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BikeTown comes to Portland

Posted by on June 20th, 2008 at 10:27 am

Bicycling Magazine and Shimano have teamed up once again on their BikeTown program.

Portland is one of five U.S. cities chosen to participate and yesterday was the kickoff of the event at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland.

At the event, 30 Portlanders who won an essay contest were presented with their new Trek Lime bikes (using Shimano’s Coasting component group).

The Oregonian’s Stuart Tomlinson was there and he shot this great video report:

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  • KT June 20, 2008 at 11:37 am

    I saw that article in the business section of today\’s O, but didn\’t have time to do more than read the caption of the huge color photo.

    Very awesome!!!

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  • Darren June 20, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Shimano and Bicycling magazine give away 30 bikes in Portland and get major press. The Community Cycling Center gives away thousands, and gets very little. Support the CCC.

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  • steve June 20, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    I know, and the bikes the CCC gives away are actually useful. Those Limes are all destined to gather dust in a garage or help fill in a local landfill.

    The only way Trek can get rid of those bikes is to give them away. The free advertising is just a perk.

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  • TX2Step June 20, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Well… I\’m happy for Portland but I wish the Biketown program would develop non-bicycle communities rather than concentrating on established bike towns.

    I mean, seriously, I\’m sure Portlanders see bicyclists ALL THE TIME but where I\’m at, people hardly use the bike paths. This program is so corporate.

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  • bArbaroo June 20, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I know that Limes are not for everyone but for many of the folks that received bikes yesterday -it is the ideal bike.

    I am the one at the start of the video adjusting a helmet and I was there talking to many of the winners. If you know me you\’ll know that I\’m not corporate, Lois who coordinated the event is not corporate. We are both a couple of bike shop gals that love sharing our passion for bikes. So, Bicycling Magazine does a promo to give away bikes and Trek donates the bikes – fine with me, more people on bikes is a good thing even if it is a \”corporate\” promo.

    I went to the event skeptical about what was being given away. I\’ve actually ridden these bikes a lot and led several novice rides using these bikes and I was not sure the Lime was good choice for this event. I also had the same thoughts that TX2Step raised about non-bike communities needing this more. But, after being there talking with and helping many of the winners I found out that I was VERY wrong.

    One of the winners did not know how to ride a bike -at all – and I believe the Lime is the perfect bike for her. Another woman there had not ridden for many years- she was happy to not have to think about shifting and that allowed her to focus on handling the bike and watching her kids. I left the event very excited about the door that had been opened for these folks. All of the winners I spoke with were really excited to be getting a bike, although the reason for their excitement varied: learning to ride, getting back on a bike, running errands by bike, spending more time outside, spending more quality time with their family, and getting more exercise.

    For you and I, these may not be the ideal bike, but that doesn\’t mean it\’s wrong for everyone. And, even though many of us are very connected in the bike community of Portland, there are still plenty of folks that need an event like this to help them start cycling. I do believe these bikes will do lots of good. Will all of them be ridden hard and often? No, but enough of them will to make a difference in the lives of many of these winners that I’m fine if a couple collect dust.

    For all the Bike Town winners that might be reading this – I really enjoyed meeting all of you yesterday. It was fun to help you get your bikes. Many of you really inspired me. Have fun with your new bikes!

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  • Elisabeth June 20, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    What I love about the BikeTown program, is that the HUGE press it generates in the towns where it is implemented is really, really inspiring to non-bicyclists, and gives them the thought that maybe they could do it too. Hearing in depth, people\’s stories – their successes and struggles – about what it\’s like to learn to bicycle for the first time in their lives, or in many decades, is empowering and inspirational to many.

    Let\’s not turn this into CCC vs BT debate. All of these organizations et al are all doing awesome, awesome work to promote bicycling to people from all walks of life, and we should support them all.

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