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  1. #1
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    Living in Portland.............

    Hello all,

    My best friend has just acquired a vineyard near Portland and I am going to be visiting sometime this year. He would very much like me to move into the area. I am wondering what area of Portland is best for access to good road biking. I would like to live in a high rise apartment that is within walking distance of grocery shopping and other services. I love Indian food so I would like that to be within walking distance as well. Even better would be a nearby good Bike store.

    How much can one ride in the winter? Is it possible to have days without rain? Are there any resources that I could investigate to learn more about the area. I have been there but it was many years ago.

    Thanks to all,

    Lawrence Price

  2. #2
    Kilt wearing cyclist PomPilot's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you are talking about the pearl district. Just be careful of the streetcar tracks. One of our Rose City correspondents will be along eventually to provide more details. Having gone to university in Portland many years ago, and visiting during the winter months, yes, you can ride most of the winter. Providing you have properly equipped your bike, i.e. fenders, wider tires (think cyclecross sizes), etc. Rain free days? Good luck there.

    Try reading Bike Portland, as well as Shift! and going through the links on both, including the Portland Bureau of Transportation, which offers bike maps online.
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  3. #3
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    Thank you so much for responding to my question. I have looked at the sites and they are very helpful.

    Best,

    Lawrence

  4. #4
    Senior Member JonRags's Avatar
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    We have about 365 rain days a year.

    OK, not that many, but a bike with fenders on all the time is a great idea

  5. #5
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    There are tons more options than the Pearl District. Portland is not big on "high rises", we think more in the "low rise" sense of things. The Pearl is also the most expensive real estate in terms of rentals in the entire Portland market.
    The good part about Portland is you're never very far away from a quick escape to some great road rides. At last count Portland had more bike shops per capita then any other US city which translates into nearly always being close to a good shop where ever you decide to live.
    I've been here for over 15yrs and love it. It doesn't rain nearly as much as you hear. I moved from Columbus Ohio to Portland and factually, Columbus Oh has more inches of rian per year then Portland. Now, if you don't like drizzle that's another story... When the spring/summer hits our area there's no better place to ride and when winter arrives it's still pretty darn good.
    At our club ride this morning it was raining,mid to upper 50s and we still had 75 riders!!!!! We ride 365 days a year no matter what the weather. Pop some fenders/flaps on and ride!!!!
    Ethnic food is everywhere, the burbs, in the city, food carts etc including Indian.

    Give me a shout when you're in town. I'm President/Director of Portland Velo Cycling Club and would love to have you join us on some rides.


    KRhea

  6. #6
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I am just a frequent visitor as my wife lives in Portland and figure that I have been spending about 30 - 40% of my time there over the last year... it is a great city with great people.

    The Pearl District is pretty high rent... better to visit than live there.

    Clinton / SE Portland is pretty nice as it's an older neighbourhood and has a great Indian restaurant, would put you close to several bike shops (you can't throw a rock without hitting one) and it is a pretty walkable area as well with nice shops and New Seasons and People's Food co-op are great place to get groceries especially if you like local / organic as they strive to carry as much of this as possible.

    It puts you a short ride from downtown and within short bicycling distance of whatever else you might need unless you end up working in a distant area and then it is always nice to live closer.

    KRhea - will be back in October so might have to see what you guys have going on.

  7. #7
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I was there for two weeks in August and it did not rain... spent two months there in the winter and forgot what the sun looked like.



    Here in Canuckistan I live in a city that gets almost 270 days of sunshine which makes up a little for the winter cold.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cyclomania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PomPilot View Post
    Sounds to me like you are talking about the pearl district.
    +1 PomPilot, Spot on! Though the streets of NE and SE Ptown are gloriously bike friendly adorned, the pearl has that certain sophisticated spark that the OP was dreaming of!


    High rising it in the Pearl!
    Last edited by Cyclomania; 09-17-11 at 01:12 PM.
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  9. #9
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Yep, if you want to be in a high rise, you pretty much gotta be in the pearl or downtown. There are a couple of high-rise apartments on the eastside around Lloyd Center - Hollywood areas but they're not as close to good road riding, IMO.

    From the Pearl it's not too far out to HWY 30 which is a good flat route and if you want hills there are plenty of roads with hills coming up offa HWY 30.

    I'm not sure I'd like living in a high rise. I've passed on houses that just because they have as many as 8 steps up to the stoop. Current apartment has zero steps so I can ride out the door from my living room. Pretty nice road riding out here too. Only a couple miles of dense traffic signals to get through before the (mostly) open road commences.

