Local bike industry roundup: Ecospeed, Vanilla, Renovo, Circa, North St and some Zen

Posted by on October 3rd, 2014 at 3:02 pm

In the shop with North St. Bags-3
North St. Bags owner Curtis Williams hopes to take out a “community sourced to keep his expansion on track.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

I’ve been gathering news tidbits about local bike companies for several weeks now and since today is National Manufacturing Day, I decided it was time to put it all together into a roundup.

So get comfortable and read the latest news about Portland’s always-changing bike-related industry…


First look: Better Block re-imagines 3rd Ave with protected bike lane, new crosswalk

Posted by on October 3rd, 2014 at 10:44 am

Better Block demonstration project on 3rd Ave-8
There’s a new protected bike lane on 3rd Ave!
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Early this morning, Better Block PDX took the wraps off its largest project yet: They’ve transformed three blocks of 3rd Ave from Davis (in Old Town) to Ash (near Voodoo Doughnut) from a bloated, auto-centric thoroughfare into a a more humane street with a protected bike lane, on-street bike parking, a new crosswalk and ample plaza space for sitting and enjoying a doughnut or three.


Five smart things our regional planning agency is doing to fight climate change

Posted by on October 3rd, 2014 at 9:47 am

A parking lot in downtown Portland. Metro’s ‘Climate Smart’ plan
connects parking and climate policy.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Because its role in shaping transportation happens mostly behind the scenes, it’s sometimes easy to think that Metro is dedicated entirely to the distribution of nostrums.

But the truth is that Metro, the only directly elected regional government in the country, is a major force behind Portland’s success as a city. In much of the United States, the metropolitan planning organization — Metro’s peer — is the belly of the beast. These are the bodies that generate the obviously ridiculous traffic projections that are used to justify freeway construction and spend their federal Clean Air Act allowances on new turn lanes that supposedly reduce congestion but actually accelerate sprawl.


Bike lane rumble strips on Hawthorne viaduct coming out next week

Posted by on October 2nd, 2014 at 3:58 pm

New rumble strips Hawthorne Bridge-7
Changes coming and no more slow-down strips.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This Monday, October 6th, Multnomah county will remove the speed humps (a.k.a. rumble strips) in the bike lane of the westbound Hawthorne Bridge viaduct (technically SE Madison Ave).


Blazers Bike Night updates: Signed helmet prize and Monday deadline

Posted by on October 2nd, 2014 at 3:20 pm

blazers- sticker
Cool reflective pinwheel logo
sticker made just for us!

If you haven’t grabbed your tickets for Blazers Bike Night on November 2nd yet, now is the time to do it.

If you buy tickets through our special link — using promo code “bike” — through this Monday (10/6) you’ll be guaranteed to sit in one of the Bike Night sections. That is, our friends at the Trail Blazers have set aside a few sections of seats so we can sit together; but only if you get tickets by Monday.

Since our first announcement last week, we’ve made a few updates and some clarifications about what to expect the night of the event.


Governor appoints OBRA Director Kenji Sugahara to Tourism Commission

Posted by on October 2nd, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Sugahara spoke out during a community forum
on safety issues on Skyline Blvd in 2011.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has appointed Kenji Sugahara to a seat on the Oregon Tourism Commission. The nine-member commission, better known by its business name of Travel Oregon, manages the state’s $9.6 billion tourism industry.

Sugahara, 41, lives in West Salem and became the executive director of the 5,000 member Oregon Bicycle Racing Association in 2008. Sugahara is also a member of the Oregon Scenic Bikeway Committee and is a board member of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

According to Travel Oregon CEO Todd Davidson, Sugahara was picked specifically because of his experience with cycling in Oregon (OBRA promotes and sanctions around 400 events annually in every corner of the state). “We are pleased to welcome Kenji to the Oregon Tourism Commission,” Davidson said in an official statement, “the Governor has selected someone who brings not only a cycling perspective to the commission, but experience with rural Oregon, international media and transportation issues.”

Travel Oregon takes cycling seriously in part because a recent study they commissioned showed bicycle-related travel accounts for $400 million in annual economic impacts to the state of Oregon.


Weekend Event Guide: SuperSwap, Better Block, Artcrank, a big climb, and more

Posted by on October 2nd, 2014 at 11:04 am

Artcrank Portland-13
Artcrank on Saturday is where art, friends and a love of bicycling comes together.
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

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

This is one of those weekends that will take some serious planning to make sure you don’t miss anything awesome. We’ve got such a diverse selection — from mountain biking and cyclocross, to an art show and a big gear sale.

