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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:14 am
by slv0700
Joec,
Very well said !!!!

Thanks for the sanity

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:00 am
by wayneh
Well,

Thanks to all who have replied with their sanity and sage comments since my post on 2/23. The forum resounds.

Harney Lake IS a big lake, and the Prairie City Loop was an awesome ride. Take us through the Strawberry Mtns anytime. That was a great ride, even through I felt so sorry for those finishing in the downpour on day 7.

My interpretation of Jonathan's comments are that next year's ride will be rural, will have multiple-day options, and be more community-based. I don't expect the ride to be any less challenging for those who are looking for miles or climbs, as those are both fairly unavoidable depending on the route chosen.

I for one would like to go back to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, as the morning we rode north past it was so foggy that we didn't have a reason to stop and they ended up closing the course behind us for a while. By the time we got to Burns the baggage trucks weren't even there yet, and trust me, we were not racing up the roads.

The great thing about Oregon is, there are so many incredible places to see as well as come back to. I feel very forntunate to live here and have two children who were born and raised here.

WayneH

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:49 pm
by Red Zinger
wayneh, the 2001 ride was one of my all-time favorites too, and I've done 14 Cycle Oregons, plus volunteered twice. I'd love for Cycle Oregon to do that loop again, but it must have been a logistical nightmare for the staff. At a couple of the camping places, they even had to haul in all the water.

Of course, 9/11 added an element of tragic drama that none of us wanted, but even our shock, fear, and sorrow couldn't ruin the glory of that tour.

That morning ride in the fog you mentioned was really something! They asked us to ride single file at 15 MPH and not pass. It might have been the world's longest pace line! The interesting thing was--even though many people couldn't ride their own preferred pace, we all got down the road as a group pretty efficiently. You just had to think of the common good and not just of yourself. There were a lot of flats, though--brand new pointy chip seal will do that.

My apologies to all who were offended by those who SAGed

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:30 am
by jetgrrl
I've been cycling for a few years but I have chronic knee problems. Before I signed up for CO, I consulted with my PT to see what he thought. You can probably do the ride, he said, but the training might get to you.
I did 1800 miles of unfortunately flat east-coast riding over the summer. It was as much as I could fit in. Had no knee troubles at all. Did a couple centuries (including a 120 mile-plus ride).

Anyway, CO blew me away. The scenery was incredible and I really exceeded what I would have thought I was capable of -- at least days 1 through 5. Unfortunately by day 6 one of my knees was really breaking down and I had to SAG. Imagine somebody stabbing you in the knee with each uphill stroke. That's about how it felt.

I bring this up just basically tell those of you who take it as a point of pride that you've never SAG-ed and who scoff at those who have to get off your high saddles. Congrats to you for being an "ironman". If that's what CO is about for you, then good on 'ya. For those of us who made an honest effort and still needed a hand, I'm so sorry for sullying your enjoyment. I guess that's why you couldn't be bothered to say "on your left" the numerous times you passed me. :evil:

I probably will not do another CO because I discovered that it is at the top of my atheletic range, so to speak, and I just don't need to kill myself on vacation. That's just me -- different pedal strokes for different folks. :lol: I'm still in awe of the organization and am very grateful I had the chance to do the ride once. The only change I would suggest is a real rest or easy day -- not just an option to not do the most beautiful part of the ride! That might have enabled more people (perhaps even me) to finish without the benefit of SAGing. I will always have fond memories of the ride and would recommend it to other serious cyclists.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:26 am
by willsd
I missed this year's Cycle Oregon (I did them from 2001 through 2003). I missed it due to the ride already being full before I got a job (I was unemployed) and felt I could afford it (I particularly wanted to do this route). I didn't bother to get on the waiting list because I knew that we wouldn't get porter tent service.

Reading about the changes has been interesting, and after reading about all the private RV's and even private sag wagons (which the Cycle Oregon's I've been on specifically forbade) has been interesting.

