Fun at the Un-Meeting

Last weekend’s Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting brought together cyclists from all over the United States. Despite an uncertain weather forecast, more than 70 riders met northwest of Portland for a weekend of riding, meeting friends and having a good time.

A choice of five courses ranged from the 47 mile (76 km) ‘Short’ to the 86 mile (139 km) ‘Adventure.’ Each route offered delightful backroads with rolling climbs and twisty descents. Natsuko and I took the ‘Short’ route, and we enjoyed every minute of it.

For the first 15 miles (25 km), all routes ran together to a breakfast stop in Vernonia (above). Food and conversation occupied most riders, but those who checked out the bikes saw a remarkable variety: beautiful customs, burly gravel bikes, slender racers, and many home-built machines that repurposed classic racing or mountain bike frames into cleverly conceived all-road and adventure bikes. The bikes illustrated the Un-Meeting’s motto – ‘Everyone is welcome’ – better than anything.

Each bike had special touches that revealed their owners’ preferences and experiences. On this weekend, they were all enjoyed to the max.

After a full day of riding, a few local riders headed back to Portland, while most participants came together at the beautiful campsite for a campfire. The sight of tents and bikes spread among the tall trees was one of the most memorable of this weekend.

The forecast rain materialized during the night, but the skies cleared just in time for the ride back to civilization. Tents were taken down, bags were packed, and then riders left in small groups, heading to Portland or beyond, to finish another great weekend of cycling, meeting acquaintances, and making new friends.

Thank you to all who attended, and especially to Ryan Francesconi of OMTM for designing the great courses. Now I can’t wait for next year’s Un-Meeting!

About Jan Heine

Spirited rides that zig-zag across mountain ranges. Bicycle Quarterly magazine and its sister company, Rene Herse Cycles, that turns our research into the high-performance components we need for our adventures.
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1 Response to Fun at the Un-Meeting

  1. Daniel M says:

    Jan (and Ryan F), thanks so much for putting this fabulous un-event together. For me it was a weekend of pure joy: an excuse to take an overnight train, ride with my camping gear, have a spectacular day of riding begin and end at that lovely campsite, get back on the train the following day, arrive home the morning after and ask myself if any of that really happened! I also loved matching faces to names, bikes to riders, and seeing every participant’s different approach to choosing or building their ideal bike and then loading it for camping. It was such a contrast to the few organized rides I participate in where one sticks out like a sore thumb unless they have a bike and outfit that matches the norm for that ride or group.

    As a member of the (Northern) California contingent, I am excited beyond belief to have the event in my backyard next time!

    Happy and safe riding,

    Daniel M
    Berkeley, CA

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