Posted By: Tony Blakey | Aug. 20 2013
Being from England but now living in the US, I’m often asked by British friends where they should ride in the summer in the US. Typically, they are looking for warm, dry conditions with reasonable distances between towns.
One of my favorite areas to recommend for a summer bike tour is Oregon – especially the area around Portland. This part of Oregon is great for a summer cycling vacation for several reasons:
Where you choose to ride will depend on the style of summer cycling vacation you enjoy.
Wine lovers looking for some gentle riding will love the Willamette Valley. It has truly world-class pinot noirs as well as mile after mile of quiet roads winding between rolling, vine-carpeted hills.
The 20-mile Banks-Vernonia trail is a great introduction to the area. The converted rails-to-trail bike path is car free and snakes through state parks and over old railway trestles. Further south, the Dundee Hills have expansive views and a dense network of beautiful wineries.
More energetic riders will head to Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. In just a few days you can ride from the dense conifer forests on the slopes of Mount Hood down to the Columbia River and out to high desert. The terrain is hilly but the roads are generally quiet with open views to three (five if you strain) snow-capped volcanoes.
The Historic Columbia River Highway takes you along the Gorge past 600 foot waterfalls, past bucolic cherry orchards and pear farms, and up to the high-desert region east of Mount Hood. All the trail is quiet and some is completely car-free.