Joyride is back and this year the charming community of Independence, Oregon welcomes our one-day celebration of women and bikes.
Riders on our Short, Medium and Long routes depart Riverview Park in Independence together along a newly constructed bike path on the shore of the Willamette River. All distances follow the same roads until approximately 5 miles from start. Riders quickly enter the lush farmland surrounding Independence, traveling through fields of hops, filbert orchards, berries, vineyards and more. At a marked intersection, (Look for the big white sign!) the short route strikes off on its own to a rest stop located 7 miles into the route’s 18 total miles. This stop is located at Rogue Ales and Spirit’s farm. The Short route rejoins the Medium and Long route riders for a few miles, and then strikes off separately again for the rest of the journey back to Riverview Park enjoying views of the rolling hills to the west, while avoiding riding up them!
The Medium and Long routes head south together rolling towards the town of Buena Vista, home of one of the few remaining ferries across the Willamette River. Just beyond Buena Vista the first hills of the day begin; nice rollers offering some great views as rewards for the efforts – the Coast Range foothills to the west and various Cascades mountains to the east. The Medium route takes a ‘short cut’ to later rejoin with Long Route riders, while Long riders get to enjoy some flats and wildlife along the Luckiamute River plains, with a water stop on Oregon Parks’ Luckiamute River Access site.
After joining back together, Long and Medium head towards their first rest stop of the day at Sarah Helmick State Park. Just beyond this stop is Simpson Road – where riders wishing to enjoy some gravel riding will enjoy some well maintained, low traffic gravel roads – Long and Medium Gravel travel together for first few miles, parting ways when Long route riders head through a wooded climb that opens up into a huge Christmas tree farm. Medium Gravel stays mostly flat across more farm land before rejoining the Medium pavement route… riders not wishing to ride gravel will stay on pavement heading south after Sarah Helmick Rest stop.
At the ‘town’ of Airlie, Long route riders will turn left for some more climbing and adventure, with a visit to the Minnie Ritner Ruiter Covered Bridge wayside for a water stop to refresh and re-fill.
Medium takes another ‘short cut’, remaining on Airlie Rd until Long route riders rejoin from the left at Maple Grove Rd. From this point, Long and Medium riders will continue together until finish back in Riverview Park.
Elkins Rd continues the theme of rolling farmland roads, with the day’s final rest stop at Jon Bansen Farms, a dairy farm that is part of the Organic Valley cooperative. Depending on pasture rotations, we may get to visit up close and personal with the herd!
Riders continue east through the last of the day’s real hills, and then begin a gentle downhill and flat towards Monmouth, where we travel through Western Oregon University’s campus before we make our last turn east, with a flat run in to Riverview Park in Independence where the finish line, great food, libations, music and fun await!