Bike Light Parade lights up the night

Bike Light Parade

[The See and Be Seen
parade lit up NE Portland]

Last night in Northeast Portland, PDOT officially launched their new See and Be Seen campaign.

City Commissioner Sam Adams, visibility visionary (and Get Lit founder) Jeff Bernards, PDOT staffers, and about 60 cyclists braved the chilly temps to take part in the festivities.

Everyone was in a high (visibility) spirits…

Before the parade, we were treated a speech from Adams and an inspiring anecdote from Jeff Bernards, who recently announced that the Community Cycling Center (CCC) will take over the reins of his popular Get Lit program.

[Get Lit founder Jeff Bernards and his “Best in Show” winning bike.]

Jeff told us how grateful people are when he gives them lights. One night, he said, he installed a set of lights on the shopping cart/bike trailer of a local homeless couple. They were so appreciative that they offered Jeff a donation. He of course declined but relented upon their continued insistence. They proceeded to turn out their pockets and handed Jeff everything they had, which amounted to .64 cents.

Bike Light Parade

[Commissioner Adams
needs a pair of gloves!]

We then rolled out en masse and took over the streets as a bright, twinkling, dizzying mass of riders. Rolling down Alberta Street, we made our way back to the Community Cycling Center where hot cider and fresh donuts awaited us.

A panel of judges awarded prizes for the best bike light decorations and we sipped hot cider and chatted among friends until the biting air thinned out the crowd.

Once the tents came down and the last donut was eaten, all that was left was a table, a box of lights, a few volunteers, and some very grateful cyclists getting free lights installed on their bikes.

I can’t think of a more fitting end to Jeff Bernards’ tremendous dedication and leadership of the Get Lit program. Thank you Jeff for being such a great advocate for safety and thanks to Commissioner Sam, PDOT and the CCC for stepping up to make sure this program has a very bright future.

Bike Light Parade

[Jeff Bernards
“Let there be light!”]

[Click here for my Bike Light Parade photo gallery.]

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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17 years ago

I liked the way Sam pronounced the campaign.

Instead of the long drawan out “S e e and B e S e e n” it was short “c-n-b-ceen” or if your German “z-n-b-zeen”.

Either way I think it’s a good campaign to start, there are way too many cyclists out there that can’t be “zeen”.

17 years ago

I thought they were promoted “CNBC” – the slogan sounds just like it.

corporate media conspriacy? doubtful.

fun and well lit? yes.

17 years ago

More info on this campaign will be heard on the KBOO Bike Show next Wed, Dec 6, from 9-10 am. (live)
90.7 (live) (podcast any time)

17 years ago

Jeff Bernards rocks. We need more people like him who are devoted to bike safety. I’m glad his idea has been picked up by the CCC. Yay!

17 years ago

I missed the parade, but had a bright idea last night.

If the headlights for bikes were violet or purple drivers could easily recognize when there is a bike nearby. I think this is important because when there is a lot of traffic with headlights shining, it is hard to distinguish a bike light from the vehicles, especially when there is added glare from rainy weather. That’s my experience when I’ve driven at night, anyway. This is particularly true in multi-lane streets.

So, why violet? All the other colors in the rainbow are taken: orange, red and yellow are on internal combustion vehicles and bikes; green is for “Go” (don’t want excitable drivers getting the wrong idea); blue is for the police and K-mart specials; indigo? I think not.

Bright purple in front, red at tail.

Options Guy
17 years ago

See & Be Seen! At a discount!
To support more lights on cyclists several local retailers are offering a discount on lights & reflective wear.
Go to and click the link in the What’s New column to request a coupon so you can Get Lit!