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Ideas For The Next Portland C&V Ride?

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Ideas For The Next Portland C&V Ride?

Old 01-28-16, 12:42 PM
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Ideas For The Next Portland C&V Ride?

(I apologize to the non-Portlanders here, for whom this and similar threads are irrelevant.)

So, all the Eroica talk has made me think, maybe we should incorporate a bit of unpavement in our Portland C&V rides, which I'm hoping to organize monthly or at least semi-monthly. The weather is getting better - okay, not this exact moment - and as winter turns to spring, meeting up at Velocult for a Saturday C&V ride should feel less like self harm and more like self pleasure. Ahem.

What do you think?. Would you be happy to do one, two, five miles on dirt or gravel, on your prized shiny C&V bike?. Yes dirt, no gravel?. Or do you feel that road bikes belong on the road and mountain bikes off the road?. Parenthetically, maybe we should do a ride for C&V mountain bikes?

I am not very familiar with the dirt or gravel routes around town, but I could ask around. For a simple shakedown cruise, we could simply ride over to Forest Park and take the Leif Erickson trail as far as it goes into the park, emerge on Germantown Rd, then either go back on Skyline or via Hwy 30/St Johns Bridge. That would be about 11 miles of smooth dirt road (steady but not steep climb), maybe about a 25 mile loop.

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks...ction=ViewFile

Throwing it out there for discussion.
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Old 01-28-16, 02:42 PM
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Dixie Mountain Rd would be a fun segment. Did this once on my Daccordi with 23mm Gran Prix's (poor choice). Others dirt/gravel options in that same vicinity.
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Old 01-28-16, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Insidious C. View Post
Dixie Mountain Rd would be a fun segment. Did this once on my Daccordi with 23mm Gran Prix's (poor choice). Others dirt/gravel options in that same vicinity.
I killed a pair of Open Pros going down Dixie Mountain Road years ago. Rode it with skinny tires in the winter rain. Had to brake the whole time. Easily a year's worth of winter commuting rim wear. Now, my recently acquired Competition with it's 35c tires would be fun!

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Old 01-28-16, 08:16 PM
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Lief Erickson, I like it! Self pleasuring, well, I guess it is Portland....
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Old 01-28-16, 08:28 PM
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@adventurepdx has hosted some in town gravel, shortcut, back way rides. He would know where those are if you wanted to do an "in town" adventure. Maybe he'll chime in.
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Old 01-28-16, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post
@adventurepdx has hosted some in town gravel, shortcut, back way rides. He would know where those are if you wanted to do an "in town" adventure. Maybe he'll chime in.
You rang?

Yep, Leif Erickson in Forest Park is the longest and most obvious gravel ride in town, at 11 miles from the Thurman trailhead to Germantown. The only thing is that there's only a few "bail out" points along the way, and they all either lead down to US 30/St Helens Road or up to Skyline. And some of those climbs up to Skyline would definitely put the "suffering" in, just like a good Eroica would!

Another option is hitting up Powell Butte. It's easily accessible via Springwater Corridor, and there's a few good gravel ups and downs. Plus, the view from the top is going to be better than anything you can get out of Leif Erickson.

There's lots of "unimproved" streets scattered around town, but most are a block or two. The longest one I know is about a 1/2 mile, SE Cooper between 72nd and 82nd. The largest concentrations of unimproved streets are in outer neighborhoods, specifically Woodstock and the Cully (which would be easy to get to from VeloCult.) There's also some good stuff out towards St Johns.
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Old 01-28-16, 09:48 PM
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Yeah, let's incorporate some gravel! If there's a bit of climbing, we can plan on stopping and do some coffeeneuring!
@adventurepdx, I'm thinking you're just the right person to help put something like this together!
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Old 01-28-16, 10:56 PM
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Great ideas! I've never ridden up to Powell Butte, nor out to Dixie Mountain. I also have only limited experience riding a skinny tire road bike on loose surfaces, but have done it a bit and neither my bike, my (25 mm) tires, nor my legs, assploded.

I would like to keep these rides, at this time, to a length and level that allows it to be inclusive, especially considering it is still winter and some C&V bike enthusiasts might not be in their "top form" and it might be raining on any given day. I'm thinking like 30-40 flat miles or 20-30 hilly miles would be nice for March. As winter gives way to spring, I'd think the rides can get longer and epic-ish. Does that make sense?. If so, what would we like for a March ride route?
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Old 01-28-16, 10:57 PM
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By the way, don't we have to carry weapons if we're going to ride on the Springwater nowadays?. Just kidding, in light of all the recent fuss.
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Old 01-29-16, 12:14 AM
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I just missed the last ride. My schedule brought me to Portland by train Sunday night , and I rode back to Eugene yesterday

It has been a while since I've been running in Forest Park. The main road was pretty flat. I don't remember about how course the gravel was, and that was quite some time ago anyway, so it has probably changed. I don't think I'd do a group ride of more than 2 people or so on the side trails, if they are even open to bikes, but the main drag would be ok.

