I’ve always had a bit of an attitude about folks who lived in the city, assuming that they had simply chosen financial gain over quality of life. And when it came to outdoor sports, well, they weren’t “realâ€? outdoor athletes, because they didn’t live the life of the beach rat or the mountain town local.
Now I live within the city limits of a major metropolis. But it’s not the soulless yuppie enclave I had imagined it to be. It’s a city that cares deeply about limiting urban sprawl, about energizing it’s center through progressive public transportation programs and celebrations of the arts.
More than that, it’s also home to outdoor athletes that are just as passionate and proficient at their sports as any “feralâ€? surfers or skiers. The added benefit is that by being situated equidistant from the surf and the snow, the opportunities are exponentially increased and diversified. I can surf or ski within an hour and a half of my home. I’ve even thought about doing some sort of triathlon that included dawn patrol at the local surf break, cycling in Forest Park at lunch, and an afternoon/evening ski session to close out the day.
For those of us who take a more opportunistic approach to sport, who adjust their recreation of choice according to weather conditions and the best tool for the job, Portland is, in my opinion, the ultimate outdoor town.