When the summer crowds and intense heat fade but the sunshine remains, the air is crisp and the light golden. September is a magical time in Oregon’s parks — the perfect time for a joyride on two wheels at either of two organized events: Crater Lake’s Ride the Rim event, and National Bike Your Park Day.
Here’s how to be part of these classic Oregon experiences:
Ride the Rim
At Ride the Rim, which take place on Saturday, September 14 and Saturday, September 21, 2019, cyclists, runners and hikers get to enjoy the pristine beauty of Crater Lake National Park’s East Rim Drive without vehicle traffic. The park has been dedicating a day of vehicle-free traffic in the spring and fall each year since 2013. In 2016, a crowd of 2,300 rallied for Ride the Rim.
“It’s a nice way to enjoy the views without all the noise, and sometimes you get a chance to see wildlife in the park,” says Tonia Ulbricht, an event spokeswoman.
With 3,500 feet in net elevation gain and steep inclines and declines — at elevations of 5,000 feet — the ride is for intermediate to advanced riders, so families use caution. Participants have access to five rest stops along the 25-mile route with water, snacks, information, maps, basic bike tools, first aid and shade provided, as well as a pre-ride BBQ meet-and-greet the Friday evening before.
Visit Ride the Rim for info on how to register, rent a bike, book a free shuttle and even arrange an Amtrak trip to the park.
National Bike Your Park Day
National Bike Your Park Day, celebrating its third year on September 28, 2019, is meant to encourage people to jump on their bikes and tool around their favorite national park, state park, wildlife refuge or other local public lands.
Organized by the nonprofit Adventure Cycling Association, the aim is to inspire and empower people of all ages and skill levels to bike in and around their parks — either solo or with friends — 10 miles or 100.
Bike Your Park Day also coincides with National Public Lands Day. In addition to Crater Lake’s Ride the Rim, here are some of the other public rides registered in Oregon:
- Near Portland, ride to L.L. Stubb Stewart State Park, a 50-mile paved route that starts west of town and leads to the scenic, 1,654-acre park in Oregon’s Washington County.
- South Jetty Beach Ride in Florence starts at Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial Park and cruises along the beach for about four miles; fat tires are encouraged.
- Stubb Stewart State Park bike camp out in L.L. Stubb Stewart State Park welcomes bike minded folks to gather.
To join in, sign up for a public ride or create your own, check out the Adventure Cycling Association website. You can find details, registration and contact info on this interactive map. For year-round routes, check out Travel Oregon’s bicycling page.