Shaking the cobwebs off in the Willamette Valley

Jen's Whimsical Sock Tops

Mrs. G and I moved back to Oregon in late February, after about 15 months in the Denver area. She was able to spend a lot of time with her 88 year old mother and we are grateful that. We don’t know when we will be able to get back there.

But we are happy to be back in Oregon. Our new home is in Silverton, a town of about 10,000 people about 45 miles southeast of Portland, in the fertile Willamette Valley.

For various reasons, we haven’t been on the bikes since October or November. It’s shameful and surprising. But the stretch of beautiful spring weather and recent cycling exploits of Scooter, Rocky and several other Cycle 365 members inspired us to get off our arses and in the saddle.

Perfect riding conditions. No cars, agreeable temps, nice tarmac.

Speaking of the Andersons, they designed and sent the route to me, and its a good one. At 22 miles, it’s somewhat short of Rocky’s 42 mile daily minimum ride, but if you take the 22, multiply by 2 since two of us rode, that adds to 44 miles, in which case we outdid her. Can’t argue with math. The route entailed about 1650 feet of climbing, which is more than we have done since our bike tour in 2018, Undaunted Porridge. Colorado is plenty hilly (you may have heard of the Rockies) but much of the riding east of the mountains is relatively flat. So we became soft and lazy I guess. But no more! Oregon is lumpy, so if we want to ride, it’ll involve hills.

Grinding up the hill on Victor Point Rd.

Because Silverton is small, we were out of town in about 10 minutes. The major climb started right away, as we followed the loop counter-clockwise. Traffic was light and drivers were courteous the whole way. It was mid 60s and mild winds. Somehow the evil weather gods didn’t get the message that we were riding, because they often throw wind, thunderstorms, heat and the occasional tornado at us for good measure. The weather gods can be real, um, jerks. But maybe they finally wore themselves out this past winter persecuting our friends Bruce and Andrea in Burma. In any event, while the the weather gods were snoozing, menacing microorganisms have filled the void, wreaking havoc and mayhem.

Jen’s LHT taking a break at the cemetery
Mt. Hope Pioneer Cemetery, 1849
There was a 3 mile stretch of gravel on 119th Ave.
Lunch in the grass at Victor Point School
I think these are raspberries….
We bought two face masks and a small bar of soap. The lettuce soap didn’t sound like a good idea.
The farm stand operates on the honor system. Just write what you bought, in the notebook with the amount, and then pay.

Mt. Hood in the distance.
And to throw an entry into the ring, my song was The Waiting. We're all waiting for the day when we can see our families and friends again.  And while we wait, we might as well ride our bikes.
This version with Eddie Vedder accompanying the great Tom Petty is particularly amazing.           
            Oh baby don't it feel like heaven right now
             Don't it feel like something from a dream...

I have done one long bike tour along the Lewis & Clark and TransAmerica trails during the summer of 2018, and numerous shorter tours around Oregon. I'm recently settled in Silverton, Oregon with Mrs. Grumby.

15 response to "Shaking the cobwebs off in the Willamette Valley"

  1. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: April 10, 2020

    Silverton looks like a very pleasant place to live with some nice rides in the countryside. I’ve just had a ride around there myself, on Google Maps of course, so don’t panic I won’t be popping around for a cup of tea anytime soon. Good to see you guys back on the bikes after such a long break. I suppose with the extreme winters you get it’s understandable, glad I can go riding year round.

    • By: MrGrumby Posted: April 11, 2020

      It’s always been fun to pore over digital maps and devise routes from the comfort of the couch, but never more so than now. It’s nice to be back where we can ride pretty much round.
      You can drop by for physically distanced tea any time!

  2. By: gregblood Posted: April 11, 2020

    Hi Mr. Grumby,

    That was a nice-looking ride and very interesting description. I enjoyed reading the first part of it so much that I was going to save the rest for after my coffee was brewed. But then I saw that sign-in-the-window photo and, for some reason, I felt compelled to finish reading it right then and there. I’m glad I did.

    Anyway, the ride was a great one and congratulations to you and Mrs. G on whooping Rocky’s mileage.

    • By: MrGrumby Posted: April 12, 2020

      Thanks Gregblood,
      Rocky has given me special dispensation to use this special mileage math only once, unfortunately.

  3. By: Rocky Posted: April 11, 2020

    Great to see both of you out on your bikes. Great pictures! I’ll let you claim the 44 miles this time but only this time.

    • By: MrGrumby Posted: April 12, 2020

      Thanks. I saw you guys and the others on 365 riding and started to feel guilty. It was fun to get back out there.

  4. By: Scooter Posted: April 11, 2020

    Great to hear you getting out on your bikes again! Isn’t Victor Point a nice road though? I’ll bet it’s especially great with so few cars on the road now. You might keep a eye on how that climb out of Silverton is once normal traffic resumes. We’ve always ridden it the other direction.

    I see we’ve never ridden all of the route I mapped out for you though. We’ve never ridden 117th or seen the pioneer cemetery. We’ll have to swing down that way this summer and check it out.

    • By: MrGrumby Posted: April 12, 2020

      I chose the counter-clockwise direction because I figured there would be less traffic, and I wanted to get the big climbing out of the way. Yes, Victor Point was nice. The stretch of gravel was pretty good, but Jen didn’t like it much.
      Thanks for the routes.

  5. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: April 11, 2020

    Great to see you back out riding, looking forward to seeing more of your part of the world.
    Enjoyed the photos, especially the old barn.

  6. By: The Navigator Posted: April 12, 2020

    That looked like a great cob-web shaker ride. Sorry you didn’t get to ride in the CO mtns, as there are some really spectacular climbs and routes. The front range is not so inspiring. But life doesn’t always put the pieces together in a way that makes that work. Great video. RIP Tom Petty. And NOTHING is allowed to happen to Eddie Vedder – I don’t think I could handle that right now!

    • By: MrGrumby Posted: April 12, 2020

      I had big plans to ride on some of the gravel and low-tech mountain bike routes, including part of the Great Divide route. We did do a couple trails but not as much as unexpected. It’s beautiful there.
      I’ve always loved that version with Eddie Vedder.

  7. By: Suzanne Posted: April 12, 2020

    Nice to see you two are back on your bikes, and posting here, too!
    Yes, lettuce soap our hands!

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