Cycle Oregon puts ‘Weekender’ event on hold

Posted by on January 4th, 2019 at 9:41 am


*Photos of 2017 Weekender event in McMinnville by Jonathan Maus/BikePortland

2019 C.O. Dates

Mark your calendars, and start training!

  • Kickoff Party – 1/30
  • Gravel – 5/17 ~ 5/19
  • Joyride – 6/22
  • Classic – 9/7 ~ 9/14

In its 32nd year of existence, the venerable Cycle Oregon is evolving once again. In recent years, the nonprofit known for its week-long “Classic” ride, has added women-only and gravel events to broaden its appeal and accessibility.

Now Cycle Oregon has decided to put their popular Weekender event on hold. Here’s what CO Executive Director Steve Schulz shared with us about it in an email this morning:

“WEEKENDER has been a Cycle Oregon staple since 2004, hosting the event for tens of thousands of cyclists over the years all throughout the Willamette Valley. Offering daily routes for every level of cyclist, it’s been home to every age group and ability, providing activities and amenities for both young and old, and it’s important to us to continue to offer an event for such a broad audience.

However, over the last number of years attendance of the WEEKENDER has decreased annually. Accordingly, Cycle Oregon has decided to re-examine the event and its operational model. We want to create a way to incorporate some of the ideas its long-time riders have provided, strengthen the event from all angles, and bring it back positioned for the next decade. The format of an all levels inclusive event won’t be changing; this is one of the finest parts of this Cycle Oregon offering and something we’re very proud of. We look forward to bringing WEEKENDER back to the Cycle Oregon line of events in the future.

Advertisement

The Weekender is a great event that offers much of the appeal of the Classic ride but in a form that makes it more accessible to families and people who can’t block out a week in September and/or can’t afford the registration fee ($999). In 2015 we noted how it was one of the very few major organized bike rides where women outnumbered the men. Originally conceived as a family-oriented event, in past years it’s also become a perfect place to hang out for a few days with your riding buddies.

In other Cycle Oregon news, the big 2019 route unveiling and kickoff party is January 30th at the Portland Art Museum. The first 500 people in the door will get the honor of early registration and be entered into the drawing for a “Golden Ticket” — an all-access free pass to the 2019 Classic Ride.

And if you’re looking forward to Cycle Oregon’s Gravel or Joyride events, mark your calendars for May 17th-19th and June 22nd respectively. This year’s Classic will run from September 7th to 14th.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

20 Comments
  • Avatar
    Middle of The Road Guy January 4, 2019 at 9:43 am

    JM, Shouldn’t the 9/7-9/14 (in the bullet point list) be the Classic?

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Avatar
    John January 4, 2019 at 9:55 am

    Well, this year was going to be the year I was going to try Cycle Oregon for the first time. I guess they are no longer welcomeing to men who can’t ride for a week straight and need something more low-key.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Avatar
      John Lascurettes January 4, 2019 at 10:16 am

      Did you read the article?

      Recommended Thumb up 8

      • Avatar
        John Lascurettes January 4, 2019 at 12:40 pm

        “on hold” ≠ “never again”

        Their intention is to have it again in 2020.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Avatar
      Dan A January 4, 2019 at 10:56 am

      There are tons of low-key organized rides in Oregon. The Tour De Lane is 3 days of riding.

      http://www.bikeacentury.com/oregon/

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • Avatar
        Johnny Bye Carter January 4, 2019 at 3:33 pm

        Thinking that a 3 day century is a low key ride is why we don’t have any actual low key rides offered by any major cycling groups.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Avatar
          Jered Bogli January 6, 2019 at 12:13 pm

          Did you read the description of tour de lane? 30-40 miles a day is pretty darn causal and the last day seems to indicate more chill town style rides will happen as well + there was a note about alt. route on the bridge ride to shave some miles.

          Inclusive vs. Exclusive… A ride or event can be inclusive but not something you have the prerequisites to do. That doesn’t make it exclusive. Not having the base level of fitness to ride 100 miles over 3 days doesn’t make the event exclusive, it simply means you need to train a bit for it, accept a little bit of type 2 fun or lastly, not ride the last day of the event (I’ve done this at a few mult-day bike events…).

          Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Avatar
    Johnny Bye Carter January 4, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Cycle Oregon has never been an inclusive group to me. Like all cycling groups it’s a spandex club. Sure, the easy weekender ride is within my capabilities , and maybe even my kid’s. It’s not within my wife’s. (according to their 2018 data) No other ride was within my comfort zone. And I’m not driving a car over 100 miles to ride a bike under 20 miles. Why would I go so far away when I could just ride across town and back? I wouldn’t.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Avatar
      B. Carfree January 4, 2019 at 6:40 pm

      I am confused as to what makes CO seem uninclusive to you. If the fact that many riders wear lycra is what makes it not inclusive, that’s a bit like saying a beach isn’t inclusive because many of the people go barefoot or wear sandals. Sometimes clothing, or lack thereof, is a functional choice.

