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'Cranksgiving' will mix bike-racing fun with holiday charity

Friday, November 1st, 2013
Click to enlarge.

A recent arrival from the Minneapolis bike-fun scene is bringing a new tradition to Portland: Cranksgiving, a combination "bike rally" and food drive that started in New York City in 1999 and has spread around the country.

Laura Recker, who moved to Portland last December, said she wants to tap into the "philanthropic spirit" and "collective love" of the holiday season while introducing more local bikers to the concept of urban bike races.

"I've thrown a few races," Recker said. "I was surprised because in Minneapolis, a lot of people would turn up to them, and there isn't as much interest in them around here. ... I feel like there are a ton of urban cyclists in Portland that put down a ton of city miles and have this basic knowledge of the city and are able to get from point a to point b quickly — knowledge that we don't get to tap into as a collective unit."

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Oregon Walks' annual party celebrates an organization at a crossroads

Thursday, October 17th, 2013
Good times at the 2012 Weston Awards.
(Photo: Lillian Karabaic)

Energized by a dynamic young leader with deep ties to local bike advocates, the Portland area's lead walking advocacy group has changed dramatically in the last four years. It's about to find out where those changes will take it.

Oregon Walks, known until last year as the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition, has seen rapid changes to its board of directors and just said goodbye to its first-ever full-time executive director, Steph Routh. With its annual party and fundraiser Oct. 26, Oregon Walks will be rallying the supporters who ultimately drive its decisions — and, no doubt, feeling out its new direction.

Saturday is the last day when "early bird" tickets ($37.91 per person) will be available online.
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Portlanders prepare for Park(ing) Day party

Monday, September 16th, 2013
IMG_2531.JPG
(Park)ing Day in San Francisco, 2010.
(Photo: Josh Jackson)

The international festival that envisions ways to repurpose the 30% of central business district land area (PDF) that U.S. cities currently devote to auto parking keeps getting more interesting.

This Friday, Sept. 20, Park(ing) Day celebrations are going down at a few spots around Portland. But the most interesting might be the plan for SW Stark Street between 10th and 11th, close to Powell's City of Books and just outside the Ace Hotel.

"We're taking all of the parking spaces on SW Stark between 10th and 11th and turning them into extra bike parking, ping-pong tables, public parklets and outdoor seating for the nearby restaurants," writes Katrina Johnston, the local researcher and designer behind THINK.urban. "Ace Hotel will also be doing two spaces in front of their place and there will be an event going on at The Cleaners that will serve as an unofficial after party."

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How to build the world's longest bike touring route: 8 questions for Jean-Francois Pronovost

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
Quebec's Route Verte. (click to enlarge)

Portland has a network of neighborhood greenways, and they're great. But Jean-Francois Pronovost's is 3,100 miles long.

That's approximately the distance from Portland to Nicaragua.

The Greenway (Route Verte in Pronovost's native French) is a bike route network running all over the Canadian province of Quebec. On Monday, the vice president for development and public affairs at advocacy group Vélo Québec visits Portland to share lessons from this project and others in the first annual Ann Niles Transportation Lecture, a major new series produced by Portland State University's Institute for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation.

The event is free, though space is limited to 240. I spoke with Pronovost Thursday to learn more about his life's work, the best parts of Quebec bike touring and how his hometown of Montreal managed to replace 320 auto parking spaces with a downtown protected lane that carries 9,000 bikes per day. (When you read his responses, be sure to imagine them in a dignified French-Canadian accent.)

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Bikes help 'Pickathon' build a city of music just outside Portland

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
lots of bikes
Pickathon offered 200 bike parking spaces this year and was full to overflowing.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

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Two talks bring bike smarts from Montreal and Boston

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
Phil Goff and Jean-François Pronovost

If "the Portland high five" is patting yourself on the back, the surefire cure is to get a taste of the exciting things other cities are up to. Two experts on bike infrastructure are coming to share some of that wisdom with Portland for free, one next week and one next month.

Next month's speaker is from arguably the best bike city in North America: Montreal. Jean-François Pronovost of Vélo Québec will share his lessons from Canada about "growing a world-class cycling culture" as part of the first in a major new series of transportation lectures sponsored by the Portland-based Institute for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation.

