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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