Moving to Portland - Advice re: commuting to OHSU?
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  1. #1

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    Moving to Portland - Advice re: commuting to OHSU?

    I'm moving to Portland (from Chapel Hill, NC) in late May to start my residency training at OHSU and would like to ride in as much as possible. (Seeing all the riders chug up the hill when I was there last August was awesome!) Our realtor is going to show us some places in Beaverton, East Side, and the SW area. If any of you Portlanders has any advice on where to live regarding commuting I would really appreciate it! Can't wait to get out there and become part of the awesome bike culture that you guys live in! Many thanks in advance for any help!

    R.P.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertPaulson
    I'm moving to Portland (from Chapel Hill, NC) in late May to start my residency training at OHSU and would like to ride in as much as possible. (Seeing all the riders chug up the hill when I was there last August was awesome!) Our realtor is going to show us some places in Beaverton, East Side, and the SW area. If any of you Portlanders has any advice on where to live regarding commuting I would really appreciate it! Can't wait to get out there and become part of the awesome bike culture that you guys live in! Many thanks in advance for any help!
    Beaverton, East Side, and the SW area are as much Life Philosophies as places to live. Beaverton is a suburb that is learning to think urban, but it's major roads used to be semi-rural, and the developments are suburban cul de sac traps. It is possible to ride in or through Beaverton, but it's not easy. The major roads are multilane monsters that pass strip malls and car-centric eateries.

    Much of SW was developed relatively late in Portland history. Roads wind through the hills. There's some great riding, but for family who aren't commuting, a car is about the only way to get around.

    That brings us to the East Side - west of 60th or 50th or so. Generally a grid built for early 20th century street cars, there are lots of bike routes and easy walking to shops/schools if you choose well. Most neighborhoods are healthy and vibrant. Commuting to OHSU would be easy over the Hawthorne bridge. I'd do it fixed gear myself, but geared bikes are still allowed in Portland. Track down a copy of the bike map published by Metro to see what cycling routes are laid out.

    Welcome to town.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertPaulson
    I'm moving to Portland (from Chapel Hill, NC) in late May to start my residency training at OHSU and would like to ride in as much as possible. (Seeing all the riders chug up the hill when I was there last August was awesome!) Our realtor is going to show us some places in Beaverton, East Side, and the SW area. If any of you Portlanders has any advice on where to live regarding commuting I would really appreciate it! Can't wait to get out there and become part of the awesome bike culture that you guys live in! Many thanks in advance for any help!

    R.P.
    Robert,
    welcome to Stump Town. As Mark said, Beaverton is not the best place for bicyclists, and is a pretty long haul from OHSU. And Beaverton, along with Hillsboro and Gresham to an even greater extent, are the 10th circle of hell, suburbia.
    I would look in inner NE and SE Portland, from maybe Freemont south to Powell, and 60th or so west to the river. Lots of great neighborhoods, with easy access to the Hawthorne Bridge and the climb up Terwilliger.
    I might also look into Sellwood and Westmoreland areas. From there you can cross over the Sellwood Bridge into the macadam area mentioned below.
    Under no circumstances consider anything east of 98th. This is Gresham in all but name, and misery comes to those that live there. (but riding thru to the Sandy River Valley is nice ;)
    In SW I would also look at Multnomah Village, and perhaps the area of Macadam near Willamette Park. The Village is a nice area, and a real quick commute to OHSU (say 15 minutes), while the Macadam area is probably going to be rather cheaper, and gives you a hella climb every day. Taylors Ferry to Terwilliger and OHSU every day would make you a monster!
    Best of luck.

    Gordon

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Multnomah Village would be my first recommendation

    Garden Home is just past that (I bought new there almost a year ago). Great dog park (Gabriel), Old Market Pub, Lucky Lab are close in. Salvadore Molly's is on the way to OHSU.

    Plus you're close to the Velodrome (Alpenrose), quick access to downtown (10 minutes by car), easy access to bike lanes. I have ton's of bike commuters that pass by my place every day.

  5. #5
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    the cycling maps are available for free by mail......

