written by Sheila G. Miller
The concept is simple—take unused railways that run throughout our state and find a way to ride a bike on them. Kim and Anita Metlen took that concept, researched similar projects, developed a railriding unit and Joseph Branch Railriders was born. The Railrider is a four-wheeled unit that rides on the rails. With recumbent and adjustable seats, you pedal at your pace, propelling your unit along the tracks. The cars can also accommodate kids in car seats.
The Joseph Branch Railriders offer two tour options through the Wallowa Valley. A two-hour, 12-mile roundtrip between Joseph and Enterprise is $24 for adults over 12 ($12 for those under 12), and a six-hour, 26-mile roundtrip between Minam and Wallowa—those tickets are $48 per person. Either option allows a pedal through farmland and forests with the huge, snowcapped Wallowa Mountains in the distance. Joseph Branch Railriders offer rides five days a week. Starting in 2016, Oregon Coast Railriders expanded operations to Bay City, offering a two-hour, 12-mile roundtrip pedal to Tillamook (also $24). This tour runs along the historic Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad tracks through estuaries and along the coast. And beginning this year, the idea is expanding further, this time to Shelton, Washington, for the Vance Creek Railriders. All locations will begin rides in May and run through early October.