I sometimes forget how pretty the Willamette Valley is — and then I get on my bike and Oregon just opens up. This is one of my favorite times of the year — early fall/late summer when there is still daylight in the morning and the afternoons still hit 70, 80 degrees but the mornings have just a little bit of a bite. Since its the labor day holiday, I thought it would be fun to go for a short bike ride — but where? Generally, I like to ride south towards Corvallis, hitting Kings Valley, Bueno Vista, South Salem, Albany etc…but occasionally I’ll ride north but generally north west towards Dallas, OR. Today, I decided to ride up 99 and head to McMinnville — totol 62 miles for the day, but it was just great. Left at 7:10 am and cruised through a bunch of little small towns and passed about 10 vineyards — some with grapes sitting right by the road. I kindof wished someone would have been selling them on the side of the road — I’d skipped breakfast and they looked good (and I’m sure, sweet).
Anyway, it was such a pretty ride — hwy 99 always surprises me — and I enjoyed taking a few detours on the road to explore some of the small communities on the way back. The ride itself was nice too. In the Valley, there really aren’t any hills…just a lot of slow rollers just to keep the blood moving…and the distance was about right for an early morning stretch of the legs. Took about 3 hours to cover the 62 miles keeping a steady pace…All and all, a great Labor Day ride.