This is a guest article written by PDXebiker. PDXebiker lives, works, and ebikes in Portland, OR. He discovered ebiking as an alternative to driving his commute, and hasn’t driven a commute in the year and a half since he first got hooked. He rides a converted old Schwinn cruiser, and regularly tows his dog in a trailer behind him. His blog can be found at pdxebiker.org, and he tweets under the name @pdxebiker.
Top 5 Reasons Portland is a Great City for eBiking
1) Portland is a great ebike city, because it’s also an awesome bike city. Years of work has resulted in lots of dedicated infrastructure already in place, and there are efforts being made to actively expand this. There are many non-profits, co-ops, and businesses that would love to help you learn to fix, sell, and upgrade your ebike, as well as riding safely in traffic, doing bike advocacy, and otherwise learning how to integrate your bike – and ebike – into your lifestyle.
2) Portland is green-aware. People here understand hybrid cars. We recycle. We’re working to ban single-use plastic shopping bags. A strange idea like an ebike? Not a big deal. And though our main electricity source is currently coal-fired, it’s easy to switch to a local green source – I’m on wind and solar. The City recently adopted an electric vehicle plan, explicitly identifying ebikes as a way to cut carbon emissions.
3) There’s a lot of ebike presence in Portland – a store dedicated solely to ebikes, regular shops carrying ebikes, ebikes at electric vehicle dealers, ebike/moped dealers, and 2 ebike manufacturers, all within the city. Also, we’re one of the Best Buy test markets for ebikes. It’s easy to find an ebike to buy, and with a shop footprint like that, fairly straightforward to find a place that will repair your ebike.
4) The things that many people in Portland cite about why they can’t use a regular bike (hills and rain), the ebike easily addresses. We don’t have a lot of hills, but the ones we do have can create big perceived barriers. eBikes flatten those hills. You might not believe it (based on the weather we’ve had this year), but Portland enjoys a fairly temperate climate. Yes, it does rain a lot here, but that means you’ve already got enough regular rain gear, which will work just fine on an ebike.
5) It’s a stated objective of the city to become a national leader in the adoption of light electric vehicles (including ebikes). We’ve already seen evidence of that from the installation of Sanyo’s solar-powered recharging kiosk, the first of it’s kind in the country.
Portland is a great city for electric and traditional biking! Do you live in a city that has similar traits that make it a bike friendly city? Please share in the comments below. You can use your Facebook or Twitter login to leave a comment.
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