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Bolt cutters used to solve bike parking snafu

Posted by on February 9th, 2008 at 7:28 pm

No metal was safe from bikes at the NAHBS today.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Oregon Convention Center was overwhelmed with guests arriving by bike for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) today.

As crowds hit their peak around mid-day today, hundreds of bikes were locked to every piece of metal in sight. Convention Center staff tried to alert show-goers that they would remove (or “tow”) bikes that were not in designated bike parking areas. They made announcements over the PA system and placed at least one sign on one of the center’s doors.

But that wasn’t enough and some visitors had their locks cut with bolt cutters wielded by Convention Center security guards.

Reader Jeff T. noticed one such security guard working on the U-Locks of two bikes parked just north of the main entrance. He took this video from his cell phone…

The day before the show, NAHBS organizers announced that indoor bike parking for 500 bicycles would be available, but by 1:30 or so there was barely a spot available.

While a hassle and an annoyance for some, others took it in stride. One commenter said the “packed to the gills” indoor bike parking area was one of their favorite parts of the show. He said,

“Watching bikes hunt for parking spots always puts a grin on my face. We should be so lucky to have that problem every day! There were some gems tucked in there as well, sort of like an Easter egg hunt for well ridden hand built frames. Very cool.”

NAHBS organizers say they’ll take steps to prevent problems tomorrow.

Volunteer coordinator and operations coordinator Bob Mandelson says they’ve ordered 10 additional racks for the tomorrow that should increase parking capacity by about 100-200 bikes. He says they’ll ask for as many racks as they can get. More signage directing visitors to available parking and warning them about where not to park will also be posted.

The show begins at 9:30 tomorrow and doors close at 5:00.

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  • heather andrews February 9, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    For a LEED-certified building, hosting a continent-wide bike show, in Bike City USA, I\’m pretty disappointed in their behavior. They didn\’t take these extreme measures when the same thing happened at Wordstock (see URL below)…and at that time, there was still bike parking available in the parking garage!

    That having been said, I was beyond grateful for the manned bike parking. The man staffing it was great, he even stayed past when he said he\’d be gone. What a mensch.

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  • nikromatt February 9, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Kind of ironic that in the most bike friendly city in the country. At one of the most premier bike shows in the country. The city turns out not to so bike friendly after all.

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  • rixtir February 9, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Not a very bike-friendly bike show, is it?

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  • leftcoaster February 9, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Friendly correction…

    crowds hit THEIR peak…


    WHERE not to park

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  • Ed February 9, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Nice work Jeff…Team Beer is always keeping an eye out for the bad guys.

    You should come over the next time Tony T and I have frame building night.

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  • Bikelawya February 9, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Bring the show back to California, we have buildings big enough to handle the crowds, and won\’t cut locks.

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  • Zaphod February 9, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    The bikes didn\’t appear to be causing anyone any hardship or introducing risk of any kind. The attitude and actions of our finest is really disheartening. What could possibly be the point of busting locks? I\’d love to hear their justification.

    It\’s actions like that which make me think of the relationship between police and cyclists as an us-versus-them which is not the attitude I want to embrace.

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  • Patrick February 9, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    That video is cracking me up. Thinking about this guy going home all fired up. Popping open a cold one and telling his wife about how hard his day was, how he had to bust out the bolt cutters and cut a few locks. You can\’t make this stuff up, this is a classic……

    On a more serious note. Is that guy in the video taking one of the bikes? And where do they put the bikes once they are cut?

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  • James B February 9, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    This really suprises me for PDX.
    Crazy, it\’s not like the bikes were blocking anything or causing harm or inconvenience, that security guard should get a jobsworth award.

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  • todd February 9, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    ha! those bikes are dutch, owned by the good people at Dutch Bike Co. Seattle, and the cutters failed to work on the hardened square-profile chains that plug into the wheel locks. awesome. and yeah, embarrassing that this happens in portland, as if the bikes were causing trouble.

