(Photos © J. Maus)
A new bike shop has opened up at the base of the Portland Aerial Tram in the South Waterfront neighborhood. Go By Bike is owned by Kiel Johnson and run out of a refurbished camper. I stopped by on opening day yesterday to learn more.
Nestled among well over 300 bikes in overflowing racks outside the tram and the OHSU Center for Health & Healing, Johnson’s humble, 7 by 14-foot mobile bike shop awaits the hundreds of people who bike up to Oregon Health & Science University each day. The idea behind the shop is to have people drop off their bikes in the morning and then pick them up on their way home.
OHSU’s transportation options manager John Landolfe was at the opening yesterday. He contacted me back in March to spread the word that he was looking for someone to open up a shop. “People asked for it, and Kiel [Johnson] really stepped up with his proposal,” said Landolfe.
The shop is on a temporary, one-week pilot lease. “Hopefully we can extend it,” says Landolfe. One of the issues with how the camper doesn’t meet existing architectural design guidelines. (I’ve asked for further clarification about why only one week was given for the lease and will update when I hear back.)
Johnson’s name might be familiar. He’s the guy who single-handedly sparked a school bike train revolution in Portland that led him to attention from NBC-TV in Los Angeles and won him an Alice Award from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance earlier this year.
Johnson did some great work on the trailer, which he bought for $850 off Craigslist. It’s small, but he and mechanic Eric Phelan can fit comfortably inside with a bike in the stand, a workbench, and a small selection of basic accessories in stock. As for the name, Go By Bike, Johnson says he got that idea from a 2007 post on BikePortland where I wondered why Portland doesn’t have a “Go By Bike” sign similar to ones we have for taxi, streetcar, and bus.
Go By Bike will be open five days a week from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. Hopefully OHSU will extend the lease and it will be around for a long time.
Both Landolfe and Johnson are urging people to send feedback about the shop (especially if you want to see it become a bit more permanent) to them via email at bike at ohsu dot edu or gobybikeshop at gmail dot com.
Good luck Kiel!