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Imagination brings a new event to Maupin-Ride the Rapids Deschutes River

It has been just over 2 years since we Imagined the Maupin Deschutes River Athletic Complex. The vision has always been to build a facility to elevate the activities in the region through sport and outdoor recreation during off peak visitor season. The Permission to Dream and Fearless Innovation Together are the fundamental principles for IncubatorU.

The Homestretch of the original Track as we made the bold move to begin construction

There have been a variety of events we felt could be activated to continue bringing awareness and funding to DRAC. The project was at a tipping point as it entered the late spring and I felt the IncubatorU 5 Step Methodology was the best way to jumpstart our progress on both the funding and construction of the track going into the critical summer months.

The South Wasco County High School Track Team on their "Track"

The IncubatorU 5 Step Methodology is: 

The Imagine Step started with Imagining what would draw people out to the area that had not visited Maupin before and see what the roads and scenery around Maupin has to offer.

I reached out to group of friends that I knew from Nike, Cyclists and the world of Track and Field. They agreed to come out and join me for a preview ride in the early part of June.

A group of passionate athletes experiencing the roads around Maupin on the Ride the Rapids Preview Ride

I had the opportunity to attend some amazing cycling events with a small start up company that I led a few years ago. The idea of a century ride which is an opportunity for a group of cyclists to enjoy each other's company, experience a new route be social on the bike for a few hours. It is a non competitive ride and with support is botha  challenge and a fantastic experience and fundraising opportunity.


Maupin Ride the Rapids Preview Ride in June of 2021 along the BLM Road approaching Maupin.

The cycling community loves to explore new routes. Cycle Oregon does an amazing job exploring and supporting smaller communities all around the state. Hood to Coast puts on Fundraising events from the big Hood to Coast Relay to International Relays to One Day Relays and Cycling Events that are major fundraisers for specific charities around the state. Reach the Beach has raised over $600k annually for the American Lung Association.

With this in mind, I reached out to a friend of mine who is the Chief Operating Officer of Hood to Coast and asked what it would take to start an event like a ride in Maupin with the primary goal of supporting DRAC and building programs around the facility that will bring new people to town and experience this amazing community.

This is what I call the Identify Step of the Methodology. Imagine an idea to get people out to see DRAC, Identify those that do it well and Initiate a conversation to see what it would take to make it happen.

In late May 2021, the Deschutes River Athletic Complex Team was at the decision point of implementing the construction with our selected partners from the bidding process. The construction schedule was in place and we were still short of funding the entire project but our window was narrow based on current construction costs and availability of crews to have the project finished before the Spring of 2022.

The send off for the First Annual Maupin Ride the Rapids in October 2021 from the Wasco County Fairgrounds

Ideally we would have a massive event to showcase DRAC as we were about to break ground but with the pandemic and group gathering restrictions still in question I reached out to a small group of my friends to test the idea of starting an annual ride in Wasco County to benefit the local athletic facilities and programs.

The goal was to showcase the route and the area but also share the vision of DRAC and the impact it could have on the community. A dozen of my friends came out to ride and endorse the route but also see the vision for DRAC and a potential annual ride that would take place in the Fall. It was a moderately cool and breezy day in June but the feedback on the route and sharing my passion for the project was embraced by this small group of friends that left that day promoting the project and the ride to their networks multiplying the impact going into the summer.

The Track with sod being removed as we moved forward on construction

The Preview Ride provided us the confidence to move forward with the construction as we moved into the summer knowing that our construction window was tight and our team was ready to go. Our small group was able to see the track in its original state with the cinders as we started sharing the sod with other local community members as construction was about to begin.

We moved forward with construction throughout the summer and concurrently started to plan our Ride the Rapids at the latest date we could have confidence that a ride would bring people to the area in the off season.

The IncubatorU 5 Step Methodology Imagined an event to bring people out to Maupin. The critical step was that we Identified experts in Hood to Coast (Dan Floyd and Luke Vanoudenhaegen) and then we began to Implement a plan to hold an event that would be the start of an annual event that would grow like other Hood to Coast Events that happen year round and globally through their network.

Maupin Ride the Rapids 2021-Ride the Rapids Deschutes-2022

The DRAC and Hood to Coast Team continued to build the track and plan the event even with the Delta Variant creating havoc in how we could be successful in elevating this project and events surrounding this amazing venue as we raced through the summer. We worked diligently to get sponsors, promote the event through partner organizations that continue to support DRAC.

Original Track in August of 2020 as we Imagined the DRAC

Progress continues with the grading and irrigation of the new Track and Field Facility in August of 2021

While other events cancelled as the Delta Variant made its way through the state our registration numbers were not as high as we would have liked as a fundraiser to get the track built, surfaced and paid for. We chose to move forward with the ride as a non supported ride that brought more people out to the area, experience the route and be part of an inaugural event that will continue to grow in subsequent years.

Maupin DRAC in November of 2021-Paved and ready to surface with hydroseed applied

The ride started and finished at the Wasco County Fairgrounds and provided 2 distances that included a 100k and a 40 mile ride both along the Oregon Scenic Bikeways. 100 percent of the participants ( 60 total) stated that they would return in 2022 and said it was one of the most scenic and well marked courses that they had experienced.

We offered camping and an early morning breakfast along with several rest stops along the way and we had one of Portland Track's premier photographers capturing the ride from multiple locations. As a first year event that did not have any cash sponsors but provided a premium experience for a first year ride we are excited to begin promoting Ride the Rapids Deschutes River in 2022.

Be sure to check out our video below:

2022-Ride The Rapids Deschutes River

Registration is now open for early registration for our ride in 2022. There have been a few updates to the experience.

  • We are adding a 20 mile ride that will be mostly downhill and flat ending up at the Imperial River Company for a beverage and a ride back up to the Wasco County Fairgrounds.

  • We will create a full weekend experience with a hosted Friday night event that will bring a premium camping experience prior to the Saturday Ride

  • We will host an after party to celebrate the ride, gather and enjoy the weekend out in sunny Wasco County.

  • We have added a fundraising platform opportunity through Just Giving ( individuals and teams)

  • Ride the Rapids Deschutes will become an annual event that is part of the Hood to Coast Partnership Events bringing hundreds and hopefully thousands of participants to the area in the off season to finish building the Maupin Deschutes River Athletic Complex and begin programming camps, clinics, events that bring positive economic impact to the area.

  • Reach the Beach Oregon raised nearly $600,000 last year with their annual event that raises money for the American Lung Association. Our goal is to support local youth through an amazing complex and bringing world class athletic events to the area.

  • We are actively seeking sponsors for this event in October of 2022 but still need to finish strong in our fundraising for 2021.

As an extended team from our partners in the community, our construction partners , Foundation partners and those that continue to believe in this project. They believe becaues everything around it will add value and bring healthy community experiences for years to come.

We are still in the final phases of fundraising to surface the track when the weather allows as well as purchase updated track and field equipment, install the lights and finish with the final stages of DRAC as the school begins their bond work to modernize the outdated educational facilities.

Ride the Rapids helps us finish and program out events and partnerships that will benefit the school and the community for years to come.

Let us know how you can help us get to the finish line through funding or sponsorship as we finish the year strong in 2021. Contact us at


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