    (online also) and are excellent, just returned from a weeks vacation in Portland and they worked really well.....check out http://www.trans.ci.portland.or.us/b...icyclemaps.htm

  6. #6

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    Thanks!

    Hey everyone, thanks for the help! My wife & I are in the process of finalizing the deal on a house in SE somewhat near Woodstock. We scoped out some potential rides into the Hill....should be beautiful. Looking forward to the move out!

    R.P.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertPaulson
    Hey everyone, thanks for the help! My wife & I are in the process of finalizing the deal on a house in SE somewhat near Woodstock. We scoped out some potential rides into the Hill....should be beautiful. Looking forward to the move out! R.P.
    Welcome to town...

  8. #8
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    Great area!

    I went to Reed College which is on Woodstock and lived around there a few years. I work at OHSU and but we recently moved over to the west side of the river. Personally when i would commute in from eastmoreland, i used the hawthorne bridge just so i could avoid the sellwood and ross island. the sidewalks on those bridges are non existent and you'd have to navigate through some rough traffic during rush hour. i could also get in a few extra miles by riding over the hawthorne.
    oh yeah, stay away from beaverton. depending on where in beaverton, you might have to hop on the Max with your bike..which would suck during rush hour.

  9. #9
    Rain Man
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    Thumbs up RP, one key word for is.....

    ........fenders!!!!

  10. #10

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    The Woodstock area is a nice one. It's established neighborhood that got settled before suburbs were invented, so it's city residential with some pananche.

    You probably want to use the Ross Island Bridge, and the west end brings you just below OHSU. There are some secondary streets that are decent for bikes -- but I moved to the ocean about 18 months ago, and memory on specifics for bikes is shakey. (Lived in the area all my life, rode Terwilliger a lot as a bike racing kid in the 60's.)

    The most reasonable route on a bike to OHSU is up Terwilliger to the Vets Hosp and then snake over to OHSU. The climb directly to OHSU from the bottom of the hill (near the PSU track) is steep. If you're a climber it's good, but otherwise it's a serious pitch.

    OHSU is bike friendly. The medical types like to see people getting on the bikes and doing some cardio rather than looking for a place to park the SUV.

    Tri-Met has a bike pass system which is nice. You might want to ride to the bus, hop across the bridge and skip traffic, then get out on Terwilliger. Terwilliger is the mega-cardio workout route in town. Bikes, runners, walkers . . .

    Good music, excellent micro-brew beers, a unique culture. You've picked a nice area to live. I get medical through the VA Hosp -- which is supported by staff out of OHSU. It's a neat learning experience, diverse, vast, interesting.

    Fenders. For sure. *G*

  11. #11
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    Ross Island is a terrible commute...

    [QUOTE=Hardy Cyclamens]The Woodstock area is a nice one. It's established neighborhood that got settled before suburbs were invented, so it's city residential with some pananche.

    You probably want to use the Ross Island Bridge, and the west end brings you just below OHSU. There are some secondary streets that are decent for bikes -- but I moved to the ocean about 18 months ago, and memory on specifics for bikes is shakey. (Lived in the area all my life, rode Terwilliger a lot as a bike racing kid in the 60's.)

    The most reasonable route on a bike to OHSU is up Terwilliger to the Vets Hosp and then snake over to OHSU. The climb directly to OHSU from the bottom of the hill (near the PSU track) is steep. If you're a climber it's good, but otherwise it's a serious pitch.

    OHSU is bike friendly. The medical types like to see people getting on the bikes and doing some cardio rather than looking for a place to park the SUV.

    Tri-Met has a bike pass system which is nice. You might want to ride to the bus, hop across the bridge and skip traffic, then get out on Terwilliger. Terwilliger is the mega-cardio workout route in town. Bikes, runners, walkers . . .

    Good music, excellent micro-brew beers, a unique culture. You've picked a nice area to live. I get medical through the VA Hosp -- which is supported by staff out of OHSU. It's a neat learning experience, diverse, vast, interesting.





