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04/18/2010: "Big Circle Day"
Sunday, our long-awaited ride with some of the iBOBs to see the longer-distance bike trails around Portland. They are many, and the ones we rode were pretty good: the Esplanade (along the Willamette River), the Springwater Corridor (a former local rail line along a creek), various on-street lanes and paths through Gresham and other towns to the Columbia River, the path along that great river itself, and back to Portland via on-street bike lanes. Except for a really unpleasant area west of the airport--tilt-up warehouses, truck yards, vast malls with huge parking lots, and a plethora of freeway interchanges--most of what we saw was tranquil, green, and--at Edgefield, where we had a most excellent lunch, with beer brewed on the premises--pretty damn tasty!

The Springwater Trail is often idyllic, and still connects dozens of neighborhoods to Portland and each other with a fast as well as scenic trail; our buddies reported that many cyclists commute along it.

So, since it's very late, and we leave tomorrow, I'll just post some snapshots to hold you till we can get a real article on Portland, cycling, and street life up on Bicycle Fixation in a few weeks.

The crew, mostly drawn from the iBOB email forum, but including a British tourist on a Brompton; he heard about our ride through a local bike shop!

A sight to warm the heart: two long-distance bike trails crossing, with a tram line right-of-way in the background.

The path along the Columbia River, with Mt. Hood in the distance.

And that's it for on-the-fly reporting from this tired old editor for this particular trip. Tomorrow we get on the Coast Starlight for the trip back home. More news soon!

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