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Cycle Oregon 042218

Apr 17, 2018|

AN INTERVIEW WITH STEVE SCHULZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OR THE NON-PROFIT CYCLE OREGON ABOUT THE RIDES THIS YEAR, THE OREGON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION IT SUPPORTS, AND THE IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITIES THEY VISIT EACH YEAR.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is metro scope and Entercom radio Portland public affairs program. I'm hearing blocks of cycle Oregon is a non profit organization dedicated to transforming individuals and communities through bicycling. In cycle Oregon has several events on the way in the next few months and we're gonna talk about him this time on microscope. On the so this time I would like to welcome Steve shields at Stephens executive director of cycle Oregon editor Steve. Page during our yet thanks for having me. Certainly so the cycle organs coming up again. Again yeah so yeah we are. This will be our 31 year as an organization and Adam our first event starts in June and our last event stops in October so we're in full swing. So cycle Oregon isn't just the one big classic bike right there several that's straight. That's right yes so we have four events now we do our classic which were known. For the most which is our weeklong event September. There we have a weekender event in July which is a two day event this year will be. On the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene and then we do they women's event. Which is a single day which scored joy ride in June and we do that out wine country. And then we're introducing a gravel of that this year so it's her first. Off the pavement event will be doing that for a weekend in October will. So this site glory and how do you send us the 31 year. So I am why it was that this created what's what's the story behind this. Well kind of quick conversion is there was an innkeeper in that actually and by an image of beaver who wrote a letter to Jonathan Nicklaus who that the time was a columnist for. You're going in and he was writing about Perot beat him now it was about hey you know how about that we do quite cried and be right from Portland to. Ashland and people can stop by and stay at places and spend money in provides an economic benefits they're Oregon and so. Closer assured a few years later. In 1980 was our first event and we wrote from Salem to Brookings basically and you know they about a hundred people which opened a thousand people showed up and they had to kind of scurried to get all put together and figure or they're gonna eat and all that's. But at the end of that people call what should we do winds story is somebody pastor advance civil it's got some of the money back. There we have looked over and that's how we got going and so really that mission is just to help promote sports or communities of Oregon and we do that to deceive a bicycle. Gloria is in the process. We are nonprofits we're Bible once before. And so. Because of that we have established the cycle Oregon fund which has held the door and community foundation and others are 501 C three arm and as you were and we all we do every year is any proceeds that we have tomorrow events week. I invest into that's like organ fund. And then every year we donate our we award grants from the cycle organ fund out to communities and make. Can be you know anything from a 500 dollar water heater for grange and a small town 200000. Dollars so for the cemetery trail project that we're working on. What kind of impact does that have on the small communities that's going to be massive. Yeah it is pretty massive I mean we've done some some some figures from surveys and between our vendors are writers spending money we've we provide about. 200000 dollars worth of contributions to communities. As are going through and we utilize a lot of local vendors it's about one point eight million dollars a year. Just from the little by cried so in our history. You know we've been roughly 46 million dollars we've been able to contribute straight back door again. Through postings in that. So it's a great. In the classic where's it going to be held or what's throughout this year. This year we are out in eastern Oregon so some of our favorite places in 2015. We were out in the east organ and we got turned back fire wildfire. Into way to reroute and we did not get to achieve some our host communities some of those being halfway. Joseph swallow lake there on the enterprise serious this year we actually. And back there will be due in Joseph Paula lake will be going to Pendleton lover Labor Day which is today that folks. Can elect not to ride we do you have an event that day that they cannot write and will be there for the panel to round up and then will be back around through. Through look grand and then back to pick city so some beautiful parts of the country amazing from mountains to two prairies it's just got everything in that the round jeans is there for your right. Yes so every year we change it we have been there and this will be our thirty classic event since we weren't able all the last year. So we travel all over the state we turn to go to different areas host to print are coated your host communities. Don't we pretty much covered almost every paved road that we could put certain events with the by decides so we're running out of space but be where we would have come up with a new round every year for the most part