April 11th, 2024

Cycle Oregon Brings ‘Weekender’ to McMinnville

Two people wearing bicycle helmets ride their bikes down a road.  A large building with a jet on top is in the background.
Riders will pass the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, home of the famous Spruce Goose, during Sunday’s ride. Photo by Dan Shryock.

The Weekender, a staple in Cycle Oregon’s series of bicycling events, returns to McMinnville this summer with rides and programs that appeal to a variety of ages and skill levels.

The outing, scheduled on July 12-14 on the Linfield University campus, takes place each summer in the Willamette Valley so riders can take advantage of the region’s scenic country roads. Some paths are easy, some are harder, and some are just for kids.

The Rides

There are several directions to go each day. Planners have designed routes that spin across the rolling hills of Yamhill and Polk counties past vineyards, wineries, and the area’s frequent hazelnut farms. Cyclists choose between short, medium, and long rides. There are also gravel options for those seeking variety.

“There is no ‘one rider type,’” says Ryan Barrett with Cycle Oregon. “We designed routes to appeal to a spectrum of cyclists. All of our routes are fully supported, so whether you are a beginner rider or a seasoned cyclist, you can focus on your style of fun and exploration.”

Gravel riding adds a new way to experience the outdoors by bike, Ryan says. “The bikes and equipment allow you to confidently explore off the beaten path on fire roads and forested trails.”

Kids Camp

Some children are ready to ride and others need a little more practice before hitting the road. Cycle Oregon offers Kids Camp as part of its larger Jump Start youth bicycle safety program. Riders ages 7 to 11 years old can go to camp on Saturday and Sunday for some instruction, biking around the Linfield campus, and a few games led by experienced instructors.

E-Bikes Welcomed

More cyclists are now riding longer distances thanks to e-bikes. See the Cycle Oregon website for charging considerations.

Off the Bike

The hub for Weekender activities is the quad on the Linfield campus where everyone first assembles on Friday afternoon. Meals are served in Dillin Hall, and drinks are available back in the quad where a live band will be on stage each evening. Downtown McMinnville, with top-rated restaurants, shops, and several quality winetasting rooms, is only a 15-minute walk away.

“The campus experience at Linfield is beautiful and well-suited to host an event like this,” Ryan says. “We will have nightly live music with barefoot dancing in the grass, beer, wine, and dining al fresco, outdoor movie night. And the proximity to downtown is a big part of the magic and appeal of staying at Linfield. We want riders to stroll into town for a morning coffee, shop around, and be delighted with all the local businesses.”


Cycle Oregon’s traditional “Tent City” will be set aside for anyone wishing to camp. College dorm rooms and RV camping are also available. Check the Cycle Oregon website for RV specifications.

Boutique hotels downtown provide a layer of luxury for anyone looking for an excellent bed after a strong day on the bike saddle.

Registration and Information

Visit the Cycle Oregon website for registration and complete event details.

See Visit McMinnville’s directory of lodging choices here.

“Linfield and McMinnville offer a perfect setting,” Ryan says. “It comes down to community and experience. Our previous stays at Linfield pulled us back for another visit with everything from the beautiful campus to a charming downtown and beautiful riding for all kinds of riders.”

Dan Shryock

Dan Shryock regularly writes about McMinnville, travel, and cycle tourism.  His new book, “Cycling Across Oregon: Stories, Surprises & Revelations Along the State’s Scenic Bikeways,” is now available at danshryock.com.