Review: Surly’s ‘Big Easy’ smooths out family biking and cargo-hauling

By on March 26th, 2019 at 8:32 am

I usually dread posing for professional photos, but Jonathan insisted… and it was actually fun!
(Photos: Peter Newlands/PHN Photography)

After sharing my initial impressions two weeks ago, I’m ready to share a full review of Surly’s new Big Easy electric cargo bike (retail price $5,000).

I rode the bike for two and a half weeks and found myself enamored with it. Read on as I delve into the wonders of the e-assist, the useful accessories, what I’d add to make it perfect, and what I like to change.[Read more…]

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PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly’s statement on I-205 path conditions

By on March 25th, 2019 at 4:56 pm

(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Last week I highlighted conditions on the I-205 path at NE Sandy Boulevard. The response to the coverage here and on Facebook was overwhelming.

My intention was to make people aware that this path and others have become dramatically impacted by our homelessness crisis. Not only was the path full of personal belongings and discarded items, many of our fellow Portlanders have become so desperate for a place to live that they built shelters directly on the path — nearly blocking it in some sections.

The comments here on BikePortland were mostly productive and I think overall we’ve all learned a lot about the various issues at play. Facebook was a different story. Too many of the 1,300 or so comments were useless and mean. So, after over 220,000 views and 2,500 shares in just four days, I took the video down and posted a note to explain why.

On Saturday, City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation, left a comment on that post that I think merits more attention. I’ve pasted it below:[Read more…]

Pedaling through timber reserves and history in Columbia County

By on March 25th, 2019 at 3:41 pm

A second-growth timber reserve on Camp 9 Road in Columbia County.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where we ride. Whether I’m in on the streets of inner northeast Portland, or way out in the middle of the woods, I want to go below the surface and beyond the pretty views. I want to know about the people who lived on the land long before we pedaled through. I want to know what they did, what they cared about, and why they’re no longer there.

When it comes to unpaved roads in the hills above Scappoose — from camps and mills established in the 19th century, to the active harvesting we see today — much of that history revolves around logging. On Saturday I witnessed some of it first-hand when I joined a group of fellow unpaved road lovers at a gathering hosted by the Coastal Mountain Sport Haus in Vernonia. [Read more…]

E-scooters to return next month with tougher regulations on riders and operators

By on March 25th, 2019 at 12:01 pm

PBOT wants to crack down on sidewalk riding this time around.
(Photos: BikePortland)

Portland’s second attempt at integrating electric scooters into the mobility mix could get started as early as April 26th.

And unlike the 2,000 scooters we had on the streets last year, the Portland Bureau of Transportation will start with 2,500 and estimates we could see as many as 9,000 if enough scooter companies play ball with a host of new regulations. PBOT says if all permits are granted and all operators qualify for incentives we could have 15,000 scooters in use by January 2020.

The new pilot is scheduled to last one year, after which PBOT says they’ll work with the public to develop a permanent program.

In their announcement today, PBOT released a mix of incentives and regulations that demonstrate the challenge they face to create a scooter program that leads to high ridership yet also addresses serious concerns raised by some people and organizations during the first pilot. At nearly 6,000 trips per day during the 120-day pilot last year, the scooters proved to be a valuable mobility option. However, due to a lack of safe space to ride them and a lack of consideration for others, too many people rode them on sidewalks and parked them in places that obstructed public right-of-way.[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Zwift world domination, helmet testing standards, ignoring drivers, and more

By on March 25th, 2019 at 9:34 am

Welcome to the week.

We’re excited to announce a new sponsor: Lovejoy’s Tea Room at (NE 33rd and Killingsworth). Owned and operated by a BikePortland reader, you’ll get a 10 percent discount if you arrive by foot, bike or transit!

And with that, here are the most noteworthy things we came across in the past seven days…
[Read more…]

Alpenrose lawsuit and sale dies; the velodrome and ‘cross venue lives!

By on March 22nd, 2019 at 2:56 pm

The velodrome is home to several race events each year.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Great news to start off your weekend: The Portland Tribune reported a few hours ago that the possible sale of Alpenrose Dairy that would have ended public access to the velodrome and cyclocross venue is off.

As we shared earlier this month, fears of a sale of the dairy and surrounding property led to a lawsuit by members of the Cadonau family. They aimed to stop the sale, which they claimed was nothing more than a money-grab by other members of the ownership family.

[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: GO Box, Velotech, Community Cycling Center

By on March 22nd, 2019 at 10:10 am

We had four jobs posted this week… and one of them (from Pedal Bike Tours) has already been filled!

Just goes to show that if you are job-curious, you should: sign up for the Job Listings Email so you get notified ASAP; spend the measly $75 to post your job with us because these listings work!

Learn more about this week’s listings below…

–> Operations Assistant – GO Box

–> Customer Experience Specialist Full Time – Velotech

–> Bike Mechanic – Community Cycling Center

[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Rat Patrol, Albina history tour, gold sprints, and more

By on March 22nd, 2019 at 9:32 am

Shot from Marine Drive taken earlier this week.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

This Weekend Event Guide is sponsored by Treo Bike Tours in Eastern Oregon. Plan your 2019 trip today!

