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How To Choose a Bike Ride

This article series is presented by the Harvest Century on September 21

The event calendar in Oregon is getting increasingly crowded. As the only statewide calendar of bike events, we’ve really seen an exciting explosion in new events over the years.

It’s not always easy to make your decision about what rides to sign up for, so we thought we’d put together some tips for choosing the best bike rides.

1. Find a date that works

Plain and simple: If you’re not free that day, you’re not going on the ride. When you visit the ride’s website, immediately sign up for the newsletter if that’s an option. Even if you can’t do the ride this year, you’ll be on the notification list of next year so you can mark your calendar early.

2. Where is the ride located?

Is is an area you’ve never before explored? Is it your favorite location? Are you willing to drive to the start line (we say ALWAYS YES!!!). Think about the riding region and what you’ll see on this ride.

3. What are the routes like?

Consider the distance options: do you see an option you like? Is there a longer route to challenge yourself?

What do the route maps and descriptions look like? Do you get a sense that you’ll be on low-traffic routes with scenic views? Don’t spend too much time concerning yourself with a lot of detail here. In our experience, most of the ride organizers in Oregon do an phenomenal job of finding great routes.

4. What kind os support does the ride offer?

Will there be frequent rest stops? Cruise through the website and the FAQ or info page (hopefully there is one). Do you get a sense that the ride is well supported and the organizers are well prepared to give you an awesome day on your bike?

5. What’s included?

What are the special ride features? Is lunch included? Breakfast? A party?

6. Are your friends free that day?

Rides are always more fun when you’ve got your favorite riding buddies along for the day, but don’t let a lack of friends deter you from signing up for rides Supported rides are a fantastic place to meet new people, gain new riding buddies and have a fun day chatting with other people who share your love of bikes.

7. Who is behind the ride?

We’re huge fans of small town rides lead by local volunteers and riding clubs. In fact, Tour de Fronds won the award for Best Bike Ride in Oregon and it’s a completely volunteer run event, tucked away in Southern Oregon woods of Powers, Oregon.

Give these rides a chance. They often need the ridership more than the big rides and every rider makes a difference.

8. Throw caution to the headwind!

If nothing else, through the ride names in a hat and pick a bunch. With a wealth of fantastic rides in Oregon, you really can’t go wrong!


The Harvest Century closes off the riding season with a huge celebration and ride on September 24 in Hillsboro. MORE INFO >

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The Vineyard Tour

THE VINEYARD TOUR | September 9 – Roseburg

The riders of the Umpqua Velo Cycling Club have been blissfully enjoying some of the best routes in our state for many years. They know all the best the hidden gems, winding roads and backcountry roads nestled in their down-state region.

And now, these generous riders are sharing all their secrets with us. The Vineyard Tour is a gorgeous ride through the Umpqua Valley. You\’ll cruise along lightly traveled roads as you pass by dozens of vineyards, wineries, forests, fields and orchards.

Select from routes of 15 to 100 miles, each one a delightful tour. For the full experience, opt for the full century. This route meanders along the powerful and scenic Rogue River and and includes four optional winery stops. With only 3,200 feet of elevation gain, this is a very approachable and well supported century ride.

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Tour de France: Every Second Counts

The 104th edition of the Tour de France is currently underway, having started in Düsseldorf; with Marcel Kittel winning stage 11, and Chris Froome retaining an overall lead. With 10 stages left, it’s anyone’s game.

Timekeeping is an important aspect of the Tour de France. With Tissot, Official Timekeepers of the Tour de France and all cycling time trials by the Amaury Sport Organisation, keeping track of the seconds and minutes between cyclists. Official timekeeping means the true Tour de France champion will prevail. The Watch Gallery has created a useful infographic detailing the Tour de France in numbers, and how important it is to have innovative timekeeping systems at all time trials.

When it comes to the final stages, every second counts. The last leg (stage 21), will, for the first time, have Marseille welcome an individual time trial set on mostly flat, urban roads, minus the climb up towards the Notre-Dame-de-la-Grade cathedral before finishing at the Champ-Elysees. This time-trial will be the final opportunity to witness a shift in the leader board; it’s also prime opportunity for the cycling sprinters to shine.

When it comes to the importance of timekeeping, the most notable case is of the 1989 Tour de France win, where Greg LeMond and Laurent Fignon were separated by a mere eight seconds. This is the narrowest winning margin in history, and proves that the best timekeeping measures must be in place. With the Tour de France being a 21-stage bicycle race, broadcast to 190 countries worldwide, keeping tabs on each competitors time makes for a smooth championship.

