The Blue Mountain Scenic Bikeway in Northeastern Oregon explores the “Big Sky” country of Oregon …. barren but beautiful rolling hills, classic ranch lands, small creeks, and the Umatilla National Forest. This is a must do ride![soliloquy id=”2091″]
The ride is part of the “Ride Oregon Ride” scenic bikeway series. Their description of the route can be found here, and our description (Dirty Freehub) of the ride can be found here. The route is 111 miles long and climbs 8300 feet. The route is made up of a series of rolling, moderate climbs. Thus, the difficulty of the route lies in the distance and elevation gain.
We recommend 3 different ways to ride this route:
Supported Two-Day Ride
This is the easiest and a really enjoyable way to do the ride. The Heppner Chamber of Commerce puts on a supported ride in early September. This year, we did the ride with them. They are extremely well organized, the price is very fair, and the group size is small. The pace is leisurely and there are rest breaks at least every 20 miles. We are usually skeptical of organized group rides, but this is one of the best that we have done. Highly recommended!
Un-Supported Two-Day Ride
Again, a really enjoyable way to break up the 111 miles and 8300 feet of gain. In choosing this option, start in Ukiah, ride to Heppner, stay the night and the next day ride from Heppner to Ukiah. I would strongly recommend that you send a change of clothes and the next days riding kit (via US Post or FedEx) ahead of time to the Northwestern motel in Heppner. The owners of the motel are very accommodating to cyclists. The motel is centrally located downtown and restaurants and coffee shops are walking distance from the motel. When you begin day two of the ride, pack up your used clothes and kit and ship them back to yourself.
Un-Supported One-Day Ride
Drive to Heppner the night before you ride and stay at the Northwestern Motel. Plan for a long day, but a very enjoyable day. We strongly recommend that you ride the 1 mile into Ukiah and refuel with food and water at the general store. Along the route, there are limited water stops and very limited cell phone coverage. You need to be self-sufficient when pursuing this option. However, this is one of my favorite century rides.