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Local bike shops come to terms with their industry’s ties to the NRA

By on February 23rd, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Bike shops grapple with realization of gun industry ties.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Revelations this week that several major bicycle brands are owned by Vista Outdoor — one of America’s largest sellers of assault weapon ammunition and accessories, and a staunch supporter of the National Rifle Association (NRA) — has sent shockwaves through the Portland bike scene.

We’ve heard from several readers who now plan to boycott products from Bell Sports, Giro, Blackburn Design, CamelBak, Raskullz, and Copilot. But for bike shop owners who sell helmets, racks, packs and child seats, the issue is much more complicated. Some say they’ll boycott the brands until ties to the NRA are severed, others say they’ll steer clear of them in the future, and one was in such a moral quandary, they asked to remain anonymous.
[Read more…]

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Introducing the Crooked River Canyon Scenic Bikeway

By on February 23rd, 2018 at 9:20 am

Crooked River Highway. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon’s latest officially designated Scenic Bikeway traverses a rugged river canyon about 35 miles northeast of Bend and boasts a base camp at one of the coolest country towns in the state.

The Crooked River Canyon Scenic Bikeway is an 18-mile stretch of choice pavement between Prineville and the Big Bend Campground. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Travel Oregon announced the route yesterday. It’s the 17th Scenic Bikeway in the collection.

Here’s more from the official description:
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Jobs of the Week: Citybikes, Oregon E-Bikes, Cycle Oregon, TriSports, 21st Ave Bicycles

By on February 23rd, 2018 at 8:29 am

If you’re looking for a new start or a change of pace in the bike industry — or if you want to get your foot in the door — we’ve got great opportunities for you to consider.

Here are five fresh new jobs just listed this week…

–> Seasonal Mechanic & Customer Service – Citybikes Workers’ Cooperative

–> Service Manager / Head Mechanic – Oregon E-Bikes

–> Finance Manager – Cycle Oregon

–> Mechanic – Full Time – TriSports

–> Mechanic/Sales – 21st Ave Bicycles
[Read more…]

PBOT requests $650,000 to kickstart a safer N Columbia Blvd in St. Johns

By on February 22nd, 2018 at 1:12 pm

That’s a school on the left, a highway in the middle, and three residential streets coming in from the sides. It’s so frustrating that people who live here are being held hostage by this dangerous road. It needs to be fixed ASAP.

Like so many intersections throughout our city, the crossing of North Columbia Boulevard near George Middle School in the St. Johns neighborhood is a ticking time bomb. It’s where teenager Bradley Fortner was struck and nearly killed by a driver while walking to school in 2016, and it’s the intersection that spurred Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives Tina Kotek to host a town hall three months ago.[Read more…]

Booze ban proposed to stem Sauvie Island’s drinking and driving problem

By on February 22nd, 2018 at 11:14 am

Sauvie Island is a popular spot for serious training and for fun jaunts to pick strawberries.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife can no longer keep up with the amount of people who drink and drive on Sauvie Island. ODFW says the problem has become so bad in recent years they want to ban alcohol on the island’s popular public beaches.
[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Velocirque Bike Show, Gateway Green open house, Oregon Timber Trail and more

By on February 22nd, 2018 at 7:47 am

Discover the secrets of riding the Oregon Coast with author Bill Thorness on Friday night.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Support this Site

If you value our work and look forward to features like this Weekend Event Guide every week, please become a supporter today!

If you’re worried that this crazy weather has foiled your bike fun for the weekend, think again! While the snow and ice (and soon, mud and gravel) might seem frightful, we’ve got a full menu of great options that look simply delightful. Not to mention most of them are indoors.

And you want ride inspiration? How about meeting the expert on the Coast Route on Friday night? Then on Saturday you can hear bikepacking tales galore from pioneers who’ve tackled the Oregon Timber Trail. On Sunday, why not get together with fellow three-speeders and plan your world takeover?

We’ve got all that and more in this week’s event guide. And as always, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the BikePortland Calendar for even more great ideas.

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Need inspiration to keep riding? Our readers have you covered

By on February 21st, 2018 at 6:27 pm

It hasn’t been easy — but in many ways it’s been thrilling.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This morning on Twitter we asked our friends if they were still riding through the snow and ice. It was great to see all the responses. People shared photos and tips about how they fared.

Here are some of those replies:
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City plans to add protected bike lanes (and more) to North Rosa Parks Way

By on February 21st, 2018 at 3:59 pm

A key east-west street in north Portland is poised for a makeover.
[Read more…]

Product Geek reviews the Chrome Kadet sling bag

By on February 21st, 2018 at 1:58 pm

The Kadet by Chrome, a company based in northwest Portland.
(Photos: James Buckroyd/BuckyRides.com)

James Buckroyd is our resident product geek. See his past reviews here.

