20th June, Day 2: St Helens, OR to Welches OR, 75 miles, 3,150 ft ascent

This dictionary definition seems extremely harsh for the end point for today’s ride. The residents are just as hospitable and genuine as all the other inhabitants of Oregon that we’ve had the pleasure to meet.

Anyway, as a Brit, who am I to make fun of Welches; a recent list of the most amusing UK place names includes Bell End, Scratchy Bottom and Crotch Crescent. 

Today we enjoyed our first spell on a dedicated cycle track through the outskirts of Portland, followed by a stunning few miles along South East Bluff Road, where the residents of some rather nice real estate enjoy spectacular distant views of Mount Hood.

Chris in rural Oregon 

We spent some considerable time speculating why most of the past 2 days prior to this has been on the shoulder of extremely busy 4 lane highways. This has been from necessity as there are simply no other roads to get us from point A to point B. The question is why that should be when, in contrast, there are so many deserted lanes ideal for cycling around Bath and Bristol where I live.

We had a couple of theories around surveying of the American West, and the timing of population growth vs the invention of the automobile. But all a bit flimsy, and highly uninformed. Comments very welcome from anyone who knows the real answer.