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Free donuts and coffee for commuters!

Posted by on September 15th, 2005 at 2:04 pm

Bike Commute Breakfast at City HallBike Commute Breakfast at City Hall

In support of the ongoing BTA Bike Commute Challenge, PDOT held a Bike Commute Breakfast this morning in front of City Hall. Any chance I get to do bike stuff in front of City Hall I jump at the chance. It just feels good for some reason (and the free donuts and coffee didn’t hurt either!).

I met a bunch of great folks and listened to the ever-fabulous Trash Mountain Boys as hordes of bike commuters ate bagels, fruit and donuts and sipped hot coffee and tea. (unfortunately I talked so much I never snapped a photo of the great turnout!).

Another cool thing was test riding the City’s new “City Fleet” bike. It’s a Trek uber-city bike full of all the bells and whistles. It sort of rides like an SUV (in a good way). The best part is the custom “City of Portland” sticker on the downtube. Not the coolest graphic in the world, but at least they’re trying.

Apparently the city has a hodge-podge of bikes for use by city employees downtown but it sounds like most of them need some TLC. Is there a bike shop employee in the house? Maybe you should put in a call and see if you can hook up your shop with the city and get those bikes back in use. The PR alone would be worth the effort.

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  • Bryan September 15, 2005 at 2:52 pm

    I remember catching a Bike Commute Breakfast last year on my way to PSU (I have the “I Rode My Bike Today” sign I got sitting under the glass on my desk at work). I had no idea the thing was scheduled until I went by last year, and I didn’t know that they were doing it again this year. Is there any place where they advertise these?

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  • Jonathan Maus September 15, 2005 at 3:17 pm

    Bryan, as far as I know this wasn’t advertised anywhere. I only heard about it because someone that works at the City forwarded me an internal email about it.

    I was going to post something about it but other things came up and I never got around to it.

    In the coming months, I hope to partner with PDOT and other groups in town to create a comprehensive event calendar.

    Hopefully next year you won’t miss it!

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  • Peter W September 15, 2005 at 6:45 pm

    Thats a good point Bryan.. PSU should do that again… the only problem, and reason we don’t push it more, is that school at PSU hardly happens in september! The PSU Cycling Club, Bike Coop, or transportation office might do something once school starts, or we might do a mini bike commute challenge later. We’ll see…

    (of course it would be good to publicize biking to school, so perhaps we’ll do a big event and try to get it into the vanguard. hmm)

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  • Barbara September 19, 2005 at 10:15 am

    I wanted to respond to Bryan and others who happened upon various bike commute breakfast at City Hall in the past few years and wondered if they were advertised.

    We (City of Portland Bike Program) used to host big breakfast events each May (National Bike Month) at Pioneer Courthouse Square for everyone to come and celebrate bicycling in Portland. Group rides were organized and led from various City Parks in each geographic are of the city. Leaders were mostly Bike Advisory Committee members, Portland Wheelmen and other committed folks who helped make Portland what it is for cyclists today. (Thanks to all those tireless individuals who put the hard and often frustrating work in those early years that it took to make it happen – you know who you are!).

    A huge party with several hundred cyclists, new and hardcare, filled Pioneer Courthouse Square. Some years we organized Bike, Bus, Car races. Monty Shelton won one year because he had his people secretly reserve a front row car parking space for he and Darcel – every other year, the bike won the race! Most years our then Commissioner, Earl Blumenauer spoke and rallied all the attendees with his visionary and gracious oratory talents.

    Businesses donated coffee, bagels and City employees and dedicated volunteers got up in the wee hours to make it all happen. Some years a new bicycle was raffled off to a new bike commuter.

    In time, the Bike Transportation Alliance grew from the small group of individuals organized to protest the Gulf War – and promote the installation of bike racks on TriMet – to a membership organization focused on advocating for appropriate bike facilities all over Portland and desired to take on the organizing of the breakfast each year.

    The BTA organized the event for a few years until organizing the September Business Bike Commute Challenge. As Portlanders know, September often offer better weather for those newbies to give biking a try! The Bike Commute Challenge takes an incredible amount of work for the BTA and their volunteers (not to mention the individuals who coordinate the challenge for their businesses) and the Bike to Work Day event in May no longer was traded for todays BTA Business Bike Commute Challenge.

    The City of Portland Bike Programs was dismantled in 1999, and Transportation Options was formed along with remnants from the City’s Pedestrian, Traffic Calming, and Parking Demand Management teams. It took Options a few years to get on it’s feet, develop it’s vision and image within the organization and come up with the programs that we do within the community today.

    Eventually we missed the breakfast events, and the chance to celebrate bicycling with our friends. Options started hosting the smaller, scaled down events at City Hall just a few years ago for employees of City Bureaus who ride. The smaller versions of the old Bike to Work Day and also an event during the Bike Commute Challenge in May have been hosted by Options for City employees – to thank them for riding and to encourage more folks to ride. The events also help us raise awareness of cycling issues to our own Commissioners and Mayors at City Hall and educate more employees – who often work on projects with bicycle elements – about the benefits of bicycling. We did only advertized the events to City employees through bureau Transportation Coordinators, in employee breakrooms other venues for posting flyers where City employees frequent, including City email distribution lists and intranet sites.

    With the scant resources it would take to throw a retirement party or baby shower for a coworker, we offer coffee and bagels before work hours to City employees who ride their bikes to work that day, in fair weather or everyday of the year.

    Options wants to bring back the large city-wide event for all Portland resident cyclists again this coming May. We need the help of a handful of committed volunteers however to do it however.

    If you are interested in being on the organizing committee, leading a group bike ride to the event, arranging entertainment and speakers, getting sponsorship and media coverage, promoting the event and helping set up, serve food and clean up the day of the event in May – give me a call! It would be great to have a bicycling event, where everyone is invited to celebrate the spirit of bicycling, in Portland’s living room again.

    I can be reached at 503-823-4584, or barbara.plummer@pdxtrans.org

    Thanks,
    barbara

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  • Jonathan Maus September 19, 2005 at 3:19 pm

    Barbara:
    Thanks for clearing that up. I didn’t realize the breakfast was just for city employees. I hope we can make the city-wide event at Pioneer Courthouse a reality…I’ll be in touch!

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