Better riding in Medford or Portland, OR?

gregt9000
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Pensacola, FL US
5/12/2015 10:28am Edited Date/Time 5/15/2015 12:20pm
Hey folks, I'll be traveling to the area from FL and will have a day or 2 to ride. I will be near Medford and will probably connect through Portland, so which should I spend my day? Ideally, I'd like a bike park/lift assisted type place, but I'm certainly OK with pedaling to the top if need be. I'll also need to rent a bike when I'm there so any advice on that (like where I might rent a decently capable bike) would be welcome as well. Thanks!
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ReignMan942
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5/12/2015 4:37pm
I've been to both places. I'm from San Diego so I'm no local. In my opinion there's good riding near Medford ( Mt. Ashland Was really fun. No lift but there's a shuttle from Ashland mtn adventures). The better riding is near Portland though: sandy ridge was really fun with a ton of options depending on skill or riding style and only about 30-40 mins east of Portland. Between the two cities is black rock outside of Dallas/Salem area. Also really great riding. hope this helps. Have fun in Oregon. I love it there!
Big Bird
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5/12/2015 5:19pm
If you are a park environment jumper skilled type I would definitely try to get to Black Rock. It looks amazing. I've never been there myself, but some friends of mine had a hand in it, so I know it's good.
gregt9000
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Pensacola, FL US
5/13/2015 5:56am
Big help, thank you. I called around to some shops and it looks like I'm settling on the Portland area, the tie-breaker being that there seems to be more options on bike rentals and there are lift accessed trails in the area (not sure if they're open but whatever.) Since all these trails are going to be new to me, I don't think there's going to be huge difference between the 2. Anybody heard of "Ski Bowl"? - that's where I was told there may be some lift-accessed trails. Thanks for the advice!
xyian
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5/13/2015 7:35am Edited Date/Time 5/13/2015 7:39am
Medford is kind of far unless you fly in directly there. I believe there's some trails in that area as well as Ashland.
Not much IN Portland but there's always Sandy Ridge, Hood River area, Camas, and some stuff west of town. Nothing inside Portland though. Ski Bowl is open already I believe(winter? what's that?) and yes, it's lift accessed if you wish to do so. They have some XC trails and DH trails. They also have bike rentals as well.

And as for rentals...well....there's only one dedicated mountain bike store here: Fat Tire Farm. They have plenty of good rentals(but are expensive) and Camas Bikes in Camas also rent out bikes. If you go the Ski Bowl route they have rental bikes there. Not certain if many others do rentals.
gregt9000
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Pensacola, FL US
5/13/2015 8:49am
Cool, thank you! There's a bike shop called Hood River Bicycles that has a nice rental fleet - Nomad, SB6C, Mach 6, etc. and the guy there mentioned Ski Bowl - he wasn't sure if they were open yet. Lift accessed trails seem like such an indulgence! Can't wait to cheat!
xyian
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5/14/2015 9:49am
Hood River is about an hour east of Portland. Keep that in mind. Definitely not on the way to Ski Bowl or Sandy Ridge. But there's damn good trails up near HR!
gregt9000
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5/14/2015 12:55pm
Ah, thanks. So which would you do, stay in Hood River (which appears to be the best place to rent a bike in the area) and ride there or take the hour drive to get to the list assisted stuff at ski bowl?
xyian
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5/14/2015 2:18pm
You've stated you're looking more for the rough and tumble with lifts. I'd go for SkiBowl and just rent there. You could even stay at the mountain at Timberline or in Government Camp and roll to the lift. Axe not included nor is Johnny with the room.
Hood River is more XC and earn your turns. There's certainly some elevated trail stuff there but you gotta get to it.
Big Bird
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5/14/2015 5:51pm Edited Date/Time 5/14/2015 5:55pm
My housemate and I went and rode out along the river once when I lived in Portland in '94 '95. The trails were pretty crazy tech. Like trials sections. We rode for a couple of hours and probably went a couple of miles and back. Perhaps we found the hardest stuff. Fun though. I never got to ride in the Ski Bowl itself, but another time we went and did a fairly long shuttle just below the bowl along the highway. It was good techy fun as well.

xyian
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5/14/2015 10:35pm
I love the 26 trails along the highway. Good stuff there. You can link that all the way from the Timberline to Town trail and then come down adjacent to the highway. Hell, that could be like a 20 mile descent!
5/14/2015 11:56pm
I have to tell you: there is one other MTB specific shop in PDX> 100 bucks a day, or 125 for two days. Southern Oregon has rad rad rad riding enough to keep you busy for 3 days, if you shuttle mt a, you do get that "takes all day to decend" feeling. i like that.
but around pdx, there is a bit more diversity and options. BUT you will have to drive out of town for the goods.

Good luck! and if you are riding on a wednesday or sunday, Hi-5 can show you around.
gregt9000
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Pensacola, FL US
5/15/2015 9:33am
Thanks for all the help everybody! And I just realized that since I'm only able to ride Friday 5/21 ski bowl won't be open!! So I'm back where I started, anybody know if there are any lift accessed trails in the PDX area that are open that day? Also, FWIW, I'll buy the beer that night if anybody's interested! Been wanting to check out Velo Cult Bike Shop/Museum.
xyian
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5/15/2015 12:20pm
SkiBowl is the only lift accessed riding within a LARGE radius of the area.
I'd advise just renting a bike and pedaling somewhere. Sandy Ridge has enough
trails to keep you busy for a day. The road just sucks to climb. But if you approach it
with a don't care attitude then it's fine.

Velo Cult is pretty cool. Plenty of taps and lots of old bikes to check out. Tioga Tension Disc anyone???

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