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Bike shop owners tell tales of survival during ‘most miserable’ winter

Posted on January 18th, 2017 at 9:19 am.

Snow and ice storms made an already challenging time of the year even more difficult.
(Photo: 21st Avenue Bicycles)

It’s official: According to The Weather Channel, Portland’s winter has been “the most miserable” in the nation. The nearly complete shutdown of our city has been tough for many people. For small business owners, the lack of accessibility has led to some very lonely days.

Roads covered in ice and snow (and now slush) have led to a lack of stock on the shelves and — most importantly — a lack of customers coming through the doors.

Bikes shops are run on passion not profits and these storms added insult to injury because December and January are already the toughest months to survive.

Here’s what several local bike shop owners had to say when asked about how the weather has impacted their business:

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Bike Gallery moving Woodstock store to Westmoreland

Posted on January 12th, 2017 at 4:41 pm.

Bike Gallery will move into this space on SE Milwaukie Blvd by the end of the month.

Bike Gallery plans to close their Woodstock location and re-open in Westmoreland.

Bike Gallery Partner Kelly Aicher said the reason for the move is that rent had doubled. The store at 4235 SE Woodstock first opened 12 years ago and the location had been a bike shop for over 40 years prior. “We are sad to leave a spot that has been a bike shop for over 50 Years,” Aicher shared with us in an email today.

The new location will be 6717 SE Milwaukie Avenue. It’s just 1.5 miles west of the Woodstock store and Aicher says it will be much larger. Not only will their be moire room for products and service but it’s right across the street from Laurelwood Brewing and Moreland Theater, so you’ll have plenty of excuses to linger.

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Chrome Industries will relocate from San Francisco to Portland

Posted on January 5th, 2017 at 9:32 am.

New Chrome store in downtown Portland-23

The Chrome retail store at 420 SW 10th Ave in downtown Portland.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

We just gained another iconic cycling brand: Chrome Industries announced this morning that they plan to relocate to Portland in early April.

Chrome is well-known in the bike world for its messenger bags, shoes and apparel. Closely tied to the messenger scene since its start in Denver, Colorado in 1995. Chrome had been based in San Francisco since 2002 and the company opened a retail store in downtown Portland in 2012. The company makes custom bags in its retail stores and they make about 60 percent of all their products in the USA (bags are made in Chico and apparel is cut and sewn in San Francisco). A rep for the company said there are no immediate plans to bring production jobs to Portland.

In a press release, Chrome explained why they decided to move their head office here:

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UPS now using pedal-powered trike to deliver freight in Portland

Posted on December 7th, 2016 at 10:33 am.

The UPS e-bike in action.(Photos: Mark Gamba for Truck Trike)

The UPS e-bike in action.
(Photos by Mark Gamba for Truck Trike)

Global package delivery juggernaut UPS has chosen Portland to debut its first electric-assist trike in the U.S.

In a statement released today, UPS said, “The deployment of the eBike is part of UPS’s ongoing commitment to reduce carbon emissions as city populations and e-commerce grow, and traffic, noise and air quality challenges continue to rise.”

Using trikes and other small, pedal-powered vehicles to deliver cargo in dense urban areas is relatively common in Europe. The European Cyclists’ Federation (an EU-funded non-profit) says 25 percent of all goods could potentially be delivered bicycles. That number rises to 50 percent when just considering lightweight cargo.

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New bike shop opens on Williams while another preps to expand

Posted on November 28th, 2016 at 12:25 pm.

(Photos: Metropolis Cycle Repair)

(Photos: Metropolis Cycle Repair)

Portland’s busiest cycling street is about to get even better for bike lovers.

A new shop has opened in the bustling commercial block of North Williams Avenue between Failing Street and Shaver. And Metropolis Cycle Repair on North Page Street is planning to move across the street to a new and larger location.

The new shop is called 3928 Bike Shop and is located at — surprise, surprise — at 3928 N Williams Ave. That’s right across the street from the Hopworks Bike Bar in the old Jesuit Volunteer Corps building. It’s a new endeavor from Portland Bicycle Studio owner Molly Cameron. Cameron, a well-known figure in the racing scene, calls her new store a “pop-up bike shop”. She’s not a newcomer to the area, having opened her first shop (“Veloshop”) a four blocks east on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. back in 2001.

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Joe Biden water bottles to raise money for environmental group

Posted on November 17th, 2016 at 4:57 pm.

Some of the ways Portland bike organizations have responded to Donald Trump.

Left to right: Poster at Gladys Bikes; front door of the CCC, Biden Bidon from Ruckus. These are just some of the ways Portland bike organizations have responded to Donald Trump.

Portland’s bike-related businesses and organizations are reacting to the impending Trump administration in a variety of ways.