and gosh we just have seen some amazing amazing places throughout statin had some great hospitality. Touching every square inch of the state of Oregon. We're trying to we're trying to yes lazy Lester is a classic had to be canceled why is why is that what happened. Yeah I'll actually you might recall there was a lot of force choir. Activity going on in the western states and we monitored it all summer but by the end our contingency plans weren't weren't weren't feasible any longer in the fire so it's sort of surrounded our entire route so from a health standpoint in the safety standpoint. We had to cancel that event I was first time in her in her thirty year history you've had to do it basically shut down something and we re. I had to close at about ten days or so before the events when we finally had to pull the plug it. And those wildfires were fatigue crazy last summer. Yes pretty crazy about 600000 acres just in Oregon and so you know that's the size of Rhode Island if you think about Allstate disappears so. A lot of activity and clearly on the West Coast as well. So we're just opened Europe for a little bit left this year a little better season. We've won some non new branding for the season to for the new cycle org and tell me about that. Yes so you know and I think when you say cycle organ people have always thought oh that's that week right in September and you know since 2004 we've been adding events and and we've long been referred to was this best buy cried in America but we're no longer just one event. We also do work and efficacy and don't drop circle so the common denominator through that whole thing was the body can we are able to do we do but simply writing so. Riders are new sort of tag line it's simple and it seemed encapsulate everything that we do which as we just want people to ride and bite. By writing we able we're able to do what we can do for the say. What. Excess like organs and different and other events. You know a lot of events companies like guess particularly bike events. How are front of by and other organizations that can take of other big gripes across the US. He could be a media company health company. Like national nonprofit that's behind it or they were under the direction of some parent nonprofit. This thing about Michael organs were fully supported internally our vets were were our own our own peace we select our own event we do our own. Philanthropic and efficacy were calm and that's set by this board and the staff so allows us to be really nimble. And to be able sure we produce the best events around and then director proceeds to work that support our mission so we. We don't have to work under different umbrella though we're still able to execute these really phenomenal events. And really have complete responsibility good or bad for what happens. So it's really be great you know. A lot of companies will work do events it'll fall sort of repair company and they decide where the money goes. How we get to decide that we get this could listen to the stories in these communities that we could figure out how can we make the best impact of these small communities in Oregon and so it's it's very powerful. Is it time to register for the humans had to for the U for the rides. Yes all of our events are open registration is open and we have spots and all our bench right now you would just go to cycle organ dot com and scraped on the home page is a selection of our four events. How many you can just click on that it'll take you writes the place to give you bunch of information from that and then you can register right from the web site. If somebody wants to do military the classic event one and they've never done before walk me through what what they can expect. During the ride. Yes so the classic. That is sort of the fully supported creme Billick crimp things so you know from. From mom. Supporter on the routes to you foods she drinks to medical support to police support to mechanical support it's all they're all you have to do a show from Roger bike and we take care of it most if this is a camping event today is primarily keeping. Found a lot of accounts we go to do you have hotels but they're usually government defense and has so little to grow pretty quickly if people wanna do that. But you know we provide everything for you which really. Just an amazing experience to host communities that are there. They come and Neil served food bill move bags they'll have conversations. And did you know the French ships that have developed over cycle Oregon our lifetime I was just speaking assuming this afternoon about. How they have these great French ships that they see every year they see a cycle organ they never seem again for the rest of the year as are all over the country. But it's just really brought people together. When you landed in the town for the night to where you were teaching about you in the park serve. I'll backyards when gavel everything comes schools parks sometime vicious broad open fields and pastures depending on where raft. We try to search for green grass for our ten service. Humble we take up about ten to fifteen acres burned tires sites so it's it's not a small footprint so we're a little bit limited or reduce a patchwork things but usually. We try to be as close to the center of the town Lauren. I'm a lot of times strike. If I were an attorney county for example. You'd there are towns south and southeast so we're working with pastors or in a small communities that are in the area