(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
Those of you who’ve been around this site a while know that I’ve always been a huge fan of Cycle Oregon, a non-profit known mostly for their fully-supported week-long rides that venture into the most remote corners of our state.
Now I’m very excited to share that this year BikePortland is an official media partner.
That means from now through their big “Hell on Wheels” Week Ride in September, we’ll cover their work, their rides, and the impact of bicycling and bicycle tourism on rural Oregon. While most people think of Cycle Oregon merely as a super-posh, catered bike ride (which it certainly can be), the non-profit organization behind it has deep ties to the people and the host communities they work with.
Its charitable arm, the Cycle Oregon Fund, invests in small rural towns not simply as a thank-you for letting 2,500-plus people roll through or as a feel-good measure to soften the hearts of participants (although both of those are worthy reasons). They do it because the survival of rural Oregon and Cycle Oregon are inextricably linked.
Rural Oregon’s future is not stable or certain; but one thing that is certain is that without vibrant small towns connecting the dots of our state’s majestic countryside, Cycle Oregon — and the rest of our state’s growing bike tourism ecosystem — couldn’t exist.
Thanks to this partnership, I’ll be able to delve deeper into this issue during my trip to eastern Oregon later this year.
On that note, here’s a bit more of what we’ve got planned in the coming months:
- A contest where one lucky reader will win free passes to the Cycle Oregon Weekend Ride. Stay tuned for details on how to enter.
- Speaking of the contest… Have you ever discovered a place while on Cycle Oregon than return for a trip on your own? Be thinking about your experiences and get ready to share them with us. We’ll choose the best ones, pick a winner, and share the highlights here on the Front Page.
- We’ll take a closer look how the Weekend Ride has spurred interest in bicycling in Polk County and inspired new riders, women riders, and families to get hooked on cycling.
- With the busy event ride season around the corner, we’ll share a how-to guide on group riding etiquette.
- I’ll visit Wallowa and Union County to give you an in-depth look at the people and places behind the state’s most well-developed region for bicycle tourism.
Whether you’ve never heard of Cycle Oregon or you’re a veteran of one of their 27 annual rides, I hope you enjoy our coverage. Stay tuned!