Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
Leot Kowns
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I may in the next 6 months find my self living in the middle of Portland. I currently live in Asheville, NC and couldn't be happier with the trails i have to ride. Things may change in a while and I am wondering how the biking will be close to Portland. By the map it looks like within 30 mins. I could have a good trail to ride but I thought I would ask the guys that live there. i dont mind traveling to ride but if there was like a good exercise trail that would be really close to downtown that would make me feel better. i think I would get bummed out if I had to drive an hour everytime i want to ride my bike. Please don't tell me I have to become a roadie!!! ;)

Thanks.
-Elliot
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
308 Posts
It takes an hour from downtown to get up to Hood. Forest park is an exercise fireroad with a nice paved warmup climb from downtown and a very few steep singletracks. When I lived there, yup, I became a roadie. My MTB sat unused for months on end in Portland as I dislike driving to get to where I can bike. The motorists in Multnomah county are well trained regarding cyclists. I found it to be really safe to get used to riding in traffic there compared to say SF, Sacramento or SLC. I moved back to southern Oregon. . . the weather and riding is much, much better here.

Heres a pic of what you might want for riding in Portland.

Best wishes
 

Attachments

·
highly visible
Joined
·
3,284 Posts
If you're looking for an exercise ride, Forest Park is great.

It is mostly NOT singletrack, but it IS dirt and there are 23 some miles of it. Plenty of steeps if you're looking for aerobic challenge -- there are 7-8 distinct "trails" with approximate 1000' climbs on each, one moderate and the rest mostly quite steep with grades ranging from 10-20%. The steeper trails are old fire roads that are mostly dirt (i.e., mud this time of year) covered with decomposing leaves. They are not that exciting to ride in summer when things are dry, but they are a blast (and still legal) this time of year, especially at night with lights. Linking most of these tracks together is Leif Erickson Drive, a moderate hiker/biker thoroughfare of deteriorating pavement or gravel depending on where you are.

Many people ride Forest Park on cyclocross or hybrid bikes, but most of it is rough enough that a mountain bike is definitely the preferred ride. Front suspension is preferred, especially to keep the front wheel planted when you hit the waterbars on the steep muddy descents, but full suspension is total overkill.

If you are looking for "real" mountain biking on singletrack, you're looking at a 30-45 minute drive, minimum. But if you're looking for a workout, on dirt, in the woods (almost feels like being up in the mountains), within the city limits, Forest Park is awesome.
 

·
Metalheadbikerider
Joined
·
2,904 Posts
^^^^^What he said^^^^^^

I would add that right now is an exciting time for mtb'ing in Portland. New advocacy ideas are taking shape to insure more mtb riding in/near the city. There are skills areas/bike parks being proposed and hopefully developed in the near future. There is also a ST network of pretty fun trails in the "city" of Scappoose, which is a 15 minute drive from downtown Portland. I ride all year round, sometimes in the city and sometimes on better ST that is 30 minutes to an hour away-my mtb never rests.
Portland has a sad history of mtb'ing within the city, which is hopefully going to be changing with these new advocacy efforts happening.
Have you heard of our beer? :thumbsup:
 

·
Daniel the Dog
Joined
·
6,764 Posts
It is tough

leotkowns said:
Hey guys,

I may in the next 6 months find my self living in the middle of Portland. I currently live in Asheville, NC and couldn't be happier with the trails i have to ride. Things may change in a while and I am wondering how the biking will be close to Portland. By the map it looks like within 30 mins. I could have a good trail to ride but I thought I would ask the guys that live there. i dont mind traveling to ride but if there was like a good exercise trail that would be really close to downtown that would make me feel better. i think I would get bummed out if I had to drive an hour everytime i want to ride my bike. Please don't tell me I have to become a roadie!!! ;)

Thanks.
-Elliot
The bad access to mountain biking is one of the reasons I took at job in the Hood River, Oregon area. Forest Park is an okay place to ride in the dry season; I hate it in the winter because of the extreme amount of sticky poo on the trails. It sucks! Scapoose has some nice trails but again the mud is tough for 8 months a year. Pretty town though, if you are a city guy, I'm not.

Jaybo
 

·
Leot Kowns
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the responses. Not exactly music to my ears but when I lived in Richmond, VA I think I had similar places to ride in the city like you guys are describing and I made it work. Im all for a good epic ride on the weekends, so Im cool with a little travel. I was just looking for something to keep me in shape during the weekdays. Thanks again!
 

