Cycling has reached a fever pitch here in Portland.
We’re in the midst of the largest and craziest Pedalpalooza ever, we’re now a legit part of the economy, it’s the eve of our first-ever Bike Summit (with over 300 registered so far), and today the Oregonian is chock-full of bike coverage.
The one article that really stands out is the editorial, “Bike advocates aim for political staying power.” Check out the last sentence of this paragraph:
“Which is not to say that Portland’s bike advocates have been ineffective in the past. They’ve been doing something right or Portland wouldn’t already have 30 miles of developed, lower-traffic bike “boulevards,” 67 miles of off-street biking paths and 170 miles of bike lanes. That’s 267 miles in all, but we need more.”
I love it, even the Oregonian is on board. Can you say momentum?
But the ever-vigilant Jessica Roberts of the BTA wisely warns us that today’s trio of bike articles is sure to rally those less bike-friendly segments of the population (I know it’s hard to believe, but they’re out there). She says they’re sure to swamp the Oregonian with anti-bike rhetoric (yawn) so she’s urging us to stave off their negativity with some letters of our own.
Here are some letter writing tips from Jessica (who’s had many of them published over the years):
Letters should be no longer than 150 words (they’re ruthless), and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. You have to include your name, address and daytime phone number (for verification; they don’t print it). In my experience, letters that are funny, paint a picture, or state just one or two points really clearly are more likely to get printed.
Thanks for the advice Jessica…now start writing folks!
By the way, as a contrast to today’s bike-loving articles in the O, I talked to Bike Summit maven Linda Ginenthal last night and she’s dug up some classic not-so-friendly bike headlines from decades past. They really show how far biking has come in Portland. She plans on sharing them at the Summit tomorrow.