March 29, 2012
By John Ramsden
This past summer I was cruising around the website of one of my favorite bike component manufacturers Chris King, and came across an announcement for a ride they do on an annual basis.
The ride is called the Chris King Gourmet Century and the url is
The intention of the ride is to celebrate cycling and food. The worthy road course is interrupted with just enough fun and epicurean interest to keep you moving ahead, wanting more of everything.
Last year the ride was held in the Willamette Valley, just south of Portland, Oregon. The food theme was Southeast Asian. I was intending to visit the Columbia River Gorge just east of Portland during the same time period so I thought I would give it a try. Several members of my family were with me at the time, so it quickly became a family affair. With two rented bikes, we left Hood River very early in the morning to reach the start by 0800 hr. When we arrived at registration, it appeared we were part of about 500 cyclists participating in the ride. With registration over we headed out on the road.
This was by far the most ambitious ride my wife had ever attempted so she was a bit worried about the day. The weather was spectacular and scenery was beautiful. Lunchtime soon arrived and we were served quinoa salad and sandwiches. The afternoon wore on and with about 20 km to go my wife hit the wall. The two kids continued on ahead of us, but with a little hydration, and some assistance from behind, my wife cruised into the finish with a smile of satisfaction on her face.
Dinner was a gourmet affair and included four courses served by CK employees, all in black tie. All in all a very enjoyable day and one you can put on your list if you find yourself in the area next year.