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Old 05-08-2011, 11:27 PM
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Default Washington County Bike Map...revised edition!!

That's right. The Washington County Visitors Association has recently released a revised edition of its bike map. The scale of this edition's main map is ever so smaller than the previous edition, and has also, a slightly larger physical size. Despite the map's name, with careful utilization of the maps perimeter areas, it's able to show areas outside of Washington County, including parts of Multnomah County and even Vancouver Washington.
Something I really liked about the previous edition of the map, was the use of color and shading to denote land forms. This gave a readily visible sense of the ridges, ravines, and flats throughout the areas depicted on the map. It made for a visually, very beautiful map. The color and shading did not significantly detract from reading small details on the map.

Something the previous map did, that did not help readability of the map, was use deep, saturated colors in rather thick width lines to indicate bike routes. I can't quite decide why it has the effect it does, but this seemed to blot out important map details. The colors and boldness of the lines detracted from the maps overall beauty too.

This latest edition dispenses with both of these treatments. That results in a map with a kind of standard, neutral colored visual appearance. It's by no means as visually beautiful as the previous map. Just dropping the deep, saturated colors used to mark the bike routes might have been enough of a change in the color area. For actual use out on the road though, the neutral colors may help to more easily read the map for hard to pick out details.

There's lots of other, important to note changes to this map. There seems to be a lot more info on this map than there was on the last one, such as, on the map's flip side, more detail maps of specific areas of interest. I'll save noting them for a later time, or...maybe someone else will want to point them out.

This map is 'free'. That means...you don't have to pay for it at places you can pick it up, (such as the Performance Bicycle store on Hall Blvd, where I picked a copy up today after my Oregon Spring Baptismal Drencher on a Bike, as I unsuccessfully attempted to dodge rain clouds cruising over Council Crest.). Yours and everyone else's tax dollars have paid for this map, so grab one and see if you feel it's money well spent.

The Washington County Visitor's Association most likely has them too. The WCVA is at the intersection of Hall and Nimbus.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:32 AM
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Looking at the new map some more this morning. I'll have to say...it's a lot easier to see the bike routes on it than it was on the earlier map. It's better marked too. The communities of Yamhill, Carlton, Gaston, Banks, and all the bigger towns are clearly labeled on this map, whereas on the previous map, only some of the aforementioned places were labeled, and they in smaller type size and in hard to discern colors.

I noticed the new map identifies a large, designated natural area Chehalem Ridge Natural Area, west of Gaston extending a long distance to either side of Dixon Hill Rd.

Another thing this map does that the former didn't is clearly designate as 'Bike and Pedestrian Trail', a whole network of routes about 8-10 miles west (as the crow flies.), west of Banks, off of Hwy 6. Trails are also designated that go north and around through the Tillamook Forest.

Months back, here at Portland Bike Forums, we had some discussion about bike routes out in this area. I haven't ridden out there. Though there are people that have, I don't think these are places where a lot of people have previously tended to ride. Something as simple as the availability of this 'free', readily accessible map, could possibly result in a dramatic increase in the number of people taking off into these areas on their bikes.

In short, these areas are what I tend to think of as 'The Boonies'...'The Outback'. So, anyone thinking of setting out on these trails should be way better prepared than usual for all kinds of eventualities, because they're likely to be very isolated on them. Getting stranded out there because of a breakdown, with no extra food, water, clothing, sufficient tools and gear to fix the bike, could be very unpleasant.
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:55 AM
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Sounds like a great update.

Will they mail it upon request like last time?
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Nature View Post
Sounds like a great update.

Will they mail it upon request like last time?
I dunno if they'll mail it. Call them. A year or so ago, I called them and they held a copy of the earlier map for me. I rode there to pick it up. They seemed like really nice people. Off the front of the map, here's the Washington County Visitor's Association number: 800-537-3149. Online, I found the following number: (503) 644-5555.

Maps like this one are great (though as I said, I still like things about the previous edition.). Even for people like me, of modest means...it's good enough that I'd spend a couple bucks on it if it wasn't free. Maps that cost $6 and $7 seem high to me. I've got a copy of the 2007 Portland 'Bike There' map with $6 cost on the front. I found the map, or I probably wouldn't have a copy.
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:07 PM
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The Portland map was a give-away at the Bridge Pedals. It is a great size to carry in the toolkit. Only thing is, you also need to carry the reading glasses.

It is well worth a couple of bucks for a map to figure out where you are on the west side. If you're not careful, you could end up climbing a lot more than you planned.

Thanks again for the heads up.
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:15 PM
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Default Link to Map

You can now view the map online as well.

http://www.visitwashingtoncountyoregon.com/bikemap/
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