    How much can one ride in the winter? I ride every day in the winter but I don't get in as many miles. There are occasional dry days in winter. Of course the dry days are usually the cold ones. It'll be 40 in the morning, 55 in the afternoon and raining or 25 in the morning, 31 in the afternoon and dry. Those are your choices. Once in a while we'll get a little snow.
    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 09-17-11 at 01:25 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Thank you all for your enthusiastic endorsement of the city. It is very exciting. I will have to look a some of the neighborhoods and evaluate the costs and benefits. I am looking for pretty traditional type spaces and am not really interested in lofts or very contemporary buildings. But I have seen that the Pearl district is quite expensive. My friend moves at the end of the month and I would like to be there the last week in October for his crush if it is possible. I will let you all know when I am getting closer. Again thank you all for responding to my questions.

    Sincerely,

    Lawrence

  11. #11
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    These are some of my favorite apartments in Portland. Only 3 story, so not hi-rise. But they have INSANELY high ceilings and only 2 blocks from River City, one of the better bike shops around.

    http://maps.google.com/?ll=45.518708...6.49,,0,-11.76

    There's some good Lebanese a couple blocks away, not sure where the nearest Indian food is around there.

    Soup kitchen next door which might turn some folks off, but that didn't bother me at all.
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  12. #12
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    That pic's technically Downtown, Cyclomania, a few blocks south of the Pearl.
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  13. #13
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    We have a nice large three bedroom condo in the SE with an attached single bike garage... rent is >> $1000.00.

    If one is single finding a decent housemate is a good option for reducing expenses and as my wife and I both live in different cities (for now) we both have a housemate to share expenses.

    My home here is probably smaller than my wife's but I pay more due to location, the economy, and because I have a house with a double bike garage / shop and a huge yard in a great neighbourhood.

  14. #14
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    These are some of my favorite apartments in Portland. Only 3 story, so not hi-rise. But they have INSANELY high ceilings and only 2 blocks from River City, one of the better bike shops around.

    There's some good Lebanese a couple blocks away, not sure where the nearest Indian food is around there.

    Soup kitchen next door which might turn some folks off, but that didn't bother me at all.
    I think some of the best food in Portland comes from a cart...

    Gresham has an awesome Lebanese restaurant and think their original joint is in Portland (name escapes me)... if you are in NE Portland the Queen of Sheba has some truly excellent Ethiopian food.

    Portland is a great place for people who like great food...

  15. #15
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    This thread makes me think we need to stage a BF ride there someday... seems to be a lot of members from there.

  16. #16
    Kilt wearing cyclist PomPilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    This thread makes me think we need to stage a BF ride there someday... seems to be a lot of members from there.
    Sounds like an idea.

    Right now, I'm trying to coordinate, with former classmates, a trip to Stumptown for one of the few remaining home soccer matches at my alma matter (University of Portland). Once I get that planned, I'll start a thread in this sub-forum and see what happens from there. Of course, I'd also try to set up a Portland kilt night during the same trip with a bunch of my Celtic brethren, so a stop at Rose and Thistle may be on the agenda.
    Last edited by PomPilot; 09-17-11 at 07:08 PM.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member matimeo's Avatar
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    I personally wouldn't want to live anywhere near downtown Portland, but if I had my druthers I'd probably live on a farm even further away from the city than I already do. I like the outskirt suburbs of Portland because there is less congestion and you are closer to truly wide open spaces. The downside is you can't as easily live car free (or certainly not as conveniently) if you live outside of Portland. I live on the West side and am a big fan. I grew up on the SW side, a ways out, and liked that too. Depends on what you're looking for. Lester is right on about the weather.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lprice1023 View Post
    Hello all,

    My best friend has just acquired a vineyard near Portland and I am going to be visiting sometime this year. He would very much like me to move into the area. I am wondering what area of Portland is best for access to good road biking. I would like to live in a high rise apartment that is within walking distance of grocery shopping and other services. I love Indian food so I would like that to be within walking distance as well. Even better would be a nearby good Bike store.

    How much can one ride in the winter? Is it possible to have days without rain? Are there any resources that I could investigate to learn more about the area. I have been there but it was many years ago.

