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BikePortland.org is five years old today

Posted by on July 29th, 2010 at 11:19 am

Bunny on a Bike Ride

At the Bunny on a Bike Ride
in March 2005.

Five years ago today I started an exciting new project. I had published about 150 posts in about four months on The Oregonian’s website, but I was itching to do more. I had all sorts of crazy notions about what a blog that focused on Portland’s bike scene could become and I wanted to do it on my own — without any editors or outdated blog software holding me back.

So, I grabbed a free WordPress theme, bought the BikePortland.org domain name, added the “To inform and inspire” motto, and off I went. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I knew I loved it.

So much has changed since those early days it’s hard to put it into words. My author page says I’ve posted 6,397 articles. Among them are stories and comments (about 114,000 of them!) that have taken me on an amazing roller-coaster of emotions and experiences. There have been countless controversies, celebrations, glorious bike parades, tragedies, triumphs, and everything in between. Day after day, week after week, month after month: We’ve covered just about every bike topic you can imagine (and maybe some you can’t!).

This is a big year for BikePortland. I’ve got a lot of skin into this game and I don’t feel like waiting around and just hoping for it to all turn out well in the end. J.R. and I have been working hard to build a stronger infrastructure so the site can grow into a sustainable business and so I can start to have some of that skin back. We’re making good progress, but we’re not quite there yet.

With everything that has changed, I remain 100% committed to the pursuit of high-quality bicycle journalism and the (sometimes complicated) role I play as an advocate for bicycling. I take both of those roles very seriously and I’m constantly learning how to balance them.

Whether you’ve been reading for five years or five days… Thank you! This site only works because of your contributions, comments (especially the critical ones) and emails. I’m also extremely indebted to everyone that has contributed articles, especially Ms. Elly Blue, our former managing editor who now does the weekly Monday Roundup. Her help in keeping me sane these last few years was invaluable.

I’d also like to thank all of our supporters and advertising partners. Without your financial support, I would have had to get a “real job” a long time ago. It’s only because of our advertisers that BikePortland.org is what it is today.

If you think we’ve done a lot these past five years, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. There’s so much more we can do; the opportunity and potential we’ve created for ourselves is staggering. Journalism is a powerful tool and one that I think will be key in pushing bicycling in America into it’s second Golden Age.

I hope you’ll stick around for another five years to see what happens next.

With gratitude,

Jonathan

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Velophile in Exile
Guest
Velophile in Exile

Jonathan, you are one of the best things to ever happen to Portland and certainly the best thing to ever happen for making biking around town safer, easier, and funner. It’s an honor to know you. Keep up the great work.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Congratulations Jonathan. Bike Portland is an invaluable resource for Portlanders and, by extension, so are you.

BURR
Guest
BURR

happy birthday!

Shawn Small
Guest

Congrats! Your hardwork and dedication is certainly appreciated!

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Congratulations Jonathan!

Steven Vance
Guest

Congratulations. I’ve been a reader for over two years.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

Cheers and congrats! Thanks for a wonderful site!

Joe Metal Cowboy Kurmaskie
Guest

Proud you’ve stuck with it despite certain “people” telling you it was a great idea that would never fly!

You are the creme of the crop of the new media because you take your job seriously – btw – you work harder than most folks with “real jobs”.

Specificially, I’m in awe, as a former daily newspaper reporter and editor, of how much you cover and in such depth and coherently.
If traditional news had one JM on staff they could get away with cutting back on their employee count

Rock on! And wherre’s the birthday cake? Though I enjoy pie over cake.

Esther
Guest
Esther

Thank you for your work Jonathan. You do a lot to inspire people throughout Portland to advocate for biking, to be a part of the community, and yes, to get on their bikes and ride 🙂

Dave
Guest

Congrats. You do a great job, and I’m excited to see what BikePortland, and Portland itself, become in the next 5 years. Cheers!

Amos
Guest

Congratulations! Thanks Jonathan, J.R., and current and past contributors for making this the best cycling resource in Portland, and one of the best in the nation.

On a related note, I’ve always considered myself a customer of your site and I’m more than happy to contribute a small monthly support payment to help keep the wheels running. I hope others are doing the same or will consider it, a community resource like this one is always at its best when it is publicly supported.

