Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

People on Bikes: N. Interstate at Albina

Posted by on February 2nd, 2011 at 1:12 pm

More photos below / Full gallery
(Photos © J. Maus)

Welcome to the latest installment in our ongoing series documenting people who ride bikes in Portland.

This morning I photographed people for about 20 minutes or so at the Albina/Mississippi MAX station on N. Interstate Avenue. It was nearly freezing out, so these photos have the added benefit of showing us how folks dress to beat the chill.

Like I mentioned last time, I think these basic photos of people riding can tell us a lot. What type of riders does our existing infrastructure attract? Does rider type vary in different neighborhoods and on different types of bikeways?

For the record, the location where today’s photos were taken is a major road that is shared with motor vehicle and light rail traffic. MAX runs down the center of the road and there’s one, narrow motor vehicle lane and one five-foot bicycle vehicle lane.

See the photos below (and bonus points if you know the world famous bicycle messenger I snapped)…

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Did you learn anything from these photos?

See more from this location and the People on Bikes series here.

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  • Steve B February 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Here’s what I noticed: These people are all beautiful! Great photos, Jonathan.

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    • dmc February 3, 2011 at 6:07 am


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  • sue February 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Yes, only white people ride bikes, mostly young, mostly male.

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    • bikepdx February 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      and who have a lot of money to spend on bikes. Many of the bikes pictured are in the $1000-$2000 range. Check out that woman riding the sweet Waterford!

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    • Dee February 2, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      Um, except most of those riders are women? And I bet they’d share what their backgrounds are, and some may not identify as “white.” Think hispanic, asian, etc.

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    • rigormrtis February 2, 2011 at 3:09 pm

      Nobody said the photographer was trying to be objective.

      Plus, you might have to consider the time of day when these were taken and whether or not they were commuting to work.

      And finally, what’s your point?

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  • Madeye February 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I learned I’m one of the minority who wears mittens when it’s this cold out. The ambient heat from those little fingers really helps on these cold mornings!

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  • Alexis February 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Fewer “urban” style bikes than on Vancouver.
    Regarding the demographics – I think it’s important to be a little wary of drawing conclusions. You need to know what the demographics of the source neighborhoods are — and you need more data — to make meaningful conclusions about who’s attracted to the particular bikeways being photographed independent of who the bikeways serve by virtue of location.

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  • SSO February 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm


    What do my bonus points get me??

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  • jram February 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    i am definitely a fan of this series. it is nice to see so many folks on their bikes. especially on a cold one like this morning.

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  • Matt G February 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I rode in shorts today (ok, my commute is only 15 min) so what I see is a bunch of overdressed folks. 😛

    Helmeted – 17/20
    Male – 13/20 (my best guess)
    Female – 7/20 (again, guess)
    Caucasian – 20/20 (no judgements, just one guy’s opinion)
    Fenders – 15/20
    Day-Glo Colors – 6/20 (I counted the reds as bright enough)
    Clip-style pedals – 3/20

    What else did you see?

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    • Alan February 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      Clip-style pedals – 3/20

      I count 6-1/2 pairs of toe-clips (#7 has right-side only) and 5 with clipless, but I’m guessing on most of the clipless.

      All have some hand-wear, mostly gloves but one or two lobster mitts.

      Five without fenders; one with just a rear clip-on.

      16 without side/spoke reflectors (but some photos could be hiding them, some tires could have reflective sidewalls, etc.).

      15 with shoulder bags or backpacks, five with panniers, two with baskets, one traveling light. (A couple had both packs and basket/panniers.)

      Six without derailleurs.

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    • Matt February 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm

      Only 9 with glasses on and 1/2 of those look like prescription. I never ride without eye protection!

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    • Schrauf February 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      Good stats. I wonder if Jonathan’s “sample” is truly unbiased (does he post every cyclist he manages a picture of) or is it only the more “interesting” cyclists?

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  • Paul Hanrahan February 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Drop style handlebars 11/20

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  • Erik of Spokane February 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Surly Troll – 1/20
    (new last month and out of stock at my LBS – I waaaaant I neeeeeed 😉 )

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    • Nick Sande February 2, 2011 at 4:23 pm

      Good eye. Yes, Surly Troll is everything I expected it to be. Super awesome. It’s the versatile Cross-Check of mountain bikes!

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    • eric February 3, 2011 at 10:02 am

      first one spotted! the ultimate hobo bike.

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  • Josh February 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I think it’s notable that nearly everyone is carrying stuff with them. Backpacks, front baskets, panniers. Personally, I find that the great front block “shopping basket” that my Brompton offers has really drawn me to that bike as my daily rider.

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  • Spiffy February 2, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I like this series a lot too…

    things that stand out: dude with nothing keeping his head warm but his hair = hardcore! and the girl with her tongue out, what’s she concentrating on?

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  • matt picio February 2, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    “Straight” bars – 9
    Drop bars – 9
    “Other” bars – 2

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  • alex February 2, 2011 at 3:08 pm
  • Eric McC February 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    thanks jonathan, i have more clarity about how beautiful people on bikes are!

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  • sam February 2, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Not one step-thru frame.

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  • nuovorecord February 2, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    19 of 20 had brakes on their bikes.

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    • Matt February 2, 2011 at 8:01 pm

      The dude without brakes is riding a Bianchi Pista which I ride everyday. Simple to put a front brake on!

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  • maxadders February 2, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Surly Troll for the win!

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  • Billy February 2, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Nice chrome Bianchi

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  • h February 2, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Real human-20

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  • Jason Brune February 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    It may be an optical illusion, but does the bicycle in picture two have different size front and rear wheels?

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    • Seth Alford February 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm

      The bicycle might be a Terry, some of which have a smaller front wheel.

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  • RMH February 2, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    I wondered about the people with empty rear racks on their bikes while using backpacks to carry their gear. Isn’t that a bit like leaving the car trunk empty and carrying stuff on a roof rack instead?

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    • eric February 3, 2011 at 9:59 am

      rear racks are a PITA if you need to carry stuff around once you get to your destination. I’ve tried ’em, and switched back to the backpack.

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  • Zaphod February 3, 2011 at 9:21 am

    When viewing these, my first thought goes to demographic and race. While not scientific, it was a sample of sorts. Before I, and I hope anyone else, comes to a snap conclusion about this, imagine a similar snapshot study of say, for example, drivers on the Broadway Bridge. My guess is that the demographics would be similar.

    What I see in all of these riders are people who need to be somewhere, wearing and riding the the gear they deem appropriate in a purely functional way. Some may judge cost on the sweeter machines and that’s fair perhaps. But then again, every car that rolls over the Broadway Bridge is more costly when you factor in all the money that goes in, nevermind negative externalities for the moment.

    Surprised not to see at least one cargo machine rolling something heavy.

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  • Stig10 February 3, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Great pics.
    Anyone know what kind of backpack dude #7 is sporting, riding his Scott? thx

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  • spokesy February 7, 2011 at 6:19 am

    congrats! You managed to take photos of the only helmet wearers in Portland!

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