My commute starts in the relaxed, low key South
East of Portland where I ride through neighborhood streets that have
more cyclists than cars. On my way home along this road, the view of
blinking bike tail lights is always an inspiration.
I meet the most cyclists while crossing the river, though. There are
two lanes here on the bridge and the faster cyclists take the left
lane. It gets tight further on, and not everyone gives the pedestrians
the space they need.
Once I hit downtown, it's mostly car traffic. There are bike lanes,
but the construction can be distracting and disruptive. Throughout the
downtown commute, I can easily keep up with the cars. There are so many
cars that they slow each-other down, but lots of them don't know this.
The downtown part of my rides finishes at the top of a hill, and then
I get to bomb down it, across the commuter train tracks and past the
train stop. Most days, when the weather is nice, instead of turning
left to get onto the train, I turn right up another hill.
This hill is surprisingly steep
This is probably the hardest part of the ride. The people here seem
to have bigger cars than downtown, and they are more distracted. I'm
not moving particularly fast here so they zoom by me.
Then it's relief: This hill ends in a beautiful park. Often I won't
see any cars for the entire trip through the park. In a few minutes,
I'll ride past an awesome view of the mountain, weather permitting.
It's a steady climb from here to the top of the hills. The steepest
part is fortunately pretty short and I like to tackle it quickly to get
it over with. Pretty soon, I'll ride by the zoo and often hear loud
bird sounds or something.
I like the downhill part of the ride because I don't have to take it
too slowly. There's no traffic, just a bike lane beside the highway.
Very occasionally, I'll be going faster than the cars on the highway,
but not usually.
Then I hit the suburbs. The drivers here are extremely distracted,
impatient, and driving large cars. The streets are designed to direct
the traffic onto particular streets, so I have learned to avoid those
streets and ride over the speed bumps.
At the end, I ride across the train tracks again. I could have taken the train all the way in, but this was much nicer :)