Cycle Oregon Day 2 – Glenwood to Dufur

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-1

Sunrise on Mt. Adams, as seen from the door of my tent pitched on the football field of Glenwood High School.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-14

Mt. Hood came into view as we bombed down Canyon Road (just north of Lyle, Washington).

In keeping with the theme of this year’s Cycle Oregon — “The Magnificent Seven” in honor of seven iconic peaks we’ll pedal by — Day 2 of the 27th annual ride started at the base of Mt. Adams and ended at the base of Mt. Hood.

It was frigid when we woke up this morning; but the morning light on Adams and the Glenwood Valley more than made up for it.

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-3

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-5

Our route today took us due south from Glenwood, across the Camas Prarie, to the peak of a fault line on Fisher Hill Road. One of the highlights (for me at least) was a two-mile section of gravel. The typical Cycle Oregon rider is not a fan of riding unpaved roads. Ride organizers warned folks about the day’s gravel section as if it were bad thing. The road riding world is in a strange point right now where many people abhor the idea of taking their “road” bike on dirt and gravel roads, while a growing number of people are seeking them out. I think unpaved roads are the future and I’d love to see Cycle Oregon include more gravel and dirt in their routes. Can you imagine a Cycle Oregon Unpaved event? My hunch is that will happen sooner or later.

Once we conquered the gravel section, we hit a bunch of rolling hills and when we got our first look at Mt. Hood, we bombed downhill back to the Columbia River at Lyle — the same town where we began our jaunt up the Klickitat River valley the day before.

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-8

Gravel! On Cycle Oregon!
Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-12

As soon as Mt. Hood popped into view, a bunch of people pulled over to snap photos.
Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-15

The descent on Canyon Road into Lyle is fantastic.
Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-17

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-19

Once we returned to the Gorge, we reversed our route from Sunday back over to The Dalles Bridge via State Route 14 to our lunch stop in Riverfront Park.

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-22

Riding east on SR 14.
Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-25

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-27

Riding in Washington with The Dalles in the background.
Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-29

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-30

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-31

Dallesport road making our way back to Oregon.
Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-33

Crossing The Dalles Bridge.

At lunch, we had a decision to make. Riders could continue south about 20 miles or so to camp in Dufur, or choose the optional route — a 12-mile out-and-back to Rowena Crest. The short option put the day’s damage at 60 miles and 4,800 feet of climbing, the longer one would add 24 miles for daily totals of 84 miles and 6,200 feet of climbing.

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-36

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-34

A nice spot for lunch at Riverfront Park in The Dalles.

Which option do you think I took? Take a look at the photos below to find out…

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-40

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-41

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-43

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-46

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-47

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-48

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-52

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-50

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-49

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-45

My paceline buddies that helped get me battle the winds and get to the top of Rowena Crest in one piece.

The brutal wind gusts that beat us up on the Rowena Curves would come in handy as we eventually made our was south from The Dalles en route to camp in Dufur. As climbed up and out of town, we got an up-close look at The Dalles’ most important crop: cherries. We wound our way through miles of cherry orchards. I can only imagine what those hills would look like in full bloom (I plan to visit The Dalles during their annual Cherry Festival in April). Beyond the green leaves of the cherry trees, we continued to climb through gently rolling hills until the crop turned to wheat. Recently harvested fields left behind hill after hill of golden yellow stubs.

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-54

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-55

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-56

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-57

The final leg of our journey was a long and really tough (especially after 80 miles!) climb up into Dufur. And that’s where the same winds we battled along the river, pushed us to camp. Once in town we were greeted by the Dufur High School cheerleading squad. I stopped to say hi and snap a few photos. I told the girls, “Thank you for being out here.” “No,” she replied, “Thank you for being here.”

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 2-59

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s journey when we ascend toward Mt. Hood and then end up in Tygh Valley. New roads and new places await.

Hope you’re enjoying these daily dispatches from the road. Tomorrow, in addition to the ride recap and photo gallery, I plan to share some mini-profiles of some of the great vendors that make Cycle Oregon base camp tick (I’m talking smoothies, the Community Cycling Center’s solar-charged services, and an acupuncturist who cures common ailments with the Chinese art of stimulation).

Stay tuned!

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Tom Moore
Tom Moore
9 years ago

Great photos! Are you carrying a DSLR along with you for the entire ride?

Randy Mayfield
Randy Mayfield
9 years ago

I am so envious of this wonderful ride. Thanks for making my workday here in San Diego not seem so bad. Love the scenery.

Lenny Anderson
Lenny Anderson
9 years ago

Camas Prairie is to a large extend contained in the Conboy National Wildlife Area, and as fall comes on the elk come down from the mountains. We have seen bull elk tussle in October in the late evening.
And the valley is full of aspen groves that brighten a sunny day. In spring the camas are out…whole expanses of intense blue, like a living Impressionist painting.
Remember J…”Don’t ask what Dufur can do for you, ask what you can do for Dufur!”

9 years ago

Thanks for the full blown reporting from Day 2 Johnathan. You are helping keep the experience rolling for those of us who couldn’t attend this year! No apologies for the puns….

9 years ago

How many people are sagging? The route looks like a bear–I’d expect the sag drivers are busier than cabbies on New Years’ Eve.

9 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Sounds like a good opportunity for some Uber drivers with bike racks. Well, at least on the Washington part of the route!

9 years ago
Reply to  Dave

I’ve got an empty cargo van sitting out there with four bike trays on the roof and a four-bike hitch rack if you guys get desperate. (That’s if nobody’s moved into it by now… 😉

9 years ago

Lyle, The Dalles, and Dufur are all wonderful towns, and the whole area on both sides of the river is just beautiful. Thanks for the ride report and pictures, and don’t forget to say hi to my friend Stan Ashcroft in Dufur! His property borders the Balch Hotel and the Dufur City Park, and he’s a wonderful person!

Chris Ortolano
Chris Ortolano
9 years ago

My eyes are popping out at these great images from riding Cycle Oregon. Amazing vistas, descents, and great spirit in rural towns along the way. Do other states host similar events? Thanks for serving as the rapporteur this year, looking forward to following along vicariously every day !

9 years ago
Reply to  Chris Ortolano

Check out Cycle Greater Yellowstone and Ride the Rockies…

Karen Kefauver
9 years ago

WOW! Exceptional photos, Jonathan. I have looked at a gazillion tour photos and these are really refreshing composition. Great job. And yes, it inspires me to Cycle Oregon, since I have been meaning to for years!

Scott H
Scott H
9 years ago

Looks like you didn’t take the longer route to Dufur.

Ted Buehler
9 years ago

Nice pics.

Route map here, for the DIY bike tourists.