Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Perms!

Most of the permanent routes in the Portland area start a good long ways out of Portland. As someone with recent ambitions to complete an R-12, I have found myself more interested in this type of randonneuring. However, getting up at some unholy early hour to schlep to Newberg and then riding home 30 miles after a 200k gets old pretty quick. Being a route designer with some imagination, I decided to do something about it. Thus, I have submitted the following three routes to RUSA's permanents coordinator for approval. With luck, these will be options open to future Oregon randonneurs who don't want to drive so that they can ride their bikes.

The UGB 200k

This ride traces the outskirts of the Portland metro area's urban growth boundary. It starts from the parking lot at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge. You can get your card stamped at OMSI or at the coffee house on Water & Clay. The route takes the Springwater Corridor out to Boring, with a controle at Bell Station to make sure you take the trail. From Boring, the route goes down to Barton and crosses the Clackamas, and then it's up Ridge Road to Highland, over Spangler Hill and down to Canby. From Canby, you go west through Champoeg to Newberg. Then it's up the familiar North Valley, Spring Hill, and Fern Hill Roads to Cornelius, around Hillsboro Airport, and through Helvetia to Rock Creek. The ride finishes up by taking Old Cornelius Pass Road up to Skyline, and following Skyline back into downtown.

The Columbia Foothills 205k
This ride starts at Gateway. The route starts off on the I-205 bike path, taking it across the Columbia into Vancouver. It winds a little through Vancouver before getting on my new favorite road to go north through Clark County, Andresen, which takes you all the way to Daybreak Park on the Lewis River. From there, the route winds northwest to La Center and Woodland. Out of Woodland, you'll climb Green Mountain (there's an info control on top, so no cheating by taking the freeway). Then it's easy rollers into Kalama and Kelso. From Kelso, it's across the Lewis & Clark Bridge back into Oregon. In Rainier, the route goes up Fern Hill Road (different Fern Hill Road) to Apiary, and then down Meissner Road to Deer Island. From there it's a straight shot back into Portland on US 30 (which hopefully will be somewhat redeemed by a tailwind). The path back to Gateway is highlighted by some classic views of the Portland skyline from Mock's Crest and Alameda Ridge.

The Mt. Hood 217k

From Mt. Hood Community College up the gorge to Hood River, then south over Bennett Pass to Government Camp, and back down to Gresham. How is this not already in the route book?