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‘De Ronde’ date announced (and coming soon, ‘De Ronde CX’)

Posted 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.”

The Ronde was first held in 2007. It started as something of a mystery and only about 100 hardcore souls showed up that first year. As word (and media coverage) of the ride has spread, it has become sort of a phenomenon. Last year I estimated about 1,000 people showed up.

To give you an idea of how challenging the course is; last year’s route was about 47 miles with 7,800 feet of climbing and I took nearly 5 hours to finish it. The ride was inspired by the Tour of Flanders and riders follow a route marked with yellow lion stencils painted on the ground.

The official website is purposely lacking in information; but they do provide this handy guide:

It’s just a ride:
No Prize but Honor
No Fee but Sweat
No Support but Lycra
No Sponsor but Yourself
No Rules but the Lawful kind
No Sanction but from the Madonna del Ghisallo

Watch for the Lion of Flanders to guide your way.

Follow us on Twitter @bikeportland for more details as the date approaches. To learn more about the ride, read previous BikePortland coverage, view our photos, and check out the the 2009 OPB story.

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  • Matt January 15, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Toughest ride ever.

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  • Champs January 15, 2013 at 10:26 am

    If the route is marked with yellow stencils, I never saw them. Hope I don’t have the same bad luck with flats and get to the bottom of Cornell with nowhere to go but home.

    The Brynwood climb is nasty. High time I get myself some compact gearing.

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    • KRhea January 15, 2013 at 10:34 am

      There’s a stencil for every single turn on the entire route and at some places there are 2 stencils. You were in oxygen debt, hence the reason you didn’t see the markings.

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    • Indy January 15, 2013 at 10:47 am

      You can still find the stencils all over the West Hills. Hard to miss them.

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  • michael downes January 15, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Awesomest group ride in Portland (if you love climbing)……. I’m there!

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  • A.K. January 15, 2013 at 11:41 am

    That ride totally kicked my ass last year, but I’m so glad I did it.

    I’m thinking about doing it again, but I think going back again is almost harder than the first time you do it, since you know what to expect!

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  • davemess January 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    This was hands down the best event of any kind I did last year. We desperately need more of these types of grassroots events in PDX.

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  • davemess January 15, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I”m hoping the CX ride will be like the SSCXWC trials race when they were in Seattle a few years ago. Urban cross is pretty fun.

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  • Varner January 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    What’s this mysterious Sunday ride? Could it be the Tour of Happy Valley?

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  • Curt Dewees January 15, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Hmmm, 4/20. Is the date just a coincidence? 😉

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    • Hugh Johnson January 19, 2013 at 10:12 am

      hur dur…weed!

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  • Jimmy Ray April 11, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Where does it start?

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