Nearly 800 women turned out last month for Cycle Oregon’s first annual women’s bike ride, Joyride. The event was a resounding success, with participants complimenting everything from the routes and rest stops to the food and friendliness.
“The vibe was noticeably more friendly and open, and much less intense, than other rides I’ve done,” said Elizabeth Vitu of Portland. “The parking was easy, the signage on the routes was spot on, and the rest stops and food were all great,” she said.
Stoller Family Estate, a historic vineyard in the Dundee Hills of the Willamette Valley, was home base for Joyride. Riders checked in at the vineyard before embarking on their route of choice—17, 38, or 60 miles—through the surrounding countryside.
“It was really nice being able to decide which route to take on the day of the event,” said Jessica Anderson of Portland. “You could base it on how you felt when you got here.”
The low-stress vibe and camaraderie were palatable at the finish-line feast, where there was wine tasting, beer on tap, and an impressive lunch spread with food from a number of local purveyors. One item in particular brought many riders back for seconds: homemade biscuits by Portland bakery Lauretta Jean’s. “Lauretta” herself (who’s actually Kate McMillen—Lauretta Jean was her grandmother’s name) and her husband were on hand serving up the biscuits.
“I’m a lady for the ladies,” said McMillen. “It’s great to be a part of a Cycle Oregon event for the first time, and especially this one.”
Leona Sparks of Crabtree, Oregon, was also enjoying her first Cycle Oregon experience. When her friend, Mary Sue Hansberry of Kaiser, Oregon, asked her to do Joyride with her, Sparks had to figure out how to get her hands on a bike. “I’m a newbie, but it was awesome,” said Sparks. “I didn’t feel intimidated at all. Now I’m addicted and looking for the next ride!”
Joyride also drew veterans like Lynn Wiebe of Salem, who has completed Cycle Oregon’s Week Ride 10 times. She described Joyride as a “typical Cycle Oregon event.”
“Everything is very organized, the support is great, and the route was incredible,” said Wiebe, adding, “Cycle Oregon has a way of finding routes that are just beautiful.”
Pictures from the event can be found here, here and here. Read more about Joyride at bikeportland.org. And if all this reminiscing about Joyride has you craving the Cycle Oregon experience, grab one of the few spots left for the Week Ride in September!