Season of sun

A look at some hiking, running and biking activities you can do this summer

With the summer fast approaching and the weather gods smiling down on the city, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy the sun in Portland. Some of the most popular excursions include running, biking and going on long hikes.

A look at some hiking, running and biking activities you can do this summer
Summer run: A light jog through one of Portland’s neighborhoods. Portland’s summer calendar is filled with plenty of outdoor activities.
Drew Martig / Vanguard Staff
Summer run: A light jog through one of Portland’s neighborhoods. Portland’s summer calendar is filled with plenty of outdoor activities.

With the summer fast approaching and the weather gods smiling down on the city, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy the sun in Portland. Some of the most popular excursions include running, biking and going on long hikes.

For both beginners and experienced runners, there are plenty of minor and major races happening this weekend and throughout the rest of the summer. This weekend, the Starlight 5K run will be held at the Lincoln High School track in downtown Portland. Participants will get the chance to run along the Starlight Parade route in front of more than 150,000 spectators. The Timberline marathon and half marathon will also be held on Saturday at Timothy Lake, Ore.

And even if competitive running isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of places where you can run recreationally. “The waterfront right here by campus is wonderful and convenient,” Academic and Student Rec Center health and fitness coordinator Erin Bransford said. “If you want to go longer, you can get on the Springwater corridor on the east side of the river, which runs right along the water and is beautiful.”

Andrea Potter, a community health junior and an avid runner, also feels that the downtown esplanade is a good place to run. “However, keep in mind that the busiest times are in the afternoon [and] early evening during summer,” she said. “I would suggest going earlier or later in the day to avoid pedestrians, dogs and large touring bikes that will ultimately make for a frustrating run. If you’re ambitious, the esplanade actually extends into Sellwood, and if you loop over the Sellwood bridge and come back into downtown Portland you will have completed close to 11 miles.”

Portland State students also have the option of being part of Running Around Portland, an ASRC recreation club. The RAP is a non-competitive long-distance running club open to runners of all levels.

On the other hand, for cycling enthusiasts, the ASRC has the PSU Cycling Club. Started in 2004, the cycling club has been supporting riders for both recreational and competitive cycling.

“Cycling is a very fun sport to get into,” geography senior and club officer Michael Paxson said. “It is one of the sports you can continue for the rest of your life, which is pretty appealing. We have one of the best teams in the conference. In this sense, we have both good riders, but more importantly there is a great atmosphere.”

For students interested in less formal rides, the Portland State University Bike Advocacy Collective organizes its weekly community bike ride on Sundays at 11 a.m. outside the PSU Bike Hub. Rides generally end around 2 p.m. unless there is a general consensus to do a longer ride.

“The Sunday community ride is meant to be casual and can last a few hours so snacks, water bottle, cash and rain gear are good things to bring,” PSUBAC officer and environmental studies major Margret Harburg said. “And of course no one can ride without a helmet, so bring a helmet!”

The outdoor program department at the ASRC holds its outdoor trips almost every week, and this weekend they are heading for a short hike near the natural pools of Bagby Hot Springs. This trip is open for PSU students, staff, faculty and the general public, but is currently full with nine participants signing up.

Hand-hewn long tubs and private soaking stalls await those who hike the 1.4 miles from the parking lot. The trail follows the Collawash River and passes through old-growth forest dominated by towering Douglas-fir trees. It should be noted that Bagby is open to the public and clothing is optional.

For more information about other upcoming hiking trips, you can contact the outdoor program office at the ASRC by calling 503-725-5668 or emailing [email protected]