Saturday, September 5, 2009

Save Helvetia Ride

One of my very favorite local cycling areas is Helvetia, which is north of Hwy 26. Rolling, rural, beautiful... I've been riding there since the early 90's.


There is a movement afoot to expand our Urban Growth Boundary. They want to include Helvetia. Ack! House farms, industrial complexes... I figure there is enough land still within the UGB that they don't need to do that. Heck, downsize a few parking lots.

Save Helvetia organized a ride today, to tour the area. I selected the shorter, and less hilly route (I know all the roads. No way am I choosing to ride on Kaiser, Old Germantown, or Springville these days!)

We started at Team Estrogen, where owner Susan O. is a member of the BTA Board. Fitz also came along. Einar and Kevin were also riding; nice surprise!

We talked with some local residents, then headed out.

Of course, it was raining. Heavily :-)

We turned onto Groveland Rd - I've seen both ends of it, but never ridden it... not paved. Not that Bleriot's big fat tires cared.

First stop was Furrow Farm on West Union. I've ridden past there millions (only slight exaggeration) of times. They are very busy in late November and December, because about half their crop is Christmas trees (the whole Helvetia area sees a lot of cars with trees on top that time of year), but they also raise hazelnuts. We had samples of the chocolate-covered ones. Mmmmm.

Then west some more and north on Jackson Quarry Rd. At this point I assumed the position of Lanterne Rouge. Saw a subset of the Velo race team at the corner of Jackson Quarry and Helvetia Rd.

I made it about 1/3 of the way up the hill to the Helvetia Church, then the warp engines failed. Fortunately, we had a sag vehicle, driven by the delightful Brendan, who gave me a lift to the top of the hill. (Post ride analysis says 15% grade. What was I thinking?)

Then generally downhill, lots of rollers, past Roloff's farm, the Helvetia Tavern, and then onto Phillips Rd. More rollers. A left on Dick Rd to view the amazing railroad trestle, then headed back, continuing on Dick Rd to the Finquita del Buho CSA. It turns out I've met one of the owners; they are buddies with Pumpkin Ridge Gardens CSA (ours), and she sells starts and flowers with Polly at the Beaverton Farmers' Market.

We had a great tour of their 2-acre farm, from which they feed 65 subscribers! Lots of vegetables, pears, chickens (eggs), goats (milk, cheese, and meat), and pigs (meat). We munched on string beans (purple, haricots verts, and Blue Lakes), broccoli, cherry tomatos, and hot peppers (I declined...). Quality farmland like that is not an increasing commodity.

Then back to Team Estrogen, more chatting with Einar, and home to some hot chicken soup, with lots of our CSA corn in it...

no pics today, but visit these flickr sets for an idea of what we want to preserve:
Riding with Rickey
Verboort Populaire (in the general area, might be outside the boundary...)
West Side Ride (ditto, parts are in the boundary)

and from Cecil's pics:
Last Beautiful Day

Oh, yeah, details: 12.2 miles, 11 mph average


Anonymous said...

REALLY wish I could've done this one with you, but I was so tired from last week's Xtracycle forays (3 of them in one week and two with heavy loads) that I decided to just stay home and chill out.

Glad you made it out! Sounds like you had a great ride in spite of the rain.

Carfree Family said...

Just stumbled on this post after making the 2012 Helvetia Community Ride - hard to believe we are still fighting the same issue! Love your comment about downsizing a few parking lots.