Day 1: Travel day and cycle from Portland, OR to Troutdale, OR - A quick trip around the Columbia River Gorge - CycleBlaze

August 29, 2013

Day 1: Travel day and cycle from Portland, OR to Troutdale, OR

Our style of touring is generally very schedule-oriented. We plan our mileage carefully and make reservations wherever we feel that we might have difficulty finding a place to stay. It may take some of the adventure out of the trip but it adds a "get-there-or-bust" element that can be equally exciting.

This time we waited until the last few days to even decide where to take a long-weekend tour. We prefer to either start from home or to take the Amtrak Cascades/BoltBus to our starting point because of the convenience of bringing our bikes on board without boxing them. We finally settled on the Columbia River Gorge, even though we've traveled through the area by car (and for me, by riverboat) several times. I think our goal will be to plan just a little less with each tour and to leave a little more up to chance.

Short tours are a lot of fun, and I hope that this journal might motivate other Northwest cyclists to give it a try. The Gorge may not be the best tour for a first-timer, but it's a great training ground for someone who wants to get used to the varied challenges of touring in small doses. There are bucolic backwoods roads, decent climbs, multi-use trails, blown-out tire fragments to dodge on the Interstate, campgrounds, bridges, tunnels, inevitable headwinds, a stairway to navigate, hidden trailheads to search for, and more! The scenery is incredible and there are towns and parks to check out all along the way.

The map we used is available here. You can also have a hardcopy of it mailed to you by requesting it here. The map is a bit outdated but it gets the job done.

We caught an afternoon Amtrak Cascades train to Portland and rode out to Troutdale, where we had a motel room booked. It was a pleasant but uneventful trip. We had a filling meal at a nearby Thai/Japanese restaurant.

Our route from Portland Union Station to Troutdale
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Today's ride: 23 miles (37 km)
Total: 23 miles (37 km)

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