Reach the Beach 2020 -Portland Bicycling Club

Reach the Beach 2020

Reach the Beach! What a great name for a ride. What a fun idea. It’s a multi-route bike ride put on by the Oregon branch of the American Lung Association (ALA). It’s called a charity ride as the riders pay a fee to do the ride and pledge a sum of money to support the charity. Win-win, right? Reach the Beach (RTB) is currently $25 for registration and a minimum of $130 as a charitable contribution. And it’s their 30th anniversary! Click here.

Riders can start in Portland for 100 miles (ALA is currently trying to find a new start location), Carlton for 73 miles, Amity for 56 miles, or Grand Ronde for 29 miles of pedaling. Reach the Beach is a popular ride and occurs on May 16 this year. Each route takes participants to the finish line at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City, then riders can stay at the coast (the beach they just reached), have someone come get them, or for a fee ALA provides a bus ride back to your start location.

Charity rides often draw novice riders. People embrace the cause – lung cancer, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, etc. – and want to help by raising money to help fight the disease. Noble causes all. But as we cyclists know, noble causes do not make for a fun ride if you don’t prepare.

That’s where Portland Bicycling Club comes in. PBC has been offering Reach the Beach training rides for many years. There are a core group of routes that progress in distance and difficulty to ready a cyclist for the century. Once again this year, Dick Weber will be taking the lead by getting these rides on our schedule and leading them. Kathleen Hellem and I will join in to offer slower and/or shorter versions of the same routes for those not ready to ride long distances or not planning to ride the full century in May.

How can we make it better? How can we use this opportunity to draw some of these RTB riders to PBC? For the last few years we prevailed upon the club to help a little and we are asking again.

Our main RTB training rides are on Saturdays (February 15 through May 16) and some RTB participants need Sunday options for riding. As mentioned, one variable is that not all RTB cyclists want to ride the full 100-mile route; they want to start in Amity or Carlton. If you would like to lead an RTB training ride, check the ride calendar and please fill in on a Sunday where you see a need.

I encourage all PBC members to join in on any or all these rides. Lend a hand, be welcoming, encourage and gently guide new riders. Talk up our club. We may have a website, a Facebook page, Instagram, and brochures; but the BEST way to draw in new members is with that personal touch, a one-on-one conversation, a verbal plug for US! Please reach out to new people.

Please come out for these rides when you can and promote cycling and our club. Maybe you can help on some of the Saturday rides by staying with a slower group or by leading a group on a shorter version of the route. Or, stick with Dick and go farther and faster with the stronger cyclists. Once again, I ask that any of you ride leaders add “Reach the Beach Training Ride” to the name of your regular ride and, if possible, schedule it on a Sunday.

For the past many years that PBC has done this series, the primary ride leaders have received free registrations for the event as a token of appreciation for their efforts. Our friends at Reach the Beach Oregon have departed. Cathy Gidley and Brian Mayo have left the organization, and we are working with the regional executive vice president, at least for the time being. PBC has been rewarded with some free passes for our help in the past, but obviously we cannot presume that any such benefits will be continued. As in previous years, we will share what comes our way as appropriate. That has been free ride passes which were raffled off and jerseys and other swag.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Ann Morrow, Ride Leader