Preparing for the PPP

Padders getting ready to hit the water.

It’s only May, but it’s starting to feel like summer here in Central Oregon. Restaurants are opening up their patios. Fun seekers throughout the area are digging up their paddleboards, mountain bikes, and fly rods from the depths of their garages. And we’ve already spotted a few brave souls floating the river. Ski season may be winding down, but we’re not ready to put away the winter gear yet. Especially because the Pole Pedal Paddle is coming up.

The PPP is the epitome of everything awesome that Bend has to offer. It starts just up the road from PointsWest at Mt. Bachelor with an alpine leg to the exchange point at West Village Lodge. Then skate and classic skiers hit the Nordic trails for an 8 km dash to the cycling exchange, where racers enjoy a scenic 22-mile ride down Century Drive into Bend. The next leg is a 5-mile run along the Deschutes River Trail to a 1.5-mile canoe/kayak leg at Farewell Bend Park in the Old Mill District. As if all this weren’t enough, the race ends with a .5-mile sprint along the grassy banks of the river to the finish line. Pheew! Did I forget anything? They don’t have a skydiving leg. But they might as well add one while they’re at it.

You don’t have to be a pro to get your Pole Pedal Paddle on. Participants can compete individually, in pairs, or in teams. You can be as competitive as you want. Although incredible athletes flock to this race from all over the country, it is common to see teams sporting Jamaican bobsled outfits, military suits, tutus, and a plethora of other goofy paraphernalia. And if you don’t compete, heading down to Farewell Bend to cheer the racers on and to enjoy the booths, live music, awesome food (and beer, of course), is almost as much fun.

The PPP is the ultimate relay race. On top of taking advantage of the awesome outdoor activities we are blessed to have in our town, the event demonstrates the strong sense of community we have built. We’ll see you out there on May 18 poling, pedaling, paddling and cheering!

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