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Cycle Oregon 4.9.17

Apr 5, 2017|

AN INTERVIEW WITH STEVE SCHULZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF CYCLE OREGON, ABOUT THE RIDES THEY DO, THE MONEY THEY RAISE, GRANTS THAT PROVIDE, AND THE COMMUNITIES THEY SUPPORT.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is microscope and Entercom radio Portland public affairs program I'm Gary blocks and Arnold like writer. Have you ever participated in cycle Oregon it's a giant bike ride around beautiful parts of our states. And on the show this time I'd like to welcome Steve Schultz Steve is the executive director of cycle Oregon hey Steve does going. Dirtier power you have thanks for having to make sure cycle Oregon so. I've heard of cycle Oregon part of our audience has probably heard of cycle Oregon bullets start out with an explanation of what cycle worry in his. Sure it's so cycle Oregon is a nonprofit we were started in 1988 and basically. We were started and you transform individuals communities to bicycling so there is an idea. Between an innkeeper here. In Ashland and a journalist in Oregon in Portland here. What do we did a bike cried and we could kind of runner barge from from Portland tell a story and by as much beer pizza as we could on the way and just sort of spread spread spread the word of the state to help give a little money back so. This idea. Put together formalize and if you're very well what to do this and they thought maybe they'd have a 100 people show up and about people showed up at the start. And they really had no infrastructure any plan of how they're gonna support all that but they went ahead and did it and could prove really successful they've they kind of went through and that the route shifted a little bit fitting go to Astoria. And asserted that and a different location but the premise was sort of born and they get to the finish of it and the double what we do and somebody spoke with pastor and a patent. Testimonies of bullets give this back. And the idea was hatched and so we are entering our thirtieth here this year of doing our signature event which is the classic which is our weeklong ride in September. And we have. I've developed a case funded the cycle organ a cycle organ from the Jordan community foundation in 1996. With these proceeds from the from that passing basically start to where we have over two million dollars in that fund. And the we're able to give grants out every year or so. You know we are first and foremost a bicycle. Event company and second a nonprofit that actually is is trying to do good throughout the state. Super also. So I mean you've you've done this for thirty years where roller rides gone and where is the right this year. From poor to tell me all thirty of. Yeah. Because gallows the shells. So. So for thirty years are weak event primarily is to this is thirty years for that and every year we changed the route so we traveled to different areas of the state so we've probably been two under couldn't. 3040 different small. Rural communities we've we've focused primarily on the rural fur week events are weekend event we started in 2004. Which called the weekender. And we pretty much in the land the ballot for that. And then last year we launched a women's only event. The single they ride which is in the in the big mental area around throughout Dayton. And wine country so. We have been all over the state. We have. There are only certain amount of the number of paved roads in the state we've been on pretty much all of them that we can't. What is the town that we can utilize her farmer's field that we can put our troops put people under this year are classic event is going to be sort of in the central and south central location so we are starting in the optimal state park which is outside of bend between bent and sisters there. Com we'll go from from the load to look pine and and then applying over to a diamond lake and then they it will stay there for one night or for two nights and have an option people can go up and run the rim of crater lake so dumb elixir of tribal acrylic for those that don't know. And then from that point we're gonna climb back. Good out head towards basically down towards rose Byrd but. Take a right jump over the over the over the mounds and end up entering the lake outside a Cottage Grove. And then from there we go over to brokerage. So well against climb up an overhead at. And wolf tonight Oak Ridge and then we wrote the off try to offer great scenic byways. Which is so just a phenomenal road to ride and to drive. Due community rainbow McKenzie bridge area and then will take that over MacKenzie pass which is another iconic right here in Oregon. Do tennis sisters and a back to talk more also served our classic route. So it showcases relieve some of the best writing in the states on one offense so we're really excited about that it's great for the third anniversary to have support that. About RG RO weekender event is gonna be out of commitment bill this year that too we move every year. Come in so this year were located and until college so for the weekender event we try to use university. A college to have some infrastructure so it's really going back to back to school. People asleep in the dorms taking camp outside you know we are all our vets we have. Wine and beer and massage and all those fun things like music. So