2021 With our railriding operations now under new ownerships we have shifted our focus to wheel sales, providing our one of kind sporty new aluminum wheels with a tough polyurethane rolling surface. Gone will be the days of derailing, the scary flexing of the wheels on tight corners, bent or broken spokes, and all the other headaches associated with poor quality wheels. Quality wheels are a must for your success.
2020 We divest. Joseph Branch Railriders was sold to our former manager. Robert Nichols and his wife Tia purchased the Eastern Oregon portion of the Railrider Cycling organization in January of 2020. Vance Creek Railriders, located near Shelton, Washington, is thriving very successfully under the new ownership of Doug and Cynthia Newman. Vance Creek Railriders ridership is soaring to new record levels. The Newman’s wanted a railriding business of their own. We helped them get started. Doug loves our new wheels.
2019 Oregon Coast Railriders with locations in Bay City and Wheeler Oregon was very disappointed with the new wheels that we had manufactured in 2019. The core and spokes flexed too much and some even broke. Derailments along the winding Nehalem River were an unacceptable situation for our business. With wheel issues becoming a major problem we started research and development of our new wheel design. Kim had the hard plastic wheel structure converted to ALUMINUM with a stainless-steel bushing. We definitely needed a product that was dependable, durable and available. It took some trial, error, and revamping to develop an outstanding wheel. The cost of the aluminum did bump the price of manufacturing significantly, but the quality and performance absolutely justify the price.
2018 New Railriding locations.. Vance Creek Railriders in Shelton, Washington: and the addition of the Wheeler, in Wheeler, Oregon, an extension of the Oregon Coast Railriders began service.
2017 Joseph Branch Railriders relocated its office to 501 W Alder Street, Joseph, Oregon. We left behind our umbrellas, lawn chairs, and table for small ticket office at our departure site along the railroad tracks. We hired Robert Nichols as our onsite Manager allowing us to focus on other parts of the the business, family, and expansion.
2016 A brand-new railriding location opened on the Oregon Coast in Bay City, Oregon. The Oregon Coast Railriders (Not currently operating) began offering 2 hour round trip tours between Bay City and Tillamook. Joseph Branch Railriders continued to be open five days to accommodate its growing popularity of its two route tour options.
2015 A grand opening organized by Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce was held on May 23, 2015, in Joseph, Oregon to celebrate, and launch a busy second season. We hired our first official employees. Our customers were coming from around the United States and aboard. WOW. Joseph Branch Railriders added a new day tour from Minam to Wallowa Oregon.
2014 Our dress rehearsal, work out the bugs, will anyone come, year.
Kim and Anita Metlen lifelong active cyclists, involved with the development of bicycle tourism in Northeast Oregon and across the state created a new business, Joseph Branch Railriders. They were leaders in the development and designation of the Grande Tour Scenic Bikeway, under a program of Travel Oregon and the Oregon Department of Parks & Recreation. The couple owned and operated Mountain Works Bicycles in La Grande for several years, before selling the shop to their daughter and her husband, Mavis, and Whitfield Hartz. Our first railrider was first tested on the rail line in the fall of 2013. After acquiring permission from the Wallowa Union Railroad Authority and setting up a base of operations in Joseph, the business began offering two hour(dress rehearsal) rides in May of 2014.
2013 Involvement with the Joseph Branch Rail with Trail Consortium, JBTC, a proposed multiple use rail WITH trail, demonstrated an overwhelming interest in pedaling the rails. After researching railrider type attractions in other parts of the world and discovering a workable railrider design, Joseph Branch Railriders was born. With help from local manufacturing companies, Kim Metlen modified, redesigned and fabricated the pedal powdered quadricycle rail unit. Our railrider prototype provided easy transportation for work teams to collect information, map, and conduct studies for the rail WITH trail concept development. Serious thought was invested in developing and testing railriders for commercial use. Below is a picture of our prototype railrider. Yes, the seats are modified dining chairs that were quite comfortable. Our granddaughter sat behind the seats on a cooler as we explored the rail and tested our craft. Fun times.