Portland couple quits jobs to cycle the world with their dog


A “family portrait” of Jen Sotolongo, Dave Hoch and their pooch Sora.
(Photos: Jen Sotolongo and Dave Hoch)

Plenty of folks quit their jobs in exchange for adventure, but not quite in the way as Dave Hoch and Jen Sotolongo of Southeast Portland. Since May 2015, Dave and Jen have been cycle touring the world with a unique companion — their 11-year-old Australian Shepherd, Sora. Together, they call themselves the Long Haul Trekkers.

Read more

Cycle Oregon grant funds new Wallowa Lake State Park hiker-biker camp

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Wallowa Lake Zumwalt Loop to La Grande-3.jpg

Great news for anyone planning an adventure in this spectacular part of our state. And speaking of which, I was just out there last summer!

Here’s the official statement from Oregon State Parks:

Joseph OR — The Cycle Oregon Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation has awarded a $10,000 matching grant to develop a new hiker-biker camp at Wallowa Lake State Park. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will contribute an additional $10,000 to complete the project.

The current camp for people who hike or bicycle into the park is in an open area along the main camp entrance. Over the next year, park staff will build the new 8-site camping area in a more secluded spot by redesigning the park’s former amphitheater. The new camp will include covered and uncovered sites, lockers, tables, and charging stations. Park staff created a new area for park presentations in a more central location, freeing up the old amphitheater for this project.

From 2009 to 2014, visits to Wallowa Lake State Park have increased 10 percent, from 348,000 to 381,000. As curious travelers from Oregon and around the world discover the Wallowas, the park is interested in encouraging less polluting, less congestion-causing forms of transportation such as hiking and bicycling.

“This is a tremendous gift from Cycle Oregon,” says Park Manager Nancy McLeod (mih-CLOUD). “They’ve always supported the region, but this goes beyond goodwill. They’re investing in the community, and we’re grateful for it.”

The project should start this spring, finish a year later, and be open for its first season in April 2017. The park will work with the Eastern Oregon Visitor Association and the Wallowa Chamber of Commerce to promote the improved service as it opens.

Portland to the Dalles: A low-stress birthday ride to remember

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
4 Horse Tail Falls

Linda Hill at Horse Tail Falls last month.
(Photos courtesy Hill)

It takes years of advocacy and patience to create an out-of-town bike route like the one gradually being extended along the Historic Columbia River Highway. But once it’s built, the benefits are too big to measure.

Linda Hill, an Oregon biking lover, decided to celebrate her 61st birthday with a four-day trek last month that took that route through the Columbia River Gorge, which was vastly improved in 2013 by opening of a section of the highway to bikes and removing the need to bike along the shoulder of Interstate 84.

Read more

Another bike touring boost: Two nearby state parks get bike facilities

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Bike camping at Champoeg St. Park-50

Bike camping at Champoeg State Heritage Area in 2009.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

It’s fun to report two separate bits of news about bike friendliness in the state park system on the same afternoon.

Milo McIver State Park and Champoeg State Heritage Area are both upgrading their bike amenities, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department said Wednesday. They’ll get new lockers for gear and food storage; phone charging stations; and bicycle fix-it stations, plus new group shelters. A third park, Bullards Beach State Park on the southern Oregon coast, will be upgraded too.

Read more

ODOT in hot seat for dangerous Highway 101 repaving job

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

ODOT failed to extend a new layer of pavement
into the bicycle riding area of a long
stretch of Highway 101.
(Photo: Jeff Smith)

A recent repaving job by the Oregon Department of Transportation on the popular Oregon Coast Bike Route on Highway 101 between Yachats and Florence has raised eyebrows among veteran bike tourers, transportation department staffers, and national bicycle advocacy organizations.

It all started with an email sent yesterday from Jeff Smith, a veteran Portland Bureau of Transportation employee and a bike touring enthusiast, to ODOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Sheila Lyons. Smith — who sent the message from his personal email account and not as a PBOT employee — included a photo and a detailed description of what he called an “extremely annoying at best and dangerous at worst” section of repaving.

