Before You Go
Before you head out on one of these, or any reasonably-long ride, consider the following:
– You’ll be sharing the road with other traffic, so know and follow the applicable rules for road users.
– You’ll need a well-maintained bike, appropriate clothes, and adequate supplies. Consult an experienced rider or a reputable bike shop if you aren’t sure what that entails. Also, remember to let someone know where you’re going.
– Roads, paths and conditions always change. The most we can say is that we enjoyed these routes when we rode them. If a ride doesn’t work the way we’ve described it, or doesn’t seem safe, follow your judgment. (Also, don’t hesitate to comment on the ride when you get home.)
– The fine print: All Rubber to the Road rides are done at your own risk. Cycling, like life in general, has inherent dangers. Recognizing and mitigating the risks, where possible, is your responsibility. The writers / providers of this site make no assertion relating to the safety or suitability of these routes for bicycling.
With the exception of the Children’s Ride (which should truly be called the Great, Short Ride for Anyone), the rides listed here are probably beyond the reach of very new cyclists. If you’ve just learned to ride, we suggest the flat, smooth Springwater Corridor Trail. Try starting at the Sellwood Riverfront Park trailhead, off Spokane St. From there, ride north past Oaks Park and Oaks Bottom Wildlife refuge. When you feel you’ve gone far enough, the view is just as good on the way back.
Local bike shops (might we suggest River City Bicycles?) are a great resource for beginning cyclists. They can point you toward other short rides in your part of town, as well as good Portland cycling maps so you can plot your own course.
Once you’re confident on the bike, comfortable riding near traffic, and ready for a few hills, have a look at the Old City Tour.
How Difficult are the Rides?
Some of the rides are nice and flat, while others require some endurance. We’ve printed the elevation gain for each ride, so you’ll have an idea how much climbing is involved. To see a detailed elevation graph, click through to the ride information from GPSies.com.
The rides vary in length between 13 and 80 miles, aside from the 3-mile Children’s Ride, so you have plenty choice depending on your time and ambition.
Bear in mind, the ride descriptions were written by a pro racer. You don’t need to be a pro to ride them, but take terms like “easy” “gentle” and “short climb” with a grain of salt.