A third-party view of that u-lock-throwing-road-rage story

Posted by on May 11th, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Screen Grab from OregonLive.com. David Robinson
is on the right.

You know the drill. A provocative photo and/or incident illustrates the long-running “bikes vs cars!” narrative and then all heck breaks loose. Comment sections light up, the BikeSnob takes his cut, then the story gets piled onto our collective mental legacy about how we get along — or don’t — out on the streets.

Over the years I’ve gotten tired of these types of stories. The fact is, people yelling at each other and doing emotionally-charged things to each other is not news. It might be worth publishing if you’re in the content business, but if you ride a bike everyday you’ll know that jerk behavior — on both sides of the windshield — happens all the time.

Given how much attention the recent U-lock throwing incident got (over 1,600 comments on OregonLive!), I didn’t even plan to post anything about it.


Advertise with BikePortland.

Utah and Massachusetts jump past Oregon in bike-friendly state rankings

Posted by on May 11th, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Look Forward
Riding in Salt Lake City.
(Photo: Jake Cain)

For the second time since the League of American Bicyclists began ranking U.S. states’ bike-friendliness in 2008, Oregon didn’t make the top five.

As it has in every year, Washington led the 2015 ranking that the League announced on Monday. Washington was followed this year by Minnesota, Delaware, Massachusetts and Utah, then Oregon at sixth.

Though Oregon’s slip from third in 2013 (its all-time peak) to fifth last year to sixth this year certainly has echoes of the recent #DowngradePortland campaign launched by local bike advocates in an effort to persuade the League to rescind Portland’s “platinum” rating as a bike city, this statewide ranking is different. It’s also a ranking rather than a rating system, based on a 100-point scale that the League bases on a national questionnaire.


First Look: ODOT’s temporary bikeway for N Denver Ave project

Posted by on May 11th, 2015 at 1:08 pm

2015.05 Bike Detour ODOT Work Zone - Denver 6 - Boulanger
Riders heading south on Denver Ave in the temporary bikeway.
(All photos by Todd Boulanger/Urbane Streets)


Campaign looks to raise $50,000 for man who lost leg in Sunday’s collision

Posted by on May 11th, 2015 at 11:38 am

Screen grab from GoFundMe.com.

Bryant Howard, the cycling coach of the victim in Sunday’s collision has started a fundraising campaign to help offset medical expenses. Alistair Corkett lost his leg when he was involved in a collision with a man driving a truck on SE 26th Avenue at Powell.

In the last hour the “Put Alistair back on his bike” campaign has already raised nearly $2,000 and the goal is set at $50,000.

Howard’s message posted at GoFundMe.com says Corkett is currently in the intensive care unit at OHSU where he’s recovering from his first round of surgeries. “As you can imagine,” it says, “he’s in a great deal of pain and is facing a lot of uncertainty about the road ahead.”

Here’s more from the message:


The Monday Roundup: Salt Lake’s protected intersection, Jiu-jitsu vs. bike thief and more

Posted by on May 11th, 2015 at 9:00 am

Formerly known as the Dutch-style intersection,
“Utah-style” will be accurate from here on.
(Image: Salt Lake City)

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

Protected intersection: One year after a Portland designer gave it a name, a protected intersection is about to be constructed in Salt Lake City.

Hii-ya: A jiu-jitsu class in Florida got some extra practice when they intercepted a burglary in progress at the bike shop next door.


Local dad calls for ‘super-legal slow-down’ of Powell Boulevard during Monday rush hour

Posted by on May 10th, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride 2009-42
Dan Kaufman with one of his sons in 2009.

Saying that traffic injuries like the ones that are common on Powell Boulevard “inexcusable and unnecessary” outside the doors of Cleveland High School, the father of two Cleveland students is organizing a protest of the speed-oriented urban highway during Monday’s rush hour.

A collision Sunday involving a pickup truck and a bicycle severed a young man’s leg. Police said the truck had been northbound on 26th and turned left onto Powell in front of two people heading southbound on bicycles.

Dan Kaufman described Monday’s event as a “super-legal slow-down,” in which people deliberately move slowly on a street in order to call attention to the fact that high speeds, and roads designed to encourage them, are inappropriate in an urban context.


Sunday Parkways rings in the start of summer in East Portland

Posted by on May 10th, 2015 at 4:38 pm

sunday parkways east 1000
It’s the first of five monthly events this summer; the next is North Portland’s on June 21.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Residents of Portland’s most kid-heavy quadrant turned out by the thousands on Sunday for what’s become an East Portland Mother’s Day tradition: the first Sunday Parkways open-streets festival of the year.


