Having done Cycle Oregon a couple of times, I was very excited to hear that the organizers chose Cambridge, Idaho, my current residence, as one of their overnight stops for their upcoming ride. Every September since 1987, around 2,000 plus cyclists hit the road for seven days of riding the lesser traveled roads and visiting different parts of Oregon and this year Idaho.
Cycle Oregon riders go from town to town with the goal of increasing tourism and generating income for the small communities it visits. The riders also get to enjoy generous hospitality from the host towns. In return, Cycle Oregon provides direct financial benefits to these towns where approximately $150,000 is given each year. I have fond memories doing Cycle Oregon a decade ago. The people we met along the way ended up being just as important as the actual time spent on the bike. (The photos below are from 2005 and 2006 Cycle Oregon).
For this year’s tour (September 12-19, 2015), Cycle Oregon will start in Baker City, Oregon. On day two, the cyclists will leave Oregon crossing the Snake River into Weiser, Idaho and ride into Cambridge that afternoon for an overnight stay. Traveling with the cyclists are an army of semi-trucks carrying luggage, food, dining room tents, tables and chairs, portable showers, and the huge stage for the nightly entertainment. The community residents volunteer to unpack the semi trucks, set-up tents, haul luggage, serve food, and tons of other things. Our tiny town of 360 people will turn into a town of 2,500 for one night.
The morning of Sept 15, 2015, the cyclists will say their goodbyes and jump back onto their bicycles. They will head out of Cambridge and up and over Brownlee summit and down into Hells Canyon before crossing back into Oregon to their next overnight stop, the town of Halfway, Oregon. It should be an epic two days in this part of Idaho for the cyclists, spectators, and volunteers of Cycle Oregon.