For our final blog post this year, we’d like to share some video clips of Gary Bonacker speaking about Tour des Chutes with former board member Jim Morris. We hope you enjoy hearing from our founder!

Gary Bonacker Interview Clip 1

Gary Bonacker Interview Clip 2

Gary Bonacker Interview Clip 3

Gary Bonacker Interview Clip 4

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Ride or run safely today, and thank you for your support of Tour des Chutes!

 

Over the years, we hear a lot of stories about why people ride Tour des Chutes. On the eve of our 16th annual event, and because we cannot come together tomorrow, here are some of those voices:

I ride for my dad who lost his battle and for others who continue to fight, such as Gary (Bonacker). Not to mention a great cause with great people and to be thankful for each moment I get to live my life with those who matter most.

~Terry

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Originally, we rode because we knew it would help fund the St Charles Survivorship Program…Once we met Gary (Bonacker), it was obviously much more. Now we ride for Gary, my mother, my father, loved ones, and all those affected by this terrible disease. My family looks forward to TdC each July…see you soon!

~Becky

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Cancer has touched me in so many ways. I’ve lost my mother and younger brother to cancer. I have friends who either struggle with it themselves, or have family members who are. No matter where you turn, you cannot escape the insidiousness of this disease. So I ride in honor of my mom and brother; I ride in support of my friends who’ve also been touched by cancer; and I ride for the myriad of others who are surviving!

~Paul

 

I ride because I can make a difference. Biking is my soul because of this ride. It was my first ever organized ride about 5 or 6 years ago and it is the motivation to get on my bike each spring.

~Lisa

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Please share your stories with us, and email tdeschutes@gmail.com with why you ride.

 

Several years ago, Chuck said he started to have a dull stomach pain. “It wasn’t that bad, it just felt like I’d eaten something wrong.” The pain wasn’t alarming, and it was so intermittent that he didn’t bother to bring it up with his physician when he’d get his yearly physical.

The relatively mild symptoms persisted until they reached a devastating climax. After Chuck began losing weight at an alarming rate, and following exhaustive testing and screening, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Chuck, who had competed in half marathons and 10,000 meter races, who had been a bodyguard for prominent elected officials, who had worked as a police officer in drug enforcement, a man who was a self-described “tough guy” had just been told he had about a 5% chance to live.

Pancreatic cancer is relatively rare and incredibly difficult in many cases to diagnose. At the time, local providers were not able to conduct the meticulous screening necessary, so he was referred to OHSU. There he underwent a “whipple” surgery: a 10 ½ hour procedure that includes removing significant portions of the digestive system, among other things.

Following surgery, Chuck shared some of the challenges he faced: “I lost 50-60 pounds after the surgery, and suffered from jaundice. It was terrible. I wasn’t getting any better and at a follow up found out I needed a stint in my bile duct to get my system working again.”

Even when things started to get better, the cancer wasn’t done. “It moved to my lungs. I had a colleague once, when I was a police officer. We were on the drug enforcement side, and I arrested bad people, I stopped some really bad things. My colleague used to say, ‘Never count yourself out of the line of fire, one day there could be someone who wants to try and pull your gun and kill you.’ And that happened a couple of times in my career. But that’s nothing like cancer. With cancer, every day it is trying to kill you. The diagnosis, the surgery, jaundice. It spread to my lungs. Every time I went in for a scan I was waiting for more bad news.”

For Chuck, it was about much more than the physical fight. “The emotional part was sometimes the hardest. Yes the physical was hard, feeling sick through treatment, I’ve been through all that. But the emotional toll of waiting. Wondering, ‘When will my luck run out?’ And it just devastates everything. The first year, we were driving up to OHSU constantly. You watch your savings disappear. You don’t realize just how significant it is, how when the weather gets bad I have to drive a truck that gets low gas mileage, and those costs add up. So when someone at the hospital told me about these gas cards through Tour des Chutes. . .you just have no idea. You have no idea how much that means. I get to take that off my mind now; that is one thing I don’t have to worry about. You have no idea.”

Chuck goes on to describe the medicine he takes, and how the cost went from $40 a month to over $800. “The cost for my medicine, someone could drive a nice Porsche or something, but I need it just so that I can digest food.” Hardship after hardship, scan after scan.

