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I Think I Want to Volunteer…

Volunteers are the core of Cycle Oregon’s success. About 150 amazing individuals give their blood, sweat, tears and time every year on our events. It’s a serious commitment, and we have high expectations. But it’s also incredibly rewarding and full of fun and surprises; you meet hundreds of riders and community members, bond with your team members, spend your days in the great outdoors and see the most beautiful parts of Oregon. Perhaps you’ve thought about volunteering, but have some questions.

What’s the time commitment?

We ask that our volunteers commit to the position for the full duration of the ride. Additionally, most teams help out with rider check–in on the first day of the event.

  • Women’s – Ride June 11: We will likely be recruiting from our existing volunteer pool for the first year of this event.
  • Weekend Ride – July 8-10th: Volunteers arrive Friday afternoon and work through Sunday evening. Site Team arrives Thursday morning to set up camp and A.M. Sign Team begins working Friday morning.
  • Week Ride – September 10-17th: Volunteers arrive Friday afternoon and work through the following Saturday evening. Site Team members arrive Wednesday night and Thursday morning to set up camp.
  • Volunteer training: Typically two weeks before the event. You’ll get to meet your team members and have dinner on us. We provide a volunteer notebook with all the details of the event, talk through the challenges, and answer your questions.

Where do I sleep?

IMG_3900On the Week Ride, most volunteers sleep in the volunteer camp. We provide and set up a tent with your name on it at each site (chairs are included too). We try to locate the volunteer camp in a spot slightly away from all the commotion so you can get a good night’s rest.

The Weekend Ride is based at a college campus and we provide volunteers with dorm rooms. The dorms generally have shared bathrooms and do not have air conditioning (bring a fan if it’s hot). You need to bring your own bedding and pillow, as well as toiletries and towel.

If your significant other is riding or volunteering, we will assign you to the same tent or dorm. If no one is accompanying you, we may assign you to a dorm with another volunteer, but we would never ask you to share a tent with another volunteer.

Where do I eat?

Meals are provided for volunteers by Cycle Oregon on both events. Breakfast and dinner are served in camp and volunteers eat along with the riders. Sack lunches are provided for all volunteers and can be picked up as early as the prior evening. Meals are served in the campus dining hall on the weekend event and in the outdoor dining tent during our week long ride. If you have dietary concerns, speak to the volunteer coordinator about arranging supplemental meals and snacks.

IMG_3918How do I get from site to site on the Week Ride?

Different teams get to sites in different ways, but all volunteers are responsible for transporting their own baggage. Teams that are assigned vehicles drive them to the overnight locations and can often accommodate other passengers and their gear. We ask some team members to take their own vehicles (and reimburse them for fuel); other volunteers choose to drive of their own accord (and are not reimbursed). Usually volunteers in personal vehicles are more than willing to take on a passenger. As space is limited, we encourage carpooling as much as possible. If you need a ride to and from the event, we can arrange one for you.

What do I get out of this?

Every volunteer will receive a name badge, hat, and event t-shirt. Additionally we’ll provide you with a comprehensive volunteer notebook, meals, lodging and all the equipment needed for the job. For week volunteers, you’re invited to a wrap up party that includes dinner, drinks and lodging. All volunteers are invited to our Volunteer Appreciation Dinner in January. Plus, you’ll get a million thanks from a thousand riders!

Can I _____?

  • Bring my dog – Sorry, but we can’t accommodate pets on our events.
  • Invite a friend – Sure, we will try to find positions for both of you!
  • Ride my bike – There are not many opportunities for volunteers to ride.
  • Just work a couple of days – We know it’s a lot to ask, but we need a full commitment.
  • Talk to someone about this – Of course! Give us a call or send an email.

We’ve tried to answer some of the most basic, and most important, questions that new volunteers ask. If you have more questions, feel free to post them in the comments section below, email us, or give us a call. We typically put out the call for new volunteers in late February, so sign up for our newsletter and check our Facebook page for more information as it becomes available.


Route Talk with Ken Chichester

Cycling along Klickitat

DAY 1                        The Dalles to Glenwood, Wa

When developing a route, it is typically based on one or two areas, with the remainder of the route tying those areas together.  This is the case this year: I’ve wanted to go to the Glenwood/Trout Lake area in Washington for years.  Then, where to spend the other five days was the big decision.  Cycle Oregon climbed from Dufur to Mt Hood in 1993, which is a beautiful ride, so that route was added, and then all that was left was to find places to complete a loop.

To begin this year’s trek, we start with the sojourn to Washington.  The first challenge was choosing where to cross the Columbia River, as there are limited bridge crossings for bicycles.  The bridge at The Dalles was selected as the access to our neighboring state because bicycles are allowed, and there are no metal grates on the surface of the roadway.  After riding into Washington, the route follows the state highway adjacent to the river for seven miles, traveling west through two adjacent tunnels.  Typically in September the strong westerly winds that make the Columbia Gorge world-famous for windsurfing do not blow.  (Well, at least not ALL the time, because it would NOT be a tailwind.)

After arriving in the small community of Lyle for the first stop of the day, we leave the big gorge for the smaller Klickitat River gorge, following that scenic river upstream for twenty miles through the town of Klickitat before starting the big climb of the day.  Shortly after the summit of the 3.5-mile hill, the route turns west again traveling through farmland, meadows and forest and steadily climbing at a moderate rate.  Then, riders will be treated to a spectacular five-mile descent with great views of the Klickitat River, ending at a rest stop on the river.

After the last rest stop of the day, there is only thirteen miles left to the small host community of Glenwood.  Those who are not in a hurry will want to stop at one of the unimproved viewpoints on the right side of the road looking into a gorge formed by the Klickitat.  Our overnight camping location is on the grassy fields of the local school with a million dollar view of Mt. Adams, the second highest mountain in Washington at just over 12,000 feet.  This is the same mountain viewed from Sorosis Park in The Dalles at the beginning of the day, but oh so much closer.

2017 Week Ride – September 9-16

Route announced January 24th at the Portland Art Museum and at cycleoregon.com.

2014 Kickoff Party – February 5th, 2014 – Portland Art Museum

2017 Weekend Ride – July 7-9

Route announced January 24th at the Portland Art Museum and at cycleoregon.com.