People for Bikes, a national advocacy group funded by the bicycle industry, wants to change cycling in America by coming up with a new name for it. Specifically, the group wants help figuring out what to call everyday cycling in order to differentiate it from recreation and fitness riding.
Here’s the set-up from People for Bikes via an email they sent out today:
“Lots of people ride bikes for recreation, exercise and sport. But there’s another kind of bicycling that’s becoming more and more popular in communities across the country. It’s difficult to quantify, because folks call it a lot of different things. And it doesn’t have an official name…
Imagine you’re rolling out on your bike right from your garage—no spandex involved, you’re wearing normal, everyday clothes.
Samuel Thompson led calls for peace on the streets of the New Columbia neighborhood on Sunday. (Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
“Occupy the streets! Until we get peace! Occupy the streets! Until we get peace!”
Reeling from a (yet another) violent summer where gang members have ruled the streets with guns, about 150 people joined the Take Back the Streets Ride in New Columbia on Sunday. Armed with bicycles and a powerful sense of unity, they stood up to their fears. As they pedaled, chanted and smiled, they started a new narrative about the public space outside their doorsteps and showed how bicycles can be an effective tool for grassroots, social change far beyond the central city.
Mistaken for Uber: “Basically anytime I’m pulled over on the side of the street, someone tries to hail me or just opens my car door,” says a New Yorker who just wants to drive his car in the age of Uber. One person told him: “Are you Uber? Well can you just be? Can we go?” “It’s kind of immoral to have a car in New York anyways, so I feel like this is my tax for doing that.”
Transportation Director Leah Treat at a city press conference in April. (Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)
Like her predecessor Tom Miller, Portland’s top transportation bureaucrat is part of a class of bike-friendly Generation Xers who, after working up the ladder for years, are moving into the top perches of government.
Hired last year, Director Leah Treat turned out to be the first of three such faces on the West Coast alone. Last month, Seleta Reynolds of San Francisco’s livable streets division was tapped to lead the vast Los Angeles transportation department and Scott Kubly, who like Treat was a top lieutenant to fellow Xer Gabe Klein in Washington and Chicago, was named to the same role in Seattle.
Traffic on Clinton. (Photo by Michael Andersen/BikePortland)
Six days after saying that it would detour eastbound traffic from Division Street onto the Clinton Street neighborhood greenway for two weeks, the City of Portland has changed course.
Starting Monday, electronic signs will instruct drivers heading east at 11th Avenue to turn south to Powell Boulevard rather than one block south to Clinton, the Portland bureaus of transportation and environmental services said Thursday.
Cirque du Cycling racers in 2009. (Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)
The people behind an “international professional cycling event” in downtown Portland say they’ve gotten green lights from the international and national sport cycling organizations to host the “Grand Prix of Portland” here next summer.
Smooth cruising: looking west across 11th at Holladay. (Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)
A key bike connection between Southeast and inner North/Northeast Portland keeps getting a bit better.
The latest improvement to Northeast 11th Avenue and Holladay comes courtesy of track work last week by TriMet at its Lloyd Center MAX turnaround. The transit agency prioritized repairs to the track there in part because the crumbling pavement around the tracks had been increasingly dangerous for biking.
Nate McGuire of Austin bike-tech startup Spokefly. (Photo by Michael Andersen/BikePortland)
Nate McGuire is part of two worlds that Austin, Texas, is still pretty new at: digital entrepreneurship and biking.
His startup, Spokefly, uses a mobile app and combination U-locks to turn people’s underused bicycles into income-generating shared bikes that float around the city until their owners need them. (At that point, the company will fetch it and deliver it home.) Though it’s not yet available in Portland, he’s preparing to launch in a handful of cities soon and was in town last week to scope our city out.
When he stopped by BikePortland’s office for a talk, we saw a perfect chance to hear more about biking and related issues in one of the U.S. cities that Portland most resembles in size, culture and reputation.
When Alex Reed moved to Portland in 2007, he thought that “There was so much excitement around bike it felt like everything was destined to get better.” Now that he’s “not seeing much progress,” the 29-year-old southeast Portland resident (and father) has planned a meeting this weekend to discuss the possible formation of a new group. “Are you frustrated at the lack of progress on bike issues in Portland in the last five years?” reads the event description on the Shift calendar. “If so, come join us to try to make things better!”
The aftermath of a collision in eastern Oregon. (Photo: OSP)
There have been four (officially recorded) rear-end collisions involving a bicycle rider in the past week. One of them resulted in a fatality and the other three resulted in serious injuries. The incidents have occurred throughout Oregon and nearby southwest Washington.
While the incidents are unrelated, the uncommon frequency (two happened on the same day) led to a response by the Oregon State Police earlier this week. In an official statement published on August 17th, they said: “OSP urges all drivers to be alert for bicyclists and other vulnerable highway users. When approaching from behind, make sure there is adequate room to safely pass on the left of the bicyclist(s).”
Weeknight racing at PIR? Sign me up! (Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
Two items of cyclocross news to share today: There’s a new, weekly race series and a talk by locally-based elite racer Beth Ann Orton.
The big news is the announcement of the Rapha Trophy Cup presented by Western Bikeworks. This new cyclocross race series starts September 2nd and happens every Tuesday night through October 7th. The six race series goes down at Portland International Raceway and adds to our great local tradition of weeknight racing.
“I want to see the committee be more present in the process, both on the community level and the political level,” said Ian Stude, a member of the committee for six years and its incoming chair, in an interview last week. “People who want to cozy up to the beast a little more.”
Vice-chair Heather McCarey is leading the recruiting process for the committee, aiming for a total of 13 members and seven alternates.
Jason Tell at a Safe Routes to School event in February 2008. (Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
The Portland region’s top Oregon Department of Transportation official has left his post and taken a job with a private company. Jason Tell, who has spent 18 years with ODOT — eight of them as Region 1 Director — is now the Senior Planning Manager at the downtown Portland office of Parsons Brinckerhoff.
ODOT has named Planning and Development Manager Rian Windsheimer as the interim Region 1 Director.
Novick to hit the streets. (Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and PBOT Director Leah Treat want to hear from you about neighborhood transportation needs. They also wants to draw attention to existing problems they’d like to fix with your money.
Novick and Treat are in the middle of a major effort to pass a “street fee” that would raise new money for street repairs and updates. At tomorrow’s “Transportation Needs Tour” they’re inviting the news media to join them in a for a stop at three locations that’ll highlight where new revenue would be spent.
Keeping to the City’s strategy of not mentioning the “b” word (bikes); a statement released this morning about the tour specifically addresses “streets that lack sidewalks” and “commercial corridors in need of preventative maintenance.” In addition to the three stops, the City will also unveil the Portland Transportation Needs Guidebook, “an online compilation of the maintenance and safety needs identified by the Portland Bureau of Transportation and prioritized by community input over the years.”
Former Nike innovation director Rich Fox has created a new process for making custom bike frames that can be done entirely in Portland. (Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)
A Portland startup is marrying the 1980s concept of “screwed and glued” modular frames with modern computer machining to dramatically cut the price of a custom handmade bike.
Its founder’s goal: a chain of minimalist, 600-square foot Apple Store-esque retail shops across the country, each one able to fit and service a line of Portland-built bikes as colorful and distinctly branded as iPods.
Robin Williams in Portland for a bike show in February 2008. (Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
Here are the great bike links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:
Robin Williams and bikes:Cycling superfan Robin Williams’ impression repertoire included Marco Pantani, Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich. Tragically, they went uncaptured on video. The Oregonian’s aggregation of Williams’ ties to bikes includes the time he had one delivered to Conan O’Brien.
Two issues to be aware of on some popular rural roads around the region: Construction up near Mt. Hood will mean major truck traffic on Lolo Pass Road and others in the Zig Zag area; and on the other side of region, Washington County will be paving some key biking roads. See the official notices Read More »
Cool volunteer opp with Oregon Parks & Rec: OPRD is organizing cyclist user counts along the Tualatin and Willamette Valley Bikeways and we need volunteers to help with the counts. User count data will be collected on August 16 and 17. We are looking for volunteers to sign up for two hour slots to count Read More »
We realize this is last minute but it’s the first we heard about it and figured it’s worth getting the word out as far and wide as possible. This could be a great way for east Portland to learn about bicycling and have some good interactions with the Portland Police Bureau. Details and flyer below.. Read More »