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Jensie Gran Fondo

JENSIE GRAN FONDO | October 7 – Marin County

When the Pacific Northwest rains start falling, we head south for one of the most gorgeous rides in the part of the country, the Jensie Gran Fondo on October 7 in Marin County.

Spend an awesome and memorable day with Jens Voigt, arguably the most fun guy in pro cycling, on his namesake ride. You’ll be treated to a Pro Tour level adventure with plenty of on course support.

Ride along the world-class roads of Marin County with notable views of Alpine Dam, Mount Tam, Stinson Beach, Bolinas, Point Reyes and Tomales Bay. Select the Shut Up Legs Route (100 miles, 8,055 ft of elevation) to experience some of the very best climbs in all of California. Other routes include a 70-mile with 4,445 ft and a 40-mile with a mere 2,520 ft.

Ample rest stops feature tasty regional treats, full support and a gourmet lunch rest stop. The finish line features a dinner party with beer and plenty of high fives.

This cool ride is well worth the journey to California. There are bike rentals on site (reserve in advance) or you can ship to the event with BikeFlights.

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Arthritis Bike Classic

ARTHRITIS BIKE CLASSIC | September 16-22 – Willamette Valley

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all, and the Arthritis Bike Classic is your perfect opportunity to sink into the landscape and forget about your daily routine.

This gorgeous ride offers a supported tour of the Willamette Valley with a small group setting, incredible food and delightful overnight stays. The organizers really know how to put on a good show and you\’ll be treated to nighttime entertainment and surprises all along the way.

With its small group size, the Arthritis Bike Classic is an opportunity to truly get to know your riding companions as you pedal for days on end.

Choose from the full six day ride or, new this year, a three-day option and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.

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7 Tips For Using A Bike On Campus

Bikes are becoming ever more popular with students, and it’s easy to see why. They’re portable, easy to park, and are great for the environment. If you’re looking for an easier way to get around campus, a bike could be the way forward. If you’re planning on taking a bike on campus, use these 7 tips to get the most out of the experience.

1) Use your bike for exercise

Many students are well aware of the dreaded “freshman 15” and are looking for ways to stave it off. A bike is one of the best ways to keep fit while you’re away at college. You’ll be on it every day getting to and from class, so you’ll be getting in a workout without even noticing. As well as this, you can go out for a ride whenever you want with it.

2) Keep your bike safe

Sadly, there are bike thefts on campuses all over the country, and so you want to keep your bike safe. Always lock your bike with a high quality lock and don’t leave your bike outside over night.
Make sure you buy a good lock, and use it. You can even register your bike with the National Bike Registry, in case it ever is stolen.

3) Register Your Bike

Bike Index is bike registration that works. It’s free and easy to ensure your bike is trackable.

4) Look after your bike

Learn how to maintain a bike, and take good care of it. Like any machinery, it’ll work at top capacity if you keep on repairing it. Learn the basics for home maintenance of the simple stuff, but also be willing to invest in the necessary parts and bike shop expertise that will keep your bike running smoothly for many years to come.

5) Take advantage of efficient routes

Students like taking cars to college, as it means that they have a convenient way to get to class. However, they often find there are ample hassles that takes up valuable time that could otherwise be spent snoozing. Educational expert Jim King says, “We’ve found students with bikes get to class much quicker and save time on travel. This is because they can take advantage of quicker routes and easier parking than driving students can.”

6) Reduce your impact on the environment

If you’re looking for ways to go green on campus, then you can’t do better than riding a bike. It’s entirely powered by you, so there’s no harmful gases being pumped out and you’re not contributing to the pollution in the area. There’s no better way to help the cause of saving the planet.

7) Get your bike insured

There’s a good chance your bike may already be insured. Your renters’ insurance or your parents’ home owner’s insurance may have coverage for items kept outside the home, especially items belonging to students living on campus. Check their policy before you get a bike. If there isn’t coverage, consider buy your own.

These tips will help you get the most out of your bike while you’re at college. Take care of your bike, and it will most certainly take of you. If nothing else, you’ll save money on gas and maintenance!


Mary Walton is an editor at MBA Essay Help who runs the blog Simple Grad. She loves green living and is all about staying fit. Mary loves Pilates and cycling. Also, she is a content manager at Philosophy Assignment Help Australia.

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