Tall nets surround Sunset Golf Center’s driving range, their forgiving springiness easing wayward balls back toward the range's lush green. Here, golfers launch balls from the center’s 50 practice stalls, more than half of which are sheltered from the elements. Artificial-grass mats carpet each stall with blades soft enough to mimic real fairways but short enough to avoid attracting artificial cows, and across the grounds, a stone Statue of Liberty oversees play atop the 18-hole miniature-golf course. From his post at the center, golf instructor Sandy Sutherland helps both juniors and adults to hone their links prowess.
The Grill at Silver Creek Lanes treats bowlers and spectators to hearty American feasts. As diners watch bowlers haul spheres down alleys lit by blacklight and 135" projection screens, they can keep hunger at bay with slices of pizza and chicken strips. The menu also includes cheeseburgers and jumbo hot dogs, complemented by sides such as sample platters, cheese sticks, onion rings, and curly fries.
Bill Scheller took a leap into an untested space when he registered the domain name GolfClubs.com in 1995. The internet was still a big, giant question mark, but whereas most golf stores were constrained by space and stocked a limited amount of equipment, clothing, and robo-caddies, physical space was not an issue on the wild frontier of e-commerce. Bill set out to assemble the biggest selection number of irons, drivers, and apparel on the planet and couple that selection with great customer service.
Though the GolfClubs.com homepage looks different than it did in 1995, Bill's original vision remains the same. Golfers of all stripes can look to the website for equipment from major brands such as Callaway, TaylorMade, and NIke?indeed, just about anything that helps them play the game they love. Players can also head to the company's brick-and-mortar location in Portland to sample that same selection in person instead of online.
When Jimmy DeBatty isn't racing downhill trails or learning new BMX tricks, the bike specialist can be found in the workshop of Fat Tire Farm, keeping his customers’ cycles in shape. Along with the rest of the Fat Tire Farm team, Jimmy has been turning wrenches and testing gears for more than 10 years.
In addition to performing tune-ups, overhauls, and routine bike physicals, the Fat Tire Farm team stocks a range of bikes and necessities from makers including Ibis, Specialized, Giant, Santa Cruz, Dainese, Fox, and Dakine. Though they specialize in mountain bikes, they’re also able to equip riders with gear for cross-country cycling, free riding, urban riding, and downhill racing.
Western Bikeworks' staff of avid cyclists caters to riders of all needs with a repair shop, fleet of rentals, and 10,000 square feet stocked with practical parts and gear. Shoes, bike tires, and seats line the walls of the sprawling warehouse, where cyclists can peruse lightweight apparel or hundreds of road-ready cycles. In the shop, mechanics perform tune-ups and build custom wheels for riders who wish to modify their machine or emulate the massive front wheels of 19th-century velocipedes. And in the onsite Corsa Cafe, staff members perk up riders with invigorating pours of Portland's own Oblique Coffee Roasters coffee.
21st Avenue Bicycles' knowledgeable staff oversees an inventory of handsome, speedy bikes hand-built with parts from manufacturers such as Raleigh, Dolce, and Vittoria Randonneur. The charming, simple brick-walled shop bustles with activity as mechanics build new wheels with a Phil Wood spoke cutter, show customers through the wooden racks of brand-new rides, and carry out full-service repair overhauls. As they true wheels, fix flats, adjust brakes, and remove hibernating snakes from handlebars, the friendly technicians exude an infectious joy as they work, promoting a workplace atmosphere in which high-fives are liberally doled out and popping wheelies is actively encouraged.