NWTA Board Bios – Owen Rodabaugh

Owen Rodabaugh joined the NWTA board in 2018 as our Stewardship Director. In 2019 he also became our Secretary and in 2020 became our Treasurer. One of the most important positions at NWTA! He’s the one that makes ideas become a reality. Born in outer NE Portland, Owen had a mountain bike as a teenager but didn’t start riding trails until 2008 at Brown’s Camp Loop. “I enjoy all sorts of trails, but the ones that leave me giddy are steep technical descents you feel glad to have survived.” Says Owen. We’re glad you survived it too, Owen.

You can reach Owen at [email protected]

How and when did you first get involved with NWTA (joined NWTA and became a board member)?

I first joined NWTA in 2009 around the time that Sandy Ridge was getting started but wasn’t super involved. In August 2018 I joined the board. I’d quit my job and had a summer off. I figured I could use something to keep me busy so I went on a brutal snow hike/ride at Falls Creek to meet some folks. It turned out to be a number of folks from the board and after helping out with things for a few months I joined the board.

Why did you join the NWTA board?

I love mountain biking and I wanted to give back. Getting involved was a great way to do that and also make friends to ride with.

What part of NWTA’s mission resonates with you? What are your plans to help move this forward?

Building and advocating for a new trail closer to home is what I am most interested in. I love a good backcountry ride but I really want to have fun local trails that I can ride after work without driving an hour to get to. 

When did you first start mountain biking/what was your first bike?

A friend at work invited me on a ride in 2008 at Brown’s Camp. I borrowed his hardtail, it was tought but so much fun. My first proper mountain bike that I rode trail with was a 2008 Trek Fuel EX.

What do you love about mountain biking?

The exertion, thrill, and focus that it brings. The feeling of progression, even after years and years of riding there is a ton to learn. It’s a great way to access the flow state. Staying fit is a nice side benefit.

Favorite place to ride?

Locally probably Falls Creek, though I ride Sandy Ridge a lot. Whistler is calling though, Lord of the Squirrels and Dark Crystal are all-time favorites.

Favorite tool to use on the trail?

The new mini-excavator has become my favorite over the last two months. For hand tools, the Rogue 80H hoe for sure. Though I recently picked up a  70AR “Travis tool” that is a great do it all.

What do you do during the day (that pays your bills)?

I’m a program manager at a software company.

What song do you listen to to get pumped up (for a ride or for a dig day)?

My tastes are all over the place, but punk rock helps get me going. Something like Pennywise – Can’t Believe It 

Why do you support NWTA? 

Local trail organizations like NWTA are key to legitimizing mountain biking as a responsible user group that deserves a voice at the table and access to public lands. I support that, so I support NWTA. It’s a long slog to get access but efforts that in some cases started a decade or more ago are starting to pay off. It’s a great time to be a mountain biker with more trails available in our area than ever and organizations like NWTA are one of the primary reasons why.

Anything else you want to share about yourself with our members? 

Get involved, it’s a lot of fun and you’ll meet some great people who share your passion.