The Cascade Gravel Grinder is the second race in the Oregon Gravel Grinder Series. The event is unique in that it includes a single-day event on Sunday, May 14, or the chance to participate in a stage race that runs from May 11-14. The single-day Big Grinder event doubles as the final stage of the 3-day Race. It spans 86 miles, over 7,000 feet of elevation gain, and 92% gravel. The course starts at Sisters High School in the quaint town of Sisters and first skirts along the Cascade foothills before getting real and heading straight into the mountain range. You can look forward to huge, up close, breath-taking views of the Three Sisters Mountains around every corner to numb the pain and suffering. Well-stocked aid stations along the route will help fuel riders to the finish back at Village Green Park, where music, great food, and a beer garden await. Bring your climbing legs and strong resolve for this final day. Big Grinders…be ready for the “4 Miles of Hell” section. For those looking for less challenging options, there are also Small and Medium Grinder options spanning 43 and 67 Miles with 3000 feet and 4700 feet of elevation gain, respectively. Both of the shorter routes also come with 90+% gravel.
The 3-day Stage Race has a limited field of 250 riders and starts with the Swampy Time Trial on Friday and has only one ride option, which is 100% gravel over 5.5 miles and climbs 530 feet. Day two on Saturday is fondly called the Bust-Your-Butte stage running 55 miles, 4000+ feet elevation gain, and 70% gravel. This fast-rolling course will take riders along the eastern edge of the mighty Cascade Mountain Range to the southwest of Bend. Stands of huge ponderosa pine forests and views of Mt. Bachelor and Broken Top will help distract you from the suffering on this course. Climbs are low-angle and fast. Road surfaces will be smooth and firm, as well-established Forest Service roads are used for this route. The early spring time frame helps ensure minimal vehicular traffic along the route. There will be two aid stations on the course to help with refueling.
Registration for this event has many perks that include chip timing, Cascade Gravel Grinder Badge, aid stations, and mechanical support for each day. Commemorative t-shirts and pint glasses are provided for each registration day with unique course titles. All attendees are invited to Sunday’s celebration lunch and beer, where awards are distributed. Merchandise goes to the top three winners of each of the five categories, and prize money is given to the top three of each category for the Small Grinder and Big Grinder Omnium, those who participated in all three days. Registrants are also offered to stay at the host hotel with a 20% discounted rate; BWP Premier Peppertree Inn. See the main event site for all directions on starting locations and parking available for each day. All finish lines are near downtown Bend, Oregon, where multiple locations are close to the campground for food, lodging, and other activities. These restaurant recommendations include lodging options; The Row, Cabin 22, and a full Mount Bachelor experience at The Mountain.
The Cascade Gravel Grinder is the second leg of the Oregon Gravel Grinder Series produced by Breakaway Promotions which operates several other top single-day and multi-day gravel events. The full event line-up includes Gorge, Cascade; Oregon Trail; and Ochoco. There are discounts when riders register for three or four at a time. For all multi-day riders, this is your chance to experience some of the best gravel rides Cascade Mountain Range and the national parks of Oregon have to offer in the spring and summer.