Sunday, January 18, 2009

Beth's Inspiration Ride

Friend Beth organized a ride to celebrate Cecil's and my completion of the R-12. As she wanted a west side ride, I created a route containing some of my favorite stretches of road out here - Helvetia Road and Jackson Quarry Road (including its lovely little hill).

Three happy retrogrouches

We had arranged to meet at Longbottoms at 9, so at 8am I was at the top of the hill waiting for Cecil. I got there first, for once. The east wind was breathtaking. For those of you who remember my Bingen report from 2007 - yeah. It was like that. If one was riding crosswind...

We then proceeded west, hoping we'd get blown all the way to Hillsboro. Surprisingly enough, as soon as we dropped down the Park Way hill, the wind lessened. Road notes: Cornell Road appears done. There are no striped bike lanes, but the right lane is very wide.

Got to Longbottoms to find Beth enjoying a Hot Drink. We admired her Rapha cap :-)

This is what I get for dissing Rapha

After waiting for possible others to show, we took off. Once we crossed Hwy 26 (and Shute Rd became Helvetia Rd), we were in completely rural Washington County. Farms, llamas, sheep, goats, cows, nurseries, rolling hills, forested areas. Low traffic roads, pretty much, too. We wound our way along Helvetia Rd, then through the amazing bit of old growth forest that heralds the base of the Jackson Quarry Hill climb. Lots of frost there. The climb was, well, the climb. Not steep, but a nice .4 miles, if one is inclined to do hill repeats for training. Not today :-) Great scenery off to the south most of the way up.

Frost at the bottom of the Jackson Quarry Hill

Then down Mason Hill, which, I guess, Beth did not enjoy as much as we did. Cecil, of course, enjoyed it as quickly as possible. Then onto Jackson School road, where we were passed by a group from Portland Velo. "I recognize that stuffed bear!". Waves and greetings exchanged; Matt and I had a short visit. They were headed up and back at the corner of Shadybrook; we were headed to North Plains. Dan thought he'd ride along with us for awhile, as our route and theirs coincided all the way to Roy; the fast boys would catch us before then. So we all visited; Beth admired Dan's Schwinn Le Tour fixie.

Beth and Cecil just before the Jackson Quarry Hill

Crossed Hwy 26 at Frogger Junction (you will not find this designation on a map), and headed into Roy. We stopped briefly at a local available facility, got water, rearranged clothes, took care of business. I've never been there when church was letting out; no one seemed to think it was strange that a group of cyclists would stop. (All cyclists in Washington County stop there. If I was them, I'd put out a donation can. I'd donate. They are really nice to have it open to everyone)

It is just wrong that I am wearing short sleeves in January

The weather was bright and sunny. We all peeled down quite a few layers. Cecil was even in a short sleeve jersey with no arm warmers for awhile. Then back on Roy Rd to C-S onto Wren, right on Leisy, left on Hornecker, back inside the urban growth boundary, autopiloting ourselves back to Longbottoms.

Looking back at the berry bushes on Wren Rd

A nice long visit over Second Breakfast (the Velo crowd was there as well), before heading out; Beth to the MAX station, Cecil and I pedaling home.

I have got to say that the lane striping on eastbound Cornell is completely, excellently well thought out. We have to turn right onto 158th, then immediately left onto Waterhouse. Now there are two right turn lanes off Cornell; proper placement would say we needed to be in the leftmost right turn lane. But there is also a LOT of traffic there... They put the bike lane between the two through lanes and the two right turn lanes! Yes!

Again, no wind really, until we got to Cedar Hills, where the howling east wind reappeared. I am definitely getting windburn from all this :-)

all the pics here
Beth's writeup here
I'm sure Cecil will have a writeup and pics soon...

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