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  • Evan February 9, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Great. Nice job Convention Center. If the person who ordered this to happen doesn\’t get fired for the national black eye this will give both Portland AND the convention center…
    Maybe now they\’ll think twice about getting more bike parking for future events.

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  • Bryan February 9, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Is there another venue that could be used for future bike-related events? Someplace more friendly and larger, if need be? It would be nice to rent a venue that isn\’t run by scurvey dogs.

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  • Liz February 9, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Sounds like a snafu for sure, but I must say, it sure looks to me like the bikes on the video were on a handrail at the top of some stairs. Locking bikes there could create both a danger to pedestrians who need to use the railing to safely maneuver the stairs, as well as a liability to the Convention Center for not keeping the handrail/stairs clear.

    Hopefully they were just targeting those areas, rather then the more out of the way spaces, like the bikes surrounding the bell in the top picture.

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  • a.O February 9, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    What an embarrassment for Portland. These people should be ashamed of themselves. Like I said before, only one word for this: douchebag. Absolutely no public health or safety justification whatsoever. Just a masturbatory exercise of State power.

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  • Asher February 9, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    I was one of the unlucky ones to have my lock cut. I came to the bike show with a friend from out of town and we got there around 10:30 and locked up both bikes with one lock around a stair rail away from the main entrances. There were many bikes locked to the stairs rails (as the video shows) and I was glad to find a spot, even at that early hour.

    I had read in advance stern warnings about not being allowed to bring bikes inside, so once inside amidst the noisy frenzy when I vaguely heard blah, blah, blah, cutting locks, blah, blah, blah, it didn\’t even mentally register as an announcement concerning me. Instead, I must have thought it had something to do with people who had tried to bring their bikes inside. Or I didn\’t think about it at all because the days of parking restrictions hadn\’t concerned me since getting rid of my car several years ago. When I left the show and found the stair rails eerily void of bikes I quickly put two and two together and almost had to laugh. Here I was dragging an out of town friend to a bike show in Biketown USA and our bikes had been \”towed\”. Kind of a good problem to have I guess.

    The story I got was that our bikes were in a \”fire exit\” and had to be immediately removed to ensure public safety. Post 9-11 I guess there is no taking chances, so learning lessons based on \”human factors\” and making adjustments the following day by posting real signs and instructing the event ticket takers to mention the parking rules just wasn\’t a reasonable option.

    The good news is that I learned my lock was “really strong” and the fire department had be called in to cut it with a saw. Good PR for Kryptonite, but calling a fire truck out to clear the hazard seems a bit over the top. Plus losing a $50 lock does kind of sting.

    As annoying as this is, I caulk it up to people \”just doing their job\” in an irrational climate around public safety concerns.

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  • wholepair February 9, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    I agree with Liz that the Convention Center was justified thinking about pedestrian safety and only clearing designated areas to assure that visitors to the show will continue to have free use of the railing for safely maneuvering the stairs. I was going to bring my grandmother tomorrow but now that I see how many inconsiderate self-righteous hipsters there are there I think I will bake her cookies instead. Its not like the bicycles were stolen from their owners. NO HARM NO FOUL, atmo…

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  • SH February 9, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    when it comes to bikes, leave it to Portland to make a dick of itself in front of the entire continent

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  • John Russell February 10, 2008 at 12:31 am

    Here\’s what I\’m wondering: what would happen if a man dressed in a fake—but official-looking—uniform of some sort went around cutting the locks on bikes? From the looks of the video, it looks like only one person even comes up to the guard, if even to ask why they were removing bikes.

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  • dat February 10, 2008 at 3:18 am

    Folks OCC is owned by Metro…

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  • Vance February 10, 2008 at 9:33 am

    For all of you, \”cycling community\”, types bemoaning the actions of the OCC, and their parent Corporation, Metro, what about SAFETY! Safety-first, safety-first, safety-first! Be glad it was locks, and not a tubing cutter to the frame. Which is the Portland of old.

