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the.nation.needs

Moving to Portland

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Hello,

 

I'm relocating to Portland in January and was hoping to pick the brains of this list's members.

 

Specifically I'd like to get an idea of what the climbing community is like. Being car free I spend a lot of time in the gym. How do the two primary gyms compare? I understand that PRG has lead climbing and TR but how much bouldering do they have? Does The Circuit have any other facilities of note? Cardio machines and the like? What about the atmosphere at the two?

 

About Portland in general, I'm in my late 20's and moving from Boston. Anyone familiar with both able to fill me in on which areas of Portland would be most like either Cambridge or Jamaica Plain?

 

Uh, I think that's enough for now.

 

Thanks a lot for the help.

 

Of course I'll be looking for people to climb with as well. Not sure how the grades compare out west but I lead up to 5.11 and boulder up to V5 on the East Coast. Fairly laid back but I take safety seriously.

 

-ryan

 

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Hello,

 

How do the two primary gyms compare?

 

Two gyms? There are four that I count. PRG, The circuit (which is just bouldering….boring), Stone works, and Club Sport. Club sport is the biggest and badest of the gyms and the most expensive.

 

 

What about the atmosphere at the two?

 

If you go to the Circuit….make sure you wear a cool beanie hat….that way you will fit in and be cool.

 

 

About Portland in general, I'm in my late 20's and moving from Boston. Anyone familiar with both able to fill me in on which areas of Portland would be most like either Cambridge or Jamaica Plain?

 

One word. Hawthorn. Move there. Its in SE.

 

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I grew up around Boston before moving here, and I think NW portland is a bit more like Cambridge, in the sense that it's a little more upscale.

 

Hell, all of Portland, from the NW to North Portland and NE and SE out to about 60th is a lot like Cambridge and Jamaica Plain. outside of that, the area takes on a character more like that of Fall River mixed with a bit of South Jersey.

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assuming that you'll be living in the city and without a car, the other 2 gyms (Stoneworks and club sport) will probably be too far from you.

 

PRG does have a bouldering area, but of course it's tiny compared to the circuit. The circuit does have some other work-out equipment.

 

Personally, I'd say that the decision between PRG & the Circuit should depend on whether you prefer bouldering or roped climbing. If you're more of a boulderer and can do without having any roped climbs, then get a membership at the Circuit. If you need to toprope/lead on a regular frequency, then go to PRG.

 

if you know you're gonna spend a lot of time at the gym, take that into account when choosing a neighborhood too. living on the east side or downtown, you'd be closer to PRG. living in SW would put you closer to the circuit.

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I don't know for gyms too much, the Portland Rock Gym was the second rock gym in the country.

 

There is one more called club sport as well that is a converted Costco and very trendy and expensive as well.

 

Now...the local scene is pretty good for climbers running around...given how shitty the weather tends to be. There tends to be good local real climbing. Maybe Broughtons is the best for close to town, Beacon is if the weather is good and its a weekend, you've probably heard of Smith Rocks, and sometimes mid-week, this group of hosers gets out after work at Rocky Butte too which is right inside the city with all the attendant issues that brings: you can read this thread to see how that went last year... PDX climber after work link

 

Course these are primarily crack routes.

 

Here's PRG Link to Portland Rock Gym

 

Welcome to Portland.

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PRG is probably the easiest accessed gym for you if you don't have a car. It's right on Burnside, which is the street that bisects portland into north and south quadrants. there's plenty of bus lines that run by that area. Not to mention you can take your bike on the trimet lightrails and there are bike carriers on the front of all the buses. PRG also has a small gym room with free weights, benches, and some machines. They have some cardio machines also, 2 treadmills, 2 ellipticals, and a stairmaster.

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as billcoe noted, the PRG was the second rock gym in the country, and even though it has undergone a number of transformations since it first opened, it has nevetheless remained at a sort of late 80s level of sophistication as far as climbing gyms go. i'm a member at the circuit gym because the 'cool beanie hats' don't seem to intimidate me even though i'm a few years older thann most of the people who climb there.

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Thanks for all the info and help.

 

I've looked into the Hawthorne area and it seems to be along the lines of what I'm looking for. Thank you very much.

 

I was leaning more towards the circuit, you kind of reaffirmed my thoughts. Maybe I'll get a regular gym membership as well, or just ride my bike more. I'll be sure to buy a Red Sox beanie, so I can fit in there yet maintain some east Coast mystique. Do those knit hats w/ the brim count?

 

Yes, Google is a phenomenal search engine. In fact, not only is it how i found this forum, it's how I learned about PRG and The Circuit. As well it allowed me to more or less rule out StoneWorks and Club Sport. However, it lacks both the human touch of personal experience and the ability to converse. Did you know Firefox has a convenient Google search window in the upper right of its navigation bar?

 

Serious thanks to everyone with legit info. I'm really getting excited for the move.

 

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There are a few members of Red Sox Nation in town - the owner of the Morrison Hotel at 7th and Morrison decked the halls with Ortiz jerseys during the Series. If you move to the Hawthorne area, you'll be a short bike ride away.

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Check in again when you show up, maybe post to the link I put up above.

 

something like "I'm hereeeee!"

