The Portland State University Bike Co-op is a tiny, self-service shop located in a parking garage in downtown Portland. It opened up in October 2004 and it serves the estimated 1500-2000 daily bike riders at PSU. I stopped by yesterday to check it out…all 136 square feet of it. Yes, that’s small. In this picture I’m standing on one side of the shop and Ian (the manager) is at the other. Pretty hard to believe you can run a bike shop from a space like this, but Ian pulls it off with flying colors.
Part of his secret is keeping the place impeccably clean. He has also found a space-saving way to display sale items, and he takes full advantage of “the cage,” a fenced-in space adjacent to the shop that stores old bikes, parts, and other projects. Among them is a fledgling fleet of polo bikes Ian hopes to use in an upcoming class, a bunch of bikes recovered from racks that were recently removed, and this dusty pile of abandoned U-locks.
The co-op is slated for a big upgrade in about 2 years with the planned construction of a new student recreation center across the street (corner of SW Harrison and 5th). It will get a prime corner location, 10 times more space, and a 1300 square foot, state-of-the-art indoor bike parking facility. Can’t wait to see that.
So if you’re in the neighborhood, pop your head in and say “hi”. In the meantime, check out the rest of my photos.