Cycle Portland & TourSpain – Tapas Tour PDX 2017 Available To Book!

Tapas Tour PDX 2017

We’re pleased to announce an exclusive tour in collaboration with TourSpain as we celebrate Spanish heritage and culture during Tapas Tour PDX 2017. The World’s Tapas Day is a worldwide event celebrated in 20 different countries on June 15th. In 2017 Portland has been chosen to be the center of our celebration in the West Coast of the US, for a series of events with the Spanish restaurants in Portland, on the week elapsing from June 12th to 18th. During that week, each one of the participating restaurants will feature a ‘tapa’ specific to a different region of Spain. Different events surround the tapas route to encourage both Portlanders and visitors to take part in this week of Spanish food celebration.

Visiting ten of the hottest tapas bars in town, this tour is available as an East side, and West Side variation. In addition, we will be joined at one location by a renowned Michelin Chef for our East side excursion.

The symbol of Spain, the Tapa represents Spain’s identity, gastronomy, and lifestyle. Tapas have become an internationally recognized hallmark of Spain capturing the focus of the most innovative chefs in Spain and around the world. The custom of tapas combines the pleasures of tasting small pates and sharing with family or friends.

With Portland’s presence as a gastronomic paradise, we’ll be visiting the best of the best, where quality, taste, and appreciation for culinary culture runs deep.

You’re In For A Treat

Our East side route starts with a visit to Bar Vivant, and from there navigates through Portland’s inner East side to Bar Casa Vale, Chesa, and finishes with a dual stop at Toro Bravo where we’ll also get to experience cuisine from Urdaneta after our first course.

Our West side route kicks it off with a stop at the Mediterranean Exploration Company before riding to Can Font, Conserva, Ataula, and ending at Pollo Bravo

Seats are limited on these special excursions, so grab your seat at the table before they run out!

Don’t Miss Out! Reserve Your Spot Today

Join Our East Side Tour:

Book Now

 

– Ride departs at 3:30PM Saturday June 17th and returns by 7:00PM
– 11 Miles of casual riding, some moderate hills
– Multispeed bikes and food included (drinks not included)
– Ride starts and returns to our bike shop

Join Our West Side Tour:

Book Now

 

– Ride departs at 4:00PM Saturday June 17th and returns by 7:00PM
– 6 Miles of casual riding, some moderate hills
– Multispeed bikes and food included (drinks not included)
– Ride starts and returns to our bike shop

To Solve Unique Cycling Issues, You Need A Bike Wizard!

In the parlance of the Bike Shop, a Wizard conjures up creative solutions to unique problems. Once on a multi-day endurance event I witnessed a Wizard repair a broken spoke and re-true the wheel with a link of chain. Because bikes have been around for over a century with many different manufactures and few if any component or frame standards, unique situations and the need for wizardry come up quite often.

Living in the rainforest of the Pacific Northwest, fenders help prolong the life of your bike and also keep the wet road grim off of you.  Given the above mentioned variations that have come with the evolution of bicycles, fender installation often requires wizarding skills. Such was the case with an old Trek 1420 that a customer brought into the shop the other day.

spare parts repurposed by bike wizard
Mike’s wizardly work

After converting this old road-bike frame to a commuter, our customer wanted fenders so she could commute throughout the year.  Adding wider commuter tires limited the space to install the fenders- not uncommon for this type of conversion. The big issue (and where the wizardry comes in) was securing the rear fender behind the bottom bracket.

repurposed spare parts connect fender to frame
Ant’s-Eye View…

 

Many commuter bikes have a bridge between the chainstays to which you secure the fender, but this Trek did not have a chainstay bridge and without it, the fender would sway and rub against the tire- noisy and not good!  Utilizing a few spare parts (never throw anything away in a bike shop…), our resident Wizard was able to develop a solution that both looked clean and served its purpose!

a vintage bike with rear fender installed
The finished project ready to roll

Unique problems require creative solutions, and we are certainly glad to have our resident wizard here at Cycle Portland! Stop by and let us see what wizardry we can work for you!

Bike Theft- What You Can Do To Not Become A Statistic.

bike theft- bike frame missing key components
Ripping our heart out would hurt less…

Most cyclist have a special relationship with their steed- giving it a cute yet meaningful name, buying it little gifts like a cool new bell, etc… In essence, your bike is an extension of yourself (or at the very least, on the same level as a beloved pet).  This is why bike theft is such a horrible, gut-wrenching experience for the unfortunate ones who suffer this egregious transgression… Unfortunately, the only 100% way to protect your baby is to never let it out of your sight, but that is hardly feasible given the size of most apartment bathrooms… There are things that you can do, however, to protect and deter and lessen your chances of becoming a statistic.

detail of the Saint Helens model of the PDX Lox
Locally sourced… from a volcano.

