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.


Jobs of the Week

Posted by on December 5th, 2014 at 8:35 am

We’ve had four excellent job opportunities posted this week. Learn more via the links below…


After success of 3rd Avenue demonstration in Old Town, real changes are coming

Posted by on December 4th, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Better Block
A temporary crosswalk across 3rd Avenue, crossing one lane of mixed traffic and one protected bike lane, on Oct. 4.
(Photo: Greg Raisman)

Two months after a three-day demo of a human-oriented 3rd Avenue captured many visitors’ imaginations, permanent changes are afoot.

The city is proposing to spend $10,000 next spring to add paint to 14 unmarked crosswalks on NW 2nd, 3rd and 4th between Burnside and Glisan. Several nearby properties have just changed hands. And Howard Weiner, chair of the Old Town Community Association, is working on plans that could bring much larger changes to the area.


Weekend Event Guide: BikeCraft, Rudolph, the Outback, and more

Posted by on December 4th, 2014 at 2:13 pm

BikeCraft 2011-23-23
It’s BikeCraft weekend!
(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.

As we get ever closer to the end of the year, a few traditions are among us. One of them is BikeCraft, an event near and dear to our hearts here at BikePortland. It’s an excellent place to find great gifts for bike lovers and re-connect with friends old and new.

There’s also a sing-along ride on the schedule. Tom Howe is leading a Rudolph-themed ride through downtown that is sure to be fun. And if you’re shy, don’t worry, there will be plenty of people on the ride and there’s safety in numbers!

Whatever you do, we hope you stay warm and dry out there.


National bike org reaches petition milestone: Now what?

Posted by on December 4th, 2014 at 12:50 pm

People for Bikes campaign-1
1,000,000 smiles.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Nearly three and a half years ago, we broke the news about an ambitious campaign by a national advocacy organization to get 1,000,000 Americans to pledge support for cycling.

Today that organization, People for Bikes (formerly known as Bikes Belong), announced they’ve reached that milestone.


Truck drivers are using Portland’s marquee cycle track as loading zone

Posted by on December 4th, 2014 at 11:35 am

You can’t park there. Seriously. It’s a City Code violation.
(Photo: Kiel Johnson)

Ask Portland bike advocates, planners, or city staff what our best example of a high-quality bikeway is and many of them might say the SW Moody cycle track. That’s why we were so disappointed when photos appeared on Twitter yesterday showing large delivery trucks parking on it.

SW Moody is the main artery between the burgeoning South Waterfront district and downtown Portland. Its cycle track opened three years ago (read my first impressions here) and was funded through a $23 million federal stimulus grant that also paid for a reconstruction of the street to facilitate a streetcar and light rail line that connect to the new Tilikum Bridge.

A new mixed-use development on SW Moody includes several ground-level retail businesses including a bakery and a deli. According to people who ride the route regularly, it’s common to see delivery trucks using the cycle track to load and unload.


James Beard Market plans could be chance to fix Morrison Bridge bike access issues

Posted by on December 4th, 2014 at 9:16 am

beard market birdseye sketch

An indoor food market planned for the west side of the Morrison Bridge might bring the money needed to improve Portland’s newest and arguably most awkward downtown bridge landing.

At an open house and design forum on Saturday, Dec. 13, the public will get its first big chance to review and weigh in on the proposal to convert the little-used parking lots inside the bridge’s cloverleafs to a space inspired by Vancouver BC’s Granville Island or Copenhagen’s Torvehallerne. A local biking advocate, who identified the opportunity, is urging people who care about the area to join him in attending.


Collision between driver and bike rider on Williams

Posted by on December 3rd, 2014 at 6:43 pm

The scene.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

There was a collision on N Williams this evening at around 5:30 pm.

It happened just south of Fremont right outside New Seasons market. Fire and police units responded but there were no serious injuries.

I happened to roll up on the scene about a half-hour after it happened. The driver and the bike rider were still at the scene. I spoke to both parties and they were both very shaken up by what happened.

According to the man who was driving the car, he was coming up Williams in the left lane. He works off of NE Broadway and lives in Vancouver. Just north of Cook, he noticed another driver who was “nosing out” of the New Seasons parking lot. (There is a major construction site between Cook and New Seasons that has fencing and other materials coming right up to the bike lane. In order to see around the construction zone, people in cars must nose out in order to see oncoming traffic.)


Agenda set for the Portland Bike Theft Summit

Posted by on December 3rd, 2014 at 3:27 pm

bike summit instagram with date

We’re just one week away from the first ever Portland Bike Theft Summit, sponsored by Bike Index. To refresh your memory it’s happening next Wednesday, December 10th from 6-9:00 pm at Velo Cult Bike Shop and Tavern (1969 NE 42nd Ave).

Things are coming together nicely and we’re excited to share the event agenda. We’ve worked hard to get all the key local players in the same room to inspire and inform our next steps in the effort to thwart bike theft. If you come to the summit you’ll get to meet other community advocates who are working on this issue and you’ll get to know (and learn from) key players who are in the trenches of the battle on a daily basis.

We’ve confirmed attendance from representatives from many agencies and organizations including: the Portland Police Bureau, Mayor Charlie Hales’ office, the Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement Crime Prevention program, the Bureau of Transportation, Portland Parks & Recreation, Bike Index, Project 529, the Multnomah County DA’s office, business owners, and more.


Off-road biking supporters pack Metro meeting on Tualatin Mtns project

Posted by on December 3rd, 2014 at 11:38 am

N Tualatin Mtns open house-7
“How many of you are from the cycling community?”
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Any doubt that there is vast pent-up demand for more single track mountain bike trails in Portland vanished last night when a sea of supporters swamped a Metro meeting on the North Tualatin Mountains project.


