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A bike company has finally made an ad that competes with the auto industry

by on May 2nd, 2016 at 10:55 am

Love the symbolism of leaving the car in the driveway.(Screengrab from Stromer)

The star of the ad leaves his car in the driveway.
(Screengrab from Stromer)

Biking in America suffers from a major image problem. Bike riders are rarely seen as cool, conquering heros in movies or advertisements the way auto users are. While we do our activism and political lobbying here and there, it has very limited impact when our entire culture is consumed by media that makes automobiles look like sexy, must-have products.

Many car commercials are fake, mean-spirited, and promote dangerous driving; but with billions of dollars to spend, the auto industry knows how to win the hearts and minds of Americans. The bike industry? Not so much. More often than not bike advertisements focus too much on racing or too much on the corny stuff bike advocates love but that non-believers (an important marketing target) can’t relate to or simply don’t care about. Granted, the marketing budget of the entire bike industry is probably equal to what Ford spends on office coffee for a week. But still.

Then I saw a new ad for Stromer bikes over the weekend…. (more…)

The BikePortland Podcast: The bike media

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 16th, 2016 at 1:30 pm

jrascreenerlead
Screenshot from Jonathan’s other blog, circa 2005.

Once upon a time, a bike-industry media consultant named Jonathan Maus observed that “blogs are changing the way people communicate on the web.”

That was 11 years ago, to be precise. And Jonathan’s feeling at the time — blogs are amazing, why doesn’t everyone and everything have one? — has basically come true; these days we just call most of them “Facebook pages.”

The media revolution between 2005 and today has changed a lot of other things, and one of them is biking. In the first episode of the rebooted BikePortland podcast, Jonathan, producer Lillian Karabaic and I talk about the modern bike media.

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Portland’s most affordable neighborhoods to bike from (for now)

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 29th, 2015 at 3:27 pm

High Crash Corridors campaign launch-3
Number one is poised to get better.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The Willamette Week bike issue came out today, which makes this the one day a year when we stoop mooching off their generally excellent reporting and they get to mooch off ours. (Seriously, y’all, no problem.)

But one piece in their nicely put-together bike issue falls clearly in the “wish we’d done that” category: a tally of median single-family home prices per Portland neighborhood ranked by the time it takes to bike to the city center.

“Portland has long been thought of as a cycling mecca for one big reason: Affordable homes were close enough to work to commute by bike,” Willamette Week’s Tyler Hurst writes in the piece, more or less accurately. “Housing prices rose by another 6.6 percent last year, and a February project by Governing magazine found the city is gentrifying faster than anywhere else in the nation. Does the promise of an affordable, bikeable Portland still hold up?”

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Travel site says ‘driving cyclists off the road’ is rite of passage in Portland – UPDATED

by on January 12th, 2015 at 1:44 pm

“… you’re the one driving a two-ton bullet of a machine, and thus you’re the one with all the power.”
— MatadorNetwork.com

Portlanders are used to being on lists when it comes to the travel and tourism media; but not like this.

Matador Network, which bills itself as the “web’s best independent travel media site,” has published an article that makes light of driving a car into bicycle riders. The article, published on December 29th, says it’s one of the seven “rites of passage everyone will experience in Portland.”

Surrounded by six other completely innocuous items, here’s the part about bicycle riders: (more…)

Oregonian story makes light of running over bicycle riders – UPDATED

by on November 20th, 2014 at 3:55 pm

oregonian

A story posted on The Oregonian’s website earlier today seems to make a joke about very serious and potentially dangerous driving behavior.
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Opinion: The PBA and The Oregonian are wrong about street tax impetus

by on November 14th, 2014 at 12:59 pm

DSC_5589
They’ve never said “Our Streets” is only for paving.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” – Daniel Patrick Moynihan, U.S. Senator 1976-2000

It’s one thing to be opposed to something on principle or policy grounds, but when the facts are twisted to suit an agenda, that’s something else entirely.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what The Oregonian Editorial Board and the Portland Business Alliance have done. Both of these groups are staunchly opposed to the latest transportation revenue proposal unveiled by Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick earlier this week. I’m not entirely in love with the proposal (I think a paltry 7% of total spending toward biking-specific infrastructure isn’t enough); but that’s a different conversation. For now, there’s one aspect of the argument from the PBA and The Oregonian that really needs to be called out.
(more…)

NW Examiner: Everett bike lanes part of ‘campaign against auto-orientation’

by on October 15th, 2014 at 3:26 pm

examinerlead
Frank Warrens is not happy
about the new bike lanes.

A cover story in this month’s NW Examiner is stoking an old but unfortunately familiar meme: the “war on cars.”

In Driving out Cars, Allan Classen, the publisher and editor of the free neighborhood newspaper, focuses on how new buffered bike lanes have impacted people who use NW Everett Street. As we reported back in August, the Bureau of Transportation re-designed Everett between 24th and I-405 in order to improve bicycle access.

For the main face of the story, Classen chose an auto repair shop owner named Frank Warrens, who refers to the project as an example of PBOT’s ongoing “war on cars”: (more…)

The Oregonian Editorial Board on Portland’s “risky bike share venture”

by on January 7th, 2014 at 1:18 pm

“Bike sharing isn’t essential, and a bike-sharing system with unexpected complications requiring city subsidies would undermine the public’s confidence in the city’s ability to set priorities and manage money.”
— Oregonian Editorial Board, December 21st, 2013.

With a big announcement about the Portland Bike Share system likely to come this month, The Oregonian Editorial Board is making it clear where they stand. Portland’s risky bike-share venture is the title of their editorial that ran on the front page of the opinion section on December 21st.

The piece reflects the opinion of the members of the O’s editorial board: Mark Hester, Erik Lukens, Susan Nielsen, Len Reed and David Sarasohn. As our bike share system gets closer to reality, we’ll be watching closely how the local media tries to frame the narrative around the project. After all, the project has all the components of a media freakout: the concept (at least on this scale) is unprecedented in Portland, bike share is usually misunderstood by people that haven’t used it (just like cycling in general), it’s an idea first championed by former Mayor Sam Adams, and it involves bicycling. (more…)

Portland’s ‘pedal powered’ talk show rolls into its third season

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 23rd, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Two of the stars of the Pedal-Powered Talk Show:
host Boaz Frankel and his portable interview desk.
(Photo: Pedal-Powered Talk Show)

Wielding what claims to be “the only talk show desk bicycle in the world,” the Portland-based Pedal-Powered Talk Show is about to launch its third season of using a desk mounted on a Metrofiets cargo bike to conduct video interviews about a variety of subjects in weird and wonderful places. (more…)

Scion apologizes, pulls insensitive ad

by on July 23rd, 2013 at 9:49 am

Scion has apologized.

Scion has pulled an ad that referred to people riding bicycles as “obstacles.” The ad, which we highlighted on July 11th, had a fighting theme and the “King of the road” was its tC model sportscar.

Over the weekend, a reader pointed us to a blog post on Scion.com (which seems to be incorrectly dated to July 2nd), where the company addressed the concerns about the ad and announced its removal: (more…)