LORANE, Ore. – Several hundred mountain bikers got down and dirty on singletrack trails south of Eugene at the 10th annual Disciples of Dirt “All Comer’s Meet.”
“Let’s bring everybody in the mountain biking community that’s in the Northwest together and give them the opportunity to have a great ride,” Disciples of Dirt spokesperson Shawn Litson says.
The Disciples are a a non-profit mountain biking organization, now recognized as a chapter of the International Mountain Biking Association.
Litson said the Disciples of Dirt were founded nearly 25 years ago in the Southern Willamette Valley. Their organization focuses on creation, restoration and sustainability of the forests and trail systems.
Litson says around 10-years ago, some bikers began creating trails in the Whypass area, which is mainly a checkerboard of logged land primarily owned by BLM.
“There was a conflict,” he says. “What are these guys doing here? They’re doing something good.”
Litson said the Bureau of Land Management turned a blind eye to members of the Disciples of Dirt creating trails after noticing that the mountain bikers were improving the area.
It wasn’t necessarily legal to create trails on BLM property, but they found it kept the remote logging area cleaner and safer.
“We’re up here with a presence,” Litson says. “We’re cleaning the place up. All that riff-raff up here shooting things up? They’re not here anymore. They are going someplace else.”
Because of Disciples of Dirt, the Whypass trail systems became a recognized riding area.
In the summer of 2013 the Bureau officially opened the area to the public.
“We are going to maintain these trails, build these trails and do what we said we would do," Litson said.
The area currently has 18 miles of single-track trails. Most trails are intermediate. Trails are open year-round.