110 years of bike maps

Bike map of Portland in 1896

One reason Portland is such a great biking town is that bikes have been a part of the landscape for well over 100 years. Case in point; in my office I’ve got a framed version of the “Cyclists’ Road Map of Portland” dated 1896 (more photos here). It’s a really cool map and it has advertisements for all kinds of interesting things including:

  • Shirk Bicycles which are “strictly up-to-date”
  • Sterling Bicycles formerly located at 362 Morrison Street
  • “Women’s and Men’s Bicycle Hose, Shoes and Caps for sale at Meier and Frank; “decided by women everywhere to be the most convenient and serviceable wheeling apparel made”

Compare that to Metro’s current Bike There! map and you can see how far we’ve come in 110 years.

For another interesting look at the progress of Portland’s bikeway network, check out this animation I created. It shows the bikeway network in 5-year increments from 1980 and into the future.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Scott Mizée
18 years ago

Very Cool Jonathan! Has the Bike There! map been updated? The one I have here on my wall at work is a couple of years old now….

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
18 years ago

Yes, it was updated back in June ’05.

18 years ago

i love how the “Victor” bike touts cotterless, hollow-core crank axles, reintroduced over 100 years later as innovative splined bottom brackets.

Peter W
18 years ago

I think the PSU Bicycle Cooperative has a copy of that old map on display if anyone wants to go see it up close.

18 years ago

You can get that old map at the historical society gift shop on Broadway downtown. I have it up in my house and I look at it all of the time.

So, Jonathan, your animation is pretty cool. I think you’re ready to get a film together for Filmed by Bike!


Evan Manvel
18 years ago

You can also get the old map at the BTA. $5 or free to new members!