Cycle Oregon unveils route at kickoff party

Cycle Oregon party

[Art meets sport]

It was fitting that the Cycle Oregon crew unveiled the 2006 route at a classy place like the Portland Art Museum. I’ve never seen such a big hoopla just to announce a ride. It was really impressive.

From the covered and guarded bike parking to the 20 or so smiling, official-T-shirt-clad volunteers who greeted me before I even hit the lobby. If this is how they run their ride, sign me up. Once inside, I saw white linen cloaked tables, bottles of wine, and hundreds of smiling, beautiful baby boomers wearing everything from sport coats to spandex…and this was just the pre-party!

Cycle Oregon party

[Registration was buzzing]

I was soon ushered upstairs for the main event of the night; a slide show and presentation by Oregonian columnist and Cycle Oregon President Jonathan Nicholas. The room was set up for a presidential speech and it was packed with people. I snapped a few photos of the crowd and then found a good aisle seat (thanks Jim!). The lights dimmed, the spotlight came on, and out walked Jonathan Nicholas amid anxious applause.

His presentation went through the entire week of Cycle Oregon, telling stories of small towns along the route and sharing daily ride stats. The crowd was loving it. People would buzz and cheer each time a new day’s elevation profile was unveiled.

During his talk, Jonathan mentioned a lady that had flown in from Boston just for this party! I tracked her down and found out her name is Valenda Applegarth. Valenda came to her first Cycle Oregon back in 2003 by herself. She said she now knows “dozens of people” and adds “I’m so excited I can hardly sit down. This kick-off gets me motivated to start training and it’s what gets me through the Northeast winter.”

I also talked with Dave Van Gundy. I met Dave on a recumbent ride a few weeks ago and barely recognized him without his sock on. Dave is a Cycle Oregon veteran and has met so many friends on the ride he formed Team Bag Balm. He says, “it’s such a great ride because it really is a community of people.”

We also learned that the new Cycle Oregon jersey was designed by Nike’s Tinker Hatfield. Tinker is an avid cyclist and the man behind the Air Jordan. The design (sorry no photo yet) is very subdued and features a dark blue ring of trees along the bottom and a blue sky on the top. “Cycle Oregon” is written in a vintage script on the front and the back has a reflective full-moon graphic.

One last tidbit is that I noticed what looks to be a new logo from one of Cycle Oregon’s main sponsors, the Bike Gallery.

I’m hoping to go on the ride this year and do some blogging from the road. Stay tuned.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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john bloss
john bloss
18 years ago

Jonathan, Nice report and you will enjoy the ride and volunteer support on CO, of that I am certain. I’ve been volunteering for three straight years and hope to make it a fourth this year.

JB, BTA board member & CO volunteer

18 years ago

If you change the name to Oregon Rides it will be OR, nno CO or Colorado. 🙂