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View Full Version : Riding Cornelius Pass from Skyline to Hwy 30


lynnef
04-03-2012, 12:49 PM
back in the day (early 90's), I rode it fairly often. Then the road was re-done, traffic picked up, and I haven't been back since. Have any of you ridden it? Thoughts on the traffic density? Are there shoulders?

Simple Nature
04-03-2012, 02:00 PM
Given a choice between Cornelius Pass and Germantown... I'd take corn pass. Traffic will hound you but they really can't do anything about it. Still has a few hairpins and limited spots to pull over to let traffic pass. I'd rather be flying down the hill than climbing it.

lynnef
04-03-2012, 04:03 PM
I've ridden most of the climbs up from Hwy 30 over the years; Cornelius Pass is the least steep. Just wondering if I care to

1) venture on it again and
2) take friends, who maybe won't want to kill me once they've survived...

The last time I rode Cornelius Pass down from Skyline to West Union, a big truck sat right behind me and laid on the horn. I had nowhere to go.

It is the major truck route over the hills.

wsbob
04-03-2012, 07:39 PM
It's been years since I've ridden Cornelius Pass to Hwy 30. It's the fast way down. That's about the only positive thing I can say about the road in terms of its suitability for riding. Motor vehicle traffic on the road is mad-crazy, and there's a lot of it because it's a major route, in fact, a truck route, I think. I seem to recall it has some marginal shoulders. I would consider taking only the toughest most road savvy riders down it. The road isn't even very scenic.

Germantown Rd would be my preference. A 20-25mph rd, it's a beautiful ride, though the hairpin turns and generally narrow road, minimal if any shoulders pose some hazard to people biking, what with nitwit people driving that seem to feel obliged to try defy the natural slowing of the roads curves, disregarding basic caution to try gain some time by passing. Germantown has a few places to pull off to let the anxious drivers move on. That's what I've done in past. Years back at least, traffic was light. The tight turns and almost no straightaways, I think make it a road people driving don't want to fuss with.

I've climbed both roads when fit. Germantown is my preference for climbing. Again, though they don't really want to go slow, the road more or less forces motor vehicle traffic to go slow or reduce their speed upon coming up behind a bike or bikes. You might have to pull off for 15-20 seconds to let them pass, but with a climb like this, that's not such a bad thing.

Simple Nature
04-04-2012, 10:54 AM
I guess my biggest concern on Germantown is reaction time. Seems I have the most issues with BMW's and Audi's when it comes to impatient drivers, and they see Germantown as a challenge. When they see my low slung wide trike as they just pulled maximum G's in the hairpin, someone is going over the edge. And for my safety, I ride to the middle on a right turning curve just to remain visible further back rather than hug the fogline. Although WSBOB is right, Cornelius Pass is the primary commerce route, at least it doesn't have as many blind corners.

Anyone have an opinion on Newberry Rd or McNamee as an alternative to the two?

wsbob
04-04-2012, 12:35 PM
I guess my biggest concern on Germantown is reaction time. Seems I have the most issues with BMW's and Audi's when it comes to impatient drivers, and they see Germantown as a challenge. When they see my low slung wide trike as they just pulled maximum G's in the hairpin, someone is going over the edge. And for my safety, I ride to the middle on a right turning curve just to remain visible further back rather than hug the fogline. Although WSBOB is right, Cornelius Pass is the primary commerce route, at least it doesn't have as many blind corners.

Anyone have an opinion on Newberry Rd or McNamee as an alternative to the two?

It's true that performance drivers may be among the hazards a person riding Germantown might encounter.

I thought about mentioning earlier, Newberry Rd or McNamee, but in all the times I've ridden Skyline, I never dropped down on either of them. From comments in past from other people, I seem to recall reading that McNamee is steep. Also, that it may not be paved, at least not all the way, so it may not work well for road bike tires. Still, their being lesser used roads may make for a nicer route.

