History of Cycle Oregon
Jim Beaver, an innkeeper at the Chanticleer Inn in Ashland, Oregon, conceived Cycle Oregon in 1987. Beaver contacted Jonathan Nicholas, a columnist at The Oregonian, and initiated the idea of a sister-city coast ride from Astoria to Ashland. After the local Chamber of Commerce voiced its enthusiastic support, a variation of this route was mapped out and Cycle Oregon was born. Generous support came from the Oregon Department of Tourism, which assumed coordinating responsibilities for the event with the goal of increasing tourism and generating income for Oregon’s rural communities.
The First Ride
The inaugural event took place in September 1988, with 1,006 cyclists from 20 states. The ride covered 320 miles from Salem to Brookings and generated more than $360,000 for participating communities.
25 Years Later
In 2012, Cycle Oregon 25 included 2,200 participants from 46 states and 8 foreign countries. Over that time, the Cycle Oregon Fund has dispersed more than $1.4 million in grants and has generated millions in benefits for communities throughout the state.