Get Started: The Basics
Essential safety gear
- Bicycle helmet.
- Front and rear lights and reflectors. Free flashers from Trimet make good rear lights that you can attach to helmet or clothing.
- Light-colored clothing. The key to safety is being seen.
All weather biking tips
Lots of people prefer to bike only when the weather is nice. Our climate here in Portland is temperate enough, though, that it's possible to ride year round. With a little preparation you'll find that riding in the rain isn't so bad after all.
- A light rain jacket is all you need to stay dry most days.
- Rain pants will help on the few days of heavy rain we get.
- Fenders will keep the mud off your back.
- If you wear glasses, a visor on your helmet or cap with a bill under your helmet cuts down on that annoying eyeglass spatter.
- In cold weather, layer clothing and wear gloves to keep your fingers toasty and dry.
Bike safety tips
- You will feel safer as you build confidence and riding skills with practice. But you might want to start out by just riding in daylight hours in summer.
- Safety gear is essential.
- If your bike has been sitting in the garage for years, have it checked out at a local bicycle shop before you start riding.
- Find a biking route that is comfortable for you. That may take some experimentation. Better to take an extra 5 minutes to get to work than be stressed by high traffic the entire way. Remember, it's supposed to be fun!
- Be seen. Drivers will actually try to avoid hitting you if they can see you. Wear bright clothing. Use those lights at night and during low-visibility conditions. Put bright red streamers on your handlebars.
- Be cognizant of when you aren't being seen. When you're not seen, be heard. Honk your Hello Kitty bubble bell.
Afraid you're not in shape to cycle?
You don't have to be young and athletic to commute by bike. People of all ages enjoy bike riding. And, one of the advantages of biking is that it will help you get in better shape. But, if you're unsure starting off remember that the amount of physical challenge depends on how fast you go. It's not a race. Take a slow leisurely pace that's comfortable for you.
If you're concerned about those hills, find a route with a more gradual incline. If you're having a lot of trouble climbing hills, the problem may be with your bicycle rather than your fitness level. Keep the tires properly inflated and the chain free of debris and well lubricated. Getting your bike tuned up regularly and the gears adjusted at a local bike shop will help. And, there's no shame in walking your bike up a hill. You're building strength. The more you bike, the easier it will get.
Don't allow fear of inadequacy to keep you from improving the quality of your life. You'll probably find it's not as hard as you think.
Bike safety & education
Getting to Work
Finding a bike route
In general, the best car route to a given destination is not the best cycling route. Cycling is far more pleasant off the high-traffic, high-speed roads.
Biking and public transit
- TriMet: How to ride / Bringing your bike on TriMet
- TriMet: Trip Planner
For state employees
PSOB Wellness Center: Want a place to shower, change into work clothes, store your things and work out on those days that you can't bike? Join the Wellness Center located on the 8th floor of the Portland State Office Building.
Lloyd District, Portland
- Lloyd District: Go Lloyd
- TriMet: How to ride / Bringing your bike on TriMet / Bike Lockers
Portland State Office Building (PSOB)
- Free bicycle parking spaces are available to all PSOB employees in the garage. The garage can be accessed through the pedestrian gate on the south side or the vehicle gate on the west side.
- Limited spaces are also available in the secure bicycle cage. Signing up for bike cage access:
- PSOB garage bicycle parking rules
- Use bicycle racks only. Do not lock bikes to railings, gates, etc.
- If you plan to leave your bicycle overnight please notify the Security Desk.
- Leaving your bicycle in the PSOB garage for extended periods of time without notifying the Security Desk is NOT permitted.
Downtown Portland (including secure lockers)
City of Portland code for bike parking
Bike Commuting Resources
- Avoiding flat tires: Watch for road debris and use puncture-resistant tires or tire inserts.
- City of Portland Office of Transportation: Getting Around Portland / Transportation Options / Bicycles / Bicycle Resources & Organizations / Repair & Maintenance Classes
Report road and bike lane maintenance concerns
Local bicycle organization links