Top 10 Cities for Cycling
It makes sense that Portland, a city with the highest percentage of bicycle commuters, would also be a great bike city for travelers. Serious cyclers will notice as soon as they touch down at PDX, where they'll see the on-site airport bike assembly station. More casual bikers might observe Portland drivers behave a bit differently than back home: “Everyone who visits will notice that cars will stop in the middle of the road for you,” says Todd Roll, owner of Pedal Bike Tours. Portland is one of only three cities nationwide (and the only one with a population over 200,000) to be designated at the platinum level for bike-friendly communities by the League of American Bicyclists. The city has 97 on-street bicycle parking corrals (with space for 10-20 bikes each), and numerous resources for mapping your route, both in paper form and online. Plans are moving forward for a bike-share program to launch in spring 2014. An ambitious citywide initiative will increase the bikeable network to nearly 1,000 miles of bikeways by 2030, as well as expand bike parking options, update street signs, and promote bike safety and education so that Portland continues to be as bike-friendly as possible. “We may be number one in North America, but we’re laughable compared to Europe or Asia,” says Roll.
319 miles of bikeways, including bike lanes, greenways, paved park paths, and cycle tracks, and the city plans to install another 50 miles within the next few years.
Rent a Bike
There are over a dozen shops that rent cycles, from vintage wheels to tandem bicycles to mountain bikes. Try Portland Bicycle Tours ($5 for 1 hour) or Pedal Bike Tours ($8 for 1 hour) for low-cost rentals and fun guided rides throughout the city.
Try This Route
“The very first place that we send people from the shop when they rent bikes is the Eastbank Esplanade riverfront loop,” says Roll. “Those are beautiful, scenic, natural rides.”