My Favorite Route News

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My Favorite Route – Augusto Carneiro

Augusto Carneiro, founder of Nossa Familia Coffee, serves up our latest installment of My Favorite Route as a doppio, a double shot of tandem hill-climbing on one of Cycle Oregon’s most memorable climbs. His look back at Day Four of 2014’s “The Magnificent Seven” Classic route is more than just a celebration of completing a hard day’s ride – it was the high point of a decade of hard work, commitment to community, and a special moment with someone he loves. Nossa Familia’s belief in the power of the bicycle to transform communities has been evident from their very first day in business and Augsto’s enthusiasm for Cycle Oregon as a rider is only eclipsed by his commitment as a sponsor. In the time since the 2014 Classic, Nossa Familia has become Oregon’s first coffee roaster to be a Certified B Corporation and just a few weeks ago was named Best Coffee in Willamette Week’s Best of Portland 2020 Reader’s Poll. We appreciate you getting up so early every Cycle Oregon day, Augusto, thank you.

My Favorite Route – Augusto Carneiro

Cycle Oregon 2014 Day 4 – Tygh Valley to Madras

There are quite a few reasons this was a special Cycle Oregon day for me….

Nossa Familia Coffee was celebrating our 10th year as sponsor-vendor-caffeinator–iced mocha dealer at Cycle Oregon, and it was the first Cycle Oregon that my wife was able to ride with us. Trying to balance two careers and three kids at home made it challenging for both of us to attend previously. In a way, this was like a biking honeymoon for us and we got to share it with 2,000 of our favorite friends and customers; what’s not to like? Oh, that might be the 4:00 am wake up call, hah!  But, hey, a full week of no kid responsibilities, riding bikes in beautiful parts of Oregon, and a live band every night?!? It doesn’t get much better than that! Our awesome Nossa Familia team made sure to let us sleep in until 5:00 am or even 6:00 am on some days. Luxurious!

Before the route was announced Carissa and I had already decided that we’d be doing the route on our tandem. Now, for those of you that have ridden tandems (or those of you that have passed tandems going uphill), you know that hill climbs are “challenging”. With the route billed as the hilliest Cycle Oregon Classic of all time, with over 35,000 ft of vertical (that’s way beyond Everest in a week you all, yikes!), we were a bit concerned. We rolled with it and thought, ‘Well, if there’s that much climbing then there will be a lot of descending, right? Yippee!‘ If you were there with us for The Magnificent Seven and drafted behind a tandem flying downhill, that was us!

I’m changing the title of the series for this month – It’s Our Favorite Route. Day 4 started with a beautiful morning as we rode out of Tygh Valley, one of those wondrous places in Oregon that I would likely never have visited if it weren’t for Cycle Oregon. The route took us through the Warm Springs Reservation and then a surprise road tucked on the other side of the Deschutes from Highway 26. I marveled at how many times I had been on 26 appreciating the river and the cliffs on the other side but had NO CLUE the road I was now on existed. We had a few lovely meandering miles right along the river with no traffic. I tend to follow the directions on the road and not pay attention to the map so much, so little did I know that we were on our way to the infamous Pelton Dam Road. It’s a 1.7 mile stretch with a 14% grade starting at mile 72 on the route. To showcase how tough of a climb Pelton Dam Road is, it was the hardest climb ever featured in the then 27-years of Cycle Oregon.

We pushed super hard and made it three-quarters of the way before seeing some fascinating geological features that we simply had to stop to observe more carefully.  Once we caught our breath, and gave the local geology proper attention, we made the final push to the top. And, WOW, what a treat! We took in the view the event was named for, The Magnificent Seven. I had not realized that you could actually see all seven beautiful and prominent volcanoes from one spot, and this was it, simply wonderful.

We were tired at the end of the ride but very happy and feeling tremendously accomplished. Coincidentally it was also the first (and only time) I booked an Airbnb during Cycle Oregon, a super nice treat after a few days of hard riding. As a business owner I felt satisfaction in supporting the local economy and as a spouse I earned major marital brownie points!

As a company we’ve now been at every Cycle Oregon since 2005; it’s an event we look forward to every year.  We’re proud to assist Cycle Oregon in support of the Cycle Oregon Fund, we get to see hidden gems in Oregon that we would likely miss out on, and as a business we find new customers from the lovely people who ride with Cycle Oregon.

Never not smiling!

We hope to continue caffeinating sleepy souls in the wee hours of Cycle Oregon mornings for many years to come. And, of course, to be out there in the saddle ourselves. Thanks, Cycle Oregon!


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4 Comments

  1. It was one of my favorite as well and the hardest of the eleven Cycle Oregon I have participated in. The climb out of the de chuttes Was extremely difficult and I remember cyclist walking their bikes on the right. Riding a Tandem on a 15%grade would have been very difficult and I am not sure how you and your wife did it. Congratulations and thank you for one of the great memories of Cycle Oregon. Cannot wait for its return.

  2. Thanks Augusto! Definitely a year to never forget. That year I had my wife along as well but as a rider guest with a rented C-class RV. Day 1 was my favorite: following the long climb there was the jaw-dropping beauty of the drop to the gorge of the Klickitat River (simply amazing)…then of course more climbing until arriving in Glenwood, WA (and like you said a place you wouldn’t ordinarily visit) with the ‘Magnificent’ Mt Adams as a backdrop. On morning of Day 7 woke up and put on my kit for the return to The Dalles, pumped up my tires, took a quick peek at the last day’s route, looked back at the RV, looked at the route again then one more time at the RV and thought “you know what? I’m good for this year!” And told my wife that I’m riding back with her (in the RV) with no shame at all! A great memory for me as well.