Marmot, Shipley, Kitzmiller, Pugh and Wildcat are some of the names that pop up when you mention superb roads in the west foothills of mt hood. This past weekend I was working to put together a 3 option ride in the beautiful area to incorporate these. The idea being a well paced 35, 55 or 70 mile road ride, with low traffic roads, excellent and varied terrain with great views.
Im going for an an all in one style route where you can choose your journey, as you ride, if you wish. Options of 35, 55 or 70miles. So if you’re not feeling 70 mid way through, no problem just do the 55. Wanting more elevation?, no problem the 70m there for you. Just getting into things, 35 no prob.
The difficulty here is making the experience great on all distances. Keeping high quality in terms of road quality, elevation pacing, distance between services and also providing scenery / points of interest on each distance. All in, thats a tricky thing to do.
First the pacing, thats really important to me. Climbs are part of a great ride but also and critically is recovery, unless you are 25yrs old or a pro cyclist you cannot be punching back to back mountain climbs. You need some downtime to refresh and enjoy what you worked for, either the view or the descent.
Heres the pacing:
The 70 mile route is the above with 4 major well spaced climbs. When I say major, I mean 1000ft plus climbs.
The 55 route eliminates the second bump
The 35 route eliminates bump 2 and bump 3
The final climb tops out and descends spectacular and is retained in all routes.
Im still tweaking the routes to make them as optimum as I can get them. But at the moment they are all well balanced and hit close to the golden ratio of 100ft elevation gain per mile.
35miles – 3000ft
55 miles – 4700ft
70miles – 6800ft
more to come, stay tuned.
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