Week Ride FAQ
We have assembled some of the most frequently asked questions about the Cycle Oregon Week Ride below. Please contact Cycle Oregon If you have a question that’s not addressed below.
Click on a question to read the answer.
What does my registration fee include?
Your registration fee includes three meals per day for seven days, ample beverages and snacks during each day’s ride, trusty baggage transport for one bag, friendly course support that includes a signed route, SAG vans, mechanical and medical assistance if needed, and an idyllic overnight site that includes a camping area, showers, restrooms, beer garden, daily entertainment, other food vendors, bike mechanics and medical tent. And part of your fee goes directly to help Oregon communities and parks.
What is Cycle Oregon’s purpose?
Cycle Oregon is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bicycling enjoyment, safety and education. All proceeds from the ride go to the Cycle Oregon Fund at the Oregon Community Foundation, which helps preserve and protect the special places of Oregon and supports community development projects in the regions through which we ride.
Is Cycle Oregon a good choice for new riders?
One of the perceptions of Cycle Oregon is that it’s the same group of people getting together for their annual ride. Actually, that’s not true. We consistently have hundreds and hundreds of new riders; in recent years nearly 40 percent of our riders have been first-timers. And nearly two-thirds had ridden Cycle Oregon less than twice. While we cherish our repeat riders, we also love seeing new faces each year. So if you haven’t tasted the singular experience of Cycle Oregon, come join us.
How difficult is the route?
This all depends on where your base level of fitness is at. We have detailed training routines listed under the Training page. If you follow a few simple guidelines, you should be good to go in 2015. The most important thing is putting in time in the saddle: no amount of yoga/pilates/crossfit/alligator wrestling can substitute for putting in the miles.
Days 1-3 are in the 50 mile range with about 8k feet of climbing total - a great warm up for what's to come. Day 4 may be the hardest, even though it's not the hilliest. Luckily, you can take Day 5 off if you like (we spend two days at Wallowa Lake). Day 6 is an 85 mile jaunt, but don't be too intimidated, the first 45 miles are dowhill. Day 7 has a good climb about 20 miles in and stays relatively flat for the last 38 miles.
As always, you don’t want to skimp on your training. The route isn’t insurmountable for anyone who has a good training base and all day to ride (that’s you, right?), but those who come unprepared are going to be hurting.
Have you been training, stretching, hydrating and eating well on the ride? You should be all smiles on the way home!
Do I have to finish riding each day by a specific time?
Course support services are available only during the course hours. If you leave before the course opens or are still riding after the course closes, there will be no support services available. All Cycle Oregon riders still on the course after 6:30 p.m. will be offered a ride to camp. If you choose to not take the ride you will be on your own to get back to camp.
What happens if I can’t finish the day’s ride?
There are SAG vans on the course each day. They’re available to transport cyclists as needed due to mechanical problems or medical injuries. The vans also have extra water and snacks, if needed. If at any time you need assistance, please signal a SAG van with a “thumbs down” signal. If you do get into a SAG van, you might not be transported directly to camp; the SAG vans usually wait until they are full to go to camp.
What if I wake up one morning and don’t feel able to ride? How can I get to the next overnight site?
There will be a SAG van available each morning to transport cyclists from site to site if cyclists are not feeling well or are injured. Go to the Medical tent and get a medical release for riding the medical SAG . Bring that form to Rider Services before 8 a.m. to sign up for this shuttle option.
This is the first time I’ve done Cycle Oregon. What support do you have for first-time riders?
What kind of training programs are available?
In response to rider requests, we’ve expanded our training resources to give you more options as you get ready for the ride of your life. Whether it’s the Week Ride or the Weekend, proper training is a key to having a great experience out on the road, so take advantage of one or more of these options – there’s something for everyone, no matter where you live.
What do I need to bring?
Of course, this depends on your style of traveling, but we have several resources for you to tap into. Some of our long-time repeat riders have compiled a packing list. In addition, a couple years ago we enlisted a panel of veteran CO riders to provide tips for newcomers on many topics, and they were kind enough to provide a list of suggestions. Remember that these lists are just guidelines, and also remember the 65-pound limit for your one bag.
If I have the Tent & Porter service, do I need to bring a sleeping bag?
The Tent & Porter service includes a tent and two chairs. You’ll need to bring a sleeping bag and pad, plus everything else you need. If you are staying with someone in a tent, only one rider needs to sign up for T&P. Signing up alone? We will NOT pair you with another rider.
Can I bring two bags instead of one? And how serious is the 65-pound weight limit for bags?
No. Serious. Each rider may bring only one bag (duffle bags are ideal). Your bag must not weigh more than 65 pounds. This weight limit includes your tent and sleeping bag. We ask you to be considerate of the Interstate Distributor baggage people and volunteers who will be handling your bags each day by honoring this weight limit (this includes Tent & Porter – same weight limit). If honor is not enough to keep you under 65 pounds, well, you might end up carrying some extra poundage in your jersey pockets if your bag gets weighed.
Can a non-rider come with me?
Yes. Many of our riders have family or friends who want to join the event but not ride. For them, we have the Rider Guest/Support Vehicle program. Guests can arrange for meals and overnight accommodations through Cycle Oregon, or on their own.
Note: Rider Guests and Support Vehicles are not to drive the route the riders take each day; they must drive a different way to each night’s site. Alternate driving directions will be sent to registered Rider Guests and Support Vehicles in August. Guests are also asked to not ride the route each day on a bike - they are not registered riders.
How much should I expect to spend while I’m on the ride?
Cycle Oregon supplies plenty of food and beverages each day, but there are extras you may want to buy along the way. That includes the beer garden, wine, pizza, coffee, ice cream and other food vendors, the Cycle Oregon and Bike Gallery retail tents, and services such as massage or bike cleaning. In addition, you should plan to tip local residents who help with your bags ($2 a bag is the suggested minimum). And most host towns have local crafts and foods available. So the amount will vary, but bring some spending money.
Will I have phone/e-mail access during the ride? Will there be a way for me to charge electronic devices?
Due to the fact that the point of the ride is to explore rural areas, you shouldn’t expect to have uninterrupted cell phone and/or Internet access. But often we ride through areas or stay in towns that have service. Our own Cycle Oregon Blogmobile will attempt to provide access in all our overnight stops – although we’re not making explicit promises here. Recharging is available – but not guaranteed – through the Community Cycling Center, Rider Services, other Cycle Oregon vendors or local residents/businesses.
What if someone needs to reach me in an emergency?
In extreme emergencies, family members can contact a rider by calling the Oregon State Police. See the Emergency Information page for more on this.
How do I register for a bus ticket or parking pass after I’ve already registered for the ride?
You can purchase a bus ticket or parking pass by going to the Merchandise section of the Week Ride information. You’ll find the registration forms for parking and bus tickets there.
Can I ship my bike?
If you’re flying into Portland or don’t want the hassle of dealing with your bike on the way to the starting point, we encourage you to ship your bike directly to the starting location in John Day.
This year we’re working with High Country Shipping (HCS), a registered FedEx shipper, for shipping all bikes to our event. If you contact HCS, they will arrange all the details and send you shipping labels in advance. In addition, they will monitor your shipment, e-mail you when it arrives, and be there in John Day for the start and finish of our event. They will also help you ship your bike back home as soon as you finish the ride.
Shipped bikes should not arrive earlier than two weeks before the start of the ride. If you ship your bike in a cardboard box or hard case, Cycle Oregon will store your box or case during the week and deliver it to you at a designated location at the finish line. More information.
Will there be someone who can help me put my bike together?
Bike Gallery bike mechanics can help put your bike together after you arrive. The fee for that service is $40. If you need it broken down and re-packed for the return trip or for shipping (packing materials provided), they will do it for $75.
What happens if I have to cancel my registration?