Cycle Oregon Training Series — Part One

Steve and his team have provided many riders with the knowledge and inspiration to complete their first Cycle Oregon and become true lifestylers

The following post is the first in a monthly series from Steve Schulz. Steve serves as course director on Cycle Oregon. He is also the owner of STRADA, a fitness and adventure training center in Portland, Oregon. STRADA offers specialized training rides and programs designed to help riders get the most out of Cycle Oregon.

So you’re going to join us for this year’s ride – congrats! September is a long way away at this point, right?  Well, not really, when it comes to getting your fitness ready. You should be getting a baseline fitness plan started now. Starting this year with a good foundation will be the key to a successful Cycle Oregon experience.

At this point, your training should consist of two to four days a week of cardiovascular (aerobic) fitness. While biking is an ideal cardio activity, at this time of the year you don’t have to be bike-specific; it can be pretty much anything – running, swimming, fitness classes – just some sort of prolonged activity that challenges you at least moderately. Depending on your fitness level coming into the month, this could be anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes in duration.

In addition to your aerobic activity, now is also a good time to implement a strength training and flexibility routine. A full-body strength training program twice week – and at least that many days of stretching each week, too – will start getting your body ready for the months of training ahead.

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  1. I’m 72, this is my first sustained long distance ride. I’m looking forward to it and expect it to be a memorable and enjoyable experience.
    Your training schedule seems in tune with mine. At this point my whole body needs to be brought up to athlete level before concentrating on bicycle issues.I use gardening, weight training, and lots of walking with weight and bike shoes (without cleats) for strength and endurance. Swimming is a good idea that I haven’t thought about but will add it as an endurance and stretch bridge.
    I use yoga for stretching and mental conditioning. Yoga is also good for body alignment under stress, which I consider crucial. A lot can be done with mind set to keep me from defeating myself, a yoga, buddist prospective works for me.

  2. Steve Schulz says:


    It sounds like you’ve got the right idea! Keep working as you are and check back on the blog next month to see what’s next in the plan!

  3. Mike McCauley says:

    This is my first Cycle Oregon. I have done some riding but my wife and I need a training Schedule. We want to be in good enough condition to enjoy the week.

    1. Steve Schulz says:

      Mike, I would recommend using one of the STRADA training programs that were built for Cycle Oregon this year. They lay out exactly what you should be doing on the bike for the 20 weeks leading up to Cycle Oregon. The nice thing about these programs is that they were built with this year’s route in particular after I rode the route and determined the challenges people were going to face. You can find them on the STRADA website – – on the Cycling / Outdoor Adventure page. Happy Training!

  4. Patrick Schreiner says:

    I went on the Strada site and when I clicked on to purchase your online training Options…it says this product does not exist.
    I am in Cycle Oregon for my first time. I am 65 so I want to be ready for this.