Cycle Oregon will refund money

For the first time in Cycle Oregon's history, organizers called it quits. 

The cancellation of the nearly 500 miles bike ride came after wildfires continued to burn around the state and air quality continued to be measured as unhealthy or hazerdous due to the smoke. 

However, those organizations and municipalities that were gearing up financially for the annual event may get a reprieve. 

"They're refunding money," Cottage Grove City Manager Richard Meyers said. "They released a statement and you sort of have to read between the lines on some of what they're saying to the riders."

The statement opens by stating: We believe in Oregon. We believe you do too.

For three more paragraphs executive director Steve Schulz acknowledges the wildfires and notes the effects those wildfires have had on neighboring communities. 

"While we're not obligated to refund any funds to our riders, that's not who we are. You trust us to do the right thing. And the right thing is to take care of you and the Oregon communities that have continued to take care of us over the last 30 years," he wrote. 

Riders, the organization noted, could expect a $500 refund of their registration fee. However, it noted that in lieu of a refund, riders could donate the $500 to the rural communities effected by the wildfires. 

Those that purchases tent, porter, bus and parking tickets among other purchases would receive a full refund. 

Cottage Grove was not directly in the path of the 30th anniversary ride but bikers were expected to come in from Dorena and camp in Schwarz Park. As a result, local non-profits and other groups--approximately 18--signed up to volunteer. Though Cycle Oregon pays volunteers in that capacity. There were spaces for groups to unpack luggage and help unload trucks, set tables and various other duties. The groups use the event as an opportunity to fundraise. As for whether or not those groups would be receving a refund as well, Meyers said it would vary from situation to situation. 

"It would depend," Meyers said. "If you signed up to unload luggage, you didn't spend any money, but if you signed up to decorate the tables and you already purchased some of the things then you'll be reimbursed and I think they already started that." 

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