Soloing the Oregon Stampede Route
It was barely a plan and it couldn’t have been nicer outside. Well, nice for me and utter-boiling for others. It was due to push over 100 degrees in Portland on this day but I don’t think it got over 99 over my entire ride. The sun was relentless, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Oregon Stampede route has been around for a number of years, started by Velodirt (RIP) back in 2008. I’ve put off doing the route for one reason or another: I’m not fit enough, no money, to time, wrong bike for this sort of ride.
Well, the stars aligned, I had access to a vehicle, a capable bicycle, and ambition to finally tackle this beast on my own terms. No pressure from other riders to catch up or risk being left behind. I would always be the leader and sweep of my own rides.
All my ride photos:
For most of the day I only counted about 25 cars in all the miles of gravel roads. Even when returning to tarmac the vehicle count was scant.
Water was extremely scarce through the entire route with my only refill point being a small general store in Tygh Valley.
In the end, I was mentally prepared for the heat, sun, long stretches of solitude, and the need to haul lots of water, but my body just wasn’t prepared for riding of this difficulty. My legs just didn’t want to move that quickly and my lungs could never get enough air.
I would ride this route again after I’ve had a few training centuries under my tires leading up to this challenge.