Coastal Comeback

Though Pacific City, Oregon is better known for water sports such as surfing, a dedicated crew of local riders has discovered the dreamlike potential of the lush rainforest to the east of town. Carson Storch, Ron Baker and local advocate Josh Venti are already digging into that potential. | CANON, 1/80 sec, f/3.5, ISO 1000

Coastal Comeback Pacific City's Trail-Based Reinvention

Beyond the bounty of backyard riding spots that come and go with each passing generation of kids, there are always those that remain nurtured over time and expanded until they become “destinations” in their own right.

In many cases, the widespread popularity of these riding destinations helps the nearest town transition from a dying industry to a recreational zone, breathing new life into the local economy and giving the community an altogether new identity and purpose.

While the transition stories of former logging towns such as Oakridge, Oregon might be better known, those of other towns across the state are only starting to take shape. One such place is the sleepy coastal community of Pacific City, a once-thriving fishing and logging town that is reinventing itself as a tourist destination. Though it’s become popular for water sports such as surfing and windsurfing, the rich dirt and singletrack potential of the surrounding forests is just starting to be tapped by local mountain bikers.

At the forefront of this movement is Josh Venti, a landscaper who is melding his passions for riding and working in the dirt into a future of trailbuilding and advocacy. Josh’s discovery of mountain biking didn’t occur until about 10 years ago, when he was languishing behind a desk in the office of Bros & Hoes Landscaping, a company he’d started with his brother. After losing a coin toss, Josh had been relegated to office work and had become 90 pounds overweight. As work took precedence over wellness, he’d slipped into unhealthy patterns and realized he needed to turn things around.

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