Cycle Oregon X

Sept. 7-13, 1997—Nyssa to Yachats

Cycle Oregon X Tourbook

Day One: Nyssa to Ironside, 67 miles

Elevation start: 2,174

Following in the footsteps of the pioneers on The Oregon Trail, we begin our journey by crossing Keeney Pass, marveling at the ruts etched deep into the landscape by the thousands of prairie schooners that passed this way in the 1850s. Unlike those pioneers, however, we have a rock band waiting to greet us at day’s end.

Day Two: Ironside to Seneca, 78 miles

Elevation start: 3,781
Today we strike west into the Malheur National Forest and the spectacular Strawberry Mountain Wilderness Area. Doing our first serious cycling of the tour, we climb through the trees to the verdant oasis of Summit Prairie, pause, drink in the glory, then whoop and holler all the way downhill to Seneca.

Day Three: Seneca to Paulina, 70 miles

Elevation start: 4,671
Don’t plan on stopping to linger at any of the communities between Seneca and Paulina. There are no communities between Seneca and Paulina. This is the day you’ll realize why we still call it the Wild West. Today’s ride is rugged, remote and heart-stopping in its beauty.

Day Four: Paulina to Prineville, 56 miles

Elevation start: 3,686

Break out your Stetson. Now we’re really in cowboy country. But late in the day you’ll get your first whiff of those mountains that have been beckoning on the horizon. Yes, that really is snow up there. Yes, you really are going to cross the great divide tomorrow.

Day Five: Prineville to Rainbow, 100 miles

Elevation start: 2,893
Every Cycle Oregon offers one special challenge, the kind of achievement you’ll one day boast about to the grandchildren. Welcome to our Century Day with a volcano in the middle. This morning’s ride takes us to Smith Rock State Park, hailed by many as the prettiest place in Oregon. Thus inspired, we’ll climb those Cascades. Don’t worry if you feel tired at the top. It’s 30 miles downhill to dinner.

Day Six: Rainbow to Monroe, 74 miles

Elevation start: 1,254
This is the day we ride through the heart of the Willamette Valley, the picturesque place the pioneers called “The Land at Eden’s Gate.” But don’t be lulled by all this sylvan serenity. A terrific challenge still lies ahead, and Monroe has promised the biggest party in Cycle Oregon history to get us ready for the big finish.

Day Seven: Monroe to Yachats, 80 miles

Elevation start: 295

Warming up for the Coast Range, we drop by Alsea Falls for a visit then have lunch in the lyrical Lobster Valley. Burrowing again into the forest, we follow a network of U.S. Forest Service roads that seem to soar toward the sky. Actually they don’t seem to soar toward the sky. They do soar. Up and up and . . . . Then, suddenly, there’s a fresh new scent in the air. Salt. The road is downhill. And it ribbons as far as the eye can sea.