Here are some remarkeable differences mentioned in this thread from the Cycle Oregon's Ive been on (1991, 2001-2003):

1. The rider material specifically said that excessive use of the sag wagon would get you ejected from the ride. I believe the implied limit was one or two times. I took that seriously and trained very hard for Cycle Oregon. What never happened was riders being sagged to the tops of hills and riding down to the bottom (on Oregon Bike Ride, a 200-250 person ride, that happens frequently and the organizers don't discourage that). If you got in a sag wagon, you were brought to the next day's camp site in every case (it was spelled out in the rules).

2. The use of personal sag wagons was prohibited. Maybe this was unenforceable, but I got from reading the rules that you couldn't do it, and that the rider could be ejected from the ride. They wanted to minimize the number of cars on the road, and limit them to Cycle-Oregon support vehicles.

3. Rider guests have always been a minimal part of the ride (that is where you can get friends to drive an RV that you will stay in overnight). I've only known one group of people who had an RV to stay in during Cycle Oregon (they were a family who liked to ride together and ride together throughout the year). Everyone else I knew either brought their own tents and some used the porter tent service in 2003 which is the first year it was offered.

As for proposed changes mentioned here (I find the quote "less emphasis on camping" interesting) here is what I'd like to see:

1. More rest days would be good. On a Crater Lake Cycle Oregon, three night's stay in Diamond Lake would be good, to allow one rest day to ride up to Crater Lake and around it, and another day for rest and laundry (they did that one year).

2. I've never really liked to camp, but for me the porter tents will be the happy medium to avoid the exhorbitant costs of hotels (in 2003 we didn't end up signing up for that service). I am not sure how they can accommodate 2000 people without camping the way they do, since there are very few towns in Oregon that can accommodate that many riders indoors. Maybe riders can stay in a college dormitory during Cycle Oregon (if a university is on the quarter system, classes don't start until late September) and Eugene, Corvallis, Ashland, and Portland have universities. Very few, if any, gymnasiums can accommodate 2000 people (that amount takes up a whole lot of space) so I don't see us sleeping in gymnasiums.

3. Keep offering the porter tent option, but I need to plan on signing up for Cycle Oregon they day the route is revealed to be sure I get it (it is a popular option and fills up fast). That minimizes the amount of camping enough for me.

4. I like the rule about excessive use of sag wagons, and I believe they should keep that rule, as well as the rule against use of private sag vehicles. If I know they have that rule against using sag wagons, I'll be sure to train enough to be sure I won't use one.

Diane

Sag Wagons

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:55 pm
by Jackson
I am a driver of a sag wagon and have been for the past few rides (16). I've seen it all as far as how these things operate. The option to ride to the top of the hill will only work for a few people since the sags are not equipped to carry 2000 people. For those that cannot handle some of the hills in Oregon (no hills to train on), a ride up every now and then can make for a riding week verse a driving week. It also helps to keep moving riders forward on the course and not having to set up a shuttle service with local bus services.

Past rides did state that the sags are for emergencies only and if you had to use them more than a couple of times, this ride isn't for you. It seems a little harsh considering that you are paying to do this event and should be able to use the services provided.

What we are trying to avoid is people expecting to use the sags as a taxi service. That is not the intention. There are only 7 vans on a normal CO. Six are designated to the course and one is set up to handle medical transports. Each van is able to carry 9 passengers safely. Do the math, we cannot carry everyone who wants a ride to the top. It's best to continue like in years past by doing the most amount of training possible prior to the event.

Personal Sags - This has always been a problem as long as I've been on the ride. Some years the numbers are higher than others. The roads Cycle Oregon travels on are public (unless special permission has been given to close it to traffic). Enforcing a no private sag is almost impossible. However, the less vehicles on these narrow roads the safer it will be to all those riding. I would ask, those who choose to bring along a personal support vehicle, please use the alternate course provided with your packets and leave the official support vehicles to assist during the day.

