Three Spots with A TICKET TO RIDE


Got a friend coming into town who wants to experience Oregon wilderness via mountain bike? Have you got the urge for some dirt in the West Hills? Or maybe you're looking to join lycra-clad spinners rolling around the Eastbank Esplanade but don't have the wheels to do so. Whatever you need, here are three great spots to get your fix.









Hit the Dirt

Fat Tire Farm: Located near the gate of Portland's own dirt playground, the Farm has one thing on its mind. If you need to rent a full-suspension Enduro for an epic, all-day ride around Mount Hood, or just want a two-hour jaunt through Forest Park, this is the spot. Prices start at $20 for a few hours up to $50 for a whole day. Multiple-day discounts are available, and a helmet is included. 2714 NW Thurman St., 222-3276.

Hit the Road

Waterfront Bicycle Rental: Located at RiverPlace (south end of Waterfront Park), this shop is the perfect location to start cruising the network of Portland bike paths. Since it specializes in rentals for urban exploration, you can head around town with no worries. Rental includes a helmet, a lock and a map. Prices start a $7.50 for an hour up to $40 for the whole day, with additional days for $15. 0315 SW Montgomery St., Suite 360, 227-1719.

Hit the Hills

Skibowl Mountain Bike Park: On Highway 26 at Government Camp, Skibowl is a one-stop spot for mountain biking. Spend a whole day climbing, traversing and descending miles of sweet singletrack. Or if you are an adrenaline speed junkie, hop on the chair-lift, point yourself back down and hang on. Prices start at $10 for an hour up to $50 for the day. 87000 E Highway 26, Government Camp, 800-754-2695.

Five (and a Half) Reasons CROQUET RULES while Golf Drools

AUTHOR'S NOTE: By "croquet," I mean the "backyard" version of the game, played with nine wickets, preferably battered lengths of thin metal wire. If you're interested in the hardcore "competitive" six-wicket game, check out By "golf," I mean the game beloved by middle managers the world over. Without further ado:

1. Money. Croquet requires almost none (though, to be honest, the beer, wine and hard-liquor tab can run high). Copeland Sports' downtown superstore (245 SW Morrison St., 223-5700) sells a fairly deluxe croquet set for $79.99. That may seem steep, until you consider that a golf bag goes for about the same--on sale. You don't have buy dumb little shoes to play croquet, and no forked-tongue snake-oil salesman is ever going to try to jack you for lessons aimed at "improving your croquet score." Plus, no greens fees.

2. No one pretends croquet is a real sport. As opposed to golf, a fake sport that hogs SportsCenter time that should be devoted to hockey fights. No one ever asks croquet players for fatuous, self-serving answers to softball questions, much less prints or televises them. Your hard-driving dickhead boss will never brag about how hot his croquet game is. There is not, and never will be, a "Tiger Woods of croquet." Which brings us to...

3. The people. You play croquet with people of your choice. No regional sales directors suffering delusions of grandeur will ever ask to "play through." You will never be compelled to play croquet for business or political reasons, a wholly barbaric reason to engage in any pastime. Croquet enthusiasts are not likely to indulge in grotesque "croquet vacations," or to insist on pumping the Colorado River dry. I suspect (but cannot prove) that a majority of avid golfers own one or more books written by Lee Iacocca.

4. Sex. We're all grown-ups here, and can admit the Winona Ryder-Christian Slater "strip croquet" game has figured prominently in our fantasy lives since we first saw Heathers in 1989. (If anyone has played strip golf, I don't want to know about it.) In Victorian days, the Youth loved croquet because it allowed co-ed face-time free from chaperones. In the modern era, cute girls are required to play barefoot.

4.5. Violence. And what could be a better, shall we say, aperitif for love than the savage clack of wood on wood? Croquet is one of few sports where wanton violence and two-faced betrayal aren't just allowed but encouraged. You don't really know what someone's like until you've smashed their ball deep into a distant hedge.

5. Booze. Croquet's compact geography theoretically allows you to keep a limitless supply on hand. Enjoy.


If it's summertime, then it's time for a water fight! Problem is, the plastic doodad that keeps your Super Soaker strapped together got lost in the crap pile you call a garage, and you've poked too many holes in your hose in order to better water your vegetable garden. What you need is a reliable, durable and cost-efficient water toy. For you, we have the water weenie.

