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Weekend Event Guide: Bike parade, Alleycross, a huge sale, and more

Posted by on December 12th, 2014 at 9:46 am

Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-1
Marine Drive path = year-round fun.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to your menu of weekend rides and events, lovingly brought to you by our friends at Hopworks Urban Brewery.

I hope everyone is OK after that very crazy windstorm last night. With that behind us, the weekend forecast looks clear. It’ll be a bit cooler as a result, but at least it’ll be dry.

If you’re looking to stay sharp this winter, we’ve got some great suggestions below. And if you are looking to add a few key pieces to your winter riding kit, or finally get that new bike you’ve been waiting for, we’ve got the details on a major sale.

Have fun out there!

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Job of the Week

Posted by on December 12th, 2014 at 9:01 am

Just one job posted this week, but it looks like a great opportunity. Check it out below…

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After successful pilot, car2go will put bike racks on half their Portland fleet

Posted by on December 11th, 2014 at 4:08 pm

car2gobike
(Photo: car2go)

After what they call a “tremendous response” from a member survey, car2go announced today that they plan to outfit 50% of their Portland vehicles with bike racks.

Last month we reported on the company’s pilot of a bike rack for their Smart cars in response to requests from members. They put a few of the racks out on the road, got them in the hands of testers, and launched a member survey. Car2go’s Chief Marketing Officer Paul DeLong announced the results of that survey in an email to members today.

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New Police Chief puts Traffic Division in new ‘Community Services’ branch

Posted by on December 11th, 2014 at 3:34 pm

odea
Chief O’Dea in 2008.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Incoming Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea appears to be making good on his promises and his potential. The new Chief, who community advocates have hailed for his record on community policing, announced a host of changes to the bureau today.

Effective January 8th, 2015, the bureau will have a fourth branch: Community Services. This new branch will include the Traffic Division (previously under the Operations Branch), which is a part of the bureau that interacts closely with our community. Traffic Division officers write the vast majority of traffic tickets, they investigate collisions and hit-and-runs, they work targeted enforcement actions, parades, protest marches, Sunday Parkways, and so on.

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Bike Theft Summit recap: Our big, collective step forward

Posted by on December 11th, 2014 at 12:42 pm

crowdlead
Great crowd.
(Photo by Guthrie Straw)

Note: Please join me in thanking Bike Index. They were our sponsor for the summit, and it just so happens that Co-director Bryan Hance is the same guy who’s behind our Stolen Bike Listings here on BikePortland (which are back up and running by the way!). Thank you Bike Index!

——
Because of everyone who showed up and took part in last night’s Bike Theft Summit, Portland has taken a giant step forward in the battle to curb bike theft.

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TriMet lengthens transfers to 2.5 hours, a long-awaited victory for riders’ group

Posted by on December 11th, 2014 at 9:29 am

OPAL organizer Orlando Lopez talks to a TriMet rider
in 2010, gathering support for what became a
successful campaign for longer-lasting transit tickets.
(Photo: Michael Schoenholtz/Portland Afoot)

On March 1, the lifespan of a TriMet ticket will rise 25 percent.

Raising the transfer duration from two hours to two and a half hours is effectively a price cut for anyone who takes round trips on the Portland region’s transit system one ticket at a time — either because they’re only an occasional rider or because they don’t have the cash or fancy job to have a monthly pass.

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How to beat the bike commute doldrums

Posted by on December 10th, 2014 at 1:07 pm

People on Bikes - Manhattan Bridge-37
Down with the doldrums.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

There are few things in my daily life that I avoid as religiously as riding a bus or train with nothing to read, or driving in a car with nothing to listen to.

But somehow, bike commuting in silence seems to be different – for a while, at least.

Longtime Portland bike commuter Ryan Good shared an interesting perspective Tuesday on his Facebook page, which prompted some useful discussion. He kindly gave us permission to share some of it here.

Here’s Good’s original comment:

I’ve been bike-commuting for longer than I can remember, and it’s always been a highlight of my day- both directions. But lately, I am feeling completely unmotivated for it. Not talking about other rides- still stoked for those- only the commute to and from work. Not sure what it is- all the Cat 6 types out there? The weather? Bored with riding the same route over and over and over and over and over and…? Not excited about going to work in the morning + plus feeling lethargic after sitting on my butt all day? I’m almost tempted to just start taking the bus, but that’s probably the worst thing I could do- my body needs the exercise, especially after sitting all day. I guess I’ll just have to grind it out, and hope that I snap out of it soon. Anybody else have a similar experience? Curious to hear about it, and/or how you beat it.

