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….?)
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.
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.
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.
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)
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)
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 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.
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.
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,