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Go Canucks
02-02-2007, 11:26 AM
Fellow cyclists,

I'm organizing a bike tour for the Vancouver Bicycle Club located in Canada. We plan to take our fully loaded touring bikes on the Cascades Amtrak to Portland then follow the Nestucca River Route to the Coast then head north along hwy 101 back home. The cycling distance is about 1,000km (loaded with 50lbs of camping gear!).

Since we don't arrive at the Union Station until 3 pm, I'm looking for a route that gets us out of downtown and heads south west towards our evenings destination. Hwy 99 seems to be the most direct route but I wonder how busy and unpleasant it is. Depending on the weather and our energy level after a 6hr. train ride, our destination would either be camping at Champeog State Park or moteling it in Newberg.

Any suggestions on a preferred route out of town towards Newberg would be greatly appreciated. A cue sheet using Bikely.com would be beneficial for navigation.

Take care,
Dan

bikieboy
02-02-2007, 01:28 PM
'nucks, 99W has a bike lane/decent shoulder for almost the entire stretch to Newberg, but it's really ugly: high traffic with a lot of auto-oriented commercial crap. Guaranteed bad 1st impression of Oregon.

I have some other possibilities in mind, but first let me ask: where's your second night destination? On the coast, or at one of the BLM campgrounds along the Nestucca? Let me know before I float suggestions that are moot...

also, if you haven't already found it:

http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=dggdi

has good info (well i better say it's good, since i created it ;-) on touring around Portland and NW Oregon. There's some pdf maps of the Nestucca route, too.

lynnef
02-02-2007, 01:41 PM
As you may have noted from the map, there is a LOT of Portland between you and Newberg. You could head west, then out to Hillsboro-Forest Grove and then south - that's the prettiest and least traveled, once you get west of Glencoe in Hillsboro, and what is in between isn't bad. I'm working on something with Bikely, but it isn't ready yet. You can also go south from southern Beaverton (Scholls Ferry and Murray), and pick up the Reach the Beach route, which will take you right into Newberg. Not as nice as the route I'm working on, though. Stay tuned.

Go Canucks
02-02-2007, 02:34 PM
I have some other possibilities in mind, but first let me ask: where's your second night destination? On the coast, or at one of the BLM campgrounds along the Nestucca? Let me know before I float suggestions that are moot...

Second night's destination is Cape Lookout State Park. That's about 125 kms (75mi) from Champoeg State Park. That will be a full day. Our problem is we don't get to Union Station in Portland until 3pm. We want to chew off some miles on the first day to shorten the distance to the coast on the second. Champoeg State Park or Newberg seemed a good compromise distance.

Thanks for your help!

cyclotouriste
02-02-2007, 02:44 PM
If you're interested in Champoeg, here's how I'd go:

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=683716

Avoids all of the 99W damage. Nice route out of town (Oaks Bottom path and River Road). Low traffic, scenic roads south of Oregon City. Potential snack stops at Oregon City and Canby. Bike path from Butteville into the park. Only 36 miles to Champoeg and 43 to Newberg. And avoids all the awful suburban sprawl on the west side (Beavertron, Hillsboro, Tigard, Tualatin, etc.)

I agree with the poster above that the area to the south of Hillsboro-Forest Grove is very nice, but the stretch from downtown Portland out to Hillsboro sucks any way you slice it. This route has good riding the whole way. Have a great tour, and enjoy your stay in Oregon!

NA_CA
02-02-2007, 02:57 PM
If you should decide to come through Hillsboro please stop by my shop for refreshments. If I have an ETA I can have the coffee, tea or OJ ready and some pastries- I hear we have a new bakery-and this will be reason to try it.
Good luck and have a great trip. This goes for any other riders...just let me know how many to expect and when. Nancy @ Pedestrian & Safety Products, 131 SE 3rd AVE., Hillsboro, OR. 503.648.5300

bikieboy
02-02-2007, 04:11 PM
here's a somewhat different route to Champoeg than c-t's:

http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Portland-to-Champoeg-State-Park

it's a couple miles longer, and involves a fairly hellacious 2 mile climb up Pete's Mt. - but you get to ride the Canby Ferry. Given that time is a consideration, you're probably better off with c-t's route.

