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weekend in Portland(23 posts)

weekend in PortlandDougSloan
Apr 28, 2003 6:25 AM
I don't know how you all do it up there. I was there from Thursday to Sunday, and it rained almost the whole time (cleared up as I was leaving).

I was amazed at the numbers of runners and cyclists out there, despite the rain. I saw a much greater density(?) of people exercising outdoors there than even around here. While having the Nike headquarters there probably doesn't hurt (my brother lives just a few miles away), this was all over town. Strange.

Saturday and Sunday mornings my brother and I went to a neighborhood Starbucks (they are everywhere), and each day saw a group of riders meeting there before doing a ride. What was interesting was that every one of them had full out rain geared bikes, full fenders, flaps, lights, and full rain suit gear for riding. It appeared to be nothing abnormal for them, either.

I spoke to one, and discussed joining them when I'm up there (I have some business and family there). I guess I'll have to come up with a bike with fenders to fit in.

It was an interesting idea to meet for coffee before riding. Around here, we roll out of bed, meet at the corner, and take off half asleep, waking up about the time we hit the first big climb. So, I was curious as to the routines for meeting to ride where you are. Anything unusual?

Is Fresno Shangri-La?mohair_chair
Apr 28, 2003 6:43 AM
You don't have to go all the way to Portland. It's been raining almost as much in San Jose! It still is. I don't know what happened to that wonderful early spring we were getting in February.

I spent most of the weekend near San Luis Obispo doing a century, so we managed to escape all the rain. I just wish it would stop!!!
no, but less rainDougSloan
Apr 28, 2003 6:48 AM
It's actually raining right now. However, this is unusual. For Portland, it's unusual not to rain.

What century? I like doing them down there.

Apr 28, 2003 6:57 AM
It's a pretty good ride. You have to sign up early, because they sell out pretty quick. This year, the Wildflower name lived up to it's billing in a spectacular way, with fields of lupine and poppies and other wildflowers along the route. Very nice.
I love Portland...rwbadley
Apr 28, 2003 8:20 AM
What a beautiful city. It seems really well managed and is quite friendly to cyclists. I have always enjoyed being there.

Last time I went there I was able to do quite a bit of riding. There is an island to the west called Sophies (sp?) island. Really pretty.

I really like stopping in at Bridgeport Brewing for a brew and a slice of pizza -yum. Another favorite is Widmer Brewing. Excellent food.

Portland has some of the best bike shops I have seen. I don't remember the name, but there is one to the east of downtown that has a great selection of high end road bikes.

I am looking forward to spending some time up there this summer after the STP ride.

I love Portland...RJF
Apr 28, 2003 8:55 AM
It's Sauvie Island (and there is only one -- it is not 'Sauvies' as many locals even mispronounce it; pet peeve of mine!). I think it is suicide to ride there -- no shoulder and tons of cars going waaaay too fast on winding roads. Still, it is a nice place.

Bridgeport rules. What a great place.

The shop your are thinking of is River City Bicycles. They have a shrine the The Cannibal and more beautiful high-end bikes than I have ever seen in one place. And an indoor test track.
River City BicyclesDougSloan
Apr 28, 2003 9:06 AM
Great bike shop. I have one of their wool jerseys. Must be the most complete shop I've ever seen.

I noticed you can't get in or out of the shop without donating to something...

I love Portland...jimmyjames
Apr 28, 2003 9:39 AM
"It's Sauvie Island (and there is only one -- it is not 'Sauvies' as many locals even mispronounce it; pet peeve of mine!)."

Please take no umbrage, but before you lecture too many more people on the "correct" pronunciation of Sauvie Island, know that there was an article in the Oregonian some months ago explaining that the Island has been variously known as Sauvie, Sauvies, and Sauvie's over the years and that no one knows what the "correct" spelling or pronunciation is. Those who add an "s" may be Oregonians whose families have been here for generations and use a pronunciation used before the latest map makers settled on "Sauvie."

Apparently "Glisan" street should be pronounced like "glisten" not "gleesan," but I just can't get used to it.
and, butRJF
Apr 28, 2003 1:56 PM
But can you explain how "Couch St." became "kooch"?

And why some bus drivers call "Rose Quarter" "Rose Quarters"?
But of course . . .jimmyjames
Apr 28, 2003 4:30 PM
Captain John Couch sailed from Mass. in 1839 bound for a land called Oregon. Eventually he secured a donation land claim along the Willamette--which became Northwest Portland. He drew up the Alphabet district. He became rather well to do. They were just named "A" and "B" streets and so on, but were renamed in 1891. One of his daughters married Dr. Rodney Glisan, and the Captain himself married a Miss Flanders. (Eugene E. Snyder, Portland Names and Neighborhoods: Their Historic Origins.) The building on NW 2d abutting the Burnside Bridge on the North side is the Couch Building, and you can see that when they expanded the bridge they cut off about ten feet off the building. There's a Historic Landmark plaque on the building with the tale, too.

As to why he didn't know how to pronounce his own name, I don't know.

The bus drivers? Every time they stop by the Rose Quarter they think about how they're working hard for loose change while Paul Allen gives millions away to thugs and lazy whiners.
It's not a problemRJF
Apr 28, 2003 8:22 AM
Good observation -- in Portland, rain cancells nothing. You ride in the rain. Picnic in the rain. Hike in the rain. Etc. As long as you have a decent rain jacket, there is no reason to stay home (unless, of course, you are made of sugar). I'll take rainy winters over snowy ones any day!! But while it may rain often, it doesn't rain that much. New York City and Houston, TX are amongst the many cities that get more rain that Portland. In fact, as talk of bringing a baseball team to town heats up, much has been made of the fact that very few, if any, cities in baseball get less rain during the season than Portland.

