I had a day off from work on Tuesday. I had two obligations, a dentist appointment in the outer-outer-SW neighborhood of Garden Home, followed by the “retirement” party of my friend Carl from his job at the BTA in the inner-inner-SW neighborhood of Goose Hollow. The 13 mile ride out to the dentist is pretty direct, summed up by Vancouver/Broadway/Terwilliger/Barbur/Multnomah. I could simply go that way back into downtown, but I wanted to mix things up a little bit, since it was a nice day and I wanted to explore some different areas. Why squander the opportunity?
And after sitting in a dentist chair for 2 1/2 hours (!) I was itching to get out. So using both the Bike There map and (cough) Google maps (cough cough) on ye olde smartphone, I crafted a route that would head up to Washington Park, where I would descend down to Goose Hollow. You can see the route I took here.
The first mile was on the pleasant Fanno Creek Road. After that, I was on suburban Washington County streets right at the height of rush hour. The next few miles were not fun (esp. Laurelwood Ave, which did not have bike lanes.) Thankfully, I soon entered quieter neighborhood streets that wound through pleasant mid-century neighborhoods.
And wound up, as I would have to summit the West Hills. There was a short steep climb on Ridgewood, but Canyon Drive was more of a good gradual grade, until I got to the southside of the US 26 Freeway (Sunset Highway.) A short bike-only path greeted me, then another good climb on Raab Road until I got to the first summit at Scholls Ferry Road in Sylvan. On the way up, I saw a few other cyclists. Commuters out this way are definitely more “roadie” than I, with spandex and neon everywhere.
A short descent down Canyon Road brought me to the entrance of Washington Park right by the Oregon Zoo. It would be a bit more climbing until the real descending started. I had two choices: I could take the steeper bomb down Fairview (aka Zoobomb 2.0) or the more mellower bomb down Kingston (aka Zoobomb OG). I opted for Kingston for an important reason: I just got a new dynolight setup on the Crested Butte (the bike I was riding) and I wanted to test it out. Kingston winds through the woods, and is completely unlit. It was about 6 pm now, and in early February it was plenty dark. So I would only be seeing by my headlight. And yes, the light is plenty bright! (But of course, I wasn’t going super-fast, as the road can be a bit rough.)
After that, it was a more well lit bomb down into the hollow. Goose Hollow Inn was packed as many a folk know Carl and wanted to give their best wishes. I saw quite a few folks I had not seen in a long time. A good time to be had!