Posted by Will Vanlue (Contributor) on January 31st, 2012 at 10:22 am
sign-up table at the 2008
route announcement party.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)
In the past, the route announcement was followed by a crush of eager Cycle Oregon fans signing up at the event. But this year, organizers won't allow those sign-ups. Instead they've opted for an online-only system to make grabbing a slot on the legendary event a bit more fair.
Last year's week-long ride sold out just two days after the kick-off party, and with this year being the 25th annual edition, organizers anticipate record interest. To help level the sign-up playing field, registration for this year's ride will begin on the Cycle Oregon website at 9:00 pm (PST) on February 7th.
With no registration at the kick-off party, will everyone stay home to be at their computers when registration opens? And will Cycle Oregon's website be able to handle the volume of traffic expected at 9pm on the 7th?
When I asked Cycle Oregon's Ingrid Nylen about the kick-off party, she said getting home afterwards should be no problem. "We’ve built in enough time for people to come and see the route announcement live and get home before 9 p.m."
Nylen also said this year they'll have video of the kick-off party streaming live online. Another first for Cycle Oregon, Nylen isn't sure how the live video stream will affect attendance at the kick-off but she sees it as a positive either way, saying it "allows more people to see the announcement, which is fun."
As far as their website is concerned, Cycle Oregon told past years' participants, in an email earlier this month, they're taking steps to make sure this year's registration goes smoothly.
"...both our website host and the company that hosts our registration system are well aware of the demand that will be placed on the system when registration opens, and they will be ready. They both are used to handling much bigger events and capacity needs (our registration host handles Bike New York, which sold out 24,000 spots in less than 24 hours; we're pretty small in comparison)."
If you want to find out where this year's week and weekend rides will be held, come to the Tiger Woods Center on February 7th.
Doors open at 6pm, the announcement starts at 7pm, and the kick-off will be finished by 7:45pm to give everyone enough time to get home before registration begins at 9pm at CycleOregon.com.