PORT ANGELES — Registration is underway for Ian’s Ride’s second annual Sea to Sound, a three-day, 71-mile multi-modal group ride along the length of the Olympic Discovery Trail.
The ride is set for Aug. 28-30. In-person and virtual registration is available at tinyurl.com/PDN-SeaToSound20.
Ian’s Ride, an area nonprofit led by Agnew’s Ian Mackay, presents the race as a way to showcase the trail and the Olympic Peninsula, advocate for accessible trails and get outside.
Mackay was paralyzed from the neck down in a 2008 bicycle crash. An active and engaged college student at the time, Mackay said getting out and riding his electric wheelchair on the Olympic Discovery Trail pointed him in the right direction after the accident, when he moved from California to the Olympic Peninsula and was feeling overwhelmed.
The Agnew man garnered international attention when he rode his wheelchair from Port Angeles to Portland in 2016 and from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to Agnew in 2018.
“The main thing is we want to highlight the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic Discovery Trail,” Mackay said. “I’ve been paralyzed from the neck down for 12 years, and riding the trail is what first pulled me out of my funk after the accident. That was devastating for a 26-year-old. I’ve wanted to share that experience, the healing qualities of getting outside into nature, and show we have such a great resource in the incredible infrastructure of this trail system.”
Sea To Sound also raises funds for the Peninsula Trails Coalition, a group that provides tender, loving care for the trail.
“We were able to raise $3,275 for the Peninsula Trails Coalition in the first year and we will be donating again this time,” Mackay said.
The event is open
The ride is for anyone — cyclists, wheelchair-users, horseback riders and foot traffic — and participants can join the ride for only sections or for the whole trip.
“It’s a multi-modal event, you can do it on a pogo stick or riding a horse,” Mackay joked. “We just want people to get outside and enjoy this gem.”
The ride will be fully supported with aid stations along the route.
“Wheelchair users are strongly encouraged,” Mackay said. “We will support you. Just tell us what you will need.”
And Mackay said the ride recognizes the challenges of holding a group event during the pandemic.
“We plan to keep well separated during the ride, and our aid stations will offer single-use items that will be distributed by masked and glove-wearing volunteers,” Mackay said.
A virtual ride option also exists, with participants able to complete the 71-mile course through Dec. 31.
“To accommodate everyone, we are offering a virtual option,” Mackay said. “This means you can join along with us, at your own pace, from your own neighborhood.”
Mackay said organizers have been creative in planning the virtual ride.
“For the virtual ride, we have some neat things planned almost like the computer game The Oregon Trail,” Mackay said. “When they plug in their mileage, they get accomplishments like ‘You’ve crossed the Elwha River or you’ve reached the Jefferson County line.’ And they get some cool swag, a T-shirt and a medal.”
An schedule for the event follows:
• Aug. 28: An 18-mile stretch along a smooth, remote portion of the trail that provides tall timber and peek-a-boo views of Lake Crescent. With renovations underway this summer to make the Spruce Railroad Trail accessible to wheelchair riders, a shuttle service will ferry participants back to the start from the Pyramid Peak Trailhead on the north shore of Lake Crescent.
• Aug. 29: Riders will tackle a 37-mile portion of trail from the Elwha River Bridge, along the Port Angeles Waterfront Trail and out to Old Olympic Highway, through Sequim and ending at Diamond Point.
• Aug. 30: The ride wraps with a 16-mile jaunt from the Clallam/Jefferson county line on Diamond Point Road into Port Townsend, wrapping up at the Port Townsend Boat Haven. Mackay said shuttles will move riders from Discovery Bay to the Larry Scott Trail portion of the Olympic Discovery Trail near Four Corners Road. There are some unpaved stretches along this route.
For more information, visit www.iansride.com.
Masks may cover the faces of riders for this ride, but Mackay will be looking for smiles.
“If the success of event is judged by smiles, then I know we have done well,” Mackay said. “I found the people who participated last year had a lot of fun, we raised a good amount, and we found something we need to continue doing.”
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or at [email protected].