Gladys Bikes on northeast Alberta has taped up a large poster on their window that reads: “We welcome all”. And down the street, the front door of the Community Cycling Center (and their blog) make it clear they too are a safe haven from hate.

And then there’s Ruckus Composites. The quirky and successful company that specializes in repairing carbon fiber bicycles is selling water bottles that feature an illustration of Vice President Joe Biden on them. Here’s why they’re bringing back this popular item:

“Maybe it’s our way of dealing with the stresses of operating a small business and the general modern world. Maybe it’s because we find that humor is sometimes the best way to deal with the truth. We made these bottles years ago as a joke but the time to bring them back couldn’t be more perfect. All jokes aside, the best thing one can do now is to get off the internet sometimes and take legitimate physical and peaceful action. Let these bottles serve as a reminder that each individual does have the power to make change, and to never forget the power of humor.”

For the coming week, Ruckus is donating 20% of the sales from each of the $10 “Biden Bidons” (“bidon” is French for can and it’s what the French call water bottles) to the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) — which they say is a “potential target for a certain incoming administration.” And because it’s Ruckus — and Biden — they’ve put some funny captions in the photos of the bottles on their website. Read them and buy them here.

Know of other ways Portland’s bike-related businesses are responding to these unprecedented political times? Let us know and we’ll update this post.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Industry Ticker: Portland distributor Cyclone Bicycle Supply inks exclusive deal with Cinelli

Posted on November 14th, 2016 at 3:30 pm.

cyclone

A storied name in the cycling world now has a local home. Portland-based bicycle parts and accessory distributor Cyclone Bicycle Supply announced today that they’re the exclusive distributor of Cinelli USA.

For more, check out the press release below:

Cyclone Bicycle Partners with Cinelli US to Become Exclusive Distributor

PORTLAND, OR.—August 15, 2016 — Cyclone Bicycle has partnered with Cinelli to manage the exclusive distribution for Cinelli USA.

As one of the first Italian brands with a US presence, Cinelli has enjoyed a strong presence in the US market with handlebars, tapes, and the iconic Laser and Supercorsa bike models. “The recent growth of the urban market and Cinelli’s position in the fixed gear scene has grown significantly, thanks to our collaboration with BTI,” said Fabrizio Aghito, Vice President of Cinelli’s parent company, Gruppo SRL.

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After roller-coaster year, Portland Design Works looks ahead to 2017

Posted on November 2nd, 2016 at 1:45 pm.

The Portland Design Works team: (L to R) Jocelyn Gaudi, marketing manager; Matt Cittadini, sales manager; Hazel Gross, office manager; Chris Smitherman, warehouse and customer service coordinator; Erik Olson, founder.(Photos: J. Maus & PDW)

The Portland Design Works team: (L to R) Jocelyn Gaudi, marketing manager; Matt Cittadini, sales manager; Hazel Gross, office manager; Chris Smitherman, warehouse and customer service coordinator; Erik Olson, founder.
(Photos: J. Maus & PDW)

Just over eight years since he founded Portland Design Works, 37-year-old Erik Olson is about close out one of the toughest ones yet. In the past six months he’s endured the departure of his co-founder and business partner, lagging sales thanks to a global downturn in the bike industry, pesky counterfeiters, and an unexpected cross-town move. Despite these hurdles, Olson is sanguine about the future.

“We’re moving in the right direction as a company,” he shared from the floor of his warehouse on Southeast 21st Avenue during a visit yesterday. They’re located just a stones-throw from the new Lafayette Street Bridge (which he and other employees use with their bikes every day) and the Orange MAX line.

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Travel Oregon mulls need for statewide trails advocacy organization

Posted on October 28th, 2016 at 2:51 pm.

Portland to Stub Stewart family camping trip-30.jpg

The Banks-Vernonia trail is one of Oregon’s riding gems. Would we have more trails like it with a new advocacy approach?
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Community advocates and government agency staffers throughout Oregon are working hard to develop world-class trails. But is that work failing to reach its potential without a statewide trails advocacy organization?

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Former PBOT staffer finds niche with bike-powered greeting card biz

Posted on October 26th, 2016 at 9:45 am.

Diane Dulken - Sunnyside Studio-3.jpg

Dulken after a visit to one her customers yesterday.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to the latest installment of our Bikes at Work series. Read more here.

You might not know her name, but you have probably seen Diane Dulken’s work around town. And if her plans work out, you’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the future.

Dulken, a former reporter at The Oregonian who worked at the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s media relations department from 2013 until July of last year, is now putting her effort into Sunnyside Art Studio. It’s a return to doing art, mixing in her love for cycling, and sharing it all with the city she loves that goes back nearly two decades.

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