Last week, I was out on Cycle Oregon to take in the eight-day event for the very first time. I always knew I’d enjoy this well produced extravaganza, but I had no idea I’d fall deeply in love.
Cycle Oregon is about so much more than the riding. There is a true sense of community among the participants and a camaraderie between riders and the local residents of the communities we pass through. Sure, not everyone is excited to share their roads with a couple thousand bike riders, but for the most part along our Eastern Oregon journey the locals embraced us with a warmth and thankfulness – eager to share their town history and grateful for the economic impact 2,500 people can have on a town like Crane, population 130.
Every day was packed with activity: breaking down camp, eating breakfast, reading the camp newspaper, chatting with new friends, taking in the view one last time before setting out on the road, cranking through the miles, stopping for photos, enjoying lunch on course, arriving at the new camp, sipping a recovery smoothie, setting up the tent, resting, showering, beer, dinner, dancing to the band, socializing with friends and probably collapsing into the pillow by 9:30pm. A full day, rinse and repeat.
The ride is just about as plush as it can be, though the reality is that riders are traveling through rural areas with limited cell reception, nowhere to plug in (a service for that is available) and camping in tents. Perhaps it’s that lack of our taken-for-granted daily comforts that brings us together – and many people I met were thankful for a break from the their device-focused lives.
SHARE YOUR RIDE EXPERIENCE
Did you ride Cycle Oregon? Share your ride experience in the comments below.