Travel Oregon needs your help on upcoming bike website

new bike website from Travel Oregon-1

Photo from a presentation
about the upcoming website.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Travel Oregon wants to make biking a larger part of Oregon’s $1 billion annual tourism market. At the front of that effort is a new website they hope will become an invaluable resource for Oregon biking information.

Back in December I shared their plans to invest in a major new website to promote their “Bike Oregon” campaign.

That effort is moving along quickly, with a beta launch of the site on schedule to happen at the Oregon Bike Summit on April 21st in Salem. I’ve been sitting in as an advisor on this project and I have to say I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

The design and coding work is being done by Southeast Portland-based firm Substance. Substance, working in partnership with Travel Oregon and bike leaders and advocates, hopes the new site (domain name is yet to be finalized) becomes “a comprehensive website for cycling in Oregon”. The idea is to provide easily accessible information on the best routes, paths, trails, events and travel resources throughout the state.

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To create that resource, Travel Oregon and Substance have put out a call for help. They’ve created an online survey to get leads on great content (deadline to fill out the survey is April 1st), so make sure you share your favorite bike-friendly towns, hotels, events, businesses, and routes.

In addition to resources, the new site will allow visitors and contributors to create profiles and send messages to each other to learn more about recommended routes, amenities, etc… There will also be some editorial content.

To help populate this new site with content, take the online survey. Stay tuned for more updates. I’ll be reporting from the Oregon Bike Summit and will do a follow-up story once the site is launched.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

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 maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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T Williams
T Williams
14 years ago

I’m curious to learn how many folks complete the survey. That’s something I admire in you Mr. Maus: you’re an optimist. The way I see it, similar with other recent bike-centric efforts, Travel Oregon is looking to cash in on the explosion of bike popularity – and quickly.

That attempt at cashing-in is to be expected. The problem, in my opinion, is that just because someone builds it, doesn’t mean they will (or should) come.

After poking around Travel Oregon’s site, I came away with the feeling that the site portrays people who live here as novelties.

Travel Oregon wants a substantial, relevant website virtually overnight. This rarely happens. bikeportland.org took years and tons of hard work for it to hit the stride it is running now.

As reported in your December article, Travel Oregon has invested a substantial amount of money in this project. Trying to make money off the backs of Oregonians, and especially when the only return on our work (work through completing a survey) will be more tourists in our favorite spots, is historically doomed.

carlos
carlos
14 years ago

Will bike oregon give me a discount on their yearly ride if I complete their survey? Everybody wants content but they don’t want to pay for it.

PdxMark
PdxMark
14 years ago

I have to differ with T Williams’ dark view of bicycle tourism in Oregon.

First, Travel Oregon is basically the state office promoting tourism in Oregon. Travel Oregon doesn’t “make money off the backs of Oregonians,” but rather tries to get people to come or travel in Oregon so the people who work in tourism make money. In some parts of Oregon, particularly some where logging used to be the mainstay, tourism is an increasingly important part of the economy, and bicycling in some of those places is very, very nice. Suggesting that people should maybe NOT come to visit those places is, well, perplexing.

Bikeportland.org took a couple years to get going because it was the work of one, hard-working, likely under-funded person. Travel Oregon has financial resources and information resources and support from a range of other organizations to build a first-rate site that fills a niche that is currently NOT being filled. Providing information that allows cyclists to visit different, and sometimes remote, areas of the state to spend time and money while riding their bikes on typically very, very quiet roads doesn’t seem to have any of the sinister implications being suggested. This seems like a very positive development in that the more small local areas benefit from bike-based tourism, the wider the support will be for bike-based thinking on a statewide basis.

I think this the Travel Oregon site is a very good development for bicycling, for people who like to ride their bikes, and for various local communities that would benefit from having more visitors.

PdxMark
PdxMark
14 years ago

Carlos:

I’m not sure who “bike oregon” is. Travel Oregon is neither the Oregon Bike Ride nor Cycle Oregon, which are two entities closest in name to “bike oregon.” Travel Oregon doesn’t have an annual bike ride to discount for you. It looks like the fabulous, secret bike routes or trails, or other secret bike information that you have are safe from public disclosure.

PS Since information should apparently always be paid for, I hope you’ve been keeping up to date on your bikeportland.org subscription.

Kristin Dahl
14 years ago

Hi —

Just so you know, Travel Oregon has stepped up to the plate after eight years of the cycling recreation and tourism community asking for a website for biking information in Oregon. There is quite a long history that extends far beyond what you’ll read on any of Jonathan’s postings. We’ve been working over the past year to develop the site in concert with a number of partners in the community including Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Cycle Oregon, the Bike Gallery, ODOT, OPRD, City of Portland Transportation Options, OBRA, BikePortland.org, IMBA, and Substance. While Travel Oregon is making the investment, we are not considering this ‘our’ site. This is a site that emerged from the biking community and will serve as a resource for the community from the moment it launches.

At last year’s Oregon Bike Summit, a break out group on recreation and tourism involving 50+ folks from around the state created a set of priorities of what they felt would help foster bike recreation development in the state. Having one comprehensive bike website for our state was what emerged as the top priority and we committed to making progress on that priority by the next bike Summit. I think you can find another article by Jonathan on this site that well help shed some more light on this.

We’ve also been convening the Oregon Bike Tourism Partnership (a group consisting of 130+ organizations across the state) for the past 5 years, and once again, the creation of a website was something identified as a top priority early on by this group.

