Have a Great Day…Don’t Forget to Hydrate!

View of Mt. Rainier, St. Helen’s, and Mt. Adams on Skyline Ride

We have finally gotten into some beautiful weather here in the Pacific Northwest! Blue skies and sunshine…and sun block!

Being just a week before the Seattle to Portland (STP) ride, my friend Dan suggested we go for a last hurrah ride of 50-60 miles. He picked a route I’ve heard of but never ridden before, Skyline Boulevard in Portland, to Hillsboro. Beautiful ride…very picturesque…very hilly.


My friend, Kevin, and I met Dan at Overlook Park in Portland (across the street from Interstate Kaiser for my Portlandia readers) and headed over the Broadway Bridge, through NW Portland to Cornell. I had driven on Cornell as far as the Audubon Society when I took an injured bird to them years ago and knew that section was uphill…

We skirted along Forest Park, the scene of my recent slide-into-home-plate trail running maneuver. Just a beautiful scenic area.


The ride profile tells the tale! First hill is Cornell Road, next Skyline Blvd., flatter section is 185/West Union in Hillsboro, then up Highway 26 bike path to the Oregon Zoo at the top of the last hill. Total elevation gain for this ride: 4,180 feet!

This ride WORE ME OUT! First ride I’ve ever bonked on—thanks Dan! By the time we hit the bike path along Highway 26 I was riding about 7 mph and when I slowed to 5 mph I got off and walked my bike…WALKED MY BIKE! Holy cow! Great training ride though. Dan offered taking Max in from Cedar Hills, Beaverton, but I figured I could make it. At the Zoo, about ten miles later, I was ready for Max, but Dan convinced me that the best part of the ride was just a few short meters away…

And he was right! The absolute BEST part of this whole ride was the final descent from the Zoo into NW Portland. This section goes down through Washington Park and the International Rose Test Garden, which was in full bloom and gorgeous. This route is known as ZooBombing and is so fantastic and fun it even has its own website! Seriously, it was so fun that when we reached the Goose Hollow Max station I considered taking Max back up to the zoo and going down again, even as tired as I was! AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!

Dan split off at Goose Hollow since it was near his home and Kevin and I gladly took Max the last little bit back to my car. We just couldn’t fathom riding the last little section back up Interstate! Well, I’m sure Kevin the Hillslayer could have…I was spent!

As we were getting off Max with our bikes, an old man sitting on the train hollered out to us…”Have a great day…Don’t forget to Hydrate!” Cracked me up. Perhaps the best line ever shouted out of a Max train!

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