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Five bike projects earn Travel Oregon grant awards

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Sandy Ridge loop-5
Tourism grants will help fund everything
from maps to a bike visitor center, to
new off-road cycling trails.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

In the latest sign that bike tourism is taking the state of Oregon by storm, a recent announcement of 11 grant awards from Travel Oregon (officially the Oregon Tourism Commission) worth a total of $120,000 included five bike projects.

From southern Oregon to the Columbia River Gorge, local governments, agencies, and non-profit groups are jumping on board the biking bandwagon and working hard to develop their natural assets into cycling destinations. This latest round of grants were aimed specifically at advancing projects that “improve local economies and communities by enhancing, expanding, and promoting Oregon’s travel and tourism industry.”

We asked Travel Oregon for details on all five bike projects. As you can see below, there are exciting things afoot for cycling all across the state!

Here are brief descriptions of the projects (taken directly from Travel Oregon grant applications):
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Virtual ‘bike travel agency’ hosts Portland party and seeks local bike wisdom

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
photo1
Bikabout.com founder Megan Ramey, left, with her family.
(Photo courtesy Ramey)

Partly inspired by a visit to Portland last year, a Massachusetts woman has launched “a free travel agency for bike travel” across the United States.

Bikabout.com founder Megan Ramey will host a party at Velo Cult in Portland next week to gather information on the city and invite contributors.

Ramey said in a phone interview Monday that she started referring to Portland as “Graceland” after a 2013 visit with her family. She, her beer-loving husband and their young daughter traveled the city with a copy of Hop in the Saddle, a locally written guide to enjoying Portland breweries by bicycle.

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Day 4 with Treo Bike Tours: A taste of gravel (and more)

Friday, July 18th, 2014
Treo Bike Ranch Day 4 - Hardman to Condon-21
It was finally time to hit the gravel. This is Courtney Martin and Jenn Dederich cresting a climb on Hale Ridge Road with the Blue Mountains in the background.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is our final post in a series on riding in eastern Oregon with the support of Treo Bike Tours. See the other posts here.

The group’s final day of riding in eastern Oregon was filled with mixed emotions. It was the first taste of gravel road riding for some people, it included a fast, curvy descent, and it’s conclusion meant a return to work, routines, and the end of a magical four days.
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Day 3 with Treo Bike Tours: Hardman to the Columbia River

Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Treo Bike Ranch trip day 3 - Hardman to Columbia River-38
Mike Bernard rides in the mirage just a few miles south of the Columbia River on Highway 74.

This is the third in a series of four posts on riding in eastern Oregon with the support of Treo Bike Tours. See the other posts here.
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Day 2: Riding the John Day River valley

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
Treo Bike Ranch trip Day 2 - John Day River Valley-36
This is how riding in the John Day River valley makes some people feel.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is the second in a series of four posts on riding in eastern Oregon with the support of Treo Bike Tours. Our journey began yesterday with a ride from Wasco to Condon highlighted by a stop at Cottonwood Canyon State Park.
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Exploring eastern Oregon by bike (and bus) with Treo Bike Tours

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
Treo Bike Ranch trip Day 1-12
The descent into Cottonwood Canyon State Park.
(Photos by Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

What’s better than riding the dreamy roads of eastern Oregon with a handful of good friends? How about door-to-door support for you and your entire group on board on air-conditioned shuttle bus that’s stocked with yummy drinks and snacks? Fortunately, as I found this past weekend, that’s no longer just a dream.
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In Cascade Locks, it’s all-hands-on-deck for bicycle tourism

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
Gorge Green Drinks event-3
Public employees, business owners, service providers, tourism officials, and biking advocates all came together for a networking event inside the pavilion at Marine Park in Cascade Locks last nights.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

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As bike tourism takes off in Oregon, so do transit options

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
For just $30 you can get 7 days of
bus service between Portland and several
destinations along the Oregon Coast.
(Photo: Tillamook Breeze)

As bike tourism matures throughout Oregon, its economic ripple effects are being felt in many interesting ways.

With more people seeking out the growing number of bike adventures being developed by both the public and private sector, transit providers are responding to meet a growing demand for car-free tourism. This demand is growing because for many people, having to drive a car to their riding destination is a major buzzkill, if not a deal-breaker altogether.

Fortunately, we’ve noticed a growing number of developments in bike/transit options that allow people to access destinations they could never (or don’t want to) reach by leg-power alone.
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Skamania County’s bike-friendly transit to the Gorge expands to weekends

Monday, April 28th, 2014
Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-71
Starting May 1, you’ll have transit access to
Cascade Locks seven days a week.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

As bike tourism booms in and around Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge areas, there’s a growing interest in transit service. With a reliable way to integrate transit into a bike trip, people can reach destinations that are further away and complete longer loops — all without the hassle and expense of using a car.

Earlier this year we reported on new bus service in Sandy that offers access to Timberline and other Mt. Hood destinations. Now a transit option on the Washington side of the river is set to expand, offering great promise for people looking to access the Gorge, Cascade Locks and more.
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Latest Travel Oregon vid shows power of bike tourism for rural communities

Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Riding the gravel roads of eastern Oregon.
(Still from video – Watch it below)

Remember last August when I had the very good fortune to sample the Treo Bike Ranch in eastern Oregon? I didn’t mention it at the time, but during that trip we were joined for one of the days by a professional film crew that was shooting for Travel Oregon.

It turns out our riding at Treo was just one of several pieces of an impressive new video just released by the statewide tourism agency. Communities Powered by Travel: Bicycle Tourism highlights several bike tourism success stories. It features business owners and community advocates that graduated from Travel Oregon’s Rural Tourism Studio training program which the agency says, “is designed to assist rural communities in sustainable tourism development.”
The three success stories in the video are Treo Bike Tours, the Old West Scenic Bikeway, and First City Cycles (based in Oregon City). Watch it below…
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