Fat Tire Farm
2714 NW Thurman St., 222-3276, fattirefarm.com. 11 am-7 pm Monday-Friday, 10 am-6 pm Saturday, noon-5 pm Sunday.
This mountain bike-only shop is a knobby sister to nearby 21st Avenue Bikes. A quick ride from Forest Park’s Leif Erikson and the fire lanes, it’s stocked up with full-suspension downhill, carbon 29ers and even a few sub-$600 entry-level rides. It’s also a good place to get a motocross-style helmet and goggles for muddy downhill bombs and ask for tips on trail conditions for the area. For novice trail riders and the mountain-curious, the shop also has a fleet of rentals and demo bikes, including full-suspension carbon bikes that go for $125 a day, but which will manhandle any terrain in the area.
2700 NE 82nd Ave., 252-2453, lumberyardmtb.com. 9 am-10 pm daily. Child passes are $15 and up. Adult passes are $25 and up.
As the West Coast’s first indoor mountain bike park, the Lumberyard became an instant icon when it opened two years ago. This 42,000-square-foot park is growing into the converted bowling alley on Northeast 82nd Avenue, filling every inch of space with a winding single-track trail, a half-pipe and wooden jumps of all shapes and sizes. There’s a well-maintained fleet of rental bikes on offer ($15, with pads and helmet), music bumping from the speakers and even a cozy pub with beer and burgers.
Southeast Stark Street and 115th Avenue.
The first officially sanctioned public pump track in Portland, the squat brown mounds look like a poorly maintained section of the park. But volunteers worked hard on this section of Hazelwood dirt, making two small courses where riders can pedal for a start then cruise over bumps on pumping power alone. It’s a beginner-level track and mostly used by kids on Huffys, but it also provides a quick, cheap introduction to the sport for other curious parties.
Mount Hood Skibowl
87000 E Highway 26, Government Camp, 222-2695, skibowl.com.
When the last chunks of snow finally melt off this low-rise resort just outside the little village of Government Camp, downhill freaks don’t need to hike or drive out of the area code (Mount Bachelor and Willamette Pass near Eugene both also run mountain bikes on lifts). Skibowl has 40 miles of dusty mountain trails that descend 1,500 vertical feet plus a free-ride bike park stacked with wood-decked bridges, banks and ramps accessible via two chairlifts, the first of which drops you off in the middle of the mountain while the second takes you all the way up to the steep bowl overlooking the peak of Mount Hood.
Go east on US Highway 26. 11.4 miles past the city of Sandy turn left on Sleepy Hollow Drive soon after a sign for Marmot. Once on Sleepy Hollow, go .3 miles and turn right on East Barlow Trail Road and over the Sandy River. After 1 mile on East Barlow Trail Road, look to the left for the Sandy Ridge Trailhead. You can rent mountain bikes nearby at Otto’s, 38716 Pioneer Blvd., Sandy, 668-5947, ottosskishop.com.
Sandy Ridge was a game-changer for Portland mountain bikers. Previously, there was very little to ride within an hour of town. Now, we boast the largest trail system built specifically for mountain bikes on federal land anywhere in the country. The 5-year-old system cost about $1.5 million cash—plus gallons of sweat equity—and includes 15 miles of single-track trail. Some of that is intermediate-friendly flow trail but the Ridge also draws hardcore riders to its scrappy expert-only terrain rife with drops and jumps. The draw fills up parking lots, especially on weekends, but it’s free to park if you can find a spot and there are barbecue pits for grilling lunch.
Blind Date at the Dairy
Alpenrose Dairy, 6149 SW Shattuck Road, crossseries.com.
Every Wednesday night for five weeks
starting in mid September, cyclocrossers gather at the Alpenrose Dairy
in the West Hills for food and racing. The kiddos go first, followed by
beginners and then experts. The course is diverse and registration for
adults starts at $16 for a 30-minute race. Spectators are free and you
can get a carb-heavy meal on-site for less than $10.