Switchbacks Race in Portland, OR

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If you haven’t been to a Switchbacks race in Portland, you’re missing out on a whole lot of fun. I have been going through my photos from last year and I came across this Switchbacks race from last June. I never showed anybody the photos, they just got lost in my stack of archives. Check them out.

Watch out for the boarder cross on the switchbacks course this next year. It’s going to be big.

The organizer, JP Rowan, is known for having random elements in the switchbacks races to make it fun and interesting. It is after all only three hairpins and the max speed has got to be no more than twenty mph. This road is normally closed to traffic so it’s safe to ride, sharing it with bicycles, pedestrians, and pets, so locals ride it all the time. It’s easy enough to pick up and there were many travelers in town for this race. The Sunset Sliders bus was in town. Duke Degen, Tyler Howell, Scott Lembach, Max Meyers, Nick Ronzani, and John Kreutter were just some of the out of towners who were great contenders to some of the Pacific Northwest locals including Ryan Sorensen, Noah Throckmorton, Ross Porter, Jackson Wells, just to name a few.


This race was a two man heat race with cones that the riders had to go around. It was a sort of downhill slalom hybrid that was different than any other switchbacks race.

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The races eliminated riders one by one until it came down to the finals between Duke Degen and local Ryan Sorensen. Duke won, almost effortlessly.


We went to a famous Portland street skating spot at Lincoln High School and bummed out all the skaters by having the awards ceremony right in the middle of the spot. Many prizes were given while the street skaters grumbled, “How would they like it if we just plopped down right in front of their hill…” I asked JP about whether or not he had considered the fact that we were preventing the skaters from skating their Sunday spot, and he hadn’t even thought about it. Kooks!

Here are all the photos from the event:

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