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Cyclists Pedal Against Hunger in the Owyhees

The Great Owyhee Ride Against Hunger, raising money for the Oregon Food Bank, kicks off tomorrow from Ontario, Ore. Photo courtesy: Great Owyhee Ride Against Hunger.
The Great Owyhee Ride Against Hunger, raising money for the Oregon Food Bank, kicks off tomorrow from Ontario, Ore. Photo courtesy: Great Owyhee Ride Against Hunger.
June 19, 2015

ONTARIO, Ore. - About 300 cyclists are hitting the road in Ontario on Saturday for the Great Owyhee Ride Against Hunger.

Routes range from 15 to 100 miles for all abilities, winding through Malheur County. In nine years, said organizer Kevin Goade, the Great Owyhee Ride has gained a reputation for taking good care of the riders.

"We want to be there for the riders. We want them to be able to push their limits a little bit, and be able to succeed," he said. "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. 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.

Goade said rider choose the length of their ride, and families are encouraged. He added that 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,' " Goade said. "They also have an opportunity to, there's a box they can check, to add additional monies to go straight to the Food Bank."

Cyclists can register the morning of the event, which will begin at the Historic Oregon Train Depot, 298 S. Oregon St. in Ontario). Start times are staggered with the longer routes beginning as early at 7 a.m.

Ride details are online at greatowyheeride.com.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID