Free to good home: a bicycle-powered star destroyer

Posted by on January 26th, 2015 at 3:20 pm

star destroyer
Shield generators included.
(Photos via Craigslist)

This is your chance to steer one of the flagships of Pedalpalooza‘s annual Star Wars vs. Star Trek ride.

Though we won’t know until December whether Imperial-class star destroyers survived the death of the Emperor, this particular model is in good shape but looking for a new home in advance of this summer’s festival of bike fun in Portland, according to a recent Craigslist “free stuff” post.


Oregon Senate bill would mandate bicycle licenses and registration – UPDATED

Posted by on January 26th, 2015 at 1:32 pm

“Imposes license fee in amount sufficient to pay administrative costs, as determined by Department of Transportation. Creates offense of failure to register bicycle. Punishes by maximum fine of $250.”
— From summary of Senate Bill 177

(UPDATE, 9:05 am 1/27: Scroll down for a comment from the Salem, Oregon resident who requested this bill.)

Here we go again…

An Oregon legislator has introduced a bill that would mandate licenses for everyone over 18 years of age who rides a bicycle and would require them to pay a $10 fee to register their bikes. The bill would also prohibit the use of “state highway fund” dollars on “bicycle” projects and repeal ORS 366.154 (a.k.a. the “bike bill”).

Senate Bill 177 has been introduced by Senator Brian Boquist (R-12) “at the request of” a constituent. That “at the request of” part is important because it appears the bill is what’s known as a “constituent bill”. In other words, this isn’t a bill the senator himself is pushing for — he has merely accepted it and moved it along into a committee to appease a vocal constituent. In this case, the constituent is a man named Ted Campbell.


The Ride: Mountain biking on the Wilson River Trail

Posted by on January 26th, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Wilson River Trail MTB ride-12
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Just off Highway 6 in the Tillamook State Forest about 45 miles west of Portland lies some of the region’s best singletrack. And I’m still wondering why it took me 11 years to finally discover it.


Poorly installed bike racks in renovated Bancorp Tower plaza

Posted by on January 26th, 2015 at 11:15 am

bancorp tower parking
Can you spot the errors with this installation?
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

If we want to become a virtuoso cycling city, we must first master the fundamentals.

It’s one thing when poorly installed bicycle parking happens in front of a convenience store, but it’s a much bigger deal when it’s done as part of a multi-million dollar project for the 2nd tallest building in Portland and the largest office building (in terms of volume) in the entire state of Oregon.


The Monday Roundup: Illegal walking, ambulance bike racks and more

Posted by on January 26th, 2015 at 9:16 am

Going-home time
Somebody call the cops.
(Photo: browneyes.)

This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you by the Ride the Heart of the Valley Bike Ride. Set for April 26th, this ride is a benefit for the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis.


Here are the bike-related stories from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Illegal walking: Child protective services threatened to take two Maryland children away from their parents after the parents let their kids (aged 10 and 6) walk home one mile from the park together.

Ambulance bike racks: A hospital in Fort Collins now equips its ambulances with racks to avoid leaving patients’ bikes at the scene.

Car-detecting radar: Garmin is marketing an alert device for bike users.


The Friday Profile: David Griffiths, Portland’s tattooed philosopher of ‘ciclovismo’

Posted by on January 23rd, 2015 at 5:22 pm

David Griffiths has developed a concise and compelling way of talking and thinking about bicycles as a metaphor for life.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

For years, as deeply as he loved language, David Griffiths thought social media wasn’t for him.


City, district and parent volunteers team up to improve north Portland street

Posted by on January 23rd, 2015 at 11:40 am

Delaware Avenue near Chief Joseph/Ockley Green School in Arbor Lodge is getting a facelift.
(Graphics by Fat Pencil Studio)

There’s probably no better place for a section of carfree street than between an elementary school and a park. That’s the situation on N Delaware Avenue between Bryant and Saratoga in the Arbor Lodge neighborhood.


Now one of few large U.S. cities without bike sharing, Portland sets a new date

Posted by on January 23rd, 2015 at 10:03 am

Downtown Riverside, CA
Downtown Riverside, Calif., the center of the
country’s 13th largest metro area and a city planning
to launch a bike sharing system in 2015.
(Photo: Daniel Orth)

By the end of 2015, it’s looking like 21 of the largest 25 U.S. metro areas are likely to have public bike share systems.

The four that won’t: Los Angeles, Detroit, St. Louis and Portland.

