One of my favorite pastimes is poking around the Portland Bureau of Transportation website looking for nuggets of interesting news and information. A few days ago on one of my daily hunts, I stumbled upon a nice little treasure…
The thing about PBOT is that they are really good at marketing what we have; but because their website (like mostly all government sites) is not super easy to navigate, much of their great work gets buried. Speaking of which, in a section of the site devoted to safety was a page titled, “Suggested bike rides around Portland.” On that page was a list of 10 (actually 11) expertly-crafted routes that take you through all corners of the city. In many ways, these 10 routes represent the best (and worst, depending on your outlook) of what Portland has to offer: great neighborhoods, interesting destinations, world-class parks, public art, excellent bike infrastructure, and more.
If there was a Portland passport everyone was required to have, we should aim to get it stamped with every one of these rides. Put another way, consider the completion of all 10 as a cheat code shortcut to instant official Portlander status no matter how long you’ve lived here. I plan to do all these rides in the coming weeks and months. If you do the same, I guarantee you’ll come away happier, healthier, and with a greater amount of pride and perspective for our city.
Check out all the routes below. And hope to see you out there!
Note: PBOT only offered PDFs of the route maps so I took the liberty of creating a GPS map for each route for folks that want to use a device or smartphone for navigation. Check the PBOT page for more details.
The Classic Waterfront Loop Ride
You’ll enjoy a scenic ride along Willamette River trails between the Sellwood and Steel bridges on this classic waterfront loop. START/END: Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade trail behind OMSI (1945 SE Water Ave)Back to top
The Art of Foster Ride
This ride is like a treasure hunt of more than a dozen vibrant murals and street paintings that dot the Foster-Powell area. How many can you spot? START/END: Portland Mercado (7238 SE Foster Rd)Back to top
(*Note: If you do this ride, refer to PBOT’s route map for clues on where to look for murals.)
Four Parks of East Portland Ride
This ride takes you on a tour of four East Portland parks and features the new HOP Greenway serving the Gateway District. START/END: Gateway Discovery Park (NE 106th Ave and NE Halsey St)Back to top
Heart of St. Johns Peninsula Ride
Enjoy the views from Willamette Bluff, quiet Neighborhood Greenways and two great parks that bookend this tour of the St. Johns Peninsula. START/END: Columbia Park (N Lombard and N Woolsey)Back to top
Ladd’s Key to SE Portland Ride
Unlock to discover the unique neighborhoods of Southeast. Experience bike infrastructure of new and old Portland and enjoy unique views from the Bob Stacey Crossing and Lafayette St overpasses. START/END: Ladd Circle Park and Rose Garden (SE 16th Ave and SE Harrison St)Back to top
North Portland Bike to Books Tour Ride
Suitable as a family walk or bike ride, you’ll spy a strawberry, a family of chickens and a school of fish on bikes along this tour of 2020 Bike to Books street art, all originating from North Portland libraries. This route brought to you by biketobooks.com. START/END: North Portland Library(N Killingsworth St and N Commercial Ave)Back to top
North Greeley and Greenways Ride
This 8-mile North Portland ride offers a little bit of everything. Discover Neighborhood Greenways of Albina and Arbor Lodge, the Bryant St bike and pedestrian bridge, enjoy views of the river from Willamette Blvd, and squeal with joy as you ride downhill on the new protected bike lanes on lower Greeley. START/END: DeNorval Unthank Park (N Kerby Ave and N Failing St.Back to top
Parkrose Pedal Tours
A great route for families, this tour of the Parkrose neighborhood highlights the I-205 multi-use path in Maywood Park, with access to Gateway Green. START/END: Parkrose Middle School (11800 NE Shaver St)Back to top
This route connects all Parkrose School District schools and adjacent parks. With bike lanes on busier streets, this loop is for families able to ride together in a straight line alongside traffic. START/END: Parkrose Middle School (11800 NE Shaver St)Back to top
Roses, Parks and Greens Tour
Enjoy a tour along residential streets and greenways of northeast to the many diverse green spaces of the Rose City, including a community orchard and a hydro park. START/END: Rose City Park (NE Tillamook St and NE 62nd Ave)Back to top
Sellwood-Moreland Nature Ride
Enjoy a short ride along the Springwater Corridor Trail through Oaks Bottom Wetlands and Wildlife Refuge and Neighborhood Greenways of Sellwood-Moreland. Take time for a picnic or visit nearby Westmoreland Park along the way. START/END: Sellwood Riverfront Park (SE Spokane St and SE Oaks Park Way)Back to top
SW Multnomah-Vermont Ride
You’ll ride through the heart of the Hillsdale and Multnomah Village business districts, past Gabriel Park, and discover some Neighborhood Greenways in the quaint Maplewood neighborhood on this SW Portland ride. START/END: Hillsdale Library (1525 SW Sunset Blvd)Back to top