Esplanade closure begins February 1st

Crater Lake, Dufur, and Independence star in 31st annual Cycle Oregon rides

Posted by on January 30th, 2019 at 8:01 pm

The mythical Crater Lake is back in the Cycle Oregon line-up for 2019.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The annual reveal party for the 31st annual Cycle Oregon routes was held at the Portland Art Museum tonight. Hundreds of fans of the rides gathered to hear which rural communities they’ll be sleeping in and riding through if they’re lucky enough to participate in the weeklong “Classic”, the two-day “Gravel”, or the one-day “Joyride”.

Cycle Oregon will run three events this year after. (The Weekender has been put on hold.)

Beyond great rides, Cycle Oregon’s nonprofit mission is to “transform individuals and communities through bicycling.” Since their founding in 1988 the Cycle Oregon Fund (where ride proceeds are deposited) has awarded more than 300 grants worth $2.2 million to small towns throughout our state. And the support of rural towns doesn’t end there. Each year Cycle Oregon provides about $175,000 to host towns in exchange for fields to sleep in, volunteers to help set up tents, and so on. The organization also hires local event organizers and service providers, and buys food from local farmers. And the riders themselves spend, on average, $250 in local communities during the weeklong Classic ride.

And there’s something about doing this ride that you can’t put a price on: getting to know what rural life — and the people who live it — are like. A lot is said about the urban/rural divide in Oregon and this bike ride is a relatively small, yet powerful way to help build bridges.

I wasn’t at the kickoff event this year, but I’ve got all the details for the three big events.

Here’s what’s in store…

Classic (September 7-14)

For 2019, Cycle Oregon’s flagship, seven-day ride lives up to its ‘Classic’ name with its return to Central Oregon, where cyclists will be immersed in some of the state’s most iconic and stunning natural landscapes. The loop, which is 430 miles, plus an additional 60-mile option, includes the majestic Cascade Mountains, three of the country’s most scenic rivers and Crater Lake — the sapphire jewel of Oregon’s only national park.

Total distance: 490 miles (without Crater Lake option: 430.3 miles) Total elevation gain: 30,656 feet (without Crater Lake option: 24,186 feet

CycleOregon.com/ride/classic

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Gravel (May 17-19)

Now in its second year, Cycle Oregon’s GRAVEL ride lets cyclists experience the challenges and scenic beauty of gravel road riding while being fully supported, Cycle Oregonstyle. This year’s ride, which is limited to just 500 riders, is based out of the historic farming town of Dufur, Oregon, in the sunny eastern Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The route features a combination of gravel and paved roads to explore the stunning expanses of high prairie and the forested foothills of Mount Hood. Riders will get views of wildflowers, wheat fields, and Mount Hood and Mount Adams around nearly every corner.

Total distance day 1: Long: 65.3 miles (47% gravel, 53% pavement), 5,061 feet of elevation gain – Short: 31.8 miles (67% gravel, 33% pavement), 2,140 feet of elevation gain

Total distance day 2: Long: 63 miles (53% gravel, 47% pavement), 5,216 feet of elevation gain – Short: 33.2 miles (61% gravel, 39% pavement), 3,118 feet of elevation gain

CycleOregon.com/ride/gravel

Joyride (June 22)

Cycle Oregon’s one-day celebration of women and bikes is heading to Independence, Oregon, in the heart of the scenic Willamette Valley. Women cyclists of all ages and all ranges of experience can choose among three different fully supported rides (18, 40 and 64 miles) amongst rolling hills, orchards, vineyards and wide-open farmlands—and return to delicious, locally sourced food and libations, plus live bands. New for 2019 is the option to add a gravel road section to the medium and long rides.

Ride stats:
Short: 17.8 miles (188 feet of elevation gain)
Medium: 39.9 miles (1,080 feet of elevation gain)
Medium with gravel option: 36.3 miles (1,013 feet of elevation gain), 6 miles of gravel road
Long: 63.6 miles (2,113 feet of elevation gain)
Long with gravel option: 63.0 miles (2,213 feet of elevation gain), 6.9 miles of gravel road

CycleOregon.com/ride/joyride

This looks like a great line-up. Fingers crossed that the government is open in September. If not, the riding around Crater Lake could really stink (it’s a National Park and it was closed earlier this year due in part to surplus human waste).

Is Cycle Oregon in your plans this year?

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

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6 Comments
  • Middle of The Road Guy January 31, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Some of the gravel around Dufur is pretty wonderful and remote. Glad to see they moved it to a more reasonable month – I might consider this!

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  • Charlie Burr February 1, 2019 at 11:01 am

    These all look great, though I’m a bit bummed to not see the return of the Weekender this year.

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  • Jered Bogli February 3, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Dufur and the surrounding areas are amazing. You can string together non-paved roads forever out there. Not to mention it is often dry and sunny when it is wet and sloppy here…

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    • Middle of the Road Guy February 4, 2019 at 11:02 am

      It’s really good to see this area getting utilized for this event. You can see forever from the top of the plateau on a clear day.

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  • BradWagon February 4, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    Anyone taking odds yet on how many days of the classic will be rerouted due to wildfires? Seems anymore that even late August/Early Sept is a toss up in that area.

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  • GlowBoy February 7, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    One of my favorite parts of the state to ride in the Spring.

    I will be Portland the following week, and possibly the prior week, which means I’d have a free weekend in Oregon. Maybe I’ll sign up if it isn’t full by the time my travel plans firm up.

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