This week’s question comes from a reader who asked to remain anonymous. Why? Read the question to find out:
“I just moved here, and I feel the urge to bike around the city. One problem – I never learned how to when I was younger. Now I’m uncoordinated on the bike and looking for some help to start riding in the area. I want to learn now, but it’s really difficult as an adult. Any ideas?”
This is a great/interesting question on many levels. But first, let me be the first to say that you shouldn’t be ashamed! Biking is not second-nature to everyone, especially if you didn’t pick it up as a kid.
I also like this question because it shows Portland is doing something right. For some reason, our reader has the “urge to bike around” — which can only happen in a City where where biking is woven into the physical and cultural infrastructure. For example, there’s a program in Amsterdam that teaches immigrant adult women how to ride. The “urge to bike around” in that city is very strong!
In Portland, I’m not sure of any how-to bike classes specifically for adults (if you’re a kid you can take your pick — from Safe Routes to School programs to summer bike camps). The Community Cycling Center has their Create-a-Commuter program, but that is open only to people referred by social service agencies. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance holds Bike Commute 101 Workshops, but I don’t think those include on-the-street, how-to instruction.
So I turn to you, our knowledgeable and helpful readers: What advice do you have for this reader — and others like her — who are eager to join you on Portland’s bikeways but still need to learn how to ride?
— Learn more in the Ask BikePortland archives and submit your burning bike question to jonathan[at]bikeportland[dot]org.