Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Letter from the editor: Greetings from Florida

Posted by on March 27th, 2009 at 8:27 am

Our little beach on Anna Maria Island.

Howdy folks. Hope all is well in Portland.

My girls and I are enjoying a bit of sun and fun on Anna Maria Island on the Gulf Coast of Florida (just south of Sarasota). It’s been way too long since I left the day-to-day rigors of making BikePortland happen and just enjoyed some time away. As a matter of fact, in the last three years of so of me doing the site full-time, I’ve never taken a real break (except during Christmas, when no one really reads the site anyways).

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My daughter Eleni on the deck.

Besides recharging my batteries, giving my arms and eyes a much-needed rest, and spending some quality time with my ladies, this trip is a chance to step back and think about the bigger picture. BikePortland is a non-stop effort and I rarely have time to stop juggling all the balls and think about where the site has been and where it might be going.

Thankfully, I’ve got Elly Blue at the helm keeping the site going while I’m gone. She’ll be posting news stories and guest articles all next week and I’ll be back at the office — a bit fresher and ready to tackle some big stories — starting April 6th.

Until then, enjoy spring (are the cherry blossoms in bloom on the Waterfront yet?), have fun on your bike, and thanks for reading.

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  • amanda March 27, 2009 at 8:45 am

    You’re doing a great job, Jonathan — enjoy your break!

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  • mykle March 27, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Give my regards to Jimmy Buffet.

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  • frank March 27, 2009 at 9:30 am


    First you go to D.C. and then to Florida…..you even went out of the country a few weeks ago.

    Your carbon footprint is about 1000x larger than the average American.

    Gee, if only everyone could do as much as you, right?

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  • Kevin March 27, 2009 at 9:43 am


    Your jealousy is refreshing. If you enjoy the news written on this website, you either shouldn’t complain about the travel required to get it or come up with an alternate solution to the reporting.

    Enjoy the sunshine Jonathan, it’s all rain, all week here.

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  • Mike March 27, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Yes! The cherry trees all over the city have been in bloom for several days now and it’s gorgeous!

    Enjoy Florida!

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  • ignatz March 27, 2009 at 9:55 am

    #3: Lighten up, Francis. What are you? The Pope? Al Gore? I’m guessing Maus has done more for lowering carbon footprints on a wide scale than lots of people. He’s done it in a positive manner and without so much judgment. Maybe you need to hit the beach for a few days. Check craigslist rideshare or just start walking.
    JM: Thanks for the effort. Your reach is broader than you may know. I blew my annual carbon footprint allowance getting to Oregon, in part because of bikeportland.
    On the rocks with salt, hold the umbrella please. Cheers to a great job!

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  • King March 27, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Nice way to get out of riding the Ronde, Jonathan!

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  • Daniel March 27, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Why weren’t me and frank invited? damn!

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  • Angela March 27, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Good to see that you’re enjoying a much needed break! As a native east coast beach girl, boy, am I jealous.

    Hey – while you’re there why don’t you lead a Kidical Mass on the boardwalk?!

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  • toddistic March 27, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Have a great time Jonathan! I don’t want to see you comment on the site from now on until you are back from vacation! 🙂


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  • borgbike March 27, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Elly Blue, Thanks for holding down the fort. The sites running great and I didn’t notice a thing.

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  • Ethan March 27, 2009 at 11:21 am

    How’s the 35 working?

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  • Robert March 27, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Hey Maus family, hope you are having a blast!! Jon, I look forward to seeing you with a new beach tan and beer belly and a wide southern smile…:)

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  • Anonymous March 27, 2009 at 11:59 am

    You are lost…Anna Maria is just north of Sarasota.

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  • Ben Foote March 27, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Enjoy your r&r and good luck with the contemplations over what should be your purview.

    I gather from your twitter feed that you’re thinking of going national.

    I’d be curious to see what responses you might get by opening a thread on the topic.

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  • Q`ztal March 27, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Great work!
    Maybe it’s time to get delegate…
    Remember: don’t sacrifice too much.

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  • Mike March 27, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    While Frank may come across like a jealous and holier-than-thou poster, he does have a rather valid point.

    Jonathan’s carbon footprint of late is huge. News coverage aspect aside, you cannot deny that. Not pointing fingers or placing blame; I’d rather be in FL. right now too!

    I would be interested in the c.f. comparison between a roundtrip vacation to florida (rentals/taxi included) vs. a year of driving an 17 mpg suv, based solely on 12k miles of daily commute/grocery getting.
    Anyone have such a calculator? I will have to do some research.

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  • brian March 27, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Head to St. Petersburg and ride the Pinellas Trail. A great example of rails to trails.

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  • businessgypsy March 27, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Frank (#3) and Mike (#17), Y’all sound like a couple of level headed responsible young men. I’d love to sit down and have a what the hell is wrong with you two?