that'll be general appealed and in their tour rider is out Stoller. Friendly states outside of McMahon bill there are so we've that's that's sort of our home location for that will be there for a few years is just too great venue to do that. Some of the most beautiful places in Oregon. Pretty much yeah how would this stage it's really amazing there are so many different. Areas of the state that look completely different it's not like some of the midwestern states but I love midwestern states to get me wrong but you know there's a lot of variety as far as from mountains to deserts to high plains so it's just when we're able to get there on a bicycle was we take people to places where they would normally I can go to car and they can go on their bikes and they can help support these local communities and she places they never thought existed you know week in fact it was just talking to somebody who's been here for a long time that an Oregon. You know that he realized that they haven't even export the state they don't know why they're traveling don't understate the so they'll offer your Oregon and a suggests. That sort of one of my job I get to do like additional people that so it's a great time. Now some of the classic that's coming up in September 1 person timber this year to kind of centers run crater lake a little bit. Yeah that seems like pretty rough terrain what what type of skill level do you need to do this and how many people are participating in cycle Oregon. Well permit scalable standpoint I mean certainly need to be comfortable on a bicycle but the thing with cycle organist that we support so much. That you know if you've done some training in your ready deride I mean every duke offense a little bit different classic you need to be training throughout the year you need to be read literature bite you don't. You don't want to show up after only have a couple weeks in a battle on your on your bike and then can be cycle Oregon though the classic but. Our weekender. We have routes we have three different route each day we stay at once spot so we call overly proud. And so any any age any ability can do you know we can we have routes are short as ten miles and has won seven in my also there's opportunities are for people to do that. The same thing as with search order right as we have that. The classic is different than we we moved around town to you have to be able to arrive that if if something comes up and you can't make if we do you transport vehicles that can help get you from place to place is something breaks found him or not. Shuttle service by any means but if something does happen and you need help we can help move that along. Com are weak event to the classic typically we bring about 2200 riders with us so. It's we're removing city with sir. With our support staff and and volunteers were 300 they're 2500 strong probably so. Now we're kind of a big camp we we need about 1015 acres to set up. So that's quite a bit of construction are so. You know we're like a circus receivable that clear when we leave him. That works really well and in our weekender event would take we will take up to 2000 people on that as well. And it because we do you have the different route people just spread out and you know I think it really feels crowded not least of these events and then are sure ride. Women's apparel will take about a thousand people on. To so what does is look like if you start in to blow and you you're writing any right for how many miles each day in the new camp overnight and kick kind of walk me through them the whole thing. Sure sure yes on the classic. And that's exactly right you basically moved from town to town so all you have to do is ride your bike we dual arrests so. Average is about 65 miles a day there's some longer days and some shorter days but. You'll arrive believed and you'll show up at the net. And some low end and to check in and stuff and they'll basically be this city that's built there went to a state are that you'll go and you'll spend the night. He we provide all the food and almost those types of pieces and then you. Packet content bag in the morning and I don't think it's strong on the bag struck and you just get on your bike in your ride new shall come upon them all inched up there again in the cities built up against so it's. It's sort of this process and then you know we'll get to. Two diamond lake and you'll have a that's what we call our Labor Day so usually on every. And classic event we have a day that we don't have to ride so people choose not to run they don't have to you mobile have it David Betts on that day there will be route that they can't do and so this. This year will be diamond lake taken stayed out at the wake of the campsite or they can ride up to. Crater lake and and Ryder rim which we anticipate pretty much of a but people do because that's that. One of the most iconic rides in the state estate right around the rim of crater lake so. Yeah so it just sort of that moving city every night people get up and then but I can we move everything for you so you just right Jabari Q throw the bag to bag Sharpton. You know you show queer press stops throughout the day that are fully stocked with all kinds of Bruton we'll hold good eaten some. There's plunged that's provided on the route we have medical support we have for communications so you can you know and if anything