written by Rich Bernoulli

We are often asked what the difference is between our two campuses (Ashland and Portland); and regarding the curriculum, not a lot. We make great efforts to keep the curriculum consistent between the two campuses.The biggest difference between the two campuses to me is the lunch ride. Portland has some tasty eateries within walking distance but if you have plans for a lunch ride, it’ll be of the asphalt and pavement variety with a healthy dose human population and the resultant four-wheeled traffic. Here in Ashland, we have the opportunity to ride dope trails, year-round, on real, decomposed granite, straight from our door; as long as you have the legs and lungs, of course.  

My lunch riding career started with my time at Yeti Cycles, where if you didn’t ride at lunch it was typically because you were injured… badly. They provided a 1.5 hour gap for the cause, and it didn’t hurt that there were always sick bikes as far as the eyes could see that were begging to be ridden, and dope trails that were so close, you could hear them screaming your name. I’ve continued riding at lunch for most of my career here at UBI, and I cannot say enough positive things about it… but I’ll try.

My lunch ride gets me on a rad bike, on sick dirt, among PNW trees, and when I’m going up, it’s almost meditative. It’s just me, my machine, my trusty heartbeat, and the friendly beads of sweat that often decide to join the fun. It’s an opportunity, during the middle of the day, to see and feel the sun, feel and hear the breeze in the trees, and forget about all things accept the flagrant burning in my legs. My lunch ride is soul cleansing.

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When I get to the top, it’s a moment of quick reflection: how did the climb feel, what tales does Mother Nature have for me today, and what is the current dirt profile for my wicked decent. Then, I open my front and rear suspension, strap on my goggles and tighten my helmet, clip in and start dancing with gravity!

When I roll back into UBI, I’m usually stoked and exhausted. I set my two-wheeled friend against the wall and take a moment to reflect on how fortunate I am. I get to ride an incredible machine, in the middle of the work day, on incredible trails. Then I get back to work!

If you’re reading this and are not able to ride at lunch, I can tell you I’ve been there, I feel your pain, and I won’t take it for granted. I will continue to ride with enough enthusiasm for both of us!       

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