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Portland: Bike Friendly, But Where’s the Mountain Bike Scene?

Johnson Creek Portland Oregon

Bicyclist get bridges of their own in Portland. (Photo by Finetooth via Wikimedia Commons)

Singletracks.com has an interesting post called “8 Bike Culture Observations from Portland, OR.”

All its points ring true to me from my recent visit to Portland. The bike-friendly culture starts right at the airport – there’s a repair area where your can break your bike down for flying, or put it back together … and then ride home. How incredibly progressive!

I can also confirm that bicycle infrastructure is extensive. Public bike art? I honestly don’t care about that.

It’s really surprising that mountain bikes are, as Singletracks.com says, such an afterthought. The shops I visited were primarily geared toward road biking. And I noticed a preponderance of big brands. I didn’t see any really cool, independent brands with a strong appearance. I figured Portland’s local, DIY flavor would carry over to the cycling scene. I hoped to lay my eyes on some cool custom steel … and maybe some titanium.

It’s very likely I just didn’t stumble onto it. I’ll bet it’s out there … but the odds of walking into exactly the right place are slimmer than I hoped.

So if you know Portland, I’d love to hear about the lesser-known shops where you discover and ogle the more unusual brands.

2 thoughts on “Portland: Bike Friendly, But Where’s the Mountain Bike Scene?

  1. Addy

    http://www.fattirefarm.com/ I used to live right by their location in NW Portland. The Fat Tire Farm people are super friendly, knowledgeable, and fun. That said, as someone who has very little know how, it doesn’t take much to impress me.

  2. WanderingJustin

    Yep, Fat Tire Farm seems to be the go-to MTB shop for Portland. I have this bad habit of just showing up in places and walking around. IT’s good because it puts the onus on me to get moving and find stuff rather than relying on guide books or what have you. But then I sometimes miss cool stuff, too.

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