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Street sprints return to Pearl District Saturday

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
Team Ironclad Street Sprints-9
A shot from last year's action.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The bicycle drag races known as "street sprints" are coming back to the Pearl District this Saturday. Last year, the inaugural event drew 80 competitors, all vying to see who was fastest over the three block course.

The 'Speed Never Sleeps' event is bike racing in its purest form; four riders start from a dead stop and the top two advance to the next round.There's no drafting and no bumping (you must hold your line).
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'Cirque du Cycling' fest to feature cargo bike race

Thursday, June 9th, 2011
Art Bike Parade at Cirque du Cycling-48
My money would be on this guy.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The annual Cirque du Cycling bike fest on N. Mississippi Avenue is this Sunday. The event brings together many facets of Portland's bike scene and this year organizers have added yet another — a cargo bike race.

It was bound to happen as Portland's cargo bike scene has gone absolutely bananas in recent years (I'll try to share more photos and notes from a recent cargo bike meet-up soon).

The Cirque includes a family ride, an art/freak bike parade, a very competitive criterium race, and it's a benefit for Albina Youth Opportunity School. Event organizer Ayleen Crotty says the Cargo Bike Race is a natural addition. (more...)

Event: Tour de Cure (7/30/11)

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Event Name: Tour de Cure
Event Start Date: 30 July 2011
Start Time: 6:30:00 AM
Web Site: http://www.diabetes.org/portlandtourdecure

Tour de Cure is the cycling event of the American Diabetes Association and takes place in 83 cities across the nation. The Oregon/SW Washington event starts and finishes in Hillsboro Stadium with routes of 10, 27, 43, 65 and a Century. Finish line activities include burgers prepared by Helvetia Tavern, a beer garden and live music by The Strange Tones.

Event: Joy Ride through Central Portland (6/18/11)

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Event Name: Joy Ride through Central Portland
Event Start Date: 18 June 2011
Start Time: 11:00:00 AM
Web Site: http://www.madisonsgrill.com
Event Description: New Belgium Brewing, the BTA, Madison’s Grill and The Prudent Cyclist present a chance for you to enjoy yourself.

Explore your city, win prizes and support the right cause.

A Joy Ride thru Central Portland

Not a timed event, but still a contest. Kind of like Amazing Race. Riding together you’ll follow a map to each stop along the way. Look around to find the marker. Enter for a stamp, a playing card and a way to earn your next map. You’ll joy ride Portland. The winning team will enjoy big prizes. Everyone has a chance with the raffle. You will be followed by a film crew.

Each team of 4 riders each will start at Madison’s Grill and embark on a Joy Ride exploring the short-cuts and preferred bike routes of Central Portland. You will all start together with the first map. At each stop the next clue awaits. Don’t have a full team of 4? Sign up and we’ll put together teams.

Where: Madison’s Grill at 1109 SE Madison, just one block north of Hawthorne.

When: Saturday, June 18th. Start at Madison’s at 1109 SE Madison. Plenty of free parking for those that need it.

Time: 11 am – 2 pm. Start ride at 11 am. All teams must finish and be at Madison’s to win prizes by 2:00 pm. We’ll have a complimentary buffet ready for you and your famished team upstairs.

Sign Up: Go to madisonsgrill.com and click on the Joy Ride icon. Submit your contact info and we’ll get back to you to confirm your final registration.

Includes: Route maps, surprises along the way, snacks, emergency refreshments, passport, free food and prizes at Madison’s, specials on New Belgium beers, a feeling of accomplishment.

Price: Free- if you purchase a BTA membership for this event. $15 if you are already a BTA member, $20 for the rest of you.

Extra Bonus: Be a star! The Joy Ride will be filmed and a short will be produced and presented at New Belgium’s Clips of Faith film festival on Portland’s Waterfront on August 5, 2011.

Madison’s Grill Catering & Events has been a SE favorite since 1997. If you'd like more information about this topic, please call 503-730-7040 or email steve(at)madisonsgrill(dot)com.

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