Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on February 16th, 2010 at 3:44 pm
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.
A message on the ride’s website reads:
“We’re sorry. No official RondePDX will take place this year. An invitational ride for friends will take place at 10:00am the day before the 2010 Amstel Gold.”
The Ronde was first held in 2007. 100 riders showed up that first year and it was an instant classic. In 2008, 300 people showed up to test their mettle against the 45 mile route that included nearly 8,000 feet of elevation gain. On April of last year, the ride ballooned to nearly 600 riders.
With all the media attention and huge number of participants, perhaps ride organizers want to let the ride cool off. The Ronde has always been free and held without formal permits, course closures, or medical support.
This news will disappoint many people who planned to do the ride, but it’s worth noting that the Lion of Flanders stencil markings are still visible and everyone is free to do the route on their own or with an informal group.
UPDATE: To clarify. Yes, the ride will happen this year, but not in its usual capacity. The ride’s start location will not be publicized and organizers are hoping it spreads only through word of mouth.
Check out RondePDX.com.