Sunday morning collision at 26th and Powell severs leg of man on bike (updated)

Posted by on May 10th, 2015 at 11:24 am

Screenshot 2015-05-10 at 11.15.12 AM
The southbound view at 26th and Powell. Police said preliminary information indicated that the man was biking south when a northbound truck turned left in front of him.
(Image: Google Street View)

A collision involving a pickup truck and a bicycle critically injured a man biking southbound on 26th Avenue just before 10 a.m. Sunday morning.

Police said the injured man’s leg was severed after the northbound truck turned left onto Powell in front of him. Alistair Corkett, 22, was “transported to a Portland hospital with life-threatening injuries” but is expected to survive.

Kenji Sugahara, executive director of the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association, said in an email Sunday afternoon that Corkett was “a development rider for one of our teams in PDX.”


McMenamins Grand Lodge as a base camp for biking adventures around Forest Grove

Posted by on May 8th, 2015 at 11:53 pm

Forest Grove - Barney Reservoir loop-1.jpg
Grand Lodge’s main entrance makes for
a classy way to start a ride.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Just a quick trip on the MAX blue line west of Portland (about 25 miles) lies Forest Grove, a small town rich in history that just so happens to make a great launching pad for cycling adventures.

I’m out here thanks to McMenamins Grand Lodge, a hotel and resort looking to establish its bike-friendly credentials. McMenamins invited me here to spend a few nights and ride and photograph local roads and backroads. I eagerly accepted for two simple reasons: I was happy to hear that McMenamins, owners and operators of 56 establishments throughout Oregon and Washington, wanted to be more bike-friendly; and I really like riding bikes — especially in new (to me) places.

McMenamins and Forest Grove are a perfect match. One has a rich history and the other specializes in highlighting it. Forest Grove was incorporated in 1872, making it the first city in Washington County (thanks Wikipedia). It’s nestled at the western-most edge of urban development and there’s no civilization (except farms) between it and the Oregon Coast.


The Friday Profile: Boris and Melissa Kaganovich, Portland’s merry pranksters of street reinvention

Posted by on May 8th, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Four years after coming to Portland from New York and two years after co-founding Better Block PDX, the Kaganoviches are moving to Toronto on Monday.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland unless noted)

Boris Kaganovich was talking quickly, as he often does, when he walked past the button-activated pedestrian signal at Northeast 60th and Glisan. Without breaking stride, he slammed the heel of his hand into the button and kept walking in another direction.

The lean, curly-haired 30-year-old grinned a little too widely.

“I just hit those whenever I walk past them,” he explained cheerfully.

It was August 2014, and if Kaganovich was acting a little like a cat who had eaten the canary and gotten away with it, he could probably be forgiven.


Weekend Event Guide: CycloFemme, Parkways, Trains, and more

Posted by on May 8th, 2015 at 8:00 am

East Sunday Parkways-42
East Portland knows how to party at Sunday Parkways.
(Photo J Maus/BikePortland)

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

Can you believe it’s already Sunday Parkways season? This weekend kicks off the first of the five events. Whether you do it to celebrate Mother’s Day or not, grab your bike and roll over to East Portland to enjoy a seven-mile carfree loop with a few thousand of your fellow Portlanders. Who knows, you might just discover something new.

And have you seen the weather forecast? It’s going to be beautiful. We hope you’ve got something great planned. If not, perhaps our selections below will help you decide…

Friday, May 8th


Jobs of the Week: Islabikes, Universal Cycles, Citybikes

Posted by on May 8th, 2015 at 7:40 am

We’ve had four great job opportunities listed this week. Learn more about them via the links below…


For first time, Metro proposes ‘bike-optimized’ trails in a natural area

Posted by on May 7th, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Time to weigh in.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

In an unprecedented move, Metro has proposed singletrack trails in a natural area that would be built specifically for bicycling. Calling them “bike-optimized” trails, Metro unveiled the concept at an open house for the North Tualatin Mountains project at Skyline School last night.

Using money from voter-approved bond measures, Metro is now ready to develop 1,300 acres spread across four separate parcels just north of Forest Park between Skyline Road and Highway 30. From the outset, Metro hinted that singletrack trail riding would be considered as they designed the trail plans for the parcels. Last night they made it official.


