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Oregon Manifest 2009
"Oregon. We love dreamers."
It's a catchy slogan from Travel Oregon, the organization that is responsible for marketing the state as a tourist and vacation destination. Long before tourism boards or marketing budgets, Oregon represented discovery and opportunity. Lewis & Clark, The Oregon Trail, the road out west was carved out by those seeking to make a new, better way.
The 2009 Oregon Manifest Constructor's Design Challenge and Constructor's Race was born out of that same pioneering spirit. Similar to the original French constructor challenges, the creators of this year's Oregon Manifest invited builders to bring inspired solutions to everyday problems. How might you build a bike capable of covering varying terrain over a long distance that can carry food, drink, a change of clothes, that has an on-bike security solution, and protection from darkness and the elements?
Thirty-two of the top handmade bicycle builders from around the U.S. met the challenge, bringing their own craft and interpretation to the judges of the Design Challenge. The builders, or proxy, boarded a charter bus with their bikes to finish the trial with a 77-mile race, putting design theory into riding reality. A myriad of fitness and cycling palmares made for an interesting day on the country and gravel roads from Vernonia, OR, back into Portland. Making it more interesting was the beer stop at mile 38, where the riders picked up a 6-pack of Hopworks beer before a seven-mile gravel descent. Then, at mile 62, a food stop at Chris King's barn that turned into an unexpected full gourmet experience. The riders knew they had to pick up a box of food to bring to the finish, they didn't know that King had brought a chef with a full spread of food and wine – all that was missing was the white tablecloths. It is a shame that a 2 mile climb with a few double-digit sections was a mile down the road.
At the end of the evening the time came for riders to don attire fit for a celebration and most people still had six full beers, big - albeit exhausted - smiles, and bicycles that while still new and beautiful were all the better for the race's test.
Congratulations to Rapha Continental rider and builder, Tony Pereira, for winning the Oregon Manifest Design Challenge.