Monster Cookie Nostalgia
by Hersch Sangster
The year was 1977. The Salem Bicycle Club had about 25 registered members, with about 10 active members. The club was relying on the $5 membership dues to fund club activities. This was not enough. The club needed a fun fund raising event.
The first Metric Century was the brain child of John Sangster and myself. We thought that a ride of less than 100 miles that was relatively flat might draw riders from all around Oregon. This was the first year the League of American Wheelmen had a patch for a Metric Century. So the risk was taken.
The first Metric Century Ride Committee began planning the event and route in February. The committee was made up of John Sangster, Mary Ann Sangster, Lois Soderstrom and Larry Lewis. (All of whom, along with the rest of the Lewis family, and Sangster family) have continued to support the event annually!
After riding many possible routes, the committee agreed that the Champoeg route was the best, and that the last Sunday in April would be the date of the ride, since it had not rained on this day for the last 15 years. The committee decided to make the ride a little different than the other club rides and have a catered lunch. The cost of the ride with lunch and a ride patch was $3.
The day of the ride the weather was great. There were 15 riders that showed up for the Salem Bicycle Club's Metric Century. Most of the riders were from the Portland Wheelmen. We did have one rider from Vancouver B.C. who had seen an advertisement of the ride. All of the riders liked the route, the food, and the great "Sag People", Lois Soderstrom and the Lewis's.
The bad news was that the first metric did not make any money. Both John and I had to pay for some of the lunches, since we over-ordered.
The next year we avoided some of the mistakes that we made the first year. There were 75 riders from all around the Northwest and the club finally had a fund raiser!
One of the funny things that happened that year was we under-ordered lunches, so Nancy Lewis, Lois Soderstrom, Mary Ann Sangster, and Lisa Soderstrom had to stop at Safeway and pick-up items to make the extra lunches needed.
Each year new people in the Club have helped make improvements in the management of the ride, the route, the food, and even in the name of the ride. In 1982, Nancy Lewis and others baked dozens of Monster Cookies for the riders. At that point riders started calling it the Monster Cookie Metric Century. With all of the work that everyone involved has put into this ride over the years, the Monster Cookie Metric Century has become a premier Northwest ride.
Reprinted by permission. Originally published in Spokes, the newletter of the Salem Bicycle Club, April 1997.