A Bit of Everything

Length: 60 Miles
Direction: Clockwise
Elevation Gain: 4154 ft
Highest Point: 863 ft
Recommended Gearing: 39X25 or equivalent

DirectionsSee full ride directions
View map and ride data at GPSies.com
Download print-friendly directions

Note: While the Oregon City Bridge is under construction, cyclists may need to wait for a shuttle to get them across the Willamette River.

A Bit of Everything tips the scales with over 4000 ft of climbing in only 60 miles. So you can expect very little flat terrain. Depending on how you want to interpret it, the profile map on gpsies.com shows about 10 climbs. The intent of this ride was to take in sections all around Portland, and combine them into an adventurous day. If you want to see Portland and don’t have all week to do it, then this ride is for you.

The ride begins on the east side of Mt Tabor Park, which is an extinct volcano in SE Portland, and a straight shot east from downtown. However, given that this ride encompasses most of the city, you can hop onto the route from nearly any location close to you. As you head out south east of Gresham, your first bit of climbing will be along Bulter and Regner Rd. The reward for this is the super fast descent down 232nd Dr and then relatively easy cruise along Hwy 224. This is the Clackamas Hwy and it is quite scenic and twisty. Keep an ear out for approaching cars as the shoulder is narrow to non-existant. But it serves as a quick and beautiful way to Clackamas River Dr.

The name gives it away. You’ll be along the river for over 6 miles in relative solitude heading into Oregon City and the end of the Oregon Trail. Once over the bridge, a left onto Willamette Falls Dr will take you to Turner Rd and your next major hill. Then head over to Peters Rd to climb again, but this time out of the trees somewhat and through rolling farmland mixed with new expensive and expansive homes. After 40 miles of riding, I’ve always found the climb out of Stafford to be challenging. It isn’t particularly steep, but maybe I should’ve paced myself a little better earlier on!

If you’ve avoided or missed any opportunities to stop for coffee, food, or drinks thus far, you’ll soon drop into Lake Oswego. Consider a stop here at one of the many options and sit by the lake on a sunny day. From here you’ll climb, stiffly at first, up Terwilliger Blvd. Then Terwilliger eases up and rolls along for several miles all the way back downtown, eventually becoming 6th Ave. Terwilliger has 2 water fountains along the way, running year round, and a public bathroom as well east of Capitol Hwy.

Dropping into downtown is quick and easy. Keep in mind that the lights on 6th Ave are synchronized, so you can just meander along and stand a good chance of making them all. Enjoy the view over the Hawthorne Bridge and then pass through Ladd’s Addition; one of the oldest neighborhoods in Portland, named for a former Portland mayor. William Ladd designed this area to be similar to Pierre L’Enfant’s plan for Washington D.C. Your last climb will be through Mt Tabor park. It’s not difficult, but that’s easy to say while typing this from a chair.

Empty RoadFall ApproachesSignsTrail

6 Responses to “A Bit of Everything”

  1. Alex Says:

    I just got back from this ride and it really is a little bit of everything. I’ll have to take any out of towner cyclists on this ride, so they can see a good range of some of the best riding areas in Portland. I did all the climbing seated for training purposes and it was pretty enjoyable. Takes longer than you’d imagine, but overall, enjoyable.

  2. nibo Says:

    In general this is a nice ride. I did it last weekend, however, and want to warn that there were two or three areas of construction that led to annoyed drivers already upset at being slowed by a bike.

    Heading up Terwilliger from Lake Oswego (just after turning left off State Street), you can jump onto the Tryon Creek Park path on the left side of the road and ride it instead of Terwilliger. A much nicer ride, in my opinion, and a great way to do Terwilliger until you get to Taylor’s Ferry Rd.

    I agree that it takes longer than you’d think.

  3. Jacob Says:

    Thanks for the construction info nibo. I agree that the Tryon Creek path is the way to go. A lot of my rides make use of the path so I changed it up a bit and kept this one on Terwilliger. Plus you can easily stop in at the information center half-way up for water if you need to.

  4. Isabel Says:

    My husband and I are planning a trip to Portland in July for a beer fest and a bike ride or two. This route caught my eye as this will be the first time in Portland for both of us. My husband is a strong rider. I on the other hand can ride a century but flat as a pancake. With some training prior to the trip, is this route too ambitious for me? Likely won’t start until March-ish as we don’t ride in the winter.

    Also, would you happen to have a recommendation on where to rent road bikes? We will be staying in the NW district.


  5. Jacob Says:

    Hi Isabel,
    This ride is one I always enjoyed, however I did get a few comments from folks who didn’t like the 224 section due to traffic. If you’re concerned about it consider the Rock Creek with Rocky Point extension ride. http://www.rubbertotheroad.com/?p=733 This ride is in the West Hills which is a favorite trianing ground of any Portland cyclist. Alternatively, Multnomah Falls is along arguably the best and most scenic roads in Oregon. http://www.rubbertotheroad.com/?p=558 From where you’re staying it could stretch to 90 miles or you drive a bit east to shorten the ride.
    You’ve chosen the right city for cycling and beer. Enjoy your vist!

  6. Isabel Says:

    Thanks, Jacob!

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