The first year of the Portland Century, the organizers expected some 400 riders to come out to ride bikes in celebration of Portland. They were astounded when around 900 riders showed up at the start line.
Since day one, this ride has clearly been a Portland favorite.
New Ride Features!
So after many years of starting from Portland State University in the heart of Downtown Portland, it’s time for the Portland Century to mix things up a bit. They’re heading north – with a start/finish line on the lush grounds of University of Portland. The views overlooking the city from this vantage point give riders an opportunity to stop, smell the roses and take it all in. Ah Portland! How we love you so!
The routes are heading north this year, as well.
Choose from 45, 80 or 100 mile routes with varying difficulty and terrain, but for the full experience we recommend you opt for the full hundo ride. With frequent rest stops, ample water, delicious treats and a relatively flat terrain, the 100 mile course is totally do-able.
The Full Hundo: 100 Miles of Exploration and Delight
The 100-mile route explores the outer reaches of the Clark County Valley. It winds through small towns like Lewiston, Ridgefield and Washington’s hidden gaming gem, La Center. The scenery is gorgeous, punctuated by riverside rides in both Oregon and Washington, towering views of Mt Hood and Mt St. Helens, and the serene landscape of rural southern Washington. It is a comfortable 3600 feet of climbing devoid of “death climbs”. Beyond the rural roads, you will experience a wide variety of cycling infrastructure, from paths to boulevards to the dual river crossings at I-205 and I-5 (then you can speak authoritatively about the CRC project).
The ride visits six (!) rest stops, including the Vancouver Hatchery, where you can see fish in all stages and learn their story, and the Lacamas Lake-side Stop. Organic deli sandwiches are served in the La Center amphitheater and Northwest Organic Farms offers fresh-from-the-vine, organic, heirloom tomatoes and garlic drizzled with olive oil. The “Cool” Rest Stop, Cellar 55, is always a refreshing 55 degrees and the wine is always pouring. Enjoy free tastings paired with delicious appetizers before tackling the final leg. There are discounts on bottle and case purchases that we shall happily deliver to the finish.
Explore the route
Take a cruise through the hundo route. This map is interactive. Zoom in, choose to view the landscape (satellite view) and explore this cool route.
The First Hundo
Never ridden 100 miles? Not sure you can make it? IF you’re an experienced rider who pedals regularly and has conquered distances up to 50 miles, there’s no doubt you can do this.
Here are some tips:
- Get your bike checked out to ensure it’s running as smoothly as possible – you don’t want any distractions, delays or hassles out there.
- Take a long ride (50-80 miles) these next two weekends
- Ride the week of the event, but nothing too strenuous, nothing more than 30 miles at a time. Keep your legs spinning and try to clock at least 50 miles total that week.
- Attend the pre-ride party so you’re checked in well in advance. Study the maps (though the course is well marked) and ask the staff questions so you feel well prepared.
- Ensure you’re at the start time, prepped and ready, when the course opens so you have plenty of time to ride and explore. If you’re driving, know your parking and bike unloading plan well in advance so it’s not a scramble on the morning of the event.
- The week of the ride, plan what you’re going to wear and bring. Write it down. The day before the ride, set it all out so that on the morning of the event you don’t have to think about anything.
- Bring two water bottles. Hydrate more than you think you need. If you have a preferred electrolyte supplement, bring it along so drinking is appealing to you.
- What breakfast makes you feel great? Eat well leading up to the ride, especially on the morning of the event. If you have special dietary needs or preferences, bring snacks to meet those needs and keep your body happily fueled along the way, though there is no shortage of treats on the Portland Century, that’s for sure.
- Get a GREAT night’s sleep the night before the ride. Take time to relax before bed and sink into a deep slumber. Being well rested makes a huge difference in your endurance.
- Get up 20 minutes earlier than you need to. There are always hassles on the day of a big event. It will feel much better to be a few minutes early or to have time to sip your coffee slowly than to be rushed and frazzled.
- Lighten up, enjoy the ride! Don’t worry about going super fast or competing with those who pass you. There will always be people who pass you. Enjoy the lovely course, stop to take pictures, take in the rest stops and have fun with your friends. Treat your body and mind well and you’ll stay on track to reach the finish line in the generous course time allotted for even the slowest of hundo riders.
What do you think?
Are you riding the Portland Century this year? What are you most looking forward to? How do you prepare for a big ride like this?