Bluebird day greets stampeders


Last updated 6/6/2023 at 2:15pm

Photo by Jerry Baldock

Mountain bike racers were led out of the start gate by cowgirl Jade Robinson in the traditional dramatic start for the Sisters Stampede.

The Sisters Stampede mountain bike race has become the unofficial launch of summer in Sisters. And Sisters Country served up a perfect early summer day for the hundreds of racers who took to the Peterson Ridge Trail System in an event that has put Sisters on the cycling map.

The Sisters Stampede is so well-known and highly regarded that it is sold out in advance - as in on Valentine's Day in February.

As is the tradition, the lead out for the multiple groups of riders that pedaled out of the gate came off with a bang, with the starting gun fired by charging horseback rider Jade Robinson, giving the race Sisters' trademark Western flare.

Race organizer Mike Ripley of Mudslinger Events was pleased with the way the event came off on Sunday, May 28. He was not surprised that race slots filled so early.

"People love the Peterson Ridge Trail System," he said.

The race offers a short course of 14 miles and a long course of 27 miles, with categories ranging from elite racers to beginner categories and kids. All ages and athletic skill levels were represented. For some, it's a race, for others it's a ride. And for some it's a chance to represent others.

Jack Addison of Sisters rode with an American flag fluttering from his helmet.

"I'm representing everyone who served in Vietnam - living and dead," he said. "That's who I'm dedicating my race to."

Some businesses and organizations form teams and adorn them with jersey for the event.

Leif Bruce of Portland rode with Roy Dean and his brother Mark Dean, and Mark Mihelich as the Three Creeks Brewing Co. team. Team members enjoyed a Three Creeks brew after finishing the short course.

"It was fun, being the first time," Bruce told The Nugget. "Super excited... Not being from Sisters, this is a great representation of Sisters, too. Makes me want to spend more time here."

Photo by Jerry Baldock

Overall elite men's winner Henry Nandell popped a celebratory wheelie.

Dean expressed appreciation for some of the behind-the-scenes players that make the event possible.

"We want to thank the Willitts family for lending the space for the start and finish," he said. "Props to Sisters Trails Alliance for the trail conditions. The trail condition was excellent, and the weather this morning was great."

Dean said he's looking forward to seeing the team expand next year.

"Looking forward to representing Sisters Country in our local race in the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association Series," he said.

Henry Nandell took the top of the podium for the Elite Men with a time of 1:36.02.4; Emma Maaranen took top honors among the elite women at 1:52:21.6

For complete results visit

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

Author photo

Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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