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Bicycle Portland

New Old Town Portland

The adage “what’s old is new again” is surely the case in Portland’s Old Town. A small and dense area known for its historic cast iron fronted buildings, Old Town encompasses both Chinatown and the Downtown blocks closest to the Willamette River. For almost a decade now Pedal Bike Tours has been located near the heart of this neighborhood and we’ve seen lots of transitions. That’s why it’s time to look at what’s new in old town Portland.

If you’re visiting Portland and looking for things to do in Portland, especially downtown, there’s no better neighborhood to get a feel for both old Portland and new Portland. It’s a region of dichotomies, just like the city itself. Historic structures sit next to cranes erecting future buildings, hot dance clubs are nestled next to homeless centers. It’s authentic Portland because it embraces both its history and its future. Here’s our top stops to get a taste of both.

Old Portland…

Portland Outdoor Store: Let the neon sign with a bucking bronco entice you into this two-story western supplies and clothing store. Take selfies with a big-brim hat, ogle the massive amounts of saddles, try on some cowboy boots, and get lost in the aisles of this century old Portland icon.

Oregon Leather CoLooking for some leather? How about a skunk skull? No? Maybe a rabbit pelt? Even if these aren’t on your shopping list, walking into this 110 year old family owned business is a trip back in time. Inhale the forgotten fragrance of raw leather, ponder the potential of making your own moccasins, and maybe leave with a handmade wallet or belt. At the least, you’ll have glimpsed Old Town Portland unchanged and without ego. 

Voodoo Donuts: Alright, it may only be 15 years old rather than 150, but it harkens back to a gritty time when Burnside was a no-go tourist zone and the Paris Theater

next door was catering to “adults,” mostly men if you know what we mean, not the artsy types it now attracts. In fact, it’s possible the neighbors were an influence when Voodoo came up with their tagline, “The Magic Is In The Hole.” With surly service and a cash-only policy, Voodoo maintains its anarchistic, punk rock roots. So yes, it’s old school Portland… with a new school line out front.


New Portland…

Pine Street Market: The city’s first food hall, we often describe this new marketplace

as affordable and simple street food concepts from some of Portland’s best chefs and restaurateurs. Warm up with Marukin’s authentic ramen, fill up with rotisserie chicken from Pollo Bravo (sibling to Toro Bravo), grab a slice of cheese pizza at

Checkerboard (from James Beard Award winner Ken Forkish), and finish it off with  dipped soft-serve cone at Salt & Straw’s Wiz Bang Bar. The best part? They’re literally across the street from us!!

Pine Street Market through Pedal’s window. And what do you know! Construction 🙂

Mother’s Bistro: As famous for their french toast as they are for their breakfast lines, this Portland establishment is popular for a reason. It’s mom’s recipes re-imagined with a gourmet twist and a swanky dining room – still just as comfortable though, because as the restaurant’s saying goes, “It’s all about the love.” As of early February 2019, Mother’s moved into the more spacious and beautiful digs below the Embassy Suites in Old Town. That means a shorter wait time for a table, and now only 2 blocks from our shop. Thanks, Mom! I mean, chef Lisa Schroeder.


Pedal Rolls Out Portland Pot Tour

A new form of tourism is sparking up in Oregon, and Pedal Bike Tours is leading the way – marijuana tours.

Guests purchasing pot on October 1st.

Guests purchasing pot on October 1st.

With recreational marijuana now legal in the state, Pedal Bike Tours is giving guests the chance to pull back the curtain on Oregon’s thriving marijuana industry with the launch of the state’s first cannabis-centered tour, the Portland Pot Tour.

Did you know hemp was one of the Willamette Valley’s first commercial crops? The Portland Pot Tour covers how Oregon’s fortunes have long been tied to the cannabis plant, bringing us up to legalization today. So in addition to the fascinating history, riders on the tour will learn the current laws for purchasing and consuming cannabis products, as well as get direct access to some of the finest pot available – and we’ll do it all by bike!

“People are curious about legal weed, and we’re excited to show them what’s happening,” says Pedal Bike Tours owner Todd Roll. “Who knows if this will be the state’s newest tourism draw, but either way, this ride will be pure fun.”

The relaxed 9-mile ride takes riders to some favorite dispensaries, like Canabliss and Gras, as well as legendary head shops like Third Eye Shoppe and Mellow Mood. Guests can browse and shop for the finest locally-grown and organic strains, hand-blown art glass and carved wooden pipes. The tour also includes delicious “pairings” with a couple munchy stops, including ice cream (yes: vegan options are available).

