Cycle Oregon XXVII
Cycle OregonianDay 1/Day 2/Day 3/Day 4/Day 5/Day 6/Day 7
2014 Week Ride Route
“The Reel Deal”
Our 2014 theme for the Week Ride is “The Magnificent Seven,” in reference to seven Cascade peaks, at least one of which is present on the horizon every day. It’s also an ode to the famous Western movie – and you might feel like you’re riding through a larger-than-life Hollywood set. You’ll cross the wind-carved expanse of the Columbia River Gorge, pedal through the lush green canyons of Washington rivers, and camp in the shadow of Mt. Adams. You’ll traverse the endless forest of Mt. Hood’s eastern flanks, roller-coaster over the gently undulating grasslands on north-central Oregon, and ponder the stark beauty of the high desert. You’ll marvel at the scale of Smith Rock and the Crooked River, roll alongside the powerful Deschutes River, and marvel at the bounty of orchards above The Dalles. The other reference in that title? The best seven days of your year.
Day 1 – September 7: The Dalles to Glenwood
“Simply Gorge-ous” (63 miles) – Map
One day, two different gorges. Start your day pedaling through the Columbia River Gorge, watching windsurfers flit on the river. Then turn up, climbing steadily past the sparkling whitewater of the Klickitat River before leaving it behind for a Tour-de-France-style back-road climb. You’ll come out far above the river, then drop into your second gorge – an instant CO classic descent down to the river. From there, listen to the wind rustle through the pines as you cruise into Glenwood, at the foot of Mt. Adams.
Day 2 – September 8: Glenwood to Dufur
“Take Me to the River” (61 or 86 miles) – Map
Roll out of camp enjoying lingering views of Mt. Adams. A short stretch of gravel pays off a few miles later as you dive off the edge of a rim for 10 miles of exhilarating downhill with postcard views of Mt. Hood and the Gorge. Hope for a tailwind back to the The Dalles, then decide whether you want to take on the long option to Rowena Crest. Climb south through fertile orchards and then take on some very large rollers before dropping into Dufur.
Day 3 – September 9: Dufur to Tygh Valley
“Everything in One Day” (72 miles) – Map
Today everything is big – the climbs, the mountains, even the descents. Head out of Dufur through gentle farmland contours before the roller-coaster starts up. Three unrelenting ascents – each shorter than the last – take you through Mt. Hood’s forests redolent of pine needles and duff, and they’re punctuated by paybacks of long, gliding downhills. The drops into Wamic and then Tygh Valley are slices of pure speed and enjoyment. Cool down on the country lane to our camp at the fairgrounds.
Day 4 – September 10: Tygh Valley to Madras
“Cowboys and Indians” (77 miles) – Map
Today’s counterpoint to yesterday’s forest includes plenty of the windy wide-open. After a “good morning, legs” climb leaving the fairgrounds and Tygh Valley, head to the Warm Springs Reservation for a taste of the high desert. Big rollers will make you appreciate gravity’s power, and you just might see wild horses. Kah-nee-tah resort provides a lunchtime oasis; in the afternoon enjoy splendid views of Pelton Dam and Lake Simtustus before taking on one of the toughest climbs in CO history(!) before hitting camp in Madras.
Day 5 – September 11: Madras to Smith Rocks Loop
“High Desert Highlights” (62 miles) – Madras – Map
Time to play bike-tourist today – bring your camera. Start the morning taking in a series of breathtaking views of Lake Billy Chinook. Cruise past rich agricultural tracts through Culver, and then test your vertigo looking over the steeply carved sides of Crooked River Canyon. From there it’s off to world-renowned Smith Rock State Park, where craggy spires rise from the riverbank and climbers look like tiny specks on the walls. Enjoy a little-used stretch of the old Culver Highway on the way back to Madras.
Day 6 – September 12: Madras to Tygh Valley
“Echoes of the Past” (85 miles) – Map
Today provides perspectives on time and history. Pedal past lush fields of today’s crops back-dropped by Cascade peaks, pass the eons-old agate beds of Richardson’s Ranch, and enjoy the sublime road into Antelope, near the infamous temporary community of Rajneeshpuram. Next up is Shaniko, a ghost town whose heyday was around 1900, followed by Bakeoven Road, one of Oregon’s loneliest spots. Drop into the ancient Deschutes River Canyon at Maupin and then follow the river for miles before climbing up and out to Tygh Valley.
Day 7 – September 13: Tygh Valley to The Dalles
“Rolling Home” (43 miles) – Map
One last day of stellar scenery. Ease through some flatlands, then get the work done early with a long, steady climb (the top is NOT just around the next bend). Summit to spectacular vistas on Dufur Gap Road, then head down to a rollicking ride through rolling fields extending in every direction. Other than a few whoop-de-doos, it’s downhill to the finish, through a leafy canyon and then a view you’ll remember: Mt. Hood, the Gorge and The Dalles below.