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Old 09-07-17, 10:55 AM   #26
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This is why I stay away from anything organized. Even with one other person, you lose a ton of flexibility. Sure, there are some advantages to group travel, but flexibility is not one of them.
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Old 09-07-17, 11:05 AM   #27
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Think of General Sherman's march to the sea.
Gen. Sherman had 60,000 troops - not 2000, no portalets, no shower trucks, and no taco wagons.
Plus, he has 15,000 or so Rebels still taking potshots at him.
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Old 09-07-17, 11:10 AM   #28
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Those services are contracted for. CO doesn't own trailers and showers trucks and mobile kitchens for one week out of the year.
If they rent shower and kitchen trucks, I doubt they rent them from the local U-Haul in Bend.
Why can't those trucks be staged elsewhere? Certainly, why can't they be contracted for a "Plan B"?
Poor planning.
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Old 09-07-17, 11:54 AM   #29
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They actually rent two sets of everything, so that most items are torn down, then hop to the day after's location. But, yes, they should be able to move them to wherever it is needed, if there is a route designed and scheduled.

As far as choosing a late summer/early fall date for the ride, many riders actively train for the ride, so a spring ride might be more difficult. However, they usually get lots of people signing up, so perhaps one should consider a late June or early July date. Fire danger should start going down by October, but weather is less predictable in October than late June through mid September.

I'm seeing notes that they're offering a refund of $500 for the basic $999 package, plus 100% of the additional cost for deluxe packages.

Still, that means that each rider is losing about $499, plus anything they've personally spent for the trip.
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Old 09-07-17, 11:59 AM   #30
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I'm seeing notes that they're offering a refund of $500 for the basic $999 package, plus 100% of the additional cost for deluxe packages.

Still, that means that each rider is losing about $499, plus anything they've personally spent for the trip.
Yeah, that is a shame. Especially when prefaced with "While we’re not obligated to refund any funds to our riders". I play in pond hockey tournaments every winter, when nature doesn't cooperate, participants are always given the choice between a partial refund or free entry in the following year's event. Seems to work well, maybe it is something they should consider here. There are undoubtedly many people on that trip that $1000 will have been the entirety of their yearly vacation budget, that a half refund is going to sting a little bit for their week getaway.
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Old 09-07-17, 12:08 PM   #31
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If they rent shower and kitchen trucks, I doubt they rent them from the local U-Haul in Bend.
Why can't those trucks be staged elsewhere? Certainly, why can't they be contracted for a "Plan B"?
Poor planning.
Another 'You Guys Should' item for that virtual Committee's Agenda..

You are free to start your own competing company, if you guarantee a 100% refund for any cancellations,
then you might steal customers 'burned' by the current operators..







.....
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Old 09-07-17, 12:34 PM   #32
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Another 'You Guys Should' item for that virtual Committee's Agenda..

You are free to start your own competing company, if you guarantee a 100% refund for any cancellations,
then you might steal customers 'burned' by the current operators..


.....
When I was up in Portland last week, and we had blue skies as I was reading about this, I thought about trying to throw together an "alternative" ride for 30 to 50 riders next week. It might have been fun.

One could probably do it pretty easily for about $50 a day for camping, food, etc. Follow the ride with a sweeper/sag Tandem, and a small trailer with spares and supplies.

But, then I got down to Talbot/Jefferson/Albany, and the HAZE appeared. It really led me to realize the severity of this problem.

I imagine Ride the Rim will be hurting this year, although apparently not cancelled (yet). I won't be doing the the full day (and a half?) ride heading into the HAZE

Perhaps I'll try to plan an October mini-tour for myself

Still, this has me thinking about ride organization. However, I think I would still limit the group size to about 50 or so.

I suppose I could also try to work with either Eugene Gears, or the UofO Outdoor program for ride/recreation organization.
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Old 09-07-17, 01:04 PM   #33
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Another 'You Guys Should' item for that virtual Committee's Agenda..

