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portland - are there public showers?

Old 08-25-14, 04:26 AM
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totalnewbie
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portland - are there public showers?

This is a question specific to cyclists in Portland, OR.

I may have a chance to relocate to Portland and I have heard that a lot of people ride their bikes to work. That's something I would like to do. My question is: how do people deal with sweat after arriving at their offices? I suppose not many firms have their own shower facility. Does the local government provide public showers esp. in downtown area?

I enjoy riding hills. I looked at google maps and noticed that the NW district might be ideal since just to the west of it are some small hills. I randomly plotted some routes on mapmyride and the slope are in the range 5-10% (steeper than my comfortable range of 5%) which seems like a good place for before/after work rides. Is "bike culture" strong in this neighborhood? I will be looking for one-bedroom apartments. What is the approx. range of rent? How is the rent compared to other portland neighborhoods? Is there another neighborhood you would recommend?
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Old 08-25-14, 09:44 PM
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Jeff Wills
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It does depend where you work, but at one job in Portland they bought us reduced memberships at a nearby health club. At another, the building had secure indoor bike parking and a public shower.

The "Northwest" neighborhood you're referring to is called the Pearl District. It is a great neighborhood for walking or biking. It is also some of the highest rent in Portland. There are plenty of other places in Portland that are an easy bike ride away that are much cheaper.
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Old 08-25-14, 10:10 PM
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Also check with the janitorial staff in your building. A couple of the office buildings where I worked had a shower facility but hardly anyone knew about it. In both cases it was there so the janitors could clean up if they had to work with some harsh chemicals. One building had a closed door in one of the downstairs restrooms marked 'Maintenance Only' and if you walked through there was a shower room. The other had a small shower in the basement somewhat hidden behind some of the HVAC equipment.
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Old 08-25-14, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Also check with the janitorial staff in your building. A couple of the office buildings where I worked had a shower facility but hardly anyone knew about it. In both cases it was there so the janitors could clean up if they had to work with some harsh chemicals. One building had a closed door in one of the downstairs restrooms marked 'Maintenance Only' and if you walked through there was a shower room. The other had a small shower in the basement somewhat hidden behind some of the HVAC equipment.
Some co-workers and I once converted an extra janitorial closet into a shower room. We simply took out the sink and put a shower unit on a stand (to use the existing P-trap). Sometimes you have to take the initiative and think outside the box.
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Old 08-25-14, 10:52 PM
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To answer the OPs questions: As far as I know, there aren't municipal public showers in town (besides what you get at public pools.) I know that some offices downtown do provide showers, but much of Portland's bike commuting consists of riding in regular clothes to work.

The one time I did work in an office downtown, the office did have a shower room for cyclists. I never ended up using it since my ride into work was about 3 miles and mostly downhill.

As for rents, rents have skyrocketed in Portland over the past few years. Expect to pay around a grand and up for a one-bedroom, especially if you want to live closer in and in more desirable neighborhoods. There are random cheaper apartments in inner Portland, but most of the cheap stuff (if you want to call it that) is further out. Of course, it means more of a bike ride to work if you're heading downtown...
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Old 08-26-14, 08:23 AM
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thanks all for responding. I did not realize the NW district is one of the more expensive neighborhoods in portland. I guess should I take a job there I will look into that more.
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Old 08-27-14, 10:32 PM
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It is not humid in Portland, and is usually cool in the mornings, so you may not need a shower after riding to work. I just take it easy on the way to work. Then you can sweat all you want on the way home.

Rain is the bigger challenge.
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Old 08-28-14, 04:33 PM
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The rain is very public..
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Old 08-28-14, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
The rain is very public..
So are the showers.
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Old 08-31-14, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
The rain is very public..
as long as it comes in at 105F...
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