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Springwater path is one of Strava’s top ten segments in the U.S.

Posted by on December 19th, 2017 at 11:18 am

BTA New Year's Day Ride-13

Riders on the Springwater at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge during the The Street Trust’s New Year’s Day ride in 2010.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

One of Portland’s most iconic paths has made it on the list of Strava’s all-time busiest bikeways. Referred to as “segments” by the popular ride-logging app, a 1.6 mile section of the Springwater Corridor between the Ross Island Bridge and Oaks Bottom Park in Westmoreland has been ridden 144,392 times by 11,878 people (as of this morning).

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While Strava tends to be used by competitive riders or people looking to train and improve fitness, the “Bridge to Bottom” segment is also a major route for people simply riding from Point A to Point B. The path is a major commuting route between Sellwood and downtown Portland.

According to the City of Portland’s latest bike counts, over 2,800 people per day (on average) ride on the Springwater past Oaks Bottom. That makes this the seventh busiest location for cycling in inner southeast.

What’s perhaps most impressive are the speeds which some people ride. Strava’s data shows that the 20 fastest people can ride this 1.6 mile segment in 3 minutes and 32 seconds or less at a speed of about 30 mph. That is blazing fast (too fast for a shared-use path in our opinion, but that’s a discussion for another day).

See what other segments made the top 10 on this post from Bicycling.com.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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steve
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steve

Strava users are my least favorite group of cyclists. Springwater is no place for that kind of speed and it is always the time for that discussion.

rainbike
Guest
rainbike

Passing too close, too fast, with no courtesy warning.

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

Yikes, waaaaaaaayyyy to fast for a mixed use path.

Joe Fortino
Guest
Joe Fortino

I like strava for miles counted and not going for any victories. 🙂

Brent
Guest
Brent

As a heads up, the Springwater trail will be closing summer 2018 for 3 months between Sellwood and the Oaks Bottom trail junction for the long delayed fish culvert improvement project. At least that’s what the flier I received in the mail said. They have been talking about this project for over a decade and apparently there are finally enough funds to start. The only detours available will be riding surface streets through West Moreland and Sellwood or skipping the Springwater corridor all together and riding on the west side path.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

That would explain the guys on TT bikes that I see in full tuck doing laps while I run with my kids. Not cool.

michael khamsot
Guest
michael khamsot

I used springwater trail all the way to Lents (205), 5 times a week for commute.
It’s a lot safer then sharing a road with cars. I was wondering if anyone can tell me why there is no lights at all. It get little creepy at night and early morning.

Ride Report
Guest

Interesting stat. In Ride Report’s dataset this section of Springwater doesn’t even make the top ten list in Portland – let alone in other cities.

catherine feta cheese
Guest
catherine feta cheese

A 20 minute each way segment year round, featuring: deer, ospreys, bald eagles, otters, geese, frog chorus, roller derby sounds, ferris wheel, Christmas boats, steam train, rainbows, rowers, sailboats, wildflowers, snow, Hood to Coasters in costume, babies in strollers with jogger Moms, cargo bike kids going to school, kids on their first bikes, music from party boats, golden autumn leaves, sunsets reflected on the river, feral cats, islands, sand & gravel barges, houseboats, herons, icy rain in the face, moonlit nights, misty mornings.

Rain Waters
Guest
Rain Waters

Does strava distinguish between bicycles and low powered electric motorcycles ?

BradWagon
Subscriber

“That is blazing fast (too fast for a shared-use path in our opinion, but that’s a discussion for another day).”

Cue only this discussion for the current day.

X
Guest
X

Smooth pavement, few MV conflicts, flat grade, connects business, natural areas, and residential areas. That’s a formula for success. Where else could we do that?

Kate
Guest
Kate

That’s a really fast ride, but I think it’s worth remembering that strava record holders did that segment that fast one time to be on the reader board. It’s not likely people are averaging 30 mph every single day during regular commute hours. I can’t imagine you could reasonably maintain that speed except when the path is nearly empty. In that case, I’m less concerned because there isn’t much potential for cross traffic the way there is on other popular paths or bike lanes (esplanade, waterfront, etc.). However I’d agree that it is way too fast during heavier use and when passing within 5 feet of anyone.

2 wheel commuter
Guest
2 wheel commuter

Any future infra put into the city that is similar to this should include:

1) a MUP for all sorts of users, riders, rollers, walkers, children, strollers, dogs, campers, skateboarders, etc.
2) a parallel BIKE ONLY path where high speed cyclists are expected and welcomed and paths are engineered for this.

There should be more than enough land to make this a reality and move Portland from Bronze to Silver and beyond. If we can maintain a rail line that gets used a handful of the year, we can also have a bikes only path.

Andrew Kreps
Guest
Andrew Kreps

What I really want to know is who drunk-hashed the section from Sellwood to the North this Spring? It’s not that they did a bad job, it’s that they did a terrible job and they did so in permanent ink.

