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Event invites cyclists to check out Cascading Rivers

Bike riding event offers multiple options for cyclists of all skill levels -


CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: PHIL LINGELBACH - Last years participants on the Killer Fang ride, one of the courses among the Cascading Rivers Ride, take a break from their two-day trek along the Cascading Rivers Bikeway. Cyclists will soon have another opportunity to explore the Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway.

The second-annual Cascading Rivers Ride, organized by the Estacada Development Association and the Detroit Lake Recreation Area Business Association, is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17.

The event actually consists of three different bike rides: the Raging Rapids, the Little Riffles and the Killer Fang.

Phil Lingelbach, one of the bike ride’s organizers, said the variety of courses is something about the event that really stands out to him.

“Even if you’ve never done a ride before, we have something for you,” he said, in reference to the Little Riffles Ride, which is 12 miles round trip and spans across several lakes. The majority of the ride takes place along a gated road with no traffic, and most of the terrain is flat.

“We want to help people learn to cycle with the short ride,” Lingebach said.

The Raging Rapids Ride is an intermediate-level ride and offers three course options. Depending on their preference for distance, riders can turn around at Fish Creek, Indian Henry or Ripplebrook.

Beginning at the Estacada Station Cycling Plaza, the course takes riders through both placid waters along the North Fork of the Clackamas River and the river’s more fast-paced whitewater territory.

More experienced cyclists may be interested in the Killer Fang Ride. Named after a particularly tough stretch of the Clackamas River, the two-day ride spans 144 miles from Estacada to Detroit. The ride features significant elevation gains and the opportunity to camp in a state park or spend the night at a lodge at Detroit Lake.

The three bike rides began as a way to market the Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway, which was dedicated in 2014 and runs from Estacada to Detroit. Scenery along the bikeway includes the Breitenbush and Clackamas Rivers.

In 2005, the Oregon Scenic Bikeways program began through a partnership among Travel Oregon, Cycle Oregon, Oregon Department of Transportation and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

Through the partnership, local groups apply for the bikeway designation.

Routes are considered based on scenic qualities, road conditions and riding enjoyment.

Oregon was the first state to have such a program, and the Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway is the 12th designated route.

Last year, the ride had 106 participants. This year, organizers hope for double that amount, Lingebach said.

Lingelbach estimated that last year’s ride brought in between $10,000 and $11,000, but expenses were higher than the revenue generated.

However, he hopes the increased sponsorship for the event will bring in a greater profit.

Both Lingelbach and Estacada Main Street manager Nancy Hoffman are hopeful the ride helps put the town on the map.

“(Through the ride) we really hope to make Oregon, and Estacada, a destination for bikers,” Hoffman said.

Typically, many riders come from Bend or the greater Portland area. This year’s ride has three participants from Idaho and one from South Carolina.

Hoffman believes all of the rides connect athletes from different areas with nature “in a challenging but satisfying way.”

“The different types of terrain are exciting,” she said. “There’s everything from whitewater to placid lakes. I love the steep cliffs along the river. They’re fun and exciting.”