to come and bring. Support infrastructure to that. And they got some pretty awesome food and drink available when you do land for the night right. We certainly do that so we have lots of food live you'll never run out of who people people they all wanna make sure have enough food they leave cycle organ heavier than they were when they. After riding 600 miles so. Yeah we've got everything set up for you we've got food and drink can we've got our catering which is we try to provide as much local. Crude as we can come on the site we've got coffee pizza as smooth these beer and wine. All kinds of food and drink for there and then on the route as well we've got those same kind of that keynesian kind of support on the route. You know for a weekend event for example you know Xperia season and we'll labor take get all the fresh stuff right spread out of the pastors and put her out of people's place so it's great. Doesn't the economic impact you have. On a community when you come into a small community like that. Yeah so you know what basically. We use the community volunteers to help provide. Services for us so every host communities it's in the air gets a stipend from cycle Oregon for different groups so. It's anywhere from fifteen dead 20025000. Dollars a community depending on what kind of need to we need. And then our writers go in and they spend an average is 20300 dollars during the week of that so. There's about a 60700000. Dollar investment our and our impact that's made by just just coming into these towns which is really great you know when. When we hear that the local restaurant ran out of chick in they ran out of fear that that's music chart here you know looked. So it gives people might wanna say you cynical look like I would love to have everybody in town run out of food for you mean that is then we've done something you know it in people would tell us. You know that's the biggest thing I've ever had over you know that's better than my best month that I ever had with people come and and so it's great. About these a lot of these communities want to come back and how do you decide each year where you're gonna go. They do you know they do all com we have very rarely had to restate don't come here I'm and usually if we do it's because they don't feel like they can help support us and and we help. Figure out a way to help them. Help will help us so. But you know we looked it would different communities different things that are going on different needs that are being met we try to look at where we've been in the states. The previous five years and how are you I wanna spread that around there are few communities that we go to that. Mark some of our I would say you know favorite communities and ashe's from the fact that they really embrace that there were doing their being very active in trying to create bicycle tourism in their communities. How much do what we want we want to help sort of provide enough I'll moment for folks to go there might be other ways to make money in and stay and live or want to live and not have to move to the city and and do these things. So we kind of look at those pieces we also look at other organizations. For example travel organ what kind of stirs and studios are doing across the state where the scenic bike waste program is looking at route so that we can kind of collaborate a little bit highlight what's going on in the states. We're talking they was Steve Schulz executive director of cycle Oregon. The Steve let me hear some more about the cycle organ fund held the organ community foundation to me about. Sure so. After a few years. Going all of the organization and by 1996. We decided we needed to use spews something these proceeds and a bigger scale so we opened up on the donor advised fund it or community foundation. Come to contribute all the proceeds every year to that so we have proceeds from our vents that go straight to the fund. And from that week grant's back out community grants so there's three areas we put at least we really focus on what's. With grants that's community of cancer community projects. A bicycle safety and tourism and then historic preservation and conservation so we try to silo. Those grant pieces into it and then we have a grant cycle that's right now opened once a year so this year it opens on the 24 to September. Folks who go online you can download to grant application and it's the simplest grant applications that most people oversee. Which we you do that intentionally it's basically a one page. What's your name which attacks say do you how much you want what's at four. And it's anybody can fill it out and then we award those grants. To try to have those grants awarded through or it's like organ fund by December of this this year's so. You know will be given everything from. You know bike helmets for kids to buying land to restocking lakes Q bomb helping. We bring fairgrounds and half where foreclosures so we've done a lot of bigger project so it's nothing really too small. And has been through our small broke grant programs go to about 25000 and after that week to could take a bigger lens of that right now most of our. Bigger contributions are going to December internal project. Go and hear more about doctor thome thome about the pardon should be up with a seminary trail project. Yes so December drill projects who about 20102011. Conversation asserted that happened through a few organizations is like coral one of them about. Deal Pacific railway line and trying to