I did it! I rode my bike all the way to Champoeg State Park and back - all by myself!
Armed with directions from Google strapped to my top tube, I left home in Tigard at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday. I went through Cook and Tualatin parks, out Tualatin-Sherwood Road, behind Sherwood and came out at Highway 99W and Sunset. I peddled along Highway 99, DOWN Rex Hill (I hit 34 mph!) and took a left on Springbrook to Highway 219. Then Champoeg Road took me straight to the park.
About 22 miles and 1:37 later, I cruised into Ma and Pa's campsite. No problem!
Truthfully, it was a fairly easy ride. I left early enough that it wasn't yet crazy-hot (75 when I arrived), and most traffic was traveling in the opposite direction, toward Portland. Riding on the highway was no biggie, as there's a huge bike/emergency lane the whole way. I never felt uncomfortable.
The only problem spot was on 219. There's a narrow bike lane/shoulder that narrows down even more on the bridge across the Willamette River. And because it's only one lane in each direction, cars are pretty close. I was praying and going as fast as I could past the really low guardrail when an empty log truck went by. I felt the wash, and that freaked me out a bit. But I survived and was very glad I made the trip.
We had a little celebration for the birthday boy and girl:
I got up at 5 a.m. and hit the road at 6 a.m., just as the sun was rising over the mountain. Highway 219 wasn't too bad - I just rode fast and prayed hard.
But then I had to tackle Rex Hill on Highway 99 coming out of Newberg. I got up as much speed as I could on the approach, then geared all the way down and cranked up the giant hill. There was a TON of traffic since I was now heading into Portland during rush hour. But again, the bike lane is huge, and I just got it done. (I also passed some fossilized roadkill on the pavement and a deer skeleton in the ditch!)
Instead of riding back on Tualatin-Sherwood Road, which offers a more narrow bike lane and faces directly into the rising sun, I went back out on 99 for a couple miles, then took a right at 124th and a left on Tualatin Road. Easy. The ride home ended up being almost the same distance - 22.5 miles in 1:43:
SO proud of myself for tackling the ride and the big hill, especially on my own!
After a long shower, a couple vegan pancakes hit the spot!I have a week and a half of summer vacation left. I wonder how much more fun adventures I can squeeze in :)