Forget Daytona, Portland has the ‘Ladd’s 500’

laddcirclelead

Aerial view of Ladd Circle in southeast Portland.

A new event dreamed up by one of Portland’s many creative bike fun enthusiasts could actually wind up making competitors dizzy.

On April 9th a large turnout of riders is expected at Ladd Circle in inner southeast Portland for the first running of the Ladd’s 500. “It’s spring, let’s do something stupid,” described the event’s organizer on Facebook.

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Here’s the gist:

“500 laps of Ladd Circle is a century. Form teams of at least 2, switch racers at least 10 times during the race, and turn left for a while. If you want to run it solo, bring two bikes so you can make your switches. Racers are responsible for accurately counting their own laps. Any bike is acceptable, but weirder is funnier. If you’re not racing, let’s party in the middle.”

Actually, forget the Daytona 500, this sounds more like the Little 500 made famous by the classic bicycle movie “Breaking Away” in 1979. Learn more and get the latest updates via the event’s Facebook page.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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AC
AC
6 years ago

I’m sure the neighbors are gonna love this.

AC
AC
6 years ago

I’m not sure that matters one bit. I can’t be the only one that thinks an unsanctioned “race” that will last anywhere from 4-8 hours, located in the center of a residential neighborhood is not a good idea.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Reply to  AC

It seems that being in a residential neighborhood is perfect. It’s hard to imagine this making the traffic circle unavailable for car drivers, and there are alternatives anyhow. So what’s the huge problem?

paikiala
paikiala
6 years ago

And the bus route?

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  paikiala

The only bus that uses Ladd Circle is Line 10, and it doesn’t run on the weekends.

Ian
Ian
6 years ago
Reply to  AC

I agree. I suppose it could be argued that it’s harmless enough to let cyclists party on a residential street for one afternoon, but it still seems rather disrespectful to disregard everybody who lives in that area. Also, I can’t imagine TriMet will be too happy about having to reroute a bus line for an unsanctioned race.

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  Ian

Ladd Circle is technically a city-owned park, so it’s open to everyone.

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  Ian

Also, the 10 bus doesn’t run on the weekends, so that won’t be an issue.

Ian
Ian
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

I’m not making any statements about the legality of the event; I’m just saying that although it’s technically permitted and admittedly low-impact, it strikes me as being unnecessarily disrespectful and disruptive to the people who live there (who, if I recall correctly, have previously expressed their frustration with disrespectful cyclists). I’m not calling for this to get shut down, or even trying to change anybody’s mind about it. I’m just agreeing with the sentiment that the event seems a little rude.

Good point about the 10 line, though, I hadn’t realized that doesn’t run on weekends.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
6 years ago
Reply to  Ian

It barely even runs on weekdays.

Social Engineer
Social Engineer
6 years ago
Reply to  Ian

The 10 is not a very useful line right now. It’s poised to get a hell of a lot more useful if the TriMet SEP comes to fruition. 7-day service and expansion up the transit mall to NW…

ricochet
ricochet
6 years ago
Reply to  Ian

I agree, fun sucks.

Doug
Doug
6 years ago

17 laps around the missile deck was a mile on a Trident Submarine. 17×26 1/3 is a marathon. 447 laps, that’s dizzying.

What else is there to do when you’re punching holes in the ocean? We did it the same day as the Boston Marathon. I like idiotic athletic challenges.

37Dennis
37Dennis
6 years ago
Reply to  Doug

@Doug.. Perhaps “unorthodox” as opposed to “idiotic”. Let’s spin it positive.

Mark M
Mark M
6 years ago

Is there a motor doping category? I’ll do it on my Surly big dummy/bionX with the kids on the back… I think the battery will last long enough.
#owningmotordoping!

JeffS
JeffS
6 years ago

Raitt Seemed to think a century was 650 laps. Someone is way off.

http://bikeportland.org/2011/08/01/filmmaker-does-650-laps-for-a-ladd-circle-century-57170

Ian
Ian
6 years ago
Reply to  JeffS

Luckily, Google Maps makes it really easy to measure distances, so we should be able to sort this out. It looks like the inner circle has a diameter of about 244 feet, and the roadway is about 36 feet wide. Obviously, the distance traveled in a lap will depend on how close to the inner circle you ride, so for the sake of argument, let’s compare riding three feet from the inner edge (r = 125 feet), riding in the middle of the roadway (r = 140 feet), and riding three feet from the outer edge (r = 155 feet). These give respective lap distances of 785 feet, 879 feet, and 973 feet, so the corresponding century lap counts would be 673, 601, and 543 laps.

paikiala
paikiala
6 years ago
Reply to  Ian

3 ft from the outer edge won’t work unless they close the street – it has parking on the outside edge.

Dan
Dan
6 years ago
Reply to  JeffS

Depends on how far out from the center of the circle you’re measuring. Back of the envelope says a ~51 m radius delivers 100 miles in 500 laps.

Dan
Dan
6 years ago
Reply to  Dan

And the real challenge is the Tabor Ten Thousand, anyways:

Tabortenthousand.com/

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Reply to  Dan

Only 10k feet?

(also, that website is painful)

Dan
Dan
6 years ago

Ha, you should see the guy’s personal website. FWIW, Tabor 10k is a nastier climbing challenge than the West side Ronde.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Reply to  Dan

De Ronde is shorter than the 10k, yeah.

I was being playful- my best is 16,600ft in a day. I ran out of daylight but I was pretty shattered too.

John Liu
John Liu
6 years ago

The Tabor Ten Thousand website is infested with malware. Don’t go near it.

Ian
Ian
6 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to ride a 51-meter radius around Ladd’s Circle: http://i.imgur.com/otcddCr.jpg.

Ladd’s Octagon, on the other hand, is almost exactly a mile: http://i.imgur.com/ffE9Q1T.jpg

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Reply to  Ian

presumably there are stop signs or at least implicit yields in the Octagon.

Ian
Ian
6 years ago

Yeah, that would make a terrible race route; I just though it was an interesting factoid.

Dan
Dan
6 years ago
Reply to  Ian

Ah I was hoping someone would do a feasibility study with my data. If I had the inner and outer curb radii we could calculate the minimum and maximum number of laps for a true circle century.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Reply to  Dan

I was thinking a good wheel sensor will come in handy, since GPS is likely to cut the corner randomly.

Todd Boulanger
Todd Boulanger
6 years ago

A perfect Stava recorded ride!

Mark S
Mark S
6 years ago

Sounds like a good choice for the Fat Cyclist’s 100 Miles of Nowhere event.

http://www.fatcyclist.com/page/14/

Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy
6 years ago

At least riding around the circle there would be no stop signs to have to stop for. Only for the autos that wanted to enter. Then only if they could find or make an opening. Remember 163.163!

RushHourAlleycat
6 years ago

There are also suitable routes to navigate all of ladds without using the rotary for those hours. This is going to be fun. We are making flyers to support our friends who thought up and organized this race.!

Ian
Ian
6 years ago

Did you mean to reply to a different comment?

K'Tesh
K'Tesh
6 years ago

I was getting dizzy just looking at the aerial photo.