Anyway, most of my recent trips to Portland seem to incorporate about a 150 to 180 mile one-day road ride. So, I'm not too interested in bringing a cross bike or MTB up there, unless I would choose to also do a really big trip such as a few hundred miles on the John Wayne Trail, in which case I may need to build up a very specific JWT bike.

So, for now, it is 23/25mm road tires, wherever those take me (which can include some light gravel). Perhaps I could try to have a set of 25mm tires for riding, and a spare set of 32/35mm tires for trails, if I had the right bike with adequate clearance. Hmmm... I can envision modding a 27" Motobecane Grand Jubilee for all purpose use, with 700c wheels and 2 sets of tires


I believe exmechanic89 rides a fat tire commuter. Perhaps you can get him to come.

It would be fun group rides, but you may diverge from the C&V theme if you do too much gravel/dirt riding.
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Old 01-29-16, 12:40 AM
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I suppose I do have that BMX bike that I picked up in a bundled deal in a police auction 20 years ago... so it must be C&V

It would be a challenge

It might look a bit ridiculous though.

Last edited by CliffordK; 01-29-16 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 01-29-16, 10:52 AM
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Sounds interesting. I like the inclusive thought, some of us C+V folks fall into the 10-12 mph and some climbing to get somewhere is good, looking for things to climb ... not so much. Tim
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Old 01-29-16, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by choteau View Post
Sounds interesting. I like the inclusive thought, some of us C+V folks fall into the 10-12 mph and some climbing to get somewhere is good, looking for things to climb ... not so much. Tim
As far as hilly areas, last summer we road up Mt Tabor which was nice. West Portland is quite a bit hillier than East. Unfortunately most of the hills I can remember were on pretty busy roads (but I may have been more interested in my commuting than pleasure riding).

A couple of good hills coming up from around the Sellwood Bridge area. Not too long, but steep enough.
Thinking of Forest Park, I think there are some good paved roads going up over the top of the park.
The Rose Garden and Zoo area?
Pill Hill is always a good climb, but also a bit busy with traffic.
Various parts of Terwilliger are good, mostly with bike paths with rolling hills on the Downtown Portland End, and a climb up from the river on the other end.

If you want a decent climb, perhaps meet down here, in McKenzie Bridge in late May or early June
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Old 01-29-16, 02:51 PM
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This spring the wife or daughter will drop me in Sisters and pick me up in McKenzie Bridge, going the other direction means riding UP the "Dead Horse Grade" I might be as stubborn as a mule, but don't ride to "feel the pain".
One of my usual routes does have a couple hills. I ride from downtown Springfield South to Dorris Ranch, E to Clearwater Park, E to Mt Vernon Rd, E to 57th, N to the old Weyerhauser haul road, W to 42nd, N to Marcola Rd, N on Old Mohawk, W on McKenzie View to Armitage Park, and S to home.
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Old 01-29-16, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I believe exmechanic89 rides a fat tire commuter. Perhaps you can get him to come.

It would be fun group rides, but you may diverge from the C&V theme if you do too much gravel/dirt riding.
I actually dont own a commuter bike - just a mtb, a road bike, and a hybrid. I'd probably ride my road bike for this type of deal. I like hills and am up for lots of those on the ride, but I kind of agree with Cliff on trails being added - I dont see my road bike doing well with the thin tires I ride on. If the ride is gonna involve trails then I'll probably just ride my mtb or hybrid.
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Old 01-29-16, 03:27 PM
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Man, I'm hoping I can make it back down there sometime, maybe this summer? I miss riding around Portland!
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Old 01-29-16, 03:47 PM
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I'd be up for it, but the three hour drive kinda puts a damper on it..

I've ridden in and around the Portland area, and really enjoyed it.
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Old 01-29-16, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by choteau View Post
This spring the wife or daughter will drop me in Sisters and pick me up in McKenzie Bridge, going the other direction means riding UP the "Dead Horse Grade" I might be as stubborn as a mule, but don't ride to "feel the pain".
I did the ride from Springfield to about halfway up the mountain and back last spring.
Then got dropped off in McKenzie Bridge, made it to the pass, and back to Springfield.
And got dropped off in Sisters and made it back to Springfield (1 1/2 days).

If you do choose to ride from McKenzie Bridge to Springfield (or visa-versa), I've been hunting for routes that bypass HWY 126. I'm at about 70% off of the highway now, if you can accept a few miles of course gravel, and a short segment of Rosboro road if open (signs say non-motorized vehicles, when not working in the area).

