Broken Spoke

Portland’s Bike Cred Takes Another Knock

By Brian Barker May 19, 2010

Well, it happened again: Our bike scene has been one-upped by a bunch of (apparently) pedal-happy Minnesotans. In their just released rankings for bike friendliness, The League of American Bicyclists revealed that Oregon is now considered just the fifth friendliest state for biking. You read that right. Fifth.

For the last two years the Beaver State has held onto the fourth spot, (behind Washington, Wisconsin, and Maine in 2009 and Washington, Wisconsin, and Arizona in 2008). But this year, Minnesota, no doubt led by Minneapolis, the same city that snatched our top ranking from Bicycling magazine just a few weeks back, grabbed the fourth spot and bumped us down to fifth. Look at me, I can’t stop saying it: Fifth.

I can see all those Vikings and Golden Gophers now. They’re probably laughing in their Favre jerseys (he is no. 4 after all) chanting, “Purple Portland Eaters.” At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if Garrison Keillor rode out on stage on a fixie while wearing horns and waiving a big golden 5 just to taunt us during his appearance at the Oregon Zoo’s concert series this summer.

And talk about bad timing. The news comes just days after Metro released its eighth Bike There! map, which plots out more than 800 miles of bike trails in 21 cities. The thing is even waterproof.

Apparently, the only thing that’s missing—plans to take back our moxie from those Midwesterners.

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