    ..once you hit the west side of the bridge. Hawthorne...up to Broadway and go south to Terwilliger. I do it about 4-5 times a week up to OHSU for school...but yes, fenders are a good idea between october and May...sitting in class/work with a wet rear is NO fun...

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by bahueh

    ..once you hit the west side of the bridge. Hawthorne...up to Broadway and go south to Terwilliger. I do it about 4-5 times a week up to OHSU for school...but yes, fenders are a good idea between october and May...sitting in class/work with a wet rear is NO fun...
    Woodstock area, if I'm not mistaken, is around Woodstock Ave. which is in the Reed College area and Eastmorland. Hawthorne would be way north, with Terwilliger being a return south again.

    Ross Island bridge or Sellwood bridge are the two best choices. Although the Sellwood bridge is supposedly "walk your bike" stuff unless they changed the rules. It's too narrow to ride in the street.

    If you come across the Sellwood bridge, ride west off Macadam and choose Corbett Ave. as your "bike friendly" route up to and across Barbur Blvd. Then up the hill from Barbur to Terwilliger and the Vets Hosp.

    If you're not a climber, you soon will be. *G* "Pill Hill" as Marquam Hill is called (OHSU and Vets Hosp. Dental School, Opthamology Clinic, Dornbecher Hosp, etc) is major view property just below Council Crest and the West Hills. You'll be riding from near Willamette River elevation to probably close to 1,000 above the river. Spectacular views, but you may find yourself looking at your bottom bracket a great deal for a third chain ring.

    Fenders and rain. Today is May 21. Record continuous rainfall in Portland for May is 22 days. We're on day 18 with more rain in the forecast. In inches the precip is about 60% past average for May. But we had a really dry Jan. and Feb.

    You can tell the Oregonians from the out-of-state types. Oregonians are the ones who don't own raingear. "Yeah, but I'm not going to be out in it that long." or "It's just misting."

    As a doctor you may be interested in knowing that the Willamette Valley (Portland is the north end of the Valley.) is the number one place in the world for mold and mildew -- and all the related allergies they precipitate. Place furniture in your house with ample ventilation space between it and outside walls.

    But the micro-brew beer is world class, and Willamette Valley wines are fast following.

  13. #13
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    Route suggestion from Sellwood...

    I ride throughout SE/SW Portland frequently, and obviously you will need to experiment to find what suits your tastes. I strongly suggest taking Tacoma west across the Sellwood Bridge and, if you have a decent sprint, take the one and only lane for yourself until you are safely over the bridge. Much safer and efficient that riding or even walking on the narrow sidewalk. If you lack the sprint or the gusto for that approach, the next-best alternative is to dare the sidewalk to the crest of the bridge, get some speed, and bunny-hop the curb, then take your lane from that point. (Just make sure you stick the landing.)

    At the west end of the Sellwood Bridge lies a huge cemetary which is far and away the safest and most tranquil, car-free route up to Terwilliger Blvd (rode past seven deer there last weekend), which you then follow north to OHSU.

    I can show you the route sometime if you like.
    "Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

  14. #14

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    So I had a glance at the cemetary as we drove across the Sellwood Bridge the other day....do you have to dismount and walk up the stairs at the end or is there an alternative route into the cemetary? I'm really interested in this route as I have been going all the way up to the Hawthorne bridge via Holgate, Gladstone, Ladd's Addition, etc. and then taking Broadway through downtown and up to the Hill. I really like the ride, as it takes me through some cool sections of town, but would like to have an alternate (perhaps faster) route available. Since I'm new in town, I'd love to get together and ride. I really appreciate all the help! Portland really is an amazing + beautiful place!

    Thanks,
    R.P

  15. #15
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    Cemetery Entrance

    Robert, you need not dismount, you just head west into the parking lot entrance at the traffic signal about 100 feet south of the bridge (i.e., head toward Lake Oswego from the Sellwood Bridge), then head on up.

    There are several routes through the cemetery; shoot me an email (click on "mdehner" at the left) if you'd like a guided tour sometime. Otherwise, use trial and error to explore it when you have some extra time.

    Cheers,

    Michael
    "Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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