convert that to railed trailer rail would trail. And so in 2012. We donated a 100000 dollars that you get a feasibility study done for that. And since then. A lot of the partners have come on so state parks is there the governor's offices and Walt. There's still look forest to look for charities trusts. Portola today a lot of the small communities timber in those along the line are getting involved those conversations and so. It's a big collaboration between entities to try to make this project a reality miffed when it becomes a reality you'll basically be able to ride from from Portland. To view. The coast on a bike path or a multi use path and it'll be phenomenal it'll be a transformational projects for the state you'll it'll attract. Global tourists for sure. In the seminary trail is. When you're there you feel like zero kind of on the middle of nowhere. Yet you will mean it right now it's still railway but you'll be out you'll leave. The town of banks which is some in Washington County to west of Portland here and you know pretty soon you get out the value are running through some of the most beautiful. Rugged country on the coastal range and then there's small towns along the way but a lot of it's isolated but they'll be different sections of the trail that you field access from different points. To get in and then get out of that and then it'll. The basic go to Wheeler then dropped down into Tillamook since you don't see from the highway. So fuel Nazi from the highway yes they did the satellite phone vs a cellphone is the most there is probably what's this case. But it's gonna be great it's a bit different sections full wolf basically. To appeal to different markets in different abilities so anybody can get on up on a path and banks and run a flat trail how many communities more rugged stuff. You Lamar isolated you'll be back into the in the course section but again it's railroad grade so it's nothing that's. That's how I release you know steeper anything like that it's still railroad grade. Now so let me hear about the typical writer who does some of your events come what kind of flow. Avid cyclist and they need to be Howland seemed to they need to be what kind of terrain are they going to be looking at. Sure yes so that's one of the reasons why we expanded our offering your classic events September was sort of serious cyclists are gonna write seven days 500 miles plot to the elevation. That just comes with the territory. But we want to be able to reach into different demographics and so in 2004 we start a weekend event and on that. You have three different routes typically each day we write Saturday and Sunday and they can be shortest thirteen miles and as long as seventy miles. So we really wanted to start to provide an access point to other writers to get involved with cycling it was like organ and come just you that experience and our mission and gay and get involved with fat and so that. The writer can be anything and the nice thing about something like the weekend is you know you may have friends or family that. Right at different levels you all can go to the same event you can do different things you can meet up for lunch you can meet up for dinner hang out and stuff. Women's event is the same thing the joy ride we have three different levels so you don't have to be really skilled skilled cyclist you can be familiar with epic she can go on right twelve miles. On all of our events we have full support so there's route support out there they're saying bands of people to help you there's mechanics is something happens. Alexa you know there's always food and drink everywhere so you really full support of the way I. Don't people who this guitar along to you basically have 412 mile ride that you have to do one day and then you got meals so. You know anybody can really do its the trouble ride it you know you were gonna bring introduce some new people to some off off paper itself. Which will be a different writing but again we've decided so that there are multiple routes people can have multiple levels can get their feet wet in the cycling and to be out there know that they're supported well. He's done these reds before. I have yeah come in 2001. I was my first experience we were out and this team Gary and Ernie counting. In the middle of nowhere when September 11 have and so was just it was sort of a double impact full experience and I have. Been engaged with the organization ever sense. Few years after that I came on as a contractor to do some work with them and then I came on staff and to fascinates so so that became step I don't really right be events could they worked them but there are a group of us that do ride each route to make sure works and we change that we tested so. Basically have been doing cycle or in events for the last eighteen years. Go to bed I would imagine there's a lot of background and lot of logistics are going to planning all of the stuff right to me about that. Yeah so you know whether it is were were moving fire camp but we're really glorified. Meant it doesn't move easily and it doesn't move quickly so we. We work out a couple years in advance on everything that we do. You know we wanna make sure by the time we announced that we have a lot of our reduction arrow everything's laid out and then we bring along. 