Larch Mountain – 17 Miles

It would be awesome if every ride we posted was an all day affair, complete with rolling hills and epic views and a picnic of champagne and strawberries, finished off with a sunset hot air balloon ride piloted by Frenchman named Francois, who spends an hour explaining the intricacies of hot air balloon operation, but in French, so we can’t understand him. Unfortunately, we don’t have an hour to learn about hot air balloons, Francois. It’s getting cold and dark these days. I’ve barely got an hour to ride, before I have to get home and tend to my drunkness. So here is a ride that, while not classy, is fast and fun and tiring.

Start at the NE Blend coffee shop, with your fingers tightly gripping a cup off coffee. In one quick motion, let go of the coffee mug and put your hands in your gloves, to preserve as much of the warm feeling as possible. Then mount your bike and get pedaling. North on Williamette. Under the St. Johns Bridge. Back up and across the bridge. Right, down the hill, onto Dirty 30. Continue North to Newberry. Cheat death across the highway and head up. The first mile is harder than the second. After mile marker two, you should be near the intersection with Skyline. Hang a left and follow Skyline. Hang another left and follow Germantown back down to the St. Johns Bridge. Head back on Williamette all the way to Blend, where your coffee will probably still be warm.