Checking the Washington County Bike Map, Newberry looks to be very steep.

Simple Nature
04-04-2012, 01:21 PM
Newberry; hwy 30 to Skyline - 768 feet elevation gain in 2.1 miles... MapMyRide cat 3. Short enough to walk if needed. Definitely will make that a destination in the near future.

Looks like climbing off hwy 30 is the worst part... 1/2 mile with up to a 12% grade but the rest is 6% or less on either route. I've done worse in Beaverton.

Simple Nature
04-04-2012, 02:03 PM
Google Earth has a streetview of Newberry and McNamee. Seems like a real nice 10 mile loop with Sauvie Island as a side tour. I saw a lot of turnouts on Newberry. Both are nicely paved.

WSBOB, let me know when you want to do this ride :)

http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/80770543

Thanks for posting the question, Lynnef. Hadn't really thought through one of these excursions until now. Looks quite reasonable for a summer event.

lynnef
04-04-2012, 02:48 PM
I've ridden both ways on Newberry and McNamee. Newberry is whacking steep. I remember getting excited about halfway up, because the grade dropped to less than 10%.

McNamee is very steep at the very bottom. Low traffic. I tried to remember is as easier than Newberry, but it sure didn't seem that way at the end of a very long, hot ride last summer :)

Rocky Point is 3+ miles, fairly constant 6% grade.

Seems like NW Cornelius Pass is just off the table. Fair enough.

wsbob
04-04-2012, 05:27 PM
Google Earth has a streetview of Newberry and McNamee. Seems like a real nice 10 mile loop with Sauvie Island as a side tour. I saw a lot of turnouts on Newberry. Both are nicely paved.

WSBOB, let me know when you want to do this ride :)

http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/80770543

Thanks for posting the question, Lynnef. Hadn't really thought through one of these excursions until now. Looks quite reasonable for a summer event.

Uh...yeah. I'm not in especially great shape, which, to enjoy riding Mcnamee and particularly Newberry, it sounds as though one should be. I thought from looking at the map that Newberry looked steep, but the '...whacking steep...' descriptive reference set me to withering. ;)

On the map, further out, I notice NW Johnson and NW Rocky Point Road. They're probably steep too. For a little break, I've got off and walked before. No big deal, especially on quiet roads.

lynnef
04-04-2012, 05:40 PM
Mmmhmm. There was some walking on McNamee last summer, but we'll just gloss over that. A nice guy working in his yard refilled our water bottles. We were done.

drosen
04-04-2012, 08:08 PM
On the map, further out, I notice NW Johnson and NW Rocky Point Road. They're probably steep too. For a little break, I've got off and walked before. No big deal, especially on quiet roads.

I'd never go Cornelius Pass, too much traffic. I'd suggest Rocky Point, it's like someone else said, a constant climb, but a little out of town. Germantown is close to town, but really steep. If you don't want to venture down Hwy 30, go Germantown. I haven't been up Logie Trail, but it seems wicked steep when I've gone down it.

Simple Nature
04-04-2012, 09:00 PM
One primary advantage of a trike... weebles wobble but they don't fall down.
2 miles is a simple reference since that use to be my commute. I could easily walk that if needed, or just enjoy a granny climb at 2mph.

I had to check... ever found yourself on Nora Rd west of 155th? It has a sign that stated 12% grade... if you check the true grade, it hits 18%! ...And it too is only a half mile long. I think I can handle that.

Simple Nature
05-12-2012, 05:37 PM
Just an update...

Today I did Newberry from hwy 30 after about 40 miles of meandering around town. The 1st mile is brutal... the second mile is much better. Plenty of turn-outs but watch out for the Beemers testing their road prowess. You can usualy hear them coming up giving you time to signal.

I had more issues with Cornelius Pass once I got off Skyline. RELENTLESS DRIVERS! No shoulder to speak of. I should have taken Old Cornelius Pass. It was a nice 38mph extended descent once I gave up and just went for it. But you end up climbing just before Germantown. Drivers just don't want bikes on their little Autobahn! I think it is time for some enforcement.

