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BTA hopes to go from racks to riches with donation event

Posted by on January 27th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

ReRack (and the BTA) want
your used racks.
(Photo: ReRack)

I’ve heard a lot of good things about ReRack — a Portland-based company that buys and sells used roof racks and components — and now they’ve teamed up with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. It makes sense. After all, for many people who ride bikes, having some sort of way to carry them around on a car is a fact of life.

On February 6-7, ReRack will host a used rack collection drive. They’ll then purchase the racks from the BTA who will then put the money toward their Walk + Bike programs.

ReRack found Bo Grayzel says they’re reaching out to bike lovers to cast a wider net of donors: “Our business challenge is to reach the folks who own racks that they haven’t used in years, and bring them into the shop so we can pay them.” Sounds good to me. Here are more details:

    Roof rack drive & fundraiser
    ReRack Warehouse (534 NE 18th Avenue at Sandy Blvd)
    Saturday, February 6th, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Sunday, February 7th, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.*
    All Thule and Yakima racks & parts will be accepted (not limited to bike racks). More event info here.


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Comments
  • carlos January 27, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    nice, I have a set of snowboard racks, that have just been sitting around. Finally a good home for them.

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  • 9watts January 27, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    “It makes sense. After all, for many people who ride bikes, having some sort of way to carry them around on a car is a fact of life.”

    I think we need to look a little further ahead. Two facts of life that are at odds with the statement above are climate change and peak oil. Both suggest that weaning ourselves from cars, not outfitting them to carry bicycles is a more far sighted view of multi-modal transport. If we’re serious about relying on our bikes for transport then this is a throwback to the 20th Century.

    Racks belong on bikes, not on cars.

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  • A.K. January 27, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    9watt:

    So you’re saying that someone that commutes to work 5 days a week shouldn’t have a rack on the car if they want to do a little mountain biking, or drive to the coast and take their road bike for a spin there?

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  • A.K. January 27, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    And by “commute to work 5 days a week” I meant commute by bicycle 5 days a week.

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  • 9watts January 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    People can and should do what they feel is right. I’m not arguing about what people should do. My point is that an organization devoted to bicycling (e.g., BTA, bikeportland.org) might want to think about whether to champion this effort.
    The imprimatur of an organization provides legitimacy.

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  • jv January 27, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    9watt:

    And by your logic there also should not be an option for the “Share the Road” plate which benefits Cycle Oregon and BTA. This is also a voluntary donation toward bike causes by those who choose to own cars/trucks, and I have gladly bought them for my motorized vehicles.

    I’ll definitely be bringing in some of the extra Yakima racks and accessories that I have collected over the years. Also I would note to fellow racked-drivers – take those racks off your car if you are not using them, they are bad for fuel economy!

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  • 9watts January 27, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Fundraisers that benefit bicycling are part of how we do stuff; familiar arrangements that help fund what we want. I understand the motivations even as I may disagree with the specifics. It all depends on what kind of future we’re trying to bring about; what we see as necessary tradeoffs. Getting people to put Share the Road plates on their cars is a familiar symbolic act. Whether you balk at Hummers with ‘protect endangered species’ plates or cars with bicycle graphics plates may be a matter of degree. The vanity-license-plate-for-good-cause business does reify the primacy of cars as the culturally sanctioned canvas on which we paint the flavors of our social conscience. To me that is problematic; something to question and discuss in forums like this.

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  • Carl January 27, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    If donating my old bike rack from the car I sold years ago helps a car owner ride their bike more AND helps fund bike programs, that’s a win for biking AND my basement.

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  • Jeff Bernards January 28, 2010 at 10:25 am

    They should do a bike trailer program, that’s a win win, for biking and the environment.

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  • Dan Hawk January 28, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I am also of the thought that encouraging people to use more bikes more often should be the goal here. I ride as much as possible, but I also drive ocasionally for various reasons, some which are by choice and some which are not. It would seem that in saying that “bikeportland.org might want to think about whether to champion this effort” implies that the bikeportland team beleives that their ultimate goal is to completely do away with cars.

    Perhaps that is Jonathan and the team’s stance, but it would appear that a more pragmatic view and subsequent set of stories are what is present on the website.

    I love bikes and will continue to utilize them as my primary mode of transportation, but I also think that responsible use of a car for trips that aren’t feasible to tackle by bicycle is acceptable…and a rack sure comes in handy to bring the bikes along.

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  • Dan Hawk January 28, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Also, the guys at ReRack are awesome. They helped me out last summer with trading in some old stuff that I didn’t need for some newer stuff that I did need…for a great price!

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  • 9watts January 28, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    “… implies that the bikeportland team beleives that their ultimate goal is to completely do away with cars.”

    I don’t think this is about the goal of bikeportland as much as it is about our assessment of what the plausible future of the automobile is. Cars are great fun and there are about 42,000 reasons why most* of us have and use them. But that doesn’t mean we need to remain blind to the dim prospects of fossil fuel powered infrastructure.
    A local effort that follows Jeff’s lead (above) sends a very different message, and takes a very different stance vis-a-vis local tranport choices than does the program highlighted in the article. My point was simply that there is a politics to these efforts and we should be mindful of them.

    *(let’s not forget that about 15% of Portland households do not own a car)

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief) January 28, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    9watts,

    you’re making the common mistake of thinking that BikePortland is an advocacy organization. I am a publisher and we are a corporation devoted to publishing information…. and yes, that information often takes the form of advocacy, and yes, I often participate in advocacy in direct way… but this is not an “advocacy organization” in the classic non-profit sense.

    Also, I am not “dim to the blind prospects…”. I agree with where you’re coming from. I was simply to trying to state the current way things are for many people.

    Not every statement about bike/car use will include every perspective possible and not everything I write is able to represent my wide range of thoughts on a given topic.

    thanks!

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  • 9watts January 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Jonathan,

    I’m both an admirer of your work and fine with how you define the mission of bikeportland.org. No quibbles at all. But I also don’t believe there is (or should be) such a thing as objective/value-free journalism.

    Keep up the good work!

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief) January 28, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks 9watts,

    but just for the record, I am not trying to say that BikePortland is objective/value-free .. it’s just important for folks to know that I think of our work as publisher first and the advocacy comes second.

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  • jv January 28, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    from 9watts :

    “The vanity-license-plate-for-good-cause business does reify the primacy of cars as the culturally sanctioned canvas on which we paint the flavors of our social conscience. ”

    Ok, i concede this point – especially after reading the Wikipedia entry on reification in political philosophy. I’ll still be donating my unused racks, and agree that the canvas of social identity should be divorced from our transportation choices…but I never liked stickers on my bike either.

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