Here’s the official word from Cycle Oregon about their 2009 routes:
“The Mythical State of Jefferson” and “Cycle Oregon University”
Week Ride route crosses Southern Oregon and delves into Northern California; Weekend Ride will be based at Western Oregon University in Monmouth
PORTLAND, Ore. – Feb. 5, 2009 – Cycle Oregon announced at its annual Kickoff Party today the Week Ride and Weekend Ride routes for its annual bicycle tours of Oregon’s back roads and small communities: the mythical “State of Jefferson” for the 22nd version of the longer tour, and the area surrounding Monmouth for the weekend event.
In a multimedia presentation before more than 1,000 people at the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike campus outside Portland, ride founder Jonathan Nicholas announced the routes, along with the recipient of the Cycle Oregon Fund’s $50,000 Signature Grant for 2009 – Oregon’s Department of Parks and Recreation, for their continuing efforts to create an official network of State Scenic Bikeways.
The Week Ride route will explore an area informally known as the State of Jefferson, which encompasses multiple counties in Southern Oregon and Northern California. The area has a long history of iconoclasm, and briefly pressed the federal government for official statehood in the early 1940s before World War II redirected citizens’ attentions. The region, with its slogan of “The Mythical State of Jefferson,” still maintains a somewhat tongue-in-cheek separatism; the local NPR network is even called “Jefferson Public Radio.”
The Week Ride route will consist of a loop starting and ending in Medford, with stops in Yreka and Happy Camp in California, followed by Lake Selmac, Glendale and Grants Pass in Oregon. The route follows the national Jefferson Scenic Byway for parts of two days, and also spends significant time along Oregon’s Rogue River, a nationally designated Wild and Scenic River. Total mileage for the week will be 437 miles.
The Weekend Ride will explore the vineyards and fertile fields of the Willamette Valley and the rolling foothills of the Coast Range from a “base camp” at Western Oregon University in Monmouth. Riders will have the option of staying in WOU dormitory rooms or camping on the school grounds, and meals will be served in the campus cafeteria.
The family-friendly Weekend Ride, designed for all ages and riding capabilities, features multiple route options each day. The first day will venture north into wine country, with the longer routes stopping in Amity for lunch. The second-day routes head south and west, then loop east to the hamlet of Buena Vista, where riders can choose a to ride a historic ferry across the Willamette River before heading back to Monmouth.