COVID-19 Wk 13: Getting Social(ish)


Mia is the only person I have done any sort of outdoor activity with since late February. While I had plenty of plans between then and now it goes without saying that COVID screwed it all up. (how many times have I written that in a blog post now….?)

Mark (co-worker) & John

I finally loosened my self restriction on “group rides” very slightly this past weekend. Mark works for the same employer as I do and John normally works in the same building, just down the hall, as me. We all drove out separately to the start location and didn’t share any food, water, etc with each other. I’m comfortable with a situation like this one at this point. The grocery store is scarier than riding with these two.

Social Distancing (AKA dropping their butts) ;-)

The three of us met at Beulah City Park in Yamhill for a trip out to Barney Reservoir and then to make a connection via Flora Mainline and back down to “civilization”. I had ridden various parts of this route but not the connection from just east of Barney and over to Fairchild Toll Rd. This would be accomplished by the Flora Mainline.

I didn't expect "street signs"

The climb from where the pavement ends on Turner Creek Rd all the way up to the intersection to get over to Barney Reservoir is a little over 6.5 miles and about 1600′ of elevation gain. It’s got a couple short steep stretches and a lot of extended “grunters”. Riding with two other people and chatting the whole way up sure helped with taking my mind off the discomfort.

spillway at Barney Reservoir

You could knock off about 8 miles of our loop by skipping the out-n-back along the reservoir. It was just something we did for giggles and since the City of Beaverton is a member of the Joint Water Commission it was somewhat work related. (not really)

Really like these Kitsbow gloves

I’m not normally someone who wears gloves riding. The exception being races or if it’s chilly enough. However I have to say I’m really starting to like these Kitsbow Kitchel gloves. They’re not too warm and the padding on the palm plays well with my hands. (full disclosure, I do get a discount on these via their ambassador program)

The wildflowers were everywhere
It got steep for a bit

We ran into one other cyclist and a couple on an ATV (on a road that specifically said no motorized vehicles…dumbass) while out in the boonies of this ride. Then finally saw another couple biking together down near Flying M Ranch once dropping down to public roads again. You can be pretty certain of low traffic and very few other people out here. It’s quite a pleasant escape when you need/want it.

The right front wheel was in the passenger seat
John smiling after the last major descent

The bonus of climbing for six plus miles is you get to, at one point, descend again. We were rewarded with a 5 mile twisty gravel road that lost about 1800′. The first couple miles had some super steep sections and the last 2-2.5 were just fast and the flow was nice.

Flora Mainline
Views at the top were nice

I’m eventually going to do the Trask or Toll Rd routes out to Tillamook. This ride takes in parts of those and it was nice to get familiar with the area.

Moores Valley Rd

The final gravel miles of Moores Valley Rd are quite pleasant. There are plenty of cows, horses and not much else. I believe we saw one car on that section.

Gotta say thanks to Mark and John for joining me on this jaunt. I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what is out here but the more I explore the more I like it out this way.

bacon & blue cheese biscuits

I didn’t get all that complicated with a recipe this weekend. I used the same King Arthur biscuit recipe as last week but added some thick cut bacon and Crater Lake Blue Cheese from Rogue Creamery. They came out a bit more “cakey” this week and I probably cooked them about 2-3 minutes longer than I would have liked. The taste is fabulous with the bacon/blue cheese combo but the texture is a bit “off”. Still trying to perfect my bread/pastry skills I guess.

Thanks for reading,

One Comment Add yours

  1. Margaret Comire says:

    Hi Peter: That trail looked like a real challenge for you but I liked how wide it is & the views are gorgeous….I laughed when I saw the street signs….I heard that Oregon was having an upswing with Covid. In NH, the serious cases are in decline but it’s being reported that we will get another surge early in September….My prediction is it will be here sooner than September because all business’s are opening up including restaurants, hair salons, work out places & medical doctors & dentists offices, & nursing facilities…As well people are letting their guard down by not obeying the restrictions….It will be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out….So how are you & Mia doing these days….Have you done any more beautifying to your house….We have done oodles of planting of bushes, flowers, building borders around these plantings & cutting lots of dead trees on the property…..Our next project is calling a landscaper to build a stone wall on another part of our property that currently is a small pit of rocks, weeds & stumps….That pit will be cleaned out & filled with loam so we can plant grass in that area….The nursing home restrictions have been lifted so we get to see my Mom next week….The nursing home has set their own rules & they are mighty strict….We can visit by app’t only for only 1/2 hour & we cannot touch my Mom…..Those are just some of the rules they’ve established….As you already know that James passed his driving & written test so he is officially licensed to drive….He is very confident behind the wheel & he is good at it….So hope all is well with both of you….We’ve all stayed healthy & finally some warmth & sunny days….So that’s all for now….Love You Both…..Maggie & Bob……

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