·
Singletrack Addict
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
Portland is a great city to be a bike commuter. That's how I have maintained fitness during the week. That is until I started working a mile from home.

The other thing that should be mentioned is that access to the "real" riding spots out of town gets severely diminished throughout the winter months as the snows cover the higher elevation trails. There are still a number of great trails lower down that remain accessible for much of the year, but that can also depend on factors of rain and snow.

A snow sport is highly recommended to help bridge the gap between seasons.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,998 Posts
Portland is a very liveable city, but kind of stinks for mtb'ing. I try to make it work myself for most of the year. I am usually able to ride about 10mths out the year here, but frequently end up travelling an hour east of PDX to ride most of the year.

I haven't ridden in Asheville, but have heard great things about the riding and Pisgah NF. From what I here you will be dissapointed in the mtb dept. The closest thing to Asheville accessibility and riding in Oregon would probably be in the towns of Bend, Ashland, Hood River, Oakridge/Eugene and maybe Corvallis to name a few, not Portland unfortunately. But like Freeagent said, we are in the winds of change here for trail access in the future.

Sorry for the let down

JG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
Don't let the whiners get to yeah. We don't have epic single track in the middle of the city, who does, but there are places to ride within riding distance. You can spend hours riding Forest Park if you're just looking for exercise and something pretty mellow. Funny thing about Forest Park is most of the people I see at the trailhead have driven, so why not just go to the Tillamook, Scapposse or Hood River if your going to drive?

Like some of the earlier posts have said, there is change happening in Portland. I wouldn't expect to be riding single track any time soon, or even by next summer.
 

·
Daniel the Dog
Joined
·
6,764 Posts
I hear you

OldHouseMan said:
Don't let the whiners get to yeah. We don't have epic single track in the middle of the city, who does, but there are places to ride within riding distance. You can spend hours riding Forest Park if you're just looking for exercise and something pretty mellow. Funny thing about Forest Park is most of the people I see at the trailhead have driven, so why not just go to the Tillamook, Scapposse or Hood River if your going to drive?

Like some of the earlier posts have said, there is change happening in Portland. I wouldn't expect to be riding single track any time soon, or even by next summer.
But just being real about the realities of PDX riding. It is awesome to be able to just ride out your door in the HR area and be at golden singletrack in no time. It is awesome and something you don't find in Forest Park. All that said, you are still living within a reasonable driving distance from awesome mountain biking. One thing to remember about this area is gloomy weather. For some it is no big deal and welcome but for others it triggers SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and drives folks nuts. The ideal would be to live in the St. George, Utah area from November through April and the NW from May to October. Sweet! But until I win the lottery I will hang out in the NW in the winter.

Jaybo
 

·
beautiful noise...
Joined
·
321 Posts
I'll chime in... I grew up here (mostly), but I also lived in Bend for a good number of years and spent another good number of years in CA (before moving back here to Portland). No need to reiterate what's already been said about Forest Park, though keep in mind it's one of the largest city parks in the entire country so there's plenty of riding to be done in there. I live on the east side of town and have Powell Butte just a few miles from my house on the Springwater Corridor (paved multi-use path) for regular exercise (weather permitting). It ain't much but it's single-track!

What I would like to go on about is the sheer amount of epic single-track that is within a 1-3hr drive from Portland. Whenever I ride other places or talk to folks that have never been here I realize how truly lucky we are in this area. We have a large-ish metropolitan area with everything that offers (industry, culture, food, entertainment, etc...) with a (statistically) low crime rate, an excellent public transit system, and housing costs that are much lower then other major cities on the west coast. Throw in our incredible backyard and it's pretty much a no-brainer :thumbsup:

Let us know when you get here and I'm sure some of us would be happy to show you just how "horrible" mountain biking is in this area ;)
 

·
Singletrack Addict
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
That's the pulpit I usually preach from: it may be a couple hours, but when in season the epic singletrack is aplenty. Worth the wait.

I don't have much expereince outside of the PacNorWet other than a few trips to Moab and Tucson, but from my perspective, we also have some pretty spectacular destinations that are within that 1-3 hour drive time.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: nobody has a problem driving an hour or more to the mountain to ski or snowboard. So what is the issue with driving to the mountain to ride real trails on a mountain bike??

guyplaysbass said:
I'll chime in... I grew up here (mostly), but I also lived in Bend for a good number of years and spent another good number of years in CA (before moving back here to Portland). No need to reiterate what's already been said about Forest Park, though keep in mind it's one of the largest city parks in the entire country so there's plenty of riding to be done in there. I live on the east side of town and have Powell Butte just a few miles from my house on the Springwater Corridor (paved multi-use path) for regular exercise (weather permitting). It ain't much but it's single-track!