Los Angeles, by far the country’s largest holdout, announced this month that it’s on track to launch a system in 2016. Atlanta, Baltimore and Riverside, Calif., have plans to launch in 2015 but haven’t announced more specific dates.

Meanwhile, four other cities started service late last year or will in the next few months: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Seattle.


Jobs of the Week: Bike Gallery, Community Cycling Center, WashCo BTC

Posted by on January 23rd, 2015 at 8:05 am

We’ve had three great job opportunities listed this week. Check them out via the links below…


Lake Oswego city council revives concept of bike path on old trolleyway

Posted by on January 22nd, 2015 at 3:48 pm

New attention, old idea.

Three years after Lake Oswego pulled out of a plan to upgrade its little-used riverside trolley line into a high-speed streetcar, the idea of turning the tracks into a biking-walking path is back in discussion.

This time, the idea is being driven by recently reelected Lake Oswego City Council member Jeff Gudman, who embraced the idea after hearing about it repeatedly from Lake Oswego residents during his campaigns.

“As I was doing my door to door, any number of people would say to me that they really like the idea,” Gudman said in an interview Thursday. “Some wanted streetcar, bike and ped. Others wanted just bike and ped.”

As the Oregonian’s editorial board reported Thursday, this week Gudman won his colleagues’ approval for a study of the legal issues surrounding a riverside trail.


State says it has no plans to restripe street where one person has died per year

Posted by on January 22nd, 2015 at 12:55 pm

barbur curve looking north
Typical midday traffic approaching a curve in Barbur Boulevard from the south.
(Image: Google Street View.)

During a construction project last summer, the Oregon Department of Transportation seems to have discovered that there’s a way to cut extreme speeding on a curving two-mile stretch of Southwest Barbur Boulevard where six people have died in the last five years.

Was it closing the passing lanes? Lowering the posted speed limit from 45 to 35 mph? Upping traffic enforcement and penalties? Simply marking it as a construction zone?

The agency did all of those things at once, so it isn’t sure which one worked, and it currently has no plans to find out.

Meanwhile, the state-owned street has returned to normal indefinitely.


Weekend Event Guide: Sprints, Swan Island, trail work and more

Posted by on January 22nd, 2015 at 10:59 am

Bike Fashion Show_ride and afterparty-73
Explore the many secret wonders of Swan Island
at the North Portland Greenway Excursion ride on Saturday.
(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.

This weather has been too nice. Too nice to work, too nice to stay indoors. Thankfully the weekend is coming! And guess what? The temps are only getting warmer and I hear it might even reach 60-degrees on Sunday.

I hope you have something fun planned. If not, we’ve got a bunch of great suggestions for you.

Get out there and ride. After staring at the sun and blue sky all week, you deserve some quality time in the saddle.


Bike paths, greenway on Milwaukie city council agenda tonight

Posted by on January 22nd, 2015 at 10:26 am

Milwaukie City Council will take up the proposed
new path on 17th Ave tonight.

After we posted a story yesterday about a Milwaukie real estate owner who plans to demolish his retail building on Main Street and build a parking lot, we heard from a few readers who worried their hometown was getting a bad rap.

Truth is, there is a lot of positive momentum for bicycling and livable streets in Milwaukie. Reader Matt Menely has been advocating for bikes in Milwaukie for many years. He got in touch to tell us about tonight’s city council meeting — which has an agenda that’s chock-full of bike-related projects.


Ride With GPS now offers ‘offline maps’ for iPhone, Android

Posted by on January 22nd, 2015 at 9:25 am


Portland-based Ride With GPS has just turned your smartphone into a much more useful tool for exploring backroads by bike. On Monday they announced their biggest new feature since launching eight years ago: “offline maps,” which allow you to download route info and get voiced, turn-by-turn directions on your smartphone (iPhone or Android) even without a cell signal.

Combine these new offline maps with their already stellar GPS navigation and cycle-computer app (free, or $3.99 to unlock all features) and you’ve got what Kevin Prentice, the company’s head of business development calls, “a viable substitute for a traditional cycling GPS unit.”

With this upgrade, you can now open up the Ride With GPS app (released last year), select one of your existing routes, hit “download” and a few taps and seconds later you’ll be ready to ride. “Offline Maps allows riders to take unfamiliar routes,” says Prentice, “knowing the map will be available if they lose service.”


