It’s been 116 days since the last officially sanctioned bicycle race happened in Oregon.
The coronavirus crisis forced the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) to cancel all races on March 12th. What was expected to be a four week hiatus turned into nearly four months. Dozens of events have been cancelled statewide, resulting in a major blow to OBRA’s finances, a hit to promoters’ pocketbooks, lots of frustrated athletes, and a loss of tourism dollars for the many cities and small towns that host races.
That sad streak will be broken this Sunday when racers show up to Blodgett, Oregon (just east of Corvallis) for the 33rd annual Mudslinger cross-country mountain bike race.[Read more…]
The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association, our state’s official sanctioning body for competitive cycling, knows it isn’t doing enough to support participation of Black, Indigenous and people of color. And they’ve taken a first step to do something about it.
In a statement shared with the group’s 4,500 members yesterday, OBRA Board of Director members Stacy Westbrook and Christy Hawkins wrote, “The events over the last few weeks have shone a spotlight on the systemic racism prevalent in our communities. OBRA recognizes that the cycling industry, and the sport of cycling, has contributed to this.”[Read more…]
When I sat down with Kevin Hyland in May 2019 to learn about his efforts to bring the UCI Road World Championships to Portland, he was a self-described “one man army.” Now he’s managing a Local Organizing Committee of over 40 people and their effort to win the 2026 bid is going full steam ahead.
You may have noticed your social media channels filled with the shiny new Portland Cycling Worlds logo and graphics this morning. That’s because venerable local company Chris King Precision Components has teamed up with Hyland to help with graphics and marketing efforts. King employees have also polished up the new website and set up social media accounts.
This marketing push has one goal: Build support that leads to an official letter of intent signed by the City of Portland by early June of this year. An online petition has been launched and Hyland hopes having thousands of signatures to add to his list of over 100 existing businesses and notable supporters will make a positive impression on Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and the rest of City Council. [Read more…]
The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association says controversial board member Inga Thompson has resigned. The move comes less than a week since the organization voted to keep Thompson on their board following calls for her removal from some OBRA members. Thompson has attracted concern because of her advocacy around transgender athletes.
OBRA Executive Director Chuck Kenlan announced the resignation in an email to members on Thursday. “I pledge to you, our passionate membership, that OBRA will continue to strive towards fulfilling our mission of inclusiveness in the sport of bicycle racing and adhere to our statement of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Kenlan wrote, “We are imperfect, and recognize that there is so much more to learn.”
According to the Willamette Week, Thompson’s resignation came after the OBRA Board found her in violation of their confidentiality agreement. “In a Dec. 11 email to Thompson obtained by [Willamette Week], Kenlan wrote that due to statements made to BikePortland and on Twitter, the board determined that Thompson “violated the confidentiality of the executive session’.” (Some of those tweets can be found in the screen grab at right.)
The OBRA Board was going to vote to remove her and before doing so gave her the option to resign.[Read more…]
Screen grab of Save Women’s Sports article showing OBRA Board Member Inga Thompson at a rally in Washington D.C.
The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) has decided that one of their board members accused of “pervasive transphobia” can remain on their board of directors.
At-large OBRA board member and three-time Olympic cyclist Inga Thompson has come under scrutiny from some OBRA members who feel her conduct discriminates against transgender athletes. Thompson works closely with a group named Save Women’s Sports and was featured in an article published on their site in October titled, Male athletes are taking over women’s cycling.
“This feels quite a bit bigger than bike racing. This is an event for the city and for Sellwood.” — Erik Tonkin, race organizer
Portland’s cyclocross season ended with a bang on Sunday as our community embraced an exciting new venue and event. Bridge City CX was truly an instant classic.
560 racers signed up for a challenging and fun course many said was the best they’d ever ridden. There were slippery s-turns, fast straightaways, and long sections of deep sand on the Willamette riverfront. Toward the end of the day the tide pushed up and left racers with just a few inches of dry sand.
Open Men 1/2/3 winner Carl Decker, a veteran pro who’s raced bikes all over the world, said after his race that, “This was as good as any course I’ve ridden. It was quintessential ‘cross.”[Read more…]