At Cycle Portland we stock all of the accessories you need to help you avoid bike theft.  First and foremost, you need a high quality U-lock that is big enough for you to easily secure your frame, but not so big that a thief could use a tool to pry it open.  We carry U-locks by Kryptonite and PDX Lox.  Both are more that adequate to secure your steed!  We are happy to help find the right size lock for your bike and walk through some best practices with you.  On a side note, we DO NOT recommend using a cable lock for bike theft prevention; they are easily cut with the most basic bolt cutters.

the uniquely keyed locking skewers from HubLox
HubLox skewers with their unique keying system

For your wheels, the component we see most commonly stolen, we highly recommend locking skewers to secure your “go-discs” to your frame.  Pin-Head Anti-Theft Skewers are uniquely keyed and provide the best wheel protection.  There are other locking skewers available that use either a specific key or a hex wrench to removed the wheel which also work well, but Pin-Head provides the greatest piece of mind.

You should secure other parts of your bike as well, depending on the value you place on them (both actual and sentimental). Basically, if it is not welded to your frame, a thief given enough time and opportunity will steal it.  Locking headset caps, locking seatpost collars, and saddle leashes are also great tools to secure the littler bits.

Also (and perhaps most importantly), it’s always a good idea to register your bike’s serial number and info over at Bike Index so that bike shops like us can keep an eye out for your precious baby if fall victim to bike theft.  They’ve helped recover well over 3,000 bikes through the program, and even if you just get your frame back… well, that is half the battle right there! (By the way, your serial number can usually be found stamped into the metal on the underside of your bottom-bracket and is usually comprised of eight or more letters and numbers)

A couple of other little things you can do help prevent bike theft are secure your bike in a well-lit, highly visible area with lots of foot-traffic.  A thief needs time and privacy to break a high-quality lock, and by robbing them of those (pun intended) two elements will usually cause him or her to pass on to a bike in a more secluded location.  Secondly, if you are parking your bike on a rack with other bikes, try to park in the middle rather than on the ends of the racks as a thief will go to a the bike most easily accessed.  Lastly (and our favorite), personalize your ride!  Stickers, reflective tapes or colored electrical tapes, nail polish… all little things you can use to permanently “individualize” your bike.  A thief wants a plain, unadorned bike that they can quickly unload.  A bike covered in stickers or googly-eyes or miniature statuettes of liberty won’t unload so fast on the “black market…”

Head over to our friends at Bike Portland for more suggestions and a more complete list of precautions to keep your baby safe from bike theft! If you have more questions, stop on by the shop today and ask one of our helpful employees for advice on which security options will work best for you and your bike. After all, it’s your baby and no one likes it when babies are stolen.

(We’d love to hear from you!  Email us with some suggestions you might have for bike security or send us a picture of your individualized steed! (please put “My Awesome Steed” in the subject line)  We love to see how people make their bikes their own and keep ’em safe!)

Portland makes a splash across The Pond with Travel Weekly

Even though we get to experience our beautiful City of Roses everyday, we always get a kick out of seeing our city through a visitor’s eyes, especially when that visitor is coming from another country.  David Whitley with Travel Weekly out of the U.K. recently paid Portland a visit an wrote a great article we’d like to share with you!

David joined us on our Foodie Field Trip which visits Cup & Bar (a brick and mortal collaboration between Trailhead Roasters and Ranger Chocolates), Cartopia (featuring the 2016 Food Cart of the Year- Chicken & Guns), and Fifty Licks Ice Creamery (a uniquely tasty treat).  Everything is included in the cost of the tour so all you have to do is ride though some of the historic neighborhoods of the Eastside and enjoy some of our culinary offerings!

The article speaks warmly not just of Cycle Portland, but also of Portland in general.  “It’s not a place of big-ticket attractions, but it’s a fabulous city to delve into,” David writes.  This is something we try to impart on our tours… that Portland doesn’t have an Eiffel Tower or a Taj Mahal, but what we do have are a 1001 unique things that when taken together do make Portland a world-class destination (and keeps us Weird!).

One of the things that David mentions in his article that caught our attention is that Delta Airlines will start offering seasonal direct flights from London to Portland beginning May of 2017!  The addition of this flight will add to the small but growing number of international destinations to which one can directly fly from (or to) PDX.  We are always thrilled to have world travelers  join us on our tours, and by making the journey easier, we will hopefully be seeing more smiling adventurers in the future.

