Join Dirk Spits of the 99%Ride for the After Turkey Ride on Friday.
Greetings friends! We hope you are all enjoying the holiday weekend with whatever traditions you prefer. There are a few rides and events we wanted to make sure were on your calendar. And because this is the official start of the holiday shopping season, we thought you might like to know about a few fantastic sales going on at our local bike shops.
First, here are some of the big Black Friday and weekend/winter sales events we've heard about...
Clever Cycles - Starts Friday at 11:00 am, 900 SE Hawthorne
The big deal at Clever this time of year is the sale they have on their rental bike fleet. It's the only time of the year they sell used bikes and it's a great opportunity to own excellent brands and do business with this highly respected local business. Here's the blurb from Clever:
When the wind isn't at your back any more, it's easy to get discouraged — especially when you know how great the place you're headed is going to be.
Sometimes that happens to people who care about good biking in Portland. Even the ones who write for daily news websites.
But holidays are for taking your eyes off the handlebars of life for a moment and enjoying where you are. And though Portland isn't making the rapid progress that it once was toward better biking, we still live in the safest, most interesting and (we think) most promising big city in the country to ride a bicycle. Here are three things we're grateful for about riding in and around our favorite city.
Riding on SW Broadway in downtown Portland. (Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
Four months after taking charge of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, Leah Treat is walking back an idea she shared in her job interview: the notion that the city's bike infrastructure is "stagnating."
"If I had to go through the interview process again, I would change that to say it's more of a marketing issue," Treat said, according to the edited Q&A on OregonLive.com. "We're still way ahead of the country in the transportation arena, it's just getting lost in the messaging somewhere. So we need to be talking more about the really exciting things that we're doing."
Another person died while traveling on SW Barbur Blvd this week. It's the fourth fatality since 2010 on the notoriously dangerous 1.6 mile section of the road between Terwilliger and Hamilton.
With a record of so much carnage and rampant high speed and high risk driving, many Portlanders want to see the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) take a more aggressive approach to changing the design of Barbur in a way that would slow people down and encourage safer behavior. However, as we shared back in August when a 27-year-old man died after traveling at a "very high rate of speed" and losing control of his Prius, ODOT has no plans to seriously consider a roadway reconfiguration (a.k.a. "road diet") on Barbur.
Remember the Oregon Outback? Back in June we shared a guest article and photo essay from Portland resident Gabriel Amadeus that chronicled his amazing, 360+ mile bike adventure through the center of Oregon.
Now that epic ride has turned into a (slightly) more formal event put together by adventure cycling promoter Donnie Kolb. Kolb is the man behind VeloDirt, a website he created to share his backroad rides with like-minded adventure seekers. Kolb, an attorney by day, eventually started urging his friends and followers to join him and in the past few years VeloDirt rides have become something of an underground phenomenon. Similar to the De Ronde PDX, Kolb's rides are unsanctioned and un-permitted, and word about them spreads via social media. Now his Dalles Mtn 60 and Oregon Stampede rides have a large and loyal following.
Auto parking on Southeast Division Street. (Photos by M.Andersen)
Unlimited free on-street car parking is one of the big problems stopping Portland from becoming a better place to live, work, ride a bike, and do business — and a Portland planning expert is floating an interesting solution.
Mychal Tetteh, CEO of the Community Cycling Center. (Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
After his first 50 days as the CEO of the Community Cycling Center, Mychal Tetteh sees a big problem in the local advocacy ecosystem: Too many people aren't sure how, where and when to get engaged. And as a result, their voices aren't being heard.
His solution? A crowd-sourced and curated compendium of all the region's active transportation events, meetings, comment periods, open houses, and so on. All these things are "avenues to advocacy" that Tetteh would like to make accessible to Portlanders — especially those in underserved communities where many people have trouble meeting their basic needs.
Organizers Tom McTighe and Laura Recker with the afternoon's haul. (Photos by M.Andersen/BikePortland)
In an event organizers said might be the first of a new tradition of charity-oriented bike fun in Portland, 96 cheerful people pedaled across the city Saturday to gather an assigned list of goods from the city's grocery stores and co-ops.
The alleycat-inspired game, which was part of a 14-year-old American tradition called Cranksgiving, brought in $1,573 worth of dry goods for Outside In, a local nonprofit that helps homeless young people and other marginalized Portlanders.
"This isn't a race," one organizer said at the start. "But because this is America, there's going to be a prize for the first team back. And because this is Portland, there's going to be a prize for the team with the best costumes."
Not an option Sunday. (Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)
Portland's northernmost downtown bridge will be closed for repairs Sunday, blocking auto, bike, skate and streetcar traffic alike.
Here's the county's press release:
The Broadway Bridge will be closed to motor vehicles and sidewalk traffic on Sunday, November 24 from 7:30 a.m. until as late as 5 p.m. while crews make a repair to the lift span. The work will require the drawbridge to be in the open position much of the day. The closure will not impact river traffic.
TriMet’s 17-Holgate/Broadway bus route will detour to the Steel Bridge while the Broadway Bridge is closed. The Steel Bridge is also the best alternate crossing for bicyclists and pedestrians.