Tonya
Guest
Tonya

Congratulations! Thanks for being the place to learn of all things bike in Portland! I look forward to seeing what comes next!

Peter W
Guest

Congrats Jonathan! Portland wouldn’t be the same without BikePortland!

Wavewheel
Guest
Wavewheel

Thanks for all you do! Keep up the great work.

MIndful Cyclist
Guest
MIndful Cyclist

Congrats! Keep up the good work.

151
Guest
151

Congrats. I wouldn’t know nearly as much as I do about cycling and cyclist resources in Portland if it weren’t for your site. I’ve done business with shops I wouldn’t have known about otherwise–and I’d much rather keep my business local as opposed to dealing with online national retailers. Thanks!

Peter Smith
Guest
Peter Smith

A hearty congratulations! This blog has definitely inspired me on too many occasions — to get active, to start my own bike blogs, to keep riding, to get others to ride, etc. etc. etc.

Best!

Burk
Guest
Burk

Well done, sir!

9watts
Guest
9watts

Others have said it well. Portland is a whole lot better off for having you and your blog keeping us informed and thinking.

Thanks so much, Jonathan.

patrickz
Guest
patrickz

“To inform and inspire”: you’ve done that and more.
Congratulations and a Big Thank You.

ralph
Guest
ralph

Thanks for making this site so informative, up to date, and groundbreaking. I know if it has to do with bikes in the metro area I’ll find it here. It is my ‘go-to’ site when I turn on my computer. Enjoy the ride!

Michael Andersen (Contributor)
Guest

Rock on, man. And here’s to patching together that skin of yours.

It probably would have been hard at the time to guess that you’d become one of the 10 or 20 most successful local-journalism startups in the country, but that’s exactly what BikePortland is. Your work here is an inspiration to people who believe in good local governance and journalism as well as fans of these strange metal horse contraptions.

Way to go.

Kronda
Guest

Happy birthday J! I can barely remember a time before Bikeportland. Can’t wait to see what you have in store.

Joe Durkee
Guest

Happy Birthday:)

Alison Graves
Guest
Alison Graves

Jonathan,

We are the ones who are grateful. You have done so much to help us all be aware of other work so we can be better informed and connected. With our busy lives you provide an important informational, inspirational service.

Here, here!

The Community Cycling Center

Mark Allyn
Guest

Congratulations, Jonathan!

This is perhaps the best cycling blog there is!

Keep it up!

Mark

Anne Hawley
Guest

Congratulations, Jonathan! I’ve been reading here as long as I’ve been riding a bike–about a year now–and in that same period I’ve read a LOT of other bike-related blogs. BikePortland is the most consistent, best-written, most impressive and useful of them all.

In fact, it’s the best blog in my entire feed, on any subject. I think you’re amazing.

Bob_M
Guest
Bob_M

Jonathan
you are the weft in the fabric of Portlands cycling community (or is that woof?)

Thanks for doing what you do.

Andrew Plambeck
Guest
Andrew Plambeck

Congrats, Jonathan!

Of course, I’ve been reading and commenting for about that long. You were a vital link to my home while I was in school in Eugene, and I’ll be forever grateful for that.

And I think this gig’s been good for you…you look younger now than in that photo!

kitten
Guest
kitten

I don’t know what I would do without this site. It keeps me connected and feeling like part of a community of people. I especially appreciate the level of decorum you have maintained. I stopped reading other blogs long ago as they have devolved into hate and extremism. It is awesome you have found a way to make a living doing what you love while benefiting the city.

AnthemCycling
Guest

Thanks JM, for being at the center of this amazing community. Here’s to another 5 and then some!

freeman
Guest
freeman

local bike stories we would never hear about in the ‘mainstream’ media show up here with regularity.

stories that inspire, delight, terrify and often times frustrate leading once again to our shared commitment to the cause.

thanks loads!!! YOU ROCK!!!!
keep rolling and happy bike miles….
jollydodger(shonn)

Steph Routh
Guest

Happy Birthday, BikePortland!

