Cycle Portland, Road Ride, The Simpsons Ride
Matt Groening, creator of the popular television series, The Simpsons, grew up in the West Hills of Portland and named many of his characters after local streets. Take this bike ride to explore his childhood neighborhood and get to know both the Simpsons characters and the city in a whole new way. Challenging hills and breathtaking scenery lie ahead as you ride through urban forests, to the working waterfront, and through quaint residential neighborhoods. Character references are provided in parentheses.
Smooth, paved streets, many with bike lanes, in downtown and North Portland. Steep hills and narrow roads in the West Hills.
Urban traffic can be heavy at commuter rush hours. Low traffic throughout the West Hills neighborhoods and up to Council Crest Park.
By car, take U.S. Route 26 to exit 72 toward Zoo/Forestry Center. On-street parking.
By public transportation, from downtown Portland take TriMet MAX Blue or Red line trains toward Hillsboro or Beaverton and disembark at Washington Park.
Food and Drink
There are many convenience stores, cafés and pubs located in downtown Portland. Restrooms are available between the TriMet MAX stations in Washington Park.
Duniway Lilac Park, George Himes Park, Council Crest, PSU campus, the Pearl District, and downtown Portland are all readily accessible.
The Oregon Zoo is located very near Matt Groening’s childhood home and this is the starting point of the bike ride. He attended Ainsworth Elementary School and Lincoln High School both located in the southwest quadrant of the city. Travel up through the West Hills to the summit of Council Crest before taking the steep plunge down Montgomery Drive (Montgomery Burns, evil boss) into downtown Portland. Along the way take time to stop and look out over the five mountain peaks at Council Crest Park and marvel at the thick moss clinging to the trees along Fairmount Boulevard.
You will quickly move from urban forest to downtown commercial district and cross both NW Kearney (Kearney Zywicz, bully) and NW Flanders (Ned Flanders, next door neighbor) streets before turning onto Lovejoy (Reverend Timothy Lovejoy). Cross the Broadway Bridge and head toward north Portland to cross N Van Houten Street (Milhouse Van Houten, Bart’s best friend) before you pick up the Peninsula Crossing Trail. A short ride through the New Columbia neighborhood will bring you to N Woolsey Street. Come back through downtown via Broadway and begin the second set of challenging hill climbs when you take a left onto Terwilliger Boulevard (Sideshow Bob Terwilliger, evil sidekick of Krusty the Klown).
More hills are ahead as you ride through the Oregon Health and Science University campus and up Marquam Hill. The lush green forest will once again surround you along Fairmount and Humphreys boulevards on your way back to Washington Park. Under-achieving cyclists will find themselves huffing and puffing up the steeper hills at the end of this ride, but both Bart Simpson and Matt Groening would cheer on those who accept the difficult challenge of the West Hills.
51.79 km / 32.181 mi
660 m / 2,165 ft
664 m / 2,179 ft
324 m / 1,064 ft