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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 06-07-09, 01:50 PM   #1
zpl
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Bridge of the Gods - Columbia River ride (many photos!)

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.


Vancouver, WA


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.

Continued...
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Old 06-07-09, 01:50 PM   #2
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All of my photos along this section of a bike path came out poorly, but this at least gives you an idea of how lush the vegetation is. The path itself was also mostly covered in moss. It was beautiful to ride on.




This section of the bike path reminds me of the kinds of narrow mountain roads you'd see in Europe.





For a short stretch of about a mile you actually get to ride on Interstate 84. Yes, it's legal here. But not very pleasant.




Horsetail Falls







Bruce at Crown Point

This is only a selection of some of the photos I took. I have a photo gallery web site with higher resolution photos of this and other rides. Send me a PM (private message) if you'd like the link - I prefer not to post it on a public forum.

Enjoy,

Scott

Last edited by zpl; 06-07-09 at 01:59 PM. Reason: spelling corrections
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Old 06-07-09, 03:39 PM   #3
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Nice pics!

Wasn't that mossy trail more slippery than snot????
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Old 06-07-09, 03:52 PM   #4
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Excellent pics. Looks like you two had a great time.
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Old 06-07-09, 04:03 PM   #5
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I love that part of the gorge, right around the US97 Bridge (I think that's that bridge. ) It;'s been a while since I've driven the gorge.
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Old 06-07-09, 04:38 PM   #6
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Beautiful country!
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Old 06-07-09, 04:43 PM   #7
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That looks like a sweet ride. Did you ever decide which bottles to take?
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Old 06-07-09, 04:45 PM   #8
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I hope he took the Pace picante and the Lagunitas!
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Old 06-07-09, 05:26 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies:

Mazama: the moss definitely didn't inspire me to try carving any turns, but I had decent traction otherwise. There were also some bumpy sections due to tree roots kicking up the pavement that kept our speed down.

Tom: The US 97 bridge is quite a ways north of where we were, by Biggs Junction, OR. But you definitely can't beat the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge no matter where you are on it.
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Old 06-07-09, 07:44 PM   #10
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I enjoyed that.... thanks. At some point on a long ride like that I might want to cool my dogs in one of those streams!
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Old 06-07-09, 08:30 PM   #11
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I spent a few days out there on a work trip 3 years ago. I stayed in the hotel right by the bridge on the OR side and worked on the WA side. The scenery and the Columbia were just amazing.
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Old 06-07-09, 10:49 PM   #12
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Yeah... this ride is a treat. If you want to do a variation, follow Washougal River Road from Washougal to just east of Cape Horn. This avoids some of the tightest stretches along SR14. It works out to nearly the same distance.

The 'bent gang and I do this every year on the 4th of July weekend. We're going to go on Sunday the 5th this year, since there's always festivities on the Old Gorge Highway on the 4th. It's kind of neat doing this kind of riding from our front door.

What, no pictures of carrying the bikes up the stairs?
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Old 06-07-09, 10:51 PM   #13
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zpl,

Make sure to post some of those pictures in the PNW photo tread. Thanks for sharing what a wonderful part of the world we live in. I have not been to the gorge for quite some time, I may need to make the drive up to get a ride in.
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Old 06-08-09, 08:03 AM   #14
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Is this the route you followed? http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...uver/819451655
I've been thinking of trying this in late August/Sept.
I'm curious to know about the trail that parallels 84. Is it easy to find?
Thanks,
Brian
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Old 06-08-09, 09:38 AM   #15
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Is this the route you followed? http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...uver/819451655
I've been thinking of trying this in late August/Sept.
I'm curious to know about the trail that parallels 84. Is it easy to find?
Thanks,
Brian
Yup, that's the route. The bike path is easy to find, although there is a short stretch you eventually have to ride on I-84.

Once you've crossed over into OR on the Bridge of the Gods, you loop around and pass under the bridge. Just past the mural and right next to the road is the start of the bike path.

Scott
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Old 06-08-09, 10:10 PM   #16
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May I ask how long did this take you? Also where did you stop to fuel up/get H20? I'm seriously thinking of doing this in the early fall. This would be my first century.
Thanks,
brian
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Old 06-08-09, 10:25 PM   #17
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Yup, that's the route. The bike path is easy to find, although there is a short stretch you eventually have to ride on I-84.
I don't know about "easy to find"- I seem to miss it 50% of the time, even though I know where I'm going. It's probably the post-lunch-at-Charburger-naptime kicking in.

The bike path starts at the west end of the Charburger parking lot. It's just to the right side of the onramp to I-84. Once you find it, it's like "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride"- it swoops up and down through the trees.

Get one of these if you haven't done it before:
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/HCRH/...CRHbikemap.pdf

Another weird point that's confusing if you haven't done this previously is at the Cascade Salmon Hatchery: to continue, you need to go the wrong way up the I-84 offramp (against auto traffic) and then climb the stairs up to Wauna Point. It's funky, but keep going- the ride is worth it.
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Old 06-08-09, 10:28 PM   #18
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May I ask how long did this take you? Also where did you stop to fuel up/get H20? I'm seriously thinking of doing this in the early fall. This would be my first century.
Thanks,
brian
There's a couple small stores along SR-14 good for snack stops, and Cascade Locks has several restaurants. On the Oregon side, Multnomah Falls has a bunch of tourist trappings and Troutdale has a mini-mart if you're in late. If you get there early enough, have some ice cream at the Troutdale General Store.
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Old 06-08-09, 11:15 PM   #19
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There's a couple small stores along SR-14 good for snack stops, and Cascade Locks has several restaurants. On the Oregon side, Multnomah Falls has a bunch of tourist trappings and Troutdale has a mini-mart if you're in late. If you get there early enough, have some ice cream at the Troutdale General Store.
Yeah, what Jeff said. We stopped in Cascade Locks for lunch at a small pizza/sandwich shop.

The ride took me exactly 10 hours total, including stops/lunch/photo taking; with just under 8 hours of ride time.

125psi, drop me a line if you want to do some riding this summer. I'm not a hammerhead and enjoy meeting new people on two wheels.

Scott

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Old 06-09-09, 12:08 AM   #20
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You didn't stop at stonehenge?
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Old 06-09-09, 09:24 AM   #21
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Wow, that's super nice!
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