The 10th annual Cherry of a Ride, a fundraiser for St. Mary’s Academy, is slated for Sunday, April 13, and will offer five different courses through cherry orchards and wheat fields.
The courses, which will suit every level of rider, wind through cherry orchards and wheat fields and some withvistas of the Columbia River.
“It’s a really fun ride, it’s great,” said St. Mary’s parent Kristin Booth.
“It’s the combination of everything: It’s a nice ride; people are spread out; you’re not in a pack; the views are pretty; the food’s good. Often the weather is so much better than in Portland, or even in Hood River,” she said.
The event starts and ends at St. Mary’s at 10th and Cherry Heights. Cyclists can start anytime between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and the routes close at 5 p.m.
The course choices are: 30 miles with an 870-foot elevation gain, 48 miles gaining 2,221 feet; 60 miles gaining 4,069 feet; 80 miles gaining 5,250 feet and 100 miles gaining 7,900 feet.
A selling point of this ride is the reliably good weather, and website The Weather Underground is predicting partially sunny, a high of 69 degrees, no rain, with 5 to 10 mile per hour winds.
Booth said she tells other cyclists that the selling points of the ride are that, “It’s dry, it’s pretty and there’s not a lot of traffic, so it’s a really biker-friendly ride.”
Parents at St. Mary’s help out with the ride, and no less than 55 are slated to work the day of the event.
“People who come and ride have said, ‘Your ride is really well supported,’” said St. Mary’s Development Director Wendy Palmer.
The course is patrolled, so stranded riders can get a lift if need be. There are rest stops every 20 miles, and they are well-stocked with food.
“Gorge Delight has donated fruit bars, and we also have cookies, pretzels and bananas, and potties at the rest stops, too. That’s very important,” Palmer said.
And, for finishers, they get to enjoy fresh-baked cherry crisp, which comes hot out of the oven.
The event is open to online registration and also accepts day-of registration. Register online at www.cherryofaride.org, or call 541-296-6004. Cost increases for day-of registration.
Riders have already signed up from Oregon, Washington and Idaho and even as far away as Ohio, Palmer said. Their average age is 50, and the oldest is 64.
The ride is budgeted to raise $7,500 for the school.