You can read the full article here.

Thank you David Whitley and the good people at Travel Weekly!

Bon Appétit (or as we like to say Bike Appétit!)

Sweetheart Valentine’s Day Tune-Up Special

Sweetheart Tune Up imageAs Valentine’s Day approaches (whether you eagerly anticipate the holiday or dread it like the Plague), we have a great gift idea for you to either show your Honey-bunny some love or treat yourself to something extra nice.  From February 1st through Tuesday, February 14th we will be offering our standard tune up (a $75 value) for only $50!  We’re calling it our Sweetheart Valentine’s Day Tune-Up Special!! (We thought about calling it the “Be Our Bikentine” Special, but consensus around the shop was that was too hokey.)

Sweetheart Tune Up Image 2A bike tune-up is a great gift idea for your Doodle-boo as we near Spring and our peak riding seasons.  A box of chocolates as they say, ‘Once on the lips, forever on the hips’, but a well-tuned bike can help you or your Pookie-puddin’ be fit and trim by summertime!    Flowers fade and wilt in time, but with our standard tune-up, you or your Cuddle-cakes’ bike will be purring for many months to come.  Every time your Snooker-woobie shifts his or her gears with crispness, they will think of you.  Every time you or your Love-nugget squeezes their brakes with confidence, they will think of you…  Indeed, a great gift idea!

When you purchase a Sweetheart Valentine’s Day Tune-Up, you will get a gift card for the tune-up that you or your Smoochie-pie can redeem anytime throughout 2017, so you do not have to schedule the service at the time of purchase (plus it gives you something tangible to give to your Sugar-biscuit on the special day (maybe disguised it as a box of chocolates or in with a bouquet of flowers)).

Sweetheart Tune Up Image 3A couple of fine points… The Sweetheart Gift Card does not include replacement parts.  We do, however, have Cycle Portland Gift Cards that can be added with the Sweetheart Gift Card.  Also the Sweetheart Gift Card must be presented to us when the bike is dropped off for the tune-up.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Shop or if you’d like to purchase Sweetheart Gift Card over the phone, we can get that going for you as well!

Whatever you decide to do for your Wiggle-winks or if you decide to treat yourself to something special, we here at Cycle Portland hope you have a special day and will Be Our Bikentine!

Join Us For CollaboFest 2017

the taps of CollaboFest
image courtesy of Travel Portland

The third annual Base Camp Brewing Collabofest is coming up at the end of January, and we couldn’t be happier! Not only will we Portlanders be treated to some exceptional brews crafted specially for this festival (as well as some of the first brews of 2017), but most all of the breweries that we visit during our Brews Cruise Tour were selected to participate this year!

beers in cheers
Cheers!

The first CollaboFest in 2015 featured only 10 local breweries, but it was such a success that they expanded the field to 16 breweries for the next year. All Portland breweries are invited to enter, and in October the final 16 are selected by a blind-draw.  They are then split into pairs and tasked with developing 2 new, unique brews. The 16 brews produced for this year’s festival will debut at the main event Saturday January 28th at 2pm at Base Camp Brewery. While there certainly is a competitive spirit among the brewers, Collabofest is not a competition but rather an opportunity to showcase the creativity and innovation of some of Portland’s breweries and the camaraderie that exists between them.

Tickets are available for the event at two levels here. All proceeds benefit two non-profits. One of the NPOs is SheJumps, a national organization that provides outdoor education, youth initiatives and grassroots recreational gatherings for girls and women. The other beneficiary is the fund to maintain the Oregon Timber Trail, an iconic 650 mile mountain bike trail that runs from the Gorge down to the California border- one of the crown jewels of Oregon’s bike infrastructure.

Not that we ever need a reason to hoist a pint of local brew, but celebrating collaboration and helping out a couple of worthy organizations seems like a pretty good reason, nonetheless!

Hope to see you there!

 

Essential Portland City Tour Video

The city we see on the Portland City Tour
Portland as seen from Marquam Hill

Here at Cycle Portland, the Essential Portland City Tour is our most popular tourist activity, especially during the summer months. With stops for photos and information along the waterfront, PSU’s campus and in the Pearl District, this tour helps orient riders in our beautiful city. You’ll walk away with a better idea of Portland’s layout, as well as an overview of the city’s history. From a sailors’ respite in the 1800’s to one of the most popular arts destinations on the West Coast, Portland’s history is written in its streets. Come explore and learn with our knowledgeable tour guides. Rain or shine, you’re in for a good time!

If you’re curious about the sights this tour has to offer, check out this footage from a tour this fall: