We were pretty excited to arrive in Portland, OR on our bicycles. Portland has a reputation of being one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the USA. We rolled into town on July 16th. After a few phone calls we were able to connect with our friends Galen and Sam who we would meet up with later. We had an easy ride into town following bike routes and paths. Portland takes care of their pedestrians and cyclists with a large network of on road and off road bicycle routes. Once in town we met up with our friend Joshua. We met at a restaurant called The Observatory. A fine place with amazing happy hour specials! We planned to spend a week here in the city before getting back on the bikes and heading to the coast and then crossing into Washington state. Sometimes the city is just what we are looking for – a bit of culture, music, art and friends!
Here are some pics of our stay…
On Saturday, July 21st we took a ride around the city and up to Rocky Butte where we took in some views of the city and the surrounding area. A short climb up and then a sweet descent back through a tunnel on a curve. Riding around Portland you realize quickly that the city is quite large and that it would take a long time to see it all. Even on a bike.
We were always pleasantly treated to the Portland music scene. Sam is a multi-talented musician and he gave us our ration of good tunes at cool venues all over town. Thanks Sam! We enjoyed it all!
One day during our stay, Bryan took off on an all day ride through Forest Park and down Skyline Drive with a short stop at the Willamette Stone State Park to complete a big loop within city limits. The first time riding into downtown from the east side of the city is exhilarating. You can follow bike boulevards through residential neighborhoods that are full of blooming trees and flowers. The citywide bike map is essential for first time navigators. There is a lot of signage and markings that apply to bicyclists so keep your eye out. The climb up Thurman to Forest Park is a lung burner.
On another day, Debi, Galen and Bryan rode around Portland unloaded and made a visit to Laurelhurst Park in SE Portland and Mt Tabor Park for some outdoor music. There is no shortage of things going on in Portland. Every day and night something is happening somewhere. A lot of it is free or very cheap. Getting around Portland is easy as a pedestrian or cyclist. You are not a minority here. The City offers comprehensive and detailed maps geared toward walkers and bikers. They are free and break the city up into the four main quadrants with detailed views of specific areas.
On our way out of town, Sam joined us for the ride through the city and up through Forest park. It is always a pleasure to get to ride with friends on this trip. It makes it so much more memorable. Bryan had a rough go at first – leaving the city, we were travelling down a street when a car door opened from a parked car in between Sam and Bryan and Bryan didn’t see it in time. In a flash I was flat in the street. Her door caught my front right pannier and it pitched me over the bars. The woman who opened the door was startled. Glad there was no additional traffic because I was in the lane, down. All parties including the bike were OK and we went on with our day. That was a first and hopefully only incident of that nature. We took it a bit more cautious as we left town. Once in Forest Park, Debi was stung three times by a bee! Turning out to be a rough day. Sam rode up through Forest Park with us and then planned to take the return loop I did the either day and come back down Skyline drive.
So, now we are headed out of town and on our way to Astoria, OR to see the sea.
See you down the road!
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