Dispatch from The Dalles

Dispatch from The Dalles

The Dalles - Day One-12

Picture-perfect cycling roads are as abundant out here as the cherry orchards. This view is looking west on Emerson Loop Road just east of downtown.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Before today I had never stopped in The Dalles (population 14,000) for more than a quick pit-stop at Burgerville during a family road trip. Now, after spending my first full day here, I realize I’ve been missing a lot.

I’ve set up a temporary BikePortland office in this lovely town on the Columbia River and for the next several days I’ll be riding, racing, and reporting as much as I can. I’ve come here with help from The Dalles Chamber of Commerce and other local civic boosters. They all share a common belief: Bicycling, and the tourism and economic development that comes with it, will play a big part in this city’s future.

Since I arrived around noon today, I’ve meet with the President and CEO of the Chamber and a locally-based bicycle event promoter. I’ve also got meetings set up with a local city planner, the owner of the local bike shop, the city manager, Mayor Stephen Lawrence, and others. This weekend, I plan to participate in the Gorge Roubaix — two days of racing on some of the most beautiful roads in all of Oregon.

Speaking of riding, before my first meeting today I managed to sneak away for a quick ride. It was raining hard as I drove east from Portland, but the sun broke through (as it often does here on Oregon’s “dry side”) and the blue skies and high clouds combined for a perfect introduction to riding in The Dalles…

The Dalles - Day One-4

Heading out of town on 15 Mile Road I couldn’t help but stop and take in the views.
The Dalles - Day One-5

The Dalles - Day One-6

I didn’t plan on riding any gravel today, but I came upon McCoy Road (which happens to be part of the Velodirt/Dalles Mountain 60 route) and I couldn’t resist taking it.
The Dalles - Day One-7

The gravel out here is pretty tame. Round pebbles and relatively hard-packed.

The Dalles - Day One-9

The Dalles - Day One-10

The Dalles - Day One-11

The Dalles - Day One-13

There’s very little auto traffic on these roads. And the pavement is nice and smooth.
The Dalles - Day One-14

I got a nice view of downtown and the river on my way back.

Stay tuned for more photos and stories from The Dalles. If you’ve spent time out here, or have something to share about this area, feel free to tell me about it.

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