“Mt. Hood was left off the list. So was the Oregon Coast. The Columbia River Gorge was somehow overlooked, as were the Painted Hills. Smith Rock and the Wallowas are both missing from it. All we can figure is whoever named the 7 Wonders of the world never set foot in Oregon, because even Crater Lake was left off their list. So we see your Wonders world, and raise you 7 of our own. And we invite you to come to experience them. Our wonders aren’t just for looking at. You have to explore them and feel them beneath your feet. Just remember, this is Oregon, so how you go about it is entirely up to you.”
The Chris King Cafe was fortunate to host the launch of 7 handmade bicycles that will be hidden, one in each of Oregon’s 7 Wonders. A project organized by Travel Oregon and partially driven by Oregon’s handmade bicycle industry, these machines will be hidden in each of Oregon’s 7 Wonders. Starting June 15, “each bike will be hidden at one of the 7 Wonders so that you can find, own and ride a part of Oregon.” Chris King will be following along to see who discovers each of these bikes, all of them equipped with Chris King components.
The Cafe was abuzz with talk to these builds and the campaign, as well as the incredible food provided by Gourmet Century, ice cream by Salt & Straw, beer by Ninkasi, and wine by Penner Ash. Try as we might, there was no capturing the flavors provided to party-goers in our images, but suffice it to say everything was phenomenal and the crowd enjoyed every shred.
As a show of just how dedicated Oregon is to this campaign, tourism, and their environment, Governor Kate Brown was in attendance along with Congressman Earl Blumenauer to put emphasis on their support. Their show of excitement toward cycling on an ongoing basis was truly on highlight at such an event.
The builders were as follows:
Oregon coast: Ahearne Cycles, Portland.
A fat bike that feels as comfortable traversing the sandy coast as it does finding it’s way to a party. Equipped with a beer rack a pair of flasks, this fat bike can take you anywhere.
Columbia River Gorge: Argonaut Cycles, Bend.
A custom carbon beauty crafted to smooth out any road it encounters, the Argonaut featured disc brakes to deal with the constant undulations in the Gorge while keeping weight at a minimum for heading back up.
Wallowas: Breadwinner Cycles, Portland.
Finding a middle ground between a 29er mountain bike and something for loaded touring, the bicycle from Breadwinner is as comfortable on singletrack as it is grinding out miles on mixed-use roads.
Painted Hills: Igleheart Custom Frames & Forks, Portland
Being prepared to self-support for longer periods was the goal for Igleheart. Durability and comfort were second-to-none in creating a bike set for time in the Painted Hills.
Crater Lake: Mike DeSalvo Custom Cycles, Ashland.
Mike’s lightweight titanium bike had one thing in mind, getting around Crater Lake as efficiently as possible.
Smith Rock: Vulture Cycles, Bend.
Built to navigate the rough terrain of Smith Rock, Vulture used plus-sized tires and geometry made to emphasis control on out-of-control trails.
Mount Hood: Wolfhound Cycles, Talent.
Designed around precisely what you’ll find at Mt. Hood: backcountry singletrack and shuttled park riding.
Follow along with the campaign for your clues to find one of these bikes for yourself. The Travel Oregon site is full of information, but expect their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts to be ablaze with information come June when the hunt begins.