View Full Version : Recommendation for a visitor?

04-22-2008, 09:50 AM
I will be in Portland next Tuesday/Wednesday for work and have all of Tuesday afternoon (4/29) free. I have never been to the city before and given that it's America's most bicycle friendly city I feel I would be remiss for not taking the opportunity to rent a bike and see the city the right way. Any recommendations for a decent ride or route? I'm looking for ~3hrs of riding. I plan to rent a road bike somewhere...any recommendations? I'm not looking for a leisurly cruise but neither am I the fastest guy out there. I live in Texas where it's flat and tavel around 18-20 mph here. Anyone want to spend a few hours on the bike with an out-of-towner?

04-22-2008, 10:25 AM
So...you want to take an afternoon spin.

First of all, make sure you bring weather gear. It's likely to be cool (40's or 50's) and damp (not the outright RAIN we had in the south, but you'll be wet if you don't have good outerwear).

You're going to want to line up a bike in advance. REI and Gateway Bicycles are the two places I would think of.

Assuming you have a rental car to pick a starting point, I would be remiss in not suggesting a Gorge ride: start in Troutdale near Lewis & Clark State Park, and then climb all the way to Crown Point. Check out the restored museum there, and then turn around and take a free ride the way you came.

If you had just a little more time, I would strongly urge you to ride down the other side from Crown Point down to Multnomah Falls. It's the highest falls in North America, and there are always (literal) bus loads of Asian tourists taking pictures of it. The climb back to Crown Point is designed for Model A Ford's, so it's quite a bit of work but never too steep.

If you think Troutdale is a bit far, you could shorten the ride by starting at Portland Women's Forum, or even start at the Falls and work westward back to Crown Point.

There are some closer-in rides I could suggest, but they pale in comparison, in terms of raw jaw-dropping scenery.

I'm not sure I could join you, though I'm tempted. We'd have to see just how busy my job is that day--but that's another advantage of the Scenic Highway ride: navigation is not a big deal.

Good luck, and let us know what you think of the Pacific North*WET*!

04-22-2008, 12:10 PM
so are you suggesting a ride along the historic columbia river highway (~10miles w/ ~850ft of climb...from troutdale to crown point) or to ride along I-84.

04-22-2008, 12:25 PM
so are you suggesting a ride along the historic columbia river highway (~10miles w/ ~850ft of climb...from troutdale to crown point) or to ride along I-84.

He's suggesting the historic highway. That's the only reasonable way to get to Crown Point from Troutdale on a bike.

04-22-2008, 03:04 PM
Welcome from a former Texan. Those are nice rides recommended above, but if you want to see the city, I'd first recommend a ride along Waterfront Park, over the Steel or Hawthorne bridges to the Eastbank Esplanade and down the Springwater corridor, then a leisurely cruise through SE Portland, maybe checking out Laurelhurst Park, Mt. Tabor, etc. Then back over a different bridge to downtown. (Or reverse directions if you start on the east side.) There's really too many wonderful city rides to list here, so don't try to do everything in three hours! You can also rent at Waterfront bikes, and any of the places you rent from will have some suggested routes and maps, or you can check here: http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?&a=71971&c=34812. Enjoy Portland, and be sure to drink a microbrew at one of our bike friendly brew pubs after your ride.

04-23-2008, 07:36 AM

if i start somewhere around hawthorne bridge and head south along the river to sellwood bridge, cross and then head out to Mt. Tabor and then back to Easbank Esplanade and back north along the river up to steel bridge, cross and then back to hawthorne. how long is this loop? would this be a good way for a visitor without a rental car to experience portland?

05-02-2008, 11:48 AM
... I would strongly urge you to ride down the other side from Crown Point down to Multnomah Falls. It's the highest falls in North America...

Uh, it's not even close to the highest. The highest in Oregon, yes, but Multnomah doesn't even make the top 100 (http://www.world-waterfalls.com/database.php?s=T&t=G&category=continent&search=North%20America&orderby=height%20DESC) in North America. Even if you remove some of the obscure ones that are hidden in BC, Yukon, Alaska, and Hawaii there are plenty of well known waterfalls that are taller. Yosemite Falls in California is over three times higher than Multnomah, for example.

None the less, if one has the time, a bike ride through the Columbia River Gorge on the old highway is well worth riding.

05-04-2008, 12:29 PM
You can cross the Hawthorne Bridge and either go directly to Mt. Tabor or (better, yet) ride south on the Springwater Corridor to Sellwood itself. The Sellwood Bridge is NOT a pleasant bike ride, whether on the narrow sidewalk or on the traffic lane. I really recommend, however, that you ride north along the river wall on the west side of the river up to the Steel Bridge, cross on the bike/ped level, and then take the Eastside Esplanade, which morphs into the Springwater Corridor. You would get some great views of the city going and coming. And there's nothing wrong with coming back the same way. This whole little jaunt may take an hour and a half, plus extra time if you want to stop and enjoy the river views and watch birds. There are nifty little restaurants and coffee shops in Sellwood, if you want to ride up the hill on Spokane Street to 13th and mosey around.

If a first-time Portland visitor has time to take only one bike ride, this is the ride I'd recommend. Believe me, you won't be disappointed, even if it's "misting" a little :)

05-04-2008, 12:31 PM
I just realized gilby was here last week. I hope he (or she) had a good ride.