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A newbs-eye view of cyclocross, part two: Learning the hard way

Posted by on September 22nd, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Blind Date at the Dairy race-16
How did our guest author do her second time out?
(Note: That’s not her in the photo.)
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is Rebecca Hamilton’s second article in a series about her introduction to cyclocross racing. Read last week’s installment here.

It’s Week 2 of the Blind Date at the Dairy cyclocross series and here I am again, back for more.

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The Monday Roundup: Seattle’s showcase, bait bike success in Texas & more

Posted by on September 22nd, 2014 at 11:30 am

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Seattle’s 2nd Avenue gives bikes their own signal phase.
(Photo: M.Andersen)

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

Seattle’s showcase: Downtown Seattle’s new two-way protected bike lane, which replaced a one-way door-zone lane, seems to have immediately tripled bike traffic on the street.

Cop impersonator: In Palo Alto, a man seemingly impersonated a police officer while ordering two kids in a bike lane to ride single file instead of side by side. He then flashed a weapon at one of them.

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San Diego Bike Coalition board member in critical condition after rear-end collision

Posted by on September 20th, 2014 at 3:46 pm

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Kerry Kunsman.
(Photo: San Diego County
Bicycle Coalition)

Kerry Kunsman, a 67-year old bicycle safety instructor and board member of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is in critical condition after being hit from behind by a pickup driver while riding near Tillamook yesterday.

According to the Oregon State Police, Kunsman, a resident of San Diego California, was riding westbound on Highway 131 between Tillamook and Netarts Bay (map) when he was struck from behind by 74-year old Oceanside (Oregon) resident Frank Bohannon, who was driving a Ford F350 pickup.

The collision occurred at milepost five in the apex of a right-have and curve. As you can see in the photos below, Netarts Hwy has two lanes in this location and no paved shoulder. The posted speed limit on this highway is 55 mph, but there’s an advisory speed of 35 mph posted for this specific corner. The investigation into the collision is ongoing and no enforcement decision has been made. Kunsman is suffering from a brain injury and is being treated at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

This is the latest in an alarming spate of rear-end collisions involving bicycle riders on rural Oregon highways in the past month.

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Comment of the Week: The missed opportunity of Tilikum Crossing

Posted by on September 19th, 2014 at 2:21 pm

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Problems with the west-side landing of Tilikum Crossing.
(Image: Ted Buehler)

The new transit/bike/walk bridge opening across the Willamette next year has become one of Portland’s go-to examples of how we continue to do great things. And it’s certainly true that it’s a massive investment in active transportation.

But as reader Ted Buehler argued in a series of comments this week below our story about the apparent decline of biking among PSU students, Tilikum Crossing was so close to being so much better.

The Tilikum Bridge isn’t going to help all that much, because Tilikum to PSU will still be crap. Whereas MAX has a long flyover from the west end of the Tilikum Bridge to SW 4th and Lincoln.

If they had funded a mixed use path on the MAX bridge, you’d be able to go straight from OMSI to here: http://goo.gl/maps/LLiVp without playing fender tag with cars on surface streets.

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A ride downtown and biking’s social impact

Posted by on September 19th, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Delivery downtown
Hazel Gross and her company vehicle chatting with a customer on SW 2nd Ave.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Yesterday I took a short ride downtown and it was the perfect illustration of something I’ve known for many years: cycling in a city where a (relatively) significant amount of people ride bikes can* be a very social form of transportation.

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For one weekend, Old Town will test a huge plaza, bike lanes and cafes along 3rd Avenue

Posted by on September 19th, 2014 at 11:07 am

dan and boris
Dixie Tavern owner Dan Lenzen, right, with Boris Kaganovich of Better Block PDX.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Frustrated by city officials’ estimates that it’d take several years to even consider a major redesign of 3rd Avenue through Old Town, a group of neighborhood businesses is teaming up with a team of livable streets advocates to create their own three-day demo of what a better street could look like — two weeks from today.

Inspired in part by the “pop-up” street projects that have helped reshape New York City in the last five years, organizers say Old Town’s three-block project will be one of the country’s largest such projects ever.

It’ll use wooden planters in the street to create more than a thousand square feet of new pedestrianized space between NW Davis an SW Ash, a protected bike lane, a series of new sidewalk cafes, a marked crosswalk and a huge new public plaza in front of Voodoo Doughnut adjoining Old Town’s thriving Ankeny Alley.