      Is it the distance? The days seem to be on the order of 50-60 miles with as little elevation change as possible, so someone who rides along at 8 mph would comfortably finish the ride each day.

      While I don’t actually do the CO ride, I have encountered it several times while out on my normal joy rides. The riders are always super pleasant, nice and inclusive. I think anyone would be hard-pressed to put together a nicer crowd of people. I’m generally a real cynic and grouch, but I simply cannot say anything negative about Cycle Oregon, which is a darned ringing endorsement.

      Recommended Thumb up 12

    • Avatar
      Pat Lowell January 5, 2019 at 2:24 pm

      Cycle Oregon isn’t supposed to be inclusive. The whole point of putting so much time and effort into organizing an event of this scale is to give people the opportunity to do an epic ride that they couldn’t/wouldn’t be able to do on their own.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Avatar
      Matt S. January 6, 2019 at 11:46 am

      Your comment here and elsewhere (Portland Wheelman article) suggests that maybe your better just riding by yourself. It doesn’t cost anything, you can ride your own pace, and no one bothers you. It’s inclusive because you’re always invited to the ride regardless of when, where, and how long…

      Recommended Thumb up 10

      • Avatar
        Matt S. January 6, 2019 at 11:48 am

        Your typo = you’re

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Jered Bogli January 6, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      This spandex issue is odd. If you were wrestling Sumo you would wear the uniform, if you were playing baseball, soccer or football you’re dress appropriately, if you were golfing you’d wear some khakis and a shirt with a collar, if you were driving a race car you’re wear a nomex suit. I put on spandex on rides that are more than 20 miles or last more than an hour without stopping – I’m not going to pub crawl in spandex or run errands all over town, but if I’m going out to pedal a bike for a prolonged period of time I’m wearing spandex because it is way more comfortable.

      I’m guessing there are not many organized rides that are under 30 miles because the cost of putting on the event doesn’t pencil out. most people willing to pay money to ride a bike (which is silly to begin with) want to push themselves and I’m guessing there are not enough people who would pay for a 20 miler, BUT if you can do 20 you can easily do 30 miles and could get through 40 miles comfortably if you rode a couple 30 milers beforehand.

      Johnny I may have found your solution. Granted you have to wait till next fall. You should race the weekday CX series. If you are west side race alpenrose, if you are east side race trophy cup. It is perfect, you pedal to and from the event, you can wear whatever you want (though there is a majority spandex) total race time is 45 minutes and the distance will be 5-10 miles depending on how hard you push, you can race beginner/cat 5 which is pretty casual, or just race single speed and don’t worry about anything. Lastly, the weekly CX series are super friendly, supportive and inclusive. I’m actually being serious, the two weekly series are amazing!

      Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Avatar
      Middle of the Road Guy January 6, 2019 at 10:10 pm

      So you’ve never done it but seem to know all about it.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Avatar
      Dan A January 7, 2019 at 8:53 am

      Maybe you’re looking for the Harvest Century Family Route? Although it does have a 1.1% grade, so…

      https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27171584

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Suburban January 4, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    Johnny Bye Carter… I’m challenged by your comment. I ride with several cycling groups, some fast some slow; some inclusive some exclusive; my wheeler pals have diverse goals and abilities. This year I volunteered to crew for an classic organized fund-raiser ride with 30,60,and 90 mile options hoping to be inclusive as possible for our size… We published start times for each, slightly staggered. We neglected to publish a finish time, when the last post-ride meal would be served to paying riders. That mistake may be as foolish as presuming what someone else’s capabilities are or their definition of INCLUSIVE is.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Avatar
    Jillian January 5, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    I enjoyed the Weekender last year, and am disappointed I won’t be able to do that or the JoyRide ride – they moved the JoyRide ride a few weeks, and unfortunately it is at the same time as PedalPetal – also a ride that has a strong showing of women. I imagine they moved it to reduce the chance of the poor weather that hit the ride the last two years.

    I can imagine it is hard to plan out when to do a ride, but really wish organizers would look to see what other big events are going on that day/weekend to spread things out a bit more. I’ve really enjoyed the CycleOregon smaller rides, so will have to look forward to them in 2020.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Lee January 9, 2019 at 11:15 am

    I’m sorry to hear this about Cycle Oregon, but if you’re looking for a community-oriented (and philanthropic) weekend ride, please consider joining the “Bike MS: Willamette Valley” event on August 3 & 4. We have route options from 20 – 100 miles. Use the discount code NEWRIDER for 25% off registration!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    jerryw January 11, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    I’ve participated on many CO events, but they have lost me. They will continue to loose riders, employees, volunteers and sponsors as long as Steve Schultz is in charge. His autocratic style is counterproductive in this kind of event

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar