Citizens of the most bike-friendly city in the United States don’t need cars to access Oregon’s landmarks. Capitalizing on the state’s $400 million bike tourism industry, bus, boat, and light rail from downtown Portland are also happy to give bikers a lift. Last month, Amtrak announced plans for long-distance bike storage. Buses to Mt. Hood and the coast offer plentiful bike racks. With all this support, creative travelers can stitch together bike and bus routes to crisscross the state in a day. We’ve highlighted a few trips to get you started on your transit-aided biking adventures:
Boating & beer through the Gorge
Transportation Cost: $88
Biking distance: 44 miles
Book one of six bike spots for a three-hour narrated voyage on the Portland Spirit. After docking at Cascade Locks, wheel your bike over to Thunder Island Brewing Company, a waterfront brewery dedicated to bikers passing through the Columbia River Gorge. Owners Dan and Dave offer beers inspired by outdoor adventures and tips on local bike trails. Before setting out, amble across a walking bridge to Thunder Island for a panoramic view of the mountains and Bridge of the Gods. Return on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, passing Multnomah Falls on your way to Troutdale. Ride back into downtown on Burnside.
Click here to book a trip on Portland Spirit.
Mount Hood mountain biking
Transportation Cost: $2
Biking distance: about 35 to 40 miles
Hop the MAX to the end of the blue line in Gresham, ride an easy 10 miles along the scenic Springwater Corridor to Sandy, and at the Forestry Center on Highway 26 and 362nd, board the Mt. Hood Express straight to Timberline lodge. Kick back with mountain views at the Ram’s Head Bar before tackling one of the many mountain bike trails accessible from the resort’s base. Drop down the Timberline Glade Trail, a thrilling two-mile double-track descent through the pines to Government camp. Find a connecting trail to Rhododendron, catch the Express back to Sandy, and ride to Gresham, just in time for an evening MAX.
Click here for Mt. Hood express schedule and maps.
Click here for the MAX schedule.
Cruising the Coast Highway
Transportation Cost: $25 to $30
Biking distance: 81.2 miles
At Union Station, board “The Wave” (the Tillamook County Transportation District Bus) to Tillamook Transit Center. Ride the Oregon Coast Highway past Nehalem Bay and Oswald West State Park to Cannon Beach. Linger on the sand or explore Cannon Beach for a couple of hours. Then, from the Tolovana bus stop, catch a series of three buses to return to Portland.
Click here to plan your bus trip to the coast.
Bonus: Overnight trip to Treo Bike Ranch
For the first time, bikers can hop a new shuttle for the 200 miles from Portland to Treo Bike Ranch in Eastern Oregon. Stay in one of the lodge’s 12 beds, soak in the hot tub, play pool, and explore the 300-acre farm. On one of the many gravel and paved routes mapped by ranch owner Phil Carlson, join bike tours through grassy hills and the nearby ghost town.
Click here to plan your trip to Treo Bike Ranch.