Ever loved riding in an area so much you became obsessed with it? So much so you found yourself poring over lines on maps, dreaming and scheming on how to ride them all?
That happened to David Boerner, a 37-year old copywriter and resident of northeast Portland. He’s got a major crush on The Dalles, a city on the Columbia River Gorge about 85 miles east of Portland. Thankfully for us, instead of keeping the city’s many excellent roads secret like a surfer reluctant to share a great break, Boerner has built a website devoted to them and is eager to share the bounty.
“I’ve had this idea kicking around in my head for a few years, so I finally made it,” Boerner shared when I asked him why created the site. Why The Dalles? “The roads in The Dalles just have an improbable feel. Like, ‘How are there so many good roads here?! And why is there no traffic?’”
Boerner thinks The Dalles has the best road riding (paved and unpaved) in Oregon and Washington. After spending a few minutes clicking and scrolling through his site, It’s hard to disagree. Of course I’m biased. I’ve spent many days riding there myself and have come away with a similar impression.
“What makes the Dalles so good is its perfect convergence of all of these things in one place. So many roads that lead to so many more. Each road seemingly better than the last.”
— David Boerner
“It’s not just that The Dalles has really good roads,” Boerner writes on the site. “Nor just the absence of traffic. It’s not just the scenery — chiseled out by the 1,000-foot-high Missoula Floods, set amidst rolling palouse hills with forests towering above and volcanoes punctuating the skyline. Not even the drier weather or the nice people or the history. What makes the Dalles so good is its perfect convergence of all of these things in one place. So many roads that lead to so many more. Each road seemingly better than the last.”
The site leans on Boerner’s writing, photography and design skills. He’s also integrated Ride With GPS maps for a clean and detailed look at each road. He says he plans to add more routes in the weeks and months to come, as well more itineraries and info about local destinations.
Bookmark this page and remember to look it up when the weather turns wet again. “They say it’s always sunny in The Dalles,” Boerner writes. “That’s not totally accurate, but I’ve experienced multiple times when we’ve driven down the gorge in the rain, and the weather broke just after Hood River, and we rode all day in The Dalles in the dry. Then we drove back into the rain to get home to Portland. It feels like you’re cheating the system or something.”
Speaking of cheating, having this site is like copying the homework of the smartest person in class. Thanks David!
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