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Volunteer Spotlight

Mark Deacon, of Portland, Oregon, has this to say about the Sweep Team, “We don’t just do signs!”. Mark is the Sweep Team Leader and has been volunteering with Cycle Oregon since 2016’s Go For Gold Classic. His is a common story, he signed up to volunteer in order to spend the week with someone who was a regular rider at our events. Where his story is a little different is that he was not local and flew in from New Mexico that year and the years after until finally moving to Portland in 2019. Here’s what inspired Mark to make that trip year after year and what he looks forward to for those to come.

What keeps you coming back to volunteer with Cycle Oregon? “I keep coming back, because it is a great organization, with fantastic volunteers and riders. It does wonderful work in small communities and it is a fun series of events to be involved with.”

What is your favorite Cycle Oregon location? ” For the views – Crater Lake or Hells Canyon. For a fun week as part of the sweep team – the Go For Gold Classic route.”

What is the most important work Cycle Oregon does? “Supporting small local community organizations. The story of the small town school which Cycle Oregon helped purchase new sports field lights for their teams to train under and then became state champions twice in a row, I love stories like that.”

What is your favorite part of volunteering? ” Interacting with riders at the back of the pack and assisting them in being supported is a great feeling. One time comes to mind, we were behind an obviously strong rider at Crater Lake who had been left behind their group due to some over zealous photography time. We opted to stay behind that rider and make sure she was supported all the way in. At the end of the day she went flying past us down the hill and yelled without slowing down at all ‘Thank you Cycle Oregon for the best day ever!’. The riders know that if we are behind them that they will always have our sweep team support in any circumstance. We don’t just do signs!”

What would you say to someone interested in volunteering with Cycle Oregon? “Cycle Oregon works. People care. It is fun and the organization is superb. The events are spectacular. It does great things for the communities! Go and ride! Go and Volunteer! The only thing that will stop me volunteering next year will be if I ride!”

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  1. Rohith Gunawardena says:

    As a rider-photographer volunteer, I get carried away trying to capture as many riders and sights with them. I usually am one of the last to ride back to camp, and get to interact with the sign team as they take down the signs. Mark always looks out for me, make sure I have all the water, drinks and snacks. And he gave me a nickname: Photo, where he makes both “o”s sound really long. 🙂 Thank you for being a fellow volunteer and friend.