Singletracks.com has an interesting post called “8 Bike Culture Observations from Portland, OR.”
All its points ring true to me from my recent visit to Portland. The bike-friendly culture starts right at the airport – there’s a repair area where your can break your bike down for flying, or put it back together … and then ride home. How incredibly progressive!
I can also confirm that bicycle infrastructure is extensive. Public bike art? I honestly don’t care about that.
It’s really surprising that mountain bikes are, as Singletracks.com says, such an afterthought. The shops I visited were primarily geared toward road biking. And I noticed a preponderance of big brands. I didn’t see any really cool, independent brands with a strong appearance. I figured Portland’s local, DIY flavor would carry over to the cycling scene. I hoped to lay my eyes on some cool custom steel … and maybe some titanium.
It’s very likely I just didn’t stumble onto it. I’ll bet it’s out there … but the odds of walking into exactly the right place are slimmer than I hoped.
So if you know Portland, I’d love to hear about the lesser-known shops where you discover and ogle the more unusual brands.