    Thanks to all,

    Lawrence Price
    Good news, the downtown high rise apartment market has taken a significant nosedive so you should be able to get a pretty good deal. I'll address each of your wishlist items:

    1) Good road biking. Available pretty much everywhere, there are major MUP corridors for fast cross-town riding & a bike friendly bus/rail system if you want to get further out of town. You have a wide variety of options (flat in the valley to mountain rides). Various maps and guides are available at LBSs.
    2) Anywhere in the Pearl district up to 21st/Burnside neighborhood is close to large groceries + smaller specialty stores. There is a weekly farmers market in the Park Blocks (west side of town). I imagine there is something similar on the east side of town. On the south waterfront (west side of river) there are some high rises that are going to be cheaper & closer to the springwater corridor (MUP) but not as close to downtown.
    3) Most Indian restaurants are on the west side of town and most are pretty good (comparing it to Bay Area options and restaurants in India).
    4) There are bike shops all over the place. "Good" is going to depend on what you're looking for (commuter, roadie-centric, mountain, recumbent, etc.). There is obviously a lot of competition so shops can't afford to be bad.
    5) I ride almost every day, rain isn't a major issue. Many larger businesses have shower facilities & bike racks ("green" infrastructure gets them a tax break). BTW, lighting is required by law plus it gets dark early in winter. It rarely snows or gets icy so studded tires are not required in town. Heavy rain is fairly rare, we typically get a lot of drizzle/mist from Oct->May and then it's bone dry from June->September. I've been out on rides until 9:30pm and it's still daylight @ the peak of summer.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Clinton / SE Portland is pretty nice as it's an older neighbourhood and has a great Indian restaurant, would put you close to several bike shops (you can't throw a rock without hitting one) and it is a pretty walkable area as well with nice shops and New Seasons and People's Food co-op are great place to get groceries especially if you like local / organic as they strive to carry as much of this as possible.
    .... except that there are no highrises on that side of town.

  20. #20
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PomPilot View Post
    Sounds to me like you are talking about the pearl district. Just be careful of the streetcar tracks.
    And the gators:

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    Quote Originally Posted by matimeo View Post
    I personally wouldn't want to live anywhere near downtown Portland, but if I had my druthers I'd probably live on a farm even further away from the city than I already do. I like the outskirt suburbs of Portland because there is less congestion and you are closer to truly wide open spaces. The downside is you can't as easily live car free (or certainly not as conveniently) if you live outside of Portland. I live on the West side and am a big fan. I grew up on the SW side, a ways out, and liked that too. Depends on what you're looking for. Lester is right on about the weather.
    One thing about downtown and the nearby urban areas...it's flat. Go west...MASSIVE hills. Go south more big hills. Go north a little bit less massive. Go east...depends on how far...can be extremely massive. Overall awesome riding. I love riding in Portland and I love riding the varied terrain...i.e. massive hills. For fun climb all the extinct volcanoes in town.

  22. #22
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PomPilot View Post
    Sounds like an idea.

    Right now, I'm trying to coordinate, with former classmates, a trip to Stumptown for one of the few remaining home soccer matches at my alma matter (University of Portland). Once I get that planned, I'll start a thread in this sub-forum and see what happens from there. Of course, I'd also try to set up a Portland kilt night during the same trip with a bunch of my Celtic brethren, so a stop at Rose and Thistle may be on the agenda.
    Will be there from Oct 10th to the 24th and i always pack my kilt with me... last time I was in PDX I was married in it.

  23. #23
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post
    .... except that there are no highrises on that side of town.
    This is what makes it nice...

  24. #24
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    It is very exciting to hear from so many of you. Obviously personal preference plays a huge role in decisions about living locations. I am a road bike rider who enjoys training and has a slight inclination toward racing. I have lived in NYC and on a ranch in Wyoming. Because I am single, I know that while living in country has many attractions, it is too isolated for me. I greatly dislike having to drive a car for local errands and want to be able to bike or walk for my daily essentials. I work at home and am also a concert violinist so I spend a lot of time in my living space. I enjoy the anonymity of high rise apartment living which is why that is my present direction. I was hoping that this economy might have effected prices and your confirmation is good news. This would be a second home for me so I also prefer high rises for their security and ability to be left alone for long periods of time. Thank you so much for all of the information and I am looking very forward to meeting some of you in the future. I don't mean this to end the discussion because I am sure that you all have much more to talk about.

  25. #25
    Kilt wearing cyclist PomPilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Will be there from Oct 10th to the 24th and i always pack my kilt with me... last time I was in PDX I was married in it.
    It is beginning to look like the 15th & 16th for my trip. U. Portland has a 1 pm soccer match on the 16th. So I'd have to go up on the 15th and ride a bit that afternoon & evening. Get a bite to eat, and meet up with friends. Sunday morning would be a Voodoo Doughnut run, then head for Waude's bluff for the game. Will keep you updated.
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