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About Erin Greeson (Guest Contributor)

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Erin Greeson

Erin Greeson loves cycling. When she's not riding, she works as an advocate for a sustainable transportation economy and culture.

Greeson currently works for Audubon in the Gulf Coast region and previously served Renewable Northwest Project. Over 10 years in Portland, she volunteered professional services toward vital community causes, including the Towards Carfree Cities Conference and as co-founder of activist group, We are ALL Traffic.

Focused on climate issues, Greeson supports organizations that deliver creative strategies to address the great social, environmental and economic challenge of our time. With Portland as inspiration, she seeks bike options everywhere.



Erin Greeson (Guest Contributor) Post Archive

Biking the Big Easy: Rich Community, Gumbo Culture

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
(Photo by Erin Greeson)

Welcome to the third installment of our series on bicycling and transportation culture in New Orleans by former Portlander and BikePortland contributor Erin Greeson. Erin currently lives in New Orleans. Read the rest of the series here.

Part III: Rich Community, Gumbo Culture

New Orleans’ traditions of art, music, creativity and festivity translate to its bike culture.

At the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, seasoned locals lock dozens, if not hundreds, of bikes near the entry gates (pictured below). They know to avoid driving anywhere near the scene, which draws music lovers from around the world: topping out at over 425,000 attendees in 2013.

There are bicycle “second-line” parades organized by Bike Easy, which put a two-wheeled spin on a deep-rooted New Orleans tradition. There are colorful, quirky bike groups. Thursday night meet-up rides feature themes reminiscent of Portland’s “Pedalpalooza” rides, New Orleans-style. NOLA Social Ride hosts a signature Thursday ride and other rides throughout the week. Bikes are often incorporated into costumes and parades; costumes and festive attire are commonly worn in New Orleans, not just for Halloween and Mardi Gras, but for occasions ranging from Saint Patrick’s Day to Saints games.

[more…]

Biking the Big Easy: Infrastructure and advocates on the rise

Monday, December 30th, 2013
Biking to the end of the rainbow on the Mississippi River Trail.
(Photos by Erin Greeson)

Welcome to the second installment of a three-part series on bicycling and transportation culture in New Orleans by former Portlander and BikePortland contributor Erin Greeson. Erin currently lives in New Orleans. Read her introduction to this series here.

Part II: Infrastructure and Improvements

Bike lanes are appearing in other neighborhoods as post-Katrina improvements advance.

Comparing biking in Portland to biking in New Orleans is like comparing the mellow apple cider of the Northwest to the bite of the Crescent City’s signature orange-garnished Sazerac. As diverse as respective bike infrastructure, transit adoptions and cultural acceptance of bikes on the road may be, one thing is certain: New Orleans’ bike community is strong and serious. The options are different, but abundant. And they are growing.

[more…]

Biking the Big Easy: A guest series

Thursday, December 19th, 2013
Bikes are part of New Orleans’ rebirth.
(Photos by Erin Greeson)

Welcome to the first installment of a three-part series on bicycling and street culture in New Orleans by former Portlander and BikePortland contributor Erin Greeson. Erin currently lives in New Orleans.

Part I: Rebirth City

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In record heat, a trail angel saves the day

Thursday, July 30th, 2009
The hot, eerily empty
Springwater Trail yesterday.
(Photos by Erin Greeson)

Today, while commuting home midday to finish my work from an air-conditioned office, a great thing happened. Just when I thought I’d prepared smartly for the 100-degree ride — dousing my head in cold water beforehand and chugging water all morning long — my lack of preparedness on another front led to an unexpected situation.

As I rode down SE Lincoln, I noted an atypically low number of fellow cyclists on this usually busy route. The heat has kept people indoors or in their cars, I thought to myself. I made my way through Ladd’s Addition, under the Hawthorne Bridge and onto the Springwater Corridor Trail (popular bike routes, which were all sparsely populated).

[more…]

Guest Article: In memory of teammate and friend, Steve Nelson

Friday, April 17th, 2009

[This article was written by Erin Greeson. You might remember her in-depth examination of the bike messenger industry.]


“Century” Steve Nelson
(1960 ~ 2009)

On the evening of Tuesday, April 14, Team Beer lost a beloved teammate, “Century” Steve Nelson after a battle with illness and a stream of hospital visits from friends and teammates.

Steve succumbed precisely in time to join his beloved Team Beer in spirit. As the call came and news was shared, heads bowed in quiet grief and meditation, and glasses were raised to quietly salute a teammate whose smile, wisdom and support would be sorely missed but never forgotten.

[more…]

Don’t kill the messengers: Inside the health of the industry (Part Three)

Thursday, January 29th, 2009
More on this series:
Read Part One
Read Part Two
Author Bio

[Note from Publisher: Welcome to the final installment of our three-part series on bike messengers in Portland. This series is written by BikePortland contributing writer Erin Greeson (bio).

In Part One, Greeson laid out the tough working conditions faced by Portland’s messengers. Part Two focused on health care and the negative stereotypes often associated with bicycle delivery professionals. Today, Greeson concludes her story by taking a look at attempts to organize and improve the industry.

Thanks to everyone for the vigorous discussion on this series thus far, and a special thanks to Erin Greeson for her work on this story.]


[more…]

Don’t kill the messengers: Inside the health of the industry (Part Two)

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009
More on this series:

[Welcome to Part Two of our three-part series on bike messengers in Portland.

This series is written by BikePortland contributing writer Erin Greeson (bio). In Part One, Greeson laid out the tough working conditions faced by Portland’s messengers. In the article below, she shares finding health care coverage for a messenger who’s also a mom and she delves into the impact of the messenger stereotype.]


[more…]

Don’t kill the messengers: Inside the health of the industry

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
Erin Greeson

[Publisher’s note: This is the first in a three-part story on Portland’s bike messengers by new contributor Erin Greeson.

When her friend Zak Kovalcik crashed and broke his collarbone last fall, Greeson came face-to-face with the tough reality faced by Portland’s bike delivery professionals. In this in-depth, three-part series, Greeson shares how the deck is stacked against messengers and how they are trying to survive in a challenging profession.]


“The paradigm of the typical messenger service business model is problematic. It’s a pyramid-shaped scheme where the workers are on the bottom.”
–Ira Ryan, former messenger

As Portland’s reputation as a green business boomtown gains momentum, bike-centric ventures emerge as quickly and viably as organic brewpubs and cafes. While a new era of entrepreneurs seeks to capitalize on this evolving economy, one of the oldest bike-based businesses, bicycle messenger services, faces challenges that impact workers and business owners alike.

[more…]