Thank you for all your work and insight, Jonathan. Agreed with Kronda, I can’t remember a time before BikePortland. You have given the bike community a voice and a place to gather to become more informed.

michael downes
Guest
michael downes

BikePortland was one of the factors that led to my decision to move here four years ago and I haven’t regretted it for a moment. Even in those early days the blog captured a spirit of anticipation and hope about what urban life could be. It inspired me then and it continues to do so today.

Keep up the good fight, Jonathan.

John Cunningham
Guest
John Cunningham

Jonathan,

Thank you for five great years. You are a big reason why Portland is becoming a better, safer and just plain fun place to be a biker. Cheers!

beth h
Guest

Congratulations, and thank you. I may not always agree with you but I greatly respect what you are doing. May you enjoy continued success.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Hi Jonathan,

Congrats and good luck…as a friend and past sponsor of BikePortland…it is amazing at the difference 5 years makes in getting bike information out…10 years ago we had to wait by the phone tree or mailbox for our monthly BTA newsletter for action!

It is B-BP and AD-BP.

Cuando
Guest
Cuando

One year ago I had never ridden a bike more than three miles. I bought a bike last September and now commute 12 miles a day (rain or shine), last month I did my longest ride yet at 75 miles. I have been reading for the last year and want to say thank you for the encouragement I found here, and thank you for helping me become a biker. Congrats on five years!

Velophile in Exile
Guest
Velophile in Exile

I just went back and clicked on the link in the story. Jonathan lists the thing you can do with the new blog, including “You can leave comments!” I bet he’s never been as enthusiastic about that aspect of BP as he was then. LOL.

Dave
Guest

On that note, I’d like to apologize for any times I’ve been an obnoxious commenter. 🙂

Marcus Griffith
Guest
Marcus Griffith

Congratulations on the five year anniversary!!!

In addition to providing local and regional coverage, Bike Portland has also inspired similar bike news blogs in other cities. Quite a few bike blogs directly site the Bike Portland website as not only their inspiration, but the standard they strive to emulate.

The BiP effect may be the best grass roots effort to bring about a transportation revolution in this country.

Curt
Guest
Curt

Congratulations & job well done!

BikePortland is a great combination of day-to-day news and big picture coverage, both local and worldwide. It’s truly an asset to the community.

jv
Guest
jv

Congratulations Jonathan! Your site is one of the best reasons to visit the interweb tubes! – and way better than that BSNYC drivel…

Here’s to many more successful years.

Thomas Le Ngo
Guest
Thomas Le Ngo

Congratulations and thank you, Jonathan! I remember meeting you four years ago at Providence Medical Center when I just started reading BikePortland and getting into bike commuting. Four years later (and 50 pounds lighter), I now turn to BikePortland more often than the Oregonian to find the news that’s more relevant to my interests. Here’s to five better years!

trail user
Guest
trail user

Awesome website Mr. Maus. I have a link: http://www.gabbly.com/www.bikeportland.org Everyone click it now and let’s have a party!

PDXbiker
Guest
PDXbiker

Congrats on a great site and a super job of covering the issues. If you want to keep abreast of Portland cycling news, BikePortland is the place to read about it. I also blame you for getting me so interested in this bicycling stuff that I now have nine of those things residing in my basement. Keep up the good work.

James A.
Guest
James A.

Congrats JM! In just two years & at 45 years of age, I’m in the best shape of my life thanks to 2 wheels and the PDX infrastructure. Your site has become a regular read. The profound changes this cycling culture has made & continues to make for the well being (perhaps ‘Wheel being’ (RIP Sheldon Brown!)) of us everyday folk amazes whot?! You are a priceless catalyst my friend!

Paul Tay
Guest
Paul Tay

Happy Birthday! Cain’t wait fo’ da movie.

Dwainedibbly
Guest
Dwainedibbly

Nicely done! We moved to Portland last month from the east coast but I started following this site a year or more ago. It was a great resource for Mrs Dibbly & me as we were checking out the city, getting up to speed on local issues, and trying to decide if Portland really was the wonderful cycling city that we had envisioned.

I love reading the comments, too!

drew
Guest
drew

Happy Birthday!
Bikeportland has some of the best bike journalism to be found. Am looking forward to the next 5 years.