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Muddy Mayhem: Biking the Coast Hills Classic

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Back to Youth Activities: Cycling

If you ask Jared “Pepe” Flaming what he likes most about the Coast Hills Classic Mountain Bike Race, he’ll tell you without hesitation that it’s all about the mud.

“There’s a lot of mud holes,” he smiles. “I live in the country so I love mud. You learn how to navigate it. Whenever you hit a mud hole it makes people laugh and it always makes a better time.”

If you’re a mud enthusiast, there’s probably no better mountain bike rally in Oregon than the Coast Hills Classic. Held every May in Newport, the course winds through dense coastal rain forest, up and down hills and across meadows — often with breath-taking views of the Pacific Ocean. Coming at the end of the coastal rainy season, mud is ever-present.

Daniella Crowder is owner of Bike Newport and one of the rally’s sponsors and volunteers. “The great thing about cycling is it’s something most everyone can do. It’s very comprehensive and it just makes you feel good,” she told the Oceanscape Network.

The Coast Hills Classic reflects this spirit of inclusion by offering cycling opportunities for all ages and experience levels.

“You don’t start out as a racer,” Crowder said, “but you could eventually become one. You could be a teenager and do this race. You could be 80 and do this race. Kids on training wheels can do this race.”

But if slogging through the mud at the Coast Hills Classic isn’t your cup of tea, both Crowder and Flaming said there are many other biking opportunities on the coast. Paths are numerous and easily accessible, and of course bicyclists can also use any public roadway as well.

According to Jared, one of the best ways for teens to get involved in cycling is to visit a local bike shop and build a relationship with the staff. “Bike shops are the best way to go because they can get you hooked up really easy, whether it’s for a repair on your bike or getting you connected to other people who love to bike,” he said.

“Our goal is to get people on bikes no matter what their age or interest,” Crowder added. “We want to get them out in nature and have them enjoying life!”

Related Features: Fun Fact: Tour the Oregon Coast On A Bike | Outdoor Safety | Outdoor Etiquette

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Let's Go Mudding at the Coast Hills Classic

Teenager "Pepe" Flaming and biking enthusiast Daniella Crowder explain why they love the Coast Hills Classic — perhaps Oregon's muddiest mountain bike rally!