From July to October, it is generally dry, blue skies, 70 deg., with no humidity. We have the best summers of anyplace in North America.

And too bad you left Sunday -- it was an amazing day!!! Did a great ride in the west hills above town.

Oh, we always get coffee AFTER riding. Never seen people meeting for the pre-ride cup.
no problem, plus...rockbender
Apr 28, 2003 10:57 AM
for a break from the dampness, those in Portland just have a short three hour jaunt to Bend where the sun always shines (usually, anyways!).

btw - did the 'other' Wildflower century in Chico yesterday - beautiful weather and wildflowers down there too! sweet ride.
Chico Wildflower...rwbadley
Apr 28, 2003 11:08 AM
is a great ride. This is the first year of the last five (I think) that I missed it. I just returned from So Cal, and I didn't want to venture away again, lest I use up all my 'good boy' credits with wifey :-)

Chico Wildflower...rockbender
Apr 28, 2003 12:31 PM
This was my first Wildflower. After looking at weather reports early in the week last week and hearing of last year's ride, I really wasn't looking forward to driving lots of hours to ride in the cold and wet.

We were pleasantly surprised - I think it was in the mid 60's most of the day with mostly clear skies. The clouds started rolling in and the winds picked up just as we were finishing - perfect timing!

Most importantly for me, too, is that it was my girlfriends first organized ride and she had an awesome time too!
Preride coffeemass_biker
Apr 28, 2003 8:33 AM
Is part of our (Boston) cycling tradition. Rides meet/leave from coffee shops. It doesn't hurt that several shops around here are generous sponsors of local teams so that works out quite nicely. Besides, it does give you someplace to huddle when waiting for your riding partners and when conditions aren't that great (i.e. 5 degrees without windchill).

Perhaps its a big city thingKristin
Apr 28, 2003 12:52 PM
Chicago, Boston, Seattle. Even in the burbs, there is a Starbucks ever 5 miles or less. Gosh Doug would probably have to ride 10 miles to find a store. ;-)
re: weekend in PortlandSharkman
Apr 28, 2003 8:37 AM
Doug - if you live in Portland and want to cycle, you have to be willing to ride in the rain. That said, most of the time the rain is light, not a downpour like you get in some areas of the country. More like a steady drizzle. Temperatures are generally above forty, sometimes above 50, even in the winter. So if you have good rain gear, its not that big a deal.

Our racing team rides training rides on the weekends rain or shine. Probably the biggest issues with the rain is that you have to clean your bike more frequently and more thoroghly. I just switched to SRAM chains for exactly that reason. Want to be able to take the chain off weekly without using a chain tool.

I am getting ready to start commuting from where I live in Camas WA to downtown Portland (about 25 miles each way). Plan to do this year around, although I am hedging my bets a little and keeping my second car. PdxMark does this too, although he lives closer than I.

Starbucks is a necessity in my humble opinion, either before, in the middle of, or after a ride (or all three).

Seattle is sameLC
Apr 28, 2003 9:35 AM
Maybe even more rain. The rain is more like drizzle, so it is not all that bad. Coffee is definitly needed to get you warmed up and ready to go ;)

I am actually spending the week in S.F. (where it is actually colder and wetter than Seattle right now) hoping to get some sun. I don't see near the number of organized team and club rides going on, but maybe I am not looking in the popular riding spots? Seem most people are on mountain/cross bikes, although I did see someone on a Trek OCLV 5500 but he had on jeans, tee shirt and running shoes and the bike did not even look like it fit him. Where are all the weekly crits and races?
Yep, same groove exactly, except without a cool bike shop... yetmiposy
Apr 28, 2003 12:42 PM
also, we have coffee before, stop for coffee in the middle, and wind down with a coffee afterwards.

For mountain biking, it's coffee first, water on the ride, and beer afterwards.

it works...
re:Love Portlandfarmerfrank
Apr 28, 2003 9:41 AM
I have relatives in Portland and visit regularly. When I drive I bring my bike and always enjoy rides there with my cousin. If you want to get jumpstarted before a ride try Stumptown Coffee. It is the best.
Second StumptownRJF
Apr 28, 2003 2:00 PM
While we have decent coffee on every damn corner here, we have very little excellent coffee. Stumptown is the best in town, without a doubt.

Much as I hate the Bay Area, there is a lot better coffee down there (Mission City in Santa Clara being my all-time favorite cup).
Doug's next bike projectKristin
Apr 28, 2003 12:46 PM
Isn't your stable slim these days anyway? Good excuse to build a new bike.

Lots of groups meet at coffee shops are bars in the Chicago area. As a matter of fact, every event around here seems to involve food of some sort.
It's easy, actuallyTrent in WA
Apr 28, 2003 10:12 PM
Weather aside, both Portland and Seattle are great areas for riding--the drivers are by and large considerate, the transportation policies take bicycling into account and encourage it, and there's great scenery and terrain in town and immediately outside. While it's frequently rainy, it's rarely that cold, and more rarely windy, rainy, and cold (the miserable and unholy trinity that will get me off the bike and on the bus). Given that it rains consistently if not heavily from October through April, if you don't ride in the rain, you turn into a fungus-covered blob really quickly.

The upshot is that we take things like fender clearance seriously and find the concept of a special "rain bike" hard to fathom. Even my go-fast randonneuring bike has fenders.


(And it doesn't go that fast, even, if I'm riding it.)