The 2,000 riders set to hit the road for Cycle Oregon are now popping their kickstands after event organizers announced the first cancellation in Cycle Oregon history.
Cycle Oregon’s executive director Steve Shultz cited wildfires burning throughout the state as the reason for the cancellation.
“Statewide weather forecasts for the foreseeable future are for more hot, dry and windy weather with an associated increase in fire activity and smoke production,” he said in a statement.
According to the organization, five out of seven of the destinations planned for this year’s event have been compromised due to the fires and the subsequent unhealthy air quality.
Cottage Grove was not on the list of destinations but bikers were expected to camp in Schwartz Park just a few miles outside of the city in Dorena, Oregon. The city of Cottage Grove has been ramping up tourism efforts in preparation of Cycle Oregon’s ride near town.
“About 18 nonprofits and groups were set up to volunteer as a fundraiser,” Travis Palmer, executive director of the Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce said. However, according to Palmer, Cycle Oregon has agreed to pay those organizations around the state that had signed contracts with the biking group despite the cancellation. As of press time, it was unknown if Cottage Grove and its volunteers would be included in that contracted group.