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

Monday, April 7th, 2014
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:

(more...)

Dates announced for "De Ronde" ride weekend

Thursday, March 6th, 2014
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

Sunday, April 21st, 2013
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

Monday, April 15th, 2013
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.
(more...)

'De Ronde' date announced (and coming soon, 'De Ronde CX')

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
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'!

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012
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

Thursday, April 19th, 2012
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...)

"De Ronde" set for this Sunday

Monday, April 11th, 2011
Tour of Flanders, Portland-Style - De Ronde-5
Riders set out on the 2009 De Ronde.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The infamous and grueling "De Ronde Van West Portlandia" is set for this Sunday (4/17).

The ride, inspired by the Tour of Flanders in Belgium, was first held in 2007. 100 people showed up that first year and by 2009, the turnout had ballooned to 600-700 and the ride caught the attention of Oregon Public Broadcasting.
(more...)

De Ronde, Portland's toughest ride, rolls out Saturday

Monday, April 12th, 2010
Tour of Flanders, Portland-Style - De Ronde-25
Get ready to climb.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Portland's infamous De Ronde van West Portland, modeled after the classic Tour of Flanders in Europe, takes off this Saturday (4/17). There's been some confusion over whether or not the ride was even happening, so consider this post your official invitation to take part.

The men behind the ride, Hugh Givens and Brad Ross, are not officially hosting the event this year, but they've updated a website with a detailed route map and they still plan to meet and ride with whoever shows up.

If you want to attempt to conquer 47.5 miles of Portland's steepest hills with Brad, Hugh, and a bunch of other masochistic psychos on a truly legendary ride, meet near the corner of NW Industrial and 31st at 10:00 am. You can view the most updated route map here. (more...)

The lion sleeps: No (official) "Ronde" ride this year - UPDATED

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
Tour of Flanders, Portland-Style - De Ronde-7
An estimated 600 riders turned
out for "De Ronde" last year.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The De Ronde van Oeste Portlandia -- a ride through Portland's hills inspired by the classic Tour of Flanders -- will not be held this year.

With the ride's April date approaching, I've been getting a steady stream of emails about it. Thanks to the ride's popularity (spurred in part by great coverage on Oregon Public Broadcasting last year) people are already making plans to ride it. But there will not be a fourth annual De Ronde...at least it won't be publicly announced.
(more...)

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