2021 Cycle Oregon Fund Community Grant Recipient
Oregon Adaptive Sports provides life-changing outdoor recreation for individuals with disabilities throughout Central Oregon. The Bend-based non-profit is among the country’s premiere adaptive sports organizations offering instruction and of state-of-the art equipment for a range of year-round sports programs. We are excited to include them among our 2021 Cycle Oregon Fund Community Grant Recipients so that they can bring the joy of cycling to even more riders throughout Oregon. We spoke with Pat Addabbo, OAS Executive Director, just after the New Year holiday to hear what they have in store for 2022.
First, congratulations on a successful 2021. Despite the challenges of the year, OAS had many highlights and among them is the cycling success of Michael McDaniel. He’s ridden with Cycle Oregon before, most recently at the Tygh Valley Rally, but what else stood out for him and OAS in 2021?
Let’s go back to 2019; Michael attended a free community cycling clinic with OAS at Pine Nursery Park here in Bend. He was seeking an inclusive and supportive community to expand his abilities and achievements both on and off the bike. He is now one of OAS’ most dedicated athletes, achieving life-long dreams of participating in Cycle Oregon Classic (twice!) and summiting McKenzie Pass in 2021 was his on-the-bike highlight. An annual scholarship recipient, Michael’s participation with OAS has been fully subsidized by generous donors and partners and hinges on these investments from the community.
What are you most excited about for 2022 with OAS?
We are excited to see the safe but successful return of many programs and events. We have all learned so much over the past two years and above all else how important it is for organizations like OAS and Cycle Oregon to continue to provide access and opportunity for safe and successful outdoor recreation! We are looking forward to Cycle Oregon 2022!
How will OAS use the Cycle Oregon Fund community grant in the year ahead? Where can friends and supporters join in and/or lend support?
The grant is going to support the OAS community cycling program! This is a community based program that runs throughout Central Oregon, is free of charge, and open to all individuals with disabilities. OAS runs the program weekly at Pine Nursery Park and once per month at rotating locations in Sisters, Redmond and La Pine. We provide access to our fleet of 30-40 adaptive cycles and trained volunteers to support riders. OAS will be recruiting and training volunteers in May of 2022 for any that are interested in assisting!
What are some of the favorite places to ride for OAS riders?
We love the bike paths at Bend Park and Recreation District locations such as Pine Nursery and Rockridge Parks. We also enjoy when we can cycle in Sunriver on their extensive network of paths and our now annual trek up McKenzie Pass!
OAS had a big crew at the 2021 Tygh Valley Rally, what are some of the standout moments from the event?
Cycling throughout that region of Oregon was as equally breathtaking as it was challenging. But my favorite moments were perhaps when our entire group would gather over lunch or at the end of the day and swap stories on the day’s ride. Listening to this group of individuals all united in their love of cycling, in the work of the uphills and the joy of the downhills, well, that’s what OAS and Cycle Oregon are all about!
What are some tips for group riding with riders using adaptive cycling equipment?
Like any group ride it depends more on the experience and goals of the riders more so than the types of bikes. Common cycling courtesy of calling out when passing or warning of upcoming obstacles applies to all riders on all equipment. Just know that if you pass a tandem or a handcycle on an uphill, they are going to catch you on the downhill 10/10 times!