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3 Days--150 Leisurely Miles on the Willamette Scenic Bikeway

 

Please note that the RSVPs for this ride are closed.  If anyone decides they want to ride at this point, please contact me and we'll talk.

This is a really nice 135 mile trip between Champoeg and Eugene that traverses the entire Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.  With detours to and from 3 Motel 6s along the way the whole trip is just over 150 miles with 3200 feet of climbing.  The first day is an easy 35 miles from Champoeg to Salem. The second about 60 miles from Salem to Corvallis.  The last day is just over 50 miles from Corvallis to Armitage park in Eugene.

I intend this to be a leisurely tour, where we ride and take some time to enjoy the route along the way and the areas where we end up. Have a leisurely dinner, a bottle of wine, some good conversation. This is not a mini STP, but more of a mini Cycle Oregon for older people :)  If you are the type of rider who gets on your bike and doesn't get off until your destination, this ride is not for you.  I plan to stop to take pictures and see things that look interesting and take regular rest and fuel stops along the way.  It might take 8 hours to go 50 miles, but so what?  I'm not in a hurry.  After all, there's just a Motel 6 at the end of each day anyway!

Here is what Terry Richard of the Oregonian Travel Section says, and I agree with him:

A hard-body cyclist could easily ride the mostly flat route in a single day, but that would be missing the point. Three, four, even five days are better. Or make it a week's vacation, so you have enough time to photograph all the scenic red barns along the way. A scenic bikeway is meant to be ridden slowly, say, about 6 mph over a 40-mile, seven-hour day. And training is not vital, because a 4.5-mile daily bicycle commute had me in good stead.

My wife loves scenic red barns and would kill me if I didn't get some pictures.

Bottom line:  this is a TOUR not a race from Point A to Point B.  The JOURNEY, not the destination, is the focus of this ride.  Comprende?  Muy bien! Ahora, vamanos!

Lodging: I have made my reservations, all at nice, cheap Motel 6s:  Salem, Corvallis and Springfield/N. Eugene.  All three reservations are cancelable up to and including the day of check in.

How to get back from Eugene? Judith and I will be heading out from Eugene Tuesday morning for the coast or points South for a few days and not returning to Portland until the weekend.  Others should either have a ride back or be making reservations, in advance, to come back on Amtrak with a carry-on bike reservation. Check out the schedule posted in the comments by Jim Cilek.  Note that there are only 10 spots for carry on bikes on the trains between Eugene and Portland and you MUST have a reservation, so call early. If you don't get a carry on spot, you must buy a box from them ($15) and partially disassemble your bike and ship it as baggage in the box--with a $10 fee I think.

This is important: If you think you might be signing up, you MUST (notice the emphasis!) be able to ride the daily distance (50-60 miles) and maintain at least 12 mph on the flats for several days in a row.  That doesn't mean we'll always be riding along at 12 mph or better, but when we want to we want to be able to.  That said, with rest stops, sight seeing, picture taking etc, the daily distance won't be overly significant.

NOTE to ALL POTENTIAL RIDERS: I am NOT fast, but I am steady.  Until we hit hills at which point I am still steady but much slower.  Really long or very steep hill climbs are 5-6 mph in my granny gear.  Faster, stronger riders must be willing to be patient and wait, or feel free to ride on ahead and we will meet you at the end of the day.  So, if you're faster than I, not a problem, as long as you're happy to take off on your own or ride more slowly than you're used to if you plan to ride with me.

If you're significantly slower than I or don't know what speed you normally ride, please don't sign up for this ride. It is important on these kinds of rides that everyone is pretty evenly matched if we're to stay together and on a multi-day event it is not fun to do a lot of waiting for stragglers as we gladly do on most of our one day rides. We will not be racing, but unless we are sight seeing (and we will be) we will be moving along at the stated 12 mph speed, slower on hills.

Here's the route description with some good explanations of options.

http://rideoregonride.com/road-routes/willamette-valley-scenic-bikeway/

Here is the route I mapped on Ride with GPS:

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3144320

Cancellation: The only thing that will cancel this ride is illness or a forecast of big rain.  If that happens, I will reschedule to the next available date.  But I will be riding this route this Fall!

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  • A former member
    A former member

    It sounds like it was a great adventure - I'm jealous! I'll be back in town next week, so hopefully I won't miss the next one. ;^)

    September 18, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      You'd have loved this ride, Roger. You should do it some day.

      September 18, 2013

  • Jim C.

    Glad to hear you guys had a good trip and that it all went well, Kerry.

    September 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks Jim. It was great fun the whole way. I know you wanted to do it in 1 day but that would have killed Rad and me!

      September 17, 2013

  • Trudy H

    Hi Kerry, glad you had a great ride -- I worried about you a bit when it rained on Sunday, but I think the rain may have been more to the north. I think I remember Gap Road ... Great photos, by the way. They really capture the rural charm of the WV!

    September 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Except for a little mist one day nary a drop fell on us. I do wish you could have done it with us. You'd have loved it.

      September 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    After getting lost a couple of times the first day we finally figured out our GPSs and had days of 47 miles, 60 miles and 55 miles with nearly perfect weather. Rad is a muy simpatico cycling buddy and I enjoyed his company immensely. The WVSB is a wonderful bikeway and the beautiful scenery made the miles fly by. Until we hit Gap road. More like 5 mph crawl by. But the downhill was worth it. The ride had me out of character in that I slept in Motel 6s, ate at an Applebees, drank Starbucks coffee and had a gin martini served in a white wine glass at a Chinese restaurant. It's all good!

    September 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I forgot. I had one flat. Rad broke one spoke. Other than that, perfection! Especially the part where Rad's stereo speakers ran out of power ;-)

      September 17, 2013

  • Trudy H

    Kerry, I and some friends did this ride a few years ago in the other direction. We took the train to Eugene on a Friday night, spent the night, then rode to Albany for the second night, and then to Champoeg where we had arranged a pick-up. It's a lovely ride for the most part. Going through Salem (for miles) is the only part that's not so great, but we also lost the route at one point and did more miles on the main drag than we would have needed to. I recommend the ride!

    July 6, 2013

    • Jim C.

      Trudy has the right idea, leave Portland on Friday evening on the 6:15 train and spend the night in Eugene. Saturday, head north, spending the night along the way. The most-halfway place I could find is on the other side of the Buena Vista ferry, a place called, oddly enough, the Buena Vista House.

      July 7, 2013

    • Jim C.

      Here's a link:
      http://www.buenavista...­
      Note that if the ferry's not running, you're kind of stuck. You'd have to go on to Independence or Monmouth.

      July 7, 2013

2 went

  • A former member
  • A former member

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