The Copenhagenize Index 2013 is now out. The creators taut it as “the world’s most comprehensive list of bicycle friendly cities” and Portland isn’t on it.
In fact, no United States cities ranked on the prestigious list.
Rio, Budapest, Dublin and a few other “had no idea” bike friendly cities are on the list.
So what gives, Portland? You know, the place many call a bike mecca. Business Insider says the root of the problem is that “Americans often perceive cyclists as extreme athletes” and there’s certainly some wise truth to that statement. We could spend all day debating and discussing the relevance of such lists, the criteria, validity and why we ranked as we did. But the true take away is twofold.
We Live In a Bubble
Oregon is a fantastic place to ride a bike, and Portland is a bike friendly city, but we’re not the only ones rockin’ on two wheels. It’s important to pop outside of our little bubble and to gain some global perspective, even if it means our egos are knocked down a peg or two – or we don’t even rank.
Ride with Gusto
Secondly, it’s all about what we can easily do next. And “we” means you and me – everyday, regular folks who ride bikes.
Correction. Regular folks like you and me who LOVE riding our bikes. Love is contagious. So let’s spend this coming summer spreading bike love. Smile when you ride. Attend Bicycle Transportation Happy Hours (and support the BTA!). Join a bike club. Help your neighbor buy a bike. Ride to happy hour with friends. Cruise around lazily on a Sunday. Train for a century.
Support the organizations, agencies and groups who are fighting the good fight to get more people on bikes and make our roads safer for cycling, but focus on what you’re best at, and where your passion lies. If that’s on two wheels, then get out there and ride your heart out.
However you spend your time on your bike, do it with love, dedication and gusto.
Oh, and if you do want to grab a pint to debate and discus the relevance of such lists, the criteria, validity and why we ranked as we did, I’m game.
Read the Copenhagenize Index 2013 here >>
Check out Biking Expert’s guide to the 75 most bike friendly cities in the world >>.