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Attention climbers: Another member of the “Ronde” family has been born

by on August 17th, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Follow the green lions.

Follow the green lions.

One thing I’ve always appreciated about Portland’s incredible culture around bicycling is how one great idea begets another. It’s typical of any healthy cultural ecosystem: One person does a cool thing and it inspires another person to do a cool thing that riffs on the original cool thing. And so on and so forth.

The Ronde PDX is a perfect example. That unsanctioned ride was first held in 2007. Only about 100 intrepid souls showed up that first year, eager to challenge themselves against an insanely difficult route that tackled nearly ever climb in the west hills between Saltzman Road and Council Crest.

Word spread quickly about the Ronde and a few years later it had become a bonafide phenomenon. Then in 2013 the Ronde spawned La Doyenne, another epic ride scheduled for the same weekend. This gave strong riders the opportunity to climb about 15,000 feet over 100 miles in two days.

Now there’s a third ride in the series: the Giro PDX.
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Are your legs are ready for the big De Ronde/La Doyenne weekend?

by on April 6th, 2016 at 11:01 am

lions
The West Hills are full of freshly painted lions that mark the De Ronde route. This photo of SW Knights Blvd and Kinsgton Drive in Washington Park is where anonymous organizers have added one lion for each year of the ride’s existence.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

What better way to embrace this warm and sunny start to spring than to pedal your bike over 14,000 feet in elevation over 100 miles. Right? If the thought of that makes you smile not cringe than you should make plans to ride the De Ronde and La Doyenne rides coming up later this month.
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Get ready to climb: Portland’s De Ronde/La Doyenne weekend is coming

by on March 27th, 2015 at 10:48 am

2013 De Ronde -4
In Portland we call this fun.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

Rumor has it that Portland’s toughest weekend of cycling is coming up. “De Ronde” and its sister event “La Doyenne” are two unsanctioned road rides that have captured the imagination of thousands of riders (and the media) over the years because of the sheer difficulty of even finishing.

Our secret sources say the Big Weekend for both rides is April 18-19th. (more…)

The 7-year old who conquered Portland’s toughest bike ride

by on April 7th, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Mike Reiss and his son Jake atop Council Crest
on Saturday at the finish of the De Ronde.

The De Ronde ride attracted hundreds of Portlanders to the west hills on Saturday. The people who showed up were glutton for punishment as the legendary course rises to over 7,000 feet of climbing over only 50 miles. The course designers sought out the steepest roads and connected them all up into one sadistic route.

While many suffered, and surely many people opted to stay home rather than confront the pain, we just heard that a seven-year-old completed the entire course.

His name is Jake Reiss. His dad Mike sent us several photos and a message about his son’s monumental day:

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Dates announced for “De Ronde” ride weekend

by on March 6th, 2014 at 2:43 pm

2013 De Ronde -2
Riders roll out for the 2013 edition.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s baaaack.

The “De Ronde PDX” and its companion ride the “La Doyenne” will once again test your fitness and your sanity with a grueling two-ride weekend that promises over 15,000 feet of climbing.

Organizers of the unsanctioned, unpermitted rides have just announced the dates as April 5th and 6th. That gives you about one month to get your legs and lungs ready for the challenge.
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Recap and photos of De Ronde PDX

by on April 21st, 2013 at 12:41 am

2013 De Ronde -1
The start of De Ronde, a group ride that attracted
hundreds of riders on Saturday.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Saturday was another great edition of the infamous and unofficial classic Ronde PDX ride. Hundreds of people showed up to push the limits of their legs over 47 miles and nearly 8,000 feet of climbing. We climbed up and down and up and down countless hills between NW Saltzman Road and Council Crest Park. With nothing but yellow stencils of the Lion of Flanders painted on the road to guide us, we pedaled through potholes, gravel, smooth pavement, and even some singletrack. (more…)

Feel like climbing 16,000 feet this weekend? Just follow the lions

by on April 15th, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Tour of Flanders, Portland-Style - De Ronde-4
You’ll be seeing this lion in
your dreams — or nightmares depending on your fitness.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This weekend will be an excellent chance to test your early season fitness. Or your sanity.

Organizers behind Saturday’s unsanctioned De Ronde PDX ride have just told us that they’ve also marked a companion ride for Sunday dubbed La Doyenne (after the famous European classic Liège–Bastogne–Liège). We hinted at the ride in our story about this year’s De Ronde back in January and today we learned the La Doyenne will take riders on a 50 mile jaunt through Happy Valley (south of Powell Butte Nature Park) on a course with 8,000 feet of climbing. The De Ronde route is about 47 miles with 7,800 feet of climbing.
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‘De Ronde’ date announced (and coming soon, ‘De Ronde CX’)

by on January 15th, 2013 at 9:43 am

Tour of Flanders, Portland-Style - De Ronde-37
Riders tackling one of the many
climbs during the 2009 edition.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The “De Ronde” — a legendary unsanctioned road ride known for its myriad unrelenting climbs in the hills above downtown Portland — will be held on Saturday, April 20th. The announcement was made by ride organizers today. Organizers also announced that “there will be another equally challenging ride heading south” the very next day and later this fall they will debut “De Ronde CX.” As its name implies, the CX version will be a more off-road, technically challenging route that promises, “West hills gravel roads, singletrack, staircases, beer, etc.” (more…)

My, what a ‘De Ronde’!

by on April 22nd, 2012 at 10:27 pm

De Ronde PDX 2012-3
Rollin’ out.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Gorgeous weather brought out a huge crowd (900? 1,000?) for the De Ronde Van West Portlandia today. The unsanctioned ride is a grand tour of our city’s amazing network of hilly streets, out-of-the way parks and trails, and ritzy neighborhoods nestled in the hills high above southwest Portland.

In total, the ride took us 47 miles and included 7,800 feet of climbing — much of it extremely, uncomfortably steep. (And if you’re curious, it took me about 4 hours and 40 minutes.) (more…)

The ‘Ronde’ sufferfest ride returns on Sunday

by on April 19th, 2012 at 9:36 am

Tour of Flanders, Portland-Style - De Ronde-4
The flag (and the pain) returns Sunday.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Ronde PDX (a.k.a. De Ronde Van West Portlandia), Portland’s ultimate unsanctioned test of cycling sanity, is set for this Sunday.

The ride is a leg-and-lung-busting tour of the steepest climbs in the West Hills. It was first held in 2007 and has become legendary. Since that first running, the Ronde has received major media coverage and now attracts upwards of 700 riders.

A story in The Oregonian today shares some quotes and background about the ride from its organizers Hugh Givens and Brad Ross (the same Brad Ross who manages Portland’s Cross Crusade series and many other major bike races). (more…)