California has its wine country, Hawaii has palm-fringed beaches but can any state challenge Oregon for all-round cycling friendliness? The terrain that Oregon includes has it all, from a lush and dramatic coastline with moss-covered forests, to glacier-covered peaks, a pristine high desert, the famed Columbia River Gorge, and the rolling wine country hills of the Willamette Valley.
Oregon’s Diversity of Bike Rides
Along with the state’s varied terrain and climates comes its ability to cater to a breadth of cycling abilities and trip types, from shorter local day rides to multi-day trips around eleven thousand foot peaks and inn-to-inn wine country exploration. Whether your are a cycling regular or thinking about your first bike-oriented travel, there are few states in the country that provide you with the diversity that Oregon has to offer.
Biking in Portland
The jewel in Oregon’s cycling crown is Portland, a city where the bicycle is revered. Its use has tripled since 2000, making it a cultural cornerstone of the city and regularly earning it the honor of most Bike-Friendly city in the country. The bicycle is such an important component of Portland life that city planners have an explicit goal to have one quarter of all trips be taken by bicycle by the year 2030.
Portland also has many other qualities to recommend it: a vibrant food scene, a fascination with the outdoors, the highest number of breweries per capita in the nation (76 in the city!), and an obsession will all things independent. The compact nature of the city means all these attractions are best visited on a saddle.
Portland isn’t alone in the exclusive club of top bike-friendly cities in the country, as it’s often joined by the other Oregonian cities of Eugene and Salem.
Others may consider their home states to be bicycle centers but I’m convinced that anyone planning a cycling adventure will not be disappointed if they choose Oregon!