Riding a bike rules.
Living in Portland, it's easy to forget that. This city is powered by self-righteousness and single-origin coffee, and that blend sometimes fuels how we pedal, too. We do it to save the planet, to save money, to get healthy. Then we remind our neighbors that they should, too. We measure ourselves by how faithfully we pull on our rain pants for our midwinter commute.
But put down that burden for a moment. Ask yourself: What was your favorite moment on a bicycle?
Was it when you felt the rush of bombing down Terwilliger Boulevard after summiting Council Crest? Was it when you pedaled the Steens Mountain Loop and had your mind blown by the panoramic views? Was it that time you went for a golden-hour ride along the Springwater Corridor and emerged at the Willamette right as the edible kicked in? Or was it just the first time you managed to navigate the streets downtown and get to work without killing yourself?
The truth is, we bike in Portland because we love it. And we want you to love it, too. So in this issue of our annual Bike Guide, we're meeting you at every level.
Need some encouragement to start? We asked experts for their advice on the questions and fears that prevent many Portlanders from getting on a bike in the first place, and challenged a leisure-riding skeptic to try four of Portland's most popular cycling routes. And if riding in city streets freaks you out, we have some good news—Portland's infrastructure projects in the works include a plan to increase the city's bike lanes by more than 600 percent.
For riders looking to branch out even further from their regular commute, we rounded up five campgrounds you can bike to from Portland in less than a day. And if that's not intense enough for you, we investigated an insane, borderline-masochistic race in Eastern Oregon that's trying to establish itself as the most grueling gravel ride in the country.
Biking is so integral to Portland culture, it can sometimes feel like an obligation. But above all else, biking should be fun, whatever that means to you. We're here to help you choose your own adventure.