At this point in his story I can start to feel the strain of three years of treatment, of scans, of wondering and not knowing. Chuck was asked to participant in a study at the Matthew Knight Center, and has been working with scientists there to study the tumors in his lungs. Miraculously, they are not growing. And while most people would probably focus on their own lives moving forward, Chuck is firmly entrenched in the lives of others.

“I read about Johanna on your website, the young runner who died of cancer. She was too young.” Chuck’s voice cracks. “It makes me so sad, and I would do anything just to give her one more day. So this study at the Matthew Knight Center, they can take information about my tumors and compare them to the tumors I had before, and it could make a difference. All it takes is one big break by a scientist, or a doctor, and it could change someone’s life. Tour des Chutes made it possible for me to be where I needed to be, in order to get the right treatment. That made it possible for me to be connected to this study. It has made the biggest difference in my life.

“Even if we cannot change the future for ourselves, we can change the future for someone else. You would not believe what you have done, you can’t possibly believe. . .”

Chuck pauses, and thanks us again. He calls his social worker that connected him with Tour des Chutes a guardian angel. He says he wants us to tell everyone out there who has ever ridden, or run or walked with Tour des Chutes, “Thank you.”

If you’ve experienced any kind of hip discomfort while riding, this article from Burke Selbst of Focus Physical Therapy could be a huge help:

 

Today we’re all about hips. This often overlooked joint may have a significant influence on your bike fit and riding comfort.

Let’s break down the biomechanics of hip joint alignment and address the more common cycling compensations I see in road and gravel cyclists related to hip joint alignment and mobility.

On your last group ride, whether that’s a weekend morning coffeeneuring run or a Mckenzie Pass out and back, have you noticed riders with a distinct knee bob to the outside at the top of their pedal stroke? When runners do this with their arms we call this a flyaway arm, so for this article I’m calling it the “flyaway femur”. This is a common compensation and although cycling is a fantastically low impact sport, this pattern can lead to a few of the more typical complaints I treat among cyclists including lateral knee pain, anterior hip/groin pain and low back and pelvis strain.

HERE ARE THE FOUR MOST COMMON CAUSES OF THIS COMPENSATION AND HOW TO FIX THEM.

The hip joint is a deep ball and socket, and it’s oriented outwards, slightly forward and slightly up but this varies significantly between genders. Males have a socket that is oriented more laterally than women. This is important because at the top of the joint, when the femur is maximally flexed, the average male’s knee will be further to the outside than the average female’s (See Picture).

YOU CAN TEST THIS YOURSELF.
METHOD ONE:

Lay on your back with both legs straight and something under your low back to preserve your lumbar lordosis (the arch there) and to keep your pelvis from rocking backwards. Bring one leg up in a straight line as if you were pedaling as far as you can. Notice when your leg needs to move to the outside in order to keep coming towards your chest. If you did this well without compensating in your pelvis and low back, this test shows you a relatively ‘pure’ range of hip flexion.

METHOD TWO:

Stand about 4-5 feet away from a wall and lean into the wall with your hands while keeping your body straight (this position begins to mimic the slight forward tilt of your pelvis on a bike saddle). Raise one knee actively while keeping your body straight with core tension. Raise your knee straight up as if you were cycling. Notice the height of the stopping point, and what happens if you allow your knee to move to the outside. Can you raise it higher? This test shows you a more ‘functional’ cycling applicable range of motion.

METHOD THREE:

Now, take the previous test and repeat it with your hands planted on either a table/desk (a higher “endurance” style geometry) or a chair seat (a more aggressive geo). Notice the relative change in how high your knee goes in each position.

CHASING DOWN THE CULPRITS

As we’ve seen above, this compensation is about the pelvis and femur and how they work together. Anything that causes the pelvis to tilt too far forward or the femur to come too high will lead to compensations based purely on joint anatomy.

DON’T MISS THESE IMPORTANT CAUSES:
REACH IS TOO FAR

This could be caused by a too-long stem, too much seat setback or both, which leads to too much anterior pelvic tilt and a lower (ie more aggressive) trunk angle.

To fix this, we typically start at the feet and work upwards and forwards. Make sure you are rock steady on your saddle at your preferred trunk angle, then adjust in your reach to meet where your hands can naturally ‘hover’ with minimal effort. In our bike fitting world we use sizing stems to help dial this in.

