Archive for September, 2005

Walk ‘n Bike to School Day is Weds. 10/5

Friday, September 30th, 2005

walknbikelogoNext week is Oregon’s statewide “Walk + Bike to School Day.” On Wednesday thousands of kids across the state will walk and ride bikes to school instead of driving. The event is meant to raise awareness for the Safe Routes to School Program which is headed up locally by the BTA.

Robert Ping, program director of Safe Routes to School has been working with parents and teachers to identify barriers to walking and biking, teach kids safe biking skills, and show kids how much fun walking and biking to school can be. He hopes to reach 10,000 kids at 60 schools across the state…now that’s a critical mass!

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Local wrenches turn for Katrina

Friday, September 30th, 2005

On Sunday, Oct 16th and 22nd bike mechanics from several Portland bike shops will come together to restore old bicycles for Gulf Coast evacuees who have recently been relocated to Portland. The completed bikes will be donated and distributed to new Portlanders by the Red Cross of Portland. The goal is to build approximately twenty bikes (10 adult and 10 kids) for those who want affordable, self-reliant, and environmentally sustainable transportation.

Mississippi Street Fair, Portland OR

The bike building sessions are organized and hosted by North Portland BikeWorks, a small, non-profit neighborhood bike shop, located in the Mississippi Business District.

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Don’t miss the Clown House tonight

Thursday, September 29th, 2005
Pedalpalooza 05 - Clown House Circus

I highly recommend checking out the Clown House tonight during Last Thursday on Alberta. What is the Clown House you ask? Well, it’s sort of like a street circus combined with Chunkathalon. To get a better feel for what to expect tonight, take a look at my set of Clown House photos. I’ve also come across this nifty photo gallery with captions that are a good Clown House primer.

It’s wacky, Portland bike fun at its uncensored best. Where else in the world can you see mini-bikes piloted by clowns launching off jumps over a mud pit!…and that’s just a start.

The Clown House is located at NE Alberta and 24th. Get there around 7:00 or so for the good stuff.

Meet Portland’s bike lane people

Thursday, September 29th, 2005
Portland bike lane stencils

If you’ve ridden your bike around this city long enough, you’ve probably come in contact with Portland’s bike lane people.

Customized bike lane markings were started in 1999 by a former city employee named Todd Roberts and is a tradition that has carried on ever since. One of my faithful readers turned up this great article (PDF) on them from the September 2003 issue of VeloVision Magazine (a really great UK bike mag). It’s a great read. Turns out Todd doesn’t even like bikes (“It’s boring as hell”). In fact, he’s the last guy you think would be behind these markings. He is, as the author puts it, “an unlikely cycling hero.”

I’ve been given permission by the city to share some photos of these markings from their archives. So far, I’ve got 19 of them in the BikePortland photostream. I have no idea how many are out there but if you come across one and remember to snap a photo, please consider sharing it with me!

New sharrow markings in NW

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

“Sharrow” lane markings have just been painted on a few streets in NW Portland. Here’s an excerpt from the official news release from the City of Portland:

The Portland Office of Transportation began installing “shared lane pavement markings” on three streets in northwest and southwest Portland today. Known as “sharrows,” these markings are intended to help cyclists better position themselves on roadways where bicycle lanes are the recommended treatment, but which cannot be striped for varying reasons.

They are 10 feet long and are part of federal experiment to monitor their effectiveness. They have already been adopted in San Francisco, CA and are standard treatment in that state.

Many thanks to City of Vancouver bicycle coordinator Todd Boulanger for these photos. You can see more of them on the photostream.

Sharrow markings in NW Portland Sharrow markings in NW Portland


California city is first to Platinum

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

Reporting from Interbike

…the first “Platinum” level Bicycle Friendly Community in the U.S. is Davis, California.

In talking with representatives from the League of American Bicyclists (the organization behind the designation), they said Davis is simply “way ahead” of any other city and that they are even on par with European cities.

I was hoping Portland would be first to get this designation, but I can rest easy knowing that we are a major city and Davis is a small, quaint town, dominated by cows, college kids and a major university. Portland on the other hand is a major city and the challenges we face to become more bike friendly are much greater.

So the “Go Platinum Portland” campaign will press on! Stay tuned for how you can get involved.