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‘Grand Prix’ will bring big-time bike racing to Portland, if sponsors step up

Posted by on December 10th, 2014 at 11:16 am

gp-factsheet
Detail from GP of Portland fact sheet.

The most high-profile cycling race to ever hit Portland won’t happen unless organizers can find a few deep pockets willing to sponsor it.

Nonbox Sports, the Portland-based company that owns the Grand Prix of Portland, announced yesterday that the event has been added to the official Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) calendar for August 29th, 2015. In a fact sheet, Nonbox said their race (which has been given a category ranking of 1.1) will bring in “elite riders from the best teams in the world.” They’ve also lined up two hours of prime-time television coverage on NBC Sports.

But their plans will only become reality if they can find sponsors to offset an overall event budget of about $2 million.

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First Look: Protected bike lane on SW Multnomah Boulevard

Posted by on December 10th, 2014 at 10:40 am

entering sw multnomah curb
(Photos by M. Andersen/BikePortland)

Like NE Cully Boulevard before it, SW Multnomah Boulevard has become a relatively far-flung street with a few blocks of one of the city’s best bike lanes.

With work nearly finished on the city’s eighth protected bike lane — three years in the making, it’s one of the last few bike projects begun under the Sam Adams mayoral administration — I stopped by Multnomah Tuesday to check it out.

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City staff will meet with activists about conditions on SE Clinton

Posted by on December 9th, 2014 at 3:03 pm

clinton_topper_430
(Photo by P. Cone)

SE Clinton used to be one of Portland’s marquee streets for bicycling. As one of the original “bike boulevards” it has long been a popular bicycling route that connects inner southeast neighborhoods with downtown and points beyond.

Unfortunately, Clinton has recently become a bikeway in name only. For the last year or so, as development on nearby Division Street has led to increased auto congestion, a steady stream of drivers have begun using Clinton as a cut-through. All these extra drivers have had a very negative impact on cycling conditions.

That reality, combined with efforts from grassroots activism group Bike Loud PDX, has led top brass from the City’s Bureau of Transportation to take notice. On Thursday, a group of concerned citizens will meet with PBOT staff in the Portland Building to talk about existing conditions and how to improve them.

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‘Lock Stars’, solutions, stories, and more at tomorrow’s Bike Theft Summit

Posted by on December 9th, 2014 at 11:38 am

bike summit FB link image subtitle

We’re excited for the Portland Bike Theft Summit tomorrow (12/10) and hope you are too.

As I mentioned last week, I’ve put together three panel discussions that will be the meat of the event. The discussions will tackle key pieces of the bike theft puzzle including: prevention, recovery, enforcement, parking design, and more.

Today I want to highlight a few other things I’m looking forward to.

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Home demolition critics back resolution that would block central-city density

Posted by on December 9th, 2014 at 10:10 am

(Photo: City of Portland)

In the last five weeks, nearly a third of Portland’s neighborhood associations have approved a resolution that calls for Portland to virtually freeze residential development in the central city at its current average density.

The resolution’s supporters, who call themselves United Neighborhoods for Reform, say it’s not actually an anti-density measure but rather a movement to protect historical character and housing affordability by reducing needless demolitions of old houses.

Margaret Davis, a UNR spokeswoman who also serves as a board member for the Beaumont Wilshire Neighborhood Association, said she wants to prevent home demolitions like one she saw recently.

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Rudolph-lovers celebrate 50th anniversary of TV movie with sing-along on wheels

Posted by on December 8th, 2014 at 4:03 pm

sign
Paying homage to Portland’s unofficial Rudolph.
(Photos by M. Andersen/BikePortland)

If there was any question that “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is a TV movie for the ages, the number of generations who joined Saturday night’s mobile singalong should put it to rest.

“I’ve been watching it every year since I was a kid,” said Tom Howe, the ride’s leader. “The music is timeless.”

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Holiday Bike Drive turns 300 children into bike riders (Photos)

Posted by on December 8th, 2014 at 2:38 pm

ccchbdlead
See photos below.

Watch out Portland, there are a few hundred new bike riders in town!

The 19th annual Holiday Bike Drive took place over the weekend and the Community Cycling Center provided 300 bicycles to children from throughout the region. The kids are referred to the event by the CCC’s social service partners. They also got free helmets and lots of advice and training on how to ride safely.