BARS ARE TOO LOW

Your reach may be good but if you slam that stem or are trying to make a short steering tube work, your bars may be just too low, forcing you again into a lower more aggressive trunk angle.

Fix this with a stem that has some rise and make sure you’re on a bike with a frame size and design that’s appropriate for you.

SEAT IS TOO SETBACK

Without changing the front end of your bike (handlebar reach and drop), adding more seat setback will lower your trunk angle (more aggressive, more hip joint crowding) and less seat setback will open up your hip joints. This is a measurement that has a number of ‘right’ solutions and is interactive with not just your anatomy but also the style of bike and the type of rider you are. Your saddle choice and alignment will also be a factor here.

Although many bike manufacturers spec their bikes with the seatpost and saddle combos they think will work for most riders, everyone is different. Start with a very neutral mid-saddle rail position on the seatpost your bike came with and with your saddle set comfortably for you (more on this in another blog), begin to micro-adjust forward or backward to find your sweet spot.  Need help? schedule yourself a fit with our team and we can help you dial it in.

SADDLE IS TOO LOW OR CRANKS ARE TOO LONG OR BOTH

Our previous examples all dealt with how bike fit influences your pelvis on top of your femur. This problem is simply about how high your femur comes at the top of your stroke.

Fix this by ensuring you are on the right length cranks (find a very interesting article on this here: https://ridefar.info/2017/02/crank-length-and-comfort-for-long-distance-cyclists/), and that your saddle is at the proper height.

OFF THE BIKE SOLUTIONS?

So far everything we’ve explored has involved an on-the-bike solution. There’s a good reason for this. With the hip maximally flexed and the knee bent, there’s very little muscle tension preventing the hip joint from travelling through its full range. There’s no muscle stretch that will change the end point of hip joint travel. There are however many general things cyclists can and should be doing off the bike to get more out of their riding. This includes in general hip flexor and quadriceps stretching, hip joint self mobilizations, hip, pelvis and core strength training and muscle balancing and neuromuscular reeducation techniques for hip, pelvis and low back proprioception and movement awareness.

For hip soreness and stiffness after riding, a good recovery program will include hip joint circles, supine bent knee fallouts, bridge variations and hip joint circles laying down, kneeling and standing.

Cheers!

Burke Selbst PT

You can read more great articles by Burke at https://focusptbend.com/blog/

We are proud of the community partnerships have been built over the years, and of the fact that we have donated over $1.2 million to help children and adults with cancer thrive. We couldn’t have done that without our amazing participants, sponsors, and volunteers, and wanted to take a moment as we celebrate 16 years of Tour des Chutes to talk about exactly how that money is used in the community.

One of the most important priorities of our founder, Gary Bonacker, was to keep money raised by Tour des Chutes in the hands of individuals who need it. While there are other important functions of cancer treatment including funding research, staff, facilities, etc., Gary wanted to fill the needs that are often missed by insurance or impacted by an inability to work. The following is a break down of the programs your time and money support for the Central Oregon community.

Gas & Food Cards

Traveling for cancer treatment is a challenging reality for both rural residents in Central Oregon, as well as those who must travel to Portland for specialized services. Through dynamic partnerships with St Charles, Mosaic Medical, Summit Medical Group, and OHSU, Tour des Chutes is able to provide gas and food cards to individuals to help ease this particular burden.

Integrative Therapies

Cancer treatment often includes difficult side effects, and for many people, integrative therapies such as massage, acupuncture and Reiki can help in easing discomfort or pain. We have established an integrative therapy network throughout Central Oregon that includes cancer treatment providers who issue vouchers for services at approved practices. Additionally, some funding supports in-house integrative therapies at St Charles for patients who receive care there.

Health & Wellness at Bend Park & Recreation District

In 2017 Tour des Chutes and Bend Park & Rec partnered to offer free health and wellness classes for cancer patients and survivors. These classes have included physical activities such as yoga and water aerobics, as well as classes to support mental health such as journaling, clay modeling, and more. Classes are offered during each session and can be found online or through the seasonal Playbook.

Emergency Funds

Tour des Chutes emergency funds were established to help in areas where our community feels they may be falling through the cracks. These funds are used for everything from covering basic needs such as making a utility payment for someone who has exhausted their personal account, to helping pay for essential medical procedures that may be required in order to receive cancer treatment. You can read a personal story here about Kathy, who required a dental procedure before she could begin her treatment.