And adding to the excitement is what looks to be some seriously nice weather.

Have fun out there!

Friday, October 3rd


On Michigan greenway, diverter reduces driving but biking boost is modest

Posted by on October 2nd, 2014 at 10:12 am

Diverter at N Rosa Parks and Michigan -3
A full diverter was installed last October on
N Rosa Parks at Michigan.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A new traffic diverter at North Michigan Avenue and Rosa Parks Way seems to be successfully preventing north-south car traffic from spilling onto Michigan from Interstate 5, recent city bike counts show.

That was the city’s intent when it agreed last year to install the diverter in order to hold down traffic on the neighborhood greenway there.

“From I guess Holman to Rosa Parks it has gotten a lot better,” said Noah Brimhall, a Piedmont neighborhood resident and an advocate for the diverter, in an interview Tuesday.


State report shows Portland’s economic surge outpacing Washington County

Posted by on October 2nd, 2014 at 10:05 am

Sunset riders-2
Sunset behind the hills and Portland’s Broadway Bridge.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Residential and office space is running short in Portland for a reason: the central city, not its more auto-oriented suburbs, has been leading the region’s charge out of the recession.

On one measure after another — job growth, median incomes for full-time workers, housing starts, working-age population growth — the City of Portland and Multnomah County have roared past Washington County over the last year as the site of most new economic activity in the metro area.

That’s the overarching finding of a statistical digest prepared by state workforce analyst Christian Kaylor and distributed Tuesday night.


Bike Theft Chronicles: “I just feel so defeated and vulnerable”

Posted by on October 1st, 2014 at 2:33 pm

“I’ve had it up to here with the stolen bike parts in Portland… This is just another notch in the belt of biker discrimination and injustice.”
— Reader email, 9/24/14

As we reported back in July, bike theft in Portland is out of control. The problem shows no sign of going away and in fact, if my judgment of web chatter and other intelligence-gathering channels I monitor daily is correct, it’s getting worse.

We are working to help in various ways (a major update to our Stolen Bike Listings is coming online soon and we’re sitting down with the PPB next week to talk about various strategies), but in the meantime I wanted to do something with the constant stream of emails we receive on this topic.


Sneak peek at this year’s Artcrank posters

Posted by on October 1st, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Artcrank Portland-13
The “bike poster party” is back!
(Photo by J. Maus/BikPortland)

Artcrank is one of our favorite events. For the past five years, this one-night gallery show and party has brought a refreshing mix of art and community to Portland. With the show returning this Saturday night (10/4), we thought it’d be fun to share a special sneak peek of what you’ll see.

As per usual, all the posters displayed at this weekend’s show were produced by local artists in limited quantities. 29 artists will be featured this year and their creative, provocative, bike-inspired works of art are available for just $50 each. This is an excellent opportunity to decorate your house, apartment, locker, cubicle, cargo bike box, or whatever. One of the posters, commissioned by event sponsor Clif Bar, will benefit national bike advocacy group People for Bikes.

The big change this year is that the venue has moved from downtown to the east side with Velo Cult (1969 NE 42nd Ave) taking on hosting duties. It’s free to get and the show runs from 4:00 to 10:00 pm.

As promised, here’s your sneak peek…


Volunteers prep for Friday’s three-day ‘Better Block’ demonstration on 3rd Ave

Posted by on October 1st, 2014 at 11:35 am

boris in hallway
Boris Kaganovich of Better Block PDX with a half-built planter in the rooms where he and other volunteers have been preparing for a “pop-up” plaza and protected bike lanes on 3rd Avenue.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Working every evening for two weeks in a warren of unfinished rooms three stories above Old Town, more than a dozen enthusiastic volunteers have almost finished building the street features that will remake 3rd Avenue for one weekend, starting Friday morning.


A newbs-eye view of ‘cross: How to win over the crowd

Posted by on October 1st, 2014 at 10:38 am

Cross Crusade 2010 #2 - Rainier-75
Currying favor with ‘cross crowds is easy once you know the secrets.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Spectating at the cyclocross races is entertaining, educational, and usually results in fewer stitches than racing yourself. I recommend it for anyone who’s feeling cross-curious.


Milwaukie council candidate Scott Barbur faces questions over Facebook post – UPDATED

Posted by on October 1st, 2014 at 9:47 am

“This picture is just way too awesome!” according to
a Milwaukie city council candidate.

