When Worlds Collide — A Linfield Student’s Perspective on Cycle Oregon
This piece was submitted by Karly Osten, who works in the Blogmobile on the Week Ride.
It’s because of Linfield I have been able to work my way up to become “vice president” of the Blogmobile, Cycle Oregon’s mobile media center and on-ramp to the information superhighway. It’s because I’ve risen to the rank of VP of Blogmobile that I started cycling. And it’s because I’ve started cycling that I’ll be participating in this year’s Cycle Oregon Weekend Ride – at Linfield College, no less. Mind. Blown.
I graduated from Linfield in 2011. One of my business professors called me up after graduation, saying that a former colleague of hers needed help manning this thing called a “Blogmobile” for some week-long cycling event that happens in the wild places of Oregon. I was beyond flattered that she thought to refer me, and eagerly jumped at the opportunity. As many of you know, Cycle Oregon has a tendency to sink its claws into you and never let go. By Day Two I knew I’d be back again and again.
By the second year, I started thinking how nice a road bike might look sitting next to my dad’s ancient and heavy mountain bike that I use to putter around camp (and then some) during Cycle Oregon. After the third year, that dream became a reality.
So now I get to join you on the road! This will be my first time riding Cycle Oregon, and the first time I’ve been back to McMinnville since I graduated (where does the time go?). I’m eager to cast my eyes over the breathtaking beauty of Linfield’s landscape. What an incredible place to ride.
Since you have all collectively given me insight into what Cycle Oregon is all about, I thought I’d return the favor and tell you a bit about Linfield.
I had a wonderful time at this very special school. There are so many activities, events and opportunities offered that larger, public universities couldn’t provide. A good portion of the students study abroad for a semester, in one of 30 locations around the globe. Nearly everyone is part of a club or an intramural sports team. One of the distinguishing factors that drew me to this college was the small class size. None of the classes held more than 100 students, and all my courses were less than 30. This really enabled me to establish strong relationships with some of my professors, whom I continue to keep in touch with today. The professors genuinely care for their students and are eager to assist them, not just with coursework, but also with advice on life after college, and job hunting. There is a strong network of support that is difficult to find at neighboring colleges and universities.
Another opportunity Linfield offers is internships with local businesses that have ties to the college. Internships help students apply what they learn in class to the real world. No one ever feels prepared to join the working world after being in school, but Linfield has the resources available to help ease the transition from student to employee.
At the Cycle Oregon Kickoff party back in February, I was ecstatic to learn the weekend ride would be in my old stomping grounds. I’m looking forward to biking the same neighborhoods and seeing some familiar faces. It’s been too long since I’ve seen McMinnville, and I am eager to see what emotions and memories will surface upon returning. It will be delightful to observe people’s reactions when they explore Linfield for the first time; I hope they are as entranced by it as my family and I were the first time we set foot on campus.
I look forward to seeing all your friendly faces next month, and getting to know some of you more as we ride together through the winding hills of the famed Willamette Valley wine country. There will be many wonderful vistas, friendly locals, and more food and wine than you’ll know what to do with (who am I kidding; you all know exactly what to do with it). See you on the road – and see you in September at the Blogmobile.