I have been slinging this guy around the city for a while now. Mainly on small in-city runs to and from meetings where I needed a few essentials but not a massive bag full. Here’s what I found:[Read more…]

Protestors make show of force against ODOT’s ‘unnecessary’ removal of 26th Avenue bike lanes

By on February 21st, 2018 at 11:45 am

(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

About two dozen people stood on the corners of SE 26th Avenue and Powell Boulevard last night to protest plans to remove a pair of bike lanes. As big, wet snowflakes fell, people rang horns and bike bells and held signs high that read, “No backpedaling on our safety,” “It’s always biking season,” “Keep your hands off our bike lane” and “Vision Zero now”.
[Read more…]

Corporate ties to assault rifles and NRA spark boycotts of Giro, Bell, CamelBak and Blackburn

By on February 21st, 2018 at 9:25 am

Last night Aaron Naparstek shared via a Twitter thread that Vista Outdoor — parent company of many well-known bicycle product brands like CamelBak, Giro, Bell, CoPilot, and Blackburn — also owns brands that sell assault weapons and ammunition. Moreover, the company is a proud supporter of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Vista Outdoor and Action Sports Logos (PRNewsFoto/Vista Outdoor Inc.)

Given the current tenor and seriousness around the gun control issue, the news has spread quickly in cycling circles with some people calling for a boycott.

And the facts check out.

Vista Outdoor owns 50 different brands. Their core business is their “shooting sports” division. Rifles, rifle accessories, and ammunition make up over 75 percent of their revenue, which is expected to reach $2.4 billion in 2018. One stock analyst said Vista is the largest seller of ammunition in America with 40 percent of the total market.

The company rode what Mother Jones referred to as “the Barack boom” in firearm sales, capitalizing on people who feared Obama and Democrats would severely restrict gun rights. And Vista’s sales soared after high-profile mass shootings with profits skyrocketing from $10 to $64 million the year after Sandy Hook.

(Graphic via Seeking Alpha)

In early 2015 Vista was hailed as the, “biggest company in the outdoor recreation sector,” by the NRA’s American Rifleman magazine. But in the past few years they’ve purchased several non-gun-related brands in a bid to diversify their business.

In July 2015 they bought CamelBak for $412.5 million. Then in February 2016 they purchased Bell, Giro and Blackburn for $400 million. By early 2017 however, the company’s revenue began to decline. In the first quarter of that year overall sales went down 5 percent and their stock sank nearly 30 percent. Shooting division sales plunged nearly 20 percent and the company laid off 57 employees. Why? Their CEO blamed the election of Donald Trump and the lack of fear from Democratic rule.

By November of last year Vista saw a 13 percent decrease in revenue and announced plans to sell the Bollé brand, because their CEO said it was, “not core to our business.” Now Vista’s stock is in freefall with shares falling 62 percent in 2017.

With their shooting sports business hurting badly, Naparstek thinks boycotting their bike-related brands “could really hurt them.” Several of our friends on Twitter have said they will, reluctantly, stop buying Vista-owned brands completely.

“I own products from several of these brands and I’ll continue to use them,” said Portlander Andy Kutansky, “but I’ll take a hard look when it’s time to replace – and I urge everyone to do the same.”

UPDATE: Please see our follow-up post to this story where we asked local bike shops what they think about Vista Outdoor and calls for a boycott.

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

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Marine Drive is latest ‘High Crash Corridor’ to get speed camera enforcement

By on February 20th, 2018 at 3:44 pm

Marine Drive is a very popular corridor, and people drive way too fast on it. Hopefully that’s about to change.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)


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Advocates will rally to save bike lanes on SE 26th Avenue tonight

By on February 20th, 2018 at 12:36 pm

Flyer for tonight’s rally by The Street Trust.

The Street Trust will host a rally this snowy evening at 5:30 pm Powell Park to show support for the bike lanes on SE 26th Avenue.

The saga on this street (which we’ve been reporting on since 2015) has opened up an important debate over whether narrow bike lanes are better than no bike lanes at all — and whether having a safer bikeway two blocks away is a reasonable justification for getting rid of one. It also shows just how far the City of Portland is willing to go to stay in good graces with its powerful state partner, the Oregon Department of Transportation.
[Read more…]

How to keep little bike passengers cozy in the cold

By on February 20th, 2018 at 10:40 am

Bundled-up bike passengers

Lots of layers is a good start; but there’s much more to keeping them comfortable.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

You’ve decided to start biking more with your little ones. You’ve found routes that work for you. You’ve got your bike set-up figured out.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

And then you look outside and realize it’s 35 degrees.

