Cycle Oregon’s new Program Manager
As Cycle Oregon builds on the diversification of our mission to transform individuals and communities through cycling, we are excited to expand our team with a new program manager position.
The program manager will focus primarily on two areas – the implementation of a statewide traveling bike and pedestrian education program focused on rural Oregon communities (in partnership with ODOT, Alta Planning and Design and other existing Oregon Safe Routes to Schools practitioners) and the management and future growth of the Oregon Scenic Bikeway Program (in partnership with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Travel Oregon, ODOT and others.)
This position, working with our Executive Director, will ultimately develop the strategy and capacity needs for the growth of both programs to better support the needs and promote the vitality of rural Oregon communities.
Meet Clint Culpepper, Cycle Oregon’s new Program Manager.
Hello, Clint, and welcome! Where are you from and what brought you (and your bike) to Oregon?
I grew up in Arizona and moved to Oregon in 2005 in search of a “more suitable” climate. The weather, the diverse terrain and the bicycle culture/infrastructure are what brought me and keep me excited to be here. I was introduced to bikes after leaving motorcycle racing in my early twenties and quickly made them a permanent part of my life. What made it stick was a good friend who happened to own a bike shop entered me in a 12 hour mountain bike race, loaned me a bike and put me on course. Bicycling has taken different forms since that race and my life has changed from track bikes to race bikes and to cargo bikes but the enjoyment of riding any of them has remained the same.
Bikes are more than a recreational hobby for you, tell us a little bit about that, please.
I spent the last 12 years at a public university managing bicycle and transit programs and was a bicycle mechanic prior to that. I’ve been involved in bicycle and pedestrian advocacy for the better part of the last decade, serving on a number of city and county committees as well as spending a fair number of hours volunteering at bicycle related events. I also run a cyclocross race series called Portland Trophy Cup that was launched in 2014.
What attracted you to this role and to Cycle Oregon?
This job excited me because it brings together many elements that are important to me. I feel strongly that we all deserve safe spaces to ride our bikes, especially as children. Bringing Cycle Oregon’s mission to kids helps to ensure that the mission is forward thinking and will truly transform communities for generations to come. To be totally honest though, the Oregon Scenic Bikeways program is going to be very exciting to work on and it’s hard not to hop on my bike and go ride all of them right away.
What will you be doing right away as you sit down at a new desk for the first time in 12 years?
My main goal will be to gain an understanding of how these new programs fit within Cycle Oregon’s mission. Our goal is to utilize the organization’s experience throughout the state to build these programs, so I’ll be spending a lot of time getting to know folks on the ground and learning about their needs.
About Safe Routes to School
Safe Routes to School is a national program that promotes walking and bicycling to school. Cycle Oregon will be working with schools throughout rural Oregon to making bicycling to school safer for kids. The best element of our Safe Routes to School involvement is really the opportunity to get more kids on bikes. Riding to school is really one of the most enjoyable things that we get to do as kids and being able to make that possible is really rewarding.
About Scenic Bikeways
Oregon became the first state to develop a statewide Scenic Bikeway Program in 2009 which now includes 17 designated bicycle routes throughout the state. Cycle Oregon will be working with proponent groups to develop new routes and to expand the program. The Oregon Scenic Bikeways are really fantastic but have not expanded from the 17 current routes in a number of years nor have they been regularly evaluated. Our work will allow for an expansion of the program, including a focus on more beginner and family friendly routes. The best element of our involvement will be getting a chance to get out there and ride with the proponents of any new routes!
Where do you like to ride the most in Oregon? What about it makes it so special for you?
A few years ago, I would have said anywhere in Helvetia but with increased auto traffic in the area and less flexible time in my life, I find myself riding less often and therefore opting for the highest quality riding possible. That means the Japanese Hollow/Pleasant Ridge area in Wasco County. Nice gravel, very few , if any, cars on the roads, and some absolutely breathtaking views.
Favorite food/snack at a rest stop?
I’ve been known to grab a block of cheese to get those savory calories but the best snack on the road is a fried burrito from any number of convenience stores around the state.
Sounds great, let’s go for a ride!
So looking forward to working with Clint to get more kids walking and rolling to school in Hood River AND in promoting the Scenic Bikeways to families.