Portland douses some Haterade on Mpls after regaining Bicycling.com's Best Bike City honor

Categories: Bicycle, Lists
Thumbnail image for minneapolis bike.jpg
Bicycling.com thinks Portlandians love bikes just a little bit more than us, apparently.
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):
portland neon sign.jpg
"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
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21 comments
myjah
myjah

What a bunch of douches.

will
will

born in portland, student in mpls, back home for the summer.....I'd say they're about even as far as what it's like to physically bike around (mpls is flatter but snowy for a good chunk of the year), but portland's overall bike-oriented culture is much more developed. it's kind of become engrained in the fabric of the city, which is awesome, and it's something mpls just doesn't have (yet). it's a double-edged sword though because there's an unbelievable smugness attached to a lot of this thinking that is totally unpalatable. more often that i'd like i get the sense in pdx that the whole biking thing is all about being fashionable and winning this ranking rather than just doing it because it's fun, environmentally friendly, healthy, etc. any portlander should be embarrassed to have those quotes represent the city.

thomas.m.crouse
thomas.m.crouse

@will Going to have to agree with this analysis. I've been a citizen of both places, and they seem equally bikeable. In Portland, they just slap the bike lanes down on the road and call it good. I destroyed two wheels on separate occasions biking in Portland lanes at night because they're just painted on the existing roads. If you're taking low-traffic side streets, best to roll with a mountain bike or an old beater, because you'll be bouncing over poorly maintained roads the whole time.

On the other hand, I had my U-lock clipped and bike stolen in less time than it takes to get a coffee in Minneapolis. Good and bad in both places.

peejay
peejay

As a Portland resident, I say we don't deserve #1. Not by a long shot. We just had a major street redesign that was supposed to bring better and safer accommodation for bikes, where they couldn't see to eliminate either of the two car lanes (it's a one-way street) OR parking from either side of the street. This from our so-called progressive Bureau of Transportation. So, screw us! We suck!

TheBlob
TheBlob

CP has major insecurity issues when it comes to city rankings of any kind.

Portland Faggot
Portland Faggot

Portland has a giant cloud of smug hanging over it all the time.

MNjoe
MNjoe

Actually, some folks in the article have some very nice things to say about Minnesota biking - the abundance of off-street trails as well as the Greenway were glowingly mentioned. The "haterade" headline seems to be there to just get more readers - far more eye-catching than "Portland reclaims #1 spot;  lauds Minneapolis' system.

Alex
Alex

Portland has just as many miles of bike paths as Minneapolis, but it has two and a half times as many miles of bike lanes and as many miles of bike boulevards as Minneapolis has miles of bike lanes.  Which is probably why twice as many people bike to work in Portland.  If Mpls really wants that #1, maybe it should stop prioritizing parking for cars over bike lanes (see Penn Ave S, Glenwood Ave, etc).

Mark
Mark

Your second sentence was the most ridiculous thing I've read since "Portland has just as many miles of bike paths as Minneapolis, but it has two and a half times as many miles of bike lanes and as many miles of bike boulevards as Minneapolis has miles of bike lanes."

Alex
Alex

Your post is the most ridiculous lengthy quotation of something I've written that I've ever read.

myjah
myjah

You must not read much.

MNjoe
MNjoe

And where could a guy get one of those 'I bike Minneapolis' T-shirts?!

webcelt
webcelt

We demand extra credit for riding in Minnesota winters.

vitajex
vitajex

Eh-Portland is where all the Minneapolis gutter punks moved after being a gutter punk stopped being cool.

I think the far more intriguing question is:

Which American city is worthy of the title of Best Unicycle City?

Bianca
Bianca

Sippin on dat haterade

Really?
Really?

This screams "Portlandia." 

Joe
Joe

 I know, right?

I don't think they realize that no one is laughing *with* them.  Just *at* them.

Besty
Besty like.author.displayName 1 Like

Please. Portland is just a street in Minneapolis. 

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