'People spend more flying here and dining than they do at the events'

OAKRIDGE, Ore. -- Small towns in Oregon can attest to the boost to the local economy that mountain biking provides, but it wasn't until recently that people have looked into how big the impact is.

A study from Linfield College in McMinnville looked at the effects of mountain biking on Oregon's small towns.

The mountain biking trails near Oakridge bring in more cars, visitors, and money each year as tourists come to experience the technical terrain.

Eugene Cathcart of the Willamette Mountain Mercantile says that is in part because Oakridge is called the mountain biking capital of the northwest.

"There's more riding around the Oakridge area in one consolidated area than anywhere else in the Northwest," Cathcart said. "There's a lot more going on here now than there was a few years ago."

The study conducted by Linfield College found that one of Oakridge's bigger biking events brought $1.2 million last year.

Shawn Litson of the Eugene mountain biking club Disciples Of Dirt said the town has been a draw for bikers all across the globe.

"They fill up the motels, the come to the restaurants and they start spending money. A lot of people spend more money flying here and dining than they do on the events," said Litson.