Another completely different option is to hop the MAX train in downtown & take it out to the end of the line in Hillsboro, and go from there. Getting a whole crew of cyclists on around 4pm on a weekday can be a little daunting, it does get crowded. From Hillsboro, the ride is really pretty nice - but the nearest campground i know of is 40+ miles away on the Nestucca road. It would be a real scramble to make it before dark, as the last 10 miles or so are a pretty steady climb into the coast range. The may be some B & B options in the Carlton / Yamhill vicinity,as it is wine country.
anyone know of any public campgrounds in this vicinity? Does Chehalem Mt. State Park have camping?

I'll search a little to see if i can come up with any ideas....

bikieboy
02-02-2007, 04:17 PM
Yamhill Valley visitor's association has some info - you may need to call to see if there are any camping options in the area.

http://www.yamhillvalley.org/lodging.cfm

lynnef
02-02-2007, 04:43 PM
If you wanted to follow cyclotouriste's route, how about taking Amtrak one more stop, and getting off in Oregon City?

bikieboy
02-02-2007, 04:55 PM
Lynnef, excellent insight. I completely forgot that there's now an Oregon City stop! Of course, they'll miss that fabulous ride down the Springwater trail... but I think this is the way to do it, as 35 loaded miles from downtown PDX to Champoeg could have you pulling in after dark...that's no fun.

Haven_kd7yct
02-05-2007, 12:18 PM
If you DO decide to go up over Pete's Mountain, please be careful.

If it's a sunny day, be aware that under the tree canopy, cars cannot see you. It's a twisty, steep road that can have a lot of traffic, and there are some blind corners that you simply can't see around.

If you need to stop to rest, please pull off into one of the numerous driveways, DON'T just stop at the side of the road.

If there are a lot of you, it would be beneficial to have some sort of Sag Wagon that can follow your group up with four-way flashers on, just so you don't get run over by impatient people trying to get to the golf course at the top, or trying to get home.

I grew up on top of "the Hill", and my parents still live up there. I've never biked up the Hill, though; I'm a hill weenie. :) There aren't any shoulders or bike lanes on the Hill, either.

cyclotouriste
02-05-2007, 06:03 PM
A couple more things:

First: If you take bikieboys route, I wouldn't go up Pete's Mountain. Instead, stay on Willamette Falls Blvd in West Linn (which becomes Borland Rd outside of town) and then turn left onto Turner Road. That hooks up with Mountain Road at the top, which will take you all the way down to the ferry. It's an easier grade, and a lot less dangerous.

Second: If you are going via Oregon City, the Oak's Bottom path to 17th to River Road route has a tricky bit once you get to downtown Milwaukie. At the intersection of 17th and 99E, turn right onto the paved path through the Milwaukie Riverfront Park. Go south through the park until the waste water treatment plant is right in front of you. Then turn towards the river, and there'll be a bike path entrance at the end of the little driveway. This path will take you between the water plant and the river, and prevents you from having to get on 99E. Then just turn left up Bob White street, and get on the River Road couplet, and go up the hill.

The rest of the navigation is pretty easy. Just write if you have any questions.

Simple Nature
02-05-2007, 10:50 PM
If you should decide to come through Hillsboro please stop by my shop for refreshments. If I have an ETA I can have the coffee, tea or OJ ready and some pastries- I hear we have a new bakery-and this will be reason to try it.
Good luck and have a great trip. This goes for any other riders...just let me know how many to expect and when. Nancy @ Pedestrian & Safety Products, 131 SE 3rd AVE., Hillsboro, OR. 503.648.5300

First of all I'd like to put in a plug for NA_CA's shop... Lots of nice visibility gear that might prove useful on your adventure.