All You Need

1. One three-foot length of surgical hose (this may be difficult to obtain).

2. One ball-point pen with a shaft that unscrews at the halfway point (muy importante).

3. One hose nozzle that sprays a steady stream.

4. For those high-tech weenie makers, a Baggie zip tie.

Where to Get Your Supplies

Surgical tubing can be tracked down at any G.I. Joe's (3900 SE 82nd Ave., 777-4521, and other locations). They carry the 3/4-inch size (ideal) which is found in the back of the store in the fishing and outdoor section. It sells for 39 cents a foot, and you should purchase at least 3 feet. You can also check out Wacky Willy's Surplus (2374 NW Vaughn St., 525-9211).

For pens, I recommend a Fred Meyer pen (free at the check-out counter--3030 NE Weidler St., 280-1315, and other locations). These pens screw off halfway down the shaft, and the tip is ideal for trajectory. Bic also sells a pen that is water-weenie efficient. (Techies can pick up zip ties at Fred Meyer, too.)

When purchasing the nozzle attachment for your hose, it is necessary that you look at the spray hole from which the water emits. A hole that is circular and allows the water to fan will not do. You need a hole that will be small enough for the tip of a pen to fit inside.

How to Make Your Water Weenie

1. Tie a knot in one end of your surgical tubing. Three feet is one heck of a water weenie, so you may want to trim it.

2. Next, you have to gut your pen. Unscrew it and dump out all of the parts so you are left with the shell only.

3. Insert the base of the pen shaft into the end of the tubing that doesn't have a knot. It should slide in pretty easily, but you may have to work it in until it's in about an inch deep.

4. For you fancy-schmancy folk, take the zip tie and wrap it around the part of the weenie where the rubber and pen overlap.

5. The only step left is to fill your weenie. (Public drinking fountains have the right size and water pressure to fill your weenie.) Place the tip of the pen up into the hole on your hose attachment and turn the water on. I suggest a helper to hold your weenie. When it is full enough (and remember, the tension in these puppies will make them burst if they are too full), plug the pen tip with your finger. Now take your weenie and spray whatever you like.

WORDS OF CAUTION: Overfilling is bad. Not only will you have to start all over, but the rubber will snap and slap at your skin, causing red welts. This is also a hazard when you opt for an extra-long weenie. Even though the idea of wrapping your weenie around your body sounds good, when it pops everyone loses.

WW does not encourage spraying people or other live animals, especially in the eyeballs.

Hook Me Up! Four Family-Friendly FISHING HOLES

All you'll really need for your next fishing trip is a decent pole, a little bait and a lot of patience (and a license--get one good for the season at any Fred Meyer, Bi-Mart, or G.I. Joe's). To help you plan your next fishing trip, here's a guide to four splashy spots along with the type of flounders you'll encounter once you hit the H20.

North Fork Nehalem River

You've passed this gem on your way to the coast and probably never realized its full potential. Serious fishing on the North Fork gives you a chance to wrestle with a steelhead or chinook. But if you get tired of your rod and reel you can always drop anchor and float down the river in an inner-tube or kayak. Take Highway 26 west to Highway 53 south. North Fork Hatchery is at milepost 8.

Timothy Lake

One of this state's most popular places to cast your line, this lake is always stocked with loads of rainbow trout. If you can't catch one here, well, you might as well give up. And the Pacific Crest Trail is close by, so if you want to hike all the way to Mexico, you can do that, too. Watch for boaters, campers and the occasional deer prancing around. Head east on Highway 26. About 11 miles past Government Camp, go south onto Forest Road 42, then west on Forest Road 57.

Detroit Lake

A bit of a drive, but well worth it, this huge lake is full of rainbow trout, chinook and water-skiiers. Bonus attractions: There are tons of hiking trails and even the occasional bear loafing around. Take I-5 south to Salem. Go east on Highway 22 for about 50 miles. Look for signs to Detroit Lake State Park.

Coffenbury Lake

Looking for a family-friendly fishing hole? This lake, near the Pacific Ocean, just south of Astoria, is a good bet. The hundreds of campsites here mean it's not really back-to-nature as much as it is ode-to-RVs. Stocked with rainbow trout, the lake might even yield a catfish if you're lucky. And if you need to take a stroll (or get away from the kids) there's a two-mile trail around the water. Go west on Highway 30, then south on Highway 101. Follow signs to Fort Stevens State Park. Turn onto Ridge Road and look for signs to Coffenbury.

