The Nez Perce people have a deep connection with the land surrounding Joseph and Wallowa that goes back thousands of years. They lived peacefully off the land here until 1877 when, under pressure from the US Government, Chief Joseph was forced to lead his people to a reservation in Idaho. The Nez Perce would not return to the Wallowas for almost 120 years. Recently grants from Cycle Oregon helped the tribe acquire 320 acres of their homelands, giving descendants a place to gather, celebrate their customs, and to sustain their culture.
When Cycle Oregon rolls through town with a couple thousands riders, tents, and bikes and everything that goes with it, the casual observer may see organized chaos. But look a little closer and you’ll see prosperity and community riding into these rural Oregon towns as well. These cyclists aren’t just passing through – they are connecting with the locals, spending in local establishments, and hopefully making plans to come back real soon. And that is what Cycle Oregon is all about. Since the very beginning, Cycle Oregon has been giving back to the Oregon communities that have given so much to us. Over the last 31 years, grants from the Cycle Oregon Fund have gone to preserve historic buildings, to protect natural resources, to create programs for low income families, and have helped make Oregon even more bike friendly than it already is.