May is the Month to Hop On Your Bike!

 

May is National Bike Month, making it the ideal time to pedal, walk, bus or carpool around town from Point A to Point B. It’s also the month for joining two statewide and local challenges: The Street Trust’s Bike More Challenge encourages individuals and workplaces throughout Oregon to compete for most miles and trips biked during the month of May. The Rogue Commute Challenge by the Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) pits local workplaces on a leaderboard to see which organization can log the most collective alternative transportation trips. Both are awesome reasons to try new ways to get where you need to be!

 

About the Bike More Challenge

 

The Challenge is a state-wide, month-long friendly competition between workplaces to see who can get the greatest percentage of employees to log the most trips on their bike. Ride your bike to work, the grocery store, or for fun and log all of your trips at bikemorechallenge.com! At the end they tally the results, give out awards in different categories of company size and sector, and celebrate everyone’s hard work and commitment for the month.

 

About the Rogue Commute Challenge

 

The Rogue Commute Challenge allows workplaces to team together and compete against other local workplace teams to see who can log more walking, biking, carpooling, transit, or telecommute trips and earn glory by being named King of the Rogue Commuters! This fun competition is a great way to learn more about commuting options, earn prizes, get healthy, reduce our carbon footprint and build camaraderie while competing to have your workplace win the Challenge! It’s all about fun, building teamwork, and learning about the commute options available in the Rogue Valley.

 

If you haven’t already, you can still sign up for the Bike More Challenge, as well as enjoy all the local events associated with RVTD’s Go By Bike Week, May 15-19. Register for the bike skills class, join group rides with free snacks and schwag, visit a breakfast station, and sign up for the Grow a Pear Run, Walk, or Bike 5K.

 

And if you find yourself biking in downtown Medford, feel free to use our community bike racks! We’ve got plenty of room for all, and then come inside and grab a beer because, dangit, you deserve it! Our team of Common Blockers will be cruising on bikes and busses logging points, too (we have coworkers biking from Ashland, Talent, Phoenix and Eagle Point!), so please cheer them on if you see their blue shirts commuting around the valley.

 

 

Racing Toward the Siskiyou Challenge, 4/29

What has five legs, gives free beer, is seven years old and runs all over?

No, it’s not a rocket-fueled elderly starfish with a keg of beer on its back. It’s the 7th Annual Siskiyou Challenge Relay in Ashland, Oregon! We love this yearly race, so much so that we sponsor the event with free beer and food for racers at the finish line. The five relay legs weave all around Ashland on April 29th, from Emigrant Lake to the hills north of town, and then end at a big finale party at ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum.

The Siskiyou Challenge Relay benefits one of our favorite local organizations: Rogue Valley Farm to School. RVF2S educates children about our food system through hands-on farm and garden programs, and by increasing local foods in school meals. We love their mission, their programs and this race!

 

Here are the Siskiyou Challenge race legs:

 

  1. 3K kayak at Emigrant Lake
  2. 30K road bike around Ashland, over to Valley View Road, and back to Lithia Park
  3. 6K trail run above Lithia Park
  4. 13K mountain bike in the hills above Ashland
  5. 6K run to the finish at ScienceWorks!

 

Speaking of racers, watch out for our team on the course: the Common Block Fantastic Five. And when we say “Fantastic Five,” we really mean a group of moderately active people that hope to survive until the free beer at the end (less fantastic, more thirsty).

Looking for something for the whole family? There’s also a 1-mile fun run that begins and ends at ScienceWorks. Sign ups start at 9am on Saturday and the run begins at 10am. Everyone can enjoy finish line activities, including live music on the outdoor stage, vendors, exhibits and more.

Register now for the Siskiyou Challenge!

You can still register online through 4/27 at 11:59pm (late fee of $20 after 4/25)! Grab your best athletic pals, come up with an awesome team name, and join us for the fun this Saturday. We’re serving up enchiladas, beer, cider and root beer at the finish line (if you need a little more incentive), and the weather is supposed to make for a beautiful race day. We hope to see you there!

 

The Zombies are Coming! Register NOW for the Running Dead 5K

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Ahhhhhhhh!!!!

That’s the sound you’ll hear all over downtown Medford on October 22nd for Goodwill’s Running Dead 5K. Zombies and humans are taking over the Medford Commons in a race to benefit Southern Oregon Goodwill and all the awesome things they do in our community. Sign up as an alive or undead runner, and then join us afterward for the Apocalypse Party in the Common Block parking lot.

Here’s how it works: Racers take off from the Medford Commons and run out-and-back along the Bear Creek Bike Path for 3.1 miles. Humans will take off with three flags around their waists at 4:30, and zombies will take off at 4:32. Zombies do their best to catch flags from humans, and humans have to dodge the zombies and get back to the finish line with as many flags as possible. Awards will be given to King of the Zombies and Ultimate Survivor.

