Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Gravity Assist Running and Walking in Portland Oregon
Gravity Assist Running and Walking in Portland Oregon Going All Down Hill. Portland Oregon Offers Runners and Walkers an Alternative to Gyms and Machine Exercise with Gravity Assistance Lex Loeb Contributor Network . It maybe though of as cheating to get a ride to the top of a hill or a small mountain so that you can get exercises running or walking all down hill. Reality is that if you can get a ride to the top or near the top it is a fun way to get exercises without the uphill climb. Portland offers some underutilized public transit links to get the ride you need. Particularly high in elevation is the Council Crest 51 bus route. The transit authority runs a vastly under unitized half size bus on that route that runs practically empty most of the time. They used to run a full size bus on the route and probably should switch to a mini-van give the few people one encounters on one of these bus runs up or down the hill. The city seems to run this line just as a show piece and because it may occasionally serve the editor or publisher of the Oregonian Newspaper when they are not driving to work downtown. The great thing about the route, except on Sunday when it does not run is it gets you up near the top of Council Crest which is nearing 2000 ft in elevation and looms above downtown Portland with a Portland water tower facility and a TV/ Radio tower in the middle of a park. To get to the top of Council Crest you will have to walk or run a short distance up hill . Once you get there there is one of the best territorial views in the city. The park links to the SAM Jackson system of hillside trails that can take you though the woods to OHSU or Downtown. All roads from council crest lead downhill and a number of them back to downtown. So you have your choice of how you want to run back down . There is even a trail that you can get to up there that connects to the Portland zoo over on SW Patton Street near the gas station down the hill toward downtown. The council crest bus has a schedule you can look up online at www.trimet.org so you don't waste time waiting for the bus. The bus has an odd route where it actually goes down the west side of the hill away before it gets up to council crest so you should ask the bus driver where to get off to get to council crest fastest and run that part up hill or just start going down hill from that point instead of going all the way to the top. The city of Portland has trail maps you can find online. Look up the sam jackson trail and or the wildwood trail. The two trail systems actually connect across West Burnside street. A different bus can get up near the Pittock mansions to run down one of the forest park trails that is hidden on the high side of the parking lot above the Pittock mansion. It is almost all down hill from there unless you make the mistake of going uphill in the wrong direction further below. If you make a mistake you can end up back on the flats on the downtown side of the hill and keep running back to where you want to go or you can find a bus. If you already have a bus pass it is certainly worth giving the down hill gravity assist exercise a try. There are other buses that offer lower elevation up hill starting points for runners and wa People have begun to discover the extensive trails and do take the bus up to run down in packs. Fortunately for down hill runners and walkers there are more choices. There is a bus or the max you can take to the zoo or up through Washington Park . This offers an all down hill experience on multiple routes for runners and walkers. The Barnes road route #20 offers pretty good elevation runs down if you get off up near the top by the cemetery but before the bus starts going down hill on Barnes road in the other direction unless you are planning to run back down away from downtown. There is a bus route that can get you up near lewis and Clark college and that offers access to trails that go down hill though Tryon Creek State Park that leads down to Lake Oswell. The bus or tram up to OHSU leads to trails that go down hill and stairways to run or walk down that can take you on a variety of routes via Twilliger Blvd which has a well used running trail on the level as opposed to down hill. There is also a bus that takes you part way up mt scott to the veterans memorial cemetery level where you can also find route to walk and run back down with gravity assistance. Downtowner's sick of running along the waterfront should definitely catch the 51 bus to council crest and try running back toward downtown on the various trails or just down along some of the residential streets. Skate boarders and bikers have also discovered how the bus can offer them a gravity assistance ride all down hill. Not everyone is found of skate boarders coming down the middle of the street blocking traffic. I once saw one riding down standing on his head--the idiot. Before the bus route was discovered by them you would see the skate board riders hitching rides up the hill to ride down. on some of the trails and route runners and walkers can do several miles mostly down hill. If that is not enough exercise you can catch the next bus back up to the top. .