Cycle Oregon is a non-profit dedicated to transforming individuals and communities through bicycling. Cycle Oregon seeks not only to host epic cycling events, but to connect riders to rural routes in great communities who benefit from the economic activity cyclists bring.

Joyride is one of Cycle Oregon‘s annual group rides, it is a first class, women-only ride offering short, medium and long routes. Joyride is a chance for women of all walks of life to ride together and enjoy each other’s company in a beautiful part of Oregon.

This year, Joyride will kick off from Independence and wind through the scenic roads near the hotel. We had the great pleasure of interviewing a crew from Cycle Oregon to find our more about Joyride 2022.

Joyriders are ready to go!

Independence Hotel (IH): Tell us about Joyride!

Chris DiStefano (CD): Joyride is a one-day cycling event just for women in Polk County Oregon.

IH: When is this year’s event?

CD: June 25, 2022

IH: Are all Joyrides for women only?

CD: Yes. Although we do welcome men for volunteer roles for the event!

IH: Do you have to be an experienced rider in order to participate? Do you need to be able to travel long distances? Also, is this event 21+ or can younger (female) riders participate?

It is not necessary to be an expert rider for Joyride though at 18 miles,  the shortest route may be more than a true beginner wishes to try out. That said, we have on course support such as rest stops and SAG vehicles to pick up riders who cannot continue for any reason. It’s advisable for any cycling event to prepare with a basic amount of training to prepare the body and to familiarize oneself with their bicycle. Cycle Oregon events are not mass start and do not require large group riding, though it is likely to interact and ride with groups of cyclists at certain points. Being familiar with the rules of the road and the “rules” of riding in a group are highly advisable. Cycle Oregon events are held on open, public roads so riders must know and observe their legal requirements on course. We do, however, select lesser-used routes and sign all of our events to encourage car traffic to use alternate routes. There is no limit for participation though we do require that a parent or guardian accompany any minor who chooses to ride in a SAG vehicle.

 

Chris DiStefano on the road helping  out a cyclist. Chris is the Marketing & Development Manager for Cycle Oregon and gives us the latest on the Joyride.

 

Come ride! Joyride presents several length options, and even optional gravel options.

 

It’s all about great rides and good friends.

Here’s to great rides and more time in the saddle!

IH: How does one sign up for Joyride?

CD: First, learn all the details on the Joyride page.

From here, there is a link to an events.com page where riders can sign up

IH: Where can one purchase Joyride merchandise/gear? And is it mandatory to ride?

CD: We sell Joyride jerseys and other apparel at the event with a few selections also available on the Cycle Oregon store.

It is not mandatory to ride the event to purchase or wear any logo apparel or gear.

Nothing like riding with your badass buddies!

Which is the better feeling, the start of the ride or the finish of the ride….this cyclist is all about the finish!

IH: The website mentions that the ride will end with a locally sourced meal and live music. Can you tell me more about that? Will a restaurant be hosting, or is this more of a picnic type thing?

CD: I do not have details on music just yet though as you will read in the music section below we have a professional music manager who volunteers his time for that role.

For food, we use a blend of catering and service providers who prepare food with ingredients sourced from local farms or growers. We also bring in specialty providers for specific items and promote their offerings. Our event page has a list of some of what was offered at the 2019 event and for 2022 we will have similar offerings. Cycle Oregon events do not have a set start time for riders to begin and for food we make access to the buffet available for an open period of time which allows riders to enjoy lunch on their timeline. We offer several seating areas but encourage riders to create their own spaces with new friends and old. It’s a fun, casual day and we don’t have a lot of rules about how it works.

All Cycle Oregon events end in a party with food, drinks, and entertainment! Joyride is no exception!

Cycle Oregon sources food for after the ride from local farms and producers!

IH: I read that there will be bodywork specialists waiting at the end as well! How cool! Can you tell us a little bit about the benefits of cycling and bodywork?

