Cycle Oregon has been canceled due to wildfires and poor air quality in the state.
Steve Schulz, executive director of Cycle Oregon, released a statement about the decision Thursday.
Schulz said fires are impacting five of the seven days scheduled for the ride with smoke and air quality levels ranging from unhealthy to hazardous.
Alternate routes have also become affected by fires and smoke.
The event was set to begin Sept. 9
Schulz said the decision to cancel Cycle Oregon was made after consulting with agencies including the Oregon Department of Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon Department of Transportation.This is an enormous disappointment for all of us. We as a community rise to challenges, but sometimes the risks far outweigh the potential benefits. We have exhausted the options and possibilities of doing anything but cancelling. The one priority that we won’t jeopardize is safety; we feel we cannot go forward without doing just that.The 400-plus-mile route was set to take riders around Diamond Lake, Crater Lake, Bend, Sisters and Dorena Lake.
This year marked the 30th year for Cycle Oregon. It costs $999 to participate and the event was sold out, according to Cycle Oregon’s website.
Schulz wrote that he hoped to have more details by next Wednesday. A FAQ has been posted about the cancellation at cycleoregon.com. This situation is unprecedented in Cycle Oregon history; we are in uncharted territory. As we work on next steps, we ask for time as we determine the best path forward. We realize you have many questions and we are committed to answering them. We will focus our current efforts on taking care of our communities as they deal with their struggles, being as generous as possible to our riders and partners, and supporting our state and those standing up and fighting these perils on our behalf. Cycle Oregon is something that we all embrace, and want to experience, but there are much bigger things at play here.Copyright 2017 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.