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The Friday Profile

The Friday Profile: Jim Chasse, East Portland’s quiet, conquering bike warrior

Friday, June 13th, 2014
jim chasse
Jim Chasse became excited about bike transportation while working on the 2010 city bike plan and is part of the very successful East Portland Action Plan bicycle subcommittee.
(Photo M.Andersen/BikePortland)

When East Portland biking advocate Jim Chasse met the young state legislator who had just ousted incumbent Patrick Sheehan, he got right to the point.

“I told Shemia Fagan, ‘This is what we need: We need Powell Boulevard,’” Chasse recalled Thursday. “‘We need $80 million, $60 million. And if you can’t get it for us, we’re just going to fire you.’”
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The Friday Profile: Rachael Pecore-Valdez, mountain-bike rookie on a wolf’s tail

Friday, April 11th, 2014
Every day, Rachael Pecore-Valdez trains by riding her 26-year-old Huffy to the top of Mount Tabor.
(Photos by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Rachael Pecore-Valdez said her husband, for one, is thrilled that she’s finally coming around to bikes.

She’s a little nervous herself. For someone whose longest bike trip ever is 40 miles to Sauvie Island and back, a 1,200-mile, five-week mountain bike trek across most of Oregon will be, well, a leap.

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The Friday Profile: Andrew Reed, River City’s ad man on a deadline (mostly SFW)

Friday, March 28th, 2014
River City Bicycles ad creator Andrew Reed in a cyclocross race.
(Photo courtesy Reed.)

He’s co-created major TV ads, like this one launching Apple’s iPad Air. He led the team that came up with Oregon Humane Society’s “End Petlessness” campaign and the concept for Oregon Public Broadcasting’s signature news show, Think Out Loud.

One year, in a gig he’s still sheepish about, he commuted weekly from California to Detroit to do ad work for Chevrolet.

But about 20 times each year for the last decade, Andrew Reed has sat down with Adobe Illustrator to put together River City Bicycles‘ quarter-page black and white ad for page 3 of Willamette Week.

“I can’t think of another bike shop in the country that does this,” said Reed, a freelance creative director who moved from Portland to Los Angeles in 2012, in a phone interview Thursday. “It’s kind of a life’s work kind of thing.”

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The Friday Profile: Jeffrey Cramer, Portland’s stolen-bike good Samaritan

Friday, February 28th, 2014
Jeffrey Cramer, who says he can support himself indefinitely as long as he spends just $500 a month, talked to us about bikes, bike theft and living outdoors in Portland.
(Photos by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

When Jeffrey Cramer bought what he now calls “Sarah’s bike” for $10 last Friday night, he wasn’t planning to track down its owner, he said. He just needed a way to get home, because someone had stolen his own bike a week before.

“At that time of night, $10 for a bike ride home was a good deal — you can’t get a cab back to where I live for $10,” he said. “It wasn’t ’til I got home that I realized I was riding a gem.”

Cramer, 48, doesn’t want to say exactly where he lives, except that it’s “way the fucking hell out there.” But five days after he turned down most of a $100 reward for tracking down the owner of the bike he’d bought from the man who stole it, this self-described “vagabond” was willing to have a candid conversation about his decision to live outdoors, the importance of bikes in his life and his own thoughts about Portland’s underground economy of stolen bicycles.

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The Friday Profile: Brandon Rhodes, Lents’ new bike-powered grocer

Friday, February 7th, 2014
Brandon Rhodes’ new business will deliver $20 in organic produce to Lents homes once a week.
(Photos by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

By 2020, Brandon Rhodes predicts and hopes, Lents will finally have a grocery store.

For now, it’s got him and his bike trailer.

Thirty years old, with six of them spent in the Lents intentional community he helped organize in 2008, this cussing Christian with a Ph.D in ministry is launching his first business: Rolling Oasis, a weekly produce delivery service that’s “ending the Lents food desert one bike ride at a time.”

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The Friday Profile: Shelley Oylear, Washington County’s eye on biking

Friday, December 27th, 2013
Washington County Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Shelley Oylear.
(Photos by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

North Portland; unincorporated Washington County. Planning; engineering. Biking; walking. Government service; neighborhood activism.

Shelley Oylear, the only public employee in Washington County with the word “bicycle” in her job title, is the 36-year-old queen of having feet in two worlds. And with a new six-mile off-road path just opened and three miles of new curb-protected bike lanes in the works, her diverse background is paying off for the people of the metro area’s west side.

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The Friday Profile: Craftsman Jeff Lauten, maker of unicycles and cargo bike boxes

Friday, December 6th, 2013
polishing
Working from his basement for a few hours each week, full-time-dad Jeff Lauten will soon finish on his 34th “semi-custom” wood box for a Bullitt cargo bike.
(Photos by M.Andersen/BikePortland unless noted)

Jeff Lauten became a carpenter midlife, he says, because he had no choice.

“The house is 100 years old,” the 48-year-old explained Thursday morning, standing in a North Portland basement that seemed suspiciously crowded for that of someone drawn to physical craftsmanship against his will.

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The Friday Profile: Portland’s idea man has a big plan for eastside biking

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
This is veteran transportation activist Jim Howell’s new concept for the central east side: a bike-rail corridor and second-story commercial district running over the Union Pacific railroad tracks and across three bridge landings.

Welcome to the first of a new feature on BikePortland: a brief look at the life or work of an extraordinary local person.

Jim Howell.
(Photo by J.Maus)

When Jim Howell was 37, he organized the first demonstrations that eventually turned Harbor Drive into Waterfront Park. At 40, working as an independent architect, he drew up the design for Northeast Portland’s Woodlawn Park. At 41, he sat on the citizens’ committee that recommended Portland’s first MAX line. At 48, while working for TriMet, he engineered the west-side bus node now known as Beaverton Transit Center. At 51, he co-founded a private van service between Portland and the Oregon coast, a predecessor to today’s Wave bus. At 77, he co-created the plan that became the most prominent alternative to the Columbia River Crossing.

Now, two months before his 80th birthday, Howell has designed his first transportation concept that puts bikes front and center.

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