West Hills Continental – Feb. 10, 2008

Rapha and The Rapha Continental Riders hosted an unsanctioned 39 mile Brevet-style ride in Portland’s very special Northwest Hills. The route, a classic selection of surfaces, scenery and climbs organized into something approaching a figure-eight, offered an unparalleled introduction to road riding in the northwest. From unpaved climbs to 40 mph descents, and from the heart of the city to rolling country roads, and back again.

After a great late night of Rapha Roller Racing, the 6:00am alarm for Sunday’s customer ride with the Rapha Continental team was feeling like a very bad idea. Portland riders had been living on a high for going on 72 hours, so we arrived back at the Rapha Gallery that morning unsure how many cyclists would join us for coffee and breakfast at 7:00. But at 7:30 when it was time to roll, we were nearly 50 strong, even with a mist that was threatening real rain.

It was a great amalgamation of riders – from all across the country – people on travel bikes, rented bikes, classic steel and future carbon. Small packs headed up the gravel of Saltzman into the West Hills to experience 40 miles of Portland rollers. The rain never came, but the climbing did as we did just over 4000ft., not a bad Sunday morning go.

As the later groups descended Cornell’s tunnels we saw a familiar rider on a Trek wearing black and yellow, Lance Armstrong was just starting his ride with friends. So, I suppose you could say that we all beat Lance to the line that morning.

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