be a time when you can tune out from “life’s” responsibilities and just focus on yourself and riding your bike.

Once you arrive at camp on Friday morning, your only job is to eat, sleep, and ride. We provide meals, top-notch aid stations, mechanical support, a recovery lounge, and lots of snacks, and beverages.

We'll take over the entire Westfir Lodge for Friday and Saturday nights, so we have space to spread out, relax, and feel at home.

THE LODGING

We've reserved the entire Westfir Lodge. Rooms are either single or double occupancy, all with private baths. There are also a few tent camping spots available.

You'll select the lodging option of your choice when registering for camp.

Please email hello@specialblendgravel.com if you are selecting a double occupancy room with your roommate's name or to be paired with another camper. We will work to ensure this process is easy and stress-free.
Campers sitting around the lodge eating breakfast

CAMP SCHEDULE

FRIDAY
Camp kicks off Friday morning. We'll meet in McKenzie Bridge at 9 am to fill our pockets and water bottles and load our gear into the shuttle vehicle. After our pre-ride briefing, we'll head up and over the Aufderheide to the Westfir Lodge. For 60 miles, we will climb, descend, and pedal through the magical forest fairyland that is the Auderheide (Rd 19).

Plan for 4-5 hours on the bike today, with an aid station at the high point of the ride. Once arriving in Westfir, we will enjoy food, R&R, and an informal FAQ session with the coaches. This is an ideal opportunity to ask the questions you really want to ask!

Ride stats: 62 miles, 3900 ft of elevation

SATURDAY
Following breakfast, we'll provide optional stretching; and a pre-ride briefing. We'll then pedal southeast to explore a new section of the Willamette National Forest on this "flatter" 40-mile ride. For those who would rather have a day off the bike, Cascades Outdoor Center offers a wide range of activities that can be booked in advance.

Lunch/Recovery Bar upon our return, followed by education sessions, and maybe a dip in the river. We cap the day off with dinner and good conversation.

Ride stats: 41 miles, 1,800 ft of elevation

SUNDAY
Following breakfast, there will be optional stretching, a pre-ride briefing, and we'll load up our gear. We'll head back toward McKenzie Bridge, retracing our path over the Aufderheide, which will feel like a brand-new route when riding in the opposite direction. Our aid stations will be at the halfway point.

Lunch/Recovery Bar upon our arrival, followed by good-bye high-fives and hugs.

Ride stats: 62 miles, 3900 ft of elevation

OUR COACHES & STAFF

We bring together the country's best cyclists and support staff to instruct, encourage, and support our campers.
  • CLAIRE REINERT
    • Seeker of challenge & adventure
    • Lover of the all night ride
    • Walter is her sidekick
    Claire's love of sport and movement started young and was channeled into soccer, where she found success at the collegiate level. After hanging up her cleats, Claire's love for riding bikes, especially gravel bike, over very long distances, began to blossom. She believes that to embrace gravel, it is necessary to "get comfortable with being uncomfortable and embrace the opportunity for growth", something that holds true on and off the bike. Claire has completed, among a myriad of other grueling races, the Unbound XL, Gravel Worlds Long Voyage three times.
  • Serena Bishop Gordon
    • Camp founder
    • Off-road adventurer
    • Lover of coffee and chocolate
    Serena has been racing professionally for more than a decade, specializing in mountain bikes and gravel. She is a great descender and understands the importance of the details when it comes to off-road performance.
    Serena lives in Bend with her husband, Ben, and medium-sized pup, Piper, and loves her morning coffee almost as much as she loves riding her bike. She is stoked to share what she knows with others and elevate women in the sport of gravel racing!
  • SEAN COCHRAN
    • Tire enthusiast
    • Coffee connoisseur
    • Always with snacks
    Don’t let Sean’s IG handle fool you, he is anything but a spectator. Sean plays so many invaluable roles to so many; quietly, and behind the scenes, he makes magic happen. Sean’s love of life and compassionate, encouraging and thoughtful demeanor elevates those around him to bring their best self and to find their hidden motivation that just needed some unlocking. Sean is also the Marketing Manager for Schwalbe North America and our in-house tire guru.
  • Colleen Quindlen, Director of Logistics
    • Logistics Wizard
    • Champion for women in sport
    • Dog-mom to Tukka and Mr. Bobo
    For over a decade, Colleen Quindlen has played a pivotal role in the country's most significant cycling races. She spent seven years overseeing logistics and operations for Rebecca’s Private Idaho before transitioning to Breakaway Promotions in 2022, where she assumed the role of Director of Operations. In her current position, she manages the logistics and operations of major cycling events across North America, including the Oregon Trail, Gorge, Cascade, Lost and Found Gravel, and the Downieville Classic MTB Festival.
    Colleen's unwavering commitment to increasing women's participation in cycling is evident through her advocacy and implementation of various programs and opportunities catering to riders of all abilities and backgrounds. Her dedication to Special Blend Gravel is unmatched, and camp would not be possible without her.
    Colleen resides in Hailey, Idaho, with her husband Billy Cook and their two adorable dogs, Tukka and Mr. Bobo.
  • THE BREAKAWAY PROMOTIONS TEAM
    • Up before dawn, the last ones to bed
    • A well-oiled machine
    • Always there to support
    Breakaway Promotions has a 20-year track record of executing national-level cycling events and has established itself as the most experienced cycling event company in North America. With over 200 events and 500 event days to their credit, they have unparalleled expertise in managing cycling competitions. Breakaway has run more USA Cycling  National Championship events than any other company, including XCO Mountain Bike, Mountain Bike Marathon, Fat Bike, Masters Road, Junior Road, Collegiate Road, and Amateur Road.
    Among their notable events, Breakaway Promotions currently owns and operates the challenging Oregon Trail gravel stage race, solidifying their reputation for hosting some of the most demanding races in the U.S.
    Their extensive knowledge of logistics and unwavering commitment to customer service ensures that every Special Blend camper is well supported.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN

OUR PARTNERS

A huge thank you to our partners.
Breakaway Promotions logo
Castelli logo
Schwalbe logo
Lisa Congdon art and illustration logo
GU logo

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We acknowledge Special Blend Gravel Camp, held within the Willamette National Forest, is situated on the traditional lands of the Kalapuya, Molalla, Chinook, and other Indigenous Peoples. As we immerse ourselves in the beauty of this region, we recognize the historical and ongoing impact of colonization on Indigenous communities. We express gratitude to the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs, and all Indigenous Peoples who have stewarded these lands.

During our time here, we commit to being respectful stewards, fostering unity, inclusivity, and gratitude for the diverse Indigenous cultures that have shaped this land.