By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Sometimes big anniversaries are the perfect time to introduce changes.
Such is the case with the Monster Cookie Metric Century Bicycle Ride, the premier spring event for the Salem Bicycle Club. The 40th anniversary event is coming up April 24, starting at the state Capitol Mall in Salem, to Champoeg State Park and back to Salem.
Keizer’s Hersch Sangster started the event with family, including wife Mary Ann and brother John. Sangster is still heavily involved with running and promoting the event, assisting Larry Miles.
One of the changes regards looks. A T-shirt commemorating the 40th anniversary of the event is still available, while there is also a jersey that was designed by Colorado-based Primal specifically for the event.
“The shirt is a new design,” Sangster said. “These have always been cotton. Now we’re going to a sports-tec style, designed by a local designer.”
Sangster is even more excited about the jersey. The event is rated as the third biggest bike ride in Oregon. Primal makes jerseys for the two biggest events and Sangster said the company was eager to work with Monster Cookie.
“They were great to work with,” Sangster said. “We’ve never done a jersey before. There’s a real monster cookie on the back. We’re selling those as part of the registration.”
Sangster said good cycling jerseys typically cost between $80 and $120. By contrast, this one is $50.
“The jerseys have been selling like hotcakes,” he said.
Another change has been in food vendors. While there will still be all the cookies riders could want – a natural given the event’s name and history – Scott White and K’s Catering will provide food, while EZ Orchards will be providing fresh fruits.
“We wanted to go to a healthier food venue, so we’re working with EZ Orchard,” Sangster said. “We will never go away from cookies, though.”
New this year is an activity planned at Champoeg, while there are also new sponsors in AAA and Tour du Cure.
Sangster and Miles have been ahead of schedule this year as far as getting the necessary permits in place.
“From a government perspective, we could run it tomorrow,” Sangster said.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the reception riders get. That’s especially true with Keizer Police Department officers that help keep streets clear.
“The Keizer Police Department officers have been literally sweethearts to work with over the years,” Sangster said. “The guys love doing the duty so much, the chief has to do special scheduling.”
Registration is $25 in advance, or $30 the day of. Lunches are available for $7.50, with t-shirts $15 and the jerseys $50. All riders must wear a helmet (not provided). Registration can be done online at www.salembicycleclub.org, by calling Miles at 503-580-5927 or by e-mailing [email protected]
“It’s amazing we’re on year 40,” Sangster said. “There were 12 people the first year. Our family felt sorry for us. We kicked in $20 each to make it work. When we first talked about doing this mom said, ‘You know, boys, people will always show up if there is food.’ She was right. It has grown each year.”