Run Bull Run
Length: 58 Miles
Elevation Gain: 3477 ft
Highest Point: 1134 ft
Recommended Gearing: 39X27 or equivalent
This ride doesn’t have the most elevation gain of this series but you certainly will notice these hills. The bulk of the climbing is condensed to about 35 miles of riding. And there is a strong chance that you’ll have these roads all to yourself. Riding east through this area is easily some of the best riding in the country.
Begin at Mt Tabor Park and travel north on the I-205 bike path until hooking up with the I-84 bike path heading east. The I-84 path is a little noisy, but very efficient for getting out of town. When the path ends, you’ll soon join up with Halsey St for the ride into Troutdale. Consider topping up your water supplies here is need be. There is a fountain at a small park near the police station, which is running a good portion of the year, and a coffee shop also.
Follow the Historic Columbia River Hwy, as it meanders alongside the Sandy River, until arriving in Springdale. Veer right onto Hurlburt Rd, which rises a little bit, and is where your climbing really begins to grab hold. Enjoy the quick descent on Gordon Creek Rd, because soon enough your biggest ascent on the day begins. Head up on Gordon Creek now until it meets up with Bull Run Rd. All in all, this is about a 6 mile section of climbing.
Since entering the Columbia River Hwy, you’ve been (hopefully) happily lost within the trees. A nice descent down to Bull Run keeps you tucked away in green forest as you cross the Bull Run River. The view of the river is gorgeous, so be sure to take a peak when crossing the bridge. Head up again and meet up with Ten Eyck Rd. Perhaps I’m always tired by this point, but I’m not afraid to use my 27 cog on this short climb.
Lusted Rd starts to lead you back home. Dodge Park has a fountain and tap near the playground area, which runs for a good part of the season. Cross the river and climb up Lusted to Dodge Park Blvd. One more shallow climb is your last major hill on the day.
Head back towards Gresham and hop briefly onto Powell Blvd. East of the I-205, Powell Blvd is nothing like its other half in Portland. There is an ample bike lane and the traffic isn’t too bad overall. Downtown Gresham is also an overlooked place that has a lot of character. 182nd Ave will take you back to Burnside St where you’ll rejoin the I-205 path to get home.