Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Portland more bike-friendly than Copenhagen?

Posted by on October 19th, 2007 at 1:25 pm

Screen grab from Virgin Vacations website.

I came across a website today that lists the “11 Most Bike Friendly Cities in the World”. It looks to be the work of a travel agency working for Virgin Atlantic Airways.

The source of the list isn’t exactly what I’d call authoritative, but it was still fun (if not downright hilarious) to see Portland listed in the #2 spot, ahead of Copenhagen, Denmark!

Here’s their full list:

    1. Amsterdam, Netherlands
    2. Portland, Oregon
    3. Copenhagen, Denmark
    4. Boulder, Colorado
    5. Davis, California
    6. Sandnes, Norway
    7. Trondheim, Norway
    8. San Francisco, California
    9. Berlin, Germany
    10. Barcelona, Spain
    11. Basel, Switzerland

There must be someone at Virgin Vacations that is into bikes to have taken the time to put this list together.

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  • Carl October 19, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    We outrank Copenhagen?! This is hilarious.

    I don\’t expect much from Virgin Atlantic\’s bizarre eurocentric \”statistics,\” but I sincerely hope that we don\’t actually believe that any American city is close to being on such a list.

    Let\’s keep things in perspective.

    Portland might be the best biking city in the US, and that\’s something to be proud of but we\’re certainly not on any worldwide top 10 lists yet. We\’ve got a long way to go (bike culture aside).

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  • Me 2 October 19, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Actually Virgin is using a rating system developed by the League of American Bicyclists. Not exactly a eurocentric organization.

    I\’m proud that they consider us higher than Copenhagen. For all the complaining, PDX is a very rider friendly place. I may read a lot of hostility on the web, but for the most part I\’ve found riding here and the auto drivers to be fairly attentive and respectulful to bikers on the roads.

    I\’m also surprised that Van, BC didn\’t make the list.

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  • nate October 19, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    That is pretty silly. There are a half dozen cities in Germany alone that are way better than Portland, not to mention San Francisco (getting there but sketchy!). Biking in Portland is pretty good, but the Germans and the Dutch and the Danes don\’t make cars and bikes \”share\” the road any more than we make cars and pedestrians. I find drivers in Portland pretty nice overall, but the infrastructure has a long way to go. Anyway, thanks Virgin!

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  • Todd B October 19, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    And they missed Groningen NL?

    (Often ranked as the number 1 bike friendly city in Europe…but one that Virgin might not fly into.)

    Perhaps PDOT should send this off to LAB?

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  • Elliot October 19, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    Well, if we want to start competing with Copenhagen for #1, someone is going to have to start a PDX version of this blog: http://copenhagengirlsonbikes.blogspot.com/

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  • not a lawyer October 19, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Boo hoo. Everything in Europe is better, right?

    Maybe people need to appreciate that this IS a very bike friendly city. it may not be ideal, or up to the standards of irrational, illogical hipsters….but it is a damn bike friendly city. Take some time to appreciate what you have.

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  • Tim K. October 19, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    This slays me… while you guys down there kick our (Seattle) butts, there\’s probably 20 cities in the NL alone that are more bike friendly than PDX. Once you throw Belgium, Germany, and yes, Denmark in the picture, forget about it.

    And Boulder? That\’s like saying Bellevue, WA or Lake Oswego should be on the list (lots of pro bike racers does not make a bike friendly town).

    Anyway, congrats on the strides you have made. I agree, that should be appreciated and enjoyed.

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  • Erik Hovmiller October 20, 2007 at 8:33 am

    Indeed, great press for Portland but rather insulting I\’m sure for those that care in Europe. Copenhagen is incomparable in its ease of cycling. I\’d put it ahead of Amsterdam as well, where disorder permeates their intersections.

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  • Igor October 20, 2007 at 9:47 am

    San Francisco? Hah!

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  • Ian Clemons October 20, 2007 at 9:51 am

    Elliot (poster #5),

    Quickly perusing that blog says it all: tons of bikers going about their daily lives in a beautiful, FLAT city. Portland is great, but Copenhagen is the real deal. I\’d love to see professional types jetting around PDX on bikes like this.


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  • scoot October 20, 2007 at 11:16 am

    Heh. Elliot (#5) and Ian (#10), the girls of Copenhagen are exactly the kind of bikers the cyclists are least friendly to here. It\’s not the city of Portland that would be buzzing past them in logos, clipping their handlebars and calling them \”amateurs\” on local blogs. Although it is the COP that foists all the damned hills on us.

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  • Anonymous October 20, 2007 at 11:19 am

    \”Boo hoo. Everything in Europe is better, right?\”


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  • SKiDmark October 20, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    What a joke.

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  • Jason October 20, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    I watched the Amsterdam video and I didn\’t see a single helmet. Not even on the toddlers. Crazy.

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  • Dan Kaufman October 20, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    Here is another video from Copenhagen:


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  • revphil October 22, 2007 at 12:32 am

    durango, Colorado bitcehz


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  • Jerrod October 22, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    What about Bejing?

    San Francisco? Are you kidding?

    Portland has a loooong way until we\’re better than Copenhagen!

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  • Bob October 22, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Portland is all talk and no action when it comes to being bicycle friendly! I have a close call every time I go out on the friendly streets of Portland. I have logged thousands of trouble free bicycle miles in the SF bay area. Portland drivers scare the hell out of me. Not to mention the 500$ worth of damage to my road bike caused by poor rode conditions.

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