You are free to start your own competing company, if you guarantee a 100% refund for any cancellations,
then you might steal customers 'burned' by the current operators..



.....
I just thought of a loose parallel to the idea of having planned an entirely different route as well. Germany in WW2. The European and North African fronts are faring not so well. Let's take on Russia.

Cycle Oregon would have to step up its paid staff just to do it. (I believe it has currently 4 paid staff members.) Remember, Cycle Oregon isn't #1 about the bike ride, it is about the welfare of the communities of rural Oregon. The $500 we don't get back will go, as planned, into the funding for those efforts.

I "did" Cycle Oregon in 2011 as a fully paid up rider but without my bike because I had two-week-old broken ribs and collarbone. Traveled with camp volunteers, the bike detail crew and others instead. Showered most nights late (so as not to deprive riders of that oh-so-wonderful post ride shower, often at the same time as the lead shower truck drive. He had been doing it for 20 years and loved it. I got to hear a lot of stories of the challenges of the big-rig drivers doing their "dances" with all the other trucks in very tight, previously unseen places. (This despite a map of the grounds and layout being given to all the various crews that work CO.)

That experience also brought me closer to the CO organizers than most riders ever get. Not because I was now "on the inside" but because they know me as someone who loves CO for what it is; who has seen more than the riding, the towns and the music and beers after. I've seen the incredible transformation that happens in two hours between 10am and noon when the first riders show up. At 10am, CO is bare fields, three huge tents set up but empty underneath, a bare, spare plywood stage for the music and a packed "parking lot" of semi-trailers. Two hours later it is a working small city. The "dance" in between is incredible to watch. It is like watching ants. People everywhere. Things happening everywhere. And it works because thay all know (well not everybody, but most of each crew) what they have to do AND all the other things that have to happen and what order they need to happen in for it all to work. "This truck needs to be here now to unload this, but in 15 minutes, we need to set this up where the truck is now. That truck has to stand off or this truck will not be able to get out." And so on and so on.

To ask the four paid folk and the countless volunteers to plan all this out and do all the ground work twice, knowing only one was going to get used? Likewise asking twice the favors of bureaucracies to get access to off-limits trails, use of school grounds for campsites, permits, work with locals to plan around home and away football games (both matter, we sleep on their field and the HS football teams are the primary source of labor to load and unload the baggage trucks. Their "perk" is tips from us riders for helping us move our 60+ pound bags to and from out tent sites. Those tips go to the cause of that team/school's choice. Better equipment. Improvements to facilities, etc.)

I wonder if part of Cycle Oregon's future mission should be touring some of the burned areas to keep in focus the consequences of our actions as human beings to our environment. That is after all a real part of the reason for Cycle Oregon's existence. Maybe talking about how fire, that natural part of the cycle of life for forests and grasslands (lighting and in the past 10,000 years perhaps, set intentionally by the native Americans) has become so destructive in the past half century when it has been happening for millions of years.

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Old 09-07-17, 01:31 PM   #34
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Any how, Right on the Coast, on the Columbia we have enjoyed the on shore winds,

but 3 days ago even here the sun was orange like looking thru Eclipse viewing glasses..

yesterday & today the haze was more a yellow,to grey, but the distance you can see was less than the width of the estuary..
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Old 09-07-17, 01:38 PM   #35
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As mentioned, one option is to keep records of 30 years of routes, and what worked and didn't work with previous routes. So finding an alternative ride wouldn't necessarily starting from scratch, but rather choosing a previous ride, with a few mods. Yes, riders that have done multiple Cycle Oregon rides might like something new, but they should accept a hasty relocation over cancellation.

Bringing on temp labor?

Hmmm, I hadn't thought about hiring local school organizations for support, but with contact history, that still might not be impossible, as well as potentially busing kids around (would be easier to do if done during summer break, but harder to contact the kids). But, chasing sunshine might also be a lost cause this year. I will say, yesterday's rain cut the haze in half Still wicked, but much better than it was.

