Tips for Riding a Bike in Portland

Portland’s bike infrastructure is amazing, but riding a bike through these busy streets can still be intimidating if you don’t know the appropriate roads to take. Doing a little homework before you hop on your bicycle will set you up for a more enjoyable ride in Portland, as well as help you avoid any sticky situations.

Familiarize yourself with Portland’s bike corridors  

Portland’s main thoroughfares on the East side—Hawthorne, Burnside, Broadway, and Grand—are all very bad to cycle on. That’s why most of these major thoroughfares have designated bike friendly streets adjacent to them—Ankeny Street south of Burnside, Clinton Street south of Division, etc.

Utilizing these “bike highways” reduces stress and ensures safety because they have fewer stop signs. They usually connect to other bike corridors or to bike lanes, and the sheer amount of cyclists traversing them discourages drivers from using these roads. As always, remember there’s safety in numbers!

Consider riding a bike to TriMet Riding a bike in Portland can be intimidating if youre unfamiliar with the routes to take

If you live far out, you might need to take TriMet to get you and your bike to your destination. Riding a bike to TriMet is still a great way to save gas money as well as keep yourself out of unnecessary danger in the bike lanes. 

Getting your bike on one of the TriMet bike racks is a straightforward process. Once the bus has stopped, give a wave or head nod to the driver and wait for their acknowledgement. Only then do you step in front of the bus. If the rack is up, squeeze the handle on top of the rack and lower it.  Place your bike in the rack so that you can put the bar over the front wheel (as close to the frame as possible) and remember to remove all your loose items.  

When exiting, go through the front so you can let the driver know you have a bike you need to unload. If you want to practice first, head over the demonstration rack at PSU’s Transportation Information Center, located at 1812 SW 6th Ave.  

Wear a helmet when riding a bike through Portland

The top rule, which we saved for last because you know it already: wear a helmet when riding a bike!

Maybe you went to Amsterdam or Copenhagen and saw they don’t wear helmets there, and you think you are cautious enough to cycle without yours … think again! Yes, Portland is a great cycling community, and 7.2% of commuters go by bike – but that doesn’t mean you are completely immune to a tumble.

Bike accidents in Portland

Despite people’s growing awareness of bicyclists, we’ve still seen a few too many accidents happen. If that ever happens to you, you need to contact a law firm that has specific experience in personal injury cases. At Philbrook Law, we can provide a consultation and guide you towards next steps, should you need to recover any damages.  

Now with all that said, have fun and be safe out there!

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