I’ve started a new job after having been downsized from my last position. My old employer was an easy 6 miles from home. The new digs are about 25 miles away. Yesterday was my first day at the new job and today was my first day commuting by bike. My home is in Vancouver, WA near Hwy 14 and Lieser Rd and work is in Beaverton/Hillboro/Aloha, OR. No matter how you slice it, the west hills are in the way.
I solicited some advice from the usual suspects on the OBRA list and got some good suggestions. Number one was to avoid Germantown Rd. so as to stay alive. From the various suggestions, I decided to try out two routes. Today’s route was the Saltzman ride. The skinny:
- Over the I-5 bridge and west along the Marine Drive bike path
- Up Portland to St. Johns and the bridge (will probably take the sidewalk in the dark)
- East on hwy 30 to Saltzman Rd.
- With a backpack in (mostly) the dark (with a headlight) it takes me about 24 minutes from 30 to Skyline Rd.
- From Skyline, drop down Springville Rd. to Bethany
- Hook up with 185th and take that south over the Sunset Hwy to Cornell and the office park where the new job is.
It took me about 1:35 this morning with Saltzman the big time sink. I think it was about 25 or 26 miles. I’m debating about the route home. My first incination is to head up Springville to Kaiser to Old Germantown and descend Germantown to St. Johns. Since the weather is fine I’ll be able to flow with traffic down Germantown. However, I might should try out descending Saltzman on the skinny tires to get a feel for that in good conditions (dry and daylight).
Tomorrow, I’m going to try the route over the Broadway Bridge. The suggested west hills route is:
- West Union
In the coming weeks I’m also going to try incorporating the MAX into my ride.
Oh yeah, I now have three total rides in the west hills — ever. Soon to be doing four five and six.