Categories and About the Series


SO much fun traveling to great events in Oregon!

Remember all races have a hard effort to get through for 20 minutes or so. After that settle in with your new best friend! 

Have FUN!


The Oregon Off-road series combines the best of Oregon Mountain Bike Racing with 4 independent race directors combining efforts to bring racing to the Pacific Northwest! Since 2001 providing consistent categories, scoring, and fun for riders of all levels each spring to early summer.

Back in the day we used to have 17 races spanning the whole summer, but with the population of riders aging from 37 to 44 years old and so many commitments we have narrowed the series down to the Best 5-6 races to allow you to take off each summer and or go to that Midweek Short Track Race in PDX. We have more racing than ever statewide and the Oregon Off-Road Series plays an important role in the culture of cycling in Oregon!

Each venue features unique terrain, and fun with the amazing trails and landscapes of Oregon within a few hrs driving anyone can partake as long as they have a mountain bike, helmet and gear to protect them from the elements if it is cold or wet!

Categories 2020

Categories are listed below and offer a wide array of ways to participant in any of the series races. In order to be more inclusive for all ages and abilities we have added a few for 2020.

Each event may offer a unique age group inside of any Series category as long as it is clearly identified as a Non Series category

Series Champions in each of 29 categories will have a chance to win this jersey post-event from Pactimo if you race the 3 races required.

It’s easy, its fun, its the Oregon XC Series!

Check out More at Pactimo. 5 Minimum and super nice kits available. The best thing is if you order 5 mens you can order just 1 women’s. Ladies take notice!

Champion Jersey 2019

Categories 2019 (Categories that are in Bold text are eligible for the above Champion jersey post series)

Any rider may self-select any category except Elite and Junior Cat 2. Please request an upgrade to or for juniors please look at the OBRA Junior Racing page on this site to submit the google form. This form is looked at for overall dominance and experience to allow OBRA to upgrade from Cat 3 to Cat 2. For 2019 all Cat 2 Juniors will stage with the Cat 2 19-39 Men or 19-39 Women.

Mandatory upgrades will occur through Race #3 per OBRA rules of 5 top 3 finishes in full fields in a 12 month period, so if you are fast you may want to upgrade prior to being asked to. See Scoring tab for more info. If you did win your Category the previous year please upgrade! If you need to downgrade please e-mail me

Each race will issue a plate at each event in order to know who you are on course.

There are a lot of Categories?

  • Mountain bike categories in Oregon are self-selected besides Elite which requires an upgrade or prior USAC Pro License. You can request this upgrade to our local association OBRA but to the ELITE category. If you want a Pro license you can race at a USAC State or Regional race outside of Oregon and go for it! We love seeing riders succeed!
  • Faster adult racers should move up or start at Cat 2 (Sport) or Cat 1 (Expert) to prevent sandbagging and allow more space in the Cat 3 novice and Cat 2 sport fields.
  • This means go ahead and enter Cat 3 Novice, but if you ride alot, Cat 2 Sport is the best option to start out!
  • Please remember that if you are 50+ Men or 40+ Women you do not have to upgrade beyond Cat 2 (Sport) as we do not have any 50+  Cat 1 (expert) mens or Cat 1 (Expert) Womens  Categories. We have tried this and had low participation.
  • Juniors should begin by racing their age class and novice (cat 3); they can ‘race up’ but it’s best if they remain in their age category and Novice before moving to Expert Junior and a minimum age of 14
  • Special categories like Singlespeed, Clydesdale (200+ lbs)
  • SS Women will be offered at select events
  • Masters have many options and for most the Cat 2 (Sport) is where most end up if you self-identify as a person who typically does not “Race”

What Category am I?