And don’t forget about all the perks! Ro Sham Bo will be on-hand providing free makeup for all zombies – come as you are and start the race looking zombie-tastic. We’re giving $5 gift certificates to all the racers, and serving beer at the finish line alongside Ooblies Waffle Truck and Curbside King. Lastly, you can enter to win at the Drop Dead Beauty Contest – show off your fantastic zombie makeup as you strut across the stage! Kids ages 4-8 can join the fun, too, with the Survivor Sprint around the Commons park blocks.

If you’ve always wanted to practice for the impending zombie apocalypse and haven’t known where to start, this is it! Get real-life experience running from zombies or being a zombie – really, its just being well-prepared. You can double up on your costume, too, for Halloween (we won’t tell anyone).

Register online soon to chase or be chased, and be sure to come see us for a beverage from 2pm-10pm on race day. We’ll be here with open doors, corn hole, food trucks, beer and root beer on tap, and a whole lot of zombie-themed excitement. Don’t get caught dead missing out on the fun!

 

 

 

 

Hop on the Oregon Drive Less Challenge, October 1-15

PrintTune up your bike, lace your walking shoes, and grab your bus pass for RVTD’s annual Drive Less Challenge, October 1-15th! If you’re looking for a little extra motivation to try alternative transportation options around town, this week is full of prizes, events and contests to make the jump a little sweeter.

Participating is easy: register at drivelessconnect.com and start logging your trips every day. You’ll see your travel totals, arrange carpooling, and enter to win prizes. Trying to think of fun ways you can cruise around town? Hop on Medford’s Pint Rider and pedal around to breweries and bottle shops with 14 of your best friends. Just think, you can log miles and grab brews along the way!

Find new fresh-air travel routes for work and around town, and get your coworkers to log on, too, and earn your workplace status as a Regional Leader. Save yourself money and time while adding some fun and exercise to your routine, or hop on one of the fantastic RVTD busses and let someone else do the driving. Any which way you do it, have fun joining the masses of alternative transportation commuters in October, and logging all your efforts to see just how much you can save in money and CO2 emissions over two great weeks. Go forth, and ride!

Pints at the Peak: Pouring Beer at the SOB

This Saturday is the race day we’ve all been waiting for! Well, only if you’re a runner training for the Siskiyou Out Back. And if you are, we applaud you! Racers will line up this weekend to compete in the 15K, 50K or 50-mile annual SOB run beginning and ending at the Mt. Ashland lodge. This race fills up every year (that’s right, there are 175 people out there willing to run 50 miles!), and for a good reason. The views are stunning, the volunteers are wonderful, and the swag at the end is pretty great, too.

About the Race

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(photo: runoregonblog.com)

Starting at a cozy 6,500 feet altitude, this course meanders along the Pacific Crest Trail with views of Mt. Shasta and Mt. McLaughlin. Runners traverse single-track trails through wildflower meadows and mountain-top terrain, as well as unpaved roads with plenty of sunshine. It’s one of those races where you think to yourself “If I’m running today, this is where I want to be.”

About the Finish

2015 15K finishers

Our Common Block Team of finishers in 2015 (the baby didn’t actually run).

This is the good part! Because, let’s face it, we all love the races we’ve done after we finish them. After charging across the finish line, every racer gets their finisher’s medal, and the 50-mile racers grab their commemorative S.O.B. ceramic mug. Our Common Block comrades are pouring free beer outside the lodge for all the runners, alongside meals for purchase from the race organizers. If anyone deserves a cold beer in the sunshine this Saturday, it’s these racers.

So if you’re racing or supporting, we’ll see you there! If not, we recommend heading up the hill (that is, Mt. Ashland) to cheer on these awesome athletes as they cross the finish line. Runners will be coming in 11:00am (for the 15K) to 7:00pm, so there’s plenty of time to drive to the lodge and make the racers feel great with claps, cheers, and high fives all around. We’ll high five you, too.

Photo Recap: The Wild Rogue Relay

What do we do when we want a quick break from building Common Block day in and day out? Get a group of friends together and run 218 miles to the coast, duh. We survived/ran/loved/endured/pick-your-own-verb-ed the Wild Rogue Relay last weekend with our 12-person team touring lakes, vineyards, rivers, mountain passes, beaches and trails along the way. We even brought free beer and pint glasses along to pour for all the weary and awesome racers at the end, because no one earns their beer like Wild Rogue Relay racers!

