Madras is not a Cycling town…yet.

IMG_20160503_092903Urban cycling is a new experience for me so its nice to figure it all out in a small place.  I’m probably the only person that would ever consider a bike ride in Madras to be in the realm of an urban cycling experience, but in my past life the nearest traffic light was over 7o miles away, so give this one to me, k? 😉

Madras has bicycle lanes on most of its roads just like every town in Oregon, but they seem so lonely; in the past 3 months I’ve seen them used only a couple of times by someone other than my husband or myself. Bike racks are also sorely lacking. To date I’ve found 3 & one has a no biking sign right behind it(?). I’ve also found that motorist here are more comfortable stopping for pedestrians attempting to cross the road than for cyclist, so I’ve learned to hop off my bike at most crossings, and wah-la! I’m a pedestrian with a bike.
Add all this up, and what do you get?  Madras is not a cyclist town. Not yet anyway.

IMG_20160503_093405In general, cycling is HUGE in Oregon. Cyclist are treated basically equal to motorist, with their own lanes and even their own traffic lights in some places. I was so excited to join in the bike culture and ride everywhere, but for some reason it doesn’t seem to exist here.  What’s up with that?

IMG_20160503_093008Madras seems a prime location for biking. It’s home to at least two Scenic Bikeway trails, and there are numerous walking/biking paths and parks in town, but all are under used.

IMG_20160503_093041I understand that cycling has somewhat of a trendy hipster / yuppie feel to it, which is not popular in these parts, but seriously, its the cheapest way to get around! Everybody should have a bike in Madras. Bikes transcends cultural and socio-economic barriers, they are better for the environment, and they are just plain fun to ride!  So why haven’t the locals figured it out yet?

I have no clue what is going on with the lack of biking in this town.

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This morning while taking my dog for a walk (after typing the above post), I spied 5 different people on bikes.  5!!! That is the most I’ve seen to date. Maybe I’m wrong about Madras not being a biking town, maybe its more of a seasonal activity here than a means of transportation.

Hum, I think this is something I am going to have to explore further throughout the year. I have only been in town for three months, after all.  What do I know a bout the biking habits of locals? Nothing!  The lack of bike racks is still rubbing me wrong, but I’ve got hope.

Madras absolutely has the potential to be a bike friendly town. All it’ll really take is for a few more people to switch to pedal transportation a bit more often. I’m going to get out and do my part to help make it happen.  Yep, i’m going to start discovering Madras by bike!

adiós y buen andar en bicicleta,
Holli P.

PS – check out these local trails….
Madras Mountain Views Scenic Bikeway
The Madras Gateway Loop

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