Electeds get into spirit at Bike to Work Day event

Bike to Work Day in Lloyd District -5

Metro Councilor Robert Liberty
gets the prize for best-dressed
biking politician today.
(Photos © J. Maus)

It’s not everyday that you get a free spread of food, coffee, free bike tune-ups, and a shot at raffle prizes just for biking into work.

And it’s not everyday that you can see your Congressional representative, your Mayor, and two members of your regional government getting to work under their own power. But that’s what happened this morning at the annual Bike to Work Day event hosted by the Lloyd Transportation Management Association.

Riding to the event down N. Vancouver, I pedaled in a pack of about 12 other people. I also noticed a lot of bike traffic in and around the Lloyd District. The event itself had a solid, yet tame, turnout.

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Bike to Work Day in Lloyd District -4

U.S. Congressman
Earl Blumenauer.

A bagel with cream cheese firmly in hand, I listened to Congressman Earl Blumenauer, helmet-hair and all, at the mic. Blumenauer expressed his gratitude for our commuting behavior and told us what an important example Portland is setting for the rest of the country. He then rode away on a well-equipped Trek road/commuter bike…

Walking through the crowd I next saw Metro Councilor Robert Liberty. He was the most dapper of all the electeds at the event. I heard him tell a friend that his suit was “A political statement about not needing to wear spandex.”

Mayor Sam Adams must have got the same memo, although he chose to ride in with his dress shirt and coat stuffed into a front basket. He said his one-month carfree commitment is going pretty well so far, but he’s taking transit more than biking. I’d love to see him bike more (it’s a rarity for Adams), but it’s understandable, since he lives outside of a convenient biking distance from City Hall (11 miles round trip). Adams said he has enjoyed taking the C-Tran bus and MAX light rail.

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Mayor Adams on a bike!
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A closer look at the set-up.

It’s great to see politicians on bikes…especially in the Lloyd District. That area is so ripe with bike-friendly potential, and it sits at a crucial location for good north-south connections, but it still has a long way to go. On that note, I spoke to with Lloyd TMA’s Heather McCarey about an exciting new project she’s working on.

McCarey says they’ve begun work on a proposal to make Holladay into a “Carfree Transit Corridor”. The idea is to make the street bike/pedestrian/transit only from Interstate to NE 13th. I’ll have more on the project next week.

Something else that caught my eye at the event was gorgeous Pereira commuter bike…

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A nicely done Pereira commuter.
Bike to Work Day in Lloyd District -6

Tom and Clara from
Bikes to Rwanda.

It was also great to see Tom and Clara from Bikes To Rwanda. This non-profit has done some amazing work in helping make Rwandan coffee growers more self-sufficient and profitable by equipping them not only with cargo bikes, but the tools, shops, and skills to keep the bikes running.

Happy Bike to Work Day everyone, we certainly have perfect weather for it.

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John Lascurettes
13 years ago

I’d love to see him bike more (it’s a rarity for Adams), but it’s understandable, since he lives outside of a convenient biking distance from City Hall (11 miles round trip).

Pish posh. That’s exactly my round-trip commute and I have to go up the Alameda ridge on the way home. I find it an extremely convenient commute. At 40, I’m not that much younger than Adams and I’m definitely more overweight than him.

indy
13 years ago

I guess Adams isn’t a Pedal-phile anymore!

I’m here all week, folks.

Hart
Hart
13 years ago

Zing!!!

jeff
jeff
13 years ago

11 miles roundtrip? I’d kill for that. I’ve got 28.

peejay
peejay
13 years ago

Would have been a good opportunity to confront our elected leaders about their CRC hypocrisy. Mr Adams, I’m talking to you! We also need Mr Blumenauer to step up and denounce this thing.

mh
mh
13 years ago

5.5 miles each way is too much? While my direct route is only 4 miles, this 48 year old wuss rides it every day (excluding snow days), and take lots of shopping and join-the-boyfriend detours. While I do feel a little “holier than thou” compared to many I see on the road, I rarely find another rider whom I feel holier than.

indy
13 years ago

Mine is 4.6 miles all downhill the way to work, and 4.6 all uphill back.

I’ve thought about filming a video about how unique Oregon life is:

Start with a nice dry but morose business dude, clean dry shirt and coming home– cut to getting drenched in sweat, rain/slush, roadgrime– final scene is him smiling with a sh*teating grin on my face by the time he gets off nike.

Oregon: This Is How It’s Done.

indy
13 years ago

nike=bike

I swear I don’t work for nike. 🙂

Joe Metal Cowboy Kurmaskie

Hey J, No love for my presentation? 😉 I was the featured speaker…rallied the commuters with jokes, doorprizes, stats, and my “You might Be a Commuting Cyclist” bit, complete with a blues guitar back up. And my commuter tale about picking cantaloupse from the wrong field when I used to commute 15 miles one way in New Mexico was a cautionary bit of satire for that early in the morning.
Pee Jay, while I had the mic, and since security was lax, I did bring up the CRC – I thanked Robert Liberty for his role in opposing it, and I spoke with members of Sam’s office about policy and how we can get Sam to walk away from his 12 lane stance.

Factual evidence to report. Earl, Sam, Liberty – all the electeds were on bike. I was towing my youngest by chariot trailer.

ScottG
ScottG
13 years ago

Holladay a “carfree transit corridor” from Interstate to 13th? That would be awesome! Jon, please follow-up on this – it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of it.

Andrew Holtz
13 years ago

RE: the potential of the Lloyd District

Yes, it’s a great place to ride to… but just don’t try to walk your bike into the Lloyd Center on a quick errand. Mud caked boots? No problem. Triple-wide stroller? That’s fine. There’s plenty of room for wheelchairs as there should be. But try to dash in to pick up something walking your bike (even with the store’s approval) and you are likely to trigger a security eruption.

Of course, if your bike is damaged or stolen from one of the racks outside, don’t expect any sympathy.

I tried talking to Lloyd Center management and just got politely dismissed. So I take my business elsewhere. Sorry Lenscrafters… if you want me back when I need new glasses, you’ll need to work on the mall management policy against walking with a bike.

GLV
GLV
13 years ago

If only someone would say something about the potential of the Lloyd District, this thread would be complete.

Lenny Anderson
13 years ago

Holladay Bikeway, 7th Avenue Bridge(across I-84 in Sullivan’s Gulch) and almost every proposed line on the City’s draft Bike Master and Streetcar Plans could be built in the next 10 years with the money the big DOTs (with the cooperation of the Portland, Metro, etc.) want to piss away on the 12 lane CRC…all in order to save Clark county drive alone commuters 10 minutes.

Kt
Kt
13 years ago

11 miles?? That’s my round-trip commute, and I’ll bet his doesn’t have as many hills.

C’mon, Mayor, show ’em how it’s done. If I can do it out here in the SW Suburbs, you can do it in your Downtown area. 🙂