One Hour Rides: Newberry to Germantown

In my world, “training” means sitting around the house eating pints of ice cream and watching videos of monkeys riding segways on YouTube. Unless it’s race season, in which case I watch Dancing with the Stars. Because Chloris Leachman gets my heart rate up. But every once in a while, I feel like I need to get some mud on my bike. Not for fun. And not for exercise. But just so people will think that I’m actually riding. Unfortunately, the majority of the trail rides around Portland take a while to get to. And I need to be back before The Biggest Loser: Office Edition is on. Which is why I’ve found myself the perfect one hour off-road loop. Just short enough to do it after work, but dirty enough that you’ll look like you worked much, much harder. So when people ask you to go out to the bars, you can whimper about how tired you are. Then watch a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond.

Like many of my rides, this one starts in North Portland, gateway to the West Hills. Cross the St. Johns Bridge, head south on Highway 30, make a right at Saltzman and continue after the pavement ends. Pass the intersection with Leif Ericsson to the gate near Skyline. Make a hard ride and head down Firelane 5. At the intersection with Leif Ericsson make a left. Ride until you hit Ridge Trail on the right hand side. Follow that all the way down to the St. Johns bridge, cautious of homeless campers, joggers (homeless or otherwise), and slippery bridges.

firelane5