Here’s a chance to make East County bike touring even better

Here’s a chance to make East County bike touring even better

Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-41

The Columbia Gorge is only the first stop for
“destination biking” east of Gresham.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Back in July, we wrote that a big recreational biking upgrade is in the works for east Multnomah County. A pair of public “studio workshops” next month will shape its direction.

People at the free workshops — a seven-hour one Nov. 13 at Troutale’s Edgefield McMenamin’s and a four-hour one Nov. 14 at the Corbett Fire House — will get to “identify assets, opportunities, and barriers to increasing bicycle tourism” in the region.

With a Travel Oregon study estimating that 15 percent of tourism in the Gorge/Mount Hood area is already bike-related, the area’s business leaders see big potential for improving things further.

“The growing interest in destination cycling throughout Oregon and the incredible assets in East Multnomah County demonstrate that we have a compelling opportunity to market bicycle tourism,” Alison Hart, CEO of the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce, said in a news release Thursday.

The chamber and Travel Oregon, the state’s tourism association, are organizing the events under their $169,000 grant-funded Bicycle Tourism Initiative. You can read more about the program on the chamber’s website.

“The East Multnomah County region already attracts a diverse bicycle travel market, including out-of-state visitors looking for must-see Oregon experiences and local and regional visitors who enjoy off-the-beaten-path locales that entice with authenticity,” the chamber’s news release said. “They are novice and casual bicyclists, event spectators, mountain bikers, road bikers, racers, triathletes, visitors staying overnight, and more.”

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