“It’s an unhealthy environment to put people into and we’re not willing to risk that,” Executive Director Steve Schulz said.
The 490-mile ride from the Cascade Range, going through La Pine, Bend, Rainbow, Oakridge, Crater Lake and Diamond Lake, among others was planned for Sept.9, but wildfire smoke made the air quality on the route unhealthy and hazardous, Schulz said. The route is in the midst of about 13 uncontained fires, including the McKay Fire near La Pine, and the Jones fire just east of Eugene.
More than 2,300 riders registered for the event.
“This hurts a lot to a lot of people. We have people that have made plans, we have people from 48 states and 10 countries that are trying to come out and do this with us.”
The Cycle Oregon board and staff members made the decision to cancel the ride after consulting with state and local agencies.
“We did look at other alternate routes throughout the state, but again the whole state is in a wildfire issue, so you know, risking trying to move somewhere else on a short notice, not executing as good as we do, was just a risk we weren’t willing to take,” said Schulz.
Schulz said organizers are still working to determine how riders will be compensated, because many of the costs to put on the ride have already been incurred and are not completely refundable.
Original post from KGW. Read more here.