Tour de Fronds: Beloved for a Reason
Just going to the store – be right back
The Tour de Fronds added a ‘trip to the store’ route in 2016 that will quickly become a favorite of riders who like to combine scenery, great food and a good sweat. The Agness Store route, 71 miles with about 5,000 feet of climbing, begins with the gentle rollers from Powers to the Daphne Grove rest stop, then the climb to Agness Pass.
At Agness Pass, after the standard genuinely warm and friendly greeting by volunteers who want to hydrate and energize you with excellent snacks, you take a left and start a bumpy six-mile gravel ride downhill to the Rogue River. You can stop at Foster Bar and cool off all or part of your body in the Rogue or just keep going to the Agness Store.
The Agness Store is not your typical outpost. The food is good enough that there is a strong temptation to overload on a Bigger Better Burger – I did and that’s my excuse for the post lunch semi-coma ride up the 11 mile hill back to Agness Pass on hard packed gravel. About 2/3 of the way up the hill there is a spring with the kind of cold water that makes for a nice, shady rest stop. This part of the route up from Agness Store is quiet, beautiful – and lonely, which is a good thing every once in awhile.
The ride is best done on a cross bike or mountain bike because of the downhill from Agness Pass. Otherwise, a road bike would work.
Whichever route you choose, do add in the spaghetti dinner on Friday night and pancake breakfast on Sunday morning. You simply can’t overdose on the people of Powers! That’s a huge part of what makes this ride so special.
Every year I drive the four hours back to Portland thinking about how much I look forward to next year’s Tour de Fronds. Of all the many events I’ve attended, none combine the routes, scenery, organization or the friendliness of townspeople who volunteer to make this the best ride around.
About Tour de Fronds
Tour de Fronds won the 2016 ORbike Riders’ Choice award – a 200 person ride that won the vast majority of the contest’s 900 votes – and don by a landslide.
The 2017 ride is June 17.