    I\’m surprised that Scott Bricker didn\’t show up with an ill-prepared, rambling speech about how fire-safety is killing his little girls; and how we all need to sacrifice our civil-rights to protect HIS family. Finally, over-zealous safety concerns have bitten the hand that feeds them. Too bad everyone in the, \”cycling community\”, is so far above reproach. They could have learned something from all of this.

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  • jenn February 10, 2008 at 9:43 am

    as I was leaving I overheard two security officers talking and they were like we can\’t get those locks off what the hell do they make those things out of we need to get those bikes off of there blah blah blah. it was just funny though cause they couldn\’t do it.

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  • alex February 10, 2008 at 10:08 am

    why didn\’t anyone call the police and report bike thieves at work at the convention center?

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  • Bob K February 10, 2008 at 10:49 am

    There is never enough bike parking at the Convention Center regardless of the event. This is a problem that needs to be addressed by Metro. I plan on writing them a letter.

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  • Sanguinity February 10, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Oh, please.

    The abelism in this comment thread is disgusting. Stair railings are there because some people need them to get up and down stairs safely. Just because you don\’t need them, doesn\’t mean that no one needs them.

    Additionally, the reason people can afford to think the fire code is irrelevant is because the fire code works. You actually get to believe that fire in public buildings isn\’t an issue anymore, precisely because the fire code has been so good at preventing fatal fires in public buildings. Additionally, enforcing the fire code has nothing to do with 9/11—fire marshals were committed to enforcing the fire code long before that.

    I agree that the show organizers egregiously failed their responsibilities by not supplying enough bicycle parking. But that does not suddenly make stair railings and fire exits irrelevant, either. If you locked your bike to a stair railing, then you screwed up. It isn\’t everyone else\’s job to indulge you in your errors. Nor should it be.

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  • Duncan February 10, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Hey everyone,
    I work in safety, and clearing a fire exit is a big deal. I know it looks wide open but imagine if everyone had to leave the CC due to an emergency (like a fire.) … it isn\’t safe- and while the CC should have provided more bike parking, if you parked your car in a fire lane and come back tto find it towed, would you be surprised?

    Just be glad they didnt charge you for towing your bike.

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  • pants o fire February 10, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Hey Asher, I saw the fire dept chop saw your lock, take a monment to ha-ha as the guy positioned the saw to throw the sparks at his pant leg.


    They actually had a pair of holes burnt in them and were smoldering, everyone laughed and pointed.

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  • girl February 10, 2008 at 11:52 am

    that\’s my bike!!! when i arrived at the show, at the 10:35 mark, the guy who walked my bike away told me my bike was able to lock there. there were no signs that early in the day. i realize that the staff who told me this was purely volunteer based, but they were misinformed on how to deal with people locking to those hand rails.

    when i came to find my bike missing, which sent me into a mode of panic, the man who cut my lock stood there like nothing had happened. i was belittled for wanting information about my bike\’s location and my lock replaced because they misinformed people.

    jeff t, could you please email me (twoweekoldsushi at yahoo)? i want to thank you for getting this video on the internet. i want a replacement lock (mini\’s aren\’t cheap and i don\’t make a lot of money), this may be the only leverage i have.

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  • Tankagnolo Bob February 10, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    I see the word \”SNAFU\” used to mean \”A one time error\”. The military origion of SNAFU is an acronym, the first two words are \”Situation Normal\”. The rest is easy.

    So whan someone in congress says \”It was just a snafu\”, you will know that either they were never in the military, or they know it is \”Situation Normal\”.

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  • Robert Dobbs February 10, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    It cracks me up to think how many bolt cutter blades were ruined on the hardened square-link chains.

    Talk about an ounce of prevention – some better signage and more bike parking would have avoided the entire problem.

    Go Metro!

