Cycle Oregon 2011 Kickoff Party: Virgin Territory
For its 24th annual week-long tour, Cycle Oregon will feature all-new routes and host towns
PORTLAND, Ore. – Feb. 7, 2011 – Cycle Oregon has been touring the back roads and rural towns of Oregon since 1988. And yet, this year’s routes for the Week and Weekend rides are all new, covering stretches of roads the event has never traversed and staying in towns that have never hosted the pedaling hordes.
Event organizers will reveal the 2011 routes at Cycle Oregon’s annual Kickoff Party, Feb. 8 at the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike campus outside Portland. And then registration will open – prompting a rush for the allotted spots.
The yearly Kickoff Party has become the traditional method of announcing the Cycle Oregon routes, which change each year. This year the event will unveil the routes of both the Week Ride (Sept. 10-17) and the Weekend Ride (July 15-17). The choice of routes is a major point of speculation among the cycling community and is a closely held secret until the official announcement.
The party’s doors will open at 6 p.m., with the route announcements at 7 and registration available at 7:45 both in person and at www.cycleoregon.com. In 2010 the Week Ride, limited to around 2,200 riders based on route logistics, sold out in less than a week. The Weekend Ride, a three-day, family-friendly version of the longer tour, sold more than 1,750 spots.
Jonathan Nicholas, one of the event’s founders, will reveal the course routes in a multimedia presentation in front of an anticipated crowd of more than 1,000 people.
“One of the founding principles of Cycle Oregon is to bring our riders – from all over the state, the country and the world – to the wonderful small towns of Oregon, to bring some economic stimulation but also to show off the bounty of beauty and hospitality we enjoy here” Nicholas said. “We’ve been to more than 100 towns across the state over the years, and it’s really gratifying to be able to add an entire slate of new hosts for 2011.”
The updated Cycle Oregon Web site will go live at 7:45 p.m., the same time in-person registration opens. Because the events draw riders from across the U.S. and abroad – in 2010, 39 states and 10 foreign countries were represented at the Week Ride – simultaneous online registration gives everyone a chance to sign up before the events sell out.
Cycle Oregon’s 2010 events were among the most successful ever. The Week Ride was designed to converge on Pendleton during the 100th Anniversary of the Round-Up rodeo. The week’s route started in Elgin and went into southeast Washington – the first time in that state – before circling through Pendleton for a two-day layover and then back to Elgin. The Weekend Ride, a second year at “Cycle Oregon University,” was based in Monmouth on the campus of Western Oregon University.
Cycle Oregon was founded in 1987 to boost bicycle tourism and provide financial support for Oregon’s small rural communities. Each year the Cycle Oregon Fund supplies grants to support bicycling in Oregon as well as the communities through which it rides. The fund, which totals more than $1 million, typically donates $100,000 or more per year to projects around the state.