Archive for the ‘Rides’ Category

Clackamas River Ride

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
The ride starts at the end of the Oregon Trail. Alas, due to budget cuts, the covered waggons are uncovered.

Alas, due to budget cuts, the covered wagons are now uncovered

This is yet another sweet one. It starts in Oregon City where the giant uncovered covered wagons that signify the end of the Oregon Trail are located. A lot of these roads are the same as the beginnings of the Pygmy Goat Ride. These are actually the nicest bits of the Pygmy Goat Ride — the part that leaves off just before the epic sufferfest begins.

There is one short and very steep climb in the middle — you’ll know it when you get there. There is also a two-mile climb toward the end that is kind of a challenge. It seems like the top is always just around the next bend, but that isn’t how it works out (except, of course, for the final bend — then that’s exactly how it works out). Other than that, the ride is pretty sweet. The out-and-back portion is kind of random, but fun. It is a 1% grade for several miles. You can’t really tell you are climbing on the way out, but on the way back you can fly.

 

Larch Mtn. Conquest!

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Many professional sports photographers and videographers know that some of the best ways to chronicle an event is to focus less on the action itself and try to capture what is going on in the mind of the athlete. I think Art successfully captured the elation I felt at the summit of Larch Mountain.

Iowa Hill

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

This was a good early-season ride. Fairly short and flat with the exception of one very steep hill. Going back later in the season to see if that hill is as steep as we remember. I’m guessing it is.

Update: Yep, it is as steep. In fact, I think it is a little steeper. The flattest spot is 13%. It hits 17% and 18% in a few spots with plenty of 15% and 16%. I ended up walking it (again) and Cole damn near passed out at the top (again). Thinking about trying the route in reverse or scratching it from the list of next year’s training rides. As an indication of this ride’s steepness, there are actually 4 riders on the slope. You can only see two.

Why yes, it is as bad as it looks

Why yes, it is as bad as it looks

 

Molalla River Ride — a.k.a the Camel Toe Ride

Sunday, August 16th, 2009
This might be a fun ride to do in the winter. I'll bet this river looks pretty cool when it is full

This might be a fun ride to do in the winter. I'll bet this river looks pretty cool when it is full

Another awesome training ride — in fact, Michele thinks it is one of her favorites of the year. Again, mostly rural with a few exceptions. While it seems pretty flat, there is actually some altitude gain. In the Rubber to the Road book, this ride starts by the Canby Ferry (on the Canby side).

We started from Wilsonville. This adds a few miles and some fun rollers (the fun rollers are a lot more fun on the way out than on the way back). Note the second downhill on the way out, the top bit is extremely steep and you’ll want to come at it with some momentum on the way back. The ride up from the ferry on the Canby side is steep but short.

The ride up on the other side is pretty steep (seems like a sustained 13% grade all the way up). It is probably less than a quarter mile, but it seems longer. The whole thing is very scenic and very nice.

BTW, this is a politically balanced ride. At one point, a sharp left turn drops you onto Liberal Way. You get off Libral Way with a sharp right turn. On the way home, you spend some time on Wright Rd., but shortly thereafter another left turn puts you on Union Mills. You also pass a gun club.

The locals seemed a lot more tolerant of bikes — much more civilized than the folks on other rides just a few miles to the west of this one.

I still get a kick out of the fact that I helped convince Michele to get into cycling and this was the cause of her dropping a 20-year vegitarian habit. Still, the Wendy's hair style is taking it a bit far

I still get a kick out of the fact that I helped convince Michele to get into cycling and this was the cause of her dropping a 20-year vegitarian habit. Still, the Wendy's hair style is taking it a bit far

Why else would we rename this the Camel Toe ride?

Why else would we rename this the Camel Toe ride?

Science, geology, erosion and whatnot

Science, geology, erosion and whatnot

Team Fartlek

Team Fartlek

Four sensitive new age guys (S.N.A.G.s) enjoying nature, while still looking manly in lycra

No, it's not a "natural break", it's a "nature break"

KoiFish Communications Invitational Two Ferry Century

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

KoiFish CommunicationsThe Two Ferry Ride is a pleasure. It started pretty close to the worldwide headquarters of KoiFish Communications. It got me to thinking that making a few tweaks would turn this 70 mile jaunt into a century. 45 minutes playing around with Map My Ride and I built a route that is 100 miles on the button. I was thinking of doing the Peach of a Century right after Cycle Oregon, but social commitments will make this unlikely. I think I’ve found a viable option.

 

Doin’ Time in Leavenworth

Thursday, August 13th, 2009
Mandatory Barvarian architecture makes for one cheesy downtown, but Leavenworth is bad ass

Mandatory Bavarian architecture makes for one cheesy downtown, but Leavenworth still kicks ass

Leavenworth, WA is awesome. It sits on the Eastern edge of the Cascades. The downtown is made as silly as possible due to the fact that ALL of the buildings were built using Bavarian building codes. The good news is that the tourons flock there and leave the surrounding areas empty. There is hiking, skiing, river running and biking galore.

For mountain bikers, there are all sorts of trails including some gnarly downhill courses. There is also plenty of road biking to be had. One route I really like goes from downtown up the Chumstick “highway.” It is 9 miles of steady 1%-2% grade climbing followed by another 4 miles of steady 3%-4% grade climbing. From there you can turn around and motor back to town or go over the top of the  climb and drop into the little town of Plain where several other riding options exist.

