Are you in Portland this weekend? I have a bike recommendation for you! The Oregon Randonneurs Portland-Ripplebrook-Portland 200k is happening on Saturday, and it’s sure to be a rockin good time:)
I had a chance to ride this route not once but twice! Well, one and a half times: the first time work obligations and a paving project along Faraday Road conspired to make me leave out the part where you actually get to Ripplebrook (cutting out 50 miles or so). But that’s really the most scenic part so I’d definitely recommend not skipping it:)
The basic idea for this route is to get out to Boring on the Springwater Corridor, then head to Estacada on some quiet back roads; from Estacada it’s a lovely, woodsy, rivery jaunt along Highway 242 to the Ripplebrook ranger station. Once you turn around, you pass Estacada and return to Portland a different way, through Barton and Oregon City. (If you’re interested, you can see the actual route details here)
Both times I rode this route, I was tempted by random side trips and exciting off-route options. Perhaps the most notable was the Oregon City farmers market, which happens on Wednesdays from 3-7. Though I went by too early in the day the first time I took this ride (I did cut off 50 miles, after all), when Joseph and I came through it was definitely farmers market time. We took the requisite detour:) There are also tons of little strawberry stands and other lovely things along the road. Though I’d meant to ride fast the first time, I was sucked into the slow, picture-taking, detour-making, curiosity-slaking meander of new places (or old places seen with new eyes). And when Joseph and I went out, it was sort of the same deal. I like speed, but I liked this better:)
Plus, I had to scope out the Trolley Trail, which I’d ridden by on my way back from Eastern Oregon and sworn to explore later. It’s a pretty rad path, and definitely worth a ride (and maybe a write, later).
So yeah. Go ride it on Saturday in the company of lots of lovely randonneurs. Or just print out the cue sheet and ride it yourself some day you have off. If it’s Wednesday, I know a place you can get some great produce:)