NORTH, a branding agency in Portland, Oregon that specializes in outdoor-lifestyle industries, has been a long-time supporter of Cycle Oregon and its mission. The theme for the Week Ride, as well as graphics for the jerseys and other materials, is developed by NORTH. Last year, three of the agency’s employees ventured out on Cycle Oregon’s Hell on Wheels Week Ride. They learned some lessons that might be helpful for anyone going for gold in 2016.
As a creative agency, we draw inspiration from the world around us, and sometimes that means taking risks—and wearing some Spandex.
Many of us at NORTH are long-time (or lifelong) Oregonians. We share a deep love for our great state and champion any effort to preserve its natural beauty. Hell on Wheels was a nudge outside our comfort zone to see even more of Oregon from a new perspective, and a chance to become fully immersed in the Cycle Oregon experience.
Here are a few things we gleaned along our 387-mile journey, and why we plan to make Cycle Oregon’s Week Ride an annual tradition:
Mile 60: Training would’ve been wise, although slow and steady quickly became the pace of choice. After all, it’s not a race.
Mile 127: Oregon is a wild, multifaceted state. Its character is defined by its characters, the most colorful of which are found outside the Portland metro area.
Mile 202: It’s amazing how quickly bonds form among strangers when you’re all pointed in the same direction—usually up a very steep hill.
Mile 387: Cycle Oregon brings out the very best in the people, those who ride as well as those who support us along the way. The generosity of our host communities and the camaraderie of our “traveling city” were profoundly defining of the Cycle Oregon experience.
For us, creativity and fulfillment come just as much from what we do outside the office as the work we do for our clients. In addition to riding bikes for long distances, we volunteer at animal shelters, plant food at community gardens, produce hip-hop albums, build cabins, and lecture at universities. We’re a better agency because of these things.
We look forward to seeing you on the road this September. Be sure to give us an “on your left” as you pedal by.