Second, I might reconsider the route you've choosen... I would work west from Portland by the transit train MAX to Hillsboro and set yourself up some nice lodging in Forest Grove. Get a good night's rest, a hearty breakfast (Maggy's Buns?) and trek straight down to McMinnville down hwy 47. It is a beautiful ride (renowned as a matter of fact) and relatively calm on the weekdays. ('relatively' is relative, of course). Your first day will still be under 100 miles. You will also have decent shoulders all the way down to McMinnville.

Please head the warnings of others about roads around Portland. We have a lot of trees here and many roads are windy and narrow when you get off the beaten path... And Portlandians are very impatient people when it comes to driving. Once you get away from the city lights, you can relax a bit... but never let down your guard.

Enjoy the trip... when will you be here?

lynnef
02-06-2007, 10:09 PM
A warning on the Canby Ferry as well - the hill down to the ferry is quite steep.

lynnef
02-06-2007, 10:39 PM
Here is that west-from-Portland route I promised you. Maybe it is a bit long...

http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Union-Station-to-Newberg

If you want more information about it, just email me.

Go Canucks
02-07-2007, 06:11 PM
Second, I might reconsider the route you've choosen... I would work west from Portland by the transit train MAX to Hillsboro and set yourself up some nice lodging in Forest Grove. Get a good night's rest, a hearty breakfast (Maggy's Buns?)

That is an interesting suggestion!
We could cycle west from Union Station to Forest Grove. (I'm leary of trying to take a fully loaded touring bike with tent, sleeping bag and 4 panniers onto rapid transit during rush hour) Then the next morning we could head west to Cape Lookout State Park via hwy #6.

Thanks for all this great advice. All of you fellow cyclists have been very helpful.

bikieboy
02-07-2007, 07:00 PM
Highway 6 is not a bad option - not as quiet & scenic as the Nestucca, but a relatively low traffic route to the coast:

http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=39889

make sure you take the 3 Capes scenic route via Cape Meare out to Cape Lookout from Tillamook - it's a little extra climb & a little longer but really an exquisite ride. Of course, it's easy for me to tell you all to do a little extra climbing, i haven't just ridden 60-some loaded miles...

And, for places to stay in Forest Grove (just a few miles west of Hillsboro), you might want to try McMenamin's Grand Lodge.

http://www.thegrandlodge.com/index.php?loc=59&id=464

lynnef
02-07-2007, 07:45 PM
That is an interesting suggestion!
We could cycle west from Union Station to Forest Grove. (I'm leary of trying to take a fully loaded touring bike with tent, sleeping bag and 4 panniers onto rapid transit during rush hour) Then the next morning we could head west to Cape Lookout State Park via hwy #6.

Thanks for all this great advice. All of you fellow cyclists have been very helpful.

I wouldn't recommend trying to get a group of cyclists with touring gear on the MAX, either. It will be crowded...

However, you can also get out to the coast the "southern" route from Forest Grove. If you follow the Bikely route I posted, perhaps after spending a great night at the Grand Lodge, soaking in their hot soaking pool, and having a great dinner with their very own microbrews and/or wines in the Ironwork Grill, with breakfast at the very same grill OR Maggie's Buns (drop dead excellent sticky buns) if you head south as posted, but at Ewing Young Elementary, turn onto Dopp Rd (it would be a right off North Valley from my route, just before the school), and follow these maps from Map 3, Portland to the Beach:
http://www.reachthebeach.org/

To actually GET to these maps I mention, click on Event Information on the left side, and then Route Maps and Info. You are interested in the Portland to the Beach (which is really south Beaverton to the Beach :-) ) and Amity to the Beach. This route takes you over the Little Nestucca and all. And it is really nice, especially since you AREN'T doing the Beaverton to Ewing Young Elementary part.