Timber to Vernonia Century


Trying to keep up with my “century a month” goal for May – October of this year.  Finally got the chance to get in my June century this past weekend.

A couple people at work with kept telling me about this “timber ride”, which is basically heading out towards the Tillamook State Forest, cutting over a portion and into this middle of nowhere town called Timber, OR.  To me this ride was the prime example of leaving the Portland Metro Area, and just how quickly you are in the middle of nowhere.

My ride started from Hillsboro and out towards Forest Grove, I followed Gales Creek Road to the intersection with route 6.  Followed that for 3ish miles and turned onto Timber Road and started a nice ride into the quiet.

low clouds and quiet roads

there was a decent climb with some nice switchbacks (up an down) heading into Timber proper.  One of the switchbacks had a set of railroad tracks crossing the road just as you were exiting the turn.  That was a little hairy on a bike.

There was really nothing to see in Timber itself.  I didn’t even see the post office shown in the wikipedia link above.  Next thing I knew was I was at the junction of route 26 and crossing to head up towards Vernonia.

This next 11 miles up to Vernonia can best be described as quiet and idyllic.  I saw more horses and cows than people and cars.  Once more it was one of those reminders of just how rural Oregon can be.  Downtown Portland is only about 35 miles from where I was at the time, but you would never know it.

Old barn

Once hitting Vernonia I took the Banks-Vernonia Trail all the way back to Banks.  At this point I was just over 70 miles, so I had to get a bit creative and ended up 4 miles from home with 10 miles left to go.  A portion of those last miles were more back roads in the Helvetia area and finally the last little bit to home.

wheat (?) and clouds in Banks

I got rained on 5-6 times, at one point it was a bit heavy while coming down the B-V trail.  This ride also was marked by a first for me.  No stops for food, and a free refill of water at the Banks trailhead.  I carried enough food with me from the outset and the water got me those last 30 miles.

All in all, this was a very good ride into some intriguing country.  It’s definitely going on the “will do again” list.

Thanks for reading


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