As far as history of fires... there have always been previous burn areas. Not everything is 100% destructive, and there is a lot of debate about the best practices. Clearcutting so a fire can sweep through a stand of young trees and wipe them all out? Fire suppression allowing buildup of combustibles? Recovery Logging? Wilderness areas? HEAT? Lightening? Fireworks/cigarettes/camp fires/etc. INVASIVE SPECIES AND FIRES.

One of the issues that has hit California is impinging human habitation on the forests... so suddenly a fire that could otherwise burn for months wipes out thousands of very expensive homes.
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Old 09-07-17, 01:39 PM   #36
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Another 'You Guys Should' item for that virtual Committee's Agenda..
Roll your eyes all you want to.
I am certain that there a many cancelled riders who share my view.
Or is "criticism" not found in your Newspeak dictionary? (Or permitted)
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Old 09-07-17, 01:48 PM   #37
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Make up your own ride, carry your own stuff, that's what I do .. no need for others to cater to your needs and carry your stuff..

Other than doing regular commerce in the marketplace..

I live in one of the towns that, years ago, was the end point of one of the cycle Oregon events...
Big group requiring a lot of logistics.




party on. Garth.
...
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Old 09-12-17, 05:29 PM   #38
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I imagine Ride the Rim will be hurting this year, although apparently not cancelled (yet). I won't be doing the the full day (and a half?) ride heading into the HAZE
I heard RTR went off without too many issues. This Saturdays ride will go on as scheduled.

This is the update they provided.
Skies were barely smoky on September 9th for the first Ride the Rim for 2017. We expect the skies to be the same for the 16th. Temperatures were perfect and almost no cloud cover, although quite chilly in the morning.

Lightning on July 24 ignited several fires in and around the park. Smoke from these fires has been causing hazy skies, reduced visibility, and poor air quality on certain days, especially when winds have been blowing from the west. To check the visibility at Rim Village, view our webcam. For more information about smoke levels and air quality at Crater Lake and throughout Oregon, go to Oregon Smoke Information.

The Spruce Lake and Blanket Creek Fires are being managed with a full suppression strategy. Detailed information and fire maps are available at inciweb.nwcg.gov.

Crater Lake National Park has issued a Level 1 Evacuation Notice for Mazama Village effective at 1:00 PM, August 27, 2017. The Level 1 notice informs residents and visitors to “be ready” for a potential evacuation of Mazama Village, including employee dormitories and trailer sites, in the event that the Blanket Creek Fire approaches these areas. Current or projected threats from the approaching fire indicate that there may be a need to evacuate in the future, however, there are no mandatory evacuations at this time. Rim Village, park headquarters and other areas in the park are not affected by this Level 1 notice. Visitors are not at risk. To learn more about this notice, click here.
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Old 09-12-17, 05:44 PM   #39
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Roll your eyes all you want to.
I am certain that there a many cancelled riders who share my view.
Or is "criticism" not found in your Newspeak dictionary? (Or permitted)
I'm sure there are many people who do share your views. Like you, though, their views are skewed by not understanding what it takes to pull off such an event. It is nowhere near as simple as just taking a different route when you are solo touring, unloading semi trucks worth of equipment and dealing with 2000 people takes massive amounts of foreplanning, permits, and cooperation and negotiation with local authorities.

I used to be involved with rally racing on the competition side. I was never on the organization side, but a few friends I worked with were, the amount of effort that goes into getting roads approved for event use is astounding. Even thought he course was relatively similar every year, they still had to go through the permit processes, and some years they simply wouldn't let us use routes and areas that were previously open to us. IN addition, you can't just plop down 2000 people, porta potties, food services and entertainment on someone's land at short notice, those things must be done well in advance.
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Old 09-12-17, 06:14 PM   #40
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I heard RTR went off without too many issues. This Saturdays ride will go on as scheduled.
Glad to hear it.

