One of the nicest rides in the area AND Pygmy Goats
This is a beautiful ride with a lot of climbing (some gradual, some steep). The majority of the ride takes place on some very rural, very scenic roads with much bucolic splendor. There is a fun section on Springwater Rd. that looks like it is slightly downhill for several miles when, in fact, it is a touch uphill (1-2% grade). This will explain why something seems amiss.
It is about 70 miles, so plan accordingly. DEFINITELY stop in Estacada to refill your water bottles (and take lots of water bottles). After Estacada the ride gets really remote, really fast. And there is enough climbing that you go through water at a serious rate. Next time we do this ride, we are going to stage a car filled with ice and water (probably on Porter Road somewhere).
The ride starts in the parking lot of Bi-Mart at S.E. 174th and Powell. The area is sketchy looking and you might want to park near one of the restaurants where people are coming and going. Otherwise, drive the first quarter mile of the route and park by the side of the street.
Update: This ride is a LOT harder than it looks on the Map My Ride profile. If you look at the elevation chart, it makes it seem as if it is a nice steady climb to mile 35 then a nice gentle descent (more or less) to the finish. Bullshit. The climb at mile 28 has several sections that are between 10% and 15% grade. One spot was 17%. In fact, there are lots of 10%+ sections throughout.
After mile 35, there is some downhill, but there is still plenty of climbing left to do.
Map My Ride also says total ascent is 3307 feet. According to my computer, I climbed nearly 4,000 feet before the 40th mile.
The ride IS beautiful but it is also a cruel, cruel bitch.
Soaking up some shade on a mercilessly hot day
Refills from a hose in some nice people's lawn saved lives this day
Note: While Map My Ride seems to be pretty good, I’m only now just beginning to play with it. We have already discovered that the turn-by-turn directions aren’t always perfect. I recommend you take maps with you as a backup. You can print maps from Map My Ride for a small fee. You can also download the route onto a GPS device, which is very cool.