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what a blog that focused on Portland’s bike scene could become and I wanted to do it on my own — without any editors or outdated blog software holding me back.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

Please support BikePortland.

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

88 Comments
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    Velophile in Exile July 29, 2010 at 11:25 am

    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.

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    John Lascurettes July 29, 2010 at 11:26 am

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

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    BURR July 29, 2010 at 11:28 am

    happy birthday!

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    Shawn Small July 29, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Congrats! Your hardwork and dedication is certainly appreciated!

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    rixtir July 29, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Congratulations Jonathan!

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    Steven Vance July 29, 2010 at 11:36 am

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

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    Matthew July 29, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Cheers and congrats! Thanks for a wonderful site!

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    Joe Metal Cowboy Kurmaskie July 29, 2010 at 11:38 am

    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.

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    Esther July 29, 2010 at 11:38 am

    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 🙂

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    Dave July 29, 2010 at 11:40 am

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

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    Amos July 29, 2010 at 11:43 am

    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.

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    Tonya July 29, 2010 at 11:46 am

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

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    Peter W July 29, 2010 at 11:56 am

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

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    Wavewheel July 29, 2010 at 12:01 pm

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

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    MIndful Cyclist July 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Congrats! Keep up the good work.

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    151 July 29, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    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!

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    Peter Smith July 29, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    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!

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    Burk July 29, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Well done, sir!

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    9watts July 29, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    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.

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    patrickz July 29, 2010 at 12:17 pm

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

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    ralph July 29, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    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!

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  • Michael, Portland Afoot
    Michael, Portland Afoot July 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    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.

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    Kronda July 29, 2010 at 12:48 pm

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

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    Joe Durkee July 29, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Happy Birthday:)

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    Alison Graves July 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    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

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    Mark Allyn July 29, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Congratulations, Jonathan!

    This is perhaps the best cycling blog there is!

    Keep it up!

    Mark

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    Anne Hawley July 29, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    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.

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    Bob_M July 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm

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

    Thanks for doing what you do.

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    Andrew Plambeck July 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    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!

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    kitten July 29, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    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.

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    AnthemCycling July 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm

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

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    freeman July 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    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)

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    Steph Routh July 29, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    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.

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    michael downes July 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    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.

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    John Cunningham July 29, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    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!

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    beth h July 29, 2010 at 1:53 pm

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

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    Todd Boulanger July 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    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.

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    Cuando July 29, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    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!

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    Velophile in Exile July 29, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    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.

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    Dave July 29, 2010 at 2:22 pm

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

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    Marcus Griffith July 29, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    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.

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    Curt July 29, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    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.

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    jv July 29, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    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.

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    Thomas Le Ngo July 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    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!

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    trail user July 29, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    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!

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    PDXbiker July 29, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    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.

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    James A. July 29, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    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!

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    Paul Tay July 29, 2010 at 5:33 pm

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

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    Dwainedibbly July 29, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    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!

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    drew July 29, 2010 at 8:07 pm

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

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    Red Five July 29, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Five years of stickin’ it to tha man!

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    are July 29, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    jonathan, i started reading bikeportland a couple of years before my partner and i finally moved out here from the midwest, and actually was commenting on green boxes and mandatory sidepaths and stuff even from there. it has been gratifying to watch the site grow and mature. it is stunning sometimes to realize the amount of work you put into this every day. you make a very credible contribution to the conversation in this town about bikes and transportation policy. well done. thanks.

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    Robert July 29, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    congratulations!

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    twilliam July 29, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Happy birthday!

    I’ll never forget this blog because it was the very first place I ever wrote an tag. Now I’m a full blown web designer and developer! Thanks!

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    twilliam July 29, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Dear lord… and look how far I have to go.

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    Tom July 29, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Seems like only yesterday we met on the way to Eugene, me as a BTA intern and you as the “Bike Blog guy”. So much to do still, thanks for keeping it together and relevant. Looking forward to many more years of bikeportland.org
    Congratulations!

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    Zaphod July 29, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Happy B-day! Bikeportland has been instrumental in keeping all of us informed. Nothing else like it on the web.

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    joe adamski July 29, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Everything that adds to thoughtful discussion when needed, and a tad bit of silliness when required gets my approval. Having read your blog almost from day one, usually enjoying, occasionally flinching, I realize the level of commitment and thick hide it takes. And that it actually puts bread on your table? remarkable! Congratulations Jon.. and to all your family too. For they live,eat and breathe BP with you. Thank them for sharing you with us.

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    Clarence Eckerson July 30, 2010 at 12:24 am

    you’ve made a huge difference my man!

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    Ted Buehler July 30, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Congrats and great work! Here’s to another 5 years!

    Ted Buehler

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    maxadders July 30, 2010 at 1:14 am

    I moved here about 3.5 years ago and BikePortland was one of the first local websites that really connected with what I wanted to find here. It’s brought issues to light that I never would have known about. I’ve learned so much about city agencies, local politics and the community with which I share the streets– all by reading your blog.

    I feel pride whenever the BikeSnob links to another ridiculous Portland article here. Even if I loathe the precocious Portland bike scene now and then, I love that someone out there is paying attention and presenting it in a fair, enthusiastic light. It’s a must-have resource for anyone who lives here, and it would be hard to imagine Portland without it.