I think I'll still put it off for a while. Perhaps I'll go in October, or next year. Just too much riding and too many variables.
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Old 09-12-17, 06:47 PM   #41
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so suddenly a fire that could otherwise burn for months wipes out thousands of very expensive homes.
People who can afford very expensive homes in the woods SHOULD expect forest fires and SHOULD build their homes to withstand them. Likewise people on beach-shore SHOULD expect hurricanes and SHOULD build their homes to withstand them.
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Old 09-13-17, 10:41 AM   #42
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I still contend that there was poor planning on the part of Cycle Oregon.
And, yes, a tour of 2000 riders does require careful planning.

The number one factor where Cycle Oregon failed was the scheduled date.
This year - as for the past 29 - the ride was to be in early September.
Late August/early Sept. is the peak of fire season in the Pacific Northwest.
5 or the past 6 years have had serious to record fires.
Climate models point to wetter winters and drying summers in the NW.
And the ride was primarily routed through national forests.

Granted, C.O. has always been in September, but late June may be better.
Especially if you are dealing with 2017 and not 1987 - - 2000 riders and not 200.
This past June - like most Junes in Oregon - was cool and damp for the first half -
Then summer heat arrived to stay in the middle of the month.

A back-up plan in a different area of the state should ALWAYS be part of a ride this size.
The back-up need only be preliminary - without contractual obligations.
But able to be implemented 30 days out.

I stand by my call -
A planned ride of 2000 riders in September in the forest in Oregon in 2017 without alternatives - -
Entailed a high level of risk.

Last edited by jamawani; 09-13-17 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 09-13-17, 11:09 AM   #43
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You like smoke inhalation as you ride? I expect not, perhaps you can predict the weather and where fires may start a year ahead, to plan for it?
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Old 09-13-17, 12:12 PM   #44
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A back-up plan in a different area of the state should ALWAYS be part of a ride this size.
The back-up need only be preliminary - without contractual obligations.
But able to be implemented 30 days out.
I can't make comments on when in the year it should be held, I am not familiar with Oregon's climate. It may well be a concern that needs addressed, just like the refund policy may need to be tweaked for the future.

I still think there is an underestimating of the permits and planning that go into such an event, arranging that for a backup route that can be implemented on even 30 day's notice is simply not that simple. I can't imagine many agencies are happy to do the paperwork and approvals "just in case", and many of those permits are contingent on other permits and contracts being completed.

But yes, signing up for an organized event that relies on the weather that isn't easily modifiable for unforeseen disasters is definitely a risk. My aforementioned pond hockey tournament last year involved running around in boots chasing a puck in slush deeper than it was tall, with no refund...
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Old 09-13-17, 12:25 PM   #45
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Maybe CO could implement travel insurance for such circumstances. Good for things you cannot control, like the weather.
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Old 09-13-17, 12:48 PM   #46
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I still contend that there was poor planning on the part of Cycle Oregon.
And, yes, a tour of 2000 riders does require careful planning.

The number one factor where Cycle Oregon failed was the scheduled date.
This year - as for the past 29 - the ride was to be in early September.
Late August/early Sept. is the peak of fire season in the Pacific Northwest.
5 or the past 6 years have had serious to record fires.
Climate models point to wetter winters and drying summers in the NW.
And the ride was primarily routed through national forests.

Granted, C.O. has always been in September, but late June may be better.
Especially if you are dealing with 2017 and not 1987 - - 2000 riders and not 200.
This past June - like most Junes in Oregon - was cool and damp for the first half -
Then summer heat arrived to stay in the middle of the month.

A back-up plan in a different area of the state should ALWAYS be part of a ride this size.
The back-up need only be preliminary - without contractual obligations.
But able to be implemented 30 days out.