SPIKE THIS: Two Unlikely Places to Play Volleyball

Who likes short shorts? We like short shorts! And games that involve short shorts! Like volleyball. Trouble is, most impromptu volleyball matches during the summer happen on a beach where clothing is optional. What's a non-naturist to do? Well, one of the strangest bars in all of Southeast Portland and a fish house on the other side of the Columbia now serve something beyond victuals and cocktails to attract customers. They serve volleyball.

Woks Up

Ignore the inspired play on words and marvel at its weird and wonderful concept. It's a restaurant and bar. It's also a dance club. And, oh yeah, it also has Ping-Pong...and volleyball courts! There's a standard all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet in the front. But in the back there's a bar and patio that lead to four regulation beach-sand volleyball courts, floodlit for play all day and night. The bar's open late six nights a week, with live DJs and live music, playing anything from reggae to bluegrass to hip-hop. On one dinnertime visit the volleyball courts were teeming, but the restaurant was completely empty. The bar and patio, covered with sandy footprints, have a summer holiday clubhouse feel, something rather incongruous--but not unwelcome--to the strip clubs and concrete setting that is the town of Gresham. 17527 SE Stark St., Gresham, 253-7888.

Beaches Restaurant

This is not a Bette Midler-themed movie pub Vancouverite drag queens have been crying out for, but a pseudo-surf spot on the other side of the Columbia River. This popular restaurant has its own sand volleyball court right on the beach. It's open to all players, and there's even the sound of seagulls to add that authentic oceanside feel.

1919 SE Columbia River Drive, Vancouver, Wash., (360) 699-1592.

Dudes Up! Oregon Coast SURFING Do's & Don'ts

Those smug, suntanned Californians and Hawaiians think they've got surfing all tied up with their big waves, golden beaches and warm temperatures. But Oregon is home to a growing population of surfers who keep it a little bit more real. The surface water temperature off the Oregon coast is 55 degrees (one word: shrinkage) as we enter the summertime (11 degrees chillier than the water around San Diego), and there are rocks the size of houses just waiting to pulverize would-be Kelly Slaters. Despite this, Portland is still home to a few undaunted men and women who migrate to the Oregon Coast each weekend to ride some waves. Possible beaches to try include Short Sands at Oswald West State Park, Oceanside, Otter Rock and Cape Kiwanda at Pacific City. Here are a few useful tips to remember when you hit the ocean:DO

"wax your board" before leaving the house. This will allow you to last longer and go faster when you're balls-deep in a tube.DON'T

go in the water with any kind of open wound, unless you really want to re-create a scene from Jaws. The Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department's records show 17 unprovoked shark attacks off the Oregon coast and one fatality since it began keeping score.DO

quit smoking. You'll need to be prepared to hold your breath awhile if you wipe out. DON'T

go surfing with the big boys if you've only recently shaken off your water wings. It's not like Blue Crush--you really do need to be a good swimmer. DON'T

"drop in" on someone who's already caught a wave--this is surfer's etiquette 101--unless you enjoy picking up your teeth with a broken arm (very difficult on sand). DO

invest in a good wetsuit/drysuit. You'll need nuts of kryptonite to withstand the Arctic temps off the Oregon Coast.DON'T

attempt to ride a wave too big just because you've seen Endless Summer eight times. Know your limits.

CRICKET for Colonials

A day at the cricket is truly civilized. The lusty crack of leather on willow. The gentle breeze, with its hint of freshly cut grass, jiggling the ice cubes in one's Pimms and lemonade. Portland boasts its own die-hard cabal of cricket enthusiasts who play throughout the summer and welcome new players and spectators. Games are usually played on Saturdays and Sundays. Expect to spend the whole day if the weather's nice: Even limited-over matches can take that long.

Here's a quick rundown of the basics:

1. After tossing a coin to decide, one team will bat while the other fields.

2. The fundamental objective of the game is to score more "runs" as the batting team than the opposition scores in its innings at bat.

