Cycle Oregon Fund awards $95,000 in grants for bike racks, maps, trails, campsites and more

Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-36

One of the grants will fund new wayfinding signs along the Historic Columbia River Highway in the gorge.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

You might think of Cycle Oregon as that big ride that happens each fall. But did you know that proceeds from the annual ride are put into a fund that gives back to the communities it passes through?

Since 1996 the Cycle Oregon Fund has awarded 190 grants totaling $1.6 million. Earlier this week Cycle Oregon announced their list of community and safety/tourism grants for 2015 and they include awards for 11 projects worth $95,150. Nine of those grants are going to projects that will improve bicycle safety and tourism across the state. They include funds for bike trail and rack projects, improvements to the Historic Columbia River Highway, an advocacy program for women and cycling, and redevelopment aid for communities hit by last year’s forest fires.

Here’s the full list:

– Resurfacing of the oldest section of the Leo Adler path in Baker City, Oregon

La Grande to Baker City-30.jpg

The Leo Adler path in Baker City is right along the Powder River.

– Mountain-bike trail building in Anthony Lakes area near Union, Oregon

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The trails in Anthony Lakes are fantastic!

– Eastern Oregon bike maps highlighting best road, gravel, mountain biking

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The gravel roads on Zumwault Prarie outside Joseph are undiscovered gems.

– Bike-friendly-campsites development at Wallowa Lake State Park

Wallowa Lake Zumwalt Loop to La Grande-3.jpg

Wallowa Lake.


– New bike racks along the proposed Painted Hills Scenic Bikeway in Wheeler County

Treo Bike Ranch trip Day 2 - John Day River Valley-26

The small town of Spray is along the new Painted Hills Scenic Bikeway.

– Ongoing development of the multi-use Joseph Branch Trail along the historic railway between Elgin and Joseph, Oregon.

Wallowa Lake Zumwalt Loop to La Grande-32.jpg

The trail runs on the old railroad along Wallowa Lake Highway and Wallowa River.

– Women on Bikes Program in Portland to promote women and bicycling

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– Centennial banners along the Historic Columbia River Highway in support of its 100th anniversary

Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-40

It’s going to be a big year for the historic highway.

– Wayfinding signs along the Historic Columbia River Highway

Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-43

These projects were among 35 proposals that requested over $338,000. According to Cycle Oregon, the organization’s board and staff members gave extra consideration this funding round to communities in northeast Oregon that were impacted by the Halfway fire. Last year’s Week Ride was slated to overnight in Halfway and Wallowa Lake but was forced to turn around due to safety concerns related to the blaze.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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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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Todd Boulanger
Todd Boulanger
7 years ago

Cool! Thanks CO!

PS. If any future proposals for camping site (hiker biker) improvements are submitted, please consider those that add repair stands, food lockers in bear country, and hammock poles. 😉

7 years ago

Nice! But why way finding signs along the Columbia River Gorge? It’s one straight road!

I would prefer bike racks along the Gorge. There are dozens of waterfalls and trails to bike past, but no way yo safely lock up your bike to go check them out.

I mean, not that bicycle tourists who’d flown halfway across the States would care about that (sarcasm).

Rob Chapman
Rob Chapman
7 years ago

It’s nice to see Cycle Oregon spreading the love around the state. I’ll bet the small towns appreciate it (I sure appreciate the little towns of Central and Eastern Oregon).

7 years ago

The many times I have toured around the state, everyone I meet in the many small towns ask if I m on Cycle Oregon or apart of it in some way.

I started realizing that the Cycle Oregon group does a terrific job of presenting cyclists to the rest of the state in a pretty positive manner. They help bring a lot of money and awareness to the many wonderful towns that are great to ride through. Thanks Cycle Oregon!

7 years ago

Not directly related to this story’s subject, but I’m looking for some info about Cycle Oregon’s paid staff positions. Searched, and couldn’t find it on the nonprofit’s website. Also kind of searched the Oregon secretary of state’s site, but had some problems getting results there.

Personally, my feeling is that Cycle Oregon is a great event and a good organization. Somebody I was talking to yesterday about the organization, upon mention of the ride and the organization being nonprofit, launched into a big ‘corrupt nonprofits’ diatribe. You know…for example, certain charitable nonprofits whose executive directors are paid salaries whose amount seems contradictory to the mission the nonprofit claims dedication to.

I figure Cycle Oregon does have paid staff positions, but am inclined to doubt the amounts they’re paid is exorbitant. I’d kind of like to have some idea of what they’re paid, so the next time the subject comes up in conversation, I’ve got something solid to respond with.

By the way: the projects featured in this story, to which Cycle Oregon is returning to Oregon communities around the state, money brought in by people on the rides, look like good ones!

Mike Sanders
Mike Sanders
7 years ago

The Columbia River Hwy. Trail stands a good chance of being designated as a National Bike Route someday. Connecting it to the Springwater via the Gresham / Fairview Trail and Halsey St. should be a must. Extending the trail east to the Ontario / Vale area for connections to Boise and points east from there should be strongly considered.