We’re maybe a little late to the Portland Mercury’s “Most Underrated” issue, out last week, but it’s a nice twist on the “best of” genre and it has a few interesting details about bikes.
The most intriguing claim, from Merc reporter Dirk VanderHart: Portland’s “most underrated bike jump” is a not-explicitly-identified private driveway on North Ainsworth Street near Peninsula Park. Here’s what he says:
It’s not much to look at, but if you’re pedaling west on N Ainsworth near Peninsula Park, there’ll be a driveway off to your right that’s so choice for the casual jump enthusiast. This driveway gives way to the curb not in the straight, matter-of-fact manner of most. Instead, it swoops up gracefully, exultantly, a miniature launch ramp to add some sweet altitude to your stolid commute. Hit it right, and you can pop over a bed of succulents and correct in time to avoid the tall wooden fence. Hit it wrong, and you’re killing succulents and/or injuring yourself. Bike jumps are awesome; not easy. (Also: This is someone’s home. Don’t mess it up.)
VanderHart definitely has my number: I have no idea which house he’s talking about but now I want to know. And though I’m not clear on my personal ethics of (not to mention skills for) jumping over other people’s cacti, the item made me wonder what other fun, semi-public bike jumps are just off the treaded path.
Other bike-related items in the Mercury’s “most underrated” list include the Burnside Bridge (totally agree!) and Metropolis Cycle Repair at 2249 N Williams Ave. (sure!).
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