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Gorge-Us Gals ride rolls Sunday in The Dalles

In its third year, Gorge-Us Gals cycling event rolls out from the Lewis & Clark Festival Park at West First and Union streets in The Dalles this Sunday, June 8.

Register online at www.gorge-usgallsride.com or at the site before the rides from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Four ride length options are available, the 60-mile “A Chick Trip” ride that rolls out with a group start time of 8 a.m., the 40-mile “The Sisters of the Road” ride at 8:30, the 20-mile “Girl Friends Ride” at 9 and the 13-mile “Hope on Wheels” at 9:30.

The event is a benefit for HAVEN, Help Against Violent Encounters Now, and one of a handful of women-only rides in the West. HAVEN provides programs and solutions designed with the goal of creating violence-free homes in The Dalles and surrounding areas. Proceeds benefit Women’s Shelter Fund, programs that support victims of domestic and sexual violence, and support programs that educate teens caught up in the epidemic of dating violence.

The event had 150 riders in 2012, its inaugural year, and 180 riders in 2013.

Tara Koch, executive director of Haven of the Gorge, told CyclingWEST the Gorge-Us Gals Ride originated from a collaboration with her friends Lori Waters and Chad Sperry, co-owners of Breakaway Promotions, the cycling and running event organizer based in The Dalles.

Waters and Sperry were looking for ways to create a cycling event that would appeal to women, noting an increase in interest and participation in recreational riding and tours among women.

Earlier races had also benefitted HAVEN, including the Cherry Blossom Race, which donated a portion of its proceeds to the organization.

Gorge-Us Gals celebrates the springtime beauty of the Columbia River Gorge, and aims to provide “challenging yet doable” rides for women with beginning to intermediate skills.

“Our hope was to design the ride for all abilities with a mission for increasing health and wellness and to support a great local non profit,” Koch told CycleWEST. “In 2014 we look to double the number of participants (from 2013‘s 180 riders) and to continue to grow the support for the event both in and outside the community.”

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