Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

People on Bikes: SW Stark Street

Posted by on April 11th, 2012 at 10:02 am

The latest installment in our ongoing People on Bikes series takes us to SW Stark St. in downtown Portland. These images were taken between about 5:20 and 5:45 pm yesterday evening just east of the intersection of SW Stark and 3rd.

This section of the street has two travel lanes — one of them is a standard vehicle lane and the other is a buffered bike lane. I’ve numbered the images to help you refer to them in comments. As with all the posts in this series, it was a lot of fun simply observing people riding their bikes and even more fun taking a closer look via the photographs.

Before you check out the images, a quick shout out is due to SKS for their sponsorship of this post. They’ve stepped up as our Get Together event sponsor in the past and it’s support from folks like them that allow me to keep BikePortland going. (Thanks SKS! Your fenders make biking in Portland much more pleasant.)































I hope you enjoyed the photos. I hope this rain goes away and we see more people dressed like the young lady above very soon!

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. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Will Vanlue (Contributor) April 11, 2012 at 10:06 am

    The bike in #30 is the fanciest Huffy I’ve seen in a while!

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  • Art Fuldodger April 11, 2012 at 10:10 am

    photo #5 – now that’s a happy cyclist, with a 100 watt smile. A good reminder to enjoy, & smile more, because, you know, cycling is fun.

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  • Russ Roca April 11, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Love the wide array of cyclists in Portland.

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  • Chad Berkley April 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

    The contrast between the styles of the riders in 23 and 24 is Stark.

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    • Matt April 11, 2012 at 10:42 am

      But both are on single speeds with front and rear brakes!

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  • Mumbledymumble April 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Forgive me if this question has been answered in previous installments of this column, but: have these people given permission for their pictures to be posted here?

    I hate to sound like a killjoy — and it may even be an odd issue to flag up in an era where everybody has and is using cameras all the time, not to mention putting pictures of themselves up on one of a thousand different social networks. But still, it occurs to me that people may not like having relatively close-up pictures of themselves posted on a blog with a really high readership.

    I’m not offended or anything, and I like these columns and think they serve a purpose, but I still felt it was worth mentioning.

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    • daisy April 11, 2012 at 10:47 am

      If you’re in public, someone can take your picture.

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      • John Lascurettes April 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm

        I also suspect that if someone had their undies in a bunch over having their image published, they could ask Jonathan to take it down and my further suspicion is that he would. But as someone else said, he wouldn’t be require to. You’re out in public, you’re available to be photographed. Now if Jonathan were selling these images without consent, that might be a different legal matter.

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    • Indy April 13, 2012 at 8:16 am

      This comes up all the time on photography forums. Your constitution protects the right to take public photographs. The issue comes into interfering with public safety, an iffy subject after 9/11


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  • Loran April 11, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Love the series, Jonathan! Great work!

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  • Gregg April 11, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Great Pics Jonathan.
    Thanks SKS.

    I <3 buffered bike lanes!!!

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  • Richard April 11, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I really enjoy this feature. When I’m commuting, I only get quick glimpses of other riders in passing. These photos remind me that every cyclist out there is a real person, going somewhere, with loved ones hoping and expecting for them to arrive safely. We owe it to them, and ourselves, to do everything we can to make certain that happens.

    Oh, and 27 out of 30 have helmets, and every bike has brakes. So much for the stereotypes on OLive.

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  • Steve B April 11, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Beautiful photos, J! Thanks SKS for sponsoring this inspiration.

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  • dweendaddy April 11, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Whenever I see pictures from this great series, I am always shocked by the high percentage of helmet wearers (27/30) and low percentage of people with dedicated dynamo lighting systems (2/30). I think of these both as safety measures, with one being preventative of crashes (lights)and the other being protective (hopefully) when in a crash (helmets).
    Do you try to take pictures of helmeted people, or does the general riding population in Portland have a 90% helmet-wearing rate?

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    • Tom M April 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      No data to back this up, but I suspect that helmet usage, income level, and bike choice have a strong correlation. Look at riders 6 & 30. Both bikes could easily have come from W Mart. No helmets. Both bikes are cheap.

      The reasons for a small # of dynamo lights? Cost and bike specs. Most bikes in the US are considered “sporting goods”. They are not considered transportation. Because of this they are not fitted out as transportation. More European style city bikes are making their way over here and more with dynamos as more people use them as transportation.

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      • John Lascurettes April 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm

        Loves me my dyno and lights. I will never own another commuter without them.

        What’s up with the full moto helmet in 23?

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      • oskarbanks April 11, 2012 at 2:50 pm

        Rider number 6 has a 150 dollar retail messenger bag (priorities ?), and rider number 30 appears to be enjoying a the first day without rain in months aboard her cruiser, ( which is probably fun to ride, not every one gives a hoot about technology). Class snobbery is not a path to bring people to cycling. Let’s not assume either of these individuals are cash strapped, besides cycling’s inherent cost restrictions. I live in a tent and own 3 Mondonico’s.

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      • spare_wheel April 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm

        or possibly many of us use our bikes for tranportation but prefer to use far cheaper and far brighter lights that can be easily be transferred from one bike to another. my cygolite hotshots put out 100 lumens of blinding red light for $27 and are usb rechargeable.

