Getting to 35% in Four Years

Yesterday, Bike Portland reminded us again that for the last five years, the number of people riding bikes in Portland has not risen – about 7 percent of Portlanders say they use a bicycle as their primary way to get to work and back. Almost all the comments on that article voice the same opinion – that this is a frustrating but simple statistic that hinges on just one variable: the amount of bicycle infrastructure in Portland. “We can’t have increases in ridership without increases in bike infrastructure.”

But take a look at this idea for doubling bike trips in Portland every year:

  1. There are 20,000 regular riders in town
  2. From this pool, we form 1,000 bike clubs
  3. Each club attracts two new riders a month

Pow. That’s 24,000 new riders every year. After a year or two of that, we won’t have trouble finding money for new bike infrastructure. So, regular bike rider:

But wait. Why would anyone want to spend time organizing a service-oriented bike club when there’s so much good stuff on TV?

  • Looks great on a resume
  • Introduces you to good-natured, sexy, like-minded people
  • Creates a city that’s in a class of its own

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