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Giro PDX 2019

August 24, 2019 at 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

It’s the 4th annual edition of the Giro PDX – Le Foglie Morte di Sud Portlandia. This is a beautiful and challenging free group ride that tackles a lot of steep climbs starting and ending in SW Portland.

Ride with GPS Event Page – RSVP here and get premium features (normally reserved for paid members) like Turn by Turn directions and off-line maps, even if you have a free account https://ridewithgps.com/events/24101-giro-pdx-foglie-morte-di-sud-portlandia

RWGPS Ambassador route page – https://ridewithgps.com/ambassador_routes/968-giro-pdx-le-foglie-morte-di-sud-portland

RWGPS Standard route page (where you can download the file for GPS) – https://ridewithgps.com/routes/15196769

See below for description of some small route changes.
I recommend using the RWGPS route. But here’s the Strava route if you insist – https://www.strava.com/routes/14880998

I have intentionally plotted this to have similar stats to the Ronde PDX and La Doyenne – www.rondepdx.com
53 miles and 7200 ft. of climbing.

ROUTE DESCRIPTION – Hard. Beautiful. Varied. Eye opening. Classic. You will ride through SW Portland, Lake Oswego, West Linn, and Stafford Triangle. You will conquer beautiful and challenging climbs and likely wonder “How did I not know this exists so close to home?!” You will see many jaw dropping homes new and old. In between the mansions you will ride past horses, cows and vineyards. You will discover interesting nooks and crannies of the area. It is mostly paved. However there are three sections of single track in WL and LO city parks that allow bikes.

INSPIRATION – Giro di Lombardia – La Classica Delle Foglie Morte. The Race of the Falling Leaves. A climbers race that also circumnavigates a lake. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giro_di_Lombardia

BIKE AND TIRE RECOMMENDATIONS – Bring your road bike with climbing gears. There are very steep sections. I have ridden all of it on a race bike with 23mm slick road tires. Though 25’s or 28’s will be better and give more confidence in the dirt. Trails have almost no roots and rock. It is mostly nice buff trail. There are a couple roots on the exit of Cook’s Butte Park that make for a little technical riding. You can do it. Using CX or treaded tires will be a benefit 1% of the route and a detriment 99%.

ROUTE MARKINGS – Route will be marked by 8/25. Using a brighter neon green paint this year. There will be few lions refreshed with new paint but all the arrows will be. Please have the route on a phone or GPS too.

RWGPS ROUTE – I will continue to update the route at the same URL. In the coming weeks I’ll add more info about water stops, tricky turns etc. So make sure you update it before you ride so you’ll have the latest version. Please load the route onto your GPS or use the Ride With GPS app on your smart phone.

SUPPORT AND LIABILITY – This is an unofficial, unsupported, unsanctioned ride. You are on your own. There will be a free aid station almost perfectly halfway through the course at mile 28.1 with sweet treats and refreshments. The girls’ soccer team will be accepting donations for local charity. So bring some cash. The Madonna del Ghisallo will be protecting some libations at the penultimate summit of Cook’s Butte. For her, you can bring a broken bike part, simple reverence, trinket or other kitsch in exchange for her refreshments. I am not liable or responsible for your actions or inactions, decisions or indecisions. Ride fast if you want. But ride smart and obey laws.

START LOCATION – Same as last year. Just using a different address to avoid confusion. 333 SW Dakota St., Portland, OR 97239 – in the John’s Landing neighborhood along the west side of the Willamette River. It’s between the Tillikum Crossing and Sellwood Bridge. For reference, it’s only three miles south of the west end of the Hawthorne Bridge. (Hint – bike to the start if you can) There are restrooms available at three coffee shops within two blocks. There is plenty of on-street parking if you must drive to the start. Park on the SCHOOL side of the street on Dakota, Virginia, Corbett or Carolina.

FIRST CLIMB PROTOCOL – The first climb is through Riverview Cemetery. This is a NEUTRAL climb. If you want to ride this course at race pace, please do so only after you EXIT the cemetery. This is an area that is very sensitive to cycling. It is PRIVATE property that conditionally allows cycling. Permission has been specifically granted for the Giro PDX under the conditions that participants are respectful while on site. This includes riding slowly and keeping QUIET; especially if you are passing by anyone paying respects to the departed.

END LOCATION – The finale of the ride is also the zenith and one of the coolest vistas in Portland to which you’ve probably never been – Nansen Summit aka Mt. Sylvania. If you need to “start at the finish”, you can probably find on-street parking in the neighborhood. But would be nice to minimize. Lots of parking nearby at PCC Sylvania.

* Mile 41.5 – Residents have asked we turn around here where the public road ends and private property begins.
* Mile 43.8 – Cook’s Butte Park – immediately after entering the park turn right onto the first trail instead of going straight as before. There will be a cool new spot for the shrine and the cooler. The subsequent single track section has been smoothed out too.
* Mile 52.0 – Turn left on Becket. A little safer and simpler.

WET EARTH PLAN – In the event of rain, some of the trails will be slick and not safe. There is an alternate route on the event page that eliminates dirt. In case of wet earth on the day of the group ride, I’ll make the call to divert from all or some of the mud. If you’re really dirt-phobic even in dry weather, you could choose this alternate route. But you’ll be missing some awesomeness.

Easiest – https://ridewithgps.com/routes/15191116 – You can coast almost this entire 5 mile route back to the start.
Bestest – https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14397857 – This is a much prettier, quieter more interesting return route on some more roads you may have never been on. It has a reasonable 300 ft of climbing in 5.7 miles even tired legs can probably handle.

Cover photo cred IG@smathras
Tag your IG and FB posts with #giropdx and maybe your pic will be the featured photo for next year’s ride.


August 24, 2019
9:00 am - 2:00 pm


333 SW Dakota Street
Portland, OR 97239 United States + Google Map