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Portland’s new chamber of commerce wants more business support for Vision Zero

Posted on September 27th, 2016 at 3:16 pm.

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The Portland Independent Chamber of Commerce (PICOC) has turned their influential attention to an issue near and dear to our hearts: the struggle for safer streets.

Launched early this year by a relatively young cadre of tech industry leaders as an antidote to the Portland Business Alliance, PICOC wants more Portland businesses to step up and support “the Vision Zero movement.”

Their latest campaign hit inboxes and social media feeds today. It’s timed to influence City Council’s upcoming vote on the Vision Zero Action Plan released by the Portland Bureau of Transportation earlier this month. Council is slated to formally adopt the plan on October 12th.

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Art on a helmet: Nutcase goes “Unframed”

Posted on September 23rd, 2016 at 12:56 pm.

Unframed contest winners from 2015 and 2016.

Unframed contest winners from 2015 and 2016.

Cool designs are at the heart of the success of Portland-based helmet company Nutcase. And what better way to exemplify that than to seek out the best helmet artists in the world and put their designs onto new products?

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Hillsboro-based apparel retailer TeamEstrogen.com closes doors after 18 years

Posted on September 20th, 2016 at 10:51 am.

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Team Estrogen Inc., an online cycling apparel retailer based in Hillsboro, is closing its doors after 18 years in business.

TeamEstrogen.com co-founder Susan Otcenas told Bicycle Retailer & Industry News last week that price competition and the changing behaviors of customers led to the decision to call it quits. Here’s more from BR&IN:

“We were never about price and discounts, and the world has changed. There’s a fundamental tension between the kind of hands-on customer service and high-quality staff we’ve always had and the customer demand for lower prices and free shipping,” Otcenas said. “The consumer has spoken that they value those things, and I totally understand it, but as a small company, it’s hard to compete in that space if that’s the main focus. It’s a race to the bottom, and we’re choosing not to go down that road.”

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Bike-powered GO Box has kept 100,000 food containers out of the trash

Posted on September 12th, 2016 at 2:29 pm.

GO Box Founder Laura Weiss at work. (Photo: GO Box Facebook)

GO Box Founder Laura Weiss at work.
(Photo: GO Box Facebook)

The dark side of Portland’s legendary food cart ecosystem are the thousands of plastic, paper, and styrofoam food containers that are tossed into the trash every day. Laura Weiss, founder of GO Box, is doing her part to make that ecosystem a bit healthier.

This week her business will mark a major milestone: The elimination of 100,000 disposable food containers.

Weiss has been pedaling her bike with a trailer full of re-usable containers since 2011 and will also celebrate her fifth year in business this Wednesday.

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Local company wants to make bike security a cinch

Posted on September 12th, 2016 at 12:30 pm.

Wilsonville-based Otto Design Works thinks most bike locks are too big and clunky – especially for people riding fast and light road bikes who want something slim and compact.

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Citybikes will close one location amid business downturn

Posted on August 29th, 2016 at 5:09 pm.

The creatively painted Citybikes Annex on Ankeny and 7th is closing its doors.(Photos: Citybikes)

The creatively painted Citybikes Annex on Ankeny and 7th is closing its doors.
(Photos: Citybikes)

In another sign of a changing Portland, Citybikes is closing the doors of its flagship sales location and consolidating its business.

The shop has been run as a worker-owned cooperative since 1990. It expanded from its original repair shop location on Southeast Ankeny near 20th to a second location, the 5,000 square-foot “Annex”, on the corner of SE Ankeny and 7th in 1995. Because of dwindling sales, the Annex will close for good by the end of this year.

“The main factor,” said Citybikes owner Ryan Smith in a phone interview last week, “Is that people who used to come here, don’t live in Portland anymore.” Smith is one of nine current owners of the shop and he expects that the total number of worker-owners will be reduced to just five once the transition is complete. Citybikes used to have as many as 25 owners in peak season.

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Athletes Lounge, a fixture in Portland’s triathlon scene, is closing

Posted on August 22nd, 2016 at 1:14 pm.

The Athletes Lounge tent at a race.

The Athletes Lounge tent at a race.

Portland’s only bike shop that specialized in the needs of triathletes is closing its doors. Athletes Lounge in northwest on Vaughn and 26th plans to close by October 1st.

Gary Wallesen has owned the shop for nearly six years after purchasing it from its previous owner who had run it since 2007.

Wallesen says the business isn’t strong enough to remain open. “Last year the numbers were down, this year numbers really down,” he shared via email last week. And he also offered some external reasons he feels the bike shop business is especially challenging these days. “The business environment is changing, online [shopping] is growing, a shop in town discounts everything and hurts all others. There is a big inventory of new bikes in Portland and the market.” Wallesen said the triathlon market is particularly flat (pun intended).

He even shared one cautionary tale that might point to larger trends: “I think people are looking to ride, but the roads are getting more crowded and a little less safe. So markets that take riders of the road might be doing better.”

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Local company makes tote bag for front basket of Biketown bikes

Posted on August 8th, 2016 at 3:19 pm.

North St Bags bike share tote -1.jpg
North St.’s new “Townie Tote” model. It also comes in dark grey.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In just the latest sign that Portland has gone head-over-heels for bike share, a local company has added a Biketown-specific bag to their product line.

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This is what freight delivery looks like in Portland (video)

Posted on August 3rd, 2016 at 11:31 am.

Big trucks are bad for dense urban areas. They spew toxic exhaust that poisons our bodies and our environment, they take up precious space, and they far too often kill people due to their inherently unsafe design features. We should do whatever we can to limit their presence.

Fortunately there are other options. Like pedal and battery-powered cargo bikes.

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Industry Ticker: Showers Pass debuts “Cloudcover” waterproof bag line

Posted on July 20th, 2016 at 10:40 am.

Two of the three models in the new Cloudcover line.(Photos: Showers Pass)

Two of the three models in the new Cloudcover line.
(Photos: Showers Pass)

First it was rain jackets, then a hydration system, then came gloves, device covers, baselayers, and an apparel line.

Now southeast Portland-based Showers Pass is rolling into the bag market with the release of the Cloudcover line.

The line includes three models: the Utility Backpack ($214), Transit Backpack ($264) and Refuge Duffel ($189). As you’d expect the bags keep water out thanks to a special fabric coating, fully welded seams and waterproof zippers. Another cool feature are the integrated and removable LED lights that slip into the sides and back of the bags to help you be seen by other road users.

Here are a few more images of the bags followed by the company’s press release:

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