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  • Vance February 10, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Oh c\’mon girl24 – \”… 16.70.330 Impounding Bicycles.
    B. A bicycle may be immediately impounded if:
    1. It is parked in violation of this code and obstructs or impedes pedestrian or vehicular traffic; or
    2. It is an immediate threat to the public welfare. …\”

    I thought this was common knowledge. Why would they have to put up a sign, at taxpayer expense? The ordinance immediately preceding this one, in the Charter, #16.70.320 states: \”… Leave a bicycle so that it obstructs vehicle or pedestrian traffic on a roadway, sidewalk, driveway, handicap access ramp, building entrance, or so that it prevents operation of a parking meter or newspaper rack; …\” If you violated this commonly known city code, you likely did so with full knowledge. At which point, you are asking for special treatment when you complain about sign-age from the position of having violated said code. You thought it would be kool. You apparently thought wrong. Get over it.

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  • Jed February 10, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    My bike was one of the bikes that were removed too. I had locked my bike to the stair rail the day before with no incident. I used the same spot on Saturday. I heard the announcement inside and didn\’t think it would be a big deal if I waited for a bit before I went to move my bike. Boy, I was wrong. Anyway, the convention center was appolgetic & friendly about it. I\’m mostly just bummed that bike parking options weren\’t more clearly marked.

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  • rixtir February 10, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    It\’s totally understandable that the Convention Center and the Fire Marshal would be concerned about safety at the exits.

    What isn\’t understandable– or acceptable– is that the Convention Center was utterly unprepared to meet the demand for appropriate bike parking facilities at a bike show in Portland.

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  • Steve February 10, 2008 at 2:31 pm


    Any idea how Metro/MERC been able to predict the number of bike riding attendees? The show arranged for 500 spots, why would they think they needed more? Hopefully they will learn from what, seems to be, an honest miscalculation. Sort of like the yahoos who decided to hold this event at a venue in a bike friendly city that was unable to accomodate the number of overall visitors.

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  • rixtir February 10, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Steve, I think when a convention is held, the organizers have a very good idea of the amount of business they expect to generate.

    In this case, it appears likely that the Convention Center organizers, most of whom probably drive to get around, did not factor one thing into their calculations– that in bike-loving Portland, people attending the bike show would by-and-large arrive there on bikes.

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  • Seabird February 10, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Come on you guys… you need to grow out this naive me vs. the man high school mentality… I sat at the show and watched all of this business go down and I can guarantee you that guy wasn\’t getting off on cutting locks. The convention center is a public place and has to meet public policy and codes. The top of those stairs and handrails were with bicycles. Think about the liability the city faces if some old person or pregnant lady or who knows what takes a nose dive going down the stairs because they couldn\’t get their hands on the rail. It would be over. Like it or not as a public entity the city and the convention center have to meet certain laws and protocol for public safety and they\’re not going to forgo them just because it\’s not cool and they want to be hip with all the cyclists. There may not have been an overt sign there but most people who locked their bikes knew better and there was a guy walking around telling people to not lock their bikes to the rails in a nice manner. You guys need to loosen up those bandanas around your necks and let some blood into your brains.

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  • BURR February 10, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    sort of like the good folks at PDOT that failed to provide enough on-street bike parking in the Pearl and then got promotions for their incompetence. Everyone locks their bikes to the trees, railings and street furniture there, too.

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  • JayS. February 10, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Today there was plenty of open parking in the garage and some at racks when I arrived just after 11:00 and when I left just before 3:00. Great show!! Lets all remember to share the sidewalk and the road and leave the wheelchair access ramp, stairways, and fire lanes and aisles free of bikes.


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  • Stripes February 10, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    If the Convention Center actually had enough proper bicycle parking outside its facility (staple racks, long racks, whatever…) then maybe bicyclists wouldn\’t NEED to lock up to poles, fences, handrails.

