Experience Portland's gardens in a deeper way on a bike tour that will delve into garden design as it is meant to access your higher self and touch all your senses \xe2\x80\x94 including your sense of spiritual connectedness. Our about five-hour tour includes admission to the Lan Su Chinese Garden and the Japanese Garden, guided meditations, and visits our guide's favorite downtown meditative gardens and places. The tour is meant as a philosophical and historical approach to the garden as it is used in urban spaces, but one with a significant sense of delight in the encounter. Eight to 12 miles of biking and an option for an uphill climb (with a sweet transit workaround if that's not your thing).
Meet in inner SE Portland. Bikes, helmets, snacks and garden admission provided.
You'll meet us at our inner SE Portland location at the corner of SE Main Street and 9th Avenue.
You and your group will ride across the river and into the heart of the city to visit a Northwest Portland favorite public garden, where we'll talk about the complexities of introducing natural beauty into urban spaces (and what had to be destroyed to make all this possible). After spending some time in contemplation, we'll ride into the heart of Northwest Portland, where we'll visit the Lan Su Chinese Garden. Your guide will introduce you to the garden in its historical and cultural perspective, not just as the Suzhou style translates into the urban Pacific Northwest context, but also in the history of the immigrant groups of all races who once lived in this neighborhood: Chinese, Japanese, European and before all these, Native American. We'll talk about the concepts of synesthesia and how the Mandarin poetry on the walls of the garden is meant to remind us to open up the barriers between our distinct senses and understand the garden in an entirely new way.
We'll have some time to experience the garden and tell stories about zen masters and how they approached the garden as center to meditative practices, then your guide will lead a short meditation, with a collaborative discussion of how meditation has worked into the lives of the participants. (Longstanding practice not required! The idea is to meet you where you are.)
After this immersive experience, you'll be back on your bikes, riding through the heart of downtown and onto a MAX train up to Washington Park, where a short uphill ride pays off in a long forest-lined downhill we call the "Zoobomb." If your group is up for uphill riding, we'll instead take the Nob Hill route into Washington Park.
We'll visit the Portland Japanese Garden, long called the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan, and explore it while talking about history of Japanese gardens, styles of gardens, and the philosophy with which their designers approach the symbolism of trees, rocks and plants. We'll talk about the zen (or "Sand and Stone") gardens and how the care of the garden itself is a meditative practice. We'll give our guests some time here to meditate on their own before continuing through the garden. In slow seasons, we'll give tour guests a chance to experience tea at the Umami Cafe (tea and snacks not included in the price).
Along the way back to the east side of the river, our guide will make one final stop at another urban garden space, built in a neighborhood designated as "blighted" by the city government in the mid-nineteenth century -- a common term used to claim eminent domain over marginalized immigrant communities.
From here, we'll ride over the Hawthorne Bridge, a one-of-a-kind crossing, and back to the inner SE, where we'll point you in the direction of our favorite lunch spots -- or more gardens if you haven't had enough!
The tuesday and wednesday, from 23rd of october to 26th of december,
The monday, thursday and friday, from 1st of november to 31st of december,
From monday to friday, from 11th of march to 31st of december 2019