As festival season begins, Naito’s bike lanes are walkers’ only refuge

Posted by on May 7th, 2015 at 9:48 am

Not the best place for a stroller.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland unless noted)

Another summer is on the way, and the story is familiar: Waterfront Park has become such a success that people on foot are spilling onto the bed of Naito Parkway, the five-lane street that runs beside it.

During festivals like the Cinco de Mayo event that wrapped up Tuesday, the park is fenced off by barriers that are typically dragged right up to the curb, forcing the many people walking to the festival to use the bike lane — and forcing the many people biking on Naito directly into car traffic.

But though the problem isn’t new, more people seem to be wondering this spring if something could be done about it.


Another memorable car/bike encounter on Williams

Posted by on May 7th, 2015 at 9:19 am

Williams Avenue-7
Not perfect. And yet…
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A short item shared on Reddit’s community of Portlanders (also known as /r/Portland or occasionally Preddit) caught our attention last night.

It was shared by user pkulak:


As Obama visits, three words of advice for Thursday and Friday trips downtown

Posted by on May 7th, 2015 at 12:09 am

Click the two areas of the map above for information on each street closure.

To paraphrase the city’s official news release only slightly:


Noted lawyer Ray Thomas opposes bill that would mandate rear bike lights

Posted by on May 6th, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Ray Thomas.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

When Oregon House Representative John Davis proposed making reflective clothing mandatory while bicycling, many people understandably scoffed at the idea. Thankfully, he too apparently realized the absurdity of government intervention into apparel choices and quickly gutted his bill and stuffed it with something else.

Davis’ clothing idea quickly morphed into a bill (HB 3255) that would mandate rear lights on all bicycles (current law calls for only a rear reflector). That seemed like a good idea to me at first glance; but after hearing Portland-based lawyer and bike law expert Ray Thomas‘ opposition to it, I’ve changed my mind.

Thomas called me yesterday to say he was actively working to stop the bill. He has several significant concerns about how the new equipment requirement would impact bicycle riders in Oregon.


Language Matters: Three rhetorical tricks bike advocates could learn from Uber’s Plouffe

Posted by on May 6th, 2015 at 11:40 am

(Video courtesy Willamette Week/Tech Fest Northwest)

Language Matters is an occasional column about the ways we talk about bikes and biking.

When bike believers get political, they often struggle with talking points. People who know the argument for biking in their bones can forget that those who don’t ride won’t be convinced without words.

David Plouffe has never struggled with talking points.

The Obama campaign manager and strategic advisor turned professional Uber evangelist was in town last week to speak at the annual Tech Fest Northwest conference, and his 13-minute stump speech on behalf of his current employer was a rhetorical sight to behold.


Wilsonville company promises ‘perfect shifting’ from phone app and hardware combo

Posted by on May 5th, 2015 at 2:34 pm

OTTO Photo Shoot Freddy
The smartphone camera uses the targets on the
gauges to create 3-D models of your gearing.
(Photos courtesy OTTO DesignWorks)

The rising tide of products that combine physical objects with mobile apps has come to do-it-yourself bike maintenance.

OTTO DesignWorks, a startup based a few miles south of Portland in Wilsonville, says its first product will offer “perfect shifting in under five minutes” for people with Shimano and SRAM 9-, 10- and 11-speed gear cassettes.

As the video below shows, the company sells gauges that can be attached to a cassette and derailleur. Its free mobile app then uses a smartphone camera and photogrammatry — the mathematically intensive process of turning images into three-dimensional modeling — to diagnose the situation and walk someone through the tuning process.


Employer Bike Summit May 15 will have a theme: ‘Reclaim the City Crown’

Posted by on May 5th, 2015 at 10:51 am

Employers Bike Summit
The 2013 summit drew dozens of workplace advocates.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s annual Employer Bike Summit, a half-day gathering for people working to increase bike commuting in the area, is scaling up its vision a bit.

“Big bike projects are coming to Portland in the next year,” co-organizer Steve Hoyt-McBeth, a project manager for the Portland Bureau of Transportation, wrote in an email Monday. “If you want them to be the best they can, you need to be involved.”

The free Friday afternoon event sponsored by Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield usually draws about 50 workplace commuting and sustainability pros, workplace biking advocates and public employees. Created largely by members of Regence’s bike-commuting community, it’s intended to offer support and ideas to people known in their workplaces as the “bike person.” (You know who you are.)


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