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Bike to Work Day roundup and open thread

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 18th, 2012 at 10:37 am

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley at a Bike to Work Day event this morning.
(Photo: Jeff Merkley's office)


OK Portland, it's National Bike to Work Day. What the heck is going on out there?

This "holiday" is always strange to me because I feel like it's just another day at the office; but I also it's an important day to raise awareness about biking to work. So below are a few bits from around town and around the web...

This morning, there was the annual Bike to Work Breakfast at Oregon Square in the Lloyd District; and guess who showed up? None other than U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (who, if you didn't know, is being groomed to be the Earl Blumenauer of the Senate). Not only did Sen. Merkley ride today, he also posted that nice photo above to Twitter. Who knew he was a triathlete?!

Also, right now there's an Employer Bike Summit going on where local business leaders are sharing their experiences and tips about creating bike-friendly workplaces.

On the web, there's a ton of great bike reads today...

The League of American Bicyclists unleashed a new study today showing that, taken all together, the people in America who ride bikes save $4.6 billion a year by driving less.

The League also has the most viral post of the day, with this fantastic "Why I Ride" contribution by a 84-year-old Palo Alto resident Ellen Fletcher. According to our friend and fellow bike blogger Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious, Ellen has had a profound impact on bicycling in her area and has been a part of Bike To Work Day events for four decades! And she's still going strong. "The last time I saw her a few months back, I saw her RideKick electric trailer," says Richard, "She was embarrassed to be seen using an electric motor to get around, in spite of her advanced age and her cancer."

NPR had a great story this morning that featured photos of people biking to work from around the country and a no-nonsense riding advice from Rivendell's Grant Petersen (who happens to have a new book by the way)

And did you notice the nifty promo happening here on the front page? Several local businesses that advertise on this site donated their ad space to the BTA today to encourage folks to become members. When local businesses and local advocacy are strong together there's really nothing we can't do.

Share your Bike to Work Day thoughts and experiences in the comments. I'll see you tonight at the gathering for Kathryn Rickson at 5:30 on the corner of SW 3rd and Madison.

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  • Jason May 18, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Grrr... And for the first time in months I had to drive to work today, feeling lame and missing the breakfast stop on the Hawthorne.

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  • Joe May 18, 2012 at 10:53 am

    The League of American Bicyclists unleashed a new study today showing that, taken all together, the people in America who ride bikes save $4.6 billion a year by not driving less.

    Thats a scary typo at the end of the sentence: "save $4.6 billion a year by not driving less". Got freaked out and thought for a second I should drive more to save $$.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 18, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Haven't biked to work yet! I'm picking my 9 yr old up from school in North Portland then we are biking to my office downtown. I plan to walk/bike around to photograph crowded bike racks. Later on, we'll be at the Kathryn Rickson gathering. I hope to see a big crowd.

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  • Andrew K May 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

    When I got to work today I had about five people ask me if I rode in. I was kind of confused because I ride my bike every day and usually nobody asks.

    Then I looked at NPR's homepage and it hit me what day it is.

    I thought the NRP article was pretty good. The pictures do a great job showing bike commuters are just regular folks enjoying some fresh air on the way to work.

    I don't know if I saw any increase in the number of people biking on my way in today but I hit the road at 6am typically. What I do find amazing is on a day to day basis I am not the only bike rider out that early and today was no different.

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  • Spiffy May 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I forgot... ): and even if I hadn't I really needed the extra sleep that taking the train provides... biking used to be faster when I worked 7 miles away and it was mostly flat... now with a 20 mile commute from Portland to Hillsboro I'm in love with the train again...

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  • Kristen May 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I rode today-- but I was already planning to ride today, just because. Chilly morning but bright! I took an interesting and quieter route to work today which turned out to be a little bit longer than my other routes. And hillier. I enjoyed seeing different parts of Tigard by biking, it has certainly opened up new vistas for me.

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  • Dan May 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Looks like Merkley has been bike commuting quite a bit. Check out his wiki photo. It is like a before and after shot! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Merkley

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  • craig harlow May 18, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Employer Bike Summit--a very helpful event! Thanks Regence, BTA, and PBOT.

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  • PomPilot May 18, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I'm ashamed of myself. I had to drive 4 miles (uphill) to my volunteer job at an animal shelter, here at the south end of the state. I had planned to ride (as I often do), but a local business donated 90 pounds of dry pet food, and it was my turn to pick it up. Guess I shouldn't put off getting a cargo trailer much longer. ;)

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  • PoPo May 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    I've been learning how to commute by bicycle in Mexico City. A little different than low-stress Portland, but even here I've been able to find some reasonable routes. And while auto drivers here are nowhere near aware of people riding bikes as they are in Portland, I've found lots of people to be patient and willing to let me pass when they do see me. The other nice thing about D.F. is that it is between 74 and 78 degrees all the time. And avocados are cheap and always in season.

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  • Virginia May 19, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I rode to work with a friend yesterday, and we went to the breakfast at Oregon Square, which is right near where we both work. But we came upon a scary sight on our way from our SE homes to our Lloyd Dist offices: a biker down, in an intersection on SE Salmon somewhere a little east of 16th. He didn't look good, and was surrounded by other cyclists tending to him. We paused to ask if they needed anything before getting out of the way, and they said no just as a fire truck/ambulance arrived on scene. We both hope he is all right but didn't want to ask the details like nosy rubberneckers. Have you heard anything about this, Jonathan? Or anybody else? We didn't see a vehicle nearby so he may not have been hit by a car, but that's pretty much all we know.

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