Comments – Dave Guettler
This has been one of the most enjoyable, long-term projects I have ever been involved with. It started when my wife Pamela and I moved to Portland in 1994. We immediately started out exploring our new surroundings using the only book available at the time, Best Bike Rides Around Portland, by Virginia Church and Andy Wiselogel. It was a good book, but at least ten years at the time, and many of the bucolic country roads described had already changed into unrideable commuter highways. Over the next couple of years I did a lot of exploring the east counties, and found a number of incredible rides that weren’t publicized anywhere. At the same time I went on some great west side rides with friends, but couldn’t remember the critical turns.
I figured the best way to find all the current ‘best rides’ was to ask our fellow cyclists to submit their favorite ride, then we would do the legwork to map it out along with descriptions, then turn it into a book to benefit two of my favorite cycling non-profits, the BTA and the Community Cycling Center.
With the help of many passionate cyclists, dedicated writers Peter Marsh (volume 1) and Otis Rubottom (volume 2), and an extremely dedicated and talented graphic artist Shannon Holt, book 1 was published in 1997 and book two was published in 2003.
This latest version was the brainchild of Jacob Erker, a professional cyclist who was sponsored by Garmin, a maker of GPS equipment. He approached me with the idea of modernizing the books after doing ALL of the rides in both books, probably one of the few to ever do that. From his perspective, he was going to be out there riding and training anyway, might as well make it more productive. Made perfect sense to me. After knowing how much work the first two was, I am extremely impressed with Jacob’s efforts, along with Tom George’s work in doing the web site work.
My only reservation was by making this free to the public, it would cut down on the funds available for the non-profits. I ask all of you who use this to please make a donation to either one or both of those organizations, or another of your choosing, like John Benenati’s B.I.K.E., Bicycles and Ideas for Kids Empowerment.