Rider guests - Every year, more and more people are coming along with an RV. I don't see this going away any time soon. Some like to sleep off of the ground and like to be a little more pampered. Expect to see more in the future. For course support, it is much easier keeping these vehicles off of the forest service roads because the are too long to make some of the corners on these roads.

Camping will always be a part of this ride as long as the numbers remain in the 2000 zone. IF the numbers were to shrink, it would be possible is some situations to use lodging but not likely in the near future.

John (Sag 1)

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:58 am
by David R
We have used a RV on and off over the years. I have noticed a small increase in the number of RV's over the years. What I have really noticed is the change in class of RV. Five years ago there were maybe 4 class A rv's and a lot of small class c and vans. This year there were 5 RV's that cost over $250,000 and in general all the RV's were bigger and more expensive. This might be a direct reflection of the increasing cost of CO along with the average rider being 49 years old and in the medical profession. The other thing that was different this year was the location of the RV's. In years past the RV's were parked farther from the campers so they were less noticable. This year it seemed like the RVs were parked with the campers. Since we had a mix of campers and RVers this year, we were very happy that we could camp next to the RV.

While we have an RV, we don't have a personal support vehicle. Our RV never uses the same roads as the bikes. Personaly, I don't know why one would need an on course support vehicle for CO. I generaly ride at the front of the pack and I have never seen a PSV. I'm quite surprised to hear that this happens, it must be a later in the day problem.

My queston for Sag 1 is, were you overwelmed with saggers this year or was it just another year?

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:07 pm
by Jackson
There was no real increase in sags this year. As far as those transported up to the top, that number was less than expected. We did have an increase in the numbers who quit before the climbs began. Not sure if this was due to the overall difficulty to this years ride. The profile maps can look harder than the actual terrain. I don't have the total number who sagged, but that will eventually be known.

John

jetgrrl

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:52 pm
by suziqt
Jet,
I agree with your comments. My first CO was in '06. I trained my brains out then broke my foot one week before the ride....thank God for SAG. I rode as much and as far as I could then had to sag for the peaks. This year I was so looking forward to Crater Lake. Unfortunately the day before (92 miles of hell on a major hwy) I was too pooped to do the ride. It was very disappointing! I would have planned an easier days ride before the Big Kahuna!!
But......loved the ride, had a great time, didn't sag but walked a peak.
Great CO!!!
SuziQT

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:15 am
by Jackson
The sags come in handy on those days where the course may have been altered for various reasons but only those riders who made it to the announcements got the message. Those who did not hear it were on the wrong course.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 7:41 pm
by Chuck B.
Jackson wrote:The sags come in handy on those days where the course may have been altered for various reasons but only those riders who made it to the announcements got the message. Those who did not hear it were on the wrong course.


Interesting comment. I didn't make it to announcements very often this year, and I still ended up being on the same roads as everybody else. Perhaps I have a built in GPS in my brain? :D

Chuck "Not hardly. I get lost too easy" B. :D

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:14 pm
by Jackson
Sorry, should have added that this happened last year on Day 6.

John

SuziQT Day 2 death march

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:14 am
by John A Campbell
I also thought that day 2 was kind of a death march. Hot, long etc.
I was one of the lucky ones. I skipped lunch that day when I saw the crowds and where lunch was located and ended up eating at a great little cafe/bakery along the way.

I loved the route and loved the bakery so I guess the long days are just the price we pay for having a continuous route rather than some kind of shuttle.

I wonder if day 2 was the least popular day?

John

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:58 am
by Chuck B.
Jackson wrote:Sorry, should have added that this happened last year on Day 6.

John


Yeah, if you didn't get that announcement, you definitely went on the wrong course. The snowy one...

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:59 am
by Jackson
From the comments I received, the mileage was perfect but the hwy was horrible. There are no perfect routes but the next few days were fantastic.

How would you like to do this route the other direction? That thought was dropped after the ride but I saw no questions asking what riders might think.

John