 

Tour des Chutes is committed to the idea that what is raised in our community, stays in our community. That idea is something that brings and keeps us together, and is why we ride, run and walk for our family, friends and neighbors.

 

Why do I ride, why do I serve, why do I donate? Tour des Chutes has just always made sense to me. To say that being diagnosed with cancer during my final week of high school, over 25 years ago, changed me as a person is an understatement. At a time when my friends were heading off to college and spreading their wings, I was spending my weeks in the hospital and doctor’s offices having surgery and getting chemotherapy. I was trying to understand how I could have some semblance of control over my own body and health when everything seemed out of control and was moving at warp speed while decisions were being made about my health. Empowering myself and learning what I needed, beyond just the standard of care for my diagnosis, were daily lessons and allowed me to get through each day.

I learned that I needed exercise, connection, community and support beyond just my western medical treatments. I was fortunate enough during my treatment to be able to run and ride my bike on days when I was feeling strong enough. I reached out to organizations addressing my needs beyond the hospital and doctor’s offices and I survived.

When I moved to Bend and learned about TdC I knew I had to participate. My first Tour des Chutes reminded me that exercise and community should be at the cornerstone of cancer treatment. After several more TdC’s, I was inspired to become a sponsor of the annual event. And a couple years later I was asked to serve on the board. TdC’s mission is simple and straightforward-to support cancer care and survivorship for adults and children in Central OR.

TdC 2012

TdC acknowledges the many needs that people and families with cancer have and diligently works to meet those needs wherever possible. Paying for an electric bill so a family’s electricity is not turned off, offering gas cards for patients who must commute to Bend each day for radiation treatment, purchasing a generator for someone with cancer who is living in a trailer and needs heat for the winter, are all things that TdC has supported over the years while I’ve served as a board member.

As a teenager with cancer, I was ignorant of the terrible financial stress that a cancer diagnosis puts on a family. As a board member, I am acutely aware of this strain and take my role on the TdC board seriously. I am here to support the event so we can continue to support the needs of Central OR residents with cancer.

In so many ways, our world has changed tremendously in the past few years. Just these past few months have shown us monumental change in daily life on a scale that most people have never experienced before. Interestingly though, some of us (likely most of us at an event like the Tour des Chutes) have experienced much more fundamental changes in our individual lives over an even shorter timeframe. For us, COVID-19 is just a bonus. But it’s interesting to me to consider how our experience as cancer survivors or caregivers may help inform those of us who are struggling with the outfall of this pandemic right now, whether that be from loss of life, loss of purpose, or simply loss of income.

We all have a different lens from which to view the issues we collectively face today. Comparing struggles is never helpful. But in my experience, reframing our perspectives based on the unique experiences of others, understanding their journey in dealing with loss or setbacks, can be more helpful than anything else. That, and simply remembering that we’re not alone in this.

I’ve been riding my bike for most of my life, for many different reasons. Racing, employment, community, exploring, commuting, and personal health have been some of my biggest motivators. In many ways, cycling is my life. But cycling has changed for me in some substantial ways over the past few months. One of my greatest passions in life, bicycle racing, has disappeared for the indefinite future. Compared to other things that I have gone through in this life, and other things that I know many others around me face on a daily basis on top of COVID-19, this loss feels very inconsequential. But it has nonetheless affected my life in many ways, together all but bringing me to my knees in forced reevaluation of my life.

 What Riding Means to Me2

Like so many others, I have lost almost all of my income due to this surprise global event. I have also lost my ability to connect with the majority of my friends in a space that inspired so much joy, understanding, and gratitude over the course of my life. I have faced an unknown degree of chemical and physical changes in my body over these past few months as I have gone from elite athlete, at the top of my game, to relative couch potato. And the worst part is, I also know that I’m fortunate in that I’m still able to exercise more than the vast majority of even my own very active network of acquaintances. So what am I crying about?

Regardless of perspective, acute changes in our life can shock our individual realities. At any scale, they can surprise, upset, and create lasting shockwaves through the rest of our lives. But when that’s also happening to almost everyone else around us, somehow it feels a bit less difficult.

