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Williams Ave businesses show the love at first ever 'Rider Appreciation Day'

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 12th, 2012 at 11:07 am

Businesses on Williams Ave. made it
clear yesterday: They love bikes!
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Tired of reading headlines about local business owners and associations coming out in opposition to bike access improvements, the folks at Portland Design Works wanted to change the narrative. They knew that on N. Williams Avenue, there are numerous businesses that love all the bike traffic on their street. To demonstrate the support for cycling on N. Williams, they organized an event called Rider Appreciation Day (RAD).

During yesterday evening's commute, 22 businesses on Williams rolled out the red carpet for people on bikes. They offered gifts, discounts, food, drinks, and even live music — all simply to show Portland that there's at least one street where businesses love bikes and the people who ride them.

"There are so many bikes on this street. I just wanted to say hello, let them know we're here."
— Sadie Morrison, owner/operator of Las Primas Peruvian Kitchen

There was a party-like atmosphere on the street. Instead of the hurried, stressful, and sometimes tense experience of riding on a street busy with people in cars and on bikes trying to get home as fast as possible, the RAD event helped add fun and smiling humans to the streetscape.

Portland Design Works (PDW) just happens to be headquartered at the southern tip of Williams Ave. As riders rolled up to their corner, PDW's Kevin Murphy yelled through a megaphone, urging folks to stop for free hot dogs, cold lemonade, brownies, prizes, and more.

Rider Appreciation Day (RAD) on Williams Ave-5-1
Rider Appreciation Day (RAD) on Williams Ave-3-1
PDW let folks roll the dice for a chance to win prizes.

Rider Appreciation Day (RAD) on Williams Ave-2-1

Just up the road at N. Page, Greg Hudson with Corsa Concepts handed off frozen Otter Pops to passing riders while Metropolis Cycles did free bike checks and handed out water bottles and other goodies.

Rider Appreciation Day (RAD) on Williams Ave-6-1

At N. Fremont, Abraham Sutfin, owner of Abraham Fixes Bikes, stood next to the bike lane out in traffic in order to greet each rider face-to-face. He passed out patch kits and discount coupons to his shop. "That's for riding your bike," Abraham said as he gave out his freebies, "Thanks for supporting our businesses!"

Rider Appreciation Day (RAD) on Williams Ave-7-1
Rider Appreciation Day (RAD) on Williams Ave-8-1

Moving north to the most crowded section of the street, several businesses teamed up to cheer and thank riders as they passed by just south of N. Failing Street. Ristretto Roasters had free iced coffee, Natalie Ramsland from Sweetpea Bicycles gave free saddle height checks and bike fits, Jude Kirstein from Sugar Wheel Works handed out coupons, Michael Wood from Tinymeat gave away cool bike-themed wallets, and Mariel Zamora from Cha! Cha! Cha! mexican restaurant handed out colorful musette bags and had ice cold water on tap.

Rider Appreciation Day (RAD) on Williams Ave-13
Jude Kirstein with Sugar Wheelworks (L), Natalie Ramsland from Sweetpea Bicycles (in blue shirt), and Michael Wood from Tinymeat (upper right) had lots of treats and smiles to share.
Rider Appreciation Day (RAD) on Williams Ave-15
Mariel Zamora from Cha! Cha! Cha! getting into the spirit.
Rider Appreciation Day (RAD) on Williams Ave-14
Natalie Ramsland of Sweetpea Bicycles, giving away some expert bike fit advice.

Sherifa Roach, who just opened Black Bird Bicycle Repair in the alleyway on Failing between Williams and Vancouver, sat on the sidewalk offering bags of popcorn with her shop's flyer attached to the outside (I'll have a full profile of this cool new shop later today!)...

Black Bird Bicycle Repair-5
Sherifa Roach.

Up at the Hopworks Bike Bar, owner Christian Ettinger hired a live band and passed out water bottles. Several folks stopped in for a pint and enjoyed the music. Bike Bar general manager Bill Dickinson (in photo below) was smiling ear-to-ear as the sidewalk in front of his business filled with people on bikes. "This is why we moved up here... We love it... We're right on the bicycle boulevard," he said.

Rider Appreciation Day (RAD) on Williams Ave-3
Bike Bar GM Bill Dickinson.
Rider Appreciation Day (RAD) on Williams Ave-1

United Bicycle Institute provided a much-needed service; free lube jobs...

Rider Appreciation Day (RAD) on Williams Ave-6

Sadie Morrison, the owner/operator of Las Primas Peruvian Kitchen was busy serving bike riders free french fries with pepper cream sauce, churros, and ice-cold limeade. A relatively new business on Williams, Morrison saw this event as a chance to connect: "There are so many bikes on this street," she told me, "I just wanted to say hello, let them know we're here, and let them try some of our food." (I went home with a coupon for a free empanada!)

Rider Appreciation Day (RAD) on Williams Ave-7

This was a fantastic even on many levels. I loved how it forced people to stop and take some time to chill on their way home, meet new people, and get to know new businesses and the folks that run them. It was also neat to see how the smart businesses used the event as a way, not just to show they appreciate bike-based customers, but to actually use the event to actively market their products and services.

