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Massive, inspiring school bike train this morning in North Portland

Posted by on May 27th, 2011 at 11:32 am

Still from video of 150+ person
strong bike train at Beach School
this morning.
– Watch video below-

What happens when you combine a City that prioritizes neighborhood bikeways, parents that are passionate about biking to school, and school administrators that not only encourage — but participate in it?

You get a bike train that stretches four blocks long and numbers about 150 people. That’s what happened at Beach School this morning. Check out the amazing video below (taken by Beach parent Suzanne Clarke):

In just a few short years, biking has gone from being prohibited to embraced at Beach School and it has transformed that community. Imagine what it could do to yours.

— Beach is one of many Portland schools that is part of the Bike Train network. Check out to sign up your school and learn more.

Please support BikePortland.

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  • justin May 27, 2011 at 11:36 am

    kid in tuxedo = awesome

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  • MeghanH May 27, 2011 at 11:42 am

    “I hope there’ll be enough racks…” — so cute!!

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  • Jack May 27, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Very cool. Though someone should probably install a toll booth on the bike train route so all those kids can start contributing to climate change goals.

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    • eli bishop May 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm

      that totally made me laugh. bike trains in hillsboro totally have that coming, i’m sure.

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    • dmc May 27, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      lol 😀

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    • Michael Miller May 28, 2011 at 9:23 am

      This proves the Hillsboro mayor’s point — most of that mass of riders pay few if any taxes to support the maintenance of the city streets they are using.

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      • Paul Johnson May 28, 2011 at 7:33 pm

        …cyclists don’t pay property taxes? News to me.

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        • Michael Miller May 29, 2011 at 10:06 am

          Most elementary children — at least the ones I know — don’t own real estate. 😉

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  • brd May 27, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Bike Train was so great. If anybody would like to start bike trains at your school please check out for more resources.

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  • boriskat May 27, 2011 at 11:59 am

    My hood! I go past Beach every day on my commute, thanks to the awesome Concord Greenway. I hope I see those kids/parents on my ride home.

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  • SilkySlim May 27, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    There were quite a few kiddos on bikes today in my neck of the woods (Lincoln St). Awesome.

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  • todd May 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm


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  • Jeff P May 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I don’t know a thing about this but:

    It looks interesting and is a great intro to getting people riding
    I wonder about the idea of filling a roadway – whether a sharrows/bikeway/other – with kids is a good educational start [i.e. haphazardly pedaling all over the road as opposed to the right and ‘singl-ish file’ and within the appropriate lane/direction of travel]. Certainly the one off event may not be harmful for this type of riding but when Jr. decides to hit the roads on his own with with a couple of friends – where will he ride? As a bicycle commuter for nearing 20 years – predictable riding is the one constant I see for safety.
    Good work organizers – riding and walking have long ago been passed up.

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    • el timito May 27, 2011 at 12:53 pm

      I wouldn’t worry. With bike trains this successful, by the time Jr. wants to strike out on his (or her) own, the streets will be owned by bikes anyway. Look at Copenhagen. What you and I learned as lone cyclists in auto-centric streets is still useful, but more useful is what each of these kids is learning about how streets are for everyone. The tide is going their way.

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  • Emre May 27, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    right on! This should do a good job of pacifying any angry drivers on the road. How could you get impatient or mad at a group of kids like that?

    @JeffP, I think the size of the group makes it fairly safe to take up the whole road. A single file line on the left would probably be more educational, but wouldn’t be safe in this scenario. Those kids are all going at different speeds, and if you were to put them in a line, most would be tempted to overtake the person in front of them (which means lots of swerving in and out of the road). I’m sure their parents have taught them on proper cycling etiquette… assuming most of them are avid cyclists, if they’re letting their kid participate in a bike train.

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  • Daniel Porter May 27, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Sabin elementary (current golden bike trophy holder I might add) had 98 students on their bike train on Tuesday.

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    • Daniel Porter May 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm

      scratch that original figure – There were 102. I think Beach may have still beat us out though for the month.

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    • adp May 28, 2011 at 10:37 am

      Is Beach a bigger school than Sabin? My 8 year old son and I commute to Sabin via bike everyday, year round.

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  • Thomas Le Ngo May 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Saw this on my ride in this morning… also caught a glimpse of Roger Geller wearing a helmet!

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  • fredlf May 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    I hope they’re not trying to pull this stuff off in Amity. Those scofflaws look awfully ticketable…

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  • Rebecca May 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    So cute! It could have been a clip from Sunday Parkways.

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  • Paul Johnson May 27, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Not much consideration given to anyone who might want to travel the opposite direction though…if you’re going to put kids out on bikes, teach ’em how to ride the right way or don’t teach ’em at all.

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    • dan May 27, 2011 at 10:08 pm

      Is this really any different than motorists who think the road belongs to them and they don’t need to share it with anyone else? It looks like anyone on any vehicle who’s not going the same direction at the same speed is out of luck. Doesn’t seem like the right message for cyclists to be putting out.

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      • Paul Johnson May 30, 2011 at 3:03 am

        Why does it have to be a motorist? A platoon of bicycles disregarding the centerline, marked or not, is a threat to the safety of anyone going the other way, particularly oncoming cyclists.

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    • are May 29, 2011 at 9:33 pm

      i don’t have a tape measure with me, but it does not look like you could get two motor vehicles through here going opposite directions anyway, what with all the hardware parked along the edges. so what you are proposing is that these kids should single up in order to allow an imaginary oncoming motorist to squeeze through and take one of these kids under his wheels? or break up the group every time some motorist decides to cut through on this street instead of some other? i mean, what exactly is your suggestion here?

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      • Paul Johnson May 30, 2011 at 3:07 am

        Nobody expects any vehicle to be operating on the left, and rarely check for oncoming traffic in the lane they’re turning into (since in most places, Portland and Eugene being notable exception, laws against driving on the wrong side of the street or the opposite direction of a one-way street are enforced). And we’re talking about a pretty obviously marked bike boulevard; motorists can’t really shortcut down these effectively anyway based on the ones I’ve been around. This is about educating the next generation of cyclists to do it right, and in the specific case of this bike boulevard, not creating an entirely preventable hazard to anyone, cyclists in particular, who might want to go the other way.

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  • dwainedibbly May 27, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    When the Oregonian gets a hold of this story it’ll be something like “mass of bicycle riders block traffic for 4 blocks during morning rush hour.”

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  • MIddle of the Road Guy May 28, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Yeah, I saw this group go through a red light.

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    • Joe Rowe May 31, 2011 at 5:16 pm

      Was there any danger? What’s the context? There’s a risk to everything we do in life. There is a risk that a kid will see parents run a red light today under good judgment, and then run a red under solo bad judgment.

      I see a lot of cars run red lights under extremely dangerous conditions.

      Let’s weigh all the relative good and bad of anything. I see mountains of of good in this bike train.

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    • Pamela White June 20, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      No red lights on this street. Concord St. is a bike blvd no stop signs, no lights. The bike train started 7 blocks from the school straight down one street.

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  • Emily May 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Inspiring! Thanks for sharing this thoroughly enjoyable video.

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  • Joe Rowe May 31, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Just awesome.

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