Archive for August, 2013

With shouts and smiles, Breakfast on the Bridges expands to the Burnside

Friday, August 30th, 2013
Lance and Becky Poehler attempt to find takers for a very large Voodoo Doughnut.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The Burnside Bridge often goes unsung and unappreciated by bikers: Blame the slightly hairy merge with turning traffic on its west landing, or the awkward approach from the east. But as of today, the Burnside won’t be going unfed.


‘Grand Prix Erik Tonkin’ kicks off cyclocross season this weekend

Friday, August 30th, 2013
Detail of flyer for this weekend’s opening
race in the Grand Prix Erik Tonkin series.

This weekend the Portland area’s legendary cyclocross racing tradition will commence. The first big event of the year is the opening race of the Grand Prix Erik Tonkin series, and it takes place this Saturday at David Douglas High School David Douglas Park just over the Columbia River in Vancouver. The race kicks off a busy cyclocross schedule that includes racing all over the region every weekend from now through the first week in December.

Kenji Sugahara, the executive director of the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association, says he expects to see a membership spike in the coming weeks that could break a record (one that was set last year). “Cross has really been amazing for OBRA,” Sugahara shared with us yesterday, “I’m hearing a lot of excitement for it this year.”


Job of the Week

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Just one new job posted to our Job Listings this week; but it looks like a good one. Check out more details via the link below…


Complaints about TriMet operators using phones behind the wheel plunge 85%

Thursday, August 29th, 2013
Riding Portland's urban highways-38
TriMet requires its drivers to keep electronic
devices off and out of sight while working.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

TriMet’s total ban on the use of electronic devices while driving seems to be working, though some of the transit agency’s operators still seem to flout the rule.

The Oregonian’s Joseph Rose opened his notebook Thursday to share a wealth of reporting about TriMet operators’ use of electronic devices, including the results of a public record request showing that the number of complaints received by TriMet about drivers and cell phones fell from 530, in the two years to 2009, to 80, in the two years to 2013.

In 2010, as one of his first orders on the job, General Manager Neil McFarlane began requiring operators to keep their cell phones off and out of sight while on duty. Matters came to a head when one passenger captured a video that seemed to show a driver with a history of past incidents reading a Kindle while behind the wheel of a bus on Interstate 5.


Bike shop news roundup

Thursday, August 29th, 2013
ebike store sign
The eBike Store has moved.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

I’ve got several bits of local bike shop news in my brain and my inbox, so I figured it’s a perfect time for another roundup…

Congressman Earl Blumenauer turns attention to bike shops today

Portland’s representative on Capitol Hill is in Portland today focusing on bike shops’ impact on the local economy. After a tour sampling a few shops, he plans to convene a ‘Bike Shop Roundtable’ at VeloCult. According to a Blumenauer aide, about 12-15 local bike shop owners will be there. “It’s meant to be a check-in with different bike shops and businesses around the city, a discussion of Portland’s budding cycling economy, and an opportunity for the businesses themselves to discuss issues, federal or otherwise, they might be facing,” said the aide. I plan to be there and will bring back a full story, so stay tuned!


Changes on SE 14th near Sellwood school improve bike access

Thursday, August 29th, 2013
Bicycling is allowed in both directions, while driving is only allowed southbound.
(Photo: Matthew Arnold)


ODOT considers repairs to pavement on shoulders of Highway 101

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
ODOT managers inspected Highway 101 pavement
conditions on Monday.
(Photo: ODOT)

A regional manager with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has responded to a paving issue that was brought to the agency’s attention last week because of its impact to bicycle safety. ODOT Region 2 Manager Sonny Chickering says he is already looking into taking corrective measures to repair the dangerous seam left behind from a paving overlay project on several miles of the Oregon Coast Bike Route. Chickering also forwarded a new page on the ODOT website that addresses this issue directly.

As we reported last Monday, Jeff Smith, a 30-year veteran of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, was riding the Oregon Coast Bike Route on Highway 101 south of Florence when he was “gobsmacked” at what he called an “inept” repaving job. He emailed ODOT (and cc’d dozens of his contacts) a photo and description of several miles of the highway where a new layer of pavement extended only half-way into the shoulder. The new layer of pavement left behind a rough ledge running right in the middle of the bicycling area.


‘Nerds vs Jocks’ and more fun rivalries on the way in Bike Commute Challenge

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Fall is coming, and in Oregon, unlike in the many places that foolishly declare May to be their official bike month, that means it’s time for the annual Bike Commute Challenge.

A major annual project of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, it’s grown into one of the most popular and successful bike-to-work challenges anywhere, spawning fun rivalries like the Intel-vs-Nike matchup highlighted at right. (More on that in a moment.) In the last two years, the friendly workplace-to-workplace competition has attracted 12,000 Oregonians on about 1,400 teams logging their trips by both frequency and distance.

“Per-capita participation in our program is bigger than in any other program I’m aware of,” BTA Deputy Director Steph Noll said Wednesday.

This year, Noll’s team is making it easier for blue-collar workers to participate by offering cards with radio-frequency chips in selected workplaces.


Portland’s $134 million monument to me

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Join us in welcoming lifestyle columnist Cathy Hastie to BikePortland. Cathy is a former contributor to Portland Afoot and we’re excited to bring her perspective to our pages. Her first article is about a certain local civic engineering project that still needs a name. And it turns out, Cathy has an idea…

lifestyle columnist Catherine Hastie
Lifestyle columnist Cathy Hastie.

The solemn elk in the middle of Southwest Main street; the diminutive bronze of former mayor Vera Katz smiling upon Eastbank bikers; the plaid-shirted effigy of Paul Bunyan at North Denver and Interstate: despite these few commemorative statues, many of them celebrating non-humans, Portland is not a city overflowing with monuments.

So would it surprise you to know that there is a new $134 million monument under development in our fair City of Roses as we speak? A massive landmark built to commemorate and celebrate a local hero?


Portlander designs low-cost bikeshare station for apartment buildings

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Kiel Johnson with his custom-built creation.
(Photo courtesy Kiel Johnson)

The price of bikesharing adds up fast when 10 bikes and a solar-powered parking dock cost $45,554. It’ll take an estimated $3.4 million for Portland’s forthcoming public system to get enough hardware to cover the central city with 75 docks.

But what if Portland had a private bikesharing system, too?

That’s the thought that was keeping Southwest Portland resident (and noted local biking advocate) Kiel Johnson up at night. So he spent the last six months inventing one.

“Basically, I came up with this idea and couldn’t sleep for a week because I kept on thinking about it,” Johnson said. “So I was like, okay, I have to build this, or I’ll never be able to sleep.”