    Two measley Convention Center bikeracks on the sidewalk of MLK (which are often full) is not going to cut it much longer.

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  • girl February 10, 2008 at 3:59 pm


    obviously this is not common knowledge. had i known, i wouldn\’t have violated something when i knew there was a chance my bike would be gone. for you to assume that i wanted to look \”kool\” is utterly ridiculous. i parked it there with an OK from a volunteer – surprisingly enough, he too was not under the \”common knowledge\” of all the city codes, and i\’m sure had he been he would have happily spoken up for the welfare of a fellow cyclist.

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  • Steve February 10, 2008 at 4:07 pm


    You\’ve just made my point, the organizers (NAHBS/Don Walker, not Metro/MERC) should have had a better idea of attendance and transportation modes and reserved space accordingly. The CC staff did what they thought they should to mitigate the show\’s lack of preparedness.

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  • Steve February 10, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Does anyone know what the requirements are for bicycle parking (if there are any)for new construction, I wonder if there is a percentage ie. diabled parking?

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  • rixtir February 10, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    I doubt that NAHBS, being an out-of-town operation, really understood the extent to which Portlander\’s get around by bike. It even appears that NAHBS underestimated attendance, judging by the Fire Marshall\’s actions.

    But the Convention Center is not an out-of-town organization, and they were woefully unprepared to host this event, as evidenced by the lack of appropriate bike-parking facilities.

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  • Steve February 10, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    I would agree that the convention center(CC) certainly does not have enough bicycle parking facilities to serve this particular show, but maintain that it is the producer of the show\’s responsibitity to gauge attendance demographics not the CC.

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  • JayS. February 10, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    There are a number of racks permanently installed in the parking garage. Most of them are vertical racks. THe CC should have signs at the outdoor rack noting where more racks, including the covered ones, are. The Rose Garden has a nice bike parking area but it would have needed extras for this event.

    I do not believe that, in this day and age, the CC should have permanent facilities for the number of bikes on sight this weekend. They should have a contingency plan for events that are likely to attract large numbers of riders.

    Wasn\’t it SHIFT or the BTA that had bike parking as a fund raiser at some events? If they are not still doing this I think a good private enterprise could be created. Promoters of events should see the value of the investment.

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  • rixtir February 10, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Steve, I\’m not so naive as to believe that the Convention Center didn\’t pitch itself as being an appropriate venue– perhaps the BEST venue– for this event.

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  • BURR February 10, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    the bottom line is that the event and venue staff should have seen this situation developing and acted proactively to head it off, rather than waiting until it was too late and responding reactively.

    Now I\’m glad they didn\’t get any of my money.

    Maybe it\’s time to revamp the city\’s bike parking code again, it\’s been awhile and it doesn\’t seem to be working very well anymore.

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  • girl February 10, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    i agree, burr.

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  • bahueh February 10, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    I just love this holier than thou thing that many people put out about this subject…I mean come-on for those of you who had your lock cut and are whining about it…would you park in a handicapped spot just to get closer to the door?

    was putting your bike two or three blocks away going to kill you? you broke safety codes…own up to it and learn from it and move on with your life…its hardly a \”black eye\” for Porltand…its a black eye on you.

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  • rixtir February 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Every one of you who is raising the \”safety issue\” is missing the point. Yes, there are public safety codes in place, and people should use appropriate parking.

    The problem is that not enough bike parking was provided (at a bike show in Portland, of all places!), and THAT is something that the Convention Center should have addressed before the event, not after people began locking up to hand railings.

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  • rixtir February 10, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    It\’s as if the organizers of the Oregon Country Fair didn\’t foresee that their target demographic would show up wearing patchouli…

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  • Bjorn February 10, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    I might add that when I walked in I saw people locking their bikes to things besides racks right in front of people wearing NAHBS shirts. Those people were probably volunteers who didn\’t know that the bikes would later be cut, but all the same people represented as being in a position of authority signed off on the parking with their silence. How many locks were really cut? At this point I think that the proper thing for Don Walker to do would at least be to try to work with a lock maker to get an at cost deal for everyone whose lock was cut. I\’m sure replacing all the locks would put a crimp in his profit but as a member of the industry he could probably quickly make a lower cost move that would improve this public relations situation.


