Just because I know the benefits of cycling, doesn’t mean I consider myself a cyclist. I have a bike, some padded shorts and shoes and that’s about it. Fortunately, that’s pretty much all I need for the Reach the Beach Ride, my gear and a positive attitude. Held on Saturday, May 16th, riders can choose from 4 different start locations, depending on how far they want to ride. Choose a start from Portland for 100 miles, from Newberg for 80 miles, from Amity for 55 miles or Grand Ronde for a 28 mile ride. There will be 8 lunch or snack stops along the way, making it super convenient to focus on the ride.
Participants are required to raise money for the American Lung Association as part of the registration process, but race organizers make it easy. They include letters and instructions to set up your fundraising page. Your registration includes a continental breakfast, supported rest stops at least every 15 miles, a lunch stop, medical and mechanical support along the way and a party at the beach. Enjoy a massage at the finish line, followed with a dinner at the beach celebration party. There will be coin operated showers across the street, so make sure to pack coins along if you want to shower and clean up.
Reach the Beach is limited to 3,000 riders and online registration ends May 11th. I’ve done runs and triathlons, but this is my first cycling event and I’m kind of excited. Running offers a lot of gorgeous views, but biking will be a great way to take more in. I’m excited to explore more of Oregon by bike and am registered for the (gulp) 100 miles from Portland. Riders can change their start location after registration, if done by May 5th and the start locations include:
Start Time: 6:00AM-7:30AM
Southridge High School (9625 SW 125th Ave. in Beaverton)
“A perfect century ride for more accomplished riders” does not exactly describe me, but it should be beautiful with farmland and rural beauty. This stretch includes some shorter hills and one big climb right from the start.
Start Time: 8:00AM-9:00AM
Newberg High School (1498 Elliot Rd in Newberg)
This stretch includes Eola Hills, wine country and rolling hills through forests and farmland.
Start Time: 9:00AM-10:00AM
Amity High School (503 Oak St. between Rosedell and Birch Hill)
With farmland and vineyards, this stretch includes some moderate hills. Riders hug the Little Nestucca River, making their way West.
Start Time: 10:00AM-11:00AM
Uxyat Pow Wow Grounds (9600 SE Hebo Rd/Highway 22)
With moderate hills and plenty of shade, this stretch follows the Little Nestucca River to the coast.
A family friendly event, Reach the Beach presented by AAA should be a fun way to explore Oregon. They do all of the planning and I feel like it’s a safe way to get a long ride in. It’s an added bonus that this event is helping fight lung cancer. The course map and all of the event details are on their website, plus the option to purchase extra meal tickets and bus rides. For $40 you can get a bus ride to your designated starting point. Space is limited, so schedule early.
I’m excited to have one training ride behind us, but even more excited for the rides to come. If you are looking for a way to challenge yourself, have fun with friends and meet new people, think about Reach the Beach. It’s early in the season, so you’ll still have all summer to focus on long runs, it will help get those legs ready for triathlon time if you do the three sport thing and it helps fight lung cancer. The Portland Wheelman Touring Club is providing free group rides for all registered participants. Their rides vary and include all skill levels, check out the website and tag along for a couple to get ready. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while and Reach the Beach will definitely do that for me. One training ride down and three months to go, I see saddle time and chamois cream in my near future.