After 90 years, American cities are again redefining independence

Posted by on July 3rd, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Sunday Parkways: Just a slice of alternative history.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Sometime in the 1920s, the American auto industry worked very hard and very consciously to achieve a great victory: they successfully associated their product with freedom.

A machine that had been developed to power farm implements and long-distance travel became a way for the wealthy, and gradually the less wealthy, to zoom and roar right through the middle of cities.

As documented by history professor Peter Norton’s 2008 book Fighting Traffic (and many links over the years in BikePortland’s Monday Roundup), many Americans — maybe most of them — didn’t see this as a blow in favor of freedom; just the opposite. They saw it as a takeover of city streets. Even in a world where many more people died of disease and violence than they do today, the public was shocked by the notion that a person’s freedom to zoom down a street could be more important than a child’s freedom to play in it.


Get Metro's newly updated Bike There! map

Dates set for 4th annual Disaster Relief Trials

Posted by on July 3rd, 2015 at 9:26 am

2014 Disaster Relief Trials-1
Participants negotiate a water-carrying checkpoint at last year’s event.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s Disaster Relief Trials are back for the fourth year and there are some exciting changes in store.


Jobs of the Week: Velotech, Craft Beer Fest, Cascade Bicycle Club

Posted by on July 3rd, 2015 at 8:49 am

We’ve had three great jobs and one volunteer opportunity listed this week. Learn more about them via the links below…


With new authority, TriMet moves to clear unused bikes from its racks

Posted by on July 2nd, 2015 at 5:17 pm

bike rack
Should keep things a bit clearer.
(Photo: TriMet)

The Portland area’s public transit agency has given itself the power to seize and discard bicycles abandoned at its stations for more than a few days.

As part of a general code overhaul approved last February and effective Wednesday with the start of TriMet’s fiscal year, the TriMet board of directors approved a new code provision allowing for “a bicycle left on any property of the District Transit System for more than 72 hours may be impounded.”


Weekend Event Guide: Freedom, fireworks, camping and more

Posted by on July 2nd, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Fourth of July party-11
Go ahead, fly your flag!
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This menu of delicious rides and events is brought to you by our friends at Hopworks Urban Brewery. Their support makes BikePortland possible.

With the heat we’ve been having it’s probably just as well that our calendar of rides isn’t nearly as full as it has been. And the weekend after Pedalpalooza always feels a bit quiet — as if the community takes a collective rest and needs time to recover after three weeks of riding and partying.

That being said, it’s still summer and there’s never a bad day for a ride (and don’t forget to check out our stay-cool tips when you head out).

One note of caution, if you plan to head out to the Gorge through Corbett via the Historic Highway on Saturday (the 4th), remember that the road is closed for a parade from 9:30 am to about noon.


The ‘Bike Peace Music Festival’ is coming to Cascade Locks

Posted by on July 2nd, 2015 at 2:24 pm


What could be better than a weekend “celebrating peace and good health” while riding bikes, camping, and listening to live music in a festival atmosphere in the Columbia River Gorge? And to top it all off, the organizers are encouraging everyone to get their by bike.

The first annual Bike Peace Music Festival is set for July 17th and 18th in Cascade Locks. 200 campsites have been reserved on Thunder Island exclusively for people who bike to the event with their own camping gear.

“This encourages festival attendees to abandon the car and ride to the festival,” says the event’s organizer Marcus Nobel, “Imagine that getting to the festival is part of the festival.”


Q&A: The League’s outgoing president on state of biking in Portland and beyond

Posted by on July 2nd, 2015 at 10:02 am

National Bike Summit Congressional Reception-5
Andy Clarke at the Congressional Reception of the 2013 National Bike Summit in Washington D.C.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

If Andy Clarke has had a single mission in more than a decade at the League of American Bicyclists, it’s this: turning the U.S. bicycling movement from what he calls “a narrow special-interest group that by and large people don’t like” into “a public-interest group.”


Democrats in state Senate join Republicans to kill neighborhood income diversity bill

Posted by on July 2nd, 2015 at 8:24 am

se division pedicab
Though the bill would have affected only condos and other owner-occupied homes, some rallied around it as a seemingly achievable way to preserve income diversity in bike-friendly areas like Southeast Division Street.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A bill that would have let Oregon cities require some condominiums in some new housing projects to be sold for below-market prices reportedly died in the state Senate on Wednesday.

One leading advocate for inclusionary zoning, as such policies are known, said late Wednesday that Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) and Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Southeast Portland) had “opted against a final caucus on the bill, claiming that the votes aren’t there.”

