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Reader Stories

The stories below were written by BikePortland readers. We’d love to share your stories on the Front Page. If you’d like to send one in, please use our submission form.

Reader Story: A pleasant way around SW Barbur Blvd

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
Reader Kevin Wagoner created this map to help explain his favorite new way to avoid SW Barbur Blvd on his daily commute.

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Reader Story: A call for bikeway etiquette as fair weather floodgates open

Thursday, March 14th, 2013
Summer bike traffic-2-2
As temps increase, so do crowds in the bike lanes.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This article reflects on an annual tradition in Portland: Veteran, all-season riders having to adjust to an influx of fair-weather riders at the onset of spring. It was submitted by 31-year old North Portland resident Adam Stone, who requested that I publish it as, “a timely plug for safety and etiquette.”

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Reader Story: Get a quick-fix of mountain biking in Forest Park

Friday, January 4th, 2013
The magic of Forest Park’s northern reach.
(Photos by Hudson Henry)

After I shared a story about a recent ride in Forest Park, I heard from many readers with fun routes of their own. The story and photos come to us from southwest Portland resident Hudson Henry.

Do you desperately need a mountain bike ride, but don’t have the time to get to the coast range or Gorge? Do you close your eyes and picture that knobby tire leading you carefree through the woods? When I feel the stress build up and really need a quick dirt ride, I head out Highway 30 to the northern reaches of Forrest Park. While the legal riding there is technically on firelanes, the northern lanes are often very rugged and trail like.

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Reader story: The Tiniest Bright Spot (a poem about riding in January)

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
Last (and cold) sunrise of 2010-1

This poem was submitted by reader and St. Johns resident Jamie Caulley. I think it captures the challenge and the beauty of riding through Portland winters. Read it below the jump…

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Reader Story: ‘Pay it Forward Ride’ brightens holiday for a family in need

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
Hammer Velo team members at the recent Pay it Forward ride.
(Photo courtesy Drew Coleman)

[The article below was submitted by Sellwood reside Drew Coleman.] (more…)

Reader Story: Portland team heads to Hungary for MTB Orienteering World Championships

Friday, August 3rd, 2012
Abra McNair (L) and Sue Grandjean
are ready to take on the world.
(Photo courtesy Abra McNair)

The story below was submitted by northeast Portland resident Abra McNair.

This August, two Portlanders will head across the globe to Veszprem, Hungary to represent the USA in the World Championships of Mountain Bike Orienteering (MTBO). This will be the sport’s tenth annual World Championship competition, but only the first time the US Orienteering organization has fielded a team.

Susan Grandjean and Abra McNair, two members of Portland’s bike racing scene, will be joining forces with Seattle’s Rebecca Jensen to create the first ever female MTBO team from the United States. Each athlete will participate in all races offered, including sprint, medium, and long distance courses; plus a team relay.
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Reader story: Photos of bike culture in Cuba

Monday, July 23rd, 2012
Bicycle scenes from Cuba by Josh Townsley--1
People and their bikes from Cuba. Photos by Josh Townsley.

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Reader Story: What the Ride of Silence means to this mom

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

[This story was submitted by Kristi Finney, who became a traffic safety activist after her son Dustin was killed by a hit-and-run driver while bicycling in Portland last August.]

Less than a year ago I’d never heard of the Ride of Silence. I don’t remember how I found out about the website but I came across it one day and it claimed that the organization was created for this purpose:

    To HONOR those who have been injured or killed
    To RAISE AWARENESS that we are here
    To ask that we all SHARE THE ROAD

To be frank, I still wish I didn’t know what the Ride of Silence is. But now I do know, and I can’t ignore it. I can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. I can’t pretend that it’s not happening. Most of all, I can’t pretend there isn’t a reason for it… and that is what my biggest wish in all the world would be, if I could have any wish. (more…)

Reader Story: Portland Bike Polo, ten years in the making

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
Oregon Bike Polo Championships-69
Bike polo players in Alberta Park.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

[This story was submitted by northeast Portland resident and president of Portland Bike Polo, Sasha Friedman.]

Portland Bike Polo has progressed over the past ten years from an offshoot of an indie messenger sport to a large group of athletes practicing year-round for national and international tournaments and putting on community outreach programs. Every week in Portland, rain or shine, twenty to fifty people come out to play a fun and challenging team sport on the pavement that combines individual bike riding ability with the ability to work and compete as a team.

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Reader Story: Shared space as a bridge to cycling utopia

Monday, May 7th, 2012
(Photos © J. Maus)

[This story was submitted by Portland resident and active transportation activist Alexis Grant.]

With Jonathan’s recent mention that Effective Cycling (the vehicular cycling bible) will be republished, it seems like a good time to share some thoughts on cycling facilities that I developed after attending Towards Carfree Cities IX in York, UK.

At the conference, I noticed a theme emerging in discussing street configuration: mode separation vs. shared space. Separating modes (like walking, cycling, and driving) means putting them in different places on a street, or allowing them to proceed at different times through an intersection. In the US, we think of separation as normal for people walking. They go more slowly than vehicles, so we give them their own place on the street: the sidewalk. But it wasn’t always so.
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