This post is part of our SW Portland Week.
Jim Anderson is like many southwest Portland residents who like to ride bikes: He’s a master at finding alternates routes.
“I know all the ways to avoid the major streets,” he shared with me during a chat at Baker & Spice Bakery in Hillsdale today. The bakery overlooks a sea of auto activity: a strip mall parking lot, then two-way traffic on SW Capitol Highway (a.k.a. State Route 10, which in this location carries the combined traffic of two highways — Capitol and Beaverton-Hillsdale), then more auto parking from a strip mall across the street.
It’s a daunting place to ride a bike.
Anderson — a 37-year-old freelance graphic designer, cycling event organizer, and president of the Team Oregon cycling club — says he never rides on the area’s highway streets unless he’s very late, or very tired. That’s because out here in southwest Portland, the flattest and most direct routes also happen to be the worst to ride on.