joe biel

Riding against violence: Two Portlanders’ story of using a bike ride to call for peace

by on September 15th, 2015 at 9:45 am

As every bike-lover knows, it’s not really about the bike.

For Jason Washington and DeMarcus Preston, 40ish Portlanders and friends who were fed up with local shootings last summer, a bike ride seemed like a natural way to wipe aside a cycle of gang violence and bring the community together into “one gang” in the best sense of the word.


Youth Bike Summit will bring Portlanders to Seattle next week

by on February 5th, 2015 at 9:44 am

Youth Bike Director Pasqualina Azzarello
speaking at the 2012 National Bike Summit.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you think about it, there’s little question about which disenfranchised minority has the most to gain from good bicycling: kids.

A national conference for people interested in the education, advocacy and organizing of young people who are interested in bicycling is about to kick off just up the road from Portland.

The annual Youth Bike Summit has taken place in New York City for the last four years, but this year Seattle will host its first year “on the road.” Portlanders will be presenting on three of this year’s panels: one by publishers/creators Elly Blue and Joe Biel called “Making Change,” and one from the Multnomah Youth Commission called “Youth Advocacy Initiatives: Transit Justice through Youth Organizing” and one by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and MYC called “Getting What You Want: Advocate.”

The City of Portland is sending Janis McDonald as a representative of their Safe Routes to Schools program.


Elly Blue Publishing merges with Microcosm

by on January 2nd, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Elly Blue
Elly Blue, on the job in 2013.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

One of the power couples of Portland biking has decided to formally join forces professionally, too.

Elly Blue, creator of the Taking the Lane zine about feminism and biking and the author or publisher of several other bike-themed books, announced this week that she’s merged her living-room operation Elly Blue Publishing with Microcosm Publishing, the Portland-based independent publisher founded and managed for years by her partner Joe Biel.


Citing nonexistent policy, Amtrak workers haul away Portlanders’ bikes – UPDATED

by on December 3rd, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Texas Eagle
The Texas Eagle in Austin, Tex.
(Photo by Ian Westcott.)

[See official response from Amtrak in update at end of story.]

Amtrak apologized Tuesday to a Portlander traveling through Texas who said train workers woke her up and yelled at her for having a folding bicycle as carry-on luggage — something the national rail service allows.

“Unfortunately, we have found that Amtrak employees at all levels tend to be unaware of the company’s policy’s regarding bikes, folding and otherwise,” Elly Blue, a Portland-based writer who is on a business trip with her partner Joe Biel, wrote in an email. (Blue and Biel didn’t end up losing their bikes or needing to check them, though they were taken away overnight.)

“I love the train because it’s low-stress,” Blue lamented. Last night’s trip, though, was anything but.


Cargo bike builder Tom LaBonty subject of new documentary

by on February 20th, 2012 at 11:55 am

Tom LaBonty
Tom LaBonty
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland

Portland-based filmmaker Joe Biel (Cantankerous Titles) has released the trailer of his latest project: a documentary about cargo bike builder Tom LaBonty titled One Less Truck.

LaBonty is the 41-year old tinkerer (and baggage handler at PDX Airport by day) who builds affordable cargo bikes (they start at around $500 if you provide the frame) from used parts in his garage in the Lents neighborhood. When we profiled him back in August 2009, he was just starting to make a name for himself around town. Now, thanks to his website, his Flickr photostream, and Craigslist, he’s built and sold 55 bikes to customers around the country. (more…)