First day of business for new bike delivery service

[Updated: August 2nd, 8:30am]


Free bike delivery at
People’s Food Co-op!
(File photo)

Starting today, shoppers at People’s Food Co-op (3029 SE 21st Ave.) who arrive by bike, foot, or transit don’t have to worry about how they’ll get all their groceries home.

That’s because the Portland Pedal Power Bicycle Delivery Service will make free home deliveries (tips are welcome of course).

The idea was first hatched by Neil Robinson who wanted to assist customers that weren’t able to leave their homes. Once he heard that co-op members Kwah Waadabi and Ken Wetherell also wanted to do a bike delivery service, they decided to pool their resources and launch Portland Pedal Power.

Their current arsenal of delivery vehicles includes two bicycles with cargo trailers and one bakfiets (leased from Clever Cycles).


Neil Robinson awaits his first customer.
(File photo)

Neil says they’ve got plans to work with other stores, bakeries, coffee roasters, and so on. Currently the service is only available on Wednesdays from 2-7pm (during their Farmers Market), but hours are expected to expand.

For more information, People’s marketing gal Sarah Cline offers up the following Q & A’s:

How much does it cost?

It is free within the following boundaries: SE Holgate to SE Hawthorne and SE 39th to the Willamette River. Outside of these zones a charge of $5 per half mile will apply.

How can I contact Portland Pedal Power?

Please call their voice mail service at 503-296-2120 or find them at People’s Farmers Market every Wednesday from 2 – 7pm starting Wednesday August 1st.

Why are they doing this?

A deep sense of commitment to our community and the Earth we share! Tips are welcome too.

How long will this service be offered?

This is a pilot project that will last through November 1st. Should it be successful (and we think it will!) Portland Pedal Power hopes to provide contract delivery services to other like-minded businesses and help other Portland Pedal Power chapters start up around the City of Roses.

Stay tuned to the just-launched Portland Pedal Power blog for updates and further info.

Good luck guys!

The BTA reports that the News Seasons Market in Arbor Lodge has also started a bicycle-powered Meals on Wheels program!

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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Bill Stites
16 years ago

Outstanding customer service, coupled with efficient transport – good job, People\’s.

Portland has made great progress in commuting trips – it\’s nice to see progress in freight. Pedallers Express has been a model for a long time – especially with their long cargo bikes.

Going with lighter weight vehicles is not only the easiest way to get more efficient – it\’s a requirement to make significant gains. Energy consumption of a 2 ton lb. vehicle will always be high.

This is one of the reasons I like trikes so much.

16 years ago

These kinds of things are an inspiration to me. I\’d love to know how I can start transporting my 28 pound harmonium to my yoga classes so I don\’t always need my car those days. I know it might take some investment, but maybe one day I\’ll brave it.

Ian Clemons
Ian Clemons
16 years ago

This is totally cool. I currently pile up to 4 bags of groceries from People\’s on my Xtracycle…with 2 kids (now THAT is a workout, my spandex sporting brothers and sisters!). It would be great to pay a small fee to get larger trips done by these stout lads. This is very inspiring and gives me hope for the future.

Tasha – I\’d highly recommend the Xtracycle for your Harmonium. You can get an attachment for it to carry very large loads. Ride on!

-Ian Clemons

16 years ago

How does it work? Do you buy the groceries and they put them aside for delivery..or do you call and order?…what about the refridgerated stuff and the winter months? And where do you make the scratch- from tips??? Hmmmm.

16 years ago
16 years ago

great idea – but really, as they note in their blog, they are looking for \”ideas about funding\”… er, um, how about \”charging for your services?\”

i know the goal is to make the service affordable to encourage people to use it rather than thinking they have to use their cars, but at the same time, as someone who has worked in the bicycle delivery industry for the past decade and a half, the reality is that its a lot of work, no matter how much you enjoy it. heres hoping that free zone is just an introductory rate – ive seen too many of these pedal power services start out with fantastic ideals, but undervalued services.

the $5/half-mile rate outside the free service area is a good start – how about a base charge within that service area?

synchronicity? YES. were starting to hit that critical mass of the general population realizing what really can be done with bikes – at least here in portland – and the bikes to do it with are actually available! xtracycles got people thinking and doing, and now with bakfiets availabe… ive been waiting a long long time for this, and its great to see it happenning, no matter what i think of people working for free! 🙂

kudos to both portland pedal power and meals on bike wheels.

as for tashas harmonium, 28 lbs isnt a lot, but i suspicion its a bit bulky and box-like – id go with a lower, centered cargo bed over an xtracycle (which would mean carrying it either high or off-center) – a good application for a lightweight, 2-wheel trailer, especially since youre dealing with a musical instrument that isnt as inherently portable as, say, a guitar or something.


16 years ago

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I\’ll check out the options and let you know how it turns out… My harmy folds up into a suitcase-like shape with a handle. Jai bicycles!