Yesterday in Salem at the Oregon Bike Summit, we got a sneak peek of the new “Ride Oregon” website. When it officially launches in mid-May, the site will allow visitors to learn about Oregon’s great rides, plan a trip of their own, find the best hotels, places for a post-ride meal, and more.
The site (URL yet to be announced) is funded by Travel Oregon and it’s being created by Substance, a creative design agency based on Portland. Travel Oregon put their support behind the site after hearing years of requests from communities and advocates around the state.
“We want to tell your stories to the world and this is where we’re going to do it.”
–David Lowe-Rogstad, Substance
David Lowe-Rogstad and Stephen Landau from Substance gave summit attendees a tour of the new site and pointed out several of its features.
Lowe-Rogstad said their mission in creating the site was to “sell the emotion of being here [Oregon] on a bicycle” and to “develop a tool to empower and inspire biking in Oregon”. The central theme they adhered to was “Celebrate the ride”. Lowe-Rogstad said that the site won’t try to do everything, but they hope it will be a central hub that can quickly point people to the information they need.
Among the many features the site will offer are:
- favorite ride lists that can be saved each time you visit the site;
- detailed searches for events, rides, accomodations, etc…, on a local, regional, or statewide level;
- view rides by difficulty, length, user ratings, and more;
- editorial articles, content and photographs;
- and quickly view restaurants, hotels, points of interest, and first aid locations on a Google-based map;
print ride details and maps for a cue sheet to take with you.
Other highlights include the ability to leave comments, and to create lists of contacts. The social media aspect is very interesting. On a ride detail page, you can add your profile to one of two lists: “I’ve done this ride” or “I want to do this ride.” Then, when several people want to do the ride, they have the ability to connect with each other (and could even do the ride together if the chemistry is right).
Travel Oregon’s Tourism Development & Sustainability Manager Kristin Dahl announced last night that they’ve already populated the site with about 70 routes throughout the state (they put out a call for submissions last month).
Lowe-Rogstad said they’re still in dire need of tips and submissions about all things bike in Oregon. “It’s a living beast,” he said, “when we launch, it’s just the beginning.” He also emphasized the tourism aspect of the site, saying, “We want to tell your stories to the world and this is where we’re going to do it.”
Stay tuned for an announcement of the the web address and official launch.