One sport. One tradition. One community.

By Scott Burton, Director of Community and Business Relations
July 29, 2015

The Cascade Cycling Classic is Bend’s race. Homeowners open their doors to host riders. Volunteers forego their final hours of morning sleep to prepare the day’s route. And by the thousands, spectators gather with friends, family and neighbors to cheer on and admire elite cyclists from around the world.

The Cascade Cycling Classic has been a Bend tradition for nearly 40 years. But this year, it almost vanished as organizers from the Mount Bachelor Sports Education Foundation had to find a new presenting sponsor. This small nonprofit, with an incredible mission, relies on local and regional sponsors to help fund the $120,000 it takes to host the race.
The need for a presenting sponsor came at the same time that Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon was searching for an impactful way to continue our longstanding commitment to community in Bend. When we understood the very real potential that this race could leave the community, coupled with the long odds of ever getting it back, we knew we had to invest.
The Cascade Cycling Classic is a tradition, one that helps make Bend the wonderful place that it is. How could we let that go? Last week, the tradition returned for the 36th consecutive year.  Perfect weather and a talented field of riders drew record crowds. On Saturday night, downtown was filled with the ringing of blue Regence cow bells, the hum of inch-wide racing tires, and the collective energy of nearly 10,000 spectators rooting the racers on.  One sport. One tradition. One community. 
We believe in taking part in the life of the communities where our members live and where our employees work. Our members have told us they expect this of us, and we work hard to deliver in meaningful and impactful ways. We hope our support of the Cascade Cycling Classic, lives up to those expectations. 
There’s something magical about summer traditions. They can make distant memories feel fresh again while capturing new moments we’ll treasure in the years ahead. They make us smile and feel connected to something larger than ourselves.  In Bend, an important tradition was kept alive last week, and will continue for years to come. 
From our team to yours, thank you for allowing us to serve as the presenting sponsor of the Cascade Cycling Classic.