Thanks to those of you who joined us on the 2016 Go for Gold weeklong event!
If you were there, you know that it was an amazing week with near-perfect weather and fantastic communities. We biked over the coast range, rode along the ocean from Bandon to Gold Beach to Brookings, followed the Rogue back over the mountains to Indian Mary Park (perhaps one of the most beautiful places in the state for an overnight stay), and finished alongside Cow Creek on a gentle descent.
Hopefully, along the way you experienced what makes Cycle Oregon events more than just the best bike rides in America.
When I’m asked to describe Cycle Oregon, I give one word: transformational. There is a synergistic exchange that happens among everyone involved in our events. Folks that ordinarily would never cross paths—riders, townspeople, volunteers, and vendors—come together and support each other. From encouraging a struggling cyclist to get up that hill, to serving food to a bunch of Lycra-clad strangers, we help each other.
It is about the collective we—not me. We’re a family that embraces the diversity of rural and urban. We understand that we are all connected in some way. There is no divide, only solidarity.
Cycle Oregon is more than just a brand or a bike ride. It’s a way of being.
As part of the Cycle Oregon family, you embrace the environment that surrounds you, find meaning in it, and understand that you are making a difference. That’s why Cycle Oregon started in the first place—to make a difference by creating positive change.
And that’s what we will continue to do. Collectively, we’ll transform individuals and communities. Whether it’s building a new friendship or building a new community center, Cycle Oregon is here to move lives forward.
Cycle Oregon may be in town for just a day or two, but our impact is long lasting. On this year’s Week Ride:
- Each of our 2,000 riders spent an average of $200 in the communities. That’s $400,000 of economic support for these rural communities.
- Communities earned $175,000 directly from Cycle Oregon for hosting and supporting our event.
- We rode through towns where we have funded projects, including bike racks and the food pantry in Bandon; a food co-op in Port Orford; and park improvements in Coquille/Powers, Josephine County, and Wolf Creek.
In addition, Cycle Oregon funds major signature projects:
- Saving the Halfway Fairgrounds from foreclosure
- Preserving the east moraine at Wallowa Lake from development
- Restocking Diamond Lake after the eradication of an invasive species
- Initially funding and co-creating the Oregon Scenic Bikeways program—now with 15 designated bikeways totaling 1187 miles. (The latest economic study shows 150 jobs created and a $12.4 million annual economic impact.)
- Our largest and current signature project is the Salmonberry Trail. This multi-use path will run alongside the spectacular Salmonberry River through the Tillamook Forest, connecting Portland to the coast and bringing together rural and urban communities. Over the last three years, we have invested $150,000, and we will invest in this transformational project again this year.
To date, Cycle Oregon has contributed $1.7 million in 190 grants promoting bicycle tourism, supporting rural Oregon communities, and preserving the special places in Oregon.
Together, we are Cycle Oregon. Thank you for being a part of who we are.
See you at next year’s events!
– Steve Schulz, Executive Director