My ride to PDX Airport

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

Well, here I am in Las Vegas for the Interbike trade show. In the next few days I’ll talk to all sorts of people in the bike industry. I especially want to touch base with the Portland-based companies that are exhibiting here (there are only a few). If I have time between all my high-profile meetings with movers and shakers in the global bike biz (not really) I’ll snap photos and get the low-down on new products that are of special interest to Portland bikers. Things like lights, racks, fenders, panniers and new commuting/city bikes.

PDX Airport bike path (at 5AM!)

But before all that, I want to share my experience with the new PDX Airport bike paths. In case you missed it, PDX Airport recently completed a network of bike paths. I decided to give them a whirl because my plane left at 6:00AM which was too early for Juli and the kids, the MAX takes too long from my house in NoPo, and because I just wanted to ride my bike. So, at 4:45 Tuesday morning I loaded my bags into the Burley and headed out.

I took low traffic streets the whole way and didn’t see many cars. Then, once I got on the new, off-street path it was very smooth sailing all the way. I couldn’t help from grinning as I felt very proud of my city for this Euro-style improvement to the airport’s bike-ability! The path was great. It was smooth, easy to navigate and it led me right to the bike racks. I was hoping to see more signage but maybe it’s just not up yet.

The best part was the bike parking structure. I was a bit worried about security of my bike and trailer, but after seeing the fully enclosed, gated bike parking(!) I felt much better.

It took me 34 minutes from N. Michigan and N. Portland Blvd. Much faster than MAX and much more fun than driving! I’ll definitely do this again.

First “Platinum” bike city to be announced Wednesday

Monday, September 26th, 2005

Despite much energy and excitement recently here in Portland, it seems as though we won’t be the first city in the country to be designated with the League of American Bicyclists‘ “Platinum-level” Bicycle Friendly City award.

Here’s an excerpt from the League’s latest newsletter:

“The latest list of Bicycle Friendly Communities, including the first platinum-level award, will be announced on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 8:40 a.m. at the League’s booth (at the Interbike Show in Las Vegas)”

This is a somewhat unexpected announcement that definitely throws a wrench in the City’s plans. It’s not that we won’t still move forward with the “Go Platinum” campaign, but there was a real sense of pride about getting it before anyone else.

I leave tomorrow morning for Vegas to attend Interbike, and you can bet I’ll be on hand for that announcement. Expect a full report Wednesday morning.

3 bikes stolen: Jamis, Kona, Yeti

Monday, September 26th, 2005

My house was recently broken into and my wife and I lost just about everything including our mt. bikes. The thieves had to get past my two dogs, and used a copper pipe and potatoes to beat them into submission. I’d like to get my bikes back, but would really like to get the guys (known to be at least 2) who did this to my dogs. Here is a brief description of the missing bikes:

Yeti ASX – Black, size large. Full suspension w/ 5th element rear shock. Marzocchi Super T Pro fork (silver bottom, black top). E-thirteen chain guide (clear plastic disk around cranks). Raceface DH cranks, Redline Flight Pedals, Sun Double Track front rim w/ Abbah hub, Sun XT rear rim w/ XT hub. No front derailleur, XTR rear w/ XT shifter. Oury lock on grips. Inner tube wrapped around rear triangle on drive side.

Jamis XLT 1.0 – Grey, size extra small. Full suspension w/ Fox rear shock. Fox front fork (black bottom). Stock except for a WTB Speed She seat. s/n: B201180301

Kona Kula – Red, 18” frame. Hardtail converted to single speed w/ non-working Kore chain reactor on rear triangle. 2002 Marzocchi ZR1 FreeRide fork up front.


971-227-2030 (cell)

Electra “Townies” don’t fit on busses or MAX

Monday, September 26th, 2005

Just found a new Portland bike blog called “Ask the Wise Old Bicycle Guy“. It’s run by a former pro bike mechanic and it’s full of great advice.

He noticed my recent post about Electra Townies and makes a good observation. Apparently, despite growing in popularity in this city and their recent adoption as the official bike of the “BikeTown” promotion, Townies don’t fit on TriMet busses or the MAX! Here’s an excerpt from his post:

“According to a TriMet insider, at the recent kickoff for BTA’s Bike Commute Challenge, a Townie was ceremoniously placed in a TriMet bus rack for a photo op, only it didn’t fit.”

Apparently, the Townies’ extra-long wheelbase is the problem. Besides not fitting on bus racks, they’re also too long to fit in the hooks on MAX trains. The interesting thing is that TriMet is using nationwide standard for the bus rack. I guess the folks at Electra aren’t into the “multi-modal” thing like many carfree Portlanders.