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In Southeastern Oregon, a Scenic Strategy to Fight Hunger

PHOTO: Cyclists of all ages and abilities participate in the Great Owyhee Ride Against Hunger to benefit Oregon Food Bank partners in southeastern Oregon. Photo credit: Tami Hart, Oregon Food Bank.
PHOTO: Cyclists of all ages and abilities participate in the Great Owyhee Ride Against Hunger to benefit Oregon Food Bank partners in southeastern Oregon. Photo credit: Tami Hart, Oregon Food Bank.
May 26, 2015

ONTARIO, Ore. – Cyclists in the Great Owyhee Ride Against Hunger accomplish two goals – meeting their own long-distance challenge, and being part of Oregon Food Bank's hunger-fighting efforts.

About 300 people are expected to bring their bikes this year for the event on June 20, which begins in Ontario and winds through Vale and rural Malheur County.

The first signup deadline is this Friday.

Organizer Kevin Goade says in nine years, the Great Owyhee Ride has gained a reputation for taking good care of the riders.

"We want them to be able to push their limits a little bit, and be able to succeed,” he says. “So, we offer eight rest stops over the course of 100 miles, which is pretty much unheard of. Most century routes, if you get four you're doing really well."

The longer routes – the century or 100-mile ride and a metric century of about 65 miles – take riders to the base of the Owyhee Dam.

Goade says to accommodate riders of all abilities, including children, there also are 15, 30 and 50-mile routes. He adds this year's charitable goal is $10,000.

"We try to cover all our expenses with sponsor fees, so we can tell a rider, 'Your entry fee, 100 percent of that is going to go to the Food Bank,'” he stresses. “They also have an opportunity, there's a box they can check, to add additional monies to go straight to the Food Bank."

Last year's ride raised $7,500 for Oregon Food Bank partners in Harney and Malheur counties, which supplied about 30,000 pounds of food.

Routes and registration details are on the Great Owyhee Ride Against Hunger website.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR