I rode this on a Saturday early in March with Lynne and Michal (the latter will also be on my flèche team next month). After holding them up at the start point for 20 minutes by missing my planned train, we were on the road. On the plus side, though, I did get a picture of my newest DIY bike craft while waiting for the next train (also decade-old neoprene booties and hopelessly hairy legs):
We meandered out of Beaverton on many of the same roads Lynne used for her Hagg Lake ride (which I did in January), with the first stop coming at a Banks Thriftway. I ate some mid-morning fried chicken and checked out this awesome shopping cart:
Then it was onto the Banks-Vernonia trail, 20+ awesome miles of pedestrian path between the two towns.
After fixing the snow damage to my camera from the previous 200K, I decided to pack a little pouch for it on this ride:
Lynne and Michal cruised along on a slightly uphill stretch for a few miles:
We ran into some debris at the "summit" (internet says it's 934 feet, feels much lower since you approach it on mostly a 2% grade), and Lynne trudged through it carefully:
Then it was Michal's turn:
The forecast had called for pretty consistent rain, so I was pleasantly surprised to be able to remove my jacket for most of the riding into Vernonia:
In Vernonia, we ducked into a coffee shop for a not-hurried-at-all rest stop, and I admired a pile of purple rando bikes:
The route into Birkenfeld is just as simple -- north from Vernonia on Hwy 47, then a left at Hwy 202. We found a little bit of rain here, but still nothing too drastic -- but the precipitation was enough to push us along for this stretch of road at a steady 18ish miles per hour.
You get a nice view of the Nehalem River:
Then there's the Birkie cafe itself, a great place to spend half an hour in the middle of a cold-weather ride. I got some chicken nachos and a Dr Pepper... superfine riding food.
The route is a pure out-and-back -- no looping, no side quests, no nonsense. After a quick refueling at the Vernonia Shell, it was back onto the Banks-Vernonia trail -- this time, I pulled a little ways ahead of Lynne and Michal on the gradual descent into Banks.
They caught up, though, and we cruised into Banks with about an hour of daylight left.
(this is a picture of my handlebars, hand, and bag, for no real reason)
Our leisurely stops in Vernonia and Birkenfeld caught up to us, as the last few miles into Beaverton were at dusk.
After squaring away all our information in Beaverton, we split up, and I decided to ride back into PDX rather than hop on the MAX. Other than a stiff 11% climb for one block on Pointer Street, the bike route along Hwy 26 was rather nice -- perhaps not something I would want to do in the morning before a ride, but easy enough to do at the end of one.
And, amazingly, I managed to hold my hand steady enough for a no-flash picture of the Canyon Road tunnel:
Anyway, our clocked time was 12:44 for 213km. With to-and-from commute, I think I totaled about 145 miles, my highest one-day total for riding fixed gear. That's all.