Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 19th, 2012 at 12:16 pm
In a sign of the growing business opportunities that come with the renaissance of urban biking in America — and Portland's reputation for being in the center of it — Woodinville, Washington-based Sportworks will launch its new "No Scratch" bike rack line at Bridgeport Brewpub in the Pearl District next month.
Sportworks is already the nation's leading supplier of bus and transit racks (used in over 500 U.S. cities), and now they're looking to bolster their brand and garner business in the bike parking market. This is a great example of the data we often see in the bike advocacy world being translated into pure bottom line economics. Here's an excerpt from a press statement published yesterday by Sportworks:
Changing municipal codes, rising gas prices, and the increase in bike share programs and green buildings indicate there are significant shifts making cycling an increasingly popular transportation option. According to the Alliance for Biking & Walking (ABW) in its 2012 Benchmarking Report, bicycle commuting numbers are growing steadily, “rising 64% between 1990 and 2009 from 466,856 to 765,703 people who bicycle to work nationwide.”
Sportworks will be in Portland for the Living Future 12 show on May 2-4th. VP of Sales & Marketing for the company, Derek Sanden says they're the first ever bike rack company to exhibit at that show (another sign of biking's growing popularity). Prior to that show, Sanden says they'll host a "Bikes & Brews - Racks & Snacks" event (on May 1st).
Why use Portland as the national launch-pad for new bike rack product?
"Because Portland has some of the most advanced and progressive bicycle infrastructure of any city in the US," Sanden told me via email today, and added, "We couldn’t think of a better target audience to start with than the passionate cyclists of our neighbors to the south."
The rack itself looks pretty nifty. It's in the standard staple design with a "durable protective bumper." Alta Planning + Design has been testing the rack and gives it high marks. The City of Portland doesn't currently buy any racks from Sportworks (their current contract is with Radius Pipe Bending out of Junction City, Oregon), but next time the contract comes up, maybe they'll take a look at these.
If you love bike parking (and who doesn't!) and want a closer look at the No Scratch rack and the folks who made it, check the event details below...