Columbia County will get another bicycling boost thanks to Travel Oregon and the City of St. Helens. [Read more…]
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:
Something big is about to happen for off-road cycling in Oregon.
On March 23rd the nonprofit Oregon Timber Trail Association will do a soft-release of their Oregon Timber Trail, an experience its creators promise will be, “North America’s premiere long-distance mountain biking route” and a “world-class bikepacking destination.”
That might sound boastful, but once you learn more about this project and the people behind it, it’s easy to see why they’re so confident.
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…]
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.
traffic often mix without signs or markings.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has put a fair amount of effort into promoting a bike route near the state’s beautiful coast.
A map of the route along U.S. Highway 101 is one of just three major biking or walking maps the agency publishes. The route has its own special sign. The state has even created a simple graphic showing how average traffic volumes on 101 very widely by month, to help travelers understand what they’re getting into.
Once again Travel Oregon is taking their commitment to bicycle tourism to the next level: They plan to award five, $1,000 scholarships to the 2015 National Bike Summit in Washington D.C. The catch? You must be working on projects or policies that focus on rural bicycle tourism.
From their rural tourism studios to the RideOregonRide website, Travel Oregon has gone “all-in” on bicycle tourism over the past few years. And they’re no strangers to the National Bike Summit. Top-level staffers from the organization have been attending the event since 2007.
“Travel Oregon is deeply saddened by the recent bicycle tragedies on Oregon roads, and they have served to elevate our attention and concern.”
While Oregon’s highways are under the official jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation, they’ve also become a key asset in our state’s burgeoning bicycle-based tourism economy — and that means the Oregon Tourism Commission/Travel Oregon also has in interest in how they’re managed.
For years now, exploring Oregon’s rural roads by bike has been a cornerstone of Travel Oregon’s marketing strategy. They’ve invested in advertisements, created an online guide to the best routes, and they’ve partnered with the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department to help promote and develop a network of official State Scenic Bikeways program.