PORTLAND, Ore. – If you thought the World Naked Bike Ride was packed with bicyclists, just wait until eclipse day.
In what will likely overshadow some of the biggest bike rides in Portland, bicyclists from around the metro area will avoid sitting for hours in a car Monday by biking to the path of totality, which is as few as 28 miles from the city center.
Two websites are helping to organize groups of riders. Shift2bikes.org is organizing a total solar eclipse ride from Portland to Salem, starting at 11:45 p.m. Sunday night.
Related: Where to find safe eclipse glasses
Both groups plan to scout routes before the rides. Bike to the Eclipse is also hoping for a couple hundred volunteers to help with the rides. Shift 2 Bikes’ ride is unaided.
None of the bike routes are for novices. Most routes have obstacles where riders may have to carry bikes, or travel along a busy road with little to no shoulder space. In addition, routes are expected to take between two and nine hours, depending on the length and pace.
“Once you get out on the road you are on your own, just like going backpacking for three days on your own,” said Bike to the Eclipse creator Neal Armstrong. “You need to be prepared for anything that might happen.”
Bike to the Eclipse pays special attention to what will likely be the most popular bike route, from Portland to Aurora. It’s just 28 miles long with an estimated travel time of two to 3 ½ hours, but includes major obstacles and biking along a busy highway.
The path goes along the Springwater Corridor and Trolley Trail to Oregon City, then along 99E and side roads to Aurora. Trailers or wide bikes are not recommended.
Other popular paths include Hillsboro to near Champoeg State Park and Gresham to just outside Mulino.
Both groups encourage riders to be prepared with extra food, water, medical supplies, and bike repair kits.
More: KGW Eclipse Section