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  • jimmy c February 10, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Free Thule Cargo Box?

    Another memorable moment of the show happened down in the parking garage on Saturday. I saw a guy leaving the golf show who had a Thule cargo box on the roof of his Honda SUV. I don\’t know how he got into the parking garage but as he was leaving the box was scraping the low points of the ceiling. He seemed kind of agro and wasn\’t interested in any help from the cyclists. He let air out of his tires to lower his vehicle and tried again but it was still scraping. I supposed he decided to go back the way he came in because he backed up and the box cracked. He was so mad he took the box off the roof and threw it in the corner of the parking garage and took off. I went to check it out. It\’s completely repairable and still has the key in it. It has a few short cracks in it, maybe 8\” long, but it is not broken. Someone should take it. I\’d hate to see the convention center staff throw it away. It\’s in the corner of the parking garage near the indoor bike parking. It was still there today, Sunday, about 3\’oclock.

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  • Stephan Schier February 10, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Whoa, great video. Thanks to Todd at Clever for showing us the video. And, thanks to Jeff T for some on the spot camera work. Funny business enforcing bike parking in Portland…

    David Schmidt and I came down from Seattle and those were our two shop bikes in the video. We heard the announcement in the exhibition hall and rushed outside just in time to catch \”girl\” lamenting the loss of her bike (sorry, that sucked, seeing you with your chopped lock and obviously it did ruin your great day) and to see two of the security staff preparing put the bolt cutters to our NYC-strength ABUS lock. Little did we know that they had already failed cutting through the lock. The two security officers acted innocent and as if they were just starting to cut our lock. They said we were lucky. We were, but not because they were being generous. We were just lucky we had a bad-ass lock.

    We felt really lucky and happy on our drive home. The failed cutting attempt video made us chuckle. And, ultimately we had a super time at the show, riding around at night, drinking beer and meeting all of you who make Portland the best biking city in the US. Thanks. You are all welcome to bring the Bike Love to Seattle anytime. Beers are on us.

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  • girl February 10, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    \”At this point I think that the proper thing for Don Walker to do would at least be to try to work with a lock maker to get an at cost deal for everyone whose lock was cut. I\’m sure replacing all the locks would put a crimp in his profit but as a member of the industry he could probably quickly make a lower cost move that would improve this public relations situation.\”

    precisely. i was so disappointed in his response when i talked to him, in person, about what happened. he acted like he just plain did not care. the look on his face said \”stupid girl\”, which may or may not be the case. who knows. i was the first person to approach him about the situation and one of the only reasons i could think he would be so apathetic was that he didn\’t realize what a financial burden would be presented to him.

    i\’ve admired him for some time for his work with the cycling world and it\’s unfortunate to see he has really ruined a percentage of portland\’s bike community. i hope he steps up.

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  • Stephan Schier February 10, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    \”Girl,\” feel free to contact us and we\’ll send/gift you one of our(apparently) bolt cutter-proof Abus locks ASAP. After their Portland debut, we\’ll be ordering more of them soon. That video made our day and I think our friends at Abus in Germany would be proud.

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  • Grimm February 11, 2008 at 6:26 am

    I was so lucky on Saturday. My bike and my friends bike are right there in the background, and were next on the list to get cut. If I was 30 seconds later I could have bye bye to my Krypto.

    That said I think the Convention center was completely under prepared to the number of bikes. But WTF did they think was gonna happen when they signed up a national bike show for there exhibit hall? They should have put up a huge rack in front, or at the least put up lots of signage to tell us where to put our bikes safely. I mean what the hell did that high $18 price tag go to if not to provide adequate facilities?