Mike Sanders
Guest
Mike Sanders

Many trails post a 15mph speed limit for bikes, using standard speed limit signs (I’d add a bike icon above the sign to make the meaning clear). Metro should adopt a
policy for a 15mph limit and post it prominently and regularly (and Portland and ODOT as well) on all trails. (This should be a statewide policy, too.) it’s also state law that bikes approaching peds must give an audible warning before passing (screaming “Left!” five yards before passing at full speed isn’t the correct way to do so). A few signs reminding cyclists of the law on an occasional basis might help!

Lenny Anderson
Guest
Lenny Anderson

I got my wife to bike that segment with me a few years back; we stopped to watch a bird and some folks flew by way to close, way to fast. Never been back. Sad. We both got on our first bikes about 65 years ago.

q
Guest
q

On the speed topic, I walk on the westside trail daily with my dog. Lots of times, it’s almost empty, and biking fast is no problem. Biking towards someone who can see you coming isn’t any problem, even going fast. Passing from behind can be unsafe even when slow. I appreciate a warning–bikes can be almost silent, especially with wind blowing through the trees. My older neighbors really get surprised and scared by fast cyclists passing from behind with no warning.

I think I’ve had only one cyclist pass me in the last several years who I’d call rude.

I try to be aware of cyclists approaching from behind. On a sunny weekend day, I assume they’ll be passing regularly from behind. Often, though, I’m out when a cyclist might not pass me more than once every several minutes, and I don’t feel guilty for not checking behind me regularly at those times.

I appreciate headlights when cyclists approach from behind–I can see the light bouncing off trees and ground ahead me well before they overtake me. Bright lights, especially blinking, from bikes approaching from in front can be blinding.

Biking, biking fast, walking, running, walking with dogs and kids…all can happen safely on the same path when common sense is used. I’d say the most important aspect of common sense is to acknowledge that the same trail is a completely different environment (calling for different behaviors) on a crowded, summer Saturday afternoon than on a winter morning or evening.

Over time, Portland does need to create more off-road options that don’t just lump commuting or training cyclists and people walking with dogs and kids all together on the same narrow path.

BradWagon
Subscriber

There is a gentleman I pass somewhat regularly on the Fanno Creek trail during my summer commutes. The trail is usually pretty empty and we usually pass each other going opposite directions (as in, we both see each other coming from a long way). Without fail I will be riding roughly 16-18 mph, keep well to my right and wave when I go by only to be met with a “Slow Down” comment. I think it’s just a lack of cycling experience for some people that causes them to not appreciate that even at faster than walking speeds cyclists are still in control of their actions and generally adjust their riding appropriately for potential hazards.

matt savage
Guest
matt savage

Strava or not, those riders will still go as fast as they can. They did it before Strava, they’ll still do it without it… Assholes gonna asshole…

Steve Scarich
Guest
Steve Scarich

I had a funny ‘moment’ yesterday while driving in Bend. I drive my car about once a week, and ride my bike 5 or 6 days. As I approached a cyclist in the bike lane, my first reaction was ‘you gotta be nuts to ride in this traffic’. Cars were whizzing by him at 50 mph, missing him by maybe 3′. Had to laugh at my different perspective. I am only vaguely aware of traffic when I am riding, and only when they doing something dumb.

Leif Warner
Guest
Leif Warner

Paths like this are places I feel safe going fast; there’s not a lot of stuff to the side where someone or something will enter the path suddenly from, and I don’t have to stop every block.
I would commute 11 miles to downtown along it daily; I thought of it as a “bike expressway”.
Sure, there are plenty of users of the path, but many of them are also bikes; also, there’s great visibility of the path ahead giving one plenty of time to slow down if a group is occupying the path.
I also take my kid for walks along the path. I tell her to watch out for bicycles in both directions, and I myself do as well. You can see them coming from a good way off.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

As for the 30 mph recorded top speed of a “bicyclist” on this facility…given its relatively flat grade I wonder if this was an e-bike…

Ken S
Guest
Ken S

Nope. I checked Strava. All the guys in the top 10 race. Most are CAT1-3.
I’ve been on group rides with a few of them and they are just animals.

Jon
Guest
Jon

Remember the basic rules that all people appear to follow: Everyone that goes faster than you is crazy, out of control, and unsafe. Everyone going slower than you is a meandering, clueless moron.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

HOOOOOOTTTTT. PIIIIIIZZZZZZZAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

SD
Guest
SD

Alternate Headline: “Strava records suggest that cyclists rarely travel fast on Springwater path.”

Beth H
Guest

I see the same trickle-down from bicycle racing in this discussion that I’ve seen in two decades working in the bicycle industry.
Strava is designed to get people to not only use it, but to encourage competition between riders (by goading them on to ride farther and/or faster on their routes).
Riders who take this bait are not in a sanctioned bicycle race, but they are definitely racing all the same. As someone who is slow and does not race, I’d prefer not to have to compete for space on an MUP with racers, wannabe or otherwise.

(**On another note: Am I the only one who finds it interesting that the lead photo shows people riding on a much cleaner, quieter Springwater from an 8-year-old photo — on a ride captioned as being hosted by a “Street Trust” which did not exist then?)