I headed downtown to Waterfront Bicycles and rented a some kind of cross bike. I only had an hour and half, so I rode quickly across the Hawthorne Bridge and headed into a residential neighborhood. I really only have Mpls. to compare it to, but my sense was there are more bikes cycling around Portland. How many more is obviously a tough guess but it could be twice as much. For a variety of reasons, I did feel safer riding the streets of Portland. The most obvious reason is that there are more lanes on streets and bridges than Mpls. They didn't always make sense but that might be because I was new to it. I also felt more at ease because drivers in Portland seem to be lot mellower than in my hometown. Nobody seemed to be in too much of a rush and cars seemed to be aware of bicycles. Another thing I noticed, is that a higher percentage of bicyclists were obeying the traffic laws. Combined, these three conditions gave me the "subjective" sense that I was safer riding in Portland.
City of Green.
Now, I not saying that Portland doesn't have a long way to go. It's still very much a car town. Cars everywhere. And they could definitely use even more lanes and paths that are separated from autos. As it is, there is a lot of mingling with cars, which can be deadly.
Ghost bike signifies that a cyclist was killed near by.
Then, as I was headed back down Hawthorne Blvd, an apparition appeared. It was an angelic sign for me that I must return to this place, as soon as I returned the rental.
Angel on wheels.
I did return and received a special treat...but that's another story.