  • If it’s your first race and you want to take it one step at a time, you’re in the “Novice” division or “Category 3” (Cat 3). These races take most people about an hour and are accessible to all abilities. Once you move up, you cannot downgrade unless you send a written request in.
  • If you’ve done several races or come in from racing in other sports or are a fit person, you can choose to race “Sport” (Cat 2). Equivalent categories may be Cyclocross B or Faster C Riders, or Road Category 4. These races vary from 1 to 3 hours (average 2 hours) and may include technical features and sustained climbs.
  • If you can ride anything and can go fast for over two hours, then try the “Expert” class (Cat 1). If you race cyclocross A or  place in the Top of the B field or road 1/2/3 then this may be your category or likely is.
  • If you are the previous years Champion in Novice (Cat 3) or Sport (Cat 2) and under 49 please move to the next ability level for the subsequent season.
  • OBRA Rules mandate 3 top 3’s in 15 person mens and 10 person women’s fields in a 12 month period to upgrade from Cat 3 (Novice) too  Cat 2 (Sport) and Sport to Cat 1 (Expert). Anyone 50 and over (Racing age as of 12/31/current year)  does not have to upgrade to elite and 50+ riders can stay in Cat 2 (Sport) per OBRA rules.
  • This also applies to Cat 2 (Sport)40+ Women even though a case could be made to bump that to 45 years old if OBRA was to change the rule. This allows for the competition to stay high and the field sizes to be at 20 or so per event and more in some cases.

60% of all racers are Cat 2 (Sport) and having fun on your bike is the name of the game. One other constant is there will always be that fast guy or fast girl, especially from other states or sports that will beat you or try to.

If you are only participating to win……well you better ride alot, if like me you want to be in the top half of your field and or just are out for a good time then you will be with 90% of all people who go to events.

From Lycra to Baggie Shorts to Jeans and a t-shirt….just remember to have a good helmet and good shoes and warm clothes when necessary.

Categories 17 longer course categories and 12 shorter loop categories

(29 Champion Categories, best 3 races count) Final race decides any tie….check out the scoring for more info!)

(Only Champions that race 3 or more times will be awarded a Champion Jersey)

1) Elite Men (requires an upgrade or prior approval from OBRA or a current USAC Pro License)

2) Cat 1 (Expert) Men 19-44

3) Cat 1 (Expert) Men 45+

4) Elite Women (requires an upgrade or prior approval from OBRA or a current USAC Pro License)

5) Cat 1 (Expert Women)

(The Above are Cash Purse Categories for the series races) SS may be included if they are included with the Elite wave or in some cases the fastest overall times count towards the cash purse)

6) Singlespeed Men  

7) Singlespeed Women


In most cases, all of the above will run on the longest course. In the Case of Bear Springs, this is the longest XC of the YEAR….Get some serious miles in if you are in the above categories 

8) Cat 2 14-18 Junior Men** Races on Cat 2 (Sport) Course with the Cat 2 (sport) Men 19-39 (Cat 2 Juniors require an upgrade approval)

9) Cat 2 (Sport) Men 19-39

10) Cat 2 (Sport) Men 40-49

11) Cat 2 (Sport) Men 50-59

12) Cat 2 (Sport) Men 60+

13) Clydesdale 200+ Men

14) Cat 2 14-18 Junior Women** Races on Cat 2 (Sport) Course with the Cat 2 Women 19-39 and require an upgrade approval.

15) Cat 2 (Sport) Women 19-39

16) Cat 2 (Sport) Women 40-49

17) Cat 2 (Sport) Women 50+ **

All of the Cat 2 (Sport) categories will race on the middle distance or longest with events with only 2 distances

18) Cat 3 (Novice) Men 19-39*

19) Cat 3 (Novice) Men 40-49*

20) Cat 3 (Novice) Men 50-59

21) Cat 3 (Novice) Men 60+

22) Cat 3 (Novice) Junior Men 10-13  

23) Cat 3 (Novice) Junior Men 14-18

24) Cat 3 (Novice) Women 19-39

25) Cat 3 (Novice) Women 40+*

26) Cat 3 (Novice) Women 50-59 

27) Cat 3 (Novice) Women 60+

28) Cat 3 (Novice) Junior Women 10-13 

29) Cat 3 (Novice) Junior Women 14-18

Please if you did win your category in Novice the previous year you need to upgrade or self-select Cat 2 Sport or Cat 1 Expert.

