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The Challenge is a pair of bicycle rides across great spans of Columbia County on Sept. 12.

COURTESY PHOTO: CYCLE COLUMBIA COUNTY - Registration for the 2020 Columbia Century Challenge is open through Tuesday, Sept. 8, at cyclecolumbiacounty.com.It's almost time

It's almost time for the the 2020 Columbia Century Challenge, a pair of bicycle rides across great spans of Columbia County set for Saturday, Sept. 12.

The rides — recommended for intermediate-level cyclists or higher — start at 6:30 a.m. (and later) Sept. 12, with the courses beginning at Rainier City Park on West A Street.

Registration is open until midnight, Tuesday, Sept. 8, at cyclecolumbiacounty.com.

The 2020 Century route is a roughly 111-mile loop that starts and finishes in Rainier and takes cyclists through Mist, Clatskanie, Rainier and Vernonia.

The 2020 Metric Century is a roughly 66-mile loop that, like its bigger brother, starts and finishes in Rainier and leads riders through parts of Mist, Clatskanie and Rainier.

Both courses start at Rainier City Park just off the Columbia River, then lead riders south and west through Beaver Springs, Apiary and the Clatsop State Forest.

Soon after, the Century Challenge tacks on a southward loop through Vernonia before rejoining the Metric Century course to head north and west again along the Nehalem River, then going further north and turning east to Clatskanie.

There, the Century Challenge adds another loop north and east of Clatskanie — primarily along Alston Mayger and Quincy Mayger roads — before returning to rejoin the Metric Century course heading east to the finish at Rainier City Park.

The Metric Century course cuts out the loops through Vernonia and northeast of Clatskanie to account for its shorter length.

Aid stations will be spaced roughly 20 miles apart along the courses, along with a couple roving support and gear vehicles and a handful of official ride support personnel on the courses. Aid stations will have restrooms, snacks, water and first aid. The Columbia Century Challenge has twice been rated a "Top 5 Ride" (in four years of the ORBike rider poll).

The Columbia Century Challenge typically features as many as 150 riders and may attract more this year since larger events, such as the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, have been canceled.

Registration costs $60 per rider for either the Century or Metric challenge rides at cyclecolumbiacounty.com.


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