Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 1st, 2020 at 2:23 pm
A planned mountain bike ride turned into a nightmare for Milwaukie resident Rachel Eggers.
Eggers, 43, went for a ride on Saturday morning that began near the Clackamas River southeast of Estacada. After following the river for about 10 miles she crossed a bridge onto National Forest Development Road 45. Eggers then began to climb into the Memaloose area and a series of mountains to the south.
Eggers is a very experienced and strong rider. When she stopped communicating with her family around 3:00 pm, they called search and rescue. The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office got the call around 8:00 pm on Saturday. They assembled a rescue team and searched through the night.
According to her GPS track on the Strava ride-sharing app, Eggers appears to have first run into trouble 31 miles into her ride. Just after Wash Creek Butte (elevation 4,500 feet) she made a wrong turn (see above). After doubling back she loses a lot of time looking for the road. At one point it took her about an hour and 40 minutes to travel 0.6 miles. The GPS track shows her repeatedly leaving the roadway for several miles until she stops at mile 36. Strava recorded for 13 hours and 17 minutes; but her actual moving time was just 7 hours, 43 minutes.
At 3:00 am, the Sheriff’s search team called for more help, including the trail running team (off-road ultra-marathoners), canine teams, and a search aircraft. “Search crews were dealing with the severe weekend weather, including thunderstorms, as well as the hazards it had caused, such as fallen trees,” a statement from the Sheriff’s Office says.
Eggers was located about 6:30 a.m. She was not seriously injured and was able to walk out on her own and has been safely reunited with her family.
The Sheriff’s statement says she planned to do a loop, returning via Old Fish Creek Road but the road is decommissioned and was impassable. Once Eggers became stuck and lost, she abandoned her bike and tried to hike out.
Commenting on her ride via Strava, Eggers wrote about the perilous journey, “I nearly died… Just very happy to be alive and with only bruises and abrasions.”
Be careful out there folks.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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