available through Microcosm.]
Recently on a local cycling email list, news surfaced that Microcosm Publishing and founder Joe Biel, were leaving Portland.
But beyond the stuff they sell, their founder Joe Biel is an artist himself and an active member of the community.
Joe is the man behind, “Martinis in the Bike Lane,” a short documentary film that tells the inside story of Portland’s unique bike lane characters (watch it hi-res via Quicktime or quick and dirty on YouTube).
To set the record straight about his company, I asked Joe to write a few words about why he’s leaving and what we can expect in the future. Here’s his response:
I moved to Portland in 1999 expecting to live here for a year or so. Five years later I was hooked and not going anywhere. The best cycling anywhere I’d seen, the best resources, and a very attractive climate. Too attractive in fact – and many people from all over the country continue to flock here.
Now in 2007 it’s virtually impossible to get a piece of commercial property that is reasonably priced in our neighborhood. To purchase property, a down payment of $100,000 is standard and most properties get purchased; sight unseen within a few weeks.
Microcosm Publishing has been closely intertwined with the cycling community since day one here. It was a simple extension of my own vast longtime interest in cycling and creating things that I would find of interest. I came here with no knowledge of how vast and compelling that network was and how much it would propel me into friendships and community.
I am moving my permanent residence to Bloomington, IN on March 15 but that doesn’t mean that I won’t be in Portland frequently as well. I spent almost half of the last year in Bloomington so one could expect the same of me traveling to and from Portland!
I’m polishing off a zine about Critical Mass as an international movement. I started work on it about four years ago and hope to make 2007 the year that it hits the public. I’m revising the old “We’re not Blocking Traffic” zine from over ten years ago as well as talking about my own experiences (interested contributors should get in touch).
Microcosm is going to now be divided between Portland and Bloomington. You’ll still see us at bikey events around PDX and still see our titles at stores in town. We won’t have our own public store or office for awhile but all of our titles will be available at In Other Words books at 8 NE Killingsworth St.
Thanks for the update Joe. Good luck and keep in touch.