If you want something mellow, you can stay in town. We stayed at Run of the River — a great little B&B that has bikes you can borrow for a nice, flat, 8 mile loop that features some beautiful scenery. I’m pretty sure you could spend weeks on end riding around this awesome place.

One other nice feature — the Gorge Amphitheater is 60 miles away. It makes Leavenworth a viable place to stay if you are going to see some shows at this amazing venue and don’t feel like camping in the lot. The drive back is a bit tiring, but Leavenworth is a great place to wake up. It is 5-and-a-half hours from Portland, but worth the trip.

The view from the top of this mellow 13 mile climb

The view from the top of this mellow 13 mile climb

Plain Washington is anything but.

Plain Washington is anything but.

The 8 mile loop from our B&B was easy and awesome. Add a climb up Icicle Canyon if you want a workout

The 8 mile loop from our B&B was easy and awesome. Add a climb up Icicle Canyon if you want a workout



The Gorge is a great place to see a show

The Gorge is a great place to see a show

And a particularly great place to see Phish

And a particularly great place to see Phish

Sauvie Island — Perfect Place to Paceline

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009
Cole's shadow always seemed to be keeping perfect pace with Cole

Cole's shadow always seemed to be keeping perfect pace with Cole

Sauvie Island is a great place to ride a bike. On any given weekend, you’ll find serious riders practicing their time trial or paceline skills as well as lots of people just out enjoying the day. It is close to town yet rural and it is flat.

Our train was runnign so perfectly that the solo rider we blew past latched right on

Our train was runnign so perfectly that the solo rider we blew past latched right on

Today Team Fartlek had an extremely fun ride. We worked on our paceline skills, which isn’t something we do frequently. I’d actually forgotten how enjoyable that can be. It is even more enjoyable when you overtake a solo rider whom you would not otherwise be likely to overtake. This particular solo rider saw how much fun we were having and decided to join us for a few miles.

There is one main loop around the island with a numer of spurs. Two loops around (once clockwise and once clockwise) plus an out and back along the west side of the island to the county line is exactly 40 miles. And in a paceline, that 40 miles goes pretty fast.

Don’t forget to stop along the way to munch on wild blackberries. These taste far better than GU this time of year.

 

The Perfect Quickie PDX Training Ride? Skyline and Dixie Mountain

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009
Skyline ends at Dixie Mtn. Rd. Time to turn around

Skyline ends at Dixie Mtn. Rd. Time to turn around

This might be one of my favorite training rides in Portland. It is a nice 30 mile route with enough climbing to count but not so much as it is going to kick your ass. If you want a good workout but don’t want to spend a whole day on the bike, consider this one.

It starts on Skyline at the top of Germantown Road and continues until Skyline — and the pavement — come to an end. After crossing Cornelius Pass, you peel off Skyline for a bit and take Rock Creek Rd. The first mile or so the pavement is all torn up then it gets nice. And then there’s a climb which varies in grade from 6% to 9% for just enough time that you know you’ve been climbing.

You end up back on Skyline and ride rollers to the end of the line — then head back home. It trends down hill to Cornelius Pass. The next half mile is steepish, then you climb back to the car.

Piece of cake.

 

Cole’s After School Special — Tour de ‘Burbs

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

The proud author of the Tour de 'Burbs

The proud author of the Tour de 'Burbs

One of the nice things about the Portland suburbs is that they lie on the edge of rural bliss. This is Cole’s home training route. Depending on which loops and swoops you choose, he can make it a 20, 30 or 40 mile ride.

Many of the sections take advantage of trails through local parks and byways, so be mindful of pedestrians and such. Most of the busy roads have bike lanes and not all the roads are busy.

A few spots even seem rural, tickling the edges of wine country. Of course, all roads lead to Cole’s house on this one, but he has promised free parking and lemonade to all  comers. If you live in the suburbs and don’t feel like hauling your bike somewhere for an after work ride, give Cole’s after school special a try.

 

Two Ferry Ride

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

This is a great ride. It is as flat as a 70+ mile ride in the Portland area can be. Most of the riding is rural and extremely scenic. We started and ended at the Mentor Graphics campus in Wilsonville. From there, it is a quick shot over some impressive rollers to the Canby Ferry. The Wheatland ferry marks the half way point.

The only downside is the stint on highway 99. Just before you reach 99, there is a little “bike path” that consists of a rickety bridge and some gravel road. It does cut off a little bit of 99. Wilsonville Road also has some rollers, which you do feel a little bit after that many hours in the saddle. Overall, this is an excellent way to log some miles without having to kill yourself. 6 thumbs up.

Canby Ferry

Canby Ferry

Make sure you are in your lowest gear. The ride out of this thing is steep. Check twice. BTW, you can't downshift and correct. You will fall off.

Make sure you are in your lowest gear. The ride out of this thing is steep. Check twice. BTW, you can't downshift and correct. You will fall off.

Outside of Hubbard. Some impressive McMansions hidden away -- and I do mean hidden

Outside of Hubbard. Some impressive McMansions hidden away -- and I do mean hidden

Not as cool as the Canby Ferry, but the ride out is a lot easier

Not as cool as the Canby Ferry, but the ride out is a lot easier

Miles and miles of paceline riding. Nothing like encountering a group going the other way and making them think you know what you are doing

Miles and miles of paceline riding. Nothing like encountering a group going the other way and making them think you know what you are doing

Dean makes it safely across this bridge. Unless you are following the directions very carefully, you'll miss it. Quick left after then a quick right will put you back on 99

Dean makes it safely across this bridge. Unless you are following the directions very carefully, you'll miss it. Quick left after then a quick right will put you back on 99