The Monday Roundup

“It’s just a bummer that occasionally the bike lanes end up being the snow plow lanes and there are mounds of snow coming my way!”
— SW Portland resident Adam Ortman, speaking to KGW TV

I haven’t been following the news as closely as usual this week, but here are some interesting stories I’ve come across from Portland and beyond…

– Local NBC affiliate station KGW has a story this morning about all the gravel left on Portland roads after the big snow storm. The story covered the perils of gravel for people in cars (little rocks are breaking windshields) and for people riding bikes. Check out the full story here.

– Reuters is running an interesting editorial titled “Electric cars will not cure environmental woes.” The writer’s conclusion isn’t all one might hope, but it’s good to see this reality check on an increasing trend of public faith in the redemptive power of electric cars.

– Beijing’s pollution control measures during the Olympics, particularly in limiting private car traffic, appear to have been effective, and many Chinese are calling for them to continue in some form.

– A new study has found that residents of Sydney, Australia are less likely to hop on a bike than residents of cities with better bike infrastructure. From the study:

“The bicycle mode share across these world cities seems to indicate that cities with a record of investment in cycle facilities reap the rewards of higher bicycle use.”

– Critical Mass bicycle convergences occurred the day after Christmas this year in cities around the world, from Mexico City to Mumbai.

– Meanwhile in the continuing saga of the brutal crackdown on Critical Mass by Manhattan police for four years running, a New York City police officer has been charged with assault, harassment, and falsifying records after his tackle of a ride participant was captured on video.

– And finally, a thought for the day. New media guru Tim O’Reilly quotes an “inspired rant” he heard at a programming conference:

If some entrepreneur introduced the bicycle today, no one would fund him. You have to actually learn how to use it! …I saw a controller for Guitar Hero that costs a couple of hundred dollars. You can get a decent electric guitar for that price. But you’d have to actually learn something to play it!

This comment isn’t really about bicycling, but it made me think about the current resurgence of bicycling and what factors might be behind it.

I hope you all are doing well now that the holidays and snowpocalypse are past. In the next couple days I’ll have more stories up from my East Coast Tour — and you can follow my adventures on Twitter as well.

For up to the minute links and thoughts on biking in Portland and around the web, follow Jonathan via his BikePortland Twitter updates.

If you’ve read something that belongs up here, please (as always!) feel free to add a link and your thoughts in the comments.

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Elly Blue (Columnist)

Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for since 2006. Find her at

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