Fall Riding in Helvetia
Fall in Oregon is here! I don’t really want summer to end, because I am not ready for the rain and I mean NOT…AT…ALL…However I will always be thrilled to see fall. So if fall could stay around forever that would be amazing.
With my husband working full time, I work three days a week, am with my kids the other two days (they are five and a half and four right now) doing homeschool work, swimming lessons, etc, and we both race Cross on Saturdays and sometimes on Sundays. So today when my husband was able to go home early to grab the kids from the sitter today so I could head out for a ride with a friend of mine, score!
As working moms my friend and I find we are able to ride together roughly once a month. Sad right? Well she works three days a week, has an eighth grader and fifth grader, and well life. As I pulled up this afternoon all psyched and ready to go, freaking A Oregon, freaking A, it started to pour. I was about ready to lose my cool because OMG I needed to have some serious adult conversations and breathe fresh air. Thank goodness we were on the outer edge of the rain because ten minutes later viola, no more rain.
Off we went! Cycling during rush hour in the Bethany area can mean a cyclist is putting their lives in the hands of drivers more involved with what is on their phones than what is on the road. So we did a little pedestrian hopping by heading down the Rock Creek Trail. I really don’t recommend riding down the Rock Creek trail during peak times because really you will spend more time riding your brakes then riding out for your adventure. Once you wind your way through Rock Creek neighborhood, across Cornelius Pass, word of advice take a right on Landing Drive and a left on Galice instead of going all the way to Cornelius Pass. This way will give you a light to cross over Cornelius Pass onto Jacobsen.
Once on Jacobsen we had a lovely bike lane and could finally chat, ride more than 13 MPH and enjoy the awesome fall evening. Meek Road on the south side of highway 26 has been cut off now from cars at Brookwood, which is freaking awesome! The Meek Road homes have dealt with high speed cut through traffic for years and now with the through traffic cut off, this is an awesome route for cyclists, they even made a path for pedestrians and cyclists to get through. This is a new favorite road and would be awesome for a 5 min power test since it is so car and obstacle free.
Now to the good stuff, Jackson School Road and Jackson Quarry! Jackson School Road between Meek & West Union, just put your head down and ride. This is super busy, people are not paying attention and more concerned about getting on 26 or heading home. Once you cross West Union it is so much better! You pass through what I feel like is a tunnel of trees which are bright yellow and gorgeous right now and when you exit the other side, you are staring at farmland, horse stable/boarding and you are off in your own world.
Turn right on Mason Hill Road and you have a roughly five minute climb. What is wonderful about Mason Hill is there are homes and harms on either side that you can pay attention vs the hill. Mason Hill is fast because as soon as you get up to the top, take a right onto Jackson Quarry, and don’t miss it! We have once and unless you have your gravel bike or cross bike you will be heading out on a lovely gravel adventure. Jackson Quarry right now is so full of colors! I have a fun picture of my friend Lyn in her yellow jersey by the yellow sign and the yellow leaves. We saw zero cars between Mason Hill and Helvetia Rd, and this was during rush hour. Perfect!
Hang another left onto Helvetia Road and you are in for one last easy climb and the view from the top is one of the best in the area. You have a view of Helvetia Church, a pioneer church built around 1890, Helvetia Winery, Farms, and a barn that really needs a Quilt Square to add to the Washington County Quilt Square Tour. I always stop here to take a picture, side note it is where my husband and I got married so it has sentimental value.
Bomb back down Helvetia Road and just go fast, because Helvetia Road is crazy busy. Luckily we were heading away from the homes, away from the bar, away from all the traffic that was heading home, and we were heading home. I love this ride so much. I love that it is so easy to do from my work, from my friend’s house and it is different from the rides we normally do around my house.
Here is a link to Strava for the ride. Have you ridden this route? What is your fav fall route? I am always looking for new roads