Cycle Oregon Blog
Exciting news from ride director, Steve Schulz:
Cycle Oregon has been on a tear ever since the inaugural ride in 1988, when (somewhat to our surprise) 1,006 cyclists from 20 states showed up and helped generate more than $360,000 for our fantastic rural hosts. Over the past 26 years, we’ve generated millions more in benefits for communities throughout the state and we’re just getting started.
Today the Cycle Oregon Fund has more than $2 million in assets, and net proceeds from events continue to expand our ability to support more and bigger community development projects. Thanks to a strong brand and an amazing family of riders and volunteers, we’re in a better position than ever to live up to our promise of transforming lives and communities through bicycling.
After a strategic evaluation of the organization, we concluded that one of the few things holding us back from continuing on our meteoric trajectory was staff capacity. That’s why we’re pleased to announce that Alison Graves has recently joined Cycle Oregon as its new executive director.
If only all problems could contain such easy and obvious solutions… Alison possesses a high degree of familiarity with the organization, plus a strong track record of innovation and leadership – that makes her uniquely qualified for the task at hand. She comes to Cycle Oregon with the potent combo of a master’s degree in organizational development and 10 years of experience leading next-stage nonprofits, collaborative programs and creative fundraising campaigns.
Alison will focus on specific efforts: strategic growth, advocacy and future grants and projects. I will continue to lead the charge on rides and other events, and oversee internal operations.
Alison most recently was executive director of Portland’s Community Cycling Center, where she helped position the nonprofit as a local and national leader in making bicycling accessible to people of all backgrounds. Her volunteer time is dedicated to being a board member of the League of American Bicyclists.
She’s ridden Cycle Oregon’s Week and Weekend rides since 2007, and is married to former Cycle Oregon board member and past Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves.
Please join me in welcoming her to the CO family!
As many of you know by now, Ingrid Nylen, who headed up customer service for Cycle Oregon for the last decade, has retired. Providing the level of customer service our riders have become accustomed to is no small task, so filling this position required a rigorous search. We’re very glad to report that we’ve found the perfect person for the job: Chris Knott.
Chris comes to us from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, where he was involved in finance and development as well as fundraising and customer service, which makes him a natural fit for the Cycle Oregon position.
Interestingly, he also worked in the craft brewing industry for several years. During the CO rides, we’re thinking his experience in dealing with folks with a few beers in their bellies might translate nicely into working with overly tired riders, those who are overdosing on endorphins… or those with a few beers in their bellies.
With the new registration system in place, chances are good that you won’t be getting to know Chris via an urgent phone call on Feb. 6, so we offer the following tidbits:
- He’s from Rochester, Minnesota, but prefers to visit family in Colorado
- He’s an avid soccer player and is on two co-ed teams
- He loves to cook
- He’s stoked about working with Cycle Oregon, and looks forward to getting to know the family of riders and the great communities we visit.
He’ll be at the Kickoff Party, so be sure to find him and get to know him in person. You’ll be glad you did.
It’s an exciting time. Kickoff is just around the corner, and this year’s epic Cycle Oregon events are about to be revealed. If you like bucolic splendor (and climbing), you’ll want to be there. And this year, our all-new registration system–which was custom-designed and created just for us–will make the process easier than ever.
Here’s the scoop:
Online registration starts Wednesday, February 5, at 9:30pm Pacific on www.cycleoregon.com. The moment you log on and select your ride and services you’ll know immediately if you have a spot or service or if you need to sign up for the waiting list. You’ll be assured that spot–provided you make payment and complete the transaction within 15 minutes.
To register, you’ll need to set up an account and fill out the participant information, which you can either do as you register or prior to registration (which we recommend). Accounts can be set up after noon on Monday, February 3. If you don’t set up an account in advance, you’ll have more to do to complete your transaction. The process is easy enough that 15 minutes should still be plenty of time to register two people. If you do set up your account in advance, the process will require little more than a few keystrokes and mouse clicks.
If you plan to register multiple riders and want to set up your account in advance, you can add other rider’s information at that time as well.