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Time to step up for our local velodrome

Posted by on September 19th, 2014 at 11:06 am

A Friday at the Velodrome-34.jpg
The apron (darker area on the right) of Alpenrose Velodrome is being replaced and we need to help fund the project.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Yesterday, while the cycling world was captivated and inspired by Jens Voigt’s spectacular hour record ride, a call for help went out for our humble local velodrome at Alpenrose Dairy.

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Jobs of the Week

Posted by on September 19th, 2014 at 8:56 am

We’ve got some interesting opportunities for all you job-seekers. Photographer and worldwide bike tour guide positions do not come up very often. Learn more via the links below…

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Weekend Event Guide: Springwater, salmon, carfree Crater Lake, and more

Posted by on September 18th, 2014 at 4:14 pm

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Learn about the natural areas that border the Springwater Trail on Sunday’s Johnson Creek Days ride.
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

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

Last night I rode through a patch of fallen leaves. And I’m sure you felt that wet stuff falling from the sky this morning… What’s going on? Yes, the season is changing; but your choices for having fun on bikes is as strong as ever.

From educational forays on our region’s best bicycle routes to a simple, yet powerful, way to entice you to try riding into work the first time, this weekend has a lot to offer.

Friday, September 19th

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Next door to Forest Park, North Tualatin Mtns hold opportunity for off-road bike access

Posted by on September 18th, 2014 at 11:45 am

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1,300 acres just north of Forest Park.

Just north of Forest Park in northwest Portland lies 1,300 undeveloped acres spread across four separate properties. The land, which was historically a logging area and can be currently accessed from either Skyline or McNamee roads, is owned by Metro and is known as the North Tualatin Mountains natural area.

Metro is embarking on a planning process to figure out what to do on the land and there’s a great opportunity to include bicycle access in the equation. Advocates have been fighting for years to improve bike access in Forest Park but have made frustratingly slow progress.

The Tualatin Mountains natural area offers a fresh start and a new political context since it’s under Metro jurisdiction and not managed by the City of Portland (the current Parks Commissioner, Amanda Fritz, has all but shelved the Forest Park debate calling for “a citywide Master Plan for cycling recreation… prior to embarking on individual projects.”).

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Oregon House candidate refers to bike lanes as “fringe things”

Posted by on September 18th, 2014 at 10:26 am

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Kathy Goss
(Photo: Kathy Goss for Oregon/Facebook)

Should the Oregon Department of Transportation stop paying its staff to work on bike lanes and trails in order to save money? That’s what Kathy Goss, a candidate running for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives, thinks.

During a debate with her challenger Paul Evans (Democrat) last week, Goss, a Republican, expressed that idea during a discussion about how ODOT might trim its human resources budget. Her comments were reported by the Salem-based Statesman Journal. Here’s an excerpt from their article published September 5th:

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BTA staff heads to the bridges to boost ‘Bike Commute Challenge’

Posted by on September 18th, 2014 at 9:38 am

BTA staff promoting Bike Commute Challenge-1
BTA staffers Amanda Lee Harrison (yellow cap) and Sarah Newsum offering cookies and encouragement to bike commuters in the rain this morning on the Broadway Bridge.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

We’re more than half way through the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s Bike Commute Challenge and the organization is pulling out all the stops to encourage riders to sign up and log their trips.

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Census shows big leaps for biking in a few cities, but Portland inches backward

Posted by on September 18th, 2014 at 4:48 am

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Source: Census American Community Survey. Chart by BikePortland.

Is America’s latest bike boom coming to an end? Or is it just moving to different cities?

2013 Census estimates released Thursday show the big cities that led the bike spike of the 2000s — Minneapolis, Seattle, Denver and, most of all, Portland — all failing to make meaningful changes to their commuting patterns for three years or more.

Meanwhile, the same figures show a new set of cities rising fast — first among them Washington DC.

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City will install signs in Waterfront Park to discourage unsafe riding

Posted by on September 17th, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Shared path Waterfront Park-1
The path in Waterfront Park is no place
to be riding fast.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland

With the BTA’s Bike Commute Challenge in full swing and warmer than usual weather sticking around, there’s a lot of bike traffic in and around downtown Portland these days. Especially on the Waterfront Park path, which is also popular with joggers, tourists, walkers, and lots of other types of users.

