Karen Leonard, Bob Leonard, and Krista Leonard, of Beaverton, Oregon, have found plenty of space to share with each other inside the focus of a single spotlight. Across three separate volunteer positions with Cycle Oregon – Green Team, Course Monitor, and Rest Stop 2 Lead Coordinator respectively, they maintain a close connection through their work and clearly have a lot of fun.
Like many of our wonderful volunteers, the Leonards began with Cycle Oregon as riders and they offer this collective quote, “Everyone who rides should take the opportunity to volunteer for a Cycle Oregon event at least once. You really don’t appreciate all that makes Cycle Oregon tick until you see it from the inside. There is such an amazing ‘family feel’ for all those involved. The volunteers put so much time and eﬀort into making these events happen.”
Such a fun, friendly attitude from this family. Also, they sure seem to like lakes. Read on…
When did you first volunteer with Cycle Oregon and why?
KAREN – “Bob had been riding the Classic and he said it would be fun to join the event as a volunteer. I volunteered for the 2018 event. Being able to be on the course with my husband, meeting new people, volunteering to help support all of the small local communities, and to see some new places is why I enjoy being out there.”
BOB- “My ﬁrst volunteering was for the ﬁrst Gravel Ride in 2018. I have been enjoying all that Cycle Oregon has to give and felt it was important to give back to Cycle Oregon whenever possible. I decided to volunteer for any of the events I was not riding in.”
KRISTA- “My first participation as a Cycle Oregon volunteer was Day 2 of 2019 GRAVEL. We did Reach the Beach the day before, then drove out to Dufur to help out the next day. My ﬁrst full assignment was Rest Stop 2 Coordinator for the 2019 Classic. I later did an Internship at Cycle Oregon in 2019 as part of my Masters Of Science & Nutrition degree.”
“I rode the 2016 Classic with my Dad and enjoyed the experience immensely. Due to school I was unable to ride the 2019 ride but still wanted to be involved. I had heard so many positive comments from my family about volunteering that I reached out about an internship and volunteer opportunity.”
What keeps you coming back?
KAREN- “I love being able to share the Cycle Oregon experience with my husband and daughter. I really enjoy all of the volunteers I have worked with, along with meeting all of the diﬀerent people involved with the ride.”
KRISTA- “It was fun meeting all of the community volunteers at our rest stop, why they were volunteering, what were their goals, and appreciated how hard they worked.”
What is your favorite Cycle Oregon event destination?
KAREN- “Wallowa Lake”
BOB- “Crater Lake”
KRISTA- “Crater Lake”
What is your favorite part of the work as a volunteer with Cycle Oregon?
KAREN- “Interacting with the diﬀerent Community Volunteers. I enjoy helping to keep our site and communities clean and working with Zero Hero.”
BOB- “My favorite part of volunteering at Cycle Oregon events is being out on the course helping riders. It’s fun to cheer them on and provide assistance when needed to keep them going to the finish.”
KRISTA- “My favorite part is combining my background in nutrition in helping riders with the appropriate nourishment they need for the day’s ride. I also enjoy working with all of the Community Volunteers.”
Bob assists Krista at Rest Stop 2 and they offered this comment from their last event together, “Our team made a diﬀerence by making sure Rest Stop 2 was as good for the final riders of the day as it was for the ﬁrst. They were so happy to see us, and that we had all the food and nourishment they needed to ﬁnish their very long day.”
What is the most important work Cycle Oregon does?
KAREN / BOB / KRISTA- “Cycle Oregon events allow several thousand people from all over the United States, (and many from around the world) to come together through bicycling to support the goals of rural Oregon communities. Many of the participants would never visit these areas and come away with greater knowledge and appreciation for our rural neighbors.”
Any thoughts on the future?
KAREN / BOB / KRISTA- “Despite the pause on events from this year’s upheaval we believe Cycle Oregon is moving in the right direction. Making the events more inclusive will encourage people who might not have been able to participate before to feel welcome and many are encouraged by the various event formats.”