3. The objective of the fielding team is "bowl out" the batting team (10 players) for the fewest runs possible.

4. The objective of the batting team is to score as many runs as possible before losing 10 wickets. The basic premise of batting is to defend a wicket (three wooden stumps that support two "bails") by hitting the ball away. A batsman scores runs by running between the wickets while the fielding team races to collect the ball. If the batsman hits the ball over the boundary (the circular perimeter of the field of play) he scores either four or six runs (depending on whether the ball touches the ground first)--this is as close as cricket comes to a home run.

5. Bowlers bowl in six-throw lots, known as "overs." Cricket matches can take days to conclude and are often shortened by playing limited overs--i.e., both teams bat for 40 overs (or until they concede 10 wickets).

Here are places to catch a match:

Multnomah Cricket Club ( matches at John Deere Field, at the intersection of Northeast 181st Avenue and San Rafael Street, Gresham.

Portland Cricket Club (www.geocities. com/Colosseum/Park/9342/pcc.htm)--Home matches at John Deere Field (see above).

Beaverton Cricket Club (www.geocities. com/Colosseum/Midfield/1608/BCC/index.html)--Home matches at Mountain View Middle School, 17500 SW Farmington Road, Aloha.

24 THINGS to Do in 24 HOURS

If Kiefer Sutherland can save the world in less than a day on 24, we should be able to spend 24 hours plucking the Rose City's petals with two dozen tasks that prove what vivacious people we could be. After all, Rome may not have been built in a day, but we built this city on rock and roll. And timber. And cargo ships. If not cheap migrant labor. Whatever. We're going on a voyage and, technicalities aside, it will be fantastic. And arbitrary.

7 am: Cock-a-doodle-doo. Greet the rising sun with the breakfast of champions. A sloppy helping of greens, eggs and Hamm's at Ponderosa Lounge, the crown jewel of Jubitz truck stop off I-5 North, frying huevos and slinging suds for early birds and alcoholics (but mostly alcoholics). 10310 N Vancouver Way, 283-1111.

7:47 am: OK, Nancy, grab your "Live to Ride, Ride to Live" jacket and your leather chaps and crank up some Skynyrd. Dennis Hopper has nothing on us. Which is why we're cruising down the freeway with our hair rustling in the wind aboard a rented Harley Fat Boy. Try to look menacing. Try to look untamed. Try to look like those leather pants aren't chafing. 7241 NE Beech St., 249-8653. Motorcycle endorsement and deposit required.

8:54 am: Hope you worked up a sweat. Time to get wet. We're splashing down in the Willamette with our rented kayaks at the Cathedral Park boat launch beneath the east end of the St. Johns Bridge. Put your lifejacket on, grab a paddle and admire the stockyards and freighters as we flail our way to... Portland River Company kayak rentals, 0315 SW Montgomery St., 229-0551. Cathedral Park boat launch, Portland Parks and Recreation, 823-7529.

10:17 am: ...Sauvie Island. Man, we sure can paddle. Good thing, because we're swinging by The Pumpkin Patch to check out some squash and get lost in the rotting corn maze. Or is it maize? Semantics aside, we're in a tight time crunch. Hop in a fast car, any fast car. 16511 NW Gillihan Road, 621-3874.

11:16 am: Don't look down. We're teetering on the edge of a serene bridge in the emerald forests east of Amboy, Wash., about an hour away from Portland. One...two...three...bungee! The 200-foot drop from the Bungee Masters' private bridge is so much better when you're still connected to the bridge by a big rubber band. The 20-story jump is the highest (legal) bungee bridge in the country. Take a breath, it's time to go back to P-Town. P.O. Box 121, Fairview, OR, 520-0303, www.

12:18 pm: Time for a pick-me-up. Find an outside table at a chic spot on Northwest 23rd. It is vital that we wear Buddy Holly glasses despite our 20/20 vision. Try to look disaffected as you sip your $7 hazelnut soy latte and interject the word "proletariat" into the conversation as frequently as possible.

12:52 pm: It's midday in Portland, and all is not well. You must be disenchanted about something. Protesting is patriotic. Pick a spot--Pioneer Square, Federal Courthouse, Mary's Club, etc. Pick a cause--war, religion, designated-hitter rule, etc. Then say it loud: You're (insert affiliation here) and you're proud! See www.portland. for upcoming protests.

1:30 pm: Fat man (that's me) is hungry. Replenish reserves by wrestling with a pitcher of Mirror Pond and the toddler-sized Ultimate Burger at the Helvetia Tavern off Highway 26 near Hillsboro. Sweet, glorious gut-rot. 10275 NW Helvetia Road, 647-5286.