Megan Moseley PT LMT of Bodywise shares her expertise with us:

Moseley: Physical Therapists can assess the alignment of your body and recommend appropriate adjustments to maximize alignment on your bike. A proper bike-fit can help you access the proper muscles to improve power, efficiency, performance, and comfort, as well as prevent injuries. That said, the most important thing is to understand your body and know how to take care of yourself before you get on the bike. Cycling is a forward leaning repetitive sport, so the key components to healthy, strong, pain free cycling are… 1. Learning how to balance your body, and reverse the strain of the chronically forward position, 2. Strengthening your backside, and 3. Stretching the areas that are shortened and overworked.

Good physical therapy has many components including education, manual therapy (hands on interventions), and functional training i.e. how you put the things you learn in to your daily practice. Physical therapy is also a relationship between you and your therapist to co-create the recovery plan that is best for you and your lifestyle. Your therapist can empower you with tools you need to heal head to toe, inside and out, so you feel strong, stable, present, in tune with your body and mind, and on your game! You should look for a therapist that will spend time with you, (1 hour), not just pop in the room and pass you off to an assistant.

Megan Moseley is a licensed Physical Therapist and Licensed Massage Therapist. She has been part of Cycle Oregon since 2008 leading a stretching and injury prevention class prior to the rides, offering injury consultations after the rides, and being available for questions from cyclists.  Photos from Bodywise wesbite.

The best medicine though is prevention. Physical Therapy can help you understand your body, and how to care for it to be able to maximize your potential/performance, and prevent injuries. Of course if you have pain or an injury, Physical Therapy will speed your recovery, and help you return to the activities you love.

IH: How much of Physical Therapy is… well, Physical? And how much progress and work comes from the mind (setting goals, believing that you can and will get stronger, etc.)?

Moseley: Great question! I believe that humans have the innate ability to heal, and that to maximize our healing potential, we must address not only the physical limitations of pain and injury, but integrate methods that optimize our ability to fully live in our world as a whole. Physical trauma is painful, and limits function, but the wounds of mental, and emotional trauma are less obvious. Both limit our ability to live to our fullest potential. Given that our nervous system is the core of our being, it must be considered a critical component of care. That’s why Nervous System Resiliency Training, and Trauma Release Exercise (TRE) are foundational in my “whole self healing” approach. I call it “core work for your soul”. I integrate techniques that utilize the body’s inherent wisdom to down-regulate the nervous system into a parasympathetic state. Reduced pain and inflammation, improved sleep, decreased anxiety, improved concentration, and an overall sense of well being are just a few of the benefits you’ll feel!

Jackie Yerby, check out her “Rider Profile

Jackie on the left with a crew post-ride!

 

IH: If someone were to make a Joyride playlist to listen to on their ride, what is one go-to song that you love biking to?

Jackie Yerby, from the Cycle Oregon Board of Directors, answers this one!

Yerby:  “Weirdly, if I’m going to listen to music while riding, it’s country music – the twangier the better.  James Hand has been my go-to in the past.  I did once create a mental playlist while riding my first Cycle Oregon Classic in 2010: Hit the Road, Jack (while leaving rest stops, Jack was my nickname in college); Rawhide (something to do with how I was feeling in the saddle); This Land is Your Land because of the ribbon of highway; and Hot Stuff by Donna Summer (inspired by how my toes were feeling after riding a lot of miles.)

IH: What skills does one learn in cycling that they can apply to other parts of their lives? 

Yerby: Put in the time in the saddle and the work to ride strong and safe. Keep at it.  Keep peddling even when things feel hard or boring.  A change or shift will come along to shake things up and make things feel fun and worthwhile again.  The grit and perseverance that I developed through long distance riding has definitely spilled over to other areas of my life where things have felt hard or never-ending.

Wave to the livestock as you ride past hopyards, crop fields, vineyards, and orchards.

All levels of cyclists are welcome – if you can push a pedal, you can party at Joyride!

IH: What makes Independence a good spot for Joyride?