Welcome to the weekend. Spring is finally officially here and we could not be happier about it.

With peak riding season around the corner, it’s time to make sure you’re ready to ride. That means having your mind, body and bike in usable condition. This week’s guide has several rides, events – and even a clinic – that will help you get ready.

Thanks to our friends at Treo Bike Tours for supporting BikePortland! If you haven’t explored a trip out at their eastern Oregon paradise, you owe it to yourself to consider it.

[Read more…]

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.

Check our Gravel Riding Guide and get excited for the season

By on March 21st, 2019 at 1:31 pm

Scene from the Hell of the North Plains ride in January 2018.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

This special coverage sponsored by Oregon Triple Crown, Co-Motion Cycles, Rolf Prima Wheels, and Ride With GPS.

Gravel grinding, rambling, mixed-terrain riding, off-roading, adventure riding — no matter what you call it, exploring unpaved backroads is one of the most popular things to do on a bike these days. What’s not to like? Pedaling on logging, fire, and farm roads gives you the accessibility of road riding and the adventure of mountain biking all rolled into one.
[Read more…]

Guest Opinion: Losing the 7th Avenue greenway

By on March 21st, 2019 at 9:51 am

This post from Kiel Johnson comes in response to news announced today that the Portland Bureau of Transportation has decided to route the Lloyd to Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway on 9th Avenue.

“9th Avenue will become the greenway.”

The words put finality on years of advocacy, countless hours spent knocking on doors, talking with neighbors, making yard signs, and writing letters. This past Sunday my living room was overflowing with my fellow neighbors and their children who live on 7th. They had come hoping to hear something different. Nick Falbo, the PBOT project manager, had come to deliver to news. A member of one family immediately walked out the door. No one knew quite what to do next.
[Read more…]

PBOT decides on 9th Avenue for route of future Lloyd to Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway

By on March 21st, 2019 at 8:03 am

Close-up of new proposal showing where the greenway will jog over to 9th. See full map below.
(Graphic: City of Portland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has shifted course on their Lloyd to Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway project. Citing a lack of “broad community support,” for the Northeast 7th Avenue route option, they’ll announce later today that the new greenway will be on Northeast 9th Avenue. (Update: Here’s the official announcement.)
[Read more…]

Our annual don’t be a jerk in River View Cemetery post

By on March 20th, 2019 at 2:10 pm

Please slow down and ride with respect for others.
(Photo: BikePortland)

One thing I’ve realized about doing daily local news in a fast-growing city is that even if we’ve covered something several times, many people who are new to town are still in the dark about some things.

At least I hope that’s the case with a recent incident in River View Cemetery.

So if you’re new to town, please listen up: That forested path through the cemetery that takes you safely between the Sellwood Bridge and SW Palatine Hill Road/SW Terwilliger Blvd is private property. We are extremely lucky that the Board of Directors of the nonprofit that runs the cemetery have given us (via the City of Portland) the right to pass through. They do this because there is no other direct and safe option. And because they are nice people. Suffice it to say, the River View path is a gem that’s used and adored by many — from commuters to racers and weekend warriors — and it’s a privilege to use it, not a right.
[Read more…]

Pressure builds on ODOT as new concerns surface around I-5 Rose Quarter project

By on March 19th, 2019 at 5:29 pm

Fresh off a public hearing dominated by opposition to their I-5 Rose Quarter project, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is now hearing new concerns from the Portland Public Schools Board.

In addition, the leader of the Albina Vision project, Rukaiyah Adams, made public statements about the project at an event hosted by the Portland Parks Foundation last night. And No More Freeways PDX has filed a formal request for an extension to the current comment period for the project’s Environment Assessment on grounds that ODOT withheld crucial data and gave the community only 18 days to analyze it.

Here’s a rundown on each of those fronts…[Read more…]

At hearing on speed limit bills, lawmaker bristles at mention of ‘traffic violence’

By on March 19th, 2019 at 11:32 am

The Street Trust Advocacy Director Richa Poudyal (L) and Oregon House Rep. Caddy McKeown.

Earlier this month a pair of bills that would give cities across Oregon more authority to set speed limits on local streets got their first hearing in front of lawmakers at the state capitol in Salem.

There was no vote taken on either Senate Bill 558 or House Bill 2702 at the Joint Transportation Commitee on March 6th; but the conversation between advocates, lobbyists, agency staff, and lawmakers was notable. Especially an exchange about “traffic violence”. [Read more…]

Family Biking: A primer on tire pumping

By on March 19th, 2019 at 9:58 am

Bike maintenance with kids is fun! (And takes twice as long.)
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Shout out to all the fair-weather family bikers! Rumor has it the gorgeous weather won’t last, but it’s lovely out right now and my kids’ bikes have lots of new company at the school bike racks.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

Have you ever excitedly greeted your dusty, neglected bike in the garage on the first nice day of the year only to find it has two flat tires? Fortunately your tires don’t need repairing — rubber is porous and as soon as you pump air back in, your bike will be ready to roll. Keeping the right amount of air in your tires is a relatively easy task, and it’s incredibly empowering to be able to keep your family’s fleet functional. Yeah, plenty of other things can go wrong with bikes, but flat tires are the most common woe. Plus, kids can help, and — if yours are like mine — they’re probably already familiar with your bike pump, having shot air into their mouths, noses, and down their pants.

