Get to Know Your Neighbors!

Evan Ross at Cycle Portland

Tell us about yourself and your business. What makes it unique?
My name is Evan, and I started Cycle Portland in 2008. We provide sightseeing tours by bike and also have bike rentals, repair, and accessories at our storefront in the Rich Block building on NW 2nd Ave. I studied at the Evergreen State College in Washington and originally trained for mountain guiding and outdoor education. While studying abroad I took bike tours in several different countries including Nicaragua, Spain, and even Slovenia and found it an ideal way to explore a new city while learning more about the local culture. I decided to move to Portland after I had visited while re-supplying on the Pacific Crest Trail and found that no one was offering bike tours, so after I finished the trail I came back and started Portland’s original Bike Tour and Rental company!

What do you like about being in Old Town?
So many things. I really enjoy the access to the Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the Esplanade. It’s great to be able to get to work without having to drive and we have great transportation options in this neighborhood with the Light Rail and the Transit Mall. I also really enjoy the classic architecture. We have some beautiful historic buildings and it’s great to see them get restored.

What else do you like to do in the neighborhood, besides work?
I like to try and visit and support other small businesses in the neighborhood. I’ll grab coffee at Floyd’s, a pint at Pints, or lunch at Aprisa and check in with the staff or other business owners. I never went to business school so I’ve learned by observing others and asking questions.

How does your business contribute to the neighborhood?
My staff and I really take pride in our customer service and we try to provide products and services for the local commuters and cyclists as well as our tourism customers. We do a lot of service and repair for local companies and keep our customers stocked on lights, locks, and other accessories for their ride. We also provide a local business discount for employees of Old Town businesses so people can stop by to ask about that if they are interested.

On a personal note, I am a board member of the Old Town Community Association and got involved because of my concerns around livability issues, housing, and public safety matters. These are complex issues and there are no simple solutions but I felt like this was one way I could contribute. I like working with a team of other individuals that want to make our community and our neighborhood a healthier, safer place for everyone.