We hear from from a few different experts from Cycle Oregon’s board on this:

Sarah Gates, Cycle Oregon Board of Directors

Independence is for cyclists,’ ‘as Mary Poppins would say, ‘practically perfect in every way.’  Very quickly you get on back roads, beautiful scenery, the Willamette river, wineries, farms, animals, as well as the Buena Vista Ferry. The terrain is compatible with all abilities and experience levels of riders so no matter who you are, you can have a great day on the bike – and push yourself as hard or as little as you like. There are gravel and paved route options easily accessible. Drivers are happy to share the road.  This makes Independence and the surrounding countryside a great place to ride.

Karmen Fore, Cycle Oregon Board of Directors

The city of Independence is a first-rate location for Cycle Oregon’s Joyride. It is strategically located in the heart of the bucolic Willamette Valley, offering stunning scenery and quality roads to meet the needs of cyclists with differing skills and ability.

The city itself is just a delight. Its park, located next to the Willamette River, offers ample room to hundreds of riders, their families and friends, as well as the vendors and staff there to support Cycle Oregon. It is also walkable and is a great place to visit offering several excellent restaurants, museums, and stores to keep riders and visitors alike equally entertained.

But most importantly, the people of Independence are amazing hosts. Its residents make everyone affiliated with Cycle Oregon feel welcomed and included, which makes it a desirable place to visit again and again.

Diane Sillan, Cycle Oregon Board of Directors

Cycle Oregon has a history of discovering the less-traveled gems in Oregon. It thrives on rolling into a town with a storyline rich in history – sitting at the interaction of stunning natural elements and brave forward thinkers. Independence is that crossroads. Its name says it all.

Jackie Yerby, Cycle Oregon Board of Directors

Independence is a charming town.  Riding in and around Independence always makes me want to come back and spend more time there.  It’s also been incredibly welcoming to Joyride.

    Sarah Gates, Cycle Oregon Board of DirectorsCheck out Sarah’s favorite ride

     

    Karmen Fore, Cycle Oregon Board of Directors

    Diana Sillas, Cycle Oregon Board of Directors

    Sorry, fellas. This ride is for women, but Cycle Oregon is happy to have you come and volunteer!

    IH: How has Joyride evolved since its creation?

     Karmen Fore, Sarah Gates, and Jackie Yerby say it best:

    Sarah Gates, Cycle Oregon Board of Directors:

    I have grown to appreciate how Joyride has made the sport of cycling increasingly available to women of all skill levels. The event continues to improve in how it opens the door to cycling to beginning female cyclists while meeting the needs of seasoned riders. I find it improves overtime in creating a special environment where women feel supported – and included – and that cycling is something that is for them as well.

    Karmen Fore, Cycle Oregon Board of Directors:

    The city of Independence is a first-rate location for Cycle Oregon’s Joyride. It is strategically located in the heart of the bucolic Willamette Valley, offering stunning scenery and quality roads to meet the needs of cyclists with differing skills and ability.

    The city itself is just a delight. Its park, located next to the Willamette River, offers ample room to hundreds of riders, their families and friends, as well as the vendors and staff there to support Cycle Oregon. It is also walkable and is a great place to visit offering several excellent restaurants, museums, and stores to keep riders and visitors alike equally entertained.

    But most importantly, the people of Independence are amazing hosts. Its residents make everyone affiliated with Cycle Oregon feel welcomed and included, which makes it a desirable place to visit again and again

    Venture out on the quiet country roads of Polk County taking in the sights and smells of the Willamette Valley.

    Is there anything else anyone at Cycle Oregon would like to share about Joyride?

    Jackie Yerby: Riding with women and femmes has a different energy than riding in a mixed group.  It can feel more casual, conversational, and supportive.  I love seeing a group of girlfriends riding together and enjoying each other’s company.  I love seeing riders offer each other support and encouragement along the way and celebrating each other at the end.  I’m grateful that the Joyride exists and look forward to riding it every year.

    Make sure to check out the Cycle Oregon Website for all updated information on Joyride and other future cycling events!

    Stay with us for Joyride and get 10% off (two night minimum), use code: JOYRIDE22

    Or get the VIP package, which includes a post ride gathering on the rooftop patio, and a unique welcome gift. Package price is 5% (two night minimum), use code: JOYRIDEVIP

    *All photos in this post from the Joyride site and Cycle Oregon Instagram