It’s quite an undertaking to make this event happen smoothly every year, but the CCC has it down to a science. Of course it doesn’t heart to have a big crew of dedicated volunteers. Among the folks who showed up to lend their support yesterday were Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer.

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‘Bike the Lights’ carfree tonight at PIR

Posted by on December 8th, 2014 at 10:38 am

Winter Wonderland-Bike Night at PIR-16
Biking the lights.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A great local tradition happens tonight: The annual “Bike the Lights” night out at Portland International Raceway’s Winter Wonderland.

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The Monday Roundup: Getaway Citi Bike, a texting-driving smoking gun and more

Posted by on December 8th, 2014 at 9:40 am

Blonde, boots, leather leggings
A great escape tool, for better or worse.
(Photo: Billie Ward)

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by North St. Bags, who invites you to shop their Portland-made selection of bags and accessories at their holiday pop-up shop at 11 NW 5th.

Here are the bike links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Getaway bike: A New Yorker shot a bullet into both of an acquaintance’s legs last week, ran two blocks to a Citi Bike dock, checked out a bike and fled.

Smoking gun: When Blackberry service went down for three days last month, traffic collisions dropped 40 percent. (The smartphone pioneer has 44 percent of the market there.)

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Uber’s illegal Portland launch raises question: What if an Uber driver hits you?

Posted by on December 5th, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Riding Portland's urban highways-8
Uber inside?
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

If you get hit on a Portland street by a commercially operated vehicle, you don’t want it to be an UberX on its way to its next fare.

On the other hand, you’ll be better off than if you had been hit by one of many normal private cars.

As the ride-hailing mobile app unexpectedly lauched Friday night in defiance of a city where the possible penalties for operating an unlicensed taxi can include jail time (but are reportedly more likely to involve up to $2,250 in fines), it raised a side issue for other users of the city’s roads.

It’s one we discussed briefly in our September Q&A with Uber’s regional manager, but Friday’s development gives it fresh urgency.

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Comment of the Week: Nike’s self-inflicted recruitment challenge

Posted by on December 5th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Nike World Campus
Gilded cage? Inside the berm of Nike World
Headquarters near Beaverton.
(Photo: Tracy Lee Carroll)

Is one of the region’s most important companies turning its back on talent by locking its campus off from biking and transit?

It’s hard not to feel that way after reading a series of comments this week from reader s30t. Here’s what s30t wrote in response to last week’s post about the potential for Nike’s planned expansion to finally upgrade nearby bikeways:

Interesting reading through all the comments here. I recently joined Nike, despite having heavy concerns about the commute. One year in I can say my concerns are justified. I try my best to commute by bike (or at least a bike/max combo) – but the time investment is huge. I’ve tried multiple different routes, but I live in NE Portland and it is almost impossible to keep the round trip commute less than 2-2.5 hours via bike or combo bike/public transit combo. if you work with Asia and Europe (which I do) you end up with many early a.m/late calls…that means hopping on my bike at 5 am and not getting back home until 7pm or later. I can see why commuting by bike is not an option for anyone with children (or even a dog for that matter!)

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This is what happens when you ask Portlanders to build balance bikes

Posted by on December 5th, 2014 at 2:01 pm

ccc-auctionlead
Balance bikes for bid. See more photos below.
(Photo: CCC)

From the Bike Mechanic Challenge back in June to their successful Transportation Trivia Nights, the northeast Portland based Community Cycling Center has a knack for dreaming up great ways to support their cause.

But this one might take the cake.

In the spirit of the season when little kids dream of their first bike, the CCC challenged five of its staffers to compete in a “Balance Bike Build-Off”. For the uninitiated, a balance bike is a tiny bike for toddlers without pedals or gears and a seat so low it can be powered by running instead of pedaling. They’re simply the best way to learn to how to balance, and ultimately ride, a bike.

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Tested: The Orp bike horn and light combo

Posted by on December 5th, 2014 at 11:22 am

The Orp smart horn-2
The Orp in black.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Bells are the rare bike accessory that hasn’t really changed much in the past century or so. While shifting and braking and other bike tech has evolved considerably over the years, many people still use bells that would seem right at home on a high-wheeler. (I personally have two bells I use almost every day — both made of brass that’s dinged with a low-tech, spring-actuated lever.)

Then there’s the Orp, a product invented and designed right here in Portland by Tory Orzeck that’s decidedly modern in its looks, feel, and sound. I’ve been using the Orp since last summer in all sorts of conditions and I’m finally ready to share my impressions.

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