By Bruce Buffington of the NW Bicycle Safety Council
It’s the time of the year to enjoy our passion for riding. Fill those summer days with time on two wheels – ignore the growing grass and sprouting weeds in your yard. Especially for you Weekend Warriors (you know, the still-gainfully-employed), those precious few warm dry days must have carefully selected prime rides to satisfy your obsession and provide blissful memories for the upcoming cold and wet seasons. Fill Saturday, August 20, with the Beaverton Banks and Beyond Bicycle Tour, hosted by the NW Bicycle Safety Council.
Explore Washington County
Washington County is a phenomenal cycling venue. Bucolic is not sufficient to describe the lush fields, nurseries, vineyards and forest. I define bucolic as “smells like cows.” This ride does not! Let’s take some verbiage from the Ride Oregon Ride site describing the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway (which our ride inspired): “friendly downtowns to fertile farmlands and lush natural areas.”
A Relaxing Ride
Best of all, the ride incorporates the Banks Vernonia linear trail which takes you off the road for about 44 miles. So, instead of sharing the road with cars, you share the trail with other bikes and, of all things, horses. Much more relaxing. Enjoy the bicycle friendly little communities of North Plains and Banks. Take the short trek up to Stub Stewart State Park and revel in the panoramic view. Continue out to Vernonia for more small town, friendly, relaxing amenities. When you turn around it’s an easy ride back to Banks and then to Beaverton. Various routes accommodate any riding ability: 35, 64 or 100 mile routes are offered. If you haven’t ridden the Banks Vernonia Trail this is the way to go – full support including on the trail with bicycle course marshals and rest stops to keep you fueled throughout.
Much of this route is part of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway. NW Bicycle Safety Council President and Portland Wheelmen Touring Club member Bruce Buffington was instrumental in getting this route adopted into the program.
An Important Fundraiser
This ride supports NW Bicycle Safety Council’s endeavors to help children ride safely and to have helmets covering those precious little brains. It’s win-win. You get a great ride, children learn bike safety and get a helmet.
At our upcoming Bike Beaverton event, we will be fitting our 15,000th helmet! This is quite an accomplishment we are proud of. NW Bicycle Safety Council has participated in this City of Beaverton event since it was first formed through a partnership with the City of Beaverton Police Department in 1995. The Beaverton Banks and Beyond fundraising event helps to provide helmets at no cost to recipients of this important program.
We look forward to seeing you out there!