So what does 33+ hours of running, sleep deprivation, and the intimate quarters of a shared van look like? Since we knew there’d be points of delirium and chaos along the way, we took a bunch of photos to remember the weekend. And what an awesome weekend it was! We witnessed lots of amazing team support (that’s you, Clown Punchers), great attitudes (you rocked, Suck It Up Princess), and some killer dance moves by a whole lot of racers.

Here’s our photo recap of the weekend, and a quick note from Team Runners’ Block to the amazing organizers, volunteers, and support staff of the Wild Rogue Relay: We can’t wait to race again next year!

 

Fill Your Calendar to the Brim at Medford Beer Week

Get ready for Medford’s big, annual craft beer showcase! Medford Beer Week, June 2-11, is a citywide celebration of the craft beer industry. Breweries, restaurants and bars all show their love and commitment to local beer, and the food and entertainment they serve alongside it. You’ll find tastings, tappings, tours and more all around town every day of Medford Beer Week. So much to do, and so little time to do it (dreamy sigh).

Medford Beer WeekWe’re celebrating with our own Meet-the-Brewer event on Friday, June 10th from 5-8pm. Our brewer, John, will be on hand to talk his favorite topic: beer. We’ll also show you around the building so you can get a sneak peek of Common Block before we open later this year. We’ll pull out some chairs, open the big garage doors, and hang out for a few hours of craft beer appreciation and conversation.

Visit the Medford Beer Week events page for over 100 happenings all throughout the week. Seriously, there are a handful of events every day, all day long. Brunch, happy hour, dinner and late night…establishments all around town have you covered with great craft brews, special deals, games and entertainment. Here are our top picks for the week:

  • Kegs and Eggs with Buttercloud Bakery and Oakshire Brewing @ Beerworks Medford | June 4th | 10am – 1pm

This 4th annual event features a special “Kegs and Eggs” sandwich along with tastings of the Oakshire Brewing Overcast Espresso Stout. It’s not too early for beer. It’s 10am somewhere…

  • Brews, Bluegrass, and BBQ | June 4th | 12pm – 8pm

Tap into the best of the Rogue Valley’s food, drink, and music at the 4th annual Brew, Bluegrass, and BBQ presented by THRIVE. Eight hours, five bands, and 26 Rogue Valley microbrews on tap! Admission includes commemorative pint glass and tasting tickets. Buy tickets online at www.roguebbb.org

  • Hops Painting Class @ BricktownE Brewing | June 7th | 6pm – 8pm

Spend a couple of hours creating a beautiful HOP painting. Sign-ups are at BricktownE, or Tia Mckenzie’s facebook page: tiamckenzieart. $30 includes supplies and instruction.

  • Movies in the Biergarden with Worthy Brewing | June 9th | 8pm

What’s better than watching The Goonies? Watching The Goonies under the stars with a delicious stein of Worthy beer in your hand! Kicking off a full summer of Thursday night movies at Schoolhaus Brewhaus with an all-time favorite. Get there early to get a seat.

  • Southern Oregon Craft Brew Festival | June 11th | 12pm – 8pm

With over 25 breweries showing off their best offerings (over 50 beers to sample), this event is a must-attend for Medford Beer Week. $16 gets you a commemorative pint glass and 5 tasting tickets. Pre-sale tickets available at Beerworks Medford and Beerworks Jacksonville for $14. 21+ only.

Mark your favorite events for this awesome Southern Oregon celebration and show your love of the local craft beer community. We’re thrilled to add to the amazing local variety later this year, and in the meantime we’ll join in drinking up all that our valley has to offer. It’ll take some commitment to try all this beer, but we’re oh-so willing to do it.

7 Things We Love About the Wild Rogue Relay

We’re mixing up brewery construction work with race training to ready ourselves for the Wild Rogue Relay, June 17-18th. Our team of 12 Common Blockers is running from Applegate Lake to Brookings, Oregon in this 36 leg, 30+ hour relay. It’ll be long, it’ll be challenging, and it’ll all be worth it for the beer a the end.

wrr1-291x300This annual race is about as good as it gets: dramatic scenery, great volunteers and support stations, enthusiastic teams, and a big, awesome party at the finish line on the coast. When we sit down and think about it (and we can’t sit long – we’re training, remember?), we can easily come up with our top seven reasons why we love the Wild Rogue Relay. Here are the highlights:

