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Bike Gallery named Platinum-level bike friendly business

Posted by on March 4th, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves
working on a bike during the
Cycle Oregon weekend ride last
summer.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Bike Gallery — a company that runs six bike shops in the Portland area — has been named a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclists.

The family-run shops, now headed by Jay Graves, are one of only two businesses in the country to achieve the Platinum designation, which — similar to their Bicycle Friendly Community program — is the League’s highest honor (the other is New Belgium Brewing based in Colorado).

The Bicycle Friendly Business program is in its second year and 34 businesses have been chosen so far. Other Portland area businesses that have been recognized through this program are; Alta Planning + Design (Gold), Portland Providence Medical Center (Silver), and Beaverton-based Easystreet Online Services (Bronze).

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Bike Gallery has been a Portland staple for 35 years and according to a statement released by the League they “serve as an example for best practices and innovations in bicycle friendliness at the workplace”.

The Bicycle Friendly Business program evaluates business in four main areas: encouragement (benefits for bike commuters), education (safety programs, how-to clinics), engineering (facilities and safe bike access), and evaluation (assessing current conditions and having a plan for the future).

— Learn more about the League’s Bicycle Friendly Business program here.

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Comments
  • Erik Tonkin March 4, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Congratulations to Jay and his co-workers at the Bike Gallery! I say the award is well-deserved.
    Jay, thanks for personally hiring me over 12 years ago when I was in need of a job, and thanks for being a good role model then and now. I admire you and your business.

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  • Tori March 4, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Congrats to Jay and the entire Bike Gallery staff. Your hard work and dedication pay off not just with the League, but many happy customers.

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  • SkidMark March 4, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    I get treated better @ Bike gallery than I do at certain bike co-ops that will remain un-named…

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  • Tomas Quinones March 4, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Yay!

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  • Anonymous March 5, 2009 at 6:39 am

    Congrats to Bike Gallery and Providence Portland Medical Center for this year’s winners. Alta Planning + Design and Easystreet Online Services were previous winners last year. So that’s 4 bike friendly businesses in all of Oregon?

    More please.

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  • Jessica Roberts March 5, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Anonymous #5, this is a new program and I think word is spreading more quickly now about the application process. But I do suggest that when we bicyclists learn about a bicycle-friendly business, we point them to this program as a way for them to get public acknowledgment of what they’re doing.

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  • N March 5, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I’ve never had a good experience at any of the Bike Gallery locations. My last choice in all of Portland, in fact, I don’t know a single person who likes them. It’s good to know that they, at the very least, treat their employees well.

    By the way, wasn’t it a Bike gallery employee that instigated a fist fight with a cyclist last year, while the employee was driving his car with his family in tow?

    Is that the kind of outreach that won them this distinction?

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  • bArbaroo March 5, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Jessica – i couldn’t agree more – there are many other businesses out there that deserve BFB status.

    In case you are wondering the next application deadline is July 10, 2009. Those applications will be considered for a September 2009 designation.

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  • Lola March 5, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    N7, I totally agree. I needed to buy a new bike helmet this past fall, and the sales person at Bike Gallery worked hard to sell me something expensive but knew nothing about fitting helmets. I ended up returning what I bought and then going to a much smaller shop (Coventry Cycleworks on Hawthorne) where the staff person took a lot of time to make sure I got a helmet that fit and that it was properly adjusted for me.

    This isn’t just a matter of selling well. A poor fitting helmet can be a matter of life or death. No one should be selling one without knowing how to fit customers and taking the time to do it right EVERY time. If I were a less knowledgeable biker, I’d be riding around with an expensive helmet that wasn’t actually offering proper protection.

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  • Close- but no March 5, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    N-

    Depends on which incident you are refering to (there were 2), but I think you are wrong in both cases. Family was not involved.

    Perhaps the $ and time donated to numerous outreach programs, helping to found the BTA, helping fund this very blog, the CCC and many other things, are some of the reasons they earned this distinction. Or maybe because they have people for marketing/press/outreach and can at least make it seem like they are doing the right thing.

