Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 8th, 2011 at 3:49 pm
The massive rolling spectacle that is Cycle Oregon embarks on it 24th annual journey this Sunday (9/11). For the first time since the inaugural running in 1988, the seven-day ride will spend multiple days on the beautiful Oregon coast.
About 2,200 riders will participate, along with a support crew that numbers well into the hundreds.
Back in February when the route was announced and registration opened up, the ride sold out in less than two days. To get an idea of why, here's the route description:
After leaving Sutherlin, the ride will head north along bucolic back roads to Cottage Grove on Day 1. On Day 2 the route veers west through Lorane and along the pristine Siuslaw and Smith Rivers to Reedsport. Day 3 heads south down the coast, diverting from Highway 101 to take in Charleston, Shore Acres State Park and Cape Arago before following Seven Devils Road to Bandon. A layover day in Bandon offers an optional ride down a peaceful stretch of 101 to picturesque Port Orford. The route heads inland through lush pastures to the forested beauty and isolation of Powers on Day 5, and then up and over the week’s major climb on Day 6 before descending to the thriving mill town of Riddle. On Day 7 the route winds through a verdant wine region before returning to Sutherlin.
Sounds fantastic doesn't it?
The best part is that Cycle Oregon is much more than just a ride. The event helps give an economic boost to the small towns it travels through (both in the form of direct investment from hungry and happy riders and in the form of payments by Cycle Oregon for hosting duties), and the non-profit behind the ride doles out over $100,000 a year to various projects and advocacy initiatives throughout the state.
I did Cycle Oregon in 2006, 2007, and 2009. I remember hauling my camera and lenses on my back during each day's ride and then scrambling around tiny towns looking for wi-fi connections to share photos and post stories. These days, Cycle Oregon has a "blogmobile" set up with computers and wi-fi... my how things change!
I won't be on the ride this year. How about you?