The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

Documentary recaps Portland’s Tour of Flanders

Posted by on April 17th, 2007 at 10:24 am

Remember the mysterious, underground race I posted about a few weeks ago?

The grueling event became an instant classic when 100 riders showed up on a rainy day to battle the brutally steep, fog-shrouded climbs in the West Hills above downtown Portland.

According to one rider, the 43-mile route climbed a total of 6030 feet.

Now I’ve been sent an awesome, short documentary that recaps the event in fine style. I definitely recommend that you carve ten minutes out of your day to watch this very nicely made film called “Incredibly Steep” (by docvox) that features a pre-race pep talk from Brad Ross and shows riders swerving and eventually walking up the epic climbs:

UPDATE: The Oregonian has a story about the film.

UPDATE: After being flooded with requests for more route info, the organizers have sent me detailed route notes. Download the PDF (450KB).

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  • Cecil April 17, 2007 at 11:03 am

    GREAT VIDEO! The next best thing to be there. Actually, better than being there – all the excitement without that feeling that if you have to climb one more hill you might have to vomit . . .
    But seriously, if they do it again, I’m in.

    Query, though – there did not seem to be any women riding? Or did they just not get on tape?

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  • Frank April 17, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Averaging a few odometers suggests total climbing about 6,400 ft.

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  • pdx2wheel April 17, 2007 at 11:27 am

    I saw at least one woman. At the beginning during the pep talk, and about halfway in the video (4:12 from the end of the video), wearing light blue.

    Awesome video! Amazing hills! Sadistic!

    A hearty congrats to everyone who even attempted the ride, let alone made it to the end.

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  • bArbaroo April 17, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    You can see women on the tape – on Brynwood – Look for a rider in blue with red hair

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  • Disco D April 17, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    Nice. There are some roads near that college st. that are steep enough to almost not feel safe in a car.

    Not a ride I will be signing up for anytime soon 🙂

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  • sam April 17, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    Is there a bikely / gmap of the course somewhere?

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  • Murray April 17, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    I chickened out of the ride b/c of the rain.

    Where do I access College Ave.??

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  • Disco D April 17, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Go south on 13th near PSU…once you cross the 405 area you will start going up hill into where those trillion dollar houses are.

    On second thought, look at this:,+or&layer=&sll=45.511685,-122.690935&sspn=0.011623,0.019956&ie=UTF8&z=16&ll=45.5114,-122.689884&spn=0.011623,0.019956&om=1

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  • john April 17, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    does anyone have a link to the entire route? the link seems to be broken at 31 miles. thx

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  • Ryan J April 17, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    Powerful soundtrack to the tragic sight of cyclists in full gear WALKING up hills. These images will stay with me…….


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  • Andrew April 17, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Marvelous! Just too bad the sheer gravity of the the hills is so hard to capture on video.

    I grew up… and learned to ride a bike… just a couple of blocks from Brynwood. And then in the 1980s lived just a block off that stretch of College. So looking at the video brought muscle-memory-aches to my legs and chest.

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  • Andrew April 17, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    PS To view Brynwood on Google Earth, enter these coordinates in the ‘Fly To’ search box:
    45 31 28.45N / 122 45 28.60W

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  • Burr April 17, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    Most of those bikes are geared way too high for this sort of thing…

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  • King April 17, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    Geared too high? Is that why I’m churning at about 25 rpm in this clip? And I thought it was because I’m an overweight 50-year-old has-been…

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  • erikv April 17, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Geared to high? I think not. It’s all part of the experience.

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  • King April 17, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    ErikV can never be geared to high. There is no limit to his awesome power.

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  • Chris April 17, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    Video and ride were awesome. Thanks for capturing the two most brutal climbs. And thanks to whomever for not organizing this unofficial ride, I mean spontaneous gathering of a 100 riders.

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  • Ayleen April 18, 2007 at 8:29 am

    No guarantees (we haven’t even chosen a jury yet) but with a little editing, that ditty just might have a shot at Filmed by Bike 2008. Deadline is March 1, 2008.

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  • Slorty April 18, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Very well done, bravo! The music makes the long shots doable, and the weather makes for some awesome cinematography. A wee bit of editing and this should CERTAINLY be in the FBB festival. No doubt!

    I do feel bad for the kid on the vintage steed that turtles a bit out of frame, and the guy behind him gets all frumpy about it. Lighten up joe. It ain’t the Kemmelberg, and you ain’t getting paid. The kid fell over. Sh1t happens.

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  • Donald April 18, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Great film, Thomas!

    Can you give us the geek details? Equipment/software used to film/edit?

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