It’s a curious thing, how delicate the human race can actually be. Despite this, I have faith that one day, regardless of where the progression of this virus goes, or the development of treatment or a vaccine, our society will adjust to the point that we will find our grooves again and learn to move forward. There are so many examples of great people right here around us who have learned to deal with major health trauma and gone on to pursue noble, if terrifying and unsteady at first, pursuits that create new meaning in their own lives. And those gains, hard as they may be to realize, benefit the rest of the world in ways that we may have never even anticipated. When we remember these basic mechanisms, and consider that we’re all hurting right now and all doing our best to make this time better, somehow all the heartache and anxiety begins to fade, leaving us with only comfort and hope. That will be our way forward. And then we can get back to riding bikes together!

My name is Anne Linton and I am a retired physician as well as a safety rider for the Tour des Chutes. At the 2017 edition of the Tour, I came across my husband standing alongside his bike halfway up Johnson Rd hill and little did we know our lives were going to change once again.  Tim, an avid cyclist for the past 30 years, thought he was just going out for an enjoyable day doing the 75 mile route but almost immediately he started feeling bad.  As he describes it, almost everyone was passing him like he was standing still.  I got some gels into him and some electrolytes and we limped back to the finish line.

 

The next morning he went in to see his Doc and the symptoms appeared to maybe be exercise induced asthma, but they also wanted to rule out things like a pulmonary embolism so some blood work was ordered.  As he was driving back home he received a call asking him to immediately head to the hospital as emergency surgery was going to be needed to repair his aorta that had dissected again.

 

Some background: 17 years ago my husband Tim (35 years old at the time) had a life-threatening thoracic aortic dissection and spent 10 days in the ICU in a medically induced coma after undergoing over five hours of surgery to repair the dissection. If you don’t know what this is, it is something most people don’t recover from. In fact John Ritter (remember Three’s Company actor?) had the exact same thing happen about 3 weeks after Tim and he went into surgery but he never came out of it.

 

The recovery process was very slow and after six months, Tim was allowed to get back on the bike with the only restriction that he had to keep his heart rate below 140bpm.  Soon, he was back to his 5 day-a-week cycling schedule just being mindful of his HR but at the same time disappointed that he couldn’t ride with his friends and cycling club teammates as he would slow them down.  But, his heartrate limitations did not slow him down, as he would do the occasional cyclocross or mountain bike race and aim not to be dead last by letting his bike skills make up for the limitations.  He even got back in good enough health and condition to head to Europe to participate in the Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders Sportif rides and even portions of the Tour de France routes.  But there was always the worry that it could happen again.

 

Fast forward to 2017, the second repair surgery went well and Tim was on his feet a day later and walking as many laps as the nurses would allow him in the CCMU.  Unfortunately, the recovery was not perfect as he developed fluid around the heart that needed to be drained ten days later but he was lucky to be alive and once again on the road to recovery.

 

In a follow-up appointment with his doctor, they took a look at the recommended activities for someone like Tim and believe or not, the recommended cardio-vascular activities were bowling and curling.  We both laughed and around that same time Trek had just released the Trek Domane e-bike, a pedal assist road bike with disc brakes and the ability to put wider tires on it. Since I was a Trek Women’s Advocate and worked at Sunnyside Sports they were able to get us one. Since his first surgery 17 years ago Tim was not comfortable riding with other people for fear he would slow them down. That bike was a game changer and I felt like I got my husband back. I didn’t realize how depressed he had been since his second surgery.

 

 

Since then Tim has also gotten a Trek Rail pedal assist mountain bike which he loves. He can go explore the gravel roads and some of the trails and doesn’t have to worry about getting too tired or not being able to ride long enough. The pedal assist bikes have different modes in them so when he gets tired he can give an extra boost. But he also still can get a good workout in all while keeping his heartrate low enough that he doesn’t stress his aorta and the repaired tissue.

Anne and Tim

This photo is of Tim and I at the top of McKenzie pass he on his ebike and me on my regular bike. Look at that smile! Prior to getting his pedal assist bike he was pretty depressed and bummed as he always felt like he could not ride with others because he had to go so slow. Now I can’t keep up with him and if I want a really good workout I try to keep up with him going up Skyliner Road. I have even had him moto pace some of my coaching clients.

