February 12, 2010
When I think bike trip ... I think three months plus, thousands of miles, exotic locations. But that isn't always possible.
In the Dec/Jan issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine I wrote about a seven day bicycle journey in Portland. That's right IN Portland. Within the city limits. Most folks would approach an urban trip by booking a hotel and using it as a base for day trips.
We, my partner Kat and I, decided to approach it like all our other bike trips. Fully loaded touring bikes--tent, stove, sleeping bag, etc. No hotel reservations. No guided tour. Just let the travel Fates guide us.
It was fabulous ... and inexpensive. We met lots of friendly people. Camped in backyards and gardens. Slept on floors and futons. Ate at pubs and food carts. And soaked up the beautiful city of Portland and marveled at its bike culture.
I carried a digital recorder with me and asked the people of Portland what they loved about their city. Check out the compilation of voices and photos.
Sometimes a different approach can transform a trip into an adventure.
Photos by Willie Weir
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS is posted every other Friday. Willie Weir is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine. His books, Travels with Willie and Spokesongs, will inspire you to hit the road, and might change the way you approach bicycle travel. He lives in Seattle with his wife Kat. You can read about their adventures at http://yellowtentadventures.com.