A stop at Canabliss dispensary in SE Portland.

A stop at Canabliss dispensary in SE Portland.

Prices include a bike, helmet, guided tour, food and a joint of local marijuana at the end of the tour ($69). Riders will not consume marijuana on the tour itself, but are welcome to purchase products for later.

Date: Daily
Time: 3:00PM to 6:00PM
Where: starting at Pedal Bike Tours, 133 SW 2nd Avenue

We hope you can join us for this one-of-a-kind bike tour!

Pedal's new limited edition Portland Pot Tour t-shirt. Get 'em while you can!

Pedal’s new limited edition Portland Pot Tour t-shirt, available at our shop.

Oregon Brewery Tour – Pedal to the Pubs

There’s a reason our Oregon Brewery Tour was named one of the “10 Best Guided Bike Tours in the USA” by Bicycling Magazine. With more than 60 breweries in the city limits, there’s no better way to taste through our hoppy, sour and delicious beer varieties  than by bike!

Since July is Oregon Craft Beer Month, it’s a great time to either take the brewery tour, or grab a bike and go sipping around the city.  Most breweries in the state hold special events regularly through the month, so be prepared to try something new on tap, or just revel in the celebratory spirit of the month. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of Oregon Craft Beer Month resources below.

And to give you a taste of our Oregon Brewery Tour, the talented team at Anthem Media put you behind the handlebars on a fun, short video of our beloved beer tour.

Some great resources while you explore Portland’s beer scene:

  • Travel Portland brief overview of OCBM has great links to top events, festivals and breweries. 
  • Oregon Craft Beer Month’s official website lists hundreds of events across the state
  • Brewpublic is an industry favorite for beer events and news. 


Bike Rentals: Fun Day Trips in Portland

Here at Pedal Bike Tours, we often rent bicycles to people who are only in town for a day or few. Portland is famously bicycle-friendly, so when people want to ride, they often come to us for a bike rental. We have a well-maintained fleet of nearly a hundred bicycles that can accommodate adults and children of any size. We’ve put babies in trailers all the way to NBA star LeBron James on one of our tallest bicycles.  Just today we fulfilled someone’s lifelong dream of riding a bicycle built for two!

Pedal on the Willamette River Loop

One of the most popular rides for bike rentals starts just a couple blocks from Pedal Bike Tours on the Willamette River. We give great directions on our bike map of Portland when you drop in, but you can also follow the city map (pdf) of this suggested route. Once you are on the river, we direct you north to cross the bike & pedestrian level of the Steel Bridge (pictured below), and then south along the Eastbank Esplanade to Oaks Bottom. Oaks Bottom is a wildlife refuge with a bike path running through it. From there, you can turn around and head back on either side of the river.  Riding along the river is great because these days, it’s a car-free experience!  

Steel bridge: Ideal place to ride a rental bike

View of Steel Bridge bike/ped undercrossing from above.  Photo credit: Steve Morgan

Ride bikes up to the Rose Garden

Another popular ride we recommend for tourists renting bikes at Pedal Bike Tours is the ride through downtown Portland, up the hill, and into the Washington Park International Rose Test Garden.  We can mark up a bike map and send you on your way!  Here is a self-guided tour (pdf) at the Rose Garden.   While you’re up in Washington Park, you can also consider stopping in at the Japanese Gardens.

Rent a bicycle and ride to the Rose Garden

International Rose Test Garden. Can you spot the bicycle? Photo Credit: PiccoloNamek

Portland is a great city for bike rentals and we look forward to seeing you next time you’re in town!

Join us on Valentine’s Day for a Chocolate Shop Ride

What better way to spend a romantic evening than cruising alongside your loved one on a bicycle with a belly full of delicious chocolate?

This easy ride will take us from our shop downtown to NE 28th Ave. for a visit to Missionary and Alma Chocolates. We’ll take our time browsing and tasting before heading back downtown for a stop at Cacao: Drink Chocolate. Come taste a sample of Portland’s budding chocolate scene.

The cost of the tour includes bikes, helmets, rain gear if necessary, lights and a guide.

Adults $20.  Children $12.

Departs Thursday, February 14th at 5PM.

Ends at 7PM.

Book by phone or online at:

Oregon Tours

1 (503) 243-2453
133 sw 2nd avenue portland, or, 97204