This Way West came about as a way to keep track of the cycling routes that I managed to come across when I was living in Portland, OR. The original idea of the site was to build a database of rides in and around the Portland area that I could reference for training logs and others could reference for their own cycling expeditions.
Through the timely interference of a childhood friend, a broken bike and a need to get out of the office as much as possible the site has evolved. No longer focusing on cycling, or Portland, This Way West is designed to provide a comprehensive guide to restaurants, cycling, coffee shops, breweries, running, mountain biking, photography and whatever else I can come up. My current goal with the site is simple: I want you to be able to arrive in a city or town, come to the site, and not only find a good restaurant, bar or coffee shop, but a great run, fun urban feature, or amazing ride that showcases the town while providing a great workout. I am always looking for new things to do and new places to visit; as my knowledge grows, so does the site.
Thanks to Ryan Putnam (www.rypearts.com), a phenomenal graphic designer/artist/web guru, TWW has become a full fledged website. The site is still a work in progress, so if a link doesn’t work or a section looks unfinished it is because the link does not work and the section is unfinished. We are continuing to update and adapt the site to make it as user friendly as possible.
The site is currently organized into the following sections, with more to come:
All of the published routes on TWW have generally been explored at least three to four times allowing me to provide accurate descriptions of not only the route, but when the route tends to get busy, what you should watch out for and how you can branch out from the route to explore the area. Anyone can throw on a pair of running shoes and run 10 blocks. I want to emphasize routes that showcase a town or city and its best features and help you explore the nooks and crannies that make cities and towns great.
I am currently using Google Maps to map everything. The description and directions for each route are written to be the most accurate we can make them, but things can always change so make sure to do a little recon of your own before heading out. And if you find something new, or an inaccuracy in the route, please let us know.
Like the routes, I only review places that I have been to on more than one occasion, in order to avoid the possibility of a random fluke that distorts my view of a place. My opinions are not based on any sort of food education or nuanced palate, just the experience of eating out a lot and knowing what I like and dislike. For the most part I only review places that I like in some way; the place as a whole might not be great, but it features one or more elements that make it worthwhile. For instance, Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs has a wonderful beer tap, but their food and service is abysmal. So if you don’t see a restaurant or coffee shop reviewed it’s either because I haven’t been there yet, or I simply do not like it. I’m not interested in working through every single restaurant in Denver or Seattle. I’m interested in finding great spots and showcasing them.
The Daily Feed
The Daily Feed is TWW’s daily morning post that is a collection of links from around the internet that I find interesting, helpful or just worth spreading the word about. Generally the topics stick to things like restaurants, coffee, outdoor stuff, athletes, training tips and so on, but I’m open to any and all interesting stories. If you have something you’d like to share, shoot me an email (email@example.com) and let me know.
The articles on TWW will range from reviews to race reports to photo essays to “long form” pieces focused on the outdoor world. The goal is to provide content that is interesting, fun to read and informative. Of all of the sections, the articles section of the site is where I hope regular readers will help provide content. If you have an idea for an article, a cool place to check out or just want to submit something of your own please let me know.
The destinations section of the sites feature the cities and towns that I’ve managed to produce enough content for to warrant their own dedicated section. Within each destination you can sort the posts by routes and reviews. We are still working on these sections but eventually I hope that they will be your first stop when landing in one of the cities or towns that TWW features.
I hope you find the site entertaining and helpful. You can contact me with suggestions, contributions or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy!