Can you bike to the airport?

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bike stand sign

Can you bike to your local airport?

In a few hours, Meghan Sinnott and I are leading our second annual bike ride to and from Portland’s international airport (PDX) as part of the Pedalpalooza bike fun festival. Last year’s ride was a blast, featuring a tour of the Port of Portland’s bike-friendly airport facilities, including a dedicated bike path right up to the arrivals gate, secure bike parking closer to the doors than even the taxi stand, and best of all a bike rack and tools for disassembling and reassembling your bike when you fly.

In Portland, we’re lucky to have a welcoming airport and several pleasant and easy routes to get to it from different parts of town, and I’m convinced that more people will start making bikes part of their travel plans as word continues to get out. Of course, we also have some challenges to bike-air combo trips, including a few bad crossings and simply finding your way there in the first place without getting lost. More on that later (with pictures!).

For now, I’m curious about your experiences at other airports. The only other place I’ve tried to ride to the airport is Las Vegas, where they have the luck of proximity with their inner city airport, but some of the most terrifying roads I’ve ever ridden on to get to and from it.

I’m guessing that while most airports are definitely not designed with human-powered transport in mind (another major advantage of train travel is that stations are in the middle of cities), each airport must have its own advantages and challenges for cycling—some combination of routes, wayfinding, parking, security, and overall attitude towards bikes.

Here’s the scoop from a friend on Twitter about riding to the airport in NYC:

Awesome! I asked for more details and he replied:

Anyone else ride to the airport lately? What was it like? What could make it better?