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City’s most underrated bike jump? A driveway near Peninsula Park, Mercury says

Posted by on July 22nd, 2014 at 9:42 am

merc underrated cover

We’re maybe a little late to the Portland Mercury’s “Most Underrated” issue, out last week, but it’s a nice twist on the “best of” genre and it has a few interesting details about bikes.

The most intriguing claim, from Merc reporter Dirk VanderHart: Portland’s “most underrated bike jump” is a not-explicitly-identified private driveway on North Ainsworth Street near Peninsula Park. Here’s what he says:

It’s not much to look at, but if you’re pedaling west on N Ainsworth near Peninsula Park, there’ll be a driveway off to your right that’s so choice for the casual jump enthusiast. This driveway gives way to the curb not in the straight, matter-of-fact manner of most. Instead, it swoops up gracefully, exultantly, a miniature launch ramp to add some sweet altitude to your stolid commute. Hit it right, and you can pop over a bed of succulents and correct in time to avoid the tall wooden fence. Hit it wrong, and you’re killing succulents and/or injuring yourself. Bike jumps are awesome; not easy. (Also: This is someone’s home. Don’t mess it up.)

VanderHart definitely has my number: I have no idea which house he’s talking about but now I want to know. And though I’m not clear on my personal ethics of (not to mention skills for) jumping over other people’s cacti, the item made me wonder what other fun, semi-public bike jumps are just off the treaded path.

Other bike-related items in the Mercury’s “most underrated” list include the Burnside Bridge (totally agree!) and Metropolis Cycle Repair at 2249 N Williams Ave. (sure!).

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  • SilkySlim July 22, 2014 at 9:51 am

    My favorite daily commute jump is on the west esplanade, just above the Hawthorne bridge, where you drop down to the cruise loading area and then have an uphill which leads to a decent lip. I’ve wowed many a tourist hitting this properly and getting air.

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    • dp July 23, 2014 at 1:54 am

      That is a great, great jump. I’ve hit that one many times.

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  • Granpa July 22, 2014 at 10:09 am

    I have been known to pop a little air at the top of the floating walkway (southbound).
    Regarding jumping over someone’s garden that is not exactly a way to make friends or be a good ambassador for the mode. Even if it is technically in the Right Of Way, it is ground tended with care and dedicated to fragile, slow growing plants.

    Garden jumping is the bike equivalent of “roll’n coal”

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    • Dwaine Dibbly July 22, 2014 at 10:21 am

      “I don’t always jump over my neighbor’s driveway with a culvert underneath, but when I do, I like to use my 3sp Schwinn Typhoon with newsboy baskets” said 8th grade Dwaine Dibbly, 1972. “That sucker is heavy, so once you get it up to speed, it really flies.”

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    • one July 22, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      While I’d agree that jumping over someone’s garden is uncouth, I wouldn’t ever compare it to Rollin’ Coal.

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      • Granpa July 23, 2014 at 7:58 am

        I guess you are right. If a talented gardener has the mosaic of plants damaged by an unskilled jumper the scar across their art lasts much longer than a blast of carbon.

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        • Caleb July 23, 2014 at 11:22 pm

          A scar across art is far from analogous to health implications.

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  • jeffm July 22, 2014 at 10:43 am

    South on SE 4th at Caruthers on corner of McCoy Millworks. Sweet little kicker

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  • Spencer July 22, 2014 at 10:50 am

    The 7 corners sidewalk heading NW from SE 21st and Divsion into Ladds Addition allows for wicked air with a heavy lateral transfer onto the back wheel. Watch out for other commuters though, and hope your rear wheel can handle landing sideways. Its usually a winter or night only jump due to congestion.

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  • TJ July 22, 2014 at 11:26 am

    North Portland Rd Multi Use Path has a nice kicker. Succulent Free. Oft not poo free.

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  • Moleskin July 22, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Mysterious lump on the SW corner of SE Caruthers and SE 4th just north of the Springwater; you get a bit of air off it, or roll it and practice your north shore skills along the curb going S toward the Springwater.

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    • spencer July 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      manuals are nice for that one

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  • Moleskin July 22, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Mysterious lump on the SW corner of SE Caruthers and SE 4th just north of the Springwater; you can get a bit of air off it, or roll it and practice your north shore skills along the curb going S toward the Springwater.

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  • Dirk VanderHart July 22, 2014 at 11:31 am


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    • Alan 1.0 July 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      First rule of the jump club?

      Anyway, I found a spot matching your literary description, but only close to, not matching, the physical clues. Mmmhmm.

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  • brokenbottombracket July 22, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    My favorite jump is a great little table top of raised concrete on the west sidewalk of N Vancouver just across the street from Livingscape, it’s a great one to add some air time to your morning commute downtown.

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    • Nathan July 23, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      This jump and its fellow a half-block north lighten my morning commute every day (well, every day there aren’t people enjoying the sidewalk on foot, that is).

      On the more north jump, the tree which caused the initial buckle was recently trimmed back alleviating the need to thread the needle while giving one’s tires a break from the earth!

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      • Caleb July 23, 2014 at 11:29 pm

        You hit that jump on your Texas Twenty-Four? 🙂

        Apologies if you aren’t who I think you are.

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        • Nathan July 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm

          On pretty much every bike that finds itself underneath my feet (including the cruiser)!

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  • Mindful Cyclist July 22, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    There used to be some bumps heading south (downhill) on NE 41st and catch some decent air. Surprising as well because it was not much of a bump.

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  • Brad Parker July 22, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Dirk, you are killing me. Where is this jump? It on my way home.

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  • Brian July 24, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Portland Parks & Rec has 33 dog parks and not one single dirtjump for us. How lame is that?

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