150 volunteers on our week event because there's such a big thing we utilized. Hundreds of volunteers in the community. We have giant infrastructure so we ensure our trucks and kitchen trucks and stages and massage stands and beer gardens so we're we're a big entity. It's really fun it's really fun to see we've basically build a city every day. And tear down the next day and you show but the next listeners in the city there. Are you volunteers refute the whole. Ride the whole week or do into the kind of change we need it downtown. New. Known so well on all over events they are there for the ones that we bring with that are sort of typically cycle or volunteers they are with us. For the whole duration so for most of them it's nine or ten days because we show up early and we we play our outlets we've set up and stuff. And then you know and each community were were probably grabbing a 10050 volunteers out of that's communities of the surrounding communities. In addition to what we're bringing to help do some of those other services are still looking for volunteers do you help. We are yep we have we have a few spots to fill. You know there's this crazy thing about as we have about a 95% retention rate in our volunteers which is we are extremely. Fortunate to have that we have people that have been volunteered with us. For almost thirty years almost every year they've been there are so it is really great bunch of people but we do you have some spots available and they can. They can search for that online to make me go to volunteer online. Compare that to me about some of the participants that that right do you have people to come back and do it every year and where they come from all over the own country in the world. Yeah we do we have I would say most of we have about a 50% to 60% return rider ship every year on the defense. And then. We typically get 48 states and about twelve countries every year. So they come from all over about 50% of the people that do like the classic. Come from the organ area that from the state of Oregon. And then Washington California for those events there. Her for that event is probably your next biggest weeks so we have people from all over so. And they come back every year you know we have people who come from the east coaster rear cover from Alaska or Hawaii every year they just this is their thing. Yup well September and orient is pretty awesome. It is pretty awesome it is you know historically been one of the best temperate. Weeks and low traffic counts in this state so that is one of the reasons we nail that week and have kept that week as it is typically been just the best best option we've had. We'll pull up your crystal ball and tell me what you see in the future for cycle Oregon what's gonna happen over the next few years. Yeah well you know at at our core we produced the best cycling experience as we stand you know but through that we help promote the vitality of war again and we wanna continue to do that mission work in an MI and I'll always be by the seat the bicycle so. We're looking at how we develop deeper strategic partnerships sound so we can collaborate on doing more good for organ you know we have our fun but there's a lot of other funds that are going on out there and how cool be stronger together. You know maybe the for a community partnership events. More looking at some donor partners. Events were looking at a matching grant program. And releases more stronger more effective philanthropy. Will we will continue to probably look at adding. Maybe some different events that we've vetted gravel this year will be looking to do we go into mountain bike we've been having some talks about that getting an amount biking events and try to bring that community together giving some people. Access today you know the thing about cycle or against. That we find works is that you people that have done cycle Oregon. Know that they can process and what we do and they're going to be taking care of so work try to provide a place for people to try new things. Meant to get involved with that so we're gonna continue to move you know were excited about the direction to go more excited about. Those desperate team that's in place in our senator board that some place and you know what we had a little hiccup last year with that fire obviously but that's not gonna stop us from moving forward. That's also. Well Milosevic we have here tell me the dates for the rides again throughout the year and the best place for people to get information. So the best place for folks to get information is and on our web site its cycle or again WW that cycle Oregon dot com. And so are events we have our joy ride which is or women's event that's our first dependent on June 9. Our weekender events. Is in July and that is the thirteenth through the fifteenth. Our September event that classic is September 19 through the sixteenth has. And then our new event gravel is October 5 through deceptive to. It's going to be another year cycle organs. We're feeling good about it is certainly feeling good about it and ready to roll awesome listen great thanks Steve Perry thank you so much for and it really appreciate the time. We've been talking today with Steve Schulz executive director of cycle Oregon. Mitchell's go fees and Entercom radio Portland public affairs program. I'm Gary blocks and if you're involved with a nonprofit public affairs organization or if you have an idea for an upcoming show I'd like to hear from you. Does this microscope PDX dot com and submit your ideas you can also go to the station's website can submit your information there. Thanks for listening to metals gold and enjoy the rest of your weekend.