On Saturday, my friend Bruce and I did the Bridge of the Gods ride, a well-known scenic ride along the Washington and Oregon sides of the Columbia River, East of Portland. It was also my first century of 2009 (106 miles total w/ 7k feet of climbing).
I believe this is the most scenic bike ride I've ever been on before. We were frequently surrounded by mountains partially covered by clouds, views of the river, and low traffic consisting of courteous drivers. We weren't buzzed or honked at once.
Bruce tells me he's often done the ride once per month in the summer. I can totally understand why. Centuries like this are right near my physical limits, but the rewards of the ride are worth it.
The ride begain with some light drizzle and the overcast skies remained with us pretty much the whole time. However, with temps in the mid-60s (F), I certainly wasn't going to complain. I had my fenders on, so the wet roads didn't bother me in the least.
My first dilemma of the morning - which bottles to take with me?
Good advice. This is the bike path along the Glenn Jackson (I-205) bridge between Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA. It is pretty miserable to ride along with all the noise and eternal wind, but at least it exists as an option to get across the river.
The Washougal River
View from Cape Horn
This is the Bridge of the Gods, which crosses the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon. I couldn't take any photos while crossing it because it's a steel grate bridge and I got a bit of vertigo when I looked down at the Columbia.
This is a mural you'll find under the South side of the BOG.