I'm on my way to Bellingham, WA for the start of the ride, but before leaving the fare city of Portland, OR I wanted to share a few interesting facts and photos for those not familiar with Portland's biking culture. First the facts:
|Hopefully this won't be me!|
- 6% of Portland commuters go by bike. This is the highest percentage of bike commuters for any U.S. city of similar size and translates to more than 17,000 workers who bike to work. Nationally, only 0.5% of commuters bicycle to work.
- 80% of bicyclists in Portland wear helmets and 35% of bicyclists are female.
- There are 319 miles of designated bikeways in Portland, with more than 50 more miles funded to be installed in the next few years.
- Portland was named a “platinum” bicycle friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists – its highest rating. Portland is also the #1 bike-friendly city by Bicycling magazine.
Given the number of bicyclists, is it any wonder that Portland is notorious for its bike fun. They host huge bike-related festivals and events, including the 3 week long Pedalpalooza. Now combine this with the greatest number of breweries per capita than any other city in the U.S. and what do you get? Pedalounge. That's right! Pedalounge is a 16 person pedal-powered "cycle pub" that cruises the streets of Portland's Brewing District. It’s pretty hilarious seeing this contraption making its way down city streets. (For anyone concerned about drinking and driving, you'll be relieved to know that they don't serve drinks on the Pedalouge and despite its many peddlers, it goes less than 10 MPH.) Perhaps the only thing more outrageous is Pedalpalooza's annual Naked Bike Ride. The annual event attracts thousands of riders and Portlandier's penchant of peddling pantiless was demonstrated earlier this summer when more than 10,000 people disrobed down to their "birthday suits" to participate in the city's hosting of the 2012 World Naked Bike Ride. And I thought biking shorts were too revealing!!