Ride the Willapa set for this weekend, with registration still open


With the return of Ride the Willapa’s beloved bike and campout opportunity and a new addition of a family fun route, this year’s community cycling event has brought in over 200 riders, and registration is still open.

Ride the Willapa has been a community-driven event since 2016 and is led by Centralia City Councilor Chris Brewer. He is not only an organizer but has also been a participant in Ride the Willapa.

One of the routes, Chris’ Challenge, is named after him.

Other routes include the Rainbow Falls Ramble, High Bridge Hightail and Tour de Frances.

All routes have varying mileage as well as aid stations and begin at the Veterans Memorial Museum where check-in will be available from 7 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 22.

Brewer is especially excited for this year’s new addition to Ride the Willapa: the Family Fun Ride.

Brewer’s intention for the Family Fun Ride was to evoke the spirit of the sea-to-sea bike ride. The Family Fun Ride will commence at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The ride is $5 per person, and guardians must be present if their children want to participate.

There will be organizers helping to keep the group on track. The ride is 5 miles long and ends at Back Memorial County Park in Adna. At the park, there will be pizza, games and free T-shirts for the kids.

Since the event’s inception, two bridges have been improved that have enabled the route to grow in distance. Last year, a bridge was placed over state Route 6 to enable riders to enjoy a safer route.

Before the bridge was installed, riders had to cross a busy corner of the highway with only flashing pedestrian signs to signal their presence.

The first year the ride was held, the route covered only 22 miles. Now it covers 35.

So far this year, there are 220 riders registered and the bike and camp out option is nearly sold out.

The continued support of the event and improvements made on the trail would not be possible without the help of Pacific County Community Trails, Washington State Parks, Lewis County and the Cities of Centralia and Chehalis, Brewer said.

Online registration closes on Friday, June 21, but in-person registration will be available on Saturday, June 22, near the Veterans MemorialMuseum. For any additional questions regarding the routes or to buy tickets, visit ridethewillapa.com