“We believe otherwise,” added the advocate, Jonathan Ostar of Portland-based OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, in an email to supporters of House Bill 2564. “It’s beyond frustrating that the caucus won’t get to discuss this last amendment.”

The bill’s backers include the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Upstream Public Health and other groups looking for ways to keep Portland’s decade-long housing shortage from making it impossible for most people to afford homes in Portland’s bikeable, walkable neighborhoods.


Take the no-sweat challenge (and other tips to survive the heat)

Posted by on July 1st, 2015 at 4:34 pm

Splash Dance Ride-5-4
If you see water, ride through it.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)


Major regional timber company now requires permit on popular logging roads

Posted by on July 1st, 2015 at 3:00 pm

New sign spotted near
Green Mountain in Vernonia area.
(Photo by Tyler Robertson/Two Wheel Travel)

I have some bad news, some good news, and some very good news.

First, the bad news…

As of today (July 1st), timber company Weyerhaeuser Columbia Timberlands has started a new program that requires all users of their tree farms and other land in Columbia and Washington counties to have an official permit. This new “recreational access program” is something Weyerhauser has done on their land in other parts of the United States but it’s a first here in our region. The company owns about 126,000 acres in dozens of parcels between Portland, Longview and the Oregon Coast.

As you can from the lead photo, new signs have already been posted.


Ride Along with Kimberlee Chambers: Gresham to inner southeast Portland

Posted by on July 1st, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Ride Along with Kimberlee Chambers
Kimberlee Chambers crossing SE 122nd and Halsey.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

— This post was made possible by Portland Design Works, a local company that designs beautiful and functional parts and accessories for everyday cycling. Kimberlee is one of three winners of our Ride Along Contest held last March.

From neighborhood highways to neighborhood greenways, from bike paths that double as both wildlife corridors and homes to families with nowhere else to go, Kimberlee Chambers’ 12-mile work commute offers a stunning diversity of riding experiences.


Metro launches #BikeThere2015 Instagram contest

Posted by on July 1st, 2015 at 9:58 am


Metro is running a contest all this month to promote the new edition of the Bike There! map.


Did you know ODOT revises the driver’s manual every two years?

Posted by on July 1st, 2015 at 9:17 am

Detail of Oregon Driver’s Manual.

We didn’t either.

Neither did Ray Thomas, the man who literally wrote the book on Oregon bike law (and has personally written and/or lobbied for many of them). Neither did Rob Sadowsky, the executive director of the largest bicycle advocacy organization in the state, or Noel Mickelberry, the leader of Oregon Walks.

“It caught us totally off guard,” Sadowsky shared with me this morning, “And it points to a lack of collaboration.”

This is a big deal because the 84-page Oregon Driver’s Manual impacts how people learn to behave on the road. It’s probably the one source of traffic law nearly every driver has consulted at least once and it’s used in court to justify behaviors both right and wrong. Making sure the driver’s manual presents information accurately and from a variety of perspectives — especially the most vulnerable road users — is a key component of the gradual march toward Vision Zero.


Industry Ticker: Timbuk2 set to open retail store in Portland

Posted by on June 30th, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Front of new store on SW Stark.
(Photo: Timbuk2)

San Francisco-based Timbuk2, a bag brand with deep ties into the bicycle industry, will open a retail store in Portland next month. This is the company’s eighth flagship store in North America (they also have stores in Toronto, Venice Beach, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, and Chicago).

The new store is on SW Stark between 11th and 12th, across the street from West End Bikes (and just around the corner from Chrome, another national brand in the same product niche). Bike-centric highlights of the new Timbuk2 store include a repair station with loaner tools and an air pump and a free bikeshare program for customers who need some wheels.

A launch party happens on July 11th and will feature food, music, and a raffle to benefit the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

Learn more in the press release below:


Friends remember Austin Crenshaw; memorial service tomorrow

Posted by on June 30th, 2015 at 11:15 am

“Austin Crenshaw, adventurer, animal lover, cyclist, and all around amazing gentleman died during a bike ride in the Columbia River Gorge at the age of 37. He was doing an activity he loved and surrounded by people who loved him.”

Austin Crenshaw wasn’t a Portland native, but his presence and way of living inspired a lot of deep friendships — many of them forged on long bike rides and on the race course.

Austin was on one of those rides this past Saturday morning. With friends at his side, the very skilled rider leaned into a corner and reportedly lost control of his bike. As he overshot the curve, someone was driving a car in the opposite direction and a collision ensued. Despite attempts to save his life, he passed away minutes later.

Austin’s friend Erin Playman was on that ride. Now she’s encouraging anyone who knew Austin and who was touched by his good nature, sportsmanship, and love of life, to attend a funeral service tomorrow in southeast Portland.


