Over the past decade, the Crest the Cascades ride on the old McKenzie Pass has become one of Sisters’ signature events.

The ride events kick off on Friday, June 14 with a pre-ride registration and party sponsored by Blazin Saddles Cycle-N-Style. Riders can come by Blazin Saddles to pick up their ride packet and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine.

The Saturday, June 15 ride starts and ends at Village Green Park in the heart of Sisters. The route offers a 30-mile ride to the summit and back to Sisters; a 53-mile ride up and over the summit to the McKenzie Pass West Gate and back; or a full 76 miles up and over all the way to Yale Campground and back to Village Green. Aid stations are positioned all the way, hosted by volunteers. Riders will relax post-ride at Eurosports and enjoy food, beer and live music.

The event takes place two days before ODOT’s planned opening of Highway 242 on June 17.

In its earliest incarnation, the event was known as Ride For Two Rivers. The National Forest Foundation had provided match-based grant funding for work on Whychus Creek and the Metolius River, and as a celebration and fundraiser in support of those efforts, cycling advocate Jerry Norquist organized the event. The Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce managed the event for a number of years, before handing the reins over to Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD), which runs it with support from Sisters Trails Alliance (STA).

The ride is also conducted in memory of Bjarne Holm, who passed away after serving the Sisters community as a dedicated ride volunteer for many years. The route offers some of the most majestic scenery in Central Oregon.

“I think the McKenzie Highway is one of the premier cycling rides.,.. in the country,” said Chuck Humphreys, an STA volunteer and frequent participant in the Crest the Cascades ride. “You start in the high desert, and you end up in this dense fir forest on the other side.”

He noted that the return up the west side offers some climbs that “make you feel like you’re in a professional European race.”

Humphreys noted that the Milli Fire has changed the landscape on the east end of the ride. Much of the forest is burned — but the trade-off for blackened landscape is much broader vistas.

“It’s just magical when you get to the top and go to the other side,” he said.

Proceeds of the event provide funding for recreational activities and programs for Sisters youth, seniors, and all ages in between. Anyone interested in volunteering on ride day can contact

crestthecascades@gmail.com. There are set-up, aid-station and rider-support positions available.

For detailed ride information, course map and registration, visit www.