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  • Grimm February 11, 2008 at 6:51 am

    Oh and I would like to point out in that video that though those stairs are near the door east entrance doors, if you go about 20 maybe 30 feet south you can get to the doors without using the stairs.

    I understand its still a safety violation and in a mass panic would still be in people\’s way. But I think they kind of jumped the gun on cutting the locks.

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  • davidio February 11, 2008 at 7:51 am

    While working at a Local Bike Shop on Saturday, I helped a lime-green-shirt wearing bike show volunteer pick out a new lock. He had been helping out with the bike parking, and felt guilty about what had happened. He purchased a lock to replace the Kryptonite Evolution Mini that had been cut (\”girl\” – was that yours??) – but perhaps he was unable to find the owner again after leaving the show for a bit??

    (as an aside, he also left the cut lock behind at the shop. apparently it took the guard quite a while to break it, but it still makes me feel uneasy seeing a quality, very common lock getting cut!)

    Hopefully \”girl\” and the nice volunteer can find each other out there (and it sounds like you might even have two locks). And it was also nice to see somebody who was nice enough to spend money out of his own pocket (after volunteering his time on a weekend, to boot!) on a complete stranger.

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  • jm February 11, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    I guess they should have hired bike thieves to \”unlock\” the bikes…

    impeding stair ways is one thing but bikes locked to trees are a \”threat\” too…

    the whole incident seems a tad mismanaged to say the least…

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  • Anonymous February 11, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Stephan Schier Please list your lock model! After viewing the shows map of so called plentiful bike parking, with the entire side walk labeled bike parking, and then hearing that there wasn\’t enough on Saturday, I opted to drive instead on Sunday.

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  • BURR February 11, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Stephen – makes me feel better about my ABUS lock, for sure. I bought mine a few years back after broke the story about being able to pick the circular cylinder Krypto locks with a Bic pen.

    Can you provide us with info on the lock model?

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  • SH February 11, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Stephan, BURR, please list lock models! Abus seems to be the only one receiving good publicity from this. I chose to drive on Sunday after hearing about the lack of bike parking Saturday.

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  • jami February 11, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    the positive change that could emerge from this bad situation is the convention center acknowleding portland bikearifficosity and providing more bike parking in the future. more more more!

    it\’s awesome that 500 spots was not enough.

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  • Todd Boulanger February 12, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Lets see Commissioner Adams office invites the NAHBS show to town with $20,000…perhaps another $20,000 can be found for some real event bike parking (mobile), as this \’good problem\’ keeps happening when ever the weather is nice and bikes are around.

    This block is even short of bike parking when BTA holds its Alice events there.

    I think the BTA has gotten out of the event bike parking business over the last year or two.

    Also I did notice a single wayfinding sign at the rear of the OCC as I walked to it on the third day… the route a car driver would take it they were coming from the downtown but not necessarily the routes most bike riders would approach the event from…they would go to the front and then look for parking and not from the rear. Perhaps additional full time signs directing bike parkers to the \’invisible\’ overflow bike parking in the garage would be best.

    It was a great show…

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  • Todd Boulanger February 12, 2008 at 12:14 am

    And this is not a new problem in Bike City USA …remember the Nader political show in 2000(?)…there must have been 3000 bikes surrounding the Rose Quarter…locked to everything but small children and hanging off of balconies.

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  • BURR February 12, 2008 at 2:05 am

    My Abus lock is a Granit X-Plus 54/160 HB. I don\’t think it was their top of the line lock but it was pretty close. It\’s got a square shackle and a much better dual locking mechanism than any Krypto lock I\’ve owned (mostly mid-line models). (Disclaimer – it\’s never been tested by that burly dude with the four foot long bolt cutters like Stephan\’s has.)

    Here\’s a link to the folks I bought my lock from over the internet. Looks like prices have gone up a bit in the last few years, but it really is the best bike lock I\’ve ever bought.