happens it is as I to be with something happens you on the bike it's very happens on cycle Oregon and it's they're Fred Meyer parking lot. There's going to be so many people granted I'm not used to take care so quickly you'll even know what happens soaked. It's great. So classic operates that way and their weekender. Image we stand and once sites so people to show up on Friday night they set up and then they're they're all weekend so whether there and camp. Are sleeping and attend. More in the dorms or a local hotel or anything like that such a star home base and and Gloucester groups to come to replace her friends hang out those comments on the weekend together they'll send up there and saw a row on a canopy in the just have to you know. Their own little entourage that there are no more throw frisbee in the quad and wonderful Paulson won't drink beer and won't have. I'm so I think it's not a bad deal doubts on we also. So you when your bring in this many writers to all three of your events there's quite of quite a few writers what kind of impact does that have on the communities because especially with a classic because you're. After kind of bring in a bunch of writers through a particular town what does that what does that mean to those communities. He had no I think it's phenomenal on the you know and that's really. The whole premise of why we exist is to help provide some of this positive impact. To be mean he's not only an economic way but also in sort of community building way on the classic because we. Need so much help from the communities it and it has them. On the bond together in order to make something happen so you we'll go to these communities where maybe you know not everybody gets along as well as they would like to. But when they have sort of a goal okay we wanna showcase what we do and we wanna put it put our best foot forward. On the tend to bond together and it's really it's transformational for the community when they start to to do that and then you have this organization that comes in and and part of what we do is we contribute back to those communities. For the ought to they provide. So from Berkeley from cycle Oregon they're gonna get anywhere between fifteen and 25000 dollars on political right to them just from us. And then. I don't they we also have a small grant program that the communities can provide Eric can apply to. So we provide grants from you know from 500 dollars to 50000 dollars 200000 dollars depending on what that's war. And so those those opportunities and an ever Ryder we've done some studies to contribute about 200 bucks. Throughout the weeks so you know on all working 750000 dollars of contributions just from coming into those communities. And then there's the impact people coming to the state. So we've done a few different studies. Some economic impact cities and the one of the station of the cycle organ impact was you know five and have six million dollars of impact just for the week as the so you know and that's flights to its hotels. It's new bikes new gear whatever that is but that driver OK here's what I need to get ready cycle organ that's what's going back to those those. That economy so. You know that's who worry worry worry about is trying to get their money back and really about bridging that urban and rural divide I come to. Most of our participants are from. Rural areas the majority would be from I'm sorry for veterinarians. So giving them into the rural Indian that it to have these these conversations with these local communities and these advocates of these communities understand what happens in rural also. It were trying to work on bridging NASA people start to understand that there there's a lot of commonality. You may look at stuff a little bit different but. And on all there's a lot of commonality between what you're dealing what in the world. He talked a little bit about the grants that you provide some of these communities who what do they do with those grants what. What kind of impact does that have. Boy yeah it could be anything you know. It could be a water heater at the grains or can be a community center and it's you know they vary and we try to maker cramp process super simple. For anybody that. That does grant writing for a living. That you municipal grant process go to cycle Oregon it's basically of one teacher forty doing. How much money do you need and who we contact. And so it's. You know we try to make it easy a lot of these rural towns don't have the capacity to have somebody write grants say hey we need 5000 dollars to help put a roof on the community centers that we continue to have town meetings I mean they don't have that kind of capacity so we wanna keep that the simplest possible. It be you know but it's all a little pebble in the pawned you know people say oh well you know he just gave. A thousand dollars to this group to help simple worked museum or whatever. That museum then has gathering place for that community that actually does something so. You know we can do little bits here they're actually provides a benefit. We don't. Provided we don't have the funds to provide something or some great constructive change at this point but we can partner with other partners. Help that happen and so that's where some of these bigger grants or come through so. We does his signature grant where we've donated 50000 dollars. To help save the marine on the wall count me Q buyback. Halfway fairgrounds so that halfway at a fairgrounds to keep it's so there's some of these things that can't be transformational. Our latest sort of project. Is teaming up with the folks for the cemetery trail. The project which is you know converting on the railway to a trail system and a rail on the trail with trail on some of the places where we can connect Borland to the coast so we have donated. 