They’re everywhere. Following you in your feed; telling you what you do, what you should do, what you could do. Indicators give us hope; help us see the progress when we have our noses to the ground; give us a push when things aren’t progressing as we’d like. And we seem to like these kinds of numbers, too.


Women are the indicators of a healthy bicycle culture.”

Copenhagen is the world’s most livable city.”

“Hawthorne Bridge bike counter breaks daily/weekly record”

“Portland & Minneapolis vie for top spot in Most Bicycle-Friendly competition”

There are many, many reasons why Portland is a wonderful city, even if we’re only #23 by Monocle’s count. (Currently, raspberries are topping my list.) By all evidence, and especially when the weather is good, Portland comes out to cycle, which just plain makes me happy. Riding amongst many other cyclists is well-documented to not only create a sense of community and safety, but to actually decrease accidents. Your mum was right, there’s safety in numbers.

(c) City of Portland

We Portlanders do it because we have a fairly good infrastructure for cycling, good signage, a network; because the city has been helping make cycling more appealing to women, families, children by focussing on safety; because they’ve been on working hard to get to that big chunk of “interested but concerned” potential cyclists. (Oh, latent demand, I shall save you for another day.)

What is most exciting today, however, is the indication (after some trepidation) that Portland looks like it will continue to push the (American) envelope when it comes to the bicycle as transportation: Portland’s new transportation director, Leah Treat, is a bike liker.


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