Category Archives: Rides and Randonnees

Good rides in and around Portland. Or just good riding adventures, sometimes with the Oregon Randonneurs

Sunday Shop Ride with stasia!

It’s gonna be HOT and sunny this Sunday! What better time to come out and play in some of Portland’s most awesome interactive fountains?? Heck yeah! :)

This Sunday, meet at Gladys Bikes for another moderately-paced 2-hour shop ride that will take us to some lovely urban swimming (or at least splashing) holes:) Wear something you can get wet!

When’s it all going down?

  • Sunday, July 13
  • Gladys Bikes, 2905 NE Alberta
  • 9am-11am (meet at 9; we’ll take off at 9:10)

Who’s psyched?? I AM!! Come ride–it’s going to be awesome!! :)

P.S. Rumor has it that Gladys has a new paint job. Check-check it! AND, just sayin’, vegan soft serve at Back to Eden is almost definitely happening post-ride. Yknow. Cuz it’ll be hot and all, and we’ll probably need ice cream. Yeah. :)

(By the way, these shop rides happen EVERY Sunday, not just the Sundays that I happen to be leading them. Every week, 9am-11am. Come join us!)

Sauvie Island: a lovely day’s ride from Portland (plus optional berry-picking!:)

4th of July? Extra day off? Super summery weather? Itching for a bike ride? The ever-present summer desire to eat my weight in ripe berries? That’s a recipe for a trip to Sauvie Island if I ever heard one!

Sauvie Island is a pretty sweet little gem just far enough outside of Portland to make either a great day trip or simply a few hours’ bike ride if it’s only the riding and not the stops that you’re after. For that matter, the number 16 bus takes you right to the Sauvie Island bridge, all you have to do is cross the river and BAM! Tons of miles of pleasant, flat, farmy island riding. (Though the 16 doesn’t run on Sundays).

Without taking the bus, there are bunches of nice ways to ride out there–including ways that almost entirely avoid biking on Highway 30, which, if safe, is fairly loud and unpleasant.

Since James had never biked on Syline Blvd before, we opted to take the long, beautiful, hilly, and Highway-30-avoiding way out to the island, then the shorter way back:

(our route: check-check it! :)


It turned out to be just over 50 miles for the whole ride, with a long stop around 30 miles in at Columbia Farms where we picked about 15 pounds of blueberries (and probably ate about three pounds on the spot. heh).

On the way back, St Johns would generally be an awesome lunch stop–but since it was the 4th of July, everything except for Burgerville was closed. (But I guess that’s what the three pounds of blueberries we’d already eaten were for;) On non-federal holidays, though, that would be a good option.

Like I said, there are many, many ways to get out there, and other than picking berries–or pumpkins, depending on the season–there are also tons of other things to do. There’s a nude beach, for one, as well as non-naked swimming beaches, tons of bird watching, natural areas, a Metro park (Howell Park) with heirloom apples you can pick for free, a boat launch, hiking, and, apparently, Oregon’s smallest lighthouse (I’m going to have to go back to see about that last one;)

It’s a great way to get the heck out of the city without too much effort. And with lots of berries to show for it:) Put some extra tupperware in your panniers!

Sunday Shop Ride with Stasia!

heh. The English major in me can’t resist alliteration, sorry;) But it’s true: this Sunday, come join me for a moderately-paced, 2-hour ride starting from Gladys Bikes and wending a beautiful way to Kelley Point Park. We’ll end at the North Portland Sunday Parkways (about 2 miles away from Gladys) for an optional Sunday Parkways-stravaganza.

Ride details!

  • Sunday, June 22
  • Gladys Bikes, 2905 NE Alberta
  • 9am-11am (meet at Gladys at 9, we’ll ride at 9:10)

Anyone is welcome, no particular skill required other than being able to ride your bike for 2 hours with a stop at one of my favorite parks ever. It’ll help if you’re nice. But that’s not required either, just a perk.

