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Alison Graves picked as new executive director of Cycle Oregon

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
Alison Graves-23
Alison Graves at the 2011
Oregon Active Transportation Summit.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Alison Graves is the new executive director of Cycle Oregon, the Portland-based non-profit organization known for its week-long bike ride.

Graves’ name is familiar to many in local bike advocacy circles given her seven year stint with the Community Cycling Center. Graves stepped down as the CCC’s executive director last March and she is also on the board of the League of American Bicyclists. In May 2013, Graves won an Alice Award from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance for her work in “ushering in a new way of thinking around equity and inclusion for the bicycle movement.” While at the CCC, Graves was best known for her strategic embrace of programs and outreach that sought to break down bicycling’s “color barrier”.

At the CCC, Graves led the organization on a mission to use bicycles as a tool of empowerment for people of color in under-served communities. While the public face of Cycle Oregon is nearly the exact opposite demographic, the lesser-known mission of the organization is actually quite similar. Cycle Oregon, like the CCC, uses bicycling to make a positive impact on people and their communities. In Cycle Oregon’s case, the people impacted are Oregon’s many rural residents who benefit from the ride’s economic boost and from community projects funded through the Cycle Oregon Fund. (more…)

Cycle Oregon announces three rides for 2014, including new event

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
A cinematic theme to this year’s ride.

Cycle Oregon made several big announcements at their annual Kickoff Party that was held at the Portland Art Museum tonight.

In addition to their 27th annual Week Ride and their newer, family-oriented, Weekend Ride, there’s a brand new event aimed at a much more exclusive audience. “CO3” — which will be held June 19th through 24th — is billed as an “intimate” event that will be a way to “take your level of support for Cycle Oregon and its philanthropy even higher”. The ride will be limited to just 30 people, who will pay $3,000 each to take part.

Here’s more about CO3 from Cycle Oregon:

“… you’ll enjoy an intimate, high-end tour at the same time! This ride takes the CO experience and intensifies it in three ways: deeper community connections and impacts; more challenging routes; and amenities like farm-to-table meals and deluxe lodging. And you’ll even help choose a project that Cycle Oregon will donate $30,000 toward – from the proceeds of this ride.”

(more…)

Cycle Oregon servers slammed, registration headaches ensue

Friday, February 8th, 2013
Register! Just not all at once.

The servers handling registration for the 2013 Cycle Oregon ride collapsed shortly after people started signing up on Wednesday. Now the organization is still digging out of the snafu and they hope to have everything cleaned up by Monday.

Cycle Oregon went to online-only registration in 2012 and people clamored to sign up. They filled a record 2,000 spots in just 31 minutes. With that in mind, people wanted to make sure they didn’t get left out. Cycle Oregon used a new registration vendor this year (PreRace.com), and it seems they couldn’t handle the ride’s popularity.

(more…)

Cycle Oregon 2013 route full of eastern Oregon treats

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

You know an event ride is a big deal when 1,000 people show up — for the route announcement. As per tradition last night at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Cycle Oregon unveiled their 2013 route with a full-blown party, expo, and all the fanfare we’ve come to expect from what many consider “The best bike ride in America.” The theme of this year’s ride is “Saddle Up.”

The 26th edition of the Cycle Oregon will head to eastern Oregon and will begin and end in the small town of John Day. Here’s more from a Cycle Oregon press release:

“Along the way riders will pedal through the Strawberry Mountains, bisect the Bear and Silvies valleys, cross one of the busiest avian flyways in the world at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and explore the western edge of The Great Basin… Besides John Day, the route includes overnight stays in Burns, Diamond, Crane and Seneca. Riders will have the option to ride a loop on Day 4 from Diamond south past Frenchglen and back, skirting Steens Mountain.”

(more…)

Watch the new Cycle Oregon documentary: ‘Beyond the Ride’

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Cycle Oregon has just posted a new documentary, Beyond the Ride, that chronicles the history and the power behind their annual week-long ride. The documentary was created by the biking film crew at Path Less Pedaled.

Watch the video below and learn how Cycle Oregon is far more than just a bike ride… (more…)

Go behind the “SAG” van at Cycle Oregon

Monday, October 1st, 2012
Cycle Oregon SAGs
Bart Simpson and a shark fin adorn
two SAG vans in Ashland, Oregon.
(Photos by Will Vanlue)

Last month I spent a week volunteering on Cycle Oregon in one of their SAG vans. I get a lot of questions about what exactly a “SAG” is and what we do to support the ride, so I figured I’d share a bit more about my experience.

Even some people who have ridden Cycle Oregon for years, who’ve been lucky enough to avoid mechanical programs and fatigue and so haven’t needed a ride, have asked me how the SAGs work. And while the logistical details are interesting, there’s a whole other reason why I choose to volunteer in a SAG van year after year.

First, a little background on SAG vans and Cycle Oregon. (more…)

Exploring Ashland during the Cycle Oregon layover

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
Turtle Time Glass
Inspired by Cycle Oregon’s visit, the
owner of Turtle Time Glass works
on a glass bike frame.
(Photos: Will Vanlue)

[BikePortland contributor Will Vanlue was a volunteer on the Cycle Oregon ride last week. This is his latest dispatch.]

Most days on Cycle Oregon riders travel from one community to another, spending just one evening in each town. But one day during each ride there’s a two-day layover that gives people a full day to explore the host community.

This year that layover day fell in Ashland, a town with vibrant and varied local businesses eager to welcome Cycle Oregon riders. Since many people chose to spend the whole day in Ashland, fewer people were out on course and fewer volunteers were needed to support them. That gave me a chance to explore a bit on my own.
(more…)

ODOT, State Police go extra mile for safety on Cycle Oregon

Friday, September 14th, 2012

[BikePortland contributor Will Vanlue is on the Cycle Oregon ride this week. This is his latest dispatch.]

Plenty of cones help keep
things safe as Cycle Oregon riders
roll down Highway 97.
(Photos by Will Vanlue)

Cycle Oregon’s mission of helping the economies of Oregon’s rural communities keeps the route, for the most part, on quiet back roads with little motor vehicle traffic. However, there are occasions when there is only one road leading between communities giving people no other choice than to share the road with a large volume of motor vehicles.

There was one such situation this year when the route turned on to Highway 97, a major north-south corridor between Oregon and California, which regularly has traffic traveling in excess of 65 MPH.

Normally it’s a harrowing stretch to ride on a bicycle but for a few hours during the ride the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Oregon State Police were able to turn it into a safe, pleasant, and -by some estimations- fun place for people to travel on bicycles.
(more…)

Bly’s Bikes welcome Cycle Oregon

Sunday, September 9th, 2012
Bikes in Bly
One of the many bikes rolled out by residents of Bly, Oregon
to welcome Cycle Oregon riders. The 25th anniversary of the ride starts today.
(Photos by Will Vanlue)

(more…)

Cycle Oregon announces 2012 routes, grant for coastal trail plan

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
Riders gather in the Tiger Woods Center
before the route announcement.
(Photo: Will Vanlue/BikePortland)

This evening a group of roughly 700 people joined Cycle Oregon staff and volunteers at the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike campus in Beaverton to hear where the two Cycle Oregon rides are headed in 2012.

Everyone was excited to hear this year’s routes (for both the weekend and week rides) but the real surprise was an announcement by Cycle Oregon co-founder Jonathan Nicholas about a really big idea the organization has been working on.

(more…)

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