Color promotional photo of the Harvest Century bike ride in Forest Grove, Oregon

The Harvest Century: A Call for Riders

Have you heard that many race organizers continue to struggle to produce high-quality events for runners, walkers, cyclists, and triathletes? Many of us potential participants are waiting until the last minute to sign up because no one wants to lose their entry fee if the event is cancelled.

But the problem is that these organizers often have to pay up front for support services and materials (i.e. traffic control, special event permits, liability insurance, finisher medals, tee shirts), often weeks and months in advance. They need those early registrations to cover those costs PLUS measure participant interest.

That’s why I’m sharing today’s email in full below from ORbike, organizer of Harvest Century (coming up on Sept. 25, short description here) and other cycling events in Oregon. I appreciate their straightforward honesty of their need for participation, AND I have this on my bucket list of Oregon bike rides.

If you live in the greater Portland area, or are looking for a beautiful cycling getaway in wine country, then check this out! My comments and bits of info appear in [brackets].

“This is a call to action. We need your help[!]

Dear ORbike Rider,

The pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our business. Earlier this year we had to cancel the Portland Century due to the rising costs amid poor attendance. We have pivoted, leveraged long-term relationships, and built new ones to keep these rides going and thriving. We love these events and our part in this cycling community.

Please help.

Gather your friends and register for the Harvest Century. We need a surge in registrations this week in order to host the Harvest Century.

How close are we?

This is where we stand if you register today:

70 More — [Result] – The event breaks even. Anything less means cancellation.

75-100 More — Result – The event is on, and we work for very little but can pay our bills.

150+ More — Result – The event is restored, and we are excited for the future!

The Harvest Century has a long and storied history within the Oregon cycling community. The event provides excellent country riding with unparalleled support. It benefits the non-profit Community Vision, encourages kids under 16 to ride for free, and welcomes all cyclists with our Blue Plate Special pricing for the shortest distance.

So this is our appeal to you. Please Register today and be a part of the cycling community’s future.

Can’t ride this year but want to help? Consider being a Virtual Rider. (See the registration page for options)

We will be taking a look at the numbers next week and we’ll keep you posted.

Thank you for your support over the last 20 years. Let’s hope for another 20!

ORbike team, Brad & Porter

Email: events(at)orbike(dot)com | © 2021 OR bike”

About Harvest Century

The Harvest Century — Saturday, Sept. 25 in Forest Grove, some 25 miles west of Portland. Five routes with 25 to 100-mile routes. Start and finish with post-ride parties at McMenamins Grand Lodge, a must-see lodging, dining establishment in an historic Masonic and Eastern Star property. Registration includes breakfast, lunch & dinner, tasty rest stops every 15 miles (average), custom rider bib, maps + well-marked courses, medical and mechanical support, SAG vans, live music and 2 McMenamins beers, ciders or wines.

Two Harvest Century female cyclists pedaling past a rows of grapevines in Oregon wine country. Image belongs to ORbike.
A Harvest Century photo from ORbike’s Instagram account, dated June 27, 2019.
Two cyclists ride in rural Oregon during the Harvest Century ride. Photo belongs to ORbike
Another Harvest Century photo from ORbike’s Instagram account, dated Aug. 23, 2019.
The Harvest Century post-ride image from ORbike’s website

Disclaimer: I’m posting this as a public service to support event organizers like ORbike without reimbursement of any kind, because without them we wouldn’t be able to run, walk, cycle, or otherwise enjoy experiences like these!