Columbia Century Challenge gets ready to ride June 16
The people who live in Columbia County already know the abundant natural beauty it has to offer.
Lush, unspoiled forests. Free running streams. Breath-taking vistas.
And there's no better way to experience those beauties than on your bicycle. The organizers of the third annual Columbia Century Challenge bicycle ride know that as well as anyone and want to share those attractions with you.
Registration for the June 16 event is open now at www.cyclecolumbiacounty.com and costs $55. Participants can sign up for one of two course options, the Century plus (112-122 miles) ride or the Metric Century Plus (82-92 miles) ride.
The Columbia Century Challenge, sponsored by Cycle Columbia County and NW Natural, begins at Heritage Park in Scappoose, next to Scappoose City Hall (33568 E. Columbia Ave.) with day-of-event registration beginning at 6 a.m.
"Thank you, Columbia County, for your support of the past two rides. We continue to grow the number of participants and the caliber of the event to help everyone discover what a gem we have here in our neck of the woods," said Paul Barlow, Columbia Century Challenge Event Organizer.
Cycle Columbia County, made up of a team of local cycling enthusiasts and community members, brought the idea of a century bicycle event to life in 2016. Now, in its third year, the event is a proven success, earning No. 2 best ride in Oregon in its inaugural year in the ORbike poll.
"We are humbled and proud to have competed with the top cycling events on the calendar to earn that award," added Barlow.
Columbia Century Challenge
• What: A bicycle ride of 82-122 miles through some of Columbia County's most beautiful locales
• When: June 16
• Sign Ups: Riders can sign up for $55
Columbia County features many bicycle-friendly backroads, from rolling roads through old timberlands to farm roads through open fields and pastures along the Columbia River, as well as charming rural towns. The routes are known to be fun and challenging even for the toughest of cyclists.
Along with the ride itself, several community events are being offered in conjunction with the event, including the Scappoose Farmer's Market and the first "Music in the Park" Summer concert (supported by the City of Scappoose and the Scappoose Community Club). There will also be food carts and a beer garden.
Event organizers say they are committed to ensuring a positive rider experience from start to finish, offering a well-marked route, stocked aid stations/rest stops approximately every 20 miles, free mechanical support, a SAG wagon, communications support, free off-street parking near the start/finish, friendly volunteers and more.
The goal of the annual event is to put Columbia County on the map as a prime recreational bicycling destination and to encourage travelers and avid cyclists from around the region to explore all that Columbia County has to offer.
In addition, ride profits are invested in local cycling improvements, such as recent installations of bike stations in Scappoose and Vernonia.
As Jonathan Maus of BikePortland said, "Columbia County is quickly starting to fulfill its vast potential as a bicycle recreation destination. ... With its proximity to Portland and diverse natural assets, it's exciting to see."
For more information and updates, visit www.cyclecolumbiacounty.com and www.facebook.com/columbiacenturychallenge.
Contact Sports Editor Miles Vance at 503-330-0127