July 15th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 28
Could Oakridge, Oregon, become a spitting image of the Pass?
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Oakridge, Oregon
Pass Herald Reporter
For decades, Oakridge, Oregon, a community nestled in the foothills of the Western Cascade Mountains, was a booming lumber town but by the early 1990s, the lumber industry had collapsed, and Oakridge has struggled ever since, losing families and businesses. Now some residents are trying to reinvent Oakridge from a blue-collar lumber town to a recreational hub.
In a presentation to the Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce at their monthly luncheon July 8 at Ben Wong’s in Blairmore, UROC President Andrew Fairhurst said there were direct parallels between Oakridge and the Pass, right down to the mountainous topography, fading dependence on heavy industry and Oakridge’s Ukulele Festival resembling Isabelle Sellon School’s grades 4 and 5 ukulele band.
According to its town website, Oakridge is recognized by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) as a Mountain Biking Ride Center while Bike Magazine recognized Oakridge as one of “America’s Five Best Mountain Biking Towns,” for its hundreds of miles of highly rated trails.
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With over 45-kilometres of single-track trail, the Pass is well on its way to having similar recreation infrastructure and Fairhurst is asking local businesses to partner with UROC with the goal of making the Pass an international mountain biking destination.
“Even the most hardcore rider can only ride for maybe four to six hours per day,” said Fairhurst. “When we’re creating a mountain biking destination we want to make an overall experience; I want to walk down the main street and go shopping with my wife, I maybe want to go out for a nice dinner and perhaps stay in nice accommodations. We’ve got a lot more to do to create that overall package.”
Fairhurst suggested local businesses become members of the organization. UROC member Spry Hard Goods, Fitness and Yoga and Blairmore offer discounts on mountain bike parts or accessories and many other retailers sell trail maps for $2.
Professionally built mountain biking trails can cost up to $20,000 per kilometre but UROC vice-president John Redekopp said these are multi-use trails that can be used for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and hiking.
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Rumhead Enduro and Bootleg Bikefest coming this weekend

The Rumhead Enduro and Bootleg Bikefest will feature spectator friendly competition at the Pass Powderkeg ski hill with participants racing down the Berma-Grin flow trail on Saturday July 18 starting at 3 p.m., which will be the first stage of the Rumhead Enduro.
A social event will be happening at the ski hill Saturday night, the public is welcome, the Boys and Girls Club will be holding a bike race and scavenger hunt, the Bootleg Bikefest will feature activities and group rides for all levels.
The remaining four stages of the Rumhead Enduro are taking place Sunday, July 19, starting at 9 a.m. Enduro style racing means that only the descents will be timed leaving bikers to climb hills at their own pace.
July 15th ~ Vol. 85 No. 28
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