  1. The views – The scenery on this race is pretty unbeatable. Along the river and through the woods (with winery stops along the way), the relay winds along forest roads before popping out at the ocean in Gold Beach. Every leg has something different to offer, and each runner gets an amazing view at some point (or many points) during the race.
  2. Van artwork – Just give Wild Rogue Relayers some sleep deprivation and glass paint markers and watch their vans and trucks turn into pieces of art with team mottos, nicknames, and senseless sayings.
  3. Team support – What’s the best way to run six miles in the middle of nowhere? With a van of friends cheering you on, spraying you with water, and playing your favorite power songs.
  4. Dancing at the exchanges – Don’t pretend you didn’t do it. We saw you last year. Vans blast music, and runners start gettin’ down.
  5. IMG_2140Middle-of-the-night Dutch Bros. mochas – Thank goodness for Dutch Bros.! This main race sponsor posts up a middle-of-nowhere coffee stand in the woods and serves free beverages for racers. Hot chocolate at 1am never tasted so good.
  6. That one guy dressed as Fred Flintstone – Yeah, we remember you.
  7. Beer at the finish line – What’s a grueling, hot, 30+ hour race without a cold beer at the end? We’re sponsoring the event by serving beer at the finish line party at Azalea Park in Brookings, alongside Chetco Brewing. All runners get a free brew and race pint glass, because dang they’ll have earned it!

If you’re in Brookings that weekend, be sure to stop by and cheer in all the die-hard finishers. We’re Team Runners’ Block, and we’ll be the ones with shaky legs pouring brews. If we seem a little delirious, just give us gentle pats on the head and remind us what is was that you ordered.

PS. We survived! Check out shenanigans on our Wild Rogue Relay Photo Recap.

May is National Bike Month

Go By Bike Week starts today! Dust off your seat, pump up your tires and shine your helmet. Or, if you’re already an everyday kind of biker, just keep doing what you’re doing! During the week of May 16-20th, the Rogue Valley is celebrating the unique and fabulous benefits of biking with prize drawings, special events, and a Go By Bike Week Challenge.

Join us in upping our two-wheeled commutes for this awesome annual community event (seriously, we’re making each other bike to work). Channel your inner pedal-power and ride to these great happenings throughout the week:

 

go by bikeMonday – Bike Breakfast at Railroad Park in Ashland, 7-9am

Tuesday – Slow Roll Fun Ride at Medford Cycle Sport, 6pm

Wednesday – Bike & Lunch Greenway Ride at Hawthorne Park, 12pm

Thursday – Bike Safety for Adults + Bike Social at Jackson Creek Pizza, 5:30-7:30pm

Friday – Medford Bike Breakfast at City Hall, 7-9am

 

You can log your bike trips all week long and take part in the Challenge by signing up with Drive Less Connect. You’ll be able to track your trips (and savings), organize group rides, and enter to win some great prizes from Dutch Bros., Kaleidoscope and more.

Did you know it’s also the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) Bike More Challenge all month? Over 12,000 bikers from around Oregon have already signed up, and you can log your miles there, too, for extra prize-winning opportunities. We’ll admit it, we’re totally double dipping on trip logging. Two great challenges, one simple idea: get out there and bike more! It’s great for your physical heath, mental wellbeing, and the environment. And who doesn’t look great in tight-fitting cycle gear?! (rhetorical question.)

We’re looking forward to seeing y’all out on the bike path! If you snap photos of your journeys, you can use #GoRogueValley, #Bikemore, and #Bikemonth to get even more props from other bikers. And props from us. We’ll be pretty impressed.

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Raise Your Glass to American Craft Beer Week, May 16-22

ACBW16_4c_wdatesWhile many of us don’t need an excuse to revel in all the tasty wonder that is craft beer, a nationwide celebration certainly adds steam to our constantly growing love of great, local brews. Join breweries and beer enthusiasts around the U.S. in toasting our favorite beverage during American Craft Beer Week (ACBW), May 16th-22nd. This 11th annual, nation-wide festival brings the entire craft beer industry together with events, tours, pairings, specialty beers and more to honor the unique culture and community of American craft beer.

This year, the Brewers Association (aka, American Craft Beer Week coordinator extraordinaire) is dedicating a time for one and all to join together and collectively toast craft beer. Be sure to have a pint in hand for the nationwide toast at home or at your favorite local brewery, May 19th at 5pm (8pm ET). Around the country, brewers, homebrewers, beer geeks, and casual beer fans will raise up their glasses in support of the beverage we all enjoy. Brewnited we stand!

Looking for other events in your area? Visit the ACBW Events page and click on the map to find a growing selection of happenings in every state. In Oregon, you’ll find workshops, festivals, dinners and tap takeovers – pick your favorite event and jump on board.

Though we’re still working away to get our doors open and brew tanks pumping with craft brews, you can bet we’re taking a moment to toast the reasons we’re here: the beer, the food, the friends and the community. So join us, and the masses of beer lovers celebrating this big week for small breweries, and help make this year’s American Craft Beer Week one for the books. Cheers to American Craft Beer Week 2016, and all the people who keep us motivated to brew fresh, local, and original craft beer.