Mt. Ashland, Ore.- It all started 6 years ago in Bend. Then, in 2015 the Oregon Cancer Bikeout amde it’s way down to Ashland.
The bikeout brings together avid mountain bikers, nature lovers, and people who have been affected by cancer in a variety of ways. Together, they all ride to honor and remember how the disease has impacted them.
They start up at Mount Ashland and end up at Caldera’s downtown. They do one route in the morning and another in the afternoon, followed by a celebratory dinner.
Todd Wells, the man behind the Oregon Cancer Bikeout says,”It’s a noncompetitive ride. You don’t see a lot of opportunities to join a group and ride some great trails”
Wells started the event 6 years ago where he lives in Bend. But his passion for mountain biking and Ashland dates back much farther to when he lived and mountain biked here, decades ago.
Todd Wells is fan of the people and the outdoors in Ashland which is why he brought the event down here two years ago.
Since their first Ashland ride in 2016 the number of participants has doubled. Last year the Oregon Cancer Bikeout managed to raise close to $6000 for cancer research and patients undergoing treatment.
But one for rider, the ride is about more than the money.
About three years ago former Ashland turned Portalnd resident Nicholas Schuler lost his close friend Jake to a rare form of gastrointestinal cancer.
Before Jake passed mountain biking was something the two enjoyed.
“We would ride together. I got him into riding bikes like we do,” Schuler says.
After Jake’s passing Schuler says the Oregon Cancer Bikeout became a way to honor his friend.
“Every time I ride, especially events like this, I ride for him.”