Sauvie Island Bicycle Ride

On a hot "bike shorts and tee shirt" August day about 40 years ago, looking for a bicycle shortcut from Beaverton to Sauvie Island, I chose Newberry Road down from Skyline Road at the crest of the hill, because it looked like the shortest distance on my Thomas Brothers book map. Horizontally yes, but the longest distance vertically ... which I learned the hard way.

The road was MUCH steeper than I expected. My bicycle brakes overheated and started melting. I was speeding up, not slowing down. As I gained speed, I came around a gentle left curve to see the road angle more steeply, with a blind right curve at the bottom. I could not take that curve at the speed I was going; I would have rocketed straight ahead into the brush and trees far below.

I saw a dirt bank on the uphill right side of the road.

In a split second, I decided to ditch the bicycle sideways into that soft dirt bank. I was wearing a helmet and bike gloves; what could possibly go wrong? :-) Time started behaving very strangely; 100 milliseconds seemed like 2 seconds. As I inched my way down and sideways, I saw that the "slowly" approaching "dirt bank" was a pile of crushed rock gravel with a dusting of dirt on it. :-(

I survived, no broken bones, not even a bent bicycle, but some ripped clothing and an ugly case of road rash on my right leg and arm. Being young and immortal, I continued to Sauvie Island to meet my friends at the beach. They were young and immortal as well, so my road rash wasn't concerning. I took a longer and gentler route home; I wasn't THAT immortal.

2016 Google street view of curve. No gravel pile, no bare dirt embankment; soft-looking ferns instead. Landing zone indicated. ditchturn.png.

SauvieBike (last edited 2021-10-22 04:17:35 by KeithLofstrom)