Hey folks! Just a friendly reminder that my sort of annual Chehalem Range Ramble will be happening next Saturday, November 5! (Sort of annual, since I did it in 2014 but cancelled it last year due to a nasty weather forecast.) This ride is a mixed surface ride of about 50 miles, going up and over and around the Chehalem Mountains, the small mountain range in the Willamette Valley dividing the Tualatin Valley from the Yamhill Valley. The range is short but steep and topping out at elevations from about 1200 feet to its highest point, Bald Peak, at just over 1,600 feet. Many of the roads leading up and over the ridge are gravel!
Here are the pertinent details for this year’s ride:
- First off, I am indeed totally aware that there is another day long ride happening in the same area on the same day. If you know about it, there’s a chance that you’ve already done that ride at least once, and it looks like the same route that it’s been for awhile. My ride will feature roads that you (and I) have not been on, and some gravel. If it makes you feel any better, I can print up some “brevet” cards and refer to all stops as “control points.” 😉
- We’ll be meeting at 8 am at Diversity Cafe, 230 E Main St in Hillsboro. This is about two blocks east of the Hatfield TC MAX station on the Blue Line (the end of the line.) Yep, we’ll have a nice sit down breakfast before a big ride! If’n you aren’t into a full breakfast, just meet us at the cafe by 9 am. (There is another coffee option nearer the station if you just want something quick, but I ain’t naming names.) You can check out their very breakfasty menu via the web, but BE WARNED, IT’S ONE OF THOSE WEBSITES THAT STARTS PLAYING MUSIC, ETC WHEN YOU OPEN IT!
- The ride is about 50 miles round-trip, and you can check that out here. We can shave off about 10 miles by cutting out the gravel loop around Gaston. I’d prefer to keep that loop, but if we’re too beat or the weather starts to suck, it’s an option. The biggest difference between this ride and the one in 2014 is there will only be one crossing of the Chehalem Range, not two. Also, we’ll be hitting up Forest Grove and straight-shotting along Baseline back to Hillsboro. Yeah, it’s not ideal, but it allows a dinner stop in FG (see below) and really, most of the riding right outside of Forest Grove on the south side is sub-par, so it’s six of one, half-dozen the other…
- As for breaks and food, Bald Peak is at about mile 19. I plan on taking a good break here and making coffee. While there’s an outhouse, there is no water here, so make sure you have enough for the ride, esp. if you want to make coffee here. At about mile 27 is Gaston, which has a store and probably a pub/restaurant. We’ll pass through Forest Grove on the way back, so we can stop by the Grand Lodge for dinner and drinks.
- While this ride does not stray that far from the fringe of the metro area, it has a surprising lack of services. After leaving Hillsboro, the next food/water will be Gaston at mile 27 and then there may be a country store or so before Forest Grove. So be prepared!
- I’d say about 25% of this ride is gravel. I think the ascent to Bald Peak is a good deal of gravel, and the Gaston Loop is I think mostly gravel. Note I said “I think” as the maps don’t tell me. But most of the climbs over the Chehalem Range are gravel, so it’s a good guess. I’d say you should be good if you have tires north of 32 mm in width. Nothing super-technical, so you don’t need to ride your full-sus MTB unless you want to!