I did duck off this madness at Germantown and rolled down 185th. Still a lot of impatient drivers but at least it was a rural country road with good visibility. They couldn't hold to big a grudge.

I'm glad I had maps! ...and that I remembered I had maps. Newberry is at the very top of the Washington Co. bike map and the little Portland bike map cuts off at the St. John's bridge. I was starting to feel really lost when I saw the Sauvie Island sign and that is when I saw Newberry across the street.

Champs
05-15-2012, 11:57 PM
Fresh off of riding the eastside on Saturday:

Cornelius Pass: not very fast, definitely busy, and it's two lanes with textured edges, and no shoulder to speak of, and it's not very fast. When there's six cars behind stuck behind you as the grade levels out, taking the lane isn't a realistic option. Can't even imagine the climb. Fool me once…

Rocky Point: I've been down, only once. It's kind of wild and the patched-up pavement looks a little sketchy, so take it easy and enjoy the view. It might be the only time you're grateful for clear cut forests.

Logie Trail: rode it a couple of times, but only going up. The second half really turns up the screws. I suffer every time.

McNamee: an enigma. Longer than the other eastside roads, the average grade is gentler, but only because it undulates. Even the descent feels like a climb.

Germantown/Cornell: we're out on a joyride, just like the Bimmer crowd. Why can't we just help each other out? When I hear one coming from behind, I adjust my line if there's room, or signal if it's safe to cut the corner.

And it's probably stating the obvious to say that I prefer to ride Skyline north, then use US30 inbound to avoid having to cross it. Riding alongside is unpleasant enough.

Simple Nature
05-16-2012, 09:06 AM
Since I live right off Corn pass... it really is a nice option to hit up Sauvie Isle if it was bike friendly.

The only route not mentioned was Old Corn Pass. Haven't done it recently but that was my error when I came off Skyline.

So the trek for me could be 185th to Germantown and Old Corn Pass to Skyline... and then down McNamee or Newberry. Rinse, repeat or mix it up for the ride back.

http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/93014909

drosen
07-22-2012, 05:40 PM
The only route not mentioned was Old Corn Pass. Haven't done it recently but that was my error when I came off Skyline.

So the trek for me could be 185th to Germantown and Old Corn Pass to Skyline... and then down McNamee or Newberry. Rinse, repeat or mix it up for the ride back.

http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/93014909

Word of Warning on Old Cornelius Pass- ODOT, or someone, is doing road repair on it right now, so it may be inaccessible heading to Skyline.

Another route would be 185th to West Union, east on West Union and head up Thompson. Left on Thompson and down either Newberry or MacNamee. Have new brake pads for either of those routes down!

lynnef
07-23-2012, 07:50 PM
We just completed a ride where we rode up Newberry, and then dropped back onto Hwy 30 on Rocky Point. Great fun! The eventual return took us up NW Springville from NW 185th, dropping down NW Germantown into PDX, to cross the St Johns Bridge.

drosen
07-24-2012, 09:36 AM
We just completed a ride where we rode up Newberry, and then dropped back onto Hwy 30 on Rocky Point. Great fun! The eventual return took us up NW Springville from NW 185th, dropping down NW Germantown into PDX, to cross the St Johns Bridge.

Holy Cow! Lynne, you sure like to climb, don't you?

lynnef
07-25-2012, 08:41 AM
I am a randonneur. Comes with the territory. I am rather fonder of long gradual climbs than a lot of short up and down.

Read all about it here (http://lynnerides.blogspot.com/2012/07/olney-gothic-logger-300k.html)

lazlo
07-27-2012, 01:29 PM
One of my favorite training rides used to be back and forth from Hwy 30 to Skyline, going up Rocky Point, down Logie Trail, up McNamee, and down Newberry. McNamee is a really nice road, but yeah, the bottom is really steep!