200 house doorstep projects so far we committed. Tutu we pledged to raise up to a million dollars for that project so that's our sort of the most ambitious project to date. But we will continue to keep these small grants program because we know that that's what helps these rural communities survive. And that's what the same a very it's because you're gorgeous MB zero communities like quote we can change. What happened charities they're timbers no longer driving these economies to people are starting to look for stuff so we're trying to show them that tourism is another opportunity. That they can help help help save that community basically to make that tried for the future. When I was preparing for this interview I was looking at your website and then there's a link to the seminary trail and it looks amazing this is like one of the coolest things I've ever seen can you kind of tell our audience what it is. Yeah basically it's until December railroad which. Rand basically from sort of Portland area banks. Washington County area out the coast comedy it was karma primarily lumber. Transport in in the ninety's. Does floods that came through Tom little and basically over the decade after that I just sort of torn apart I also am a very real system. So it's really not feasible to rebuild it to that railway station status again. And so we're looking to do is who with certain number of other partners were just a small player in this group and it is Q. Construct this multi use trail and you know it goes through tunnels and goes over think thirteen different Tressel. And it follows the salmon very. River all the way out towards Tillamook until the coast so it's a phenomenal at this undiscovered place it's really hard to get to it's very remote so it is not. You're not going to be bothered to spend a lot of people around it's going to be you know. He's the sort of ideal act like I'm in the middle nor I have no sorrow cellphone reception but I just drove to the political town that timber and you know they had high hamburger shack or whatever it is. But it's phenomenal it's is just beautiful and actually hard to get there there was so. An article that came out in will lamb a week come last year that spurt or an interest to people are trying to find it and is not actually trail yet so people looking to get down on the trail it's that the real the railways still there I mean that we have so many be in the river but. It's still there are so. Issue started to develop that and I don't if you're familiar with the banks Renault and betrayal but. That was another project right that runs from banks were going so it's Christmas and every starts off and it's basically paralyze that and moves on so. And and takes off from that is very similar project in on that trailer just a phenomenal change I I actually wrote last week. Amber we're out of Renault and yet you know that your ride in trillion commander colonel yet and there's always CD's by cracks outside these cafes and people are sitting there all the bike gear in eating sandwiches and putting money and that no like yeah right back to Portland after this and so which is bad driver that's helping these small town survive and there's just one more. Sort of confirmation yet we're doing the right thing we need help we need to get the cemetery project on yeah. In the seminary trail that goes through lots of terrain was the only transportation that ever went through there was of that railway is that correct. That's correct yeah there's no car there's no cars there's no roads there's just I don't train tracks are and so and a new bike trail. That's right that's right and you know and accused it is used by hunters and fishermen in and that everything's so it's working with those groups as well two. Make sure that that's still Bible out there for people so it's really sort of working together this sick out the best for this. Area what's the strep can do for all these different groups that are for but he still gets the benefit of that that the state actually gets more benefit him in this is a transformational projects that. People travel from all over the world to come ride this trail I mean it's it's very similar to the the greater Allegheny passage that. How to just built up around and has provided such a big economic driver for these things so. If that's right and was like gore commission exhibit two big scope but it's something that we certainly wanna be at the table with because the certainly important state. Yeah for sure is there room for more writers to participants like organ this year. Mary is through. And would those classic event is pretty much near capacity but will still keep some open some spots open. The week ended there is room in there and also the joy ride so the weather has not been great in the Portland metro area. Really had this to put it lightly comes to a lot of people are just starting to pull their bikes out when they see the sun comes out against