A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
November 10, 2005 Volume 36 / Number 3


Cycling Across Oregon

Paula Norton's Exciting Ride Across Oregon

What is the event?
It’s called Cycle Oregon. The organization’s limit is 2,000 riders, and they usually sell out.

When was the event and how far did you ride each day?
On Sept. 10, we took a bus from Portland to Boardman, where we camped the first night. Day one on the ride was Sept. 11, and the final day in Astoria was Sept. 17. You can check out the route on their Web site: cycleoregon.com. The route is different every year and is announced early February. We averaged 75 miles/day.

How many Chico people were on the ride?
There were 12 that I know of, and there could have been others. People from Chico, including myself, were my friends Doni Carter, Paula Kokal, Debi Molatore, Bette Hunt, Sue and John Zelke, Teresa and Walt Schafer. Drs. Dougherty, Burke, and Richey participated also among others from Chico.

How experienced a cyclist are you?
I've completed several local century rides and do the Chico Velo Wildflower every spring. My friends who had participated in Cycle Oregon last year encouraged me to participate, since they had a terrific experience last year. Once you register in February, it is recommended that you prepare by training at least 100 miles a week, including steep hills and flats. This is a huge time commitment—of which I had very little, since I work fulltime and have three teens! What really drew me was the chance to prove to myself what I'm capable of accomplishing, both physically and mentally.

What were the most challenging aspects of the ride?
A total cumulative elevation gain of over 25,000 feet, saddle sores, riding in inclement weather, using nothing but porta-potties. However, the beautiful scenery—Columbia River Gorge and the Willamette Valley, for example—friendly bikers, and volunteers made it all worthwhile.

Anything else that you would like to mention?
I was so impressed with the efficiency and organization of the Cycle Oregon staff and volunteers. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, were always excellent, and we loved the nightly entertainment of local musicians. We elected to use the camp porter service. Our tents and baggage were always set up and waiting for us at the next camp spot!

—Kathleen McPartland