I hope some of the cycling community in Portland will see this as a positive resource where you can find information about what bus lines have bike racks to get you out of the city and cool places to eat and drink a frosty beverage along your two-wheel journey. I just learned from a fellow today in Gold Beach (Oregon’s south coast) that he’s building four hostel rooms at the Oregon Trail Lodge specifically for long-haul cyclists along the coast. We took a look at the Hawthorne Hostel pricing and realized that the Portland hostels offer a discount for long-haul cyclists – he will likely do the same. Oakridge recently opened a new public ale house and brewery – Brewers Union Local 180 – where you can quench your thirst at the end of a long, full day of single track. If you’re nice, they might even give your dog a plate of sausages.

Travel Oregon (aka the Oregon Tourism Commission) does promote travel throughout the state. The statutory mission of OTC is to, “encourage economic growth and to enhance the quality of life in Oregon through a strengthened economic impact of tourism throughout the state.” The majority of tourists in Oregon come from the region – meaning from Oregon, WA, ID and N. California. A visitor technically defined is anyone who travels more than 50 miles from home. The website will be for Oregonians who want to get out and explore the state as much as it will be for our neighbors who want to come share the love. I’m not sure how far you ride your bike or how much you get out of the city, but if you ride in the Hood River area or out at the coast – you’re considered a tourist. Headed to the Cyclocross competition in Bend? You’re considered a tourist, by definition.

In a time when it seems that one out of five are unemployed, I, like Jonathan, am optimistic that this resource will provide positive benefit for both the small business owners around the state who are trying to make it in this emerging sector — retail shops, B&Bs, hostels, breweries, tour companies, event producers, etc — and the people who like to venture out beyond their daily routine on two wheels.

Thanks and keep the love coming — we need every ounce we can get.
Cheers,

Kristin Dahl
Tourism Development & Sustainability Manager
Travel Oregon
503-378-2102
Kristin.com

PdxMark
14 years ago

Carlos:

I’m not sure who “bike oregon” is. Travel Oregon is neither the Oregon Bike Ride nor Cycle Oregon, which are two entities closest in name to “bike oregon.” Travel Oregon doesn’t have an annual bike ride to discount for you. It looks like the fabulous, secret bike routes or trails, or other secret bike information that you have are safe from public disclosure.

PS Since information should apparently always be paid for, I hope you’ve been keeping up to date on your bikeportland.org subscription.
P.S.: Forgot to mention good post!

Mark Riskedahl
Mark Riskedahl
14 years ago

I just want to second the bikeportland.org subscription comment by PdxMark above.

Jonathan and an increasingly active pool of other content contributors provide an amazing resource to bikers local and otherwise with their tireless work on this blog day in and day out.

Please consider donating today if you haven’t done so recently.

She
She
14 years ago

I differ from Carlos in that I do not think that all information should be paid for, however I think that calling this a “survey” is misleading. I went to click on it expecting a list of questions. It really is a call for submission of website content. I did not have a route/place in mind and thought I would answer questions to contribute. I will think of possible contributions and possibly go back before April fools day however, I just think calling it a survey is inaccurate.

I still think the information in the article is great and appreciate Jonathan sharing it with us.

K'Tesh
K'Tesh
14 years ago

I hope that Travel Oregon, and/or Bike Oregon will make a public stand against that bike registration fee that has been proposed. If it *was* to go through, we’d need to find another slogan.

Oregon, where you have to prove that you don’t live here to ride a bike.

Kristin Dahl
14 years ago

She — good call, you’re right! Its not a survey. What would you call it…? A ‘form to suggest content’ I suppose would be more accurate. Just wordy. Anyway, you get the gist. We’re not trying to fool you to get content, the idea is to get the best insider advice from the folks who know their stuff best. Only suggest something if you have something you’d like to share with other bikers.

K’Tesh — what’s the bill #? That would be a terrible slogan…

Kristin

Evan Ross
14 years ago

As a local -bike related- small business owner, I appreciate Travel Oregon and the resources they provide to both visitors, and recent transplants that are keen enough to use their site. I started Portland Bicycle Tours about two years ago and have been looking for free listings/ marketing ever since because I don’t have a marketing budget. It is hard for low income start up businesses to pay the $400 needed (annually) to even get your name on the Travel Portland website. In the past 4 months, 4 other bicycle tours and rentals businesses have moved to town and they all have more funds than I do, and are threatening to shut me down with fancy websites and new waterfront locations. Grassroots community resources are what makes Oregon special. Thank you Kristin and thank you Travel Oregon.

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

Travel Oregon is the Oregon Tourism Dept.
They are not a business or event.
The Oregon Bike Tourism group of which I am a member has been around for many years, so we are not a fly by night, make a quick buck group. We spent years trying to get funding for this website to benefit not just tourist but Oregon riders too.
I have been putting on bike events for 12 years in Oregon and Travel Oregon has been a big help. All of us are bike tourist once we leave our home town. I want people to know where to ride, eat,and stay when they visit Oakridge to mountain bike and also I want to know the same information when I travel to ride my bike. With these tough times more and more of us will take our bike trips, vacations what ever you want to call them with in Oregon. It will be great to have a resource to help us with these trips.

Randy Dreiling
14 years ago

Sorry I forgot to sign my last post on March 18. I have promoted many mountain bike races and now promote Mt Bike Oregon.
Also I meant to note that Cycle Oregon is a non profit most of the money raised goes into charity and Jerry the leader of Cycle Oregon is an amazing man that does a lot for cycling in Oregon. No hidden agenda here some of us just love our state and cycling.