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Cycleoregon Lite?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:54 pm
by Marble
Cycleoregon Lite?

I enjoy Cycleoregon being a challenging "hard ride". But several people wrote in the "Disappointed" forum thread they would have like a shorter distance ie about 50 miles per day.

Other people have complained that CO week is very well organized but there are just are too many people that sometimes things are too far apart and too crowded.

Again I like the way Cycleoregon has been, but is there an purpose to have both a traditional 450-500 mile CO week ride and another 300-350 mile CO ride? Maybe the later as a continuation of CO weekend? You could ride for a couple days with your family and then go for an additional 5 day tour? Or just a separate 7 day tour set up like current CO on a different week.

Yes, it would stress all the hardworking people who put this on but maybe this is a logical next step? Maybe a few less people per trip would make it easier for them?

So what are the pros and cons? What are your opinions and preferences?

I would still pick the traditional CO week.

Clyde

Re: Cycleoregon Lite?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:49 pm
by derailed
I think what we're seeing here is an aging of our long-standing talent base. Cycling isn't the only place where this is happening, but the symptoms are the same -- those with more disposable income who can afford the event are less capable of training toward it and aren't shy about voicing their disappointment. I don't know if the CO organizers have thought about this possibility but here's an idea:

Make the overall "loop" somewhat shorter (i.e. 300-350 miles vs the 400-450 that we commonly see). Once the shorter loop is in place, add more daily options -- toss in an optional 20-30 miles on most of the days. That way, our "mean" will have more "resonable-length" rides as it continues to age, while the more vigorous younger stronger riders can still have as many long hard days in the saddle as they can stand.

Personally, I like the tours with 2 layover days. I like the opportunity to have a day off the bike if I need it to do touristy stuff. It's the tourist stuff that gives me great satisfaction -- that giving feeling of going into a real small town and spending money. After too many epic days in a row, I find myself too exhausted to feel generous.

I don't think our organizers need to come up with Cycle Oregon Lite, but there might be ways of making Cycle Oregon something for everybody.

Re: Cycleoregon Lite?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:12 pm
by dougnlis
I think I'd look at how fast this year's ride sold out before rethinking anything. There remains huge demand for long, hard rides in Oregon, and there remain a few who had their butts kicked by the reality of long, hard rides. I hope they learn from this year and come back with more realistic expectations next year.

Re: Cycleoregon Lite?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:08 pm
by Red Zinger
This is not a new topic for contemplation. :) I've been around since Cycle Oregon III, and discussions of "harder" versus "easier" and all the related ramifications have always come up from time to time. There does seem to be a difference between the "I like to ride long, hard, and fast" cyclists (of all ages) and the "I'm on vacation on my bike; it's not just about covering miles" cyclists. Disclaimer: I do know a few who are able to take either of those attitudes, depending on the day's ride. I think Cycle Oregon does a fine job of providing for all of us, one way or another, including those who are less physically or emotionally capable than others or who haven't trained. The riding days this year were challenging, although there have been harder single days, usually between easier ones. I was proud to finish each day in fine fettle somewhere in the middle of the pack!

Re: Cycleoregon Lite?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:06 am
by riding2live
Only reason reason I opened this thread is I thought it was about a new lite beer that CO is brewing, so I'll leave it to the rest of you to ponder the whys and wherefores.

Bye y'all

Re: Cycleoregon Lite?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:51 pm
by wayneh
Have to second the comment about how fast the ride sold out this year. I'm sure the stop in Pendleton had something to do with that, but CO increasingly has gained a reputation that extends far beyond Oregon's borders. Having ventured out of state last year to do Ride The Rockies, the ride itself was more challenging but in no way as well supported as CO, in my opinion. My fear is that eventually CO might choose to go to a
lottery system of admittance like RTR and many other rides, which I would personally not like to see. I count on CO every year as my Fall vacation, and plan to continue to ride it until physical or monetary limitations prevent me from doing so. For those seeking a "Lite" ride, that's what the weekend ride in July offers. This year I was challenged but not overly so. I used the option days to recover and see the towns. I measure each year against my first, which was CO X in '97. That was a challenging ride for me, there weren't any options; but I still smile every time I see someone wearing the jersey from that year.

Re: Cycleoregon Lite?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:33 pm
by johnncarol
Right now I am wishing that I had not started the thread "ride difficulty". It seems to have set off somewhat of a negative disussion, both on that thread and here. Carol and I love CO and have told many people that if they want to do a 7 day tour, this is the one to do. We have done four others and nothing even begins to compare. All four CO's we have done have been difficult but that is part of the reason we do it, to prove we can. We would be sorry to see it change because if it did, it no longer would be Cycle Oregon. That said, age is working against us and when we get to the point where the ride is so diffiuclt for us that it is not fun, we need to recognize that point and move on as cycling needs to be enjoyable. I think we are very close to that point, maybe not quite yet but close. Next year we celebrate our 75th and 70th birthdays. I don't think that CO needs to worry about people like us or others who don't come back. I think Jonathon said there were 700 newbies this year, 1/3 of the total so there are a lot of people from 2009 who didn't come back. Some of the newbies will love it and be back for more and some won't. I think it is hard for newbies to really anticpate what CO is like. If we decide to not do it again, it will be with great sadness and we will miss it. I know I will be on the computer, following Jonathons announcment of the route.

Re: Cycleoregon Lite?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:26 pm
by Red Zinger
Beautifully said, John! I can say "yes" to your comments. The time will come when Cycle Oregon will be too much for us long-timers who have been around since the early days. Not yet for us either, though! :D There are some options, however, for still being part of the experience. One is to go on the Cycle Oregon weekend ride, which has some less demanding options. Another is to give back by volunteering. Of the 19 Cycle Oregon rides we've participated in, we've volunteered for 3 of them. It is as rewarding as riding, and the committed, loyal family of volunteers is wonderful. We've made some real friends. We are thinking of volunteering next year, then riding the following year for the 25th Cycle Oregon. Well, depending on the route next year, of course!

Re: Cycleoregon Lite?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:58 pm
by johnncarol
Red Zinger,

Intersting comments. The week end is not an option as we live in CA and also because we like the 7 day rides. Just last night we were sitting on the patio sipping a glass and discussed the possibility of being a volunteer. I intend to contact Ingrid.

John

Re: Cycleoregon Lite?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:36 am
by Jackson
If you decide to go the volunteering route, sign up early. Just like the ride, the spots fill quickly. It can be more rewarding than riding. At least it has been for me.

John