WHY INDIVIDUAL ROADS?
When I first started riding the Dalles, I was following routes created by Velodirt. The Dalles 60. The Oregon Stampede. And it was good.
I’d think and say things like, “that one place on the Dalles 60 was amazing! You know.. the place with the view of the river?”
Pretty soon, I started poring over the maps to learn the names of these places. I started connecting the dots in my head. Then I went out and connected these amazing roads to other roads. I quickly learned that there are a LOT of good roads outside the Dalles. Basically all of them. I became obsessed.
It took me many years as a Portlander — with a life, responsibilities, and other interests (like riding in other places). But eventually I managed to ride just about every (legal) road outside The Dalles.
And what I learned is that I remember these rides in tiny moments — not in full loops. And these moments happen on individual roads.
I’ve focused on the road because it’s the basic element of every ride.
WELL, WHAT ABOUT ROUTES?
All that said, it’s nice to have a route to follow. There’s a lot of magic in following someone or following a map or GPS track through a series of amazing places you’ve never been.
I’ve also included several routes, created by myself and others, on the Routes page. These routes are GUARANTEED to deliver.
HOW AND WHY DID YOU RANK THESE ROADS?
I’m not saying it’s the best approach, but ranking the roads came naturally. I want people using this website to know about the best of the best right away.
Also, it’s fun! I had a lot of fun ranking these roads, and I hope to keep reordering them for years to come.
If you know these roads well, drop me a line to register your complaints about my rankings. I might just be swayed into bumping a road up or down.
What about the other roads that aren’t in the rankings?
I’ve said it many times, but just about every road outside The Dalles is good — including the roads that aren’t ranked. Some are too short to deserve a page, but they might be great roads. You have to draw the line somewhere, and I’ve made my decisions about which roads are noteworthy enough to make the rankings. Feel free to drop me a line if you think I’m missing something.
Why do you use Ride With GPS maps?
If you’re not familiar with Ride With GPS, I highly recommend it. It’s a service that allows you to create or share routes — including detailed elevation information — then spit out a GPS file that you can follow on your phone or device. I’m a premium subscriber so that I can create routes, then preload the route and map onto my phone and follow along in areas with no reception. It’s an absolutely killer service. Plus they’re a Portland company.
I’m not fully satisfied with the map of every road created with Ride With GPS, but it’s definitely the best option I had. I hope to work with Ride With GPS to come up with a better option for that map eventually.