(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
It’s been way too long since the last installment of our People on Bikes column, so before this sunny and warm weather leaves us for good, I figured it was time for another one.
This morning I rolled out to NE Couch (say “cooch”), where it makes that sweeping bend just before the Burnside Bridge. I sat in the grass across from the bike lane for about 25 minutes, snapping up as many people on bikes as I could. I saw a mix of bodies and bikes; but not the quite the diversity I’ve seen at other locations (like Waterfront Park). While it’s a semi-popular bike traffic, going west on NE Couch and entering downtown via the Burnside Bridge isn’t exactly a place where the “interested but concern” feel comfortable. We know the problems at Couch and Grand; and then there’s the Burnside Bridge freeway and how it unceremoniously dumps you into downtown (don’t get me started).
What I saw at NE Couch were a lot of fast bikes with skinny tires and people who were fit and looked like expert riders. It was an interesting contrast to the three kids on scooters and moms pushing strollers that I saw on a bike boulevard earlier this morning. I was also struck by how many women were riding. Nationally it appears that just 21% of people riding are women; but that number is higher in Portland (31% at last official count). I bet we get close to 40% when next year’s numbers come out.
Take a look for yourself (prepare to scroll)…
Like seeing People on Bikes? Check out past editions here.