Posted by Will Vanlue (Contributor) on January 23rd, 2012 at 12:48 pm
Jerry Norquist addressed
volunteers and staff last night.
(Photos: Will Vanlue/BikePortland)
At the front of everyone's minds was Mark Bosworth, the Metro employee and Portland resident who disappeared from Riddle, Oregon in September of last year while volunteering on the week-long bike ride.
Each year hundreds of people volunteer for Cycle Oregon and most volunteers have worked together for many years. Their is a strong sense of community among them and for many, Bosworth's disappearance feels like losing a member of the family.
"2011 is not going to be done until, in our hearts, we know where Mark is and I know all of you are with him right now."
— Jerry Norquist, Cycle Oregon executive director
Jerry Norquist, Executive Director of Cycle Oregon, started the evening with words that echoed the thoughts of many people in the room.
"2011 is not going to be done until, in our hearts, we know where Mark is and I know all of you are with him right now. I want to thank all of you who came down to help search for him," he continued, "and I know we're all searching for him now."
Later in the evening, Cycle Oregon staff members honored volunteers who have been with the ride for over five years. Bosworth disappeared in the middle of his fifth year volunteering and the room fell silent when Ingrid Nylen, Cycle Oregon's volunteer coordinator, read his name on the list of people being recognized.
Although Bosworth remains missing, organizers of Cycle Oregon are doing their best to look to the future.
Cycle Oregon co-founder Jonathan Nicholas explained that Cycle Oregon's board of directors has started asking questions like, "What do we want to do with this event? What do we want to do with this brand? What do we want to do with the $1.5 million that we currently have in the [Cycle Oregon] fund?"
To help answer those questions the organization has elected five new members to their board of directors, more than any year past. Of the five new directors, four are women younger than thirty. Nicholas hopes their election will help Cycle Oregon "bring in the next generation of Oregonians and Oregon bicyclists."
Nicholas and others will be sharing more about the future of Cycle Oregon at a Kick-Off Party on February 7th at the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike campus. Doors for the event open at 6pm and registration for this year's ride begins online at 9pm.