After a beautiful and relaxing train ride we arrive in Portland, land of bikes, beer, books, bridges, beans and alliteration : ) We’ve visited Portland several times during the last few years and have fallen in love with it. The bike scene here is spectacular and makes a logical launch point for any bike adventure.

At Union Station, we have to carry our panniers and bags to the luggage pick up area. It is not a graceful maneuver. I have my handlebar bag and duffle criss-crossing my chest and am holding a pair of panniers on either hand. We have to stop every 100 feet and put them down.

When we get to the luggage area there area we see a few other people re-assembling their bikes. After we get all are things together we push off! Finally we’re pedaling. As nice as the train trip was, it was good to be on a bike.

Only a few miles on the road and we run into Brian on his commute home, “Are you guys PathLessPedaled?” How cool is that?! We chat for a bit and he tells us about how he and his wife did a 6 month trip on bicycle crossing the country. We split off and start to head off to where we are staying for the next few days.

We stop for a bit at A Better Cycle, a small bike shop cooperative. Outside the shop, someone has a home made Long John bicycle (or from CAT?). Of course, I geek out and take a few snaps. While we’re there, I get a message from DonnaB a reader of the page telling me that she has a pair of locks we can borrow for the next few days. I give her a call and as luck would have it, she only lives a few blocks from A Better Cycle!

She comes by a few minutes later with the locks and we chat for a bit. We head back to her place where she also lends us a bike map of the city. Donna fills us in on all the utility centered bike shops in town, some bikey events this weekend and some good places to eat.

We then push off to where we’re staying and meet our gracious hosts for the next few days.

It has been a whirlwind experience the last few weeks to get to this point and it’s nice to be here. Thank you everyone for all your support and kind words during the very beginning of our journey!