Photo radar bill passes out of committee, moves toward floor votes – UPDATED

Posted by on June 30th, 2015 at 10:07 am

high crash corridors
Map of Portland’s 10 High Crash Corridors.

It’s looking likelier that Oregon’s legislature will give Portland the right to gradually install 20 well-marked but unmanned anti-speeding cameras on its 10 deadliest streets.

House Bill 2621 was approved by the Joint Ways and Means committee in a nearly party-line vote Monday afternoon, sending the bill to the House and Senate floors.

Fourteen Democrats plus Salem Republican Jackie Winters voted for the bill to move ahead with a “do pass” recommendation. Nine Republicans voted against it.

Portland leaders including Mayor Charlie Hales and Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick have urged traffic safety activists to help them push for the bill. At the recent BikeLoudPDX safe streets rally, Hales told the crowd to “Put pressure on the legislature” to pass HB 2621, and said it would, “Let us use technology to make our streets safer.”


Large crowd at City-sponsored symposium learns evils of free parking

Posted by on June 29th, 2015 at 4:35 pm

parking crowd
The crowded auditorium at the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s parking symposium Monday.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

“Our cities have minimum bedroom requirements for cars but not minimum housing requirements for people.”
— Jeffrey Tumlin

If anyone needed evidence that parking policy matters to Portlanders, it arrived at the Portland Building Monday in the form of 130 people, many armed with pen and paper, to attend a five-hour “symposium” on the subject.

The event organized by the Portland Bureau of Transportation drew a who’s-who of neighborhood association and city transportation officials. One was Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick, who said that parking was the transportation issue he hears about more than any other.


How was the Naked Ride for you? (I’m hoping you can fill me in)

Posted by on June 29th, 2015 at 2:55 pm

I missed the World Naked Bike Ride this year so I’m hoping you can fill me in.

There are not many things that would keep me away from this ride. It’s not only one of the most fun and inspiring nights of the year for me personally, but the recap and photos I usually post are by far the most popular of the entire year (by a mile).

(Don’t feel sorry for me not being there, I was at another event where love, celebration and optimism filled the warm night sky — the wedding of your favorite bike journalist Michael Andersen to his wonderful partner Maureen Young!)

So… How’d it go?


With 40% rise in roadway deaths, activists plan to target ODOT

Posted by on June 29th, 2015 at 2:05 pm

A man died in this collision on Saturday
on Highway 6 near Tillamook.
(Photo: Oregon State Police)

As long as roadway fatalities and injuries keep piling up, local activists plan to keep protesting.

Fresh of last week’s rally and demonstrations at City Hall, volunteers with BikeLoudPDX will continue their actions with a Death Toll Memorial event tomorrow at the headquarters of the Oregon Department of Transportation in downtown Portland.

“Several of us feel the need to publicly acknowledge that 30 people lost their lives in June on Oregon roads in preventable wrecks,” wrote event organizer Dan Kaufman. Kaufman, the same man who organized the protest on SE Powell Blvd back in May, is fed up with the loss of life and injury on our roads.


‘Scenic Bikeways’ now available on the coast and southern Oregon

Posted by on June 29th, 2015 at 11:47 am

People's Coast Classic Day Five-47
This stellar road inside Cape Blanco State Park is now officially recognized as one
of the best places to ride a bike in Oregon.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Last week the Oregon State Parks Commission unanimously approved two new Scenic Bikeways; the Wild Rivers Coast and Cascade Siskiyou routes. The new routes are the first time the Bikeway program has included the coast and the southern Oregon region.

The Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Bikeway is a a 61-mile route based out of Port Orford. It heads southeast along the curvaceous Elk River and then north up to Cape Blanco State Park, the westernmost point in the entire state. The park includes a lighthouse and the historic Hughes House, both of which you might recall hearing about when I explored the area myself a few years ago during a ride down the coast.

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The Cascade Siskiyou Scenic Bikeway begins in the southern Oregon city of Ashland. The 55-mile loop heads east and takes you around Emigrant and Howard Prarie Lakes. There’s even a nice bikepacking option if you’re ready to sleep overnight.

With the addition of these two new Scenic Bikeways, Oregon now boasts a total of 14 routes that have been officially recognized since the program was established in 2008.

The Bikeways program does not come with any funding for infrastructure improvements, except for special way-finding signage. The routes themselves are mostly on standard roads and highways, however the selection committee takes into account the general safety of the road in making their decisions.

You can learn much more about them and the other 12 Scenic Bikeways at RideOregonRide.com.

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