RUSA permanent #36

This is a great route which is frequently offered by Oregon Randonneurs, but is also available anytime as a permanent. I took advantage of a beautiful day in Oregon to ride this wonderful route one more time!


The ride starts in Forest Grove, about half an hours drive from Portland. Almost immediately you leave town on Gales Creek road, a quiet and pretty road that just skirts the east slope of the coast range. Today was beautiful, sunny and warm, already in the low 70’s at 9:30 am! Everything is a lush green and spring is in full bloom here. In 10 miles or so you turn onto Timber Road which continues the theme, only now a little climbing is added! After passing through the tiny town of Timber you descend to the Nehalem River and follow that to Vernonia at about mile 35.


The little town of Vernonia is a control, but also a great lunch spot. Today I stopped at the Vernonia Market and grabbed a snack for the next leg of the route. The park at the trail-head is a perfect stopping point!

In Vernonia you join the Banks-Vernonia-Trail (BVT), a wonderful paved rail trail that is the highlight of this trip!

The BVT runs for 21 miles from end to end, and is a spectacular ride the whole way. It ends in the town of Banks where sadly we have to once again share the road with cars. Today the trail was very quiet, but on a sunny weekend it can be pretty crazy. I try to avoid those days!

Some quiet rural roads bring me back to Forest Grove and the end of the ride. Today’s outing was 68.3 miles in 5 hrs and 2 min. I rode my old 1981 Holdsworth Mistral touring bike. I just love the way the Holdsworth rides, very comfy and pretty sporty for a touring bike. I am finding that as I get older I am enjoying a more upright riding position due to worsening back issues. Finding the fastest bike that is still comfortable is the challenge for me now! Today was a success!

A Sunny Daze Kolsch is my reward for the day.