Posted By: Tony Blakey | Jun. 10 2011
The Willamette Valley has great Pinot Noir and great cycling. Here’s an Oregon bike tour that combines the two.
But first … “from our sponsors”: We operate Oregon bike tours in the Columbia River Gorge and the Willamette Valley in Oregon. If you tour with us we take care of all the logistical details but if you want to do your own thing, that’s cool too. Here an idea for daylong Oregon bike tour in the Willamette Valley.
And now … the ride: This meandering ride takes you past the Red Hills of Dundee and up Ribbon Ridge before heading across to Yamhill and back south to McMinnville. The emphasis here is on the smaller wineries many of which are family run and/or organic. The region is unique for its higher elevation (warmer nighttime temperatures and less low-elevation fog and frost). Pinot Noir is the grape of choice but you can also find bolder reds and sparkling wines.
Head out of McMinnville on Hill Rd & Donnelley Lane and cross over onto Poverty Bend Rd and Gun Club Rd into Lafayette. Head north out of Lafayette up Bridge St/Abbey Rd and continue straight and straight onto NE Kuehne Rd. Turn right onto Hwy 240 and left onto NE Ribbon Ridge Rd. Follow main road as it veers left and becomes NE North Valley Rd. Turn left at NE Laughlin Rd and right at Hwy 240 into the center of Yamhill.
From Yamhill head west along Main St/Moores Valley Rd. At 3-way intersection, follow Moores Valley Rd around to the left and follow the main road slight left as it becomes NE Westside Rd. Continue straight on NE Westside Rd as you cross NW Meadow Lake Rd. (A left here will take you into Carlton.)
As you reach McMinnville turn right onto NW Baker Creek Rd and first left onto NW Birch St and follow this neighborhood into the center of McMinnville.
NOTE: a short detour off the route in Lafayette takes you to the Evergreen Aviation Museum: an eclectic collection of planes including as its centerpiece the “Spruce Goose.” This is a giant flying boat designed to ship cargo across the Atlantic during the war. Adhering to the government mandate not to use materials critical to the war effort, Howard Hughes’s team constructed the Flying Boat out of wood!