Trail Tested: Towing the Coho XC in the Ochoco Overlander

bike with coho xc bike trailer attached sitting on dirt road overlooking valley

The Ochoco Overlander is an annual bikepacking event in Central Oregon organized by Good Bike Co. Riders from across the country gather for the 175 mile trek that climbs 15,000 feet in elevation. This year, Brian from our Customer Support Team joined in on the fun and tested out the Coho XC cargo trailer. Read on for his recap of the event and his review of the Coho XC.

Q: First, tell us about yourself and your role at Burley.

A: I grew up in north Idaho and I’ve lived in Eugene about two years. I have two kids ages 5 and 1 who are growing up using Burley products and I currently work in Burley’s customer service department.

Q: Can you share a bit about your previous biking experience?

A: I got into cycling in Portland as a commuter in the early 2000’s. I liked it so much I became a bike messenger and got paid to ride my bike around the city all day. From there I became interested in traveling by bike and rode across the US in a summer with two friends. Since then, I’ve done all types of riding including light touring, road, and mountain biking.

Q: Tell us about the event. Was it what you expected?

A: It was very well planned and exceeded my expectations. James at Good Bike Co. and his volunteers really executed a great event. It was so enjoyable to wake up each day with breakfast and coffee then ride a beautiful yet challenging route around the Ochoco mountains. I wasn’t expecting to meet such a wide range of cyclists from all over the US riding all different types of bikes. Everyone was very supportive, and we all rode as a team even though many of us did not know each other before the ride.

Q: What was your favorite part? Least favorite?

A: My favorite part was the delicious dinners at camp every night and the amazing scenery as we biked around some of the most remote parts of Oregon including the Painted Hills and the Ochoco National Forest. Least favorite was the powerful wind gusts on the first night that woke everyone up at 4am and almost blew me away in my tent.

Q: Why did attending this event appeal to you?

A: I enjoy adventure biking and getting outside of my comfort zone a bit to do some challenging cycling in remote areas. I also love camping so it was the perfect event for me.

Q: Have you participated in a similar event before?

A: I did RAGBRAI many years ago which is a huge 20,000 person ride across the state of Iowa that ends in a party every night in a small town. So, it was kind of similar but also very different.

Q: Was this your first time bikepacking? If not, what have your previous trips been like?

A: I have done some solo bikepacking trips of shorter distance. Those trips take a lot more planning and packing since there is not aid provided along the route and I really had to make sure I could make it to the next stop to stock up on food and water and be prepared for any mechanical issues. I felt a lot more relaxed on the Ochoco route knowing I wouldn’t have any problems.

Q: What did you think of the Coho XC?

A: The Coho XC did great and I really put it to the test on this route with a variety of surfaces such as pavement, washboard gravel roads, and rocky double track.

Q: What was your favorite feature of the trailer?

My favorite feature of the trailer is the kickstand because it makes it very easy to get off the bike when you need to stretch or set up camp. Also, the Dry Bag is great because it makes it easy to access all my camp gear without having to remove multiple bikepacking bags.

Q: How did the trailer hold up to this event?

A: It held up very well with no mechanical issues. It did slow me down a bit going up some of the steeper climbs and I rode cautiously down faster gravel descents since it takes a bit longer to brake with a trailer.

Q: Would you use the trailer on a future bikepacking trip?

A: I would definitely use it again on a trip where I needed to carry a bit more stuff for a longer route. It does add a bit of weight behind the bike but is well worth it not to have to leave things behind that don’t fit into bikepacking bags.