Wednesday, June 23, 2010

eBike Friendly Infrastructure: The Mississippi Hill

Usually, ebikes can integrate well into most existing bicycle infrastructure; there are exceptions (like hanging bike racks). However, there is some bike infrastructure to which ebikes adapt particularly well - in this irregular and occasional series of posts, I'll share my thoughts on some of them.

The Mississippi Hill is an alternative for the North Portland-bound ebiker to the Interstate and Williams bike lane. There is no bike lane striped on the southbound (downhill) lane, because bikes coasting downhill can keep up with traffic fairly well. The northbound, or uphill lane, was striped with a bike lane recently, and I frequently find myself using it. Even with the lane, perhaps due to the steepness of the hill, I don't often see other riders here. With the combined muscle and motor output, its a straightforward climb on an ebike. If I do pass another person on a bike climbing the hill, I try to be particularly careful about passing them in the main traffic lane - I know how much work they're doing, and I like to stay out of their way.

I've been riding the Mississippi Hill more frequently since Williams is being resurfaced. Apparently, Mississippi was on the same list of streets to be resurfaced - while riding home last night, I discovered it has been ground down in preparation for repaving. A short time with a rough ride is worth it for a newly surfaced bike lane here.

I frequently see a person on a gas-powered bike riding up this hill as well. He usually passes me.

Update, 6/23/2010:
The repaving is done, new signage in place, just waiting for the official striping. It's a nice, smooth ride.

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