Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Cycling enthusiast Peter Cornelison puts it this way: Few places in the world are as beautiful as the Hood River Valley.
He wants people to see that beauty from behind the handlebars, in Saturday’s second annual Hood River Harvest Ride.
“Only 30 miles long by 5 miles wide, the valley is picturesque and verdant. Its rich volcanic soil and ample water produce a cornucopia of fruit, vegetable and timber harvests,” Cornelison said.
“The productive fruit orchards, peaceful small farms, and quaint towns make it seem like a vision out of the past. In a way it is: An intact farm valley without over-development.”
He said “This is due in part to the Hood River Valley Residents Committee (www.HRVRC.org), the group that is putting on its second Hood River Harvest Ride on Sunday.
The Harvest Ride will start at 8 a.m. and finish by 5 p.m. on Saturday.
With pre-registration the Harvest Ride costs $40 for adults, $15 for kids under age 14 and $120 for a family of six.
Reasonably priced, off-site child care is available.
For more information or to volunteer or register visit:
“For bike riders, the Hood River Valley has unique topography,” Cornelison said.
“Shaped progressively by volcanoes, giant glaciers and the Columbia Floods, the terrain has tremendous variety. Low-traffic farm roads designed for horse-drawn travel (i.e. not too steep) meander through the valley and include flat stretches, moderate hill climbs and exciting descents. Superb riding conditions bring the elite Mt. Hood Cycle Classic, a professional road race, to the area every year. Often sunny, the bike riding is excellent here in the fall.”
The Hood River Harvest Ride features five loops, each with its own appeal. The loops — easy, moderate, and challenging — can be combined or done separately, as fitness allows.
Along the way are points of interest: farm stands, two museums and wineries. Any purchases made while on the ride will be delivered back to the starting point for free by a special courier. Non-bike riders can also get in the on action via the valley’s own Mount Hood Railroad, which stops in Parkdale, one of the rest stops for the Hood River Harvest Ride, and a good place to meet up with the bike riders.
Regionally grown fruits and vegetables are being provided by five local farms for lunch and at rest stops. A sag wagon will pick up stranded or tired riders as needed.
The Hood River Fairgrounds, located in the center of the valley, is the start and terminus point of the ride. A finish-line party there will celebrate the end of the event. Quiet, overnight camping at the Hood River Fairgrounds, which has pay showers, will be available for $15 a tent or $20 for an RV on both Sept. 24 and 25.