bicycle tourism

Cycling wins big in statewide tourism recovery grants

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 4th, 2021 at 9:03 am

Riders crest Snow Mountain (elev 7,146 feet) during the 2018 Skull Gravel 120 race in Harney County. The local chamber of commerce won a $27,000 grant for the event.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon’s tourism commission Travel Oregon has just announced $2.4 million in economic recovery grants to help create more Covid-safe tourism opportunities. Among the 60 winners, many of the awards will improve cycling trails and riding destinations all over the state.

Here are the projects (emphases mine):

Central Oregon Trail Alliance ($25,000) to construct a new multi-use trail near Sunriver to help disperse crowds from heavy-use areas and accommodate the use of adaptive mountain bikes.

Cog Wild Bicycle Tours ($7,962) to upgrade outdoor meeting areas in Bend and Oakridge to provide ADA accessible porta-potties and hand-washing stations.

Coos County ($100,000) to construct five miles of trail, improve physical distancing by building one-way loops and increasing signage on the Whiskey Run Trail System on the South Oregon Coast.

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Harney County Chamber of Commerce ($26,869.80) for outdoor infrastructure to support a COVID-19 safe outdoor Skull 120 gravel mountain bike event.

Newport Trail Stewards ($79,500) for phase I of a project that will construct a series of multi-use and bike-specific trails, improve parking access, add restrooms and install wayfinding and trail signage at the Big Creek Trail System in Newport.

Port of Cascade Locks ($99,998) for parking lot and trail improvements to ease congestion on the Easy CLiMB family-friendly mountain bike trail in Cascade Locks.

Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce ($11,622) to install a bike hub at the visitor center at the Prineville Crook County Chamber of Commerce.

And these are just the projects that focus specifically on cycling. Several I didn’t list here will improve the experience of visiting many of the small towns and other destinations that make Oregon such a magical place to ride a bicycle. Have a look at the full list here.

Last week we shared how the City of Portland won a $47,600 Travel Oregon grant to improve their outdoor dining street plazas.

An analysis by Dean Runyan & Associates of how the pandemic has impacted the Oregon tourism economy found that employment related to travel declined by 22% last year and total travel spending declined 50% between 2019 and 2020.

Do you part to help Oregon recover: Plan a bike trip today!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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State’s Covid-era tourism grant program focuses on bike-friendly projects

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 19th, 2021 at 11:51 am

Lead photo on “Destination Ready” program website. (Source: Travel Oregon)

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Ready for a challenge? Harney County’s ‘Skull’ ride is waiting

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 30th, 2018 at 9:43 am

Scenes from the inaugural Skull in 2017.
(Photos: Harney County Chamber of Commerce)

About 130 miles east of Bend lies the small, high desert town of Burns, Oregon. People from the Northern Paiute tribe have lived there for thousands of years. Today, like many eastern Oregon towns, the area gets by mostly on farming now that most of the big timber is gone.

But there’s another natural resource that is just coming into its own: unpaved roads that are perfect for bicycling. And an interesting partnership of local, state and federal agencies are leading the charge to promote them. The marketing vehicle for this new discovered asset is the Skull 120/60/30/Relay ride — a combination endurance/gravel/cross-country/sightseeing race/ride that will roll out on its second annual edition June 16th.
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Travel Oregon bike tourism update: Summit coming, fat biking the coast, big award for the Timber Trail, and more

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 12th, 2018 at 12:20 pm

We love getting emails like this.

In Oregon, we’re fortunate that our official tourism commission intimately understands not just how valuable cycling is to our economy, but that it is simply an awesome, fun, and healthy way to experience our state.

We’ve covered Travel Oregon’s efforts to promote and enhance bike tourism for many years and I’m happy to see that their interest hasn’t waned. They recently put out a “Bicycle Tourism Update” email and it was so full of cool stuff I wanted to give it more attention.

Here are the things they’re supporting and working on:
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Nascent ‘Oregon Statewide Trails Coalition’ comes into focus with summit planned for fall

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on August 8th, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Portland to Stub Stewart family camping trip-27.jpg

New coalition will speak for trails and paths like the Banks-Vernonia.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

From a world-class mountain biking route to a new coastal path through the forest, there’s a lot going on with trails throughout Oregon.

