News from the Gorge -Portland Bicycling Club

News from the Gorge

                  PWTC (now PBC) bike rack dedication July 2015

I think most of us enjoy riding our bikes out in the Columbia River Gorge. It’s beautiful, some challenge, some historic relics, and diverse scenery.

Our club has a lot of history in the Gorge. As I write this, the Jim O’Horo Memorial Columbia Gorge Explorer is set to roll over Memorial Day weekend. That ride, in one form or another, has been going on for probably 20 years or so. This loaded tour explores both the north and south sides of the river over four days of riding.

PBC, formerly as PWTC, has donated thousands of dollars over the years to the Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway and has a close relationship with several members of that organization. Members Dick Weber and Jeanette Kloos, for example, are involved with both organizations. Over the years, we have watched FHCRH make great strides in getting the old highway restored and reconstructed for our riding enjoyment. Our efforts have helped and have been acknowledged on plaques along the route. 

June 15 is the GORGE RIDE which helps FHCRH raise funds to fulfill their dreams. Their dreams are expensive! And what’s left to be done is VERY costly! I encourage you to do the Gorge Ride. Mr. Weber himself is the ride leader, and you can earn club mileage. It starts in The Dalles (Columbia Gorge Discovery Center) and heads west up to Rowena Crest, then along quiet roads through Mosier, and travels the Mosier Twin Tunnels to the Mark O. Hatfield Trailhead just east of Hood River. After that, back you go to The Dalles. It’s a favorite ride for many a cyclist to be sure.

Our friend, A. J. Zelada of FHCRH, reported to me recently that two staple style bike racks will be donated to the Vista House/Crown Point. They will be installed near the current PWTC rack already there. Oregon Parks and Recreation Department intend to straighten some of the vertical bars on “our” rack to allow bigger tires to be inserted. Zelada reports that FHCRH asked to put more racks in by changing the configuration, but that was not acceptable to Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

Three staple bike racks will also be added to the parking lot of Sasquatch Transit. They will be under the trees east of the creek where the pedestrian path from the I-84 parking lots rise to meet the highway crossing to Multnomah Falls platform viewing. Signage will be added to direct cyclists.

In the Multnomah Falls area, Zelada reports they were unable to increase any parking on US Forest Service property. Policy dictates NO motorized vehicles on their property which includes E-BIKES of all categories. E-BIKE use along the Historic Columbia River Highway has increased dramatically. In one day alone last summer, a total of 88 E-BIKES was seen to descend on the front of the lodge!

Mr. Zelada says he has started a bike count using a wildlife camera. They hoped to do trials in May, over Memorial Day weekend, around July 4, mid-July, and into Labor Day. This documentation will be done between Shepperd’s Dell and Horsetail Falls.

Additionally, Zelada and Paul Buchanan are conducting a bike parking audit of all the Waterfall Corridor trailheads. They will document amenities: present or absent bike racks and potential cycle parking spaces. Their objective is not so much to cater to cyclists such as us (PBC), but folks who pull in for about 90 minutes for a bike ride or hike, and then head out. He says, “Bringing people of different cycling skills, which includes family members – be they grandparents, parents, friends, children – the E-BIKE makes this doable.”

Finally, Mr. Zelada encouraged us – members of PBC – to contact him about anything related to these issues, particularly parking and cycling along the vehicular portion of the HCRH: A.J. Zelada, 503.318.2472, [email protected].

Ann Morrow, President

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