What I would like to go on about is the sheer amount of epic single-track that is within a 1-3hr drive from Portland. Whenever I ride other places or talk to folks that have never been here I realize how truly lucky we are in this area. We have a large-ish metropolitan area with everything that offers (industry, culture, food, entertainment, etc...) with a (statistically) low crime rate, an excellent public transit system, and housing costs that are much lower then other major cities on the west coast. Throw in our incredible backyard and it's pretty much a no-brainer :thumbsup:

Let us know when you get here and I'm sure some of us would be happy to show you just how "horrible" mountain biking is in this area ;)
 

·
Leot Kowns
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That SAD thing sounds kinda familiar. I didnt know this but turns out Asheville gets 10 inches more rain annually than Portland does. I think I may just need to get over it and learn to ride wet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
Jaybo said:
But just being real about the realities of PDX riding. It is awesome to be able to just ride out your door in the HR area and be at golden singletrack in no time. It is awesome and something you don't find in Forest Park. All that said, you are still living within a reasonable driving distance from awesome mountain biking. One thing to remember about this area is gloomy weather. For some it is no big deal and welcome but for others it triggers SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and drives folks nuts. The ideal would be to live in the St. George, Utah area from November through April and the NW from May to October. Sweet! But until I win the lottery I will hang out in the NW in the winter.

Jaybo
I'm keeping my eyes and ears open for a job in Hood River, so I'm hoping.
 

·
troubled economist
Joined
·
591 Posts
Snake Muesl said:
I've said it before and I'll say it again: nobody has a problem driving an hour or more to the mountain to ski or snowboard. So what is the issue with driving to the mountain to ride real trails on a mountain bike??
Straying from the OP's question I'll admit, but apples to oranges, don't ya think SM? Just friendly arguing, but if there were decent slopes in Forest Park and the snow to match that you could skin up and earn your turns for, I'd advocate for that to be accessible, similar to the way I feel about single-track in FP. Just thoughts...

But yeah, there's great MTB'ing relatively close. Brown's Camp is one of my favorite loops (w/ Storey/Gales thrown in) and Post Canyon is 1 hr away that has pretty much something to please everyone or any mood for riding. My roots are in the midwest, and the biking here is hands down better (and the snow/slopes as well).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
toowacky said:
Straying from the OP's question I'll admit, but apples to oranges, don't ya think SM? Just friendly arguing, but if there were decent slopes in Forest Park and the snow to match that you could skin up and earn your turns for, I'd advocate for that to be accessible, similar to the way I feel about single-track in FP. Just thoughts...

But yeah, there's great MTB'ing relatively close. Brown's Camp is one of my favorite loops (w/ Storey/Gales thrown in) and Post Canyon is 1 hr away that has pretty much something to please everyone or any mood for riding. My roots are in the midwest, and the biking here is hands down better (and the snow/slopes as well).
It doesn't happen often, but Christmas Eve we were at Mt Tabor getting our turns in.
 

·
Singletrack Addict
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
toowacky said:
Straying from the OP's question I'll admit, but apples to oranges, don't ya think SM? Just friendly arguing, but if there were decent slopes in Forest Park and the snow to match that you could skin up and earn your turns for, I'd advocate for that to be accessible, similar to the way I feel about single-track in FP. Just thoughts...

But yeah, there's great MTB'ing relatively close. Brown's Camp is one of my favorite loops (w/ Storey/Gales thrown in) and Post Canyon is 1 hr away that has pretty much something to please everyone or any mood for riding. My roots are in the midwest, and the biking here is hands down better (and the snow/slopes as well).
I get your point, but I think it actually reinforces mine: skiing in Forest Park would still pale in comparison to the vast and wild Cascades. Sure it would be great to have as a convenient and accessible in-town option, but I wouldn't want that to be the only place I played.

Incidentally, I doubt the access in FP would be an issue if the tool were two boards instead of two wheels, but now we're getting way OT.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,998 Posts
"We don't have epic single track in the middle of the city, who does"

I can name a quite a few that do.

Just giving the guy a heads up if he comes here expecting or hoping to ride a lot of trails within town, especially since he is coming from Asheville. If he was coming from the mid-west, then I sure he would be stoked on anything that we have in town, maybe not?

There are things to get you by in town, but quite minimal. Like others said the real riding is 1-3hrs away and yes it is good.

JG
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top