Concerns about unsafe passing and crowded conditions have spurred the Portland Parks Bureau to partner with the Bureau of Transportation to install signs encouraging faster bike riders to use Naito Parkway and all others to ride slowly and use caution when the path is crowded. They’re calling the path a “Pedestrian Priority Zone.”

Here’s a first look at the new signs:

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Get Legal: Being “nice” is dangerous and could make you at fault in a collision

Posted by on September 17th, 2014 at 2:54 pm

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Being nice isn’t so nice when it creates confusion.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Written by lawyer Ray Thomas of Swanson, Thomas Coon & Newton.

Some road users go out of their way (and beyond the law) to be “nice.” Being nice isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it involves giving somebody a break, or allowing a successful traffic merge; but other times — such as when a driver waves another driver through stopped traffic — there can be disastrous consequences.

When road users go out of their way to accommodate others when there is no legal authority for doing so, it creates real trouble later if someone gets hurt as a result of their “nice” gesture. In this column, I’ll go over some common scenarios where being what you think is good can actually be very bad.

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New bike lane on SW Salmon improves bike access to Naito Parkway

Posted by on September 17th, 2014 at 1:11 pm

New lane striping SW Salmon at Naito-3
New striping gives bike riders their own lane.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Getting to Naito Parkway and Waterfront Park from downtown Portland just got easier thanks to relatively small — yet significant — changes to two blocks of SW Salmon Street.

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Governor Kitzhaber, top legislators raise awareness of distracted driving

Posted by on September 17th, 2014 at 11:09 am

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Pledging to drive without distractions, from left to right: Senate Democratic Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland), Senator Jackie Winters (R-Salem), AT&T Oregon President George Granger, House Democratic Leader Val Hoyle (D-Eugene), House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte), Speaker of the House Tina Kotek (D-Portland), Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli.
(Photo: AT&T)

Distracted driving is one of the largest public health crises in America today, and Oregon is not immune to its impacts. According to ODOT crash data, 93 people died on Oregon roads between 2006 and 2011 and there were over 18,000 collisions due to distracted driving. If you like to ride a bike, this issue is of immense importance given that you ride just a few feet away from people driving multi-ton steel vehicles.

Yesterday at the state capitol in Salem, legislators attended an event to raise awareness of the issue and even Governor Kitzhaber has gotten involved by declaring this coming Friday, September 19th, “Distraction-Free Driving Day” in Oregon.

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Pittsburgh is (in many ways) the city that Portland wants to become

Posted by on September 17th, 2014 at 10:58 am

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Pittsburgh’s Market Square.
(Photos: M.Andersen)

When I headed to Pittsburgh last week to join the Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference for my other gig, I was telling people that “the Paris of Appalachia” (as its mayor likes to call it) is the city that my hometown, Toledo, Ohio, wishes it could be.

Three days later, I started telling people it was the city that Portland wishes it could be, too.

Pittsburgh obviously isn’t as bikeable as Portland, though it’s coming along. But almost everything else about the city measures up.

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Reinventing taxis, part 2: A Q&A with Uber’s #1 critic, Steve Entler of Radio Cab

Posted by on September 17th, 2014 at 9:50 am

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Radio Cab general manager Steve Entler.
(Photo: KOIN)

Second of two Q&As about the issues preventing car-summoning mobile apps like Uber from operating in Portland.

The 14-person stakeholder committee that advises Portland City Council on taxi regulations has one representative of a taxi company: Steve Entler.

Entler is the general manager of Radio Cab, the city’s oldest and largest taxi company and the only one operated as a collective by its drivers. After talking to the regional manager for Uber, which now operates in almost every major U.S. city except Portland, we sat down with Entler for a frank discussion about the taxi business and what it feels like to watch a startup willfully ignore a set of regulations he’s spent decades navigating and helping create.

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Cross Crusade news: Women’s singlespeed, two-day opening event, tailgating competition

Posted by on September 16th, 2014 at 1:33 pm

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Bottleneck at Alpenrose
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s preeminent cyclocross race series, the Cross Crusade, has announced some big changes for its 21st season that kicks off on Saturday, October 11th at the Alpenrose Dairy in Portland’s southwest hills.

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