Bike riders and bikeways loom large in Burnside Bridgehead development boom

Posted by on December 3rd, 2014 at 9:46 am

419 e bunside approach from couch
A 158-unit building proposed at 419 E. Burnside would feature a “bicycle lounge,” possibly with free coffee and video games.
(Images: Myhre Group Architects)

After two decades of waiting for Portland’s bike network to arrive downtown, it looks like downtown is headed for Portland’s bike network.

Now that life on the city’s eastside grid has exploded in popularity (and therefore in expense), major developers are making a lunge across the Burnside Bridge in an effort to bring 9-story living to the east side of the Willamette.

And as construction start dates approach for the first projects of the so-called “Burnside Bridgehead,” the excellent bike access is turning out to be central to their plans.


As full waterfront loop reopens, here’s an endless GIF of riding Portland’s gem

Posted by on December 2nd, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Keep on trucking.
(GIF by Will Vanlue)

After a year of seismic upgrade work to the firehouse just north of the Hawthorne Bridge’s east landing, Portland’s Eastbank Esplanade is fully open once again.

Though the detour was less than a city block, it’s been a long construction period for the ring that’s sometimes referred to, along with Waterfront Park, as Portland’s “inner loop.” Just south of the Hawthorne, the Esplanade was also closed near OMSI for much of the last year as part of TriMet’s work on the new Tilikum Crossing bridge.


Metro and TriMet introduce bus rapid transit for Powell-Division corridor

Posted by on December 2nd, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Room for bikes?
(Image: From a Metro slide presentation)

Only in Portland would a regional planning agency host a lunchtime event titled “Bus Rapid Transit 101″ in a movie theater with free popcorn.

That was the setting yesterday for a meeting hosted by Metro to introduce Portlanders to their Powell-Division Transit Development Project. The planning effort is just getting started and the aim is to create the region’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) service on a 15-mile route along SE Powell and Division streets between Portland and Gresham.


Portland is the car2go capital of North America

Posted by on December 2nd, 2014 at 10:02 am

car2go launch
Car2go’s Portland launch in spring 2012.
(Photo: M.Andersen)

Fifteen years after Portland introduced commercial carsharing to North America, Portlanders are continuing to show how businesses that enable occasional car use can fit into a modern multimodal city.

Since car2go launched in Portland in 2012, it’s steadily grown its local fleet from 250 to 530 cars, the largest in the country for any single city and the largest in North America in cars per square mile of home area — 10.2.


Is Portland ready to start building streets for smaller trucks?

Posted by on December 1st, 2014 at 3:30 pm

truck on right
Big trucks in busy American cities are often seen as a necessary evil. But maybe that’s only half true.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Cities can’t exist without cargo. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that cities can exist with fewer big trucks.

Two weeks ago, the day after local man Kirke Johnson was killed in a collision with a right-turning semi-trailer truck that apparently failed to yield as he passed it going straight, urbanist website CityLab published an interesting bit of news.

After years of selling 15-foot cargo vans as delivery vehicles in Europe and Japan, Nissan has found a market for them in the United States, too:


Stolen bike leads to two arrests for package theft in Beaverton

Posted by on December 1st, 2014 at 10:56 am

Stolen items recovered.
(Photo: WashCo Sheriff)

Washington County Sheriff deputies thought they’d just recovered a stolen bike; but it ended up leading them to a large cache of other stolen property.

According to a statement issued late Friday by the sheriff’s office, a $6,000 bike stolen off a car rack led them to the arrest of two prolific thieves. Here’s how it went down:

On November 26, 2014, a Washington County Deputy Sheriff took a report of a $6,000 bicycle stolen off of a vehicle rack in a parking lot at NW Murray Boulevard and NW Cornell Road. On November 27, 2014, the owner of the bicycle called the Sheriff’s Office to report they saw their bicycle advertised for sale on a website called “Offer Up“.


The Monday Roundup: Oil’s price plunge, Sydney’s bike ban proposal and more

Posted by on December 1st, 2014 at 9:04 am

PDX Bike Swarm - ALEC F29 protests-14
Less so than they were, maybe.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

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

Cheap gas coming: The price of oil plummeted to its lowest non-recession level since 2007 on Thursday and Friday. It’s being described as the result of a major price war launched by OPEC in hopes of ending North America’s oil boom.

Vision zero bikes: Sydney is considering banning bikes from its “shared cycle way” network because someone walking might get hurt and sue.


A Bike Black Friday shopping guide

Posted by on November 28th, 2014 at 12:10 am

The Outer Rim Bike Shop-1
Your local bike shop will be very
happy to see you on Black Friday.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s local bike businesses aren’t immune to the Black Friday phenomenon.

If you plan to start your holiday shopping early, or if you simply want to score some good deals for yourself, we’ve put together a Bike Black Friday shopping guide to point you in the direction of the best deals and discounts.

Scroll down for all the details on sales that start tomorrow (11/28) at River City Bicycles, Blaq Paks, Showers Pass, Clever Cycles, Joe Bike, and North St Bags…


Congressman’s fruitcake ice cream will help buy gift bikes for Portland kids

Posted by on November 26th, 2014 at 7:57 pm

This is definitely our favorite ice cream charity partnership ever.


TriMet bus kills man who had been walking bike in bike lane (UPDATED)

Posted by on November 26th, 2014 at 7:31 pm

bus stop
The bus stop on 82nd Avenue near Clackamas Town Center where the incident reportedly took place.
(Image from 2011: Google Street View)

A man who had been walking his bike in the bike lane down 82nd Avenue at SE Causey Wednesday night was killed beneath the back wheel of a TriMet bus, Oregon State Police said.

The man, a 60-year-old whose name has not yet been released, had apparently been passed by the bus while walking in the lane, caught up with it, and was beating on the back of the bus before his death.


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