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The First Day of Weekend Summer Bike Camp

Profiles West 12-14-15 (1)Day one of the Summer Bike Camp Weekend Ride offers four route options—short (14 miles), medium (choose from 34 or 55 miles), and long (68 miles).

All routes start together by leaving Oregon State University and crossing busy Highway 34 at a traffic signal. The short route uses dedicated bicycle paths to travel to the community of Philomath, and then uses the same roads as the long and medium routes to return to Corvallis. Philomath celebrates its Frolic and Rodeo the same weekend as the ride, with a parade along Main Street beginning at 10am on Saturday.

The long and medium routes travel together to the first rest stop, 10 miles from the start—this is where the medium-route riders choose from their two options.

The long route

COwknd13 (313)The long route continues south on Bellfountain Road through the unincorporated communities of Bellfountain and Alpine, the location of the second stop of the day. Until this point, the long route has been traveling through agricultural and forested areas, on generally flat roads. There are several bumps to power over, but actual climbing is not required. That changes after leaving Alpine, but the big hill of the day, starting about four miles after Alpine, is only two miles long.

At the beginning of the climb, the road changes from Alpine Road (a county road) to South Fork Road, which is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management. A benefit of traveling this direction on South Fork Road is that after reaching the top of the hill, there is about 11 miles of moderate descent. South Fork Road is heavily forested and follows the south fork of the Alsea River. This is a very picturesque area, with a stop planned at the Alsea Falls picnic area.

After leaving the forest, the route crosses the main Alsea River at the community of Alsea, another unincorporated community and the location of the lunch stop for the long route. From Alsea, the only road available is moderately traveled Highway 34, which links Philomath to the Oregon coast at Waldport. Traveling east on this state highway offers narrow shoulders and gentle elevation gain for six miles, before the second climb of the day begins. This climb ends at the Alsea Summit (1,230’) and the road to Marys Peak, the highest point in the Coast Range. After the two-mile climb, there is a three-mile descent with some sharp curves before leaving Highway 34 after nearly 11 miles.

Once again on county roads, the scenery remains forested, interspersed with small agricultural farms. The terrain has some minor-to-moderate inclines until the last stop, before traveling through Philomath and returning to the OSU campus.

The medium and short routes

COwknd13 (349)Neither medium route—34 or 55 miles—has much climbing. The shorter of the two leaves the long route at the first stop, and completes a flat 14-mile loop before joining the long route again at the last stop of the day, 10 miles from the finish. The 55-mile option follows the long route to the second stop in Alpine, returns to the first rest stop, then completes the 14-mile loop of the shorter medium route, and then accompanies long-route riders to the finish.

After arriving in Philomath for a rest stop via a bicycle path, the short route uses the same roads as the long and medium routes to return to Corvallis. Just prior to arriving on campus, this route again uses a dedicated bicycle path to ride through the Bald Hill Natural Area. The multi-modal trail passes through varied habitats of upland prairie, oak savanna, oak woodlands, riparian areas, and wetlands. This route again joins the long and medium routes for the last mile or so, to ride on a bike path past a covered bridge to return to OSU.

There are still spots left in the Summer Bike Camp Weekend Ride. Claim your spot!

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