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Bike business round-up: A salon, a consultant, and Portland’s first bakfiets-based business

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Three new bike-related businesses demonstrate that the economic side of Portland’s bike scene is alive and well.

Here’s a brief intro to a few pedal-powered entrepreneurs whose businesses are just getting off the ground:

The Cycling Salon

Carol Farr (L) and Audrey Block

Carol Farr and Audrey Block see cycling as a key ingredient to improving women’s lives.

Their new business, Cycling Salon, offers a Pedal Cure Menu of services that includes expert bike fitting, skills classes, bike assessment and selection (if you need/want a new one), and bike repair and maintenance classes.

Farr uses her 20 years of experience as a physical therapist and years of commuting, road biking, and touring to help you stay comfortable in the saddle, and Block — who has completed courses at the United Bicycle Institute in Ashland — helps you decide which bike and components are right for you (she’ll even shop with you).

Learn more at


Gracie’s Wrench

Ms. Bortman now offers business
and corporate consulting services.
(Photo © J. Maus)

North Portland resident Tori Bortman has established Gracie’s Wrench as a successful business offering private bike repair classes to individuals and small groups (I took a class from her last year).

Now she’s expanding her offerings to include consulting programs for businesses and corporations. Bortman — who also works at Bike Gallery — says she’ll use her expertise to help companies get more of their employees to commute by bike.

According to her website, Bortman will help people make the switch by “networking with local non-profits and government services, examining what your business can offer your employees to encourage them to commute (such as parking facilities, subsidies, etc.), and what your business can do to take advantage of all the cycling resources Portland has to offer.”

Learn more at


Café Vélo

Behold Portland’s first bakfiets-based business!
(Photos: Rick Wilson)

For anyone that knows how bakfiets-crazy Northeast Portlander Rick Wilson is, this news will come as no suprise. Wilson, the guy who started a bakfiets blog back in 2006, has turned his passion for the Dutch cargo bikes into Café Vélo, Portland’s first bakfiets-based business.

Wilson has just finished customizing his new, industrial-sized cargo bike and he plans to pedal it to the farmer’s market twice a week. It’s large enough to carry everything he needs to set up a booth to sell coffee drinks (see photos at right).

You can catch Wilson at the Portland Farmers Market on Wednesdays (South Park Blocks) and Saturdays (at Portland State University). He also plans to offer event catering and setting up at races, conferences, and other events.

Contact Rick at limonaia [at] gmail [dot] com or call (503) 476-6090.