Here are some basic tire-pumping tips…
[Read more…]

Portland researchers behind major new helmet tech launched by Trek/Bontrager

By on March 19th, 2019 at 7:52 am

WaveCel’s “collapsible cellular membrane” showed much better results in initial lab tests than traditional foam or MIPS.

A local company has played a major role in the development of a new helmet released today by Bontrager, a bicycle part and accessory brand owned by Trek Bicycle Corporation.

Bontrager says the WaveCel technology used in their new line of helmets, “disrupts 30 years of accepted safety standards.” The company says research proves WaveCel is up to 48X more effective than common expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam at preventing concussions caused while cycling. The “collapsible cellular material” was developed by Dr. Steve Madey, an orthopedic surgeon, and Dr. Michael Bottlang, a biomechanical engineer. Madey and Bottlang work for Apex Biomedical, a company with a laboratory in Clackamas and an office in downtown Portland. Their research was performed at the Legacy Research Institute in north Portland. Madey and Bottlang worked with Trek and Bontrager’s research and design teams for four years developing the material.[Read more…]

Conditions on the I-205 path are unacceptable

By on March 18th, 2019 at 3:44 pm

With so few safe and direct alternatives, the I-205 multi-use path in east Portland is a crucial backbone in our transportation network. Unfortunately it’s been rendered nearly unusable due to an abundance of trash, personal belongings, and makeshift homes that have been built upon it.
[Read more…]

Comment of the Week: A woman’s fear of riding on the I-205 path

By on March 18th, 2019 at 10:46 am

Southbound on 205 path where it goes under Sandy Blvd.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

A comment written by Roberta on March 9th touched on an issue that we’ve addressed several times in recent years: People who live on and adjacent to multi-use paths.
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Coal rollers guilty, Car Talk, middle finger rights, and more

By on March 18th, 2019 at 9:40 am

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Treo Bike Tours of Eastern Oregon. Now is the time to grab your crew and plan your trip! Treo offers multi-day all-inclusive packages and they’ll even pick you up from Portland.


Welcome to Monday. Was that a great weekend or what? I hope you were able to enjoy the warm sunny weather. Now it’s time to put our thinking caps on once again.

On that note, here are the best stories we came across in the past seven days…

Grit girls: Much to love about this NY Times piece on the appeal of mountain bike racing to young girls and the organization that’s bringing the races to high schools nationwide.

Coal rollers guilty! A Utah judge ruled against “Diesel Bros” for EPA violations related to their sale of equipment that allows people to “roll coal”. (We wrote about this lawsuit back in 2016.)

Click and Clack: Legendary co-host of NPR’s Car Talk joined Doug, Sarah and Aaron on the latest War on Cars Podcast episode.

Too many cars: This must-read National Geographic piece (worth giving them your email for) delves into the challenges facing cities and comes to one major theme: To survive and thrive in the future we must undo our history of car-centric planning.

Mobility and climate: And a similar tone from CityLab about the urgency to address climate change and how urban transportation can and should play a major role.

Reactionary progress in SF: Mixed feelings when a city gets aggressive with bike safety fixes only after a high-profile death.

Flip ’em off: In a victory for frustrated road users everywhere, a federal court ruled that holding up your middle finger is a constitutional right.

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.

Helmet conversation evolves: The success of shared electric scooters in Spokane, Washington has that city seriously considering a change to helmet laws to make them optional for riders.

Think airplanes are dangerous? Excellent piece in Slate about how automakers’ rush to sell high-tech cars is making our roads significantly less safe as drivers lose ability to think for themselves and put too much trust into their cars.

Why people oppose bike lanes: This wonderful Streetfilms from the National Bike Summit features bike advocacy pros sharing the most ridiculous excuses they’ve heard for not building bike lanes.

Words matter: The Gothamist does a great job explaining how biased and apathetic police work and insensitive police statements re-traumatize victims of traffic crashes.

Tweet of the Week: (Ms. Sadik-Khan is the former NYC DOT Commish and a globally recognized urban planning consultant.)

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Portland area bike companies in Sacramento for North American Handmade Bicycle Show

By on March 15th, 2019 at 4:30 pm

Chad Smeltzer of Smeltzer Bikes in Gresham has made a name for himself with off-road capable drop-bar bikes. He shared this photo of one of the bikes he has at NAHBS.
(Photo: Chad Smelzter)

Portland area bike businesses will have a strong presence at the annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) that opened today at the Sacramento Convention Center.
[Read more…]