Sunday, August 12, 2012
Permanent #1612 -- Nicolas Flamel
Here's a simple, straightforward, and easy one -- a Sandy-and-back populaire, using Marine Drive and the Springwater Corridor for plenty of no-traffic, bike lane fun.
The idea is to use Joe's Donuts as a turnaround, but if you're doing an afternoon start then Sparky's is a great alternative for a huge, delicious $2 slice of cheese (or, plain depending on your regional pizza dialect). Plenty of other options in Sandy, too, like a little Mexican place whose name I can never remember that's a few blocks away from Joe's on 26.
This route is mercifully flat, but that also means you get from Troutdale to Sandy via the relatively dull stretch of 257th/Kane/Orient through Gresham. When the alternative is Bull Run, though, it's sometimes nice to go for a suburban cruise.
After your Sandy snack stop of choice, Kelso Road takes you back towards Boring then onto the east end of the Springwater. Sixteen miles later, you're done!
The Internet suggests this route has about 2K feet of climbing, which is probably a generous number. The only steep section of note is the first mile of 257th out of Troutdale... otherwise, it's all right around a 2% grade taking you up to downtown Sandy's just-under-1000-feet elevation.
All-in-all, a fine way to spend four or five hours on a bike.
[addendum: if you reverse the loop, most of your climbing is done at <1% grades on the Springwater, then you get to zip through the Gresham stretch on a mostly downhill stretch. Fun and faster!]