09 July 2008

Up and over the mountain

I decided to see what was over the mountain.

I rode to the other sides of Iowa and Spring Hills. The ride is roughly 34 miles, and while it's mainly smooth pavement, there are two gravel road sections that total about a mile-and-a-half. It's full of climbs and descents, and of course, incredible vistas (but I would recommend stopping for those).

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I started by ride going down SW Minter Bridge Road, but was turned back by a downed power line. I detoured over to SW Rood Bridge Road and rode that to SW Grabel, and up to SW Tongue Lane. It's the same basic ride as the Hillsboro Hills ride, but you turn onto SW Nursery Road.

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At the end of SW Nursery Road, take a right on SW Hergert. The road goes straight despite the fall line, which results in a fun roller coaster ride. I came to the top of the first rise to see two huge turkey vultures eating road kill.

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Take a left on the brand new pavement of SW Blooming Fern Road and enjoy the climb. Take a left at the bottom of a small descent and follow SW Fern Hill Road to where it ends at SW Spring Hill Road. Take a left, and follow the road.

I stayed straight at SW Hardebeck Road and ran into about a half-mile of hard-packed gravel.
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Turn left on SW Dixon Mill Road and climb straight up out of the valley. It's amazing how straight the road goes! The road has the decency to stay paved for the climb. It becomes a hard-packed (and oil-soaked in some sections) gravel road for a section that runs down a slight incline.

The pavement returns in time for some fast descents around some perfectly banked corners! Before long, you hook up with SW Unger road and drop down what I like to call, the Unger Drop and Twist ... and Drop, a a two-hundred vertical foot straight drop in a quarter mile, with a crazy "S-corner," followed by another straight shot descent into the valley. You should try it sometime!

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I then turned left on 219, and rode that to 208/10, where I took another left. I rode that back to Rood Bridge Road, and back into Hillsboro.

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