Portland's 2020 mayoral race now includes an interesting wrinkle: The two leading candidates both ride electric bicycles.

In challenging Mayor Ted Wheeler in this coming year's election, Sarah Iannarone has made a point of the way she commutes: often by e-bike, as her introductory campaign video showed.

But in the past couple weeks, Wheeler has joined the e-biking crowd. About two weeks ago, he had hernia surgery, he tells WW. His choice of ride during his recovery? An e-bike from the city's fleet of 21, two which were ordered in 2017 for the mayor's staff to use. "I decided it would be better for my recovery to use the e-bike rather than my personal bike," Wheeler says.

Here's how the candidates' rides compare.

Sarah Iannarone
Bike: iZip E3 Moda

Where did you get it?
Cynergy E-Bikes

How often have you used it?
3,375 miles since Nov. 22, 2018

What do you like?
"I love the connection to the streets and my neighbors that I get from exploring the city outside a motor vehicle. I love experiencing the city I love at the street level. I love the fresh air and exercise. I love the freedom from congestion and long waits on transit. I love not circling the block looking for parking. I love not having to think about what route I'll take to avoid that big hill. I love that my e-bike gets me around town faster than driving."

What do you not like?
"I don't like that my e-bike only gets about 30 miles distance at top speed before needing a recharge. I don't like cold fingers and toes in winter. I don't love that my eyeglasses don't come with windshield wipers. And I hate almost getting mown down by motorists every single day I'm riding around town. I hate having to ride defensively even when I have the right of way just to make sure I get home at the end of the day."

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (right) arrives by boat at the 2018 Tribal Nations Summit. (Portland Parks and Recreation)
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (right) arrives by boat at the 2018 Tribal Nations Summit. (Portland Parks and Recreation)

Mayor Ted Wheeler
E-bike: City-owned PIM Bicycle

Where did you get it?
Part of the city fleet. In 2017, Wheeler requested two e-bikes for his staff.

How often have you used it?
Every day for the last two weeks.

What do you like?
"What's really remarkable about it is, I can wear a suit and a tie and not break a sweat. The opportunity with e-bikes is to open up biking to people who maybe physically don't believe they're up to it. There's a sense of convenience and freedom you don't have when you're in a car. When I'm on my bike, I don't have to stress about where I'm going to park if I have two more minutes until my next meeting."

What do you not like?
"The reality right now is, cost is a huge barrier. It's hard to sugarcoat that."