Registration happens on a first-come, first-served basis with one exception: The first 500 people through the door at the Kickoff Party will receive a code that will guarantee them the ability to register at any time before midnight on February 5. A few important things to note about this code:
- It guarantees you a spot on the ride if you register by midnight, but it does NOT guarantee you a reservation for Tent & Porter. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, your best bet is to be online at 9:30pm sharp.
- Each code is only good for one registration.
- Those receiving a code at Kickoff will get a card which contains the code and specific instructions on how to use it.
The thinking behind this is that we want the people who can make it to the Kickoff Party to be able enjoy themselves without feeling like they have to bail out early to register. At the same time, we want to make sure everyone else has a good shot at getting in as well.
Please keep in mind that spots on Cycle Oregon are not transferable. We have a waiting list every year, and if you cancel your spot is offered to the person at the top of that list. There are no exceptions, for the first 500 or anyone else.
For those who want to attend Kickoff Party and register at 9:30pm (because you really want Tent & Porter, or you’re registering multiple people), we will be providing a list of places near the Art Museum with WiFi. The registration system is also fairly mobile-friendly, but if you want to go that route, we strongly recommend setting up your account in advance so you don’t have to do a lot of data entry on your phone or tablet.
We can’t accurately predict how quickly we will sell out this year. Some years it takes just a few minutes to sell out; sometimes it takes a few weeks. If you want to be sure to get a spot, your best bet is to either be at the museum when the doors open or be at your computer at 9:30pm sharp.
Got questions? Feel free to post them in Comments. For comments, suggestions, concerns, etc., you can email email@example.com.
See you soon.
For many of us, the Cycle Oregon kickoff party signals the beginning of the cycling season – or at least it helps remind us that we need to get ready to get ready for the cycling season. This alone makes it a pretty joyous occasion.
This year’s kickoff is going to be a little more joyous because the event is being totally reimagined with a far greater emphasis on the PARTY part of the party (think a typical evening of the Week Ride except with flush toilets and no obligation to get up and ride the next day).
We’ve got a new venue – the Portland Art Museum. We’ve got a new format – beer, wine, music, dancing and even massage. We’ve got a whole new registration method – one that you’re gonna love.
There will also be a food concession featuring a few culinary delights by one of Portland’s finest catering companies, so come hungry.
We’ll even be raffling off a Week Ride Luxury Package, which will include free entry, Tent & Porter service, punch cards for concessions and much more. The winner will be announced at the event and all the proceeds go straight to the Cycle Oregon fund. Now that’s a nice package!
The one thing that doesn’t change is the announcement of the 2014 routes, which are particularly magnificent this year. There will be roads we’ve never ridden, towns we’ve never visited and views we’ve never shown you. There will be some other surprises as well – including one really big one – but if we told you about them now they wouldn’t really be surprises.
Those who can’t make the event can watch the route announcement live on www.cycleoregon.com.
Those of you who remember the little registration “glitch” from last year (and those of us who helped deal with the fallout) will be thrilled to know we have a brand new online registration system this year. It was designed by us and for us and it’s awesome. Look for more detail on that soon.
Online registration will begin at 9:30 P.M. Pacific time. The first 500 people through the door at the kickoff party need not be concerned about the event selling out while they are immersed in revelry because the first 500 people through the door will be given a code that ensures they will be able to register before midnight. Even if you aren’t one of the first 500, no worries. The new registration site is mobile friendly or, for those who like to keep it old school, we’ll provide a list of places near the museum with hot spots.
· February 5 from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M
· Route announcement at 7:00 P.M.
· Registration opens at 9:30 P.M.
· Week Ride September 6-13
· Weekend Ride July 11-13
The Portland Art Museum is located at 1119 SW Park Ave in Portland. While there is parking in the area, we encourage everyone to take mass transit. There will also be extra bicycle parking available (but riders will need to bring their own locks).
If the weather is bad, ride anyhow. Showing up to this event in wet riding gear gives you mad style points.