Several of my coworkers had mentioned that there is a nice bike trail that was located not too far from where I live. They also mentioned it was a nice ride with great views. So I decided to ride this trail.
It’s a 24 mile trail between two small towns of Banks and Vernonia Oregon. It’s about a 20 minute drive from my house. I decided to ride this trail on Sunday morning and would ride out about an hour then turn back. Reason for only riding an hour out on the trail is I had planned a BBQ test run for Lois’s party later that afternoon.
I arrived at the trailhead, unloaded my road bicycle, geared up, and was on the trail by 10:40. Now according to the information I read on my AllTrails app, the first 5 to 6 miles were relatively flat (only a slight incline). However, between the 6th to about the 13th mile, the elevation gain was 900+ feet. So basically the first half of the 24 mile trail was uphill.
The first five or six miles were flat. The slight incline were not a problem as I kept my gears in the middle range. I have an 18 speed road bike and I was probably in ninth or tenth gear for most of that time.
I noticed the incline became a little steeper after the sixth mile. Also the roads crossing the bike trail were not always paved which causes slipping hazards for bikes like mine that are only equipped with the skinny road tires. Luckily I didn’t fall and maneuvered through those intersecting roads without incidents. Not falling on my face or biting it and tumbling over my handle bars were a good thing.
About an hour into the ride, I stopped and pulled out the AllTrails app to see where I was on the trail. I was nearly at the halfway mark and almost at the top of the inclined part of the trail. So changed plans and told myself, “go a little further until you reach the top” (highest elevation point) of the trail. It took me another 15 minutes before I had reached the highest elevation point of the trail. It was a little disappointing as the highest point on the trail was located within the trees. I was expecting an open view. By the time I reached the top it was a few minutes before 12 noon.
Since there is no stopping place, I had to continue another 5 to 10 minutes after reaching the top before I had found a place to turn around. Not shown on the map was a series of hairpin switch backs that required the use of breaking. The grade became steep and my immediate thought was “I’m going down this steep curvy hill. Crap! I’ve got to climb up on it again to get home!”
Based on my Apple Watch, I had traveled almost 14 miles in just under 1.5 hours. I was back at my car, loaded, and rolling out of the parking lot a little more than an hour later.
Summary of ride:
- Distance: 28.5 miles
- Road conditions: rolling paved bike/walking trail
- Elevation: 900+ feet
- Weather: sunny but trail was canopied by tree branches full of fall color leaves
- Elapsed time: 2.5 hours with no rest stops
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