so. Yes so get on your bike can get on the cycle reps I find upsurge to realize the public is still is still viable freedom beyond so we're we're kind of looking forward to the sun stand out for awhile. For sure you know hopefully it'll still an early comeback Albert or something you know it's it's an on orbit to see in the sky that it is not used to it. It is but if you if you live in orient you do cycle Oregon you have to expect that there's going to be some weather break period it's new York and get a perfect day. You're not gonna get a perfect day and that's you know one of the reasons. That we do are we can't event the classic in September is some bad weather is to end. Organist pretty much always great that second weekend of September that sect weak September it's it's on the shoulders he's in the summer the why it's still warm during the day to look cool at night bit you know to clear that weather's really good and you don't knock on wood we haven't had very many. Issues with. With terrible weather in thirty years so that's been great. That is great. He says he will come from all over the place to participate in cycle Oregon health how far away if people come. We typically for the classic gifts 48 states and about eight to ten countries every year. So they'll come from all from all over Europe. So we typically have cue from Germany Ian. Sweden in. Minutes of folks from I think Libya last year and so a sister really who a big commission we have promised state wide perspective we have a big group becomes from Alaska and the group that comes from Florida and so big they just come from all over. Our biggest hole is in the northwest come in the western coast so California Washington and Oregon and Idaho. We have a lot of folks from that area. But it is really cool and that's part of the stuff. You know we use these small towns and communities to to help support and so these kids from. So big diamond Oregon population five Pino can talk to somebody from Germany and who's they're serving lunch to and that's likely you know. When we're never gonna meets me from Germany or Switzerland or. Paris or you know these things and so it's experiencing a lot of these small towns hope that it took the mound in the interview people. To its its stories where people are coming from so it really expands. The small town children in particular the outlook complicate there's a big world out there. And not an analog format but I like look all the stuff from exposed to an assist about the silly by credit came through wouldn't. Brought a bunch people left a bunch of money and it's just it's it's not a bad thing giving him off steps you on this road. I asked. Well. In 2001. I had a direct used to have a business that was an adventure training and fitness companies and the right. I trained group of writers to do cycle Oregon in 2001 that was my first sheer. And you know I was hooked from then on it was like dissident discredit I grew up in small town Wyoming so I am. Very much into rural and supporting rural and that lifestyle. So it was sort of a natural fit for me if you can fall so I rode. For number years after that and then in 2008. Mike came on staff a cycle Oregon. And while I don't ride the event itself. I do ride the route as we go out and ride it every year actually your prior. To make sure things work after we sort of built and so I get how my bike is just now with 2000. Other people into these are the so the last minute or so we have here looks a talk about the details give us give a solid dates and then how to find out more information. Sure okay so great so are our three events are the classic weekender enjoy the ride so to ride as are women's only event. That is June 10 in Dayton. And so you can sign up for all these events online our our classic event is September 19 through the sixteen point. And our weekender. It is July 7 through the night and so if you go to. Debbie Debbie divvied up like organ dot com you can get all the information on those events. If we also on our web site that we talk about our work so you can get on you concede impact that we do as a nonprofit I don't we've given almost two million dollars a way out of just cramps. Since our inception and exit we give away about another. 30400000. Dollars a year just from cycle organ operating hound so that we you know our whole thing is given back from her. So these these events you have a great time everything's taken care of and you could actually soup or organ and then this great state that we live and so we encourage everybody to. Ride with us early skin involved in someway look at the salmon very look at what we're doing see how that might help what year being the ball to where or how you know you just wanna be apartment. Yeah really super cool stuff cycle Oregon duck comes placed a Steve Schulz executive director of cycle Oregon thanks for being a microscope today it's been really cool note thank you very much has been a pleasure appreciate it. May microscope is an Entercom radio Portland public affairs program and I'm Jerry blocks of if you're involved with the nonprofit public affairs organization or you have an idea for an upcoming show I'd like to hear from you. Visit microscope PDX dot com and submit your ideas you can also go to the station's website handsome richer information there. Thanks for listening to metals gold and enjoy the rest of your weekend.