    All too soon you will be lying on your deathbeds, and I’ll bet my bois d’arc bark that neither of your last words will be “if only I had spent less time on vacation with my family and left a smaller carbon footprint…” Just stumbled on to this blog today, and I am learning a lot more about the bizarre self loathing judgmental cynicism apparently permeating the zeitgeist of beautiful, resourceful Portland than about the joys of living and bicycling in one of the most bike friendly cities in the world.

    Mr.Maus, welcome to Southwest Florida. We hope to win some of the sensible and practical victories that you enjoy in Portland down here where it’s great bike weather all year. If better biking conditions necessarily come with a steaming load of self righteous martyrdom, however, maybe we’ll just keep riding on the sidewalk and dodging the beer bottles. Looking forward to biking PDX this summer. I’ll be the one smiling!

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  • brian March 27, 2009 at 5:36 pm


    Unbelievable how accurate you are about lame ass Portlanders. Cherish Florida.

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  • John March 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    don’t listen to the haters. you do so much with this web site. for some people, you can never do enough. enjoy your vacation and keep up the good work!

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  • Donna March 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    I hope you and your family are enjoying the sun and time together.

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  • Adam March 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Anna Maria Island is actually just north of Sarasota. Welcome to Florida!

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  • eddie March 27, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    hop on the ferry down to key west and we’ll show you our little island by pedicab. I’ll even buy you a margarita at kelly’s. you’d love the crazy bike meanderings down here.

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  • frank March 27, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    It does amaze me that the people who are supposedly the most concerned about global warming are also the ones responsible for the most carbon.

    Its a fact that people who consider themselves environmentalists are actually much more harmful to the environment.

    A study once showed people who recycled were also the ones who flew multiple times per year. No doubt this is due to income and education etc. Poor people /lower middle class who do not give a crud about the environment really do not have the means to damage it to much to begin with.

    Worse yet, rich people can but “carbon credits” and think that their behavior has no impact at all.

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  • Peter W March 27, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Jonathan, I hope you and the family enjoy your much deserved vacation! Get some rest and get re-energized! (‘Cuz we’ll need you back in Portland soon!)


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  • jim March 27, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Jonathon & Familly-
    Have a great well deserved vacation. You are doing the right thing- spending time with your daughter like that is an incredible experiance for her, and she will never be that age again. If I had to babysit a website that’s as open as yours I would definately need to get out of Dodge for a couple…
    Don’t forget the sunscreen. -Jim

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  • Patrick Mc March 27, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    I’m curious how you found Anna Maria. My wife’s family all have places down there or go there to visit. Beautiful place.

    I’ve always found it interesting that so many people who wouldn’t usually ride a bike or walk to a destination for their everyday life will seek that out for a vacation spot (like Anna Maria).

    Have some grouper at the Rod & Reel, smoothies at the IGA, and just relax. Your kids would probably love the manatees at the Mote Aquarium.

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  • brian March 28, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    go ride ride the mountain bike trails at Alafia Park. fun roller coaster of a trail system. built for bikes. you won’t find that in portland. ironic.

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  • Hart March 29, 2009 at 3:22 am

    Florida must be awesome this time of the decade since it’s now apparently a blue state.

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  • jackie March 29, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Wow, I can’t believe the response to a vacation in Florida. What are those of you complaining about Jon’s carbon footprint thinking? To begin with, Jon’s trips to Mexico and to DC were to share and gather information and broaden his base of supporters so more work can be done across the country to change the ideas people have about moving around in a place without cars and reaping the benefits for themselves and their environment. He did not squander his minutes there but used these trips to the utmost. How do you relate to people and get a feel for what they have to offer your cause and what you have to improve their situation unless you are in their environment and have face to face discussions?

    Are you guys saying that you should remain planted in Portland with your view of the world as all you know? Some people, unless they get out and experience a foreign environment, actually use their environment to measure and respond to what the rest of the world is doing and this can be harmful to say the least!

    I’m sure that environmentally responsible people weigh the costs of their travel before embarking on a mission; whether it be to broaden perspectives, foster outreach, or to get a change of scenery or even just to get a little sun (which can do wonders for your health mentally and physically!).

    So Jonathan, enjoy your family and friends in Florida (I know you would have cycled if you could have!)

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  • amanda March 30, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Ah, this just goes to illustrate that the notion of a “bike community” is a fiction. Frank, I ain’t here to learn about global warming. I am, in fact here because I am a frequent cyclist in Portland and I like to keep on top of issues that relate to making Portland a great city. I think those issues align with access for bikes and having walkable, bikeable communities. Jonathan has created a very successful site which covers those issues admirably. I think, maybe, 95% of the readers/commenters get that. Maybe? And that kind of success brings out the trolls, for sure.

    The internet is fairly egalitarian — start your own page about global warming. I’m so not to read about that.

    Your comment is so ridiculous.

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  • yarrrum March 31, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    My folks live there. They love Portland. It’ll probably snow there, just because God hates people who aren’t pasty white.

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  • David Thompson April 1, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    If you are biking from Anna Maria to Longboat Key watch out for the metal grate on the bridge. Very dangerous, especially when wet. And don’t forget to sunscreen when you brush your teeth in the morning.

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