The Best Riding Roads You've Never Heard Of

Postcard: Riding a Swell in Oregon’s Sea of Pines

June 3, 2015 Cars By Photo by Sung Han
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07:50 a.m. PST | Ochoco Mountains, Oregon – The Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap is a complete sham. Sure, on paper the 318 turns over 11 miles of tarmac sounds tantalizing, but in reality it’s one of the most neutered stretches of road in North America. If you do happen to find a section of the road that’s not slowed by tourist traffic and you dare to go above the 30 mph speed limit, the overabundance of law enforcement in the area is enough to have you second-guessing the impetus.

Hidden in the Ochoco Mountain range of Central Oregon is not one road, but a web of roads that can easily slay “The Dragon”. Between the natural elevation change, dodging ravines, and weaving through a sea of pine tree-laden peaks, the interstate and fire service roads appear as unsanctioned race tracks. Posted speed limits say 55 mph, but out there you’d be lucky to find anyone else at all, let alone a cop with a ticket quota. None of the roads have clever or intimidating nicknames, nor is there a gift shop where you can get a sticker for your bike saying you’ve ridden the road. The scenery is vibrant and untouched, the roads are smooth and relatively unknown. The greatest driving road in America isn’t in the Smoky Mountains; it’s laid across Oregon. I suggest you go find it.

Photo Info: Canon EOS 5D Mark III | f/5.6 | 1/1250 | ISO 400


A postcard is always a pleasant surprise, particularly in an era of Instagram and SMS pics. We don’t have enough postage for our entire readership, but our new bite-sized series, Postcards lightly details the who, what, when, where and why. It’s a simple, and effective, premise. Whether they’re based on a life-changing subject or just a strange one, shot with a Red Epic or an iPhone, we hope you find these little moments more genuine than the stock images you’re used to seeing opposite of the Xs and Os.

Bryan Campbell

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