With great anticipation, friends and families arrived Friday night at Oregon State University (OSU), where the staff welcomed everyone with open arms to kick off this year’s Weekend Ride through the Willamette Valley. That night, riders gathered in large groups over good food and beer, and music and entertainment, as they rekindled friendships and began new ones.
The first day of riding on Saturday was particularly well received, with short, medium, and long route options to choose from. From OSU, riders went west toward the Coast Range. The short and medium routes took mostly flat, quiet roads through agricultural and forested areas, as they cruised past small towns. The long route went farther toward the coast and included some short climbs and long descents as it followed a ribbon-smooth single-lane road along the south fork of the Alsea River. The Alsea summit was a popular place for riders to catch their breath and snap some pictures before the final stretch back to OSU.
At night the university was filled with friends, family, and laughter as folks played Frisbee, cheered on the kid’s bike parade, listened to music, and celebrated the day’s adventure.
On Sunday morning, riders huddled, sipping coffee while waiting for rainy weather to clear. Once they eventually set off, everyone enjoyed a flat cruise through the countryside. All routes included portions of the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway. Those who chose the long route went through forests and past historic buildings while reaching the day’s only climb. Lunch was in the picturesque town of Brownsville, followed by a stop at Thompson’s Mill before finishing the ride at OSU to a mass of cheering spectators.
Although temperatures were far from sweltering, the Schwan’s man handing out frozen treats at the finish line was still the most popular guy on campus. Kids of course loved him too, and those who participated in the Bike Camp for Kids had a blast—an inspiring window into the future of cycling.