"All we have to do is get up Dixie Mountain and we’ll be ok.”
August 17, 2010 1:32 PM   Subscribe

"This is the best day of my life. I want a cold beer and a shotgun. I’m definitely losing my mind." The third annual NW Rapha Gentleman’s (Bicycle) Race took place this past weekend. Featuring a punishing route that follows the northern base of Oregon's Mt. Hood from Forest Grove to Portland, six-person teams traverse 125 miles over a 6400 foot elevation gain. It's 20% dirt and many miles of gravel climbs. Route Map. Another Recap. Photos. Background. A Saturday in Hell. (Via mathowie)
posted by zarq (20 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm confused about your description. The route starts in Forest Grove and ends in Forest Park, and never gets anywhere near Mt. Hood. Moreover, it doesn't look like 125 miles, more like half that.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:51 PM on August 17, 2010


Yeah, they weren't in the Mt. Hood foothills, but instead in the coastal mountain range which can still get quite steep. The ride was originally scheduled for 125 miles, but I heard after the fact that a lot of the teams skipped the last climb and logged about 105 miles. They definitely all did at least that much.

It was 100F outside that day though and a brutal route chosen. I heard some teams had more than half a dozen flat tires on the gravel sections.
posted by mathowie at 2:01 PM on August 17, 2010


Simplistic map of the original route is at the bottom of this post. They actually list it at 130mi, but the Grit and Glimmer essay says 123 miles.
posted by zarq at 2:07 PM on August 17, 2010


mathowie, thanks for the clarification, and for the link that spawned this post. :)
posted by zarq at 2:07 PM on August 17, 2010


Oh zarq, that's the route of the 2008 edition of the race. Last year they went from beach-ish town Otis back to Portland. This year they went from Forest Grove up to Vernonia, then back down to Portland via the 30.
posted by mathowie at 2:08 PM on August 17, 2010


OK, that map is a lot different from what I saw when I followed the one to Google Maps. Was the Google Maps GPS-track for someone who gave up and didn't finish?

If the route ended at Hood River, I can believe 130 miles.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:10 PM on August 17, 2010


Related: Markleeville Death Ride.
posted by notyou at 2:11 PM on August 17, 2010


Doh! I shouldn't have assumed the route was static from year to year!
posted by zarq at 2:12 PM on August 17, 2010


Was the Google Maps GPS-track for someone who gave up and didn't finish?

No idea. I found that GMaps link here. (This is the link from the words "third annual" in the post.)
posted by zarq at 2:16 PM on August 17, 2010


I'm not sure the Death Ride is that related. First off there is 15,000 feet of climbing, more than twice this one. Secondly this one seems to be much more about comaraderie than winning. Although they both seem insane and the point is somewhat just to finish.

The "eight keys to judging another" thing is pretty cool though.
posted by Big_B at 2:17 PM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Direct twitter post link, for posterity, in which Heidi Swift is praised for her sportswriting prowess for the first link in the OP.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:18 PM on August 17, 2010


"This is the best day of my life. I want a cold beer and a shotgun. I’m definitely losing my mind."

Heh. I think I say this to myself pretty much every day.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:00 PM on August 17, 2010


I heart Heidi Swift.
posted by tim_in_oz at 4:27 PM on August 17, 2010


I'm confused about the actual route. Gmaps thinks Forest Grove -> Vernonia -> Portland is maybe 72 miles? The "third annual" link says 100 miles. Heidi says 123.

In any case, I am certain I could not complete this ride, I would die. I might be able to go 70 miles in a day if it was totally flat ground and 70 degrees, but there would need to be some amazing beer at the end of the route to motivate and rehydrate me. Having never tried the products of Roots Organic Brewery, I will have to assume it is just that.
posted by Clamwacker at 5:35 PM on August 17, 2010


I can't be the only one who thought this was going to be about Rod Blagojevich's mistrial.
posted by Flashman at 5:43 PM on August 17, 2010


It looks like an amazing ride but...have you seen the price they sell their stuff? Those cycling gloves are gorgeous but...160$ ??!!
posted by racingjs at 6:49 PM on August 17, 2010


Haha wow! Yeah I got my cycling gloves for $7 and they work perfectly. My favorite feature is the brow wiper.
posted by Clamwacker at 8:26 PM on August 17, 2010


That site is listed in pounds too, so those gloves are more like $93. Ridiculous.
posted by Clamwacker at 8:27 PM on August 17, 2010


This was horrible and fascinating for me to read because it's how it would unfold if Hanne and I decided to do this together. Except I'd probably last 25 miles if I were lucky.
posted by kalessin at 5:32 AM on August 18, 2010


Heidi Swift is indeed a great writer, but what I got out of her story is that, no matter how much you love someone, it's a really bad idea to do a tandem ride with them on a really hot day if they're going to refuse to stay hydrated.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:44 AM on August 18, 2010


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