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.
Travel Oregon bike tourism update: Summit coming, fat biking the coast, big award for the Timber Trail, and more
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:
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…]
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…]
(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.
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.
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.
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.
— This article was written by Jennifer Sotolongo, a tourism development specialist for Clackamas County who’s about to embark on a bike trip around the world with her husband Dave and dog named Sora. Follow them at @longhaultrekker.
When Thom Batty resumed his regular life after riding the Tour Divide in 2013, he realized that he no longer wanted to spend his days behind a desk. He wanted to get people on bikes.