1:14 pm: Barbur has released a statement. Read it at the end of this post.

Scott Barbur, a lawyer running for Milwaukie (Oregon) city council, is facing serious questions from voters about a Facebook post and comments that surfaced last week. The post makes light of a horrific collision in Mexico in 2008 that killed one person and injured 10 others.

On July 20th, 2010, Barbur posted a photograph of the collision on his personal Facebook page. That post was discovered a few months ago by Mandy Zelinka, the editor and founder of the Milwaukie Rules! website. Zelinka then posted a screenshot of Barbur’s 2010 post on the Milwaukie Rules! Facebook page last week.


Biking and walking groups endorse ‘driver cards’ for undocumented immigrants

Posted by on October 1st, 2014 at 9:08 am

A student driver in Washington, where citizenship status
isn’t required for state driving tests.
(Photo: Joint Base Lewis McChord)

Nonprofits that support road safety are backing a November ballot issue that would allow people who came to Oregon illegally to once again take driving tests and buy car insurance.

A public “yes” vote on Measure 88 would let undocumented Oregon residents get “driver’s cards” that let them drive legally, essentially restoring the system that was in place before 2007.

It’s not clear how many Oregon residents are now driving despite not having legal immigration status or licenses, but the number is almost certainly in the many thousands.


A remembrance of Cathy Hastie, through the stories she shared with us

Posted by on September 30th, 2014 at 11:31 am

cathy walking 320
Cathy Hastie, 1969-2014: lifelong Portlander, self-powered
commuter, daughter, wife, mom and (for one constantly
interesting year) BikePortland’s lifestyle columnist.
(Photo: M.Andersen)

Publisher’s note: Cathy Hastie, a regular columnist here on BikePortland for the last year, passed away yesterday after a fight with cancer.


The email arrived with a chime at 9:16 in the morning.

“I have been wanting to be more involved in something I believe in and couldn’t quite decide what, until I saw your publication mentioned in Street Roots. Do you need articles? editing? How can I be useful (without dedicating my entire life to your cause?)”

That was two and a half years ago. I was trying to heave my odd little magazine about low-car life from a one-person project into a team production, and generally saying yes to every offer available. So I and the woman, whose name was Cathy Hastie, scheduled a Sunday brainstorm at the Starbucks in Hollywood.


As engineering starts on 20s Bikeway, a few pieces are still shifting

Posted by on September 29th, 2014 at 3:45 pm

20s Bikeway SAC meeting-6
City traffic engineer Jamie Jeffrey discusses options for the 20s Bikeway design in May.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The final plans are coming together for the first on-street bike connection between Portland’s northern and southern borders.


Portland-based ‘Cylo’ aims for first production run

Posted by on September 29th, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Cylo - -13
Eric Duvauchelle on his Cylo One prototype. The base model, which will be built in Portland, will retail for $1,900.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A new Portland-based bike brand is trying to presell its first model in order to take a crucial next step in its evolution. Eric Duvauchelle, co-founder of Cylo, has self-funded his company since it launched this past April. Now he needs to find 50 people that want his Cylo One city bike — and with those orders he plans to make the first production batch.


The Monday Roundup: Reclaiming street play, bad parking shaming and more

Posted by on September 29th, 2014 at 8:57 am

A Northeast Portland neighborhood greenway.
(Photo: M.Andersen)

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

Reclaiming street play: After part of Edinburgh set a 20 mph speed limit on residential and major shopping streets, the percentage of kids allowed to play on the sidewalk or street jumped from 31 percent to 66 percent (PDF).

Bad parking shaming: Some Toronto residents have been keeping rolls of stickers in their pockets that say “I parked in a bike lane.”


Comment of the Week: The Four Types of Bikeways

Posted by on September 26th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

I-205 Path Ride - Pedalpalooza-30
Which type?
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Most BikePortlanders probably know the Four Types of Bicyclists, a concept sketched out by Portland’s bicycle planning coordinator, outed on this site eight years ago, and road-tested by a Portland State University professor in 2012.

But what if we turned this concept on its head and divided the bikeways of the world into four types, too?

That’s the intriguing idea from reader “Alan 1.0,” who speculated in a comment this morning that 60 percent of Portland bike routes work for “strong and fearless” bikers while about 1 percent of Portland bike routes work for just about everybody.

Here’s his comment:


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