 

After he got the Trek Domane + he continued to ride his mountain bike on the local trails but was finding that even difficult to keep his heartrate under control. So January of 2020 he got the Trek Rail Mountain bike, which is a pedal assist mountain bike with a good amount of travel, knobby tires and can go up to 20 mph. Again it is pedal assist so you can’t go without pedaling and putting in some power and work. He loves that in that he can explore the gravel roads and trails up high (off the traditional single track in Deschutes National Forest since it is not e-bike or pedal assist friendly at this point in time).

 

That brings me to another point. These types of e-bikes (called pedal assist Class 1 or Class 3) do not have a throttle so therefore they are not motorcycles and you can not go without working and pedaling. I think there is a big misconception about what is an e-bike and why people are so anti e-bikes thinking they will go super fast uphill and ruin the trails. Well most pedal assist mountain bikes max out at 20 mph so if you go faster than that it is your own human power causing it and you can’t do that uphill. And on the downhill they seem to just spin out if they go any faster. The road bikes come in two types some that go up to 28 mph max but are usually heavy (Tim’s weighs about 37 lb) or the lighter ones max out at 21 mph (and weight close to 23-25 lb).

 

Here is how ebikes are classified:

 

Class 1: eBikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and have a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph.

Class 2: eBikes that also have a maximum speed of 20 mph, but are throttle-assisted.

Class 3: eBikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph.

All classes limit the motor’s power to 1 horsepower (750W).

 

https://www.bosch-ebike.com/us/everything-about-the-ebike/

 

 

 

There was a recent study that came out that showed the following: “Energy expenditure and ventilation rates (per minute) for all modes were not statistically different. However, total EE and VO 2 for each bout (per mile) for e-bikes are 24% lower than that for conventional bicycles, and 64% lower than for walking. This reflects the shorter travel time. Differences between e-bikes and bicycles are most pronounced on the uphill segment. Still, e-bikes provide moderate physical activity (MET > 3) on flat segments and downhill segments, and vigorous physical activity (MET > 6) on uphill segments. For e-bike trials, riders reported higher levels of enjoyment and lower need for a shower than walk or conventional bicycle trials. This paper adds to the expanding literature by comparing e-bike, bicycle and walk EE and VO2 . E-bikes can contribute as an active transportation mode to meet required physical activity guidelines.”

 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214140516303930?via%3Dihub

 

Journal of Transport and Health Vol 6, September 2017 pages 463-473

Comparing physical activity of pedal-assist electric bikes with walking and conventional bicycles.

Tim

 

This is a picture of Tim on his pedal assist Trek Rail Mountain bike. He loves that one even more than the other and can get out and explore all the dirt roads/trails and not worry that he can’t climb up that high for fear he has to keep his HR down.

 

Tim and I are forever grateful both for the miracle of modern medicine and now for the addition of pedal assist bikes which have allowed him to continue his passion of riding bikes while dealing with his medical limitations.

~ Anne Linton, Physician Turned Endurance Athlete and Coach, Trek Women’s Advocate, Sunnyside Sports Team Member

www.lintonhornercoaching.com

 

Gravel bike routes to use for the Tour des Chutes

– By Gravel Girl (Linda English) from Dirty Freehub

My husband and I created Dirty Freehub (www.dirtyfreehub.com) to share all our secret gravel bike routes. We love gravel cycling because we ride on all sorts of terrain, escaping the cars and the people.

We have over 100 gravel routes across the Northwest that are just a blast, many of them right out of Bend which is where we live. The descriptions on our website will help you decide what mix is right for you: we include the elevation and the amount of gravel and pavement you can expect, plus loads of other details and photos. We also have GPX files which means you can download the route to either your phone or a navigation device. And we include which routes are e-Bike friendly. All the routes are free to use.

Below are three routes that allow you to adjust the distance pretty easily and are located in Central Oregon. We recommend that you download and know how to use navigation before you take off.  (A great route to test navigation is on Water and Lava because you will run into roads or a river before you are too lost.  And it has tricky turns that will force you to learn to navigate with a device or phone.). But head to our website and you’ll find a bunch more to choose from.