This is veteran transportation activist Jim Howell's new concept for the central east side: a bike-rail corridor and second-story commercial district running over the Union Pacific railroad tracks and across three bridge landings.
Welcome to the first of a new feature on BikePortland: a brief look at the life or work of an extraordinary local person.
Jim Howell. (Photo by J.Maus)
When Jim Howell was 37, he organized the first demonstrations that eventually turned Harbor Drive into Waterfront Park. At 40, working as an independent architect, he drew up the design for Northeast Portland's Woodlawn Park. At 41, he sat on the citizens' committee that recommended Portland's first MAX line. At 48, while working for TriMet, he engineered the west-side bus node now known as Beaverton Transit Center. At 51, he co-founded a private van service between Portland and the Oregon coast, a predecessor to today's Wave bus. At 77, he co-created the plan that became the most prominent alternative to the Columbia River Crossing.
Now, two months before his 80th birthday, Howell has designed his first transportation concept that puts bikes front and center.
This is your bike infrastructure on drugs. (Screenshot from Boston Globe)
The latest twist in America's effort to retrofit our auto-oriented infrastructure so that it's suitable for cycling comes from Boston. That city hs deployed what's being called "super sharrows" or "sharrows on steroids." Here's a blurb about them from a story published in the Boston Globe on Wednesday:
I first noticed the markings last week while driving through Allston Village. Running down the right-hand lanes on both sides of Brighton Avenue are bike-priority icons, known as “sharrows” in cyclist parlance, hugged by two sets of dashed lines along either side that make the lane look more like an airport runway.
My first thought: Sharrows on steroids!
And Boston bike czar Nicole Freedman said that’s exactly what they are. (Well, except that the former Olympic cyclist wasn’t too happy about the doping analogy.) Officially, the markings have a more dignified name: Priority shared-lane markings.
After raising over $50,000 in a successful Kickstarter campaign last month, the folks behind the Bike Index are wrapping up a five-city West Coast tour tonight in Portland. To celebrate the launch of their new national bike registry, they're hosting a party tonight at The Lumberyard Indoor Bike Park (2700 NE 82nd Ave).
If you haven't heard about the Bike Index, it's humbly described as "an open source bike registry to fight bike theft and save the world." The site is based in Chicago and its goal is to get more people to register their bikes before they're stolen. Since the existing National Bike Registry charges a fee and uses outdated technology, few people actually use it. To encourage more widespread registration, the Bike Index crew has made their tool open-source, free to use and mobile-friendly. They also partner up with bike shops and other bike organizations to get bikes registered at the point of sale.
Downtown Portland needs more of this. (Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
This is a guest article by Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman.
This year’s PARK(ing) Day has come and gone, but to those who had a hand in the event or just took advantage of the day-long parklet on SW Stark, it was a happy memory and an example of what a public space can truly be in Portland. It was a day filled with friendly conversations, strangers uniting over a game of ping-pong, and citizens enjoying a place to work or eat their lunch. For me, I consider it a great accomplishment, and passing the street today seems bleak by comparison.
Republicans disagree with Rep. Earl Blumenauer on plenty, but can find common ground with him on bikes. (Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)
Last week we wrote that "biking and walking safety should be a bipartisan issue." Today we got a reminder that it still is — and just how rare such issues are recently.
On the same day the Senate recut its rules to fit the current slash-and-burn politics of Washington, Politico published a profile of U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland), puzzling over how one of the House's most liberal members got two Republicans to cosponsor his bill to ensure that bike safety is officially one of the ways to measure a federal road project's success.
First meeting of the Oregon Gravel Riding Working Group. (Photo by Kristin Dahl/Travel Oregon)
In the latest sign that gravel road riding is poised to be the Next Big Thing in cycling (just wait until you see how many major bike brands will offer "gravel bikes" in 2014), Travel Oregon (a.k.a. the Oregon Tourism Commission) convened an official working group yesterday to, "Create a strategy for promoting and further developing Oregon gravel riding network."
As we've shared on a fewoccasions, Oregon is full of amazing unpaved roads through farms and forests that only a handful of people have ever pedaled on. Therein lies the potential of gravel riding (which is really nothing more than riding on unimproved/unpaved roads): It opens up hundreds of miles of new route options and adventures in every corner of the state.
"After conducting targeted 'intercepts' of bicyclists on NE Multnomah (you may have received a postcard invitation from us already), we are now opening the survey up to get as much feedback as possible," Portland State University's Chris Monsere writes on the survey page. "Hearing from bicyclists like yourself is a very important part of this study, and we hope you will participate. We will share our findings with the Portland Bureau of Transportation and hope that the results will help in future plans for improving bicycling in cities around the United States."
View from the standard vehicle lane. The bike-only lane is to the right of the white delineators and riders cross right-to-left. (Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
A man whose right elbow was broken in a collision on the recently redesigned Hawthorne-Madison viaduct last week says he thinks the new design is confusing for motor vehicle operators and puts bicycle riders like him at risk.
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