According to Smith, a 25-mile section of the popular Oregon Coast Bike Route from Yachats south to Florence has been re-constructed with a new layer of pavement that abruptly ends just a few feet past the fog line. Here’s more from Smith’s email:

Read more

Event: The People’s Coast Classic (9/11/11-9/16/11)

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Event Name: The Amgen People’s Coast Classic to benefit the Arthritis Foundation
Event Start Date: 11 Sept, 2011
Start Time: AM
Web Site: http://www.thepeoplescoastclassic.org/
Event Description:
The Amgen People’s Coast Classic is a multi-day charity event benefiting the Arthritis Foundation’s mission to improve lives through prevention, control and cure of arthritis.

Choose from:

  • Six-Day Classic: September 11-16, Astoria to Brookings
  • Two-Day North Coast Ride: September 11-13, Astoria to Newport
  • Four-Day Central-South Coast Ride: September 13-16, Newport to Brookings

This ride follows the Oregon Coast Bike Route as marked by the state Department of Transportation, which is graced with incredible scenery and fun attractions. Your vacation with a cause will touch the lives of over 50 million people in the United States, including 300,000 children living with Juvenile Arthritis.

New ‘Sierra Cascades’ bike route rolls through Gorge, Hood River

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Detail of new route. Start planning now!

Adventure Cycling, a 44,000 member non profit that promotes bike touring, has announced their latest route and it goes right through some of Oregon’s best riding areas. The 2,392 mile Sierra Cascades Bicycle Route runs from Sumas, Washington to Tecate, California.

According to the just-published information on their website, AC says the new route “runs roughly parallel to the Pacific Crest Trail along the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada from the Canadian border to the Mexican border.” Here’s a bit more detail on the Oregon portion:

Section 2 begins at Mt. Rainier National Park and runs south to the wind surfing country of the Columbia Gorge and Hood River, Oregon. From there it skirts the Three Sisters Mountains through Bend, Oregon ending in Crater Lake National Park. This section intersects the Lewis & Clark Bicycle Route in Hood River and the TransAmerica Trail in Sisters, Oregon… After leaving the spectacular scenery of Wizard Island and Crater Lake, the route continues south to Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Read more

Local duo will raise “money for miles” on cross-country bike tour

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Cycle Oregon Day 5 - Glendale to Grants Pass-14

Collin Roughton got some training
miles in during this year’s
Cycle Oregon.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Portland residents Ashley Mitchell and Collin Roughton are making last minute preparations for a 5,080 mile, cross-country bike ride to raise money for two local non-profits.

Ashley, 26, and Collin, 25, work together at the Community Cycling Center (Ashley is also a mechanic at Citybikes). They’ve launched a website for their Money for Miles Campaign with hopes of raising $5,080 (buck a mile, get it?) for the Coalition for a Livable Future and Bike Farm.

Ashley says everyone who supports their trip will get a postcard (with an awesome manatee-rainbow design, see below) and will be listed on their website.

Read more

Local author writes ‘Cycling in Italy’ guidebook

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

[Publisher’s note: This article is by first-time BikePortland contributor Lucy Burningham, a local freelance writer and familiar face at bike events. Burningham writes here about the new book release of her fellow Lonely Planet travel guide author Ellee Thalheimer — who you may recognize from her past contributions to BikePortland.]

Ellee Thalheimer doing important research for
her travel guide to cycling in Italy

When Lonely Planet’s new Cycling in Italy guidebook comes out this month, Portland author Ellee Thalheimer will join the growing ranks of local writers publishing cycling titles (think Joe “Metal Cowboy” Kurmaskie, Jeff Mapes, or Shawn Granton).

Thalheimer, a freelance writer, yoga instructor, and bike touring guide, spent three months last summer pedaling her way across Italy, churning out centuries and perfecting the art of moving her fully loaded bicycle on and off trains by herself.

Read more