Pedaling my heavy bike keeps me warm, but it’s a different story for my non-pedaling passengers. They need at least one extra layer when it’s cold outside. That’s one of the many things I’ve learned over the years.

As we get our first major snow storm of the year, this week’s post is all about how to stay warm and dry while biking with kids. First, I’ll go over the things you can put on your bike, then I’ll share the things you can (hopefully) put on your kids.
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How are the Burnside Bridge construction zone changes treating you?

By on February 19th, 2018 at 3:48 pm

Dedicated bike lanes on the Burnside Bridge are closed while the County does repairs.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A two-year project to repair and upgrade the Burnside Bridge has started and it’s having an impact on everyone who uses it.

For bicycle users, the changes are mixed: In one direction conditions are much more cramped, in the other, some say it’s actually better than before.
[Read more…]

Chris Billman is the only Oregonian with a disabled parking decal for his bicycle

By on February 19th, 2018 at 3:04 pm

It’s not a bike, it’s a personal mobility device.
(Photos: Chris Billman)

61-year-old Forest Grove resident Chris Billman got a new lease on life when he discovered cycling.

He was born with scoliosis and suffers from a litany of degenerative issues including spinal stenosis and liver disease. He needs a cane to walk, and when he does, his legs can go numb.

But put his feet on pedals and everything changes.

Billman started riding years ago by putting upright “chopper” handlebars on a Schwinn 10-speed — a fine set-up for cruising around the neighborhood. Then in 2015 he invested in a recumbent and everything changed. “I was off and flying!” he told me during a phone call earlier this week in the voice of someone decades younger.

“They wanted to give me drugs, but the bicycle is better than opiates!”
— Chris Billman

“When I get on the bike I’m bent over like a pretzel,” he said. “But after I get on it my back is straight. If I can do that twice a week I’m in good shape. They wanted to give me drugs, but the bicycle is better than opiates!”

In fact they’re not just bicycles, they’re his personal mobility devices as defined by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Billman is currently the only Oregon resident with a disabled permit decal for his bicycle.
[Read more…]

Opinion: To make Portland safer, ODOT’s Rian Windsheimer must go

By on February 19th, 2018 at 1:00 pm

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post is written by Kiel Johnson, owner of the Go By Bike bike valet in South Waterfront.

The Oregon Department of Transportation, under the leadership of Rian Windsheimer, is trying to remove a bike lane on SE 26th without providing any satisfying reasons as to why this is a good idea. This should alarm anyone who thinks that Portland should be safer for bikes and that our transportation system should be designed around evidence. From favoring auto capacity over transit, to spending $450 million to widen a freeway while many of the most dangerous streets that are under state control lack safe crossings, ODOT has repeatedly proven they are not acting in the best interests of the people of Portland. If ODOT is going to regain the trust of the community they serve, there needs to be a cultural change at ODOT that starts at the top. The director of ODOT who oversees Portland, Rian Windsheimer, must go.

[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Our helmet fixation, safer trucks, busy biking bridges, and more

By on February 19th, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Welcome to the week.

We have just recovered from a pretty nasty battle with server bots and gremlins that took the site down last week. I apologize for the temporary lack of site access and then the lack of a comment section on many posts. Thankfully we appear to be past the problems (knocking on my wooden desk). Please let me know if you see something strange, and it don’t look good. One more thing… As part of those server issues, we’ve had to ditch our old “Related Posts” tool. We hope to find a replacement shortly.

Here are the most notable stories we came across in the past seven days…
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Zoobomb’s Ben Hurt Chariot Wars – Photo Gallery

By on February 19th, 2018 at 11:03 am

Charioteers attempt to disable battlecars and bikes amid firecrackers and rowdy onlookers.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This past weekend was the annual Mini Bike Winter hosted by Zoobomb.

One of the many events participants competed in was the Ben Hurt Chariot Wars. The Chariot Wars have a long and glorious legacy and are the showcase event of the three-day Olympics. The winners get an iconic trophy and major bragging rights. They also get to make up the rules.

Speaking of which, here are the official 2018 rules:[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Go By Bike, Cynergy E-Bikes, Stages Cycling, Community Cycling Center, Oregon Walks

By on February 16th, 2018 at 8:36 am

Some simply stellar opportunities for you to ponder this week.

Learn more about each of our freshest listings via the links below…

–> PT Bike Valet Attendant – Go By Bike

–> Service Manager & Sales – E-Bikes – Cynergy E-Bikes

–> General Accounting Specialist – Stages Cycling/Foundation Fitness

–> Bicycle Mechanic – Community Cycling Center

–> Executive Director – Oregon Walks
[Read more…]