2:15 pm:
Hopefully that burger doesn't hamper your buoyancy. We're standing in the open field outside North Plains, which the Willamette Valley Soaring Club calls home. With a little moolah and a lot of coaxing, you could probably talk one of these glider pilots into riding the winds south like so many valkyries. Dersham Road north of Highway 26, 241-9237.

3:15 pm: The only thing better for adrenaline junkies (for the sake of argument, that's us) than flying in an airplane is falling out of one at about 10,000 feet. For a tidy sum, we can flutter through the clouds attached to one of the masters at Skydive Oregon based in Molalla. Pull the cord. Ooooh. Maybe the Ultimate Burger and pitcher of beer was a bad idea. 12150 S Highway 211, Molalla, 1-800-934-5867.

5 pm: Now that we have both feet planted on terra firma, it's time to relax a little at the Wilsonville Family Fun Center just off I-5 in, you guessed it, Wilsonville. Mini-golf, bumper boats, climbing wall, batting cages, laser tag and video games await us, among other

things. Go get 'em, tiger. 29111 SW Town Center Loop West, Wilsonville,


6:30 pm: Too much wholesome fun? Good. Let's blow some shit up. Assuming, of course, you have been properly trained in operating hand cannons capable of disintegrating little clay beer coasters. Excellent. That brings us to the Portland Gun Club, where we can do a little rat-tat-tat-tat with our gats on those scheming skeets. 4711 SE 174th Ave., 492-8752.

8:01 pm: Play ball. We're just in time to catch the meat of a Portland Beavers game at PGE Park. Unwind in the beer garden, quaffing brews and heckling bat boys until security arrives. PGE Park, 1844 SW Morrison St., 553-5555.

9:05 pm: Pop on the headlights. We're going to ollie, grind and faceplant the evening away at the skateboard park under the east end of the Burnside Bridge. Ahhhh, breathe in the sweet stench of urine.

10 pm: Trade in that board for some skates for a quick roll down the Eastbank Esplanade running alongside the Willamette. Get lost in the soothing roar of I-5 traffic until you trip and eat concrete. Klutz. Waterfront from the Steel to Hawthorne bridges, 823-7529.

10:45 pm: Wet your whistle with a funky-colored umbrella drink, then unleash your most chalkboard-scraping rendition of "Brown-Eyed Girl" at The Alibi, the undisputed king of kitsch karaoke. At least in my book. 4024 N Interstate Ave., 287-5335.

Midnight: Start the bewitching hour off right with some sizzling jambalaya, fried green tomatoes and a 40-ounce PBR served on ice at the Delta Cafe. Try cherry-flavored antacids for dessert. 4607 SE Woodstock Blvd., 771-3101.

1 am: Set 'em up and mow 'em down. Nothing like a little 10-pin at Grand Central Bowl/River City Pizza to get your digestive tract, if not your bowling ball, out of the gutter. 808 SE Morrison St., 232-5166.

1:59 am: Last call. You can go anywhere, but you can't stay here. Order the biggest, strongest drink you can at the Portland City Grill and drink it really slow as you peer groggily from 30 stories up at the city you've conquered in the past 19 hours. When they kick you out, find a cab and tell them to find their way to Southeast Stark. 111 SW 5th Ave., 450-0030.

2:57 am: Rack 'em. We'll burn the midnight oil busting eight-balls at 24-hour Cue's Billiards on Southeast Stark Street. Maybe throw down a little foosball. If you think you can handle the foos-master. 16022 SE Stark St., 251-8399.

4:15 am: It's about that time when the shifty-eyed, sex-deprived degenerates begin to come out, and that's just the newspaper delivery people. For a more mature time, catch a little cinema at the erotic Jefferson Theater. I recommend Shaving Ryan's Privates. 1232 SW 12th Ave, 223-1846.

5:45 am: The early bird catches the worm. And the worm, theoretically, catches the fish. Cast away with your rented rod into the murky depths of the mighty Willamette. See what's biting. My guess is three-eyed cod and two-headed salmon. Countrysport rod rentals, 126 SW 1st Ave., 221-3964.

6:58 am: Write this list. In crayon. On a cocktail napkin.

7 am: Who wants breakfast? You're buying.