Saturday, April 3, 2010
Reason to Ride Salem #7: A Cookie, A Challenge, And A Peach
Fair-weather cyclists, fear not! This brief spell of wintery weather is only temporary; “cycling season” is nearly upon us. At the beginning, middle, and end of the season come three great ride events here in the Valley. The Salem Bicycle Club offers the Monster Cookie Metric Century (62 miles, mostly level) in late April, the Cycle Challenge fundraiser for Boys and Girls Club (35/75 miles) in June, and the Peach of a Century (62/75/100 miles) in late September. As far as ride events in Oregon go, these are actually quite popular and they attract over a thousand riders. What? You’ve never done a ride event before?! Well, then, it’s time you did, by golly!
Event rides are designed by cyclists, for cyclists; the routes usually take you on the best roads with the best scenery possible. Riding in the Willamette Valley is some of the most idyllic, exquisite scenery you'll ever enjoy from the handlebars.
Cyclists are a generally happy lot; meeting and talking with a few of the new faces you’re riding with tends to increase your own happiness.
When these rides are events for a particular cause such as cancer research, multiple sclerosis, or the lung association, you get to ride with added purpose...that’s a very cool thing.
You feel like you’re part of something much larger than yourself, when a few hundred or a few thousand other riders are on the road with you.
You’re surrounded with a pretty good level of support, so all you have to do is ride. Usually there’s sag vehicle assistance, traffic control, pit stops, and a nifty t-shirt at the end. :)
Long rides don’t seem so long when you’re in a big group, and afterwards, you get to eat a-ny-thing you want!
So, take the plunge! Dare to don some spandex and sunscreen, and dive into an event ride. 'Tis the season.