Water and Lava

Kevin English and Linda English on Water and Lava.  Photo Credit: Trevor Lyden

 

Water and Lava starts at the Welcome Center on Century Drive just outside of Bend.  The full route is 31 miles and 1,400 feet of gain (44 miles if you start from town.)  I love this route because you have wonderful views of the Deschutes River and you can stop at Benham Falls.  You can challenge yourself (or not!) by climbing to the top of Lava Butte. It’s also easy to slice off the Sunriver portion which eliminates 4 miles, or if you start from town, you can make it a longer ride.  Water and Lava is a nice mix of quiet dirt roads, bike paths, paved roads and single track.  I’ll be the first to admit when I hit the rocky section near Sunriver that I just get off and walk even though most of my riding pals blaze through it. https://dirtyfreehub.com/adventure/oregon-x/water-lava/

 haystack

Linda English on Haystack. Photo Credit: Kevin English

 

Haystacks and Skulls provides you with actually three different routes: Haystack, Skull Hollow and Haystacks and Skulls.  They start in various areas close to Terrebone. I love this route for the shocking and amazing views of the mountains.  Plus, it includes Haystack Reservoir, Smith Rock, and the Crooked River Gorge.  With all three routes, you have to cross Highway 97 out of Terrebone: each route has 12% or more steep climbs. (There’s no shame in walking the steeper parts of the climb!)  The distances range from Haystack and Skulls being the longest at 36 miles, 2,300 feet of gain and Haystack being 28 miles and 1,900 feet of gain. They are a mix of paved roads and gravel roads. https://dirtyfreehub.com/adventure/oregon-x/haystacks-skulls/

 

round lake

Linda English, Kevin Gorman, Bryn Gabriel and Kevin English on Sherman’s March near Round Lake. Photo Credit: Trevor Lyden

 

Sherman’s March is a lovely tour of the Camp Sherman area which includes visiting the fish hatchery, the Head of the Metolius, and the scenic loop up to Round Lake (filled with amazing views of the mountains.) While the route is 52 miles and 4,200 feet of climbing, you can easily take out the section on the shoulder of Black Butte (which eliminates 11 miles and 1,000 feet of gain), or take out Round Lake (which eliminates 11 miles and 1,100 feet of gain). https://dirtyfreehub.com/adventure/oregon-x/shermans/

I hope you enjoy your Tour des Chutes this year. I’ve ridden their event just about every year since 2004. It’s a great organization with an amazing mission.  While it will be a different event this year, their work in cancer is even more important this year.  Plus I have always admired Gary for his constant fight against such a horrible disease; his positive attitude is amazing.  Cheers.. Gravel Girl from Dirty Freehub

Mosaic Medical is the largest community health center in the region that provides primary care, behavioral health and social service support to those in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties. Over half of the patients we serve qualify for OHP and a cancer diagnosis is something that would be detrimental to a patient’s ability to provide for their family if it wasn’t for the funds raised by Tour Des Chutes.

Over the last two years, we’ve been able to financially support 48 patients across the region as they embark on their cancer journey with the dollars TdC contributed to the organization.  We were able to purchase a generator during winter months to keep a homeless man warm in Prineville, purchase new tires and brakes for a woman who was near the end of her life to keep fighting her cancer diagnosis, and provide financial support for a family to keep some sort of normalcy during treatment, like we did for Kathy and her daughter.

Kathy was struggling to make ends meet for herself and her daughter prior to receiving the news that she had stage two breast cancer. She would pick up extra shifts when they were available at her office, but as her energy level decreased due to her illness, so did the ability to pay her bills on time.

Kathy’s anxiety increased when she had to take more time off work due to the exhaustion from her treatments, surgery, and mounting appointments. With pressure looming, Kathy’s doctor suggested she reach out to the community health worker at her clinic to see if he could help. He was able to leverage $800 of Tour des Chutes funds to help Kathy make ends meet during this difficult time.

These funds were used to keep the lights on when she got behind on her power bill, gas in her car to get to St. Charles for her appointments, her phone turned on, and frozen meals following her surgery that she could easily grab and heat it up for her and her daughter to enjoy.

The Tour des Chutes funds reduced her level of fear and anxiety around her diagnosis and helped her focus on getting to her appointments and healing. It eliminated the extra stress and worry about how she was going to pay for things at home and care for her daughter. Kathy has expressed her thanks multiple times for the help that Mosaic was able to bring through the Tour des Chutes program.

Please keep Kathy, and hundreds of others who have benefited from Tour des Chutes support at Mosaic Medical, St. Charles Cancer Center, Summit/BMC and OHSU when you walk, run, or ride. Thank you.