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        • Indy April 13, 2012 at 8:19 am

          I purposefully don’t want the brightest light because I know it has the equal chance of pissing off cars as much as helping me be seen. Not all bikers WANT to be in people’s face about their biking, we just want to get on the road, and stay the F out of people’s way.

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    • spokesy April 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      there’s no data to back up the number of helmet wearers. JMaus could have easily taken 300 photos of non-helmet wearers and only 30 photos of helmet wearers and chose to post 23 photos of people wearing helmets including a full face helmet (!!) and 2 non-helmets to create some sort of discussion. I mean, that’s what this blog of his is for, after all. To stir up discussion and debate. Same way, I’m pretty sure he purposefully put the photo of the guy flipping the bird, the lady smiling brightly at the camera, the guy glaring confusedly at the camera (14) – all these photos were picked very carefully out of a huge pile to reflect the feel of the commute that day.

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    • Joseph E April 11, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      The helmet usage rate is much higher here than in other places I’ve lived. I’m willing to believe that 85% to 90% of people on bikes are using helmets, near downtown at commute hours. The rate are much lower in the outer edges of the city and in recreational and neighborhood areas.

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  • Mindful Cyclist April 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Is #26 flipping you off?

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    • kj April 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      that’s funny, when i saw it earlier I see a guy jamming along to his tunes.

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  • Mork April 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I love this series so much! Thanks SKS!

    It’s delightful to imagine where people are headed. Some are clearly going home from work, but others, like #8, spark my curiosity. What are you gonna do with all those hangers? Also, what a beautiful smile on #5!

    It is interesting to see that most of these folks are choosing to wear a helmet, but I just want to cinch up quite a few of those chin straps. The trauma nurses say you should only be able to fit 2 fingers between your chin and the strap. Some of these folks could fit a whole fist!

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    • April April 15, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      I’ve noticed that my strap loosens up over time, especially during the winter when I’m forcing all kinds of hats under my helmet. But also, if I have the strap as tight as you’re supposed to, it’s super uncomfortable. I try to keep it as tight as I can without it gagging me.

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  • galen April 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    25.5/30 with fenders(#11 only has a rear fender). I get the impression that many of these folks would be riding even if it were raining.

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  • JNE April 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Looks like Showers Pass could do some better tailoring for #3

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    • April April 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      I have that exact jacket. It’s meant to be fairly large so it will fit over layers. It’s on their site as the touring jacket, and it looks like this even on the woman modeling it on their site. They have other jackets that fit closer if that’s what someone wants.

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  • dan April 11, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Rider 12 looks like a strong contender for a Cat VI podium! Love 23 with his full-face helmet.

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    • spare_wheel April 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      cat-6 is about smoking roadies while on your fendered commuter.

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  • lyle April 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Check your PSI on your real tire, #25…. and give me your phone number.

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    • scaryseth April 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Agree on both counts 😉

      Jonathan, love the people on bikes. Keep em coming. It is great seeing the other riders out there, the bikes and equipment. As someone else said, it is hard to check them out while riding.

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  • Aaron Tsuru April 12, 2012 at 4:19 am

    I will never understand why regular cyclists would choose a messenger bag over a backpack to ride with. Why oh why would you rather have an asymmetrical bag that straps right across your chest and, you know, your lungs? Compressing the chest on an aerobic activity just seems…. wrong.

    I don’t know… I mean, wtf #12?

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    • Indy April 13, 2012 at 8:12 am

      Because a backpack pools sweat.

      (I wear a backpack, and yeah it pools sweat, I just don’t really care.)

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  • mark kenseth April 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I can’t wait to see my picture in this column. I wish I knew where and when the next photo op. was taking place. I want to see myself on my bike…besides in the storefront windows. Great work!

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  • Dave Cary April 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    My feeling about those who don’t wear helmets is that they probably don’t have anything to protect. It only takes once to make one a believer

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  • Jolly Dodger April 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    @oskarbanks – ” I live in a tent and own 3 Mondonico’s. ” Love the priority system you have in place. My favorite T-shirt says, “Cycling is Life, the rest is just details.” If i had to own a car, i’d be homeless. Without a bike, i’d be hopeless.

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  • when April 13, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Wow, only 2 fakengers. Freds, represent!

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  • Aaron Tsuru April 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Because a backpack pools sweat.
    (I wear a backpack, and yeah it pools sweat, I just don’t really care.)
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    have you tried the flap jack pack from Osprey? I have the orange one… pretty awesome. http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/product/performance_1/flap_jack_pack

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  • Brian Johnson April 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Only in the US.

    Dave Cary
    My feeling about those who don’t wear helmets is that they probably don’t have anything to protect. It only takes once to make one a believer

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  • Caleb April 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Seeing number 30, I couldn’t help but wonder what might happened to a bare-footed rider in any type of crash, though I love the idea of direct contact between our feet and surroundings.

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  • Paul B. April 18, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Holy cow. You must have a fast shutter speed to catch all those bikers that crisply. Great pics!

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