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slides: 17 Ways to Experience Portland on Bike

Monday, March 16, 2015


Portland's vibrant bike culture offers many unique chances to explore the city on bike, even if you don’t own one. 

Tourists flock to Portland every year to take part in the city's bike scene, a huge boost for bike tours and rental shops.  Cycle Portland Bike Tours and Rentals has seen substantial growth in the last few years.

“Last year was a record year by 20 to 35 percent and already this year is shaping up to break records,” said Sarah Gilbert, a tour guide with Cycle Portland. “There’s lot of room for more business and interest.”

See Slides Below: 17 Ways to Experience Portland on Bike

Bike Gallery, a bike and rental shop, has noticed the demand for easy bike access as well. The establishment is currently working on building up their bike rental fleet to prepare for the busy summer season. Yet sales associate Tobin Owen said the rental business is steady all year long.

“We have a lot of people stop by that are here to see how bike friendly everything is and also interested in the city planning—that in itself is a tourist attraction,” Owen said. 

Many renters are out-of-state visitors,  staying in neighborhood Airbnb rentals, who are looking for a bike because “That’s what you do in Portland,” according to Bike Commuter bike shop head technician Zach Waas Smith. However, half of the shop’s rental business is from locals. 

“They may have family visiting, but often they don’t own a bike and want to ride so they’ll come in just to get around awhile and enjoy the city,” Waas Smith said.

Gilbert said that not many locals come on her tours, other than to bring visiting friends, but she wishes more would give it a try.

“It’s too bad,” Gilbert said. “It’s really fun and there’s so many things to learn. I grew up in Portland and there’s so much I’ve learned as tour guide.”

Bike Sharing

A new player in Portland's bike rental game is the company Spinlister, that allows bike owners to rent out their bike to anyone with an app. People can search for nearby bikes, at price set by the owner. The peer-to-peer bike sharing company has taken off in Portland. 

“It’s been crazy. Portland demanded we come here,” said Andrew Batey, chief marketing director at Spinlister.

Batey said Spinlister allows people to find a wide range bike types, usually not offered through shop rentals, and at convenient locations.

“Spinlister uses assets that already exist, like Airbnb. If you have a bike just sitting in a garage, it’s an opportunity to make money,” said Danielle Booth, with Portland’s  Active Transportation Division. 

Owen said the more people on bikes the better, but safety could be a concern if bikes are not probably checked or maintained.  

Portland Bureau of Transportation is preparing to launch a bike share program in 2016, but the project is still in the planning stage.

“We believe it will be a great tool for tourists, but also the day-to-day folks getting to work or school or running errands,” PBOT Spokesman Dylan Rivera
 said.  “It will do a lot to getting more access in Portland.”


Related Slideshow: 17 Ways to Experience Portland on Bike

Check out these 17 businesses for bike rentals and tours, that allow you to enjoy the Portland bike scene without owning a bike:  

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Pedal Bike Tours

Bike rentals and guided tours, including a pub and Columbia River Gorge ride

Bike Rentals: $35-$60 a day

Tours: $89-$109

133 SW 2nd Ave 

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Peer-to-peer bike sharing 

Search online or with an app for avaiable bikes of all sizes and prices to loan from local bike owners 

Bike owners list their own rental prices, anything above $1

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Go By Bike Shop

Bike rentals  and valet partner with OHSU at the Portland Aerial Tram

$40 a day, $20 a day for OSHU employees

SW Moody and Gibbs  

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Waterfront Bikes  

A wide range of city, cruiser, road, mountain, tandem, child, and hybrid bike rentals

10 SW Ash Street #100 

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Clever Cycles

Brompton folding bike rentals, with optional child seats and mandatory bells

$30-$45 a day

900 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
(503) 334-1560

Photo credit: Number 10 on Flickr

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Portland State University Bike Hub

Bike rental for PSU students and visitors, and a bike sharing program

$35 a day

1818 SW 6th Ave
(503) 725-9006

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Splendid Cycles

Bullitt cargo bike rentals

$24 a day

407 SE Ivon St  

Photo credit: wittco.gmbh on Flickr

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Wheel Fun Rentals

Specialty bike rentals, including tandems, quad sports, choppers, slingshots, and surreys. 

$20-$45 a day

1020 SW Naito Parkway  

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Mountain Shop

Off-road bike rentals

$60-$75 a day

1510 NE 37th Avenue

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Bike Commuter

8-speed, 1-speed, and racing bike rentals.

$35-$50 a day

8524 SE 17th Ave

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The Bike Gallery

Bike rentals with locations in Downtown, Hollywood, Woodstock, Lack Oswego, Beaverton, and Clackamas

$75-$85 a day

Downtown Location:
1001 SW Salmon 

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Everybody’s Bike Rentals

Vintage, road commuter and touring bike rentals

$25-$30 a day

305 NE Wygant 


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Fat Tire Farm

Road and mountain bike rentals

2714 NW Thurman 

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Sellwood Cycle Repair

Road and cruiser bike rentals

$40-$50 a day

7639 SE Milwaukie 


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Cycle Portland Bicycle Tours

Single speed, road, and electric bike rentals, was well as number of city tours

Bike Rentals: $30-$70 a day

Tours: Start at $40

117 NW 2nd Ave


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Athletes Lounge

Road bike rentals

$60 a day

2671 NW Vaughn


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Veloce Bicycles

High-end road bike rentals

$40-$60 a day

3202 SE Hawthorne  


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