Weather, fires cancel annual forest bike ride
The 2017 Cascading Rivers bike ride has been canceled because of dry conditions on the Mt. Hood National Forest and concerns about air quality.
Several wildfires in the Detroit area have closed Forest Service Road 46, part of the path typically taken by participants embarking on the two day, 144 mile Killer Fang Ride.
With additional wildfires burning throughout the region, including the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge and the Rim Fire on the Mt. Hood National Forest, leaders from the U.S. Forest Service and event organizers were also concerned about air quality during the bike ride.
"There's been no rain in the forest recently, and the Eagle Creek fire really took off," said Phil Lingelbach, discussing the dry conditions on the forest. Lingelbach is a member of the Estacada Development Association, which partners with the Detroit Lake Recreation Area Business Association to organize the event.
The Cascading Rivers Bike Ride was established several years ago to celebrate the Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway, which begins in Estacada and ends in Detroit. It's one of 16 scenic bikeways throughout the state of Oregon.
Participants in the Cascading Rivers Bike Ride begin near Estacada and ride east. Typically, the ride consists of three different routes: the Little Riffles Ride for 12 miles along Faraday Road; the 35 or 52 mile Raging Rapids Ride, which allows participants to select from two turn-around points and journeys along Fish Creek and Three Lynx; and the 144 mile Killer Fang Ride, which is named after a particularly treacherous stretch of the Clackamas River and invites participants to journey from Estacada to Detroit.
This year's event would have also featured a new fourth route: the Bagby Spa Ride. Participants on this route would have journeyed 77 miles through the Mt. Hood National Forest and along the
Collowash River, with the option to
walk an additional mile and a half to reach the bathhouses at Bagby Hot Springs.
Those who have already paid for this year's Cascading Rivers Bike Ride will have their money refunded, and those who ordered one of the jerseys for the ride available for purchase will have the clothing item sent to them.
Lingelbach is eager to see the Cascading Rivers Bike Ride return next fall. Last year, 106 cyclists participated in the event.
"September is the perfect month for a bike ride," Lingelbach said.