Cycle Oregon: Outreach Volunteers Needed

By: Nicole Strong, MWM Coordinator

Twitpic of Cycle Oregon Volunteers in 2011.Every year 2,200 cyclists participate in Cycle Oregon. This largely urban group of riders takes to the roads and passes through Oregon’s rural communities, riding by woodlands, range, homes, businesses, and farms, often with very little knowledge about the local economies, history, and culture through which they are passing. You can find out more about Cycle Oregon at http://www.cycleoregon.org/

Cycle Oregon’s mission is to connect people with Oregon’s unique communities and places through cycling. They provide funding to host communities, but their education to participants is limited. There is a tremendous opportunity for OSU Extension to fill that gap; simultaneously showcasing rural communities and the impact OSU Extension has in community vitality.

In 2011 I conducted a pilot outreach endeavor during Cycle Oregon, with the help of several of you. Activities included:

  1. Worked with local MWM’s, other Extension volunteers, and faculty to set up unique displays during daily “office hours” at each community the riders stopped at.
  2. Provided articles for the daily newsletter, “Cycle Oregonian”. The newsletter was distributed during breakfast to all riders, and informed them of things they might see during that day’s ride.
  3. Social media was used to tell stories of the local communities and Extension’s impact, as well as of the ride itself. I reported from the road via Twitter (http://twitter.com/ORMWM) and posts on my blog (http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/twistytales/2011/09/).

Cycle Oregon was very supportive of this and would like to see the relationship grow. This year there will be two opportunities for you to help me.

Cycle Oregon Weekend ride (July 13-15) will be based out of Corvallis. Day 1 Ride is Corvallis – Philomath – Alsea – Bellfountain – Corvallis. Day 2 Ride will be Corvallis – Brownsville – Harrisburg – Peoria - Corvallis. For a more detailed route descriptions you can visit http://www.cycleoregon.com/weekend-ride/routes/

Cycle Oregon Week Ride (September 8 – 15) will be based out of Bly, Oregon. This ride will go through Silver Lake, Fort Klamath, Crater Lake, Prospect, Ashland, and Klamath Falls. For a more detailed description of the route you can visit http://www.cycleoregon.com/week-ride/route/

We are looking for volunteers to help with:

  1. Staffing OSU Extension booths at rest areas, or “Tent Cities” to help answer questions, handout materials, help design displays.
  2. Writing articles showcasing your forestry work.

Last year was really fun, and this year should only be more so. If you are interested in participating, please contact me at Nicole.strong@oregonstate.edu or (541) 829-1270.

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