Friday, August 29, 2014

Waud Bluff Trail

Here are some photos from Portland's short, steep, and shiny new Waud Bluff Trail, which connects the north end of Swan Island to the residential area above, near the University of Portland. The trail's only about 1000 feet long, but with an average 10-13% grade, and at the bottom there's a footbridge over railroad tracks, and there are steep stairs on the other side of the tracks. (The footbridge gets a post of its own, because, um, them's the rules here.) There's a further 700 feet of flat trail between the footbridge and the dead-end street next to the Coast Guard base.

There's a nice in depth article about the trail at BikePortland; when I visited, nearly all of the other people there were biking up the hill. The article follows the trail downhill, in the opposite direction to all the cyclists I saw, who were doing the climb and looking very determined about it. I hope none of them were expecting cheering crowds or KOM points at the top.

So there's a nice view of Swan Island and downtown from along the trail, which is the main reason I visited. The city thoughtfully installed a couple of turnouts so you can stop for the view and not be in anyone's way, which is what I did. And if you're riding the hill, the turnouts are a chance to get off your bike and give up and wait for the team car to come pick you up. While all the other cyclists ride by and roll their eyes and giggle as they steamroller their way up the hill like it's nothing. At least you get to laugh last when they inevitably test positive for EPO or 'roids or something.

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