Favorite local rides?

The tri-country ride report got me thinking – what are your favorite local riding haunts, and what do you like best about them?

In all honesty, I often don’t know where I’m riding. If I’m out for recreation, I often head out in a direction and then just see where I wind up. I frequently have no idea what road I’m on, though I recognized a bunch from the tri-county ride report. I’m intrigued by by Otto Miller which I haven’t ridden yet – wondering if it’s packed hard enough for my 23mm slicks.

My favorite area in the PDX environs is the west hills. The climbs with tight turns are my thing because they’re typically quiet with little to no traffic, most give you some views somewhere along the line (maybe some wildlife if you’re lucky), wind isn’t a factor because aero isn’t, and they’re not that high so you get a break and don’t have to deal with significant temperature differentials.

Living in east county, Jonathan’s ride is a stretch for me. It’s a ride in itself just to get to the starting point of his ride so I’ll offer perspective from way east of the Willamette.

One of my favorite rides, and I’m not alone judging by how many cyclists I see, is going out to Corbett from Troutdale. The main route goes through Springdale but there are many variants north of there which are just as nice and with even less traffic. A stretch goal is the Women’s Forum overlook and if you’re really in for another hour or two, then Larch Mountain. A pre-COVID option was Multnomah Falls but I heard the road is closed to cyclists as well now although I haven’t ventured out there to check lately.

If you want to hang out in the hills east of the Sandy River, then you could put Dodge Park and Bull Run on the menu for a longer adventure.

A new ride I’ve been exploring and maybe someone reading this could help me out here is doing some gravel riding from Boring to Barton. I can’t find a connection across Deep Creek to actually make it to Barton and the Cazadero Trail. Because picking that up would take me a good way towards Estacada!

This is part of the the motivation behind this thread.

Even though the distances are modest in terms of mileage, riding in the city sucks from a recreational point of view. Too much racket, too many things breaking up your rhythm, and the scenery/aesthetics is concrete wasteland.

What I used to really like (and had access to) were mountain rides. We’re just a bit far from Mt Hood for it to be a day trip. The area off Zig Zag looks like it might be fun, but 26 is too much of a junk ride for it to be worth it.

I alternate between the West hills and the roads around Corbett. The farther out the better, particularly Rock Creek and Logie to the west and Hurlburt and Littlepage to the east. Closer in, climbing Saltzman is one of my favorites. But really, anything in either direction is quite nice. I’m amazed at how empty and trouble free these roads can be. Regarding Otto Miller on 23s, I’d find that a bit sketchy. I ride my 25mm Conti 4000s off road without much hesitation (eg, Otto, Lower Springville, Alex Barr, Palmer Mill) but have had to walk steep pitches because of spinning out. There are effectively 27mm and anything narrower now seems crazy to me. I’m not one to chase fades, but wider tires and lace up shoes are two changes I fully endorse. If your frame will fit them I say get wider tires.

I like to bike safely On Greenways in the SE for exercise. Favorite routes:1.)Springwater to 205 to Division, then Lincoln to Clinton, back to Springwater; 2.) Eastbank Esplanade North up the ramp, past Moda, to Williams then East on Going, then south on 32Nd following Greeway signs south all the back to Woodstock.

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Unfortunately there’s no great choice here. Good news is that Metro just bought a chunk of land and intends to eventually build switchbacks down and make some kind of crossing.

The most obvious route now is to follow Amissiger Rd but it’s not comfortable: steep, no shoulders, a lot of traffic.

Might got a chance to move to Portland and I’ll definitely try to see those places.

Just for the heck of it, I went out there to give it a shot. On the plus side, the road surface was better and maximum pitches easier than I expected.

Having said that, I fully agree with your assessment. It was definitely sketch – enough for me to think that the ride back on Skyline was more fun on my rig than the gravel roads I explored out there despite the significant traffic differential.

On an aside note, I encountered two people, one on Dutch Canyon and another on another road (I forget which one) shooting assault rifles less than 50 yards from the road which detracted from the experience.

I often base my rides on something from Rubber to the Road.

Unfortunately, the site doesn’t seem to get a lot of use, so some of the suggestions may be a bit out of date. E.g. they have a ride that goes up Germantown Road, which was advised against in this forum recently due to higher traffic levels.

I spot checked the rides. The info may be old, but it’s pretty decent.

Germantown would be a good road, except it’s used as a commuter and through road which gets a different style of driving (i.e. more aggressive). Even with the traffic, it’s not horrible but there are better choices for both climbing and descending – Newberry is nearby and is significantly more enjoyable for both.

Higher traffic levels are never a good thing, but they don’t necessarily make the road no good nor does low/no traffic make it great.

For example, Saltzman is a local favorite which I only recommend conditionally. On the plus side, no traffic and a very enjoyable environment overall. However, it’s just too popular. If you go there early before anyone else is out there, it’s awesome. But once things heat up, it’s like MUP riding – too much dodge 'em.

Likewise, Skyline is a busy road with no shoulder where the vehicles move right along. However, they play nice and the views are good so it’s still nice riding