It seems that all these Portlanders commuting on their bicycles everyday is it's own advertisement. Many people who would have never, ever dreamed of leaving their car at home are now getting exercise and saving money. After all we are one of the most bike friendly cities in the country, why not try it out?
Last year volunteers counted over 12,000 daily bike trips across the Hawthorne, Broadway, Steel and Burnside bridges. That is 8 percent more than 2005 so now bicycles are accounting for 1 out of every 10 vehicles on these bridges.
The popularity is growing by leaps and bounds. While many still ride just for recreation, it's becoming increasingly more common to run errands or commute to work on a bike.
Because of this trend of fun AND functionality the bicycle of choice is more often the hybrid. The hybrid bike is a blend of mountain bike and racing bike. This way they are adaptable to both bike paths and the street.
The stars have aligned to make bicycling so big. The cities efforts to increase the bike lane and path networks have played a major role. Long time riders are encouraging friends, family and neighbors to try it out, perhaps because of the obesity crisis. Major bicycle brands are now coming out with hybrid bikes, recognizing the trend of recreation AND functionality the average rider wants. Lastly, gas prices are still crazy and with our city set up with an alternative, not to mention bike prices decreasing, it's hard to complain when there is something you can do.
The Oregonian, Tuesday, August 21, 2007, Living pg B1 & B5
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