A Cycle trip to Central Oregon
Carpe Humulum in Cascadia
Do you want to join us in Oregon cycling around the hop farms and micro breweries? A question from my cycling mate in Scotland, to which there was only one answer. Two previous tours with Mick have involved distilleries so it would have been rude to turn down the opportunity to visit the land of hops, rich farmlands and see the Cascade mountains of North West America.
Special jerseys had been commissioned a few years ago and I was offered honorary membership of this exclusive club of global beer drinkers – so on with the Carpe Humulum ( Seize the hop) jerseys, tastefully decorated with hop images – and off to Portland Oregon.
The Brits joined the the local chapter of the hop club at Steve's House in the valley, brother Bruce had travelled down from the high country. Steve's wife had travelled in the opposite direction to join Bruce's wife! Leaving us to lounge about watching recordings of the TDF over breakfast.
I had been allocated a nice steel Bianchi bike and we were off to a nearby hop farm tap room within an hour or so of a 10 hour flight, resplendent in our team kit.
We explored the Willamette valley
area taking refreshment at various types of craft beer outlets and the odd burger – chilli dawg – or similar local fare and enjoyed snow capped mountain views.
A days driving took us to the Hood River area and the impressive Columbia Gorge with its world class kite wind surfing area, more craft beers, hilly riding and Eagle spotting. Our budget hotel was next to a fantastic old style hotel reputed to be Valentino's favourite with great views from the terrace at happy hour and breakfast – over the fence and we were in.
Another transfer day took in the Ski resort base station of Mount Hood at 6000' skiing season was still in full swing. Our destination was Redmond up on the high dry plateau area again with views of several snow capped mountains.
The boys only road trip ended there as we joined the ladies for more typical American family hospitality including BBQ and more beer, followed by two days of cycling in considerably hotter temperatures. The terrain included dry canyons and huge climbing cliffs, gorges, rivers etc.
Back to the valley area for our last couple of rides, revisiting the best farm tap houses and straying into the odd wine tasting before flying back after seven days of riding through interesting varied scenery. Strava informed me that our last ride was my fastest 40 km since records began, our train of old men hurtling along doing bit and bit averaged 17 mph.