The weather looks great and the ride will be awesome. Get psyched! See you on Sunday morning! :)


Guest Post: Wet and Wonderful

Though I haven’t been doing much in the way of organized randonneuring lately, guest writer Dieter Loibner can fill in the gaps for me:) Get psyched!:)

Oh, so February. Coulda slept in. Coulda watched the Olympics. Or the NBA All Star weekend. Or read a book. But nooo. Up at Zero Dark Thirty, in the saddle an hour later, just in time to catch the first raindrops on what promised to be wild day. Why, the question was posed, would one ride a bicycle 140 miles in the rain?

Because, really, what else is there to do?

the nutty side(The nutty side: Yeah, it was that early. Yeah the numbers were that bad. And yeah, these are Celsius degrees on my weather app…)

After getting angrily honked at by the only car on the road, Hughart and I presented ourselves at the Bybee Starbucks for coffee, sugar and a 0600 time stamp before hustling off on Dave Parsons’ Volcanoes vs. Farmland 200. Some smart wimps did it on Feb 1, on a lovely day by all accounts. We on the other hand picked the lousiest forecast of the month, figuring that we need to get in a tough ride so we can enjoy the soft ones even more.

Dampness turned to wetness and into sogginess by the time we checked in at the Barton control. Pace was slow, but spirits were high and after restocking some carbs, we tackled the yo-yo portion of this loop. Fisher’s Mill, Ridge Road, Buckner Creek, up and down, up and down. The volcanic hinterlands tested the cardio on the inclines (11% tops, per Hughart’s gee-whiz instruments) and the cojones while schussing down into the gorges, dodging potholes and patches of loose gravel.

photo 1(Big hill, small wheels: Mr. Hughart in full orange combat gear, conquering the Boring lava fields. Credit: Dieter Loibner)

On the descents we got lashed by mad drops that came hard and fast. My “waterproof” gloves had a rabid case of continence: the water that went in never drained. And my Gucci bike bell got so wet, it lost its bing. But rain can be fun too, if you learn to listen to the incessant drumming on the helmet cover, the jacket, the pants and the map sleeve. Random splatter eventually becomes a symphony of drip.

By the time we reached Canby we were nearly in the hole, but switched into cruise mode to traverse the flatlands, the Champoeg State Heritage Area before rolling into Newberg. Crossing the Willamette via the St. Paul Hwy Bridge on 219 was the only unpleasant stretch of the ride, and mercifully short at that.

Lunch at Chapters restored caloric balance and core temp, which made the next leg to North Plains a cinch. With a brisk southerly tailwind we got there presto to fortify us once more for that last climb.

But turning east, the friendly following breeze suddenly had become a raging gale that wanted to blow us sideways. We lowered the right shoulder to lean into it as the power lines were humming in ever-higher notes to urge us on.

Turning left onto Old Cornelius Pass at the Rock Creek Tavern, and starting up the hill with water cascading from drainage pipes and bubbling up from storm drains, a strange sensation of euphoria took hold. There was nowhere else to be and nothing else to do. One with the road, the ride and the rain. Nirvana? Nah,  that’s been flogged to death. Let’s just call it a real happy moment.

On Skyline the steady rain was upgraded to Ogygian deluge. With liquid matter splashing up from the road, it felt like riding through Salmon Street Springs. And then the water stopped. Poof. Someone flipped a switch. In the matter of seconds, it went from downpour to blue sky. Ha, the opportunist in me suddenly was wide awake: Time to stop. Time to change into the dry jacket and gloves that were stashed in the saddlebag.

More (dry) happiness on the descent of Germantown Rd. and coasting back into the city. Got honked at again, but on a friendly note. A car went by, all its occupants waving. Maybe they liked Day-Glo orange helmet covers.

Screen shot 2014-02-25 at 10.55.22 AM(Lovely loop: 200 pretty kilometers, even when ridden on a dog of a day)

Toward the end, clearly under the influence of bike brain, we rode down Milwaukie, which is barely tolerable in light traffic, let alone at evening rush hour. It’s the prescribed route, but next time we’ll take the Springwater path to Spokane and backtrack to Bybee and the finish. It might add one bonus mile, but it’s a much better way to end this lovely loop in style.

Yes, it was wet. And it was magic.

Glad I didn’t sleep in.