From McKenzie Bridge:
  • Horse Creek Road to King Road East. (Paved)
  • King Road East to King Road West to Cougar Dam Road (Paved)
  • Aufderheide Drive to Road 408 (Aufderheide is paved)
  • Road 408 (Very course gravel) to Finn Rock. This does cross Rosboro Property. It is technically supposed to be open to non-motorized vehicles, but it wouldn't hurt to call ahead and verify they aren't actively working in the area.
  • Cross the Finn Rock Bridge to HWY 126. Unfortunately the Nimrod bridge is closed (decking removed), and I haven't found a way to get from Nimrod to Deer Creek Road.
  • Goodpasture Bridge/Road does connect to Leaburg Dam, but with a lot of climbing, and gravel (and maybe private signs?) Consider this an optional hop at this time. Benefit is minimal.
  • Just past the Leaburg Dam, you can pick up the first Leaburg Canal Trail. (Well groomed fine gravel. A road bike would be OK.) This will take you to 126, just before the Holden Creek Lane.
  • Greenwood Drive takes you off of 126 for a couple of miles, then back onto 126. (Skipped if on Leaburg Canal Trail)
  • Also Leaburg Drive, around the back side of Leaburg, then back onto 126.(Skipped if on Leaburg Canal Trail)
  • Holden Creek Lane to the Deerhorn Bridge. Across onto Deerhorn Rd. It goes several miles to just past Hendrick's Bridge.
  • BACKTRACK on HWY 126 across Hendrick's Bridge to Millican Road to Camp Creek Road.
  • Take Camp Creek Road to Marcola Rd, and 42nd Street in Springfield. If you need more gravel, you can ride back to Walterville, and pick up another EWEB canal trail for a couple of miles.

There are a couple of roads that will take one over into the Westfir area in the Willamette drainage, which I'll explore soon.

Last edited by CliffordK; 01-29-16 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 01-29-16, 04:26 PM
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I'll have to try some of the sections you mention. Didn't you start a thread with those?
I've ridden Camp Creek to Millican, West onto 126 thru Cedar Flats (it's a wide shoulder) to Thurston Rd which will bring you to 58th and Main.
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Old 01-29-16, 04:39 PM
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My experience with road bikes on dirt/gravel roads is limited, but so far I've found that the easiest riding is on the flats or moderate uphills. It is fun to ride the skinny tires there, even my 25 mm 100 psi (or once 23 mm 120 psi tubulars), and you feel all heroic, or Eroica if you will. I'm not as sanguine on very loose/deep stuff or on descents, where the skinny front tire washes out more easily than I'd like. And I've never tried a steep uphill (like >10%), but I'd wonder about traction.

That's why I thought of the Leif Ericson trail as a good place to dip a toe into the C&V road bike/gravel ride thing. Going from the start to GermanTown Rd, it is wide, fairly smooth, either flat or a modest grade (I'd estimate most uphill parts are <5%), with minimal descending, and the surface is mostly firm. I've even ridden it on slick tires with no problems.

At GermanTown, you can go uphill (steep, short) to Skyline, then do a long gradual descent on Skyline. Or you can go downhill (steep, short) to the St Johns Bridge, which is a pretty crossing, then return to Velocult via some nice roads that are not crowded and have some nice views for part of the way. Or you can go uphill to Skyline, then keep riding north on Skyline to Dixie Mountain Rd.
@adventurepdx, you mentioned some good stuff around St Johns - where are they?. Would they link up well with a Leif Erickson - St Johns Bridge route?

Last edited by jyl; 01-29-16 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 01-29-16, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger M View Post
I'd be up for it, but the three hour drive kinda puts a damper on it..
That it does. I've been making that drive twice weekly for over three years now.
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Old 01-29-16, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger M View Post
I'd be up for it, but the three hour drive kinda puts a damper on it..

I've ridden in and around the Portland area, and really enjoyed it.
That's not too bad. Just get on your bike and ride and ride and ride.

Last summer, it as an all day and half the night ride to the couple hour C&V ride
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Old 01-29-16, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
My experience with road bikes on dirt/gravel roads is limited...that's why I thought of the Leif Ericson trail as a good place to dip a toe into the C&V road bike/gravel ride thing. Going from the start to GermanTown Rd, it is wide, fairly smooth, either flat or a modest grade (I'd estimate most uphill parts are <5%), with minimal descending, and the surface is mostly firm. I've even ridden it on slick tires with no problems.
I'd definitely recommend going northbound on Leif towards Germantown. That grade near Thurman is better to ascend for two reasons: It's fun to bomb down Germantown! (And climbing Springville is a pain.) And the first couple miles of Leif from Thurman is rough, basically old paved road "gone to seed". Nice chunks of aggregate. I hate descending down it on 2 inch wide tires, so I couldn't imagine doing it on 23s!
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Old 01-29-16, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
@adventurepdx, you mentioned some good stuff around St Johns - where are they?. Would they link up well with a Leif Erickson - St Johns Bridge route?
N Crawford St is a nice dirt climb from down in Cathedral Park up to the bluff level. At the top there's a nice view near the old Open Meadow school. And N Decatur St on the north side of the bridge will give you all the mud you desire!

While at Cathedral Park, if you time it right you could hit up Occidental Brewing.
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Old 01-29-16, 08:32 PM
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Thanks. I'll check those out. I'm getting excited about our next C&V ride.
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