We (wife and I) recently moved from CA (SF/BayArea) to Portland OR (Bethany) in June 2019. We love Oregon and Portland area and I’ve setup my own business here. We did a lot of biking in SF/BayArea and my local spot was going up Mt.Diablo (11.1 mi ride about 3600 ft climb) and I’ve been hit by a car once (illegal U turn without looking) … thank goodness for helmets and gloves otherwise I wouldn’t be alive.
We keep ourselves somewhat healthy and bike about 16 miles a day at a good pace (avg around 20 mph) and I seek hills (hybrid bike is my trainer bike). I stopped going to the gym because of the COVID pandemic as gyms are a hot spot for infections, so my biking is more frequent/active these days.
In my exploring of Portland/Hillsboro/Tigard area, I’ve found bike lanes to be very inconsistent to non-existent. Motorist and footpath people seem very HOSTILE towards bicyclists (I thought folks were hostile in CA, but OR is much worse) … can’t tell you how many times my wife and I have almost been run over at those crossing where we activate the flashing lights start to cross and motorist actually speed up rather than stop?? Some crossings we’re actually tampered with so they didn’t work (stuck saying “wait”, “wait”, “wait”, 7 minutes later no light change) … looked like some angry motorist took a sledge hammer to the crossing button.
I’ll often be in a designated bike lane that just suddenly stops without warning and often the ONLY course of action is to move into road which is very dangerous given the propensity of distracted (aka texting) drivers. I do my best to avoid sidewalks if possible.
So I experimented with some “trails” for walking and biking in my area … (there aren’t many and they aren’t usually very long … 8.1 miles is the longest I’ve found in this area … in comparison to CA the longest trail I used was 52 miles).
To finally cap off my bad experience with biking here, we were confronted by a home owner (with his video camera) for trespassing on a “private road” and he made claims of exactly where the public path edges are … I asked for proof of public vs. private area since there are no lines on the road indicating where the private part starts. He didn’t provide any … here is the specific spot:
Green is my bike route as I looped around to wait for my wife next to the path.
After a brief exchange with the home owner as I waited for my wife to catchup (steep hill), he went on about crime in the area, dangerous times with his “American Made” shirt, etc. … so I checked various crime mapping websites and found nothing in this specific area. But I do agree it certainly is an odd place to put a public path thru the middle of a private road. But such home owner angst over me simply turning around and waiting for my wife? The home owner did have a for sale sign on their house with a flyer box … not sure how anyone is supposed to get to the flyer on a private road? I asked and home owner just shrugged.
The anti-bicyclist angst seems to be several orders of magnitude worse in OR than it is in CA. So much so that I’m thinking of installing a front/rear camera mount system on my bike as video proof … but will it actually make any difference?
I’d rather not give up my biking, it’s efficient, healthy, good for the planet, but with so much anti-bicyclist angst I’ve encountered in a relatively short period of time here (just over 1 year) it feels like “open season on bicyclist” with little or no government/community support?