    I don’t shop at the BG, rather RC or Cycle Path, as I am not a fan of the current Bike Gallery, but that in no way detracts from the great things they have, and continue to do.

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  • N March 5, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Actually, family was involved in the incident I was refering to. He had his wife and child in the car when he started honking and yelling at the cyclist. Then he got out of the car to further the confrontation while his family watched him get hit with a bicycle. But you are right… There were two incidents, and it probably is their marketing/PR guys that make them look good. It certainly isn’t their service, attitude, or prices.

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  • Close- but no March 5, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    You were/are right, 2 kids in the car.

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  • velo March 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    OK Bike Gallery haters, use your names and either maker real and specific charges, or stop whining. Talk is cheap on the internet when you’re nameless and faceless. Do you or your company do more for the bike community?

    Is the Bike Gallery perfect? No. Is any shop perfect? No. Is any person perfect? NO. They are sort of the 800 pound gorilla of Portland shops, but they do a decent job on many counts. Health care is a great start, now I’d like to see them pay employees a living wage, $12-14/hour would be a nice start. They could likely do it, most shops would be hard pressed to do so.

    And besides, I’ll take Erik Tonkin’s word over a random anon poster any day.

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  • Blah Blah Blah March 5, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    I’ve been a hard core BG customer for years but over the last year or so I’ve had some really bad experiences there. Don’t get me wrong I’ve never met a BG employee that was rude or unfriendly but it seems like lately they’ve been stocking the stores with some serious boneheads.

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  • bagel March 5, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Did N or Lola even read the criteria for being a Bike Friendly Business? I checked out LAB’s Web site, and I encourage you to do the same. I didn’t find anything about employee competence or price levels.

    Bike Gallery might not be your favorite bike shop, but please learn what a business must do to earn this distinction before making ignorant remarks.

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  • Dave March 6, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Hey–enough picking on Bike Gallery! You don’t get to where they are, nor do you stay in business for so long, unless you do thousands of things much more right than wrong. Also, BG was supportive of cycling advocacy, both as a side activity of their employees and in the greater community, before most people ever knew it existed.

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  • N March 10, 2009 at 9:51 am

    BG is terrible. The Phillip Morris of Portland cycling. Luckily, there are other options near all BG locations so nobody has to bite the bullit and shop there when a tube or the like, is needed in a pinch. Thanks Recyclery…

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  • cardinal March 11, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Phillip Morris is the Michael Jordan of cigarettes!

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  • bArbaroo March 13, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    … Didn’t Phillip Morris play for the Utah Jazz?

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  • Andrew C. March 13, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    I am a die hard fan of BG. It is a business that supports YOUR right to ride. They don’t just cash in on the fact they are a bike shop in PDX and stop there.

    Take a look at every single key issue and/or event to create more rights and comforts for you to ride in this city and you will see the smiling face of Jay Graves and Bike Gallery.

    and….

    N,

    the Recyclery? Really? Cory (the owner) buys more stolen goods (KNOWINGLY!) than most pawn shops on 82nd.

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  • wsbob March 14, 2009 at 10:56 am

    I’ve received excellent, well informed advice and even skilled, minor repairs to the bike, no charge from staff at the Beaverton BG. That’s great customer relations practice. Based on the impression they made, if I ever need to take the bike in for a tune-up, or refer someone else that needs repairs, BG is the first place that comes to mind.

    About the bike rider/car passenger confrontation mentioned in comment #7 above, below are a couple articles (if I got the code right) that tell more about the incident. With passage of time, the truth often suffers. Did the BG employee ‘instigte’ a fistfight, as N in #7 wonders? I’d say, no. Might have been a little over zealous, but he gave no excuse to receive the response that followed.

    O story, confrontation between car passenger and bike rider

    bikeportland thread with discussion about biker, car passenger confrontation

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