At Crooked River Ranch

Vintage motorcycles will be the main attraction this weekend as riders of all ages compete in the eighth annual Steel Stampede, hosted by Crooked River Ranch.

The idea for the event was brought to fruition eight years ago by Pete Fisher, of Powroll Motor Performance. Fisher recalled sitting for lunch at the Trading Post and thinking, “What a great area it would be for a track.”

A 50-year member of the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association, which is the sanctioning body for vintage racing in the U.S., Fisher started the Steel Stampede, an event for cycles older than 1974. The event is divided based on age and specifications of bikes, age of riders and skill level.

The earliest forms of this type of event date back to the 1920s, originally designed for testing reliability issues of motorcycles. As the motorcycle improved, it became more of a test of skill.

Eventually it moved to a specialized event for motorcycles designed specifically for the competition. This year, there will be 10 observed sections that riders will ride three times. Scoring is based on a rider's ability to negotiate the terrain without touching his or her feet to the ground and winners are selected by the low score at trials.

As one of the largest regional trials in the U.S., the event will host 40-50 participants on vintage bikes and also a support class on newer machines that won't be for points, “just for fun,” said Fisher.

With such a large event, Fisher said volunteers are “very important, at least 50 from the Ranch,” are needed, along with many others.

The funds from the event go to support the community, “My whole intent was to do this for the community,” Fisher explained.

The event will be Saturday, May 3. Trials begin at 10 a.m., Sunday, May 4, with the first race at 9:15 p.m.

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