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Don't get killed on your bike here. The drivers in Boston are probably the most pugilistic in the country, but at least they're awake and focused on trying to get somewhere. If you get hit on a bike in Boston the person was most likely aiming for you - that's not the case here. More likely they simply forgot they were the one driving - or, god forbid, it was raining and they forgot how to drive in the rain. It was quite an ugly toll last year so be careful.

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No shit. I think that theres a lot of bikes here is one reason for that extraordinary visibility of that issue, but sometimes it seems close. My boy was riding the city bus home @a month ago and was treated to the sad sight of a cyclist still lying dead under a stopped garbage truck after the wheels had rolled right over dude.

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My personal opinion is that Joseph is giving Boston drivers way too much credit, and that you can probably chalk the difference in fatalities up to Portland having more cyclists on the road throughout the year (on a population adjusted basis) than you have in Boston.

 

But back on topic - best of luck in the new town. Just out of curiosity, why did you chose to move?

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No, I've lived in a lot of places, Boston being one of them. Know somewhere else where folks who want to make a left turn go halfway across the road blocking oncoming traffic from the left for a long time until they can make a left? Or that bump you at a stop sign/light if you take too long. They're a lot of things, but asleep and incompetent like Portland drivers aren't two of them. Short of old folks in Ft. Lauderdale, pdx drivers are hands down the worst drivers in the country, at least the cities I've lived in or spent any time in.

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I've been riding to work each and every working day for ~2.5 years, and have seen dipshits performing the very same idiotic left-turn-chicken move that you have described almost kill an old-woman, a mother with two small children, and see the aftermath of at least one collision per month at the intersection where this kind of idiocy is most frequent. Asleep and incompetent? No. Reckless and stupid? Yes. Not sure this necessarily tilts the score in their favor with regards to the likelihood that they'll kill a pedestrian.

 

During the summer I see a fair number of bike-commuters, but nothing like I saw in Seattle. This time of year, I often ride both directions without seeing another soul on a bike.

 

Not sure how much it matters to me when I'm on a bike - since I've always assumed that motorists:

 

1)Can't see me.

2)Will intentionally run me over if given the opportunity.

 

As a citizen/driver, it gives me one more reason not to stay in this town a second longer than I need to.

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It seems reckless, but everyone there does it and folks for some reason tolerate it and don't just drive into them. When you see it done elsewhere you can almost bet they're Boston transplants begging to be t-boned.

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"pdx drivers are hands down the worst drivers in the country, at least the cities I've lived in or spent any time in."

 

You have never lived in Spokane Washington and had to deal with commuters from Idaho then... They're angry AND ruthless.

 

I'm from pdx originally and live in vanc wa now. spokane area is worst I've seen by far.

 

BTW, I almost got picked off by a city bus on hwy 99 in sept during the bike challenge. It was all I could do to keep from getting sucked under it as it blew by me at 50mph and me with nowhere to go... damned near a statistic. scared the shit out of me.

 

ryan good luck and welcome to the neighborhood.

 

d

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My wife is from Spokane and Post Falls, those folks pale compared to the commutes in Boston and I prefer angry and ruthless to incompetent and unaware any day. Both 99 and 30 are packed with out-of-control drivers in the absence of bikes. Hell, I'm on high alert when I'm in a car on either one.

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"Know somewhere else where folks who want to make a left turn go halfway across the road blocking oncoming traffic from the left for a long time until they can make a left? Or that bump you at a stop sign/light if you take too long."

 

Oh man this bugged me to know end. I always wished I had the money to just run into people and make the point.

 

I have to say I was excited to move from one of the least friendly bicycling cities to one of the best. It's good to know.

 

Boston it seems to me is very aggresive city to drive in. It took me awhile to realize there is in fact a method to the madness. It's somewhat difficult to reign that in now that I'm driving in the Northwest again.

 

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Being from Idaho I have to pass the buck onto all of the Californians that relocated to Coeur d'Alene. Most of the native drivers I know had to learn pretty quick with the winters here.

 

Thanks for the welcome. I'm looking forward to the change in pace.

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M Just out of curiosity, why did you chose to move?

 

I was regularly working 50+ hour weeks sitting in front of a computer doing special effects.

 

I'm from the Northwest and wanted to get back to the area and find something else to do. I think they call it a quarter life crisis.

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"Being from Idaho I have to pass the buck onto all of the Californians that relocated to Coeur d'Alene. Most of the native drivers I know had to learn pretty quick with the winters here.

"

 

Good point. I met my wife in Ca and brought her to Oregon in '75. She almost killed us both several times while behind the wheel before actually learning to drive. Two years of driving down there taught her nothing...

 

She's an excellent driver now, and yes, we're still married...

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My wife is from Spokane and Post Falls, those folks pale compared to the commutes in Boston and I prefer angry and ruthless to incompetent and unaware any day. Both 99 and 30 are packed with out-of-control drivers in the absence of bikes. Hell, I'm on high alert when I'm in a car on either one.

 

How true. When I moved here from the Midwest five years ago, the locals blamed the bad driving here on the Californians. Maybe true to an extent, but I think the natives here do their fair share for sure.

 

On the subject of Portland, welcome. It's a pretty nice city to live in, as far as cities go, bad driving aside.

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