Cycling Across Oregon
Paula Norton's Exciting Ride Across Oregon
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
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
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!