Monday, November 3, 2008

SR14 Maryhill Detour

The bridge at Biggs Rapids, US 97, has been closed since September for deck replacement. The detour routes traffic to SR 14 between The Dalles and Maryhill and that is bad news for my winter 217k permanent, Bingen Roosevelt Out and Back. In winter, the 16 mile return along SR 14 between Maryhill and Murdock spans the sunset. The narrow shoulder is uncomfortable with large semi trucks pulling one or more trailers passing on the left.

The new bridge deck on US 97 at Biggs will be nice when it is done. The Biggs Rapids bridge had no shoulder. Crossing the old bridge on a bike was an exercise in courage and hope. The new bridge deck will have a two foot shoulder on each side of the road. I wrote WADOT to ask about bike lanes. No bike lanes or symblols but an improved shoulder, 100-percent better than the old bridge.

I have one last unridden 221km permanent, Hood River-Heppner and I need a 200k permanent for November's R12 requirement. It is a hard, hard ride and it's first cousin, Bingen-Heppner has clobbered me pretty hard several times. I don't know which is harder, riding to Heppner in the cold Autumn rain within the RUSA permanents time limit or asking my Sweetie to drive 135 miles through the gawd forsaken wilderness to rescue me. Or even harder yet, ride to Heppner, stay the night, and ride back using the Heppner-Bingen reverse route.