It takes more than 2,500 cookies to put on Salem’s biggest bike ride.
The Monster Cookie Metric Century Bicycle Ride gets its name from the large M&M-filled cookies riders get upon completing the course, but cyclists also eat plenty of smaller cookies at rest stops along the way — plus healthier snacks like fruit and peanut butter.
The Salem Bicycle Club is hosting the 47th Monster Cookie on May 7, with a 62-mile course stretching from Keizer Rapids Park to Champoeg State Park and back. Online preregistration closes May 2, though riders can sign up day of at the ride’s start.
A shorter 31-mile ride, turning around at Zielinski Farm on Northeast French Prairie Road, and a 6.2-mile guided bike ride aimed at younger cyclists, are also options. Both come with cookies.
“The fact that you do 6.2 miles or 31 miles — you’ve earned every crumb of that cookie,” said Mary Schmidgall, the ride coordinator for the club.
The ride is returning to its traditional May timeslot after being held in August for the past two years. The club typically holds two major rides per year, but cut its September Prach of the Century event during the pandemic and moved the Monster Cookie later in the year.
Now, it’s back in May as a way to take advantage of spring weather.
“It’s a nice way to kick off the biking season,” Schmidgall said.
The ride route showcases some of the Willamette Valley’s best scenery, winding through farmland and vineyards in north Marion County.
Last year, over 400 people signed up for the ride, though at its peak, the event has drawn as many as 1,500 riders.
“If it’s a nice day there’ll be a lot more people coming out,” Schmidgall said.
Riders can begin the route from 8-10 a.m.
Times to complete the route vary, with cyclists of all skill levels coming out to enjoy the day.
“There are some riders who are really very fit and fast and they might do the whole route … in three hours, including stopping for maybe a pit stop along the way,” Schmidgall said. “Other people make a day out of it and they’ll come back in at 3 or 4 o’clock and just have enjoyed being out there and riding with their family and friends.”
Preregistration is $35 for adults who are bicycle club members and $45 for non-members, with prices increasing by $10 for day-of sign-ups. The 6.2-mile “Mini Cookie” ride, starting at 10 a.m., is $8 for people ages 11 and older, and $5 for younger riders.
Funds go toward providing a buffet of snacks for riders, which include bagels, jerky and water, and toward raising funds for the bicycle club.Learn more about the ride on the bicycle club’s website.
Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.
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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.