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    CaptainKarma July 30, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Likewise, what everyone already said!
    Keep on keepin’ on!

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    Kris July 30, 2010 at 5:31 am

    You give us motivation at 303cycling.com to keep it going. Great Job!

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    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 30, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Wow. You are all way too kind. Thanks for all the nice words.

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    Marion July 30, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Hey Jonathan,
    I am a HUGE fan of your work. You have found a way to give voice to a really vibrant bicycle culture that brings people to it. More importantly, you continue to chronicle the way ordinary people working across all aspects of their community build critical mass to move through the city sustainably.
    Congratulations on five years, can’t wait to see what this year brings for you and BikePortland.org

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    EmGee July 30, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Wishing you many happy returns of the day!

    And thank you for developing this great resource. I read at least a couple of the articles each day, often several more than that. I find that often the comments illuminate aspects of Portland’s bike culture that I am not familiar with. I don’t know of any other place where I could find the diversity of opinions that are present in the responses to your articles.

    I’m not sure how you have managed to develop such a broad and articulate readership, but I really appreciate it. So keep on doing what you are doing! It’s great!

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    Joe July 30, 2010 at 9:07 am

    love the bday suit.. happy happy! great work making the City bike friendly, and this portal site 🙂

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    aaron mc. July 30, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Congrats Jonathan! You and your staff do a great job. I wish you many more years of growth & success. Please continue to inform & inspire Portland to Bike daily!

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    A.K. July 30, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Congrats Johnathan! Keep up the good work! This site is a multiple-visit a day site for me, I really enjoy the stories and the comments that are left by others.

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    Vanessa Renwick July 30, 2010 at 10:14 am

    This excellent blog is a daily part of my life. Thank you so much for starting this damn thing, and getting such great people to help you to make it as great as it is.

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    Lapis July 30, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Congratulations, Jonathan!

    You’ve made a huge difference in Portland’s bicycling community the past few years, keep it up!

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    Kasandra Griffin July 30, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Like

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    Alan July 30, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Congrats, Happy Birthday and thanks, all in one! Here’s to the next five!

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    Atbman July 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Congratulations. It makes for fascinating reading from across the other side of the pond (Atlantic one, not Pacific).

    And the amount of sheer effort, let alone the research, following up, not to mention the actual writing (excellent quality, by the way), is extraordinary.

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    trail user July 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    You need guest articles/roadway updates. They’ve just repaved the downhill shoulder portion of Rex Hill(which was unholy difficult to dodge shoulder cracks). Now Portlanders can smoothly ride down 99W to get to Champoeg, the start of the Willamette Valley scenic bikeway. Also, Yamhill County and others are trying to get funding for a continuous MUP that traverses the wine country to increase tourism. I’m too lazy to look up the specifics. Is there gonna be cake at this party? I assume there’s gonna be a party right?

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    Scott July 30, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Having just moved to Portland from a small midwestern town Bike Portland has been like a nice cool drink after a long ride. A fine example of sanity and community in (what seems to me at least) the chaotic city. Thanks and happy birthday.

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    Daniel Ronan July 31, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks to you Jonathan! This blog is on my daily feed! I’m happy to have had the opportunity to work with you!

    Here’s to another 5 years and beyond!

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    Tom July 31, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks Jonathan you are a great advocate and chronicler. Our rides are more fun and safer. To many more years!

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    Bill Stites July 31, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Nice job Jonathan.

    You are, as they say, prolific.

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    Chris August 1, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Cheers brother!

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    r. bee August 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Congrats on the great work Jonathan! Also to the great news for you, Juli and your family. Cheers!

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    Red Five August 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    I know that anytime I ride, Jonathan is guiding and protecting me like some heavenly benevolent force. He is the angel on my shoulder. Thank you Jonathan!

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    3-speeder August 1, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Congrats JM! I’m looking forward to many more anniversaries. Your blog is an inspiration to bicycling, not just in Portland, but anywhere the internet reaches.

    I truly feel that BikePortland has significant responsibility for the growing momentum for creating safe and effective bicycle infrastructure – most directly in Portland but indirectly on a broader scale. Insfrastruction that helps address noted problems that, without this blog, would just be swept under the rug (as has been the status quo). There is certainly a lot more progress to be made – the going is slow and sometimes frustrating, but the automobile-centric mountain is being moved. Keep on pushing.

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    Eugene Bicyclist August 2, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Good blogs are mostly the result of energy, passion and sweat on the part the person who is the driving (or pedaling) force. And this is a great blog. You seem absolutely tireless and dedicated. Are you doping, Jonathan?

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    Aaron August 2, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Thank you Jonathan for all your effort. You have done great work!

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    wallis August 2, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Jonathan:

    Your blog is the only one I find worth reading. I thank you.

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    erin g. August 2, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Dear Mr Maus:

    You are a such a great gift to our community. I feel fortunate to enjoy and benefit from the hub of critical information and idea-sharing that you’ve worked tirelessly to provide these past years, and I feel equally fortunate to have you as a friend. I sometimes stop and think about how much things have changed during this period of time, these past few years. It would not have been expedited so if it weren’t for you and what you offer to us all.

    Next time we meet, pints are on me, appropriately so! I look forward to discussing the work and reasons to celebrate that lie ahead.

    EMG

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    Ken August 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Congratulations Jonathan! Happy Birthday and let’s party! When? Where?!

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