Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Fri, May 23 2014 at 1:50 PM, Updated: Fri, May 23 2014 at 9:35 PM
Klamath Falls, Ore. - It could be the biggest bike ride in Oregon that you've never heard of.
About 150 riders left Klamath Falls this morning on an off-road ride across Oregon.
"This is the 'Oregon Outback' ride." Explains rider Trevor Spangle of Lebanon, Oregon. "360 mile ride from Klamath Falls up to The Dalles."
Unlike 'Cycle Oregon', the Oregon Outback riders are completely on their own.
"We are completely, 100% self-supported." Says rider Gary Meyer of Bend. "So you have to carry your own food, your own water."
"It's all about the food, and hydration." Adds rider Todd Shank of Vancouver, Washington. "What needs to happen to make this a successful ride."
Meyer notes there's no 'sag wagon'... 'if you break down, you've got to fix it yourself."
The entire ride is done on gravel, and forest service roads.
The riders hope to complete their journey over the Memorial Day weekend.
"And you get a lot of miles, just with your thoughts." Notes Trevor Spangle. "And at the end, you come out a different person."
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KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.