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Pain, rain, mark second annual Tour of West Portland

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

A ride that was organized to pay homage to a legendary bike race in Belgium, has now become a legend of its own.

By any means necessary: Riders attempt one of the route’s grueling climbs.
(Photos by Dave Roth)

Saturday marked the second running of the underground ride/race known as De Ronde Van Oeste Portlandia, or Tour of West Portland. With 7380 feet of climbing in 45 miles, the route was created in honor of one of Europe’s toughest spring classics, the Tour of Flanders.

With the traditional lion of Belgium Flanders marking their way, about 300 participants showed up to meet the challenge of conquering eight of the steepest roads in Portland’s west hills.

In the “pain cave”.
The crowd.

One survivor, named Margi, left this comment after returning home from the ride:

“What an AWESOME ride! To me, this ride is what cycling in P-town is all about: a challenging ride full of camaraderie. Thanks to the organizers, and thanks to the guys who were riding near me who kept me smiling and laughing all day!”

But apparently not everyone laughed and smiled all the way to the end.

Whether they missed the directional markers, or were simply too battered to go on, several riders noted the pack had thinned out as the ride concluded with its final, difficult grind up to Council Crest.

One commenter left this explanation,

“Details can be easy to miss when one is deep in the pain cave. Along the ride I caught up to a number of people who were paying dearly for early ambitions…”

For more photos, check out the images taken by Dave Roth and Kevin Wagoner