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  • uncompressed February 12, 2008 at 9:59 am

    “Watching bikes hunt for parking spots always puts a grin on my face. We should be so lucky to have that problem every day!\”

    Really? Please come on down to Los Angeles some time, and you too can be so \”lucky.\” On second thought, don\’t. It\’s hard enough to find somewhere to park my bike as it is.

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  • rekon February 12, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    hey vance, are you ever not a dick? piss off.

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  • Donna February 12, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    It would be very nice to see a shop here in Portland carry Abus locks. Hope someone gets the hint.

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  • 180mm_DaN February 12, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    More growing pains in so-called \”Bike City\”.

    One whopping big DUH.

    Massive organizational failure here with easy solutions…

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  • girl February 12, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    grimm: you pulled up right after me. i\’m glad your bikes weren\’t cut!

    i\’d like to make a point, even if it\’s just a comment on this forum, that stephan & dutch bike co. in seattle have been AWESOME. i admired their ABUS lock when they pulled up next to me & they\’re lovingly sending one to portland.

    while i am still disappointed in what happened saturday, these guys have pulled such an incredible weight in providing outstanding care for fellow riders. they\’ve gained a loyal fan & new customer. i can\’t wait to go to seattle in march to thank them in person.

    stephan, i couldn\’t say it enough on the phone – thank you!

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  • Spencer February 13, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Might as well pile on,

    A good opportunity was missed. Like at other bike events, some one should have set up a bike coral staffed by volunteers to raise money for one of the local bike-oriented non-profits. That way metro would not have to install a large number of bike racks that might not get used the rest of the year (I admit they need more than they currently have).

    If they ran out of room, just add another few metal fence sections to add more space. This would be a flexible alternative.

    my 2 cents

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  • Boo Hoo February 13, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    This hypocrisy amuses me.

    It\’s the typical \”drivers should know all the laws pertaining to cyclists, but we as cyclists are not accoutnable to the same laws.\”

    Maybe you should have done you research and known that it is illegal to lock your bikes in the areas you did.

    Typical \”me first, everybody has to change things to accomodate me\” attitude.

    You guys parked illegally and paid the consequences. I would bet that if it was a car in the same circumstance, you\’s say they should have known better.

    Quit crying, man up and admit you screwed up.

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  • rixtir February 13, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    I would bet that if it was a car in the same circumstance, you\’s say they should have known better.

    And I would bet that \”if it was a car,\” they would have had ample appropriate parking available, as well as helpful information about where else to park in the area if/when event parking filled up.

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  • Huh? February 13, 2008 at 8:12 pm


    I parked a few blocks away and walked. So no, there really was not enough parking up close.

    In a legal space.

    It would not have killed you to park a block away either.

    Ah, but then people on this blog would have nothing to incessantly cry about.

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  • Nelson Muntz February 14, 2008 at 9:38 am

    This is why the bike community has difficulty being taken seriously. Being caught illegally parking bikes, running red lights and stop signs, and the like makes a bike rider the victim of The Man\’s perverse designs against bikes.

    I pedal therefore I am absolved of all personal responsibility.

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  • Stephan Schier February 14, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    The bad-ass, bolt cutter-defying lock was the ABUS Granit CityChain X-Plus 1060. This is a motorcycle grade lock which we carry at our shop.

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  • Bikes a lot February 16, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    I attended on Saturday. After reading the web site cautions ahead of time, we chose that my wife drove the minivan to the show, parked in a nearby garage, and I put my bike in the van rather than risk problems at the Convention Center. Not a particularly car-free solution, but it kept me from having problems at the show.

    I agree that the situation was out of control. I expected to find a kind of flame fest on BikePortland as a result. Hopefully lessons will be learned on the need to better accommodate secure bike parking, if we ever hope to get a significant percentage of the cars off the roads.

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