The Salem Bicycle Club is now registering riders for the annual Monster Cookie Metric Century.

The ride, which takes participants from the Capitol to Champoeg State Park and back, is Sunday, April 28.

Pre-registration can be completed at www.salembicycleclub.org, for $30 before April 22. Lunch and T-shirts are available for $7.50 and $18, respectively. Day-of-ride registration is $40. All local bike shops and the Keizer Station REI have applications in stores.

Keizerite Hersch Sangster told the Keizer City Council that the Monster Cookie is one of the top-rated rides in Oregon and, after 43 years, “a Northwest tradition.”

The ride draws between 1,000 and 2,000 riders every year.

“We’ve always tried to involve the local community and the ride itself is a recreational ride, not a race. It’s open to all riders of any ability,” Sangster said.

There are assisting vehicles that can pick up riders who decide they can’t complete the route.

Sangster and his wife, Mary Ann, started the ride in 1977 and named it after her fresh-baked cookies. Salem’s Oregon Trail Bakery has since taken over making the cookies.

“We do everything local that we possibly can,” Sangster said.

About half the riders come from outside the Salem-Keizer Area.

“We always have some groups from foreign countries attend,” he said.

The money that’s raised supports the Salem Bicycle Club, which in turn sponsors local cyclist-focused improvements. In recent years, that’s meant paying for the building and installation of improved bike racks at two spots in Salem. The racks were made by students at the Salem-Keizer CTEC program.

REI is sponsoring two riders who will tag along and offer on-the-spot repairs and technical expertise.