I think the guys at Portland Design Works might have started something here. It's just a matter of time before other smart business owners on other streets do the same thing. Let's get RAD on SE 28th, Mississippi, Alberta, E. Burnside, N. Denver (in Kenton), on NW 13th (in the Pearl), etc...!

Thanks to all the awesome businesses who stepped up to take part...

Rider Appreciation Day on Willias

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Comments
  • peejay July 12, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I bet that the businesses are glad that's over with and can go back to dealing with the real customers who show up on cars. And need parking spaces.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • 9watts July 12, 2012 at 11:42 am

      What an excellent idea and execution!
      It's nice to see that the Every Day Is Driver Appreciation Day on NE Multnomah doesn't extend to other parts of town.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • peejay July 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm

        'Cause ya know, if we keep appreciatin' the drivers, one day, they'll stop and come into our store and look around. Then go home and buy from Amazon.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • 9watts July 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm

          ... which is why we have UPS step vans that double park everywhere and race up and down our neighborhood streets all day long.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Matt July 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      All the Washington plated cars speeding up Williams to avoid I-5 traffic? Yes, I'm certain they will be sure to pull over and patronize the local businesses.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • peejay July 12, 2012 at 11:22 am

    You know, like the bustling LLoyd District. Man, I wanna go drive there right now!

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Steve B July 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Way to go PDW and all the bike-friendly businesses on Williams!!

    Recommended Thumb up 9

  • Chris I July 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    These businesses are clearly suffering. We should really take out those bike lanes and put in more parking to encourage commerce in this neighborhood.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • NW Biker July 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Seriously? A whole lot of people do something good for cyclists, and all commenters can do here is be snarky about it?

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • peejay July 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      Our snark is directed at the businesses in Lloyd and all the other businesses who believe bikes interfere with their money-making. None of it is directed at the cool people from this article. Read some of the other stories here lately, and you will understand why we're so put off.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Lance P. July 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Yesterday at 7:30 AM I was struck from the side by a SUV at N. Williams and N. Knott. I went over the hood and my bike went under the SUV. I have pain in my shoulder, back, neck, cracked helmet, and a busted bike (my new bike). At least there are no broken bones. I really wonder how many times this happens. Does PBOT even care? From what I have heard as long as the motor vehicle can still travel and isn't 'inconvenienced' then it is a perfectly fine design. Hopefully the rich, in a hurry, SUV driving doctor lady will consider riding her bike or taking the bus next time she leaves for work instead of running someone over without looking.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Spiffy July 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      is her business on N Williams?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Lance P. July 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm

        She is a doctor for the hospital on Vancounver.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Chris I July 12, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      At least you know she has deep pockets. Time to lawyer up.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Lance P. July 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Yesterday meaning the day of this event.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Spiffy July 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    where's all the rage at Abraham for standing in the travel lanes like the reporter on Holgate did? is it ok now because it's for the good of bikes?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • 9watts July 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      remind me what the reporter in the Holgate bike lane was giving out?

      -bias-ply sandwiches?

      Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Chris I July 13, 2012 at 6:47 am

      I believe the reporter even set up a chair and sat down to watch the bikes come by.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • commuter July 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks to Portland Design Works and all the businesses on Williams for supporting cyclists! I live with my family just two blocks off of Williams and I really appreciate being able to shop and eat at bike-friendly businesses.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • John Lascurettes July 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    That otter pop was exactly what I needed. Thanks Metropolis. :)

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Joe July 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Was awesome! thanks for putting this together, missed the roll of the DICE. haha but got a patch kit and 2 water bottles. rode with some way cool ppl too. <----- whats its all about with me. riding meeting ppl.
    OHH icee POPS! woot

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Joe July 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I got interviewed by this guy with IPHONE recorder asking me questions about Williams. said one word we need to keep this road open to bikes and ppl of other modes. limit car traffic!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Sunny July 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I witnessed an angry Washington plated driver honk at a lady bicyclist taking the left lane to turn left. I haven't been so pissed off in my life.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Sunny July 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Oh and otter pops!!!

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Joe July 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    what gives with the WASH plates these days? some dude went down a 1way street the wrong way and flipped a U and almost took ppl out

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Boneshaker July 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Thank you to the businesses all along N Williams who participated. I support you with my mouth and my money!

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Peter July 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    My rides need more Otter Pop handups.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Rol July 12, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Abraham's name is Sutfin? That's two on that street if you count Ron Sutphin of UBI. "Sutfin's going on here."

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • spencer July 12, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Thanks Tinymeat for the awesome card case. I've had two people ask me where I got my rad wallet today!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Rick Hamell July 12, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Ironic that I almost got ran over by a Green VW Jetta, License plate 226Rxx right about there this weekend. She thought the bike lane was a right turn lane, and had the audacity to honk at me. :(

    Glad to see this happen though, I'd love to see more of this.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joe July 13, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Did anyone else see that motorist that flipped guy with the bull horn off?
    near PDW tent guess some car fokes get all worked up.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

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