Ken Parramore and Verlean McCoy of the Creswell Heritage Foundation staff the snack table for cyclists at Cycle Oregon’s Weekender event from July 13 to July 15. Creswell served as Sunday’s rest stop for the event; the first time the city has been a stop for the organization. ALIYA HALL/THE CRESWELL CHRONICLE
Around 1,400 bikers rode through Creswell last weekend as part of Cycle Oregon’s Weekender Event – the first time Creswell has been a stop for the organization.
At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday, bicyclists took a brief rest at the Emerald Valley Golf & Resort to sit in the shade, refill their water and snack on treats. The Creswell Heritage Foundation and the Creswell Community Singers both volunteered to staff the event, and were excited for the opportunity to raise awareness and funds to their groups.
”I am very aware of how popular and important (cycling) is to this area and the benefits it can have to any community involved,” Verlean McCoy, Heritage Foundation president, said. ”I am very happy to see those benefits come to Creswell.”
Cycle Oregon is a non-profit organization that is, ”Dedicated to transforming individuals and Oregon Communities through bicycling,” according to the press release. This year, Cycle Oregon focused on routes around Eugene and the University of Oregon campus. Routes varied from short to long, making it accessible for all rider levels. Miles ranged from 10 all the way up to 76.
Saturday’s routes focused northeast of Eugene, including Mohawk, Marcola, Crawfordsville, Brownsville and Coburg; Sunday’s routes were primarily southeast, including Springfield, Jasper, Lowell and Creswell.
Originally, Creswell and other southeast towns weren’t intended to be on the route, said Chuck Vanlue, a Cycle Oregon representative. However, with Oregon Country Fair the same weekend, Cycle Oregon prioritized the Creswell region over the Fern Ridge district.
”It’s pretty cool for us. It brings awareness to our (biking) routes,” Michael DeHart, City Economic Development Officer and avid bike rider, said. ”When word gets out and cyclists plan routes to Creswell, it helps local businesses meet their bottom line.”
In the future, DeHart wants a ride to come in from the west side of Creswell and incorporate Territorial and Ham road. Eventually, he said he would like more camping opportunities for cyclists traveling through the City.
Michelle Amberg, city administrator, said she hopes that Creswell is considered for more bike events in the future.
”Creswell and the surrounding countryside are great places to bicycle and the presence on the Cycle Oregon route highlights that fact,” she said.
Bikers came from all over the country to participate in the Weekender event. Vanlue said he met people from Seattle, Boise and San Diego – to name a few.
Todd Hubbard and Cathy Mohan traveled from Seattle to take part in the Weekender. They have both been involved with this event for four years, and said they had been enjoying the ride.
From Portland, Teresa Dooling joined the Weekender event for the first time, and joked that while the ride had been great, she could really use some air conditioning to combat the 90-degree weather.
”It’s a beautiful ride and scenery,” she said. ”You have polite drivers and better roads than Portland. It’s been fun, combining fitness and community.”
Mary Ann Howard, who belongs to both Heritage Foundation and Creswell Community Singers, said that event was an opportunity to show off the ”Friendly City,” as well as their community spirit.
McCoy admits that she isn’t a cyclist or involved in that scene, however, she was excited to be involved with the Cycle Oregon Weekender event. She said that it ties in with the Heritage Foundation’s mission to, ”Collaborate within our community to enrich the lives of current and future generations by protecting and preserving Creswell’s physical and cultural heritage.”
”We are collaborating with the members of the Community Singers and with the cycling community,” she said. ”What is done today becomes part of tomorrow’s community heritage.”