(junior Men and women overall in the above categories will be scored for the Oregon Off-road Champion Jersey sent in August)


**The Cat 2 Junior category 14-18 is not self-selected. This is because the courses are much longer and more remote. Also If you can’t fix your own flat you cant move up! This is for independent, faster kids who can be accountable on the course and race with the adults! 

All riders must request your upgrade from Mike Ripley 1 week at least prior to registering. A simple race resume with at least 3 wins from the previous year or previous year champion will be allowed to race in the Expert Junior category. Please know that the 20-mile courses are tough and require a good amount of training and independence while on course. We at the Oregon Off-road series do not want to limit your options but to only guide you to the best experience possible. Also the minimum age to race Expert Junior will be 14 years of age for 2015.

* Shorter course
Please do not race in different ability levels from race to race. If you start out and are over your head you can downgrade officially through OBRA and move to your appropriate ability. Participants can select any of the above abilities through Expert (Cat 1) without an official Upgrade from OBRA. Annual licenses are recommended and only 35.00 HERE but a one day license is fine for any category for 5.00 and or Junior Annuals are only 10.00!

 Typical Time or distance of each and definition

Elite……Super Fast requires an upgrade Time to win 1:45-2hrs +  depending on Distance verses Elevation
Cat 1 (Expert)
  • Fast and same long course staging with the Elites, People race this for either the distance or because they are fast, or like to be away from all the other groups behind them
Cat 2 (Sport) 
Time to win 1.5 hrs to 2.25 hrs depending on if this group races a lesser distance than the Elite/Expert (Cat 1) distance.
  • May race as the longest course at some venues but not quite ready to step up to the fastest group (Largest fields by far)
  • Most age groups are offered by the Oregon Off-Road Series in this intermediate field.
  • This is the typical distance for Clydesdales 200+ also and fat bike even though you can race in the Cat 1 (Expert) field on a Fat Bike.
  • This group at most events will have multiple wave starts to provide the best racing with Cat 2 (Sport) men40-49 being the largest
The top 3 in this Cat 2 (Sport) category would place top 10 in Cat 1 (Expert) for the Men
  • Cat 3 (Novice) Just starting out?
  • I like to race 1 hr to 1.5 hrs and am out for fun!
  • Juniors can race Expert Junior by requesting 1 week prior to the event through the event request form on the Junior racing page on this site or HERE


Please wear a helmet at all times while on your bike. This includes before and after Events. You can be DQ’d for not doing this. OBRA rules apply!

  • Please use toilets and do not urinate where others can see.
  • No bad language or attitude
  • Do not drop gel packs or anything on the course except for sweat.
  • Please pull over if vehicles are on the roads when warming up and remember that any course could have a vehicle on it so pay attention.
  • There is no insurance provided by OBRA if you crash. We will call the EMT or 911 in an emergency (let’s not have any accidents like that)
  • BE nice when passing slower riders, say—— coming by, track, when its safe, love ya —ect


The Series is part of the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association and sign up for your Membership early with OBRA for 35.00 for Adults and 10.00 for Juniors or pay 5.00 for a one day license to race.

Individual race Directors will be selling memberships at the races.  Each race will have 300-500+ Day of race plates for you and twist ties or zip ties. These plates you can keep and put on your garage wall, ect. Do not use these plates in any race other than the one you are racing. The Junior MTB Series will have special plates for the 5 race series inside of the Oregon Off-Road Series

Special note:

This is a great year to get more people and reach out to Juniors from across the state to join and learn from your Team in 2018

Have Fun be safe and I will see you soon on the trail

Mike Ripley
Oregon XC Series director

Please let us know if you have any feedback and feel free to contact me anytime at