Portland douses some Haterade on Mpls after regaining Bicycling.com's Best Bike City honor
Two years ago, Portland, after reigning as Bicycling.com's Best Bike City for 15 years, ceded the title to Minneapolis.
Though Bicycling.com's methodology is pretty fuzzy, the news prompted wailing and gnashing of teeth in PDX, including this column from Bike Portland that attempts to come to terms with why Minneapolis usurped the Best Bike City throne.
This morning, Bicycling.com released a new version of its biannual list, and suffice it to say Portlandians can breathe easy once again -- their city again rates as the Best Bike City.
Bicycling.com claims that "to determine our top 50 bike-friendly cities for 2012, we evaluated cities with populations of 95,000 or more, using data provided by the Alliance for Biking and Walking and the League of American Bicyclists, as well as input from local advocates and bike-ped coordinators." But the rankings aren't correlated with any sort of quantitative score, and editors cite no specific reason for elevating Portland above now-second place Minneapolis. Sounds fishy, right?
No matter. Portland is inordinately proud of its top rating -- Mayor Sam Adams said he's "honored," and Rob Sadowsky, executive director of the city's Bicycle Transportation Alliance, said Portland is "back on top where we belong." A Bike Portland blogger tweeted that he's glad Bicycling.com "came to their senses," adding "it really was scandalous to put any other city on top."
Bicycling.com pours a bit more Haterade on Minneapolis in a column accompanying the release of the new rankings. Check out the dismissive tone with which Portland resident Bill Donahue mentions Minneapolis (emphasis mine):
"We are the vanguard of American cycling."
Those of us who ride daily in Portland, we know. We know we are the vanguard of American cycling. No other city in the United States has more cyclists per capita, and no other town has a coffee shop like Fresh Pot, which boasts 25 chairs and parking for 26 bicycles. We have trains of elementary-school bike commuters, and we have Move By Bike, a relocation-company that trundles couches across town on overstacked bike trailers. Even our city's noncycling Lotharios know it is a deal-killer to ask, at the end of a sprightly first date, "Can I throw your bike in my car and give you a lift home?"
Minneapolis? Please. Let's ride--along the Willamette now...
Minneapolitans appear to be accepting Bicycling.com's diss with a bit more class. Consider this tweet from Downtown Journal reporter and avid biker Jeremy Zoss:
Enjoy the throne while you can, Portland. Because two years from now, if the Bicycling.com editors feel like throwing us a bone after snubbing us for apparently little to no reason this time around, we'll be back on top.
To read more recent Minneapolis-loves-bikes coverage, check out:
-- Minneapolis named most bikeable city... in part because it's so damn flat here
-- Minneapolis 5th best cycling city, according to Shermans Travel study
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.