Oregon Bicycle Racing Association votes to retain controversial board member

Avatar by on December 10th, 2019 at 2:24 pm

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.

In October Thompson represented Save Women’s Sports at a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C.. The rally aimed to “preserve women’s rights” and prevent the Supreme Court from including “gender identity” in the legal definition of “sex”. If that happened, the group worried that, “Any male could self-identify as a female and compete against women at every level of athletics, which would effectively destroy women’s sports.” [Read more…]

OBRA gets two-year commitment for racing at Alpenrose Dairy

Avatar by on November 5th, 2019 at 1:25 pm

Spectators at Alpenrose Velodrome.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The latest twist in the Alpenrose Dairy sale saga is a good one for bicycle racing fans.[Read more…]

Kenji Sugahara will step down as leader of Oregon Bicycle Racing Association

Avatar by on November 15th, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Kenji Sugahara.
(Photo courtesy Kenji Sugahara)

After a decade at the helm, Kenji Sugahara has announced plans to move on from his role as executive director of the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA).

OBRA is the statewide sanctioning body of competitive cycling and currently has around 3,700 members who compete in a variety of disciplines including cyclocross, track, road, and mountain bike racing.

Sugahara, 44, was chosen to lead OBRA in 2008. He plans to stay on for another six to nine months to help with a transition to a new executive director. Sugahara tells us his sights are set on the¶ leadership job at the new Office of Outdoor Recreation that was created by the legislature last session. It would be a natural fit for Sugahara, who currently sits on the Oregon Tourism Commission after being appointed by Governor Kate Brown in 2014.

In a letter emailed to OBRA members last night, Sugahara wrote: “I have had some amazing opportunities arise that I cannot pass up so I have decided that this is an opportune time to pass on the torch. Though we have faced headwinds that have been mirrored on the national level, we have a solid foundation with a great plan to move forward.”
[Read more…]

Tandem captains needed ASAP for blind rider program

Avatar by on May 12th, 2017 at 1:24 pm

(Photo: Washington State School for the Blind)

Here’s an excellent way to recognize National Bike Month and help a local organization get more involved with cycling.

We’ve heard through the grapevine that the Washington State School for the Blind is in desperate need of tandem captains for an event this Monday afternoon (5/15).

As part of a new cycling program aimed at helping blind and low vision people experience the thrills and skills of cycling, the school is hosting a series of training rides at Portland International Raceway. These rides will lead to a race series (sanctioned by the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association) that will be part of the full training program that will launch next summer.

18 students who have signed up for the May 15th ride still need a captain!
[Read more…]

Alpenrose Velodrome now has smooth straightaways (photos)

Avatar by on March 28th, 2012 at 8:33 am

Freshly smoothed straights at Alpenrose Velodrome.
(All photos by Brian List/OBRA)

[Read more…]

OBRA equipment trailer stolen in Eugene (photo)

Avatar by on June 6th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

(Photo: Candi Murray)

[Read more…]

Oregon’s first High School Cyclocross Series off and running

Avatar by on July 27th, 2010 at 9:30 am


Coming soon to
Oregon high schools!
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Oregon Bicycle Racing Racing Association (OBRA) has announced details of the first-ever High School Cyclocross race series. The new series will consist of five races and will be run under the existing Junior Cyclocross Series, which is in its second year.

OBRA has named seven regional coordinators who are available to answer questions and to help organize High School teams. Prizes will be awarded to the top team, “Best Girl,” and “Best Boy” from throughout the state. The series begins in Eugene on September 25th and makes stops in Dayton, Hillsboro, Salem, and possibly Portland (exact venue is TBD).
[Read more…]

Thieves make off with $5,000 worth of OBRA equipment in Eugene

Avatar by on July 22nd, 2010 at 8:15 am

OBRA equipment trucks are mainstays
at races throughout Oregon.
(Photo © J. Maus)

A truck full of equipment belonging to the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) was broken into earlier this week in Eugene. OBRA director Kenji Sugahara says as estimated $5,000 worth of equipment was stolen out of the truck while it was parked outside of Co-Motion Cycles in southwest Eugene.

An OBRA official and race promoter stationed in Eugene says the theft occurred sometime between Sunday night and Tuesday morning. According to Sugahara, the loss of equipment will have a significant impact. “Many items critical to racing were taken. This makes it difficult for our officials to score races and for us to provide equipment to our promoters.”[Read more…]

OBRA to debut High School cyclocross program this fall

Avatar by on June 21st, 2010 at 3:32 pm


Coming to high schools this fall.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) will launch a cyclocross development league and training program at high schools throughout the state this fall. OBRA, a non-profit with nearly 5,000 members across Oregon, has created a white paper on the new initiative that identifies cyclocross as “a great way to introduce young athletes to the sport of cycling.”

OBRA membership numbers show that cyclocross has been the fastest growing discipline every year since 2006, outpacing road, mountain and track racing. Kenji Sugahara, OBRA’s executive director, says the program’s first season will begin in September and they’ll plan to expand it next year. “We’re going in with the understanding that the first year will be small, but it’s a matter of getting a foothold and moving up from there.”[Read more…]

Man collapses, later dies in hospital after race at PIR

Avatar by on June 9th, 2010 at 10:02 am

David Oliphant
1962 – 2010.
(Photo: Cort Buchholz)

David Oliphant, 47, collapsed after crossing the finish following a race at Portland International Raceway last night. After being attended to by on-scene medics, Oliphant was rushed to a local hospital but doctors were unable to revive him and he later died.

Kenji Sugahara, executive director of the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) confirmed the incident this morning, saying Oliphant died of a heart-related condition. “We’re all deeply saddened by it. He was a great racer and a great friend. It’s a huge loss to the community — everyone liked him. Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and team.”
[Read more…]