I stand by my call -
A planned ride of 2000 riders in September in the forest in Oregon in 2017 without alternatives - -
Entailed a high level of risk.
I'm guessing running a 2000 rider ride west of the Coast Range between Memorial Day and Labor Day would be a very tough sell to the agencies that issue permits. (They look at $$s. Huge traffic delays along Highway 1? Nahh.) A ride along the coast before Memorial Day would be a very tough sell to anyone who knows the coast weather. (50 mph winds and driving rain? Not my cup of tea.) Late June through August can get very hot for days east of the Coast Range and is a regular feature east of the Cascades. Earlier and the weather is a real crapshoot. Maybe not dangerous but could be very unpopular with 2000 campers. I am sure the CO organizers are very aware of this and made a conscious decision to stay with starting a week after Labor Day as long as they could, knowing both the other options and that there was risk of losing big like this year..

Last winter we were running 15-20" above normal rainfall. Gambling to go one more time looked like a fairly sure bet. Didn't turn out well so CO will probably go to a much less desirable Plan B next year. When CO announced the route in January, I heard no one saying that they were being fools for going there at that time of year. I certainly didn't. Instead I signed up right away and proceeded to lay out roughly a grand to tailor one of my bikes for the ride.

Ben
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Old 09-13-17, 02:07 PM   #47
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I expect jamawani can ride down wind of some forest and range fires in their state to get a little empathy for the decision.
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Old 09-13-17, 02:37 PM   #48
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Riding between June 15 & Labor Day has the advantage that schools could be possible camp areas, often with lots of fields, good shower, water, and even cooking facilities. And, I would wonder if a small town high school would be happy to rent their facilities for say $10,000. More?

For better or worse, it also allows the involvement of families, although in that case, one might choose to split the ride to have a "family" ride and an "adult" ride. Splitting the ride, of course, requires more organization work, but could also be used to reduce the group size. A 2000 rider group must be rather unwieldy. However, many camp grounds could accommodate 500 or so densely packed cycle campers. Unfortunately, the ride sells out quickly for the 2000 riders.

It is possible that a family group and an adult group would have different natural paces, although I'm pretty sure I could have done 80 to 100 mile rides easier as a grade school student than I can at 50+

But, it might also be possible to use the same route, or a partially shared route for the A & B groups. Stagger by a day? Clockwise vs Couterclockwise? Short loops + long loops which would also allow mixing it up a bit and shared break areas (commonly done for century rides around here).

As far as predicting fires to pop up, that is certainly difficult to do, but several of the fires in Oregon had been burning for over a month, and I think the state provides containment estimates. So, there should have been plenty of warning that the ride could be tough.

Certainly the stifling weather inversion that choked the southern Willamette Valley a week ago is all but gone, and we have crystal clear blue skies today. So the Willamette Valley leg of the ride probably would have been fine. I'm not sure about other areas. Reports are that Crater Lake was at least OK last weekend. It is possible that even if the fires aren't completely contained, as the days get shorter and cooler, many of them are slowly burning down.
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Old 09-13-17, 02:46 PM   #49
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Here are climate normals for Oregon from the Western Regional Climate Center.
They show that the last week of June has pleasant temperatures and low precip throughout Oregon.
For comparisons - 0.25 precip = 1 inch per month or 12 inches per year - or semi-arid.
0.50 precip = 2 inches per month or 24 inches per year - or Mediterranean.

Last 8 days of June :

Avg Avg Avg
Hi Lo Precip In.
Coast -
Astoria 65 51 0.58
Newport 63 49 0.54
Coos Bay 66 51 0.36

Valley -
Portland 76 55 0.36
Eugene 77 49 0.33
Medford 84 52 0.17

Central -
The Dalles 83 56 0.09
Bend 76 43 0.21
Klamath Falls 80 45 0.19

Eastern -
Pendleton 82 54 0.16
Baker City 78 45 0.25
Frenchglen 80 45 0.20

<<<>>>

We're not talking frigid. We're not talking roasting - even in eastern Oregon.
And even on the coast, the rains have largely abated. Very dry out east.
Yes, there can be rain any time on the coast - and an early heat wave can hit the east.
But, in general, the temps and precip are ideal AND the fire danger is low.
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Old 09-13-17, 02:47 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I expect jamawani can ride down wind of some forest and range fires in their state to get a little empathy for the decision.
You can save the personal attacks, thank you.
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