The rain will stop. When it does, thousands of smiling noobs will pedal shiny candy-colored cruisers and used mountain bikes with fake suspension forks along our streets. They’ll ride to work a couple times and to Apex for Soyrizo burritos and beer, and on the weekends they’ll swarm up and down Mount Tabor and Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard and the riverside paths. And then, when the first drops of autumn rain moisten their spring-loaded seats, they will stop.
Don’t be one of them. If you want to commute year-round in this town, don’t wait until the weather’s so nice that your morning ride feels like a gift. Instead, earn your badges and chuckle at the fair-weather commuter crowd that retreats back to cars and buses at the slightest sign of cold. Start now—the worst of winter is over, but there’s still plenty of sodden weather ahead. If you can make it through the next three months, the subsequent nine will pose no challenge.
And you can ride year-round in Portland. This isn’t Minneapolis; knee-high snow is an unlikely problem. With a little forethought and fortitude, it’s easy. Maybe even fun. In the rain, the bike lanes are nearly empty—it’s just you, the road and the sweet, adrenal thrill of conquering the elements. In the rain, as the flying droplets sting your cheeks and the asphalt hisses in your wake, you are no longer just a rider—you are the cyclist god.
Leave behind the
fetid bus, the interminable waits and the daily road rage, and start
riding today. There’s never been a better time, and we’ve assembled six
guides to make the transition even easier. What’s the hitch, cupcake?