Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bike Route Toasting, Part 1: RASH 400k

Since discovering the bike route toaster, I've gone kind of nuts designing new randonneuring routes in the Portland/Willamette Valley area. If a route goes on quiet roads that add up to a multiple of 100k, I'm all over it. As a result, I've come up with a few promising routes that I'm gung ho about organizing in the next couple of years. So I'm going to share some of my ideas here, to get feedback from folks and to maybe build some enthusiasm for exploring these new areas. First up:

The RASH (Ride Around St. Helens) 400k
(Click the map to go to the bike route toaster interactive version.)

Start in Vancouver, and head east on the old Evergreen Highway, followed by SR 14 to Carson. Up Wind River, and over Old Man Pass and Elk Pass, down to Randle. West on US 12 to Mossyrock, and then backroads to Toledo. South through Castle Rock, Longview, and Woodland on backroads that parallel I-5 back to Vancouver.

The beauty of this route is that it starts off easy, with the traditional tailwind up the Columbia River. Then you get almost all of your climbing done before the halfway point. It's mostly downhill from the top of Elk Pass all the way to Toledo, and gentle rollers back to Vancouver (except for Green Mountain). There are nicely spaced resupply opportunities at Skamania, Carson, Northwoods, Randle, Morton, Toledo, Castle Rock, Longview, Kalama, and Woodland. And the distance works out almost perfectly, coming in at 406 km.

I would like to put on this ride as Oregon Randonneurs' summer 400 next year.

Here is the elevation profile:


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