Monday, April 20, 2009

Boring Ride ?

It wasn't. With the forecast for stellar weather (finally), several of the team mates seemed to be chomping at the bit to get in a long country ramble. The idea of a jaunt out to Multnomah Falls was briefly entertained, but braving the narrow shoulders of the scenic highway on one of the first warm days of spring was reason enough to look for someplace more remote. Ever heard of the town of  George, Oregon? Me neither. 

The Rubber to the Road guide list two routes called "Boring - hardly," the short version and the long one. Six of us set out for the full-meal deal Sunday morning. Not exactly bright and early like I hoped, but early enough. The first of many climbs came where 181st becomes 190th on the south side of Gresham. A lovely fast swoop down Butler past Persimmon golf course put us square in farmland and my old neighborhood at the base of Tower hill. Up and down Sunshine Valley road led into the town of Boring and the beginning of what Fergus called "the ride of a thousand hills." 
The back 40 on this ride was all up and down in the Cascade foothills, with just enough flat plateaus to allow some casual spinning before dropping into the next drainage. We crossed Eagle Creek, Deep Creek, Tickle Creek, Johnson Creek, and a bunch of other creeks, some of them several times. The high point of the route is the lollipop loop out of Eagle Fern park and up to the "town" of George. There's a real pretty church there and not much else. This Sunday there were about a dozen kids playing outside. Maybe George is always this way, but we remarked at how quiet the kids were. Like, eerie quiet. 

The drop back down took us through big fresh clear cuts on perfect sweeping curves. It looked like a lot of logging roads I've driven to get to climbs here in the northwest, except it was paved. I wish I'd taken a picture of this portion, but I didn't want to stop in the middle of such a fun descent. I checked my altimeter on my bike and we dropped about 1300 feet in about 10 minutes. Of course, we had to gain a lot of that back getting out of Eagle Creek. And it took longer. 

Back in Boring after the last climb out of Tickle Creek, everyone was feeling pretty toasted and no one complained when new-guy Andy's bike flatted just sitting in the parking lot at McCall's store in Boring. A few minutes delay in hitting the road for the final stretch back into Gresham was fine.
 I bought a muffin and some grapefruit juice since for the first time this year I actually ran out of food. In the absence of a support van, I was handing out fig bars from my snazzy notebook pencil organizer/handlebar feed bag. Maybe it was my imagination, but I think the derisive smirks disappeared in the face of empty pockets and the hunger bonk. 
all in all it was A Splendid Day. Here's the route.


  1. I don't know if I would call your feed bag, "snazzy," but it was very convenient. Thanks for the fig bars! Much appreciated!

    It might have been Alex who coined it the Ride of a Thousand Hills. In any case, it was a great ride.

  2. Spectacular ride! The nice weather helped too (if it had been raining, I think the word "Epic" would've been appropriate!). The view at the top of the extended loop was amazing. Almost took my breath away. I was in a full tuck when I sat up and thought about stopping, but the descent was fun and I may have caused a crash if I had stopped at those speeds. I think it was on a different hill, but my computer had a max speed over 50 mph.

    I coined it The Ride of a Thousand Hills because it seemed like we were nearly always going up or down. John B. coined it "Little Switzerland".

    I also must say a big thanks for having extra food! And, a thank you for writing about it in your blog. That's cool - I can share the adventure, pictures, and map with my wife & kids.