But so far we don’t have a statewide advocacy group or coalition that ties all the loose threads together and speaks as one voice when it comes to raising awareness for projects or lobbying for funding and trail-friendly policies in Salem.

Not yet that is.

Travel Oregon has been aware of this shortcoming and commissioned a study last year that surveyed the current trails advocacy landscape. What started as a vision for a new group is now coming into focus with what’s being referred to as the Oregon Statewide Trails Coalition. The group hasn’t been officially launched, but it was named in a save-the-date notice released by organizers of a trails summit scheduled to happen on October 27th in Bend (one day before the Cross Crusade invades town).[Read more…]

Travel Oregon mulls need for statewide trails advocacy organization

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on October 28th, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Portland to Stub Stewart family camping trip-30.jpg

The Banks-Vernonia trail is one of Oregon’s riding gems. Would we have more trails like it with a new advocacy approach?
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Community advocates and government agency staffers throughout Oregon are working hard to develop world-class trails. But is that work failing to reach its potential without a statewide trails advocacy organization?[Read more…]

Bikes and trains: Free meetup at the Green Dragon tonight

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 25th, 2016 at 8:52 am

Bikes on Amtrak

More Amtrak lines are allowing this.
(Photo: Will Vanlue)

They’re the smallest and the biggest vehicles many people use during their lives, and they keep becoming a better travel pair.

A free event Wednesday evening will bring a rail-riding college student to Portland to talk about various aspects of bicycle-and-train travel.

The latest major improvement on this front in the United States is Amtrak’s expanded roll-on bike service, a 2013 shift by the national passenger rail company that came after years of advocacy from people who saw the potential.

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Travel Oregon tourism workshops and better transit coming to the Gorge in 2016

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on January 12th, 2016 at 9:41 am

Gorge Roubaix - Sunday-13

More bikes in the Gorge is a very good thing.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

If you’re interested in helping the Columbia Gorge keep ascending into the pantheon of world-class cycling destinations, Travel Oregon wants to help you.

The extremely bike-friendly state tourism organization has selected the Columbia Gorge for its “Tourism Studio Program” in 2016. This is “a professional bi-state development program designed to bolster the region’s tourism economy while maintaining its rich environmental and cultural assets.” After the same program was implemented in Clackamas County in 2011, that region witnessed a blossoming of bike-related tourism projects and initiatives.

The Oregon Department of Transportation’s continued connection and improvement of the Historic Columbia River Highway has been combining with enthusiasm by people up and down the Gorge who see their area’s huge potential for tourism that has low environmental impact but big economic impact. We’ve been covering all of this as it has come together in recent years, and it looks like we’ll have plenty more to cover in the years to come.
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Salmonberry Trail to the coast hits milestone, begins fundraising effort

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on September 30th, 2015 at 9:09 am

The Salmonberry Trail would connect Banks
to Tillamook on the Oregon Coast.
(Map by Oregon State Parks & Rec)

The proposed Salmonberry Trail, a path that would connect Washington County to the Pacific coast through the forest along a defunct rail line, has an official name and is about to get a full-time executive director.

Previously referred to as the “Salmonberry Corridor,” the trail also has an 11-member decision-making body with formal power to start raising the unknown millions that’d be required for the 86-mile proposal.

The Salmonberry Coalition will celebrate those milestones at its annual meeting next month. The public event is 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Oct. 9, at Stub Stewart State Park.

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Another bike touring boost: Two nearby state parks get bike facilities

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on August 12th, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Bike camping at Champoeg St. Park-50

Bike camping at Champoeg State Heritage Area in 2009.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

It’s fun to report two separate bits of news about bike friendliness in the state park system on the same afternoon.

Milo McIver State Park and Champoeg State Heritage Area are both upgrading their bike amenities, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department said Wednesday. They’ll get new lockers for gear and food storage; phone charging stations; and bicycle fix-it stations, plus new group shelters. A third park, Bullards Beach State Park on the southern Oregon coast, will be upgraded too.

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