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Hey all -

Bikenerd is coming to Portland on business, and has a need for speed! Or at least a nice ride through the Gorge. The start/end (coffee/beer?) points may be different, and we may change course at the west end, but the gist is the same as in this report:

http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=133364&highlight=columbia+river+gorge

I can't promise that the girl in #15 will be there, 'cause like I said, I don't know her. Most of the geography and historic man made stuff is still in tact, though.

Monday, September 29th - nice time of year for this ride.

Express your feelings, and we'll see what we can sort out.
 

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You may want to look a bit further East...

I think you're considering that loop around the west end? (Couldn't get the refered ride report to load) That time of year, rides to the East of Cascade Locks are better weather bets. East of Hood River, you can almost be assured of dry, and there are some fine rides out this way.

I did one of my favorite loops yesterday, a loop from ~ White Salmon, Wa. (Actually I started from home near Lyle) up the Klickitat river towards Goldendale, then west to Glenwood or Trout Lake (at the base of Mt. Adams) then back down the White Salmon river..I did the 95mile version, cutting southwest from Glenwood and missing Trout Lake...Little traffic, nice scenery, good climbs.

There are also great loops starting in Hood River..

Something to think about, if the weather is questionable at the west end. It's about 45mins on I-84 from PDX to the Hood River bridge. Plenty of tourist crap in Hood River, too, if Espresso, lunch and shopping are part of your agenda.

Don Hanson
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Don

Having an alternate plan is a good idea - whether for rain or wind. You're drier, but you guys get about as much wind as Troutdale - Cascade Locks. I wonder why that report wouldn't load for you? It worked for me just now.

Any chance you could make it? What about if we do the alternate you suggested if we have rain. The only lock is Monday the 29th, but 1st choice is the Gorge ride.
 

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If you do come out this way, I could probably ride along. I don't care for Wa. St. Hwy 14 and it's traffic.

Wind is not a real factor (for Real Men..grin!) except right in the Gorge proper and all the rides around HR, the Dalles, Lyle, Wt Salmon, etc are into side canyons, up and out of the Gorge. That late in the year, you'd be likely to have no wind around here...the wind is west of here in the fall/winter and it usually blows from the east.
post it when you decide where you may ride.
Don Hanson
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We leave tomorrow morning from the Mariott @ Marine drive and 1-5 in NE Portland. You can still come - I may not have an apple or banana for you, but we'll probably be willing to share.
 

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Gnarly 928 said:
I think you're considering that loop around the west end? (Couldn't get the refered ride report to load) That time of year, rides to the East of Cascade Locks are better weather bets. East of Hood River, you can almost be assured of dry, and there are some fine rides out this way.

I did one of my favorite loops yesterday, a loop from ~ White Salmon, Wa. (Actually I started from home near Lyle) up the Klickitat river towards Goldendale, then west to Glenwood or Trout Lake (at the base of Mt. Adams) then back down the White Salmon river..I did the 95mile version, cutting southwest from Glenwood and missing Trout Lake...Little traffic, nice scenery, good climbs.
Sadly, I'll be missing the RBR ride. Coincidentally, we just did Gnarly's loop for the first time this weekend, in reverse and starting from Lyle, heading to Glenwood from BZ Corner. Wow! What a great ride! Amazing views of Mt. Adams and one of the nicest climbs from the Klickitat River up toward Goldendale. This may be a new Top 10 ride for us...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The ride happened with Frank (Bikenerd) his co-worker Carlos, and me. I'm going to say that the ride was good, overall.
Factors:
1-2 (tie). The wind was excessive. I've never had to work so hard to ride down a hill before. Think about that statement and imagine a bunch of lengthy, if not terribly steep climbs.
1-2 (tie) I was severely outclassed. After I lead through town, I encouraged Frank and Carlos to climb at their own pace, and I'd catch up at photo spots. Boom - they were gone. I'm the little engine (chug chug, I think I can...) they are serious athletes who can really do this stuff. I now understand that even though I regularly ride a fair amount, I am essentially a Fred. To develop my Fred-ness, I must buy shiny kits and expensive shoes.
3. My new bike was a great improvement for a long distance ride. My hands hardly went numb, knee issue mostly controlled by pre-emptive, timed doses of ibuprofen, fit needs only minor tweaks, and mechanically issue-free other than a couple of no-damage chain drops.
4. Traffic was not bad for a work day. I normally clear the busy road fairly early on Sundays, but it wasn't bad. As usual, the historic highway was lightly travelled, and pretty exclusively by slow moving folks who are out to see the sights.
5. Good company - Frank and Carlos were patient, encouraging, and helpful. Good guys, and a pleasure to hang with. They both have pretty incredible lives and depth of experience that they carry with them.
6. I am just in love with this country and specifically with this ride and the sights to be found on it.

I learned:
A. The Fred thing - see above.
B. Next time I throw out an invitation, I'll describe the pace as "casual, to the best of my ability".
C. Don't trust the weather forecast. Wind was calm for 20 miles, then hit us in the face like a wall at 20+ m.p.h. We looked forward to a tail wind home, but found gusty wind that had only moments of tail and mostly cross and headwinds going home. At Crown Point the wind was so wild that parked cars were seriously pitching around.
D. When I'm "hosting" fast riders, I shouldn't add 9 miles riding to meet them at thier hotel. They offered to ride to meet me, but I insisted that I ride to pick them up. This was not helpful to any of us, me being the one who needed more oomph for most of the ride.

So yeah, a definite positive for me.
 

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East winds are the norm this time of year..

The West end of the Gorge is usually windy this time of year with east winds. In the summer, it is west wind and further east. The winds are usually strongest around Dalton Point/Crown Point/Rooster Rock. You can get read on probable wind strength by looking on the NOAA weather site and checking the barometric pressures in an east/west direction. This time of year the higher country east of the Cascades is cooler than the coast (heavier denser air-higher barometric pressure readings) and that causes strong east winds..

The winds are totally localized. While you guys were fighting that gale, it was calm just east of you. We rode from Hood River to near Mt Hood Meadows and back (a club ride) and had NO wind whatsoever...Perfect 'glass' on the river..

For future planning
Don Hanson
 
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