Milwaukie approves proposal to demolish downtown buildings for parking lot

Posted by on January 21st, 2015 at 4:59 pm

A Google Street View image of the building that
could be destroyed.

Here’s an odd story forwarded to us this afternoon by reader Tim D.

According to Pamplin Media, a downtown Milwaukie business that already has a parking lot has gotten permission to demolish a row of sidewalk-facing shops on its small commercial Main Street in order to build a parking lot.

The property owner, regional credit firm Reliable Credit, doesn’t seem to have immediate plans to destroy the row of buildings at 10605 SE Main Street, which county records value at $180,000. Instead, the firm’s owner is apparently acting to ensure the company has the right to do so in the future.


My story: Getting back on the bike after knee problems

Posted by on January 21st, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Getting fit with Seth Hosmer-1
Dr. Hosmer measuring things out.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is the time of year when many Portlanders are putting in serious miles in hopes of having good form for the upcoming racing season — or to complete whatever epic bike adventures await. Last year I was one of those people. I was so eager and focused on racing cyclocross that I crashed and burned, and learned some important lessons about training, injury, and recovery along the way.

In hopes of sharing some great local resources, and maybe even helping others who might face a similar situation, I want to share my story…

I raced intensely for 4-5 years back in the mid to late 1990s. And after that I continued riding both mountain and road bikes regularly and seriously for several years. But I took a long hiatus from any sustained training or racing until the summer of 2013. Thanks to a new road bike that re-kindled my love of riding, I was back in the saddle again and putting in miles just like the old days. By the time 2014 began, I was totally focused on the cyclocross season. With a move up to Category A (the “Masters” class) I was motivated to ride and train and much as I could fit into my schedule.


A sneak peek at PBOT’s upcoming two-year action plan

Posted by on January 21st, 2015 at 8:44 am

Detail from PBOT workplan summary.

Yesterday, we quoted the City of Portland’s transportation director about two of her most important policy goals for 2015. But her third goal for the year is far broader: to give the department, for the first time in years, a specific short-term to-do list.

The 170-item list, prepared with the help of consulting firm Nelson\Nygaard, aspires to cover everything the city’s 700-person transportation bureau is up to in the next two years.


PBOT director details two major goals for 2015: Parking reform and Vision Zero

Posted by on January 20th, 2015 at 4:22 pm

Street fee press conference-2
City Transportation Director Leah Treat at a press conference in April of last year.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s transportation revenue plans may be stalled, but its top appointed transportation official is moving ahead with a two-pronged policy agenda that can be pursued without much new money — and might even help create its own.

“We have a job at PBOT to make better use of the street space that we do have, including the parking zone.”
— Leah Treat

One of Director Leah Treat’s goals for 2015, she said Tuesday, is “getting on offense on parking” by creating a “set of tools” that neighborhoods will be able to use to charge for parking or to, in some cases, remove it to make room for bike lanes or public parklets.

Another: start enacting a plan to eliminate all traffic deaths, a concept known as Vision Zero.


Sombra bike light ‘lampshade’ aims to reduce blinking effect, improve visibility

Posted by on January 20th, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Sombra in action.

Here’s an interesting idea: A sheet of polypropolene that wraps around your rear light to make it more visible and less annoying at the same time.

How are rear bike lights annoying? Did you forget the huge debate and discussion we had back in July after we shared how someone spray-painted “F*** you and your epileptic bike lights.”

Now a London-based product designer hopes to solve that problem with his “Sombra” — a “lampshade” for your tail light. Sombra’s creator, Offer Canfi, was inspired to create the product after being passed by another rider during a nighttime ride in central London. “He had one of those blinking, bright-red taillights, and in the dark it played some nasty tricks on my eyes,” writes Canfi on the Indiegogo crowdfunding site he’s set up to fund the first run of Sombras.


Washington County proposes biking-walking bridge in Aloha

Posted by on January 20th, 2015 at 10:05 am

beaverton creek bridge
The proposed bridge alignment is marked in red.
(Main image: Google Maps)

If we’ve been writing more than usual lately about the county to Portland’s west, it’s because they’ve got a lot of things going.

As the Oregonian reported Monday, the county is seeking Metro grant funding to help build a $1.5 million, 550-foot bridge across Beaverton Creek in Aloha.

The proposed bridge would both have big benefits to its immediate surroundings and fit into a rapidly improving bike network in the area. Here’s the Oregonian’s Dana Tims on the hyperlocal benefits:


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