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People on Bikes: The Williams Ave bike corridor

Posted by on October 12th, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Welcome to the latest installment of People on Bikes.

Yesterday on the way home from work I stopped on the bustling North Williams Avenue bikeway. The images below are just a sampling of what I saw in about 15 minutes. Not surprisingly, I noticed a lot of people riding quite fast. This location was actually one of the more difficult ones to photograph because I had to pan and focus much more quickly than other places. I think people’s high speeds have something to do with the design of the street. Riding on Williams can feel hectic and stressful because of the narrow bike lane, the door zone, and all the fast car and bike traffic swooping by.

There’s a project lined up that should make bicycling on Williams more pleasant. It was supposed to be implemented already; but a lengthy public process resulted in a larger and more costly project, so PBOT has applied for a federal grant which they’re still waiting to hear back about.

With the rain pouring down right now, I also thought these images would be fun to share as they might be the last time we’ll see dry and sunny streets for a while. Check the out below, and I even included a little bonus for your dog lovers 😉 …

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-1

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-2

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-3

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-4

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-5

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-6

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-7

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-8

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-9

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-10

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-11

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-12

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-13

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-14

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-15

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-16

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-17

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-18

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-19

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-20

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-21

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-22

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-23

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-24

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-25

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-26

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-27

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-28

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-29

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-30

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-31

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-33

People on Bikes - Williams Ave-32

Like People on Bikes? Check out past editions here.

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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

  • Joe October 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    ha, dude with a cig in his mouth.. awesome! love that almost everyone smiling while riding dont get that with cars.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      cig? Nope. I think it’s a lollipop.

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    • Lance P October 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm

      That’s John! He has the record for the longest bike move. Hillsboro to Kinton.

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    • Jonathan October 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      I only counted 4 out of 33 smiling. Hardly everyone.

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  • Syzlak October 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    #11 and #16 are twins?

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  • Anthony October 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Ha, love the one of the guy eating. And I will never understand the preponderance of backpacks. At least they’re all wearing their helmets correctly this time…

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    • SilkySlim October 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      That dog must have left his at home. What an interesting bike on number 25. Do I see pedals and a hand crank?

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    • Indy October 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      Backpacks because I walk beyond my bike. Because I don’t want my space/footprint taken up by side bags. Because they are more convenient for me?

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    • mark kenseth October 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      I was hit by a right-hooking truck once, twisted in the air off my bike, and landed on my backpack. I’ll never fear the preponderance.

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    • tonyt
      tonyt October 13, 2012 at 11:38 am

      I like backpacks because I don’t have to carry a pannier in my hand once at my destination, and because I can choose among any of my bikes without having to put a rack on them all. Once when my commute was 12 miles each way, I set myself up with a rack and panniers. Otherwise backpacks work just fine.

      No fenders? Now THAT’S something I don’t understand.

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      • John Lascurettes October 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm

        There are convertible backpack-panniers.

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        • Rachel October 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm

          And they are -very- expensive, where your average Jansport can be had for $30-$40. Not everyone can afford a $200+ modular bag.

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    • spare_wheel October 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Its easier to corner at high speed with a backpack and panniers are fussy theft magnets.

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    • Oliver October 15, 2012 at 9:07 am

      Agree with spare_wheel. Bike handling (balance, cornering, acceleration/ deceleration) is just thrown off too much for me to carry my load anywhere but strapped on to me.

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      • Caleb October 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm

        I could see that being the case for many, so due to my already messed up shoulders I consider myself fortunate that heavy weight in my single pannier in the rear doesn’t affect my handling enough to even make it a slight annoyance for me.

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  • jram October 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Number 25 looks awesome. Hand and foot power? Sweet.

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    • 9watts October 12, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      There’s got to be a good story behind bike #25. Anyone?

      It would appear that hand and foot power revolutions are out of phase; otherwise intriguing.

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      • tonyt
        tonyt October 13, 2012 at 11:40 am

        I’d think you’d want them out of phase. I wonder if you can hand crank and not pedal, and pedal and not hand crank.

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        • 9watts October 13, 2012 at 11:42 am

          except for the potential wrist:knee interference

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  • Patrick October 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    You’re getting REAL GOOD at those pan shots, Jonathan–well done.

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  • Richard Allan October 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Beautiful, Jonathan. Thanks for a photo record of biking on the last day of a record stretch of dry weather!

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  • scaryseth October 12, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks for another great people on bikes!
    3 How can you ride like that with the drops and brakes facing that way, ouch. Looks very happy though.
    6 eating dude, needs some air in those tires, wont talk about the angle of the rack 😉
    15 Think is my favorite. The doggie in back looks happy and the look on the guys face looks like he is making and engine sound.

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  • Paul in the 'couve October 12, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    #25 – NICE!!!! I want one, wife already says no – or sell some bikes first

    #33 – catalog cover material – BSNYC might make that the new face of PDX

    #3 #10 #14 #15 & #25 all smiling – 🙂 have fun!

    #30 at first glance – “Is that Barack Obama?”

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  • David October 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm


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  • Rick October 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    A lotta attitude from #33. That is a cool shot. That one should make you some bucks somewhere.

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  • Chris I October 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    #33 is so awesome in so many ways.

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    • 2wo Wheel October 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      Is it because #33is pedaling backwards?

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    • Chucklehead October 15, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      Complete cliche of the portland hipster.

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  • Jim Lee October 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Fixies rule, viz. #33!

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  • Charlie Burr October 12, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I had just gotten my Raleigh (#10) back from Metropolis — and back from the brink after a neighbor left it on the curb — so very cool to see it here. Thanks, Jonathan!

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    • Paul in the 'couve October 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      Nice bike – good save – I noticed those fenders right away!

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  • jim October 12, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    As allways you have a talent for great photo’s

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  • DIMcyclist October 13, 2012 at 11:46 am

    #33 is truly an archetype. It would definitely move copy, were it a magazine cover.

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  • steve October 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Sad. Only one who does not need a new bike or a fitting is #27

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    • Paul in the 'couve October 15, 2012 at 10:41 am

      ???? What the heck? On some of them how can you even tell? Seriously, just for the sake of argument what is egregiously wrong with the bike fit on #s 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 13, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 28, 30 and 32 ??? By my count roughly half look like reasonable fits – especially allowing personal preference and for riding style

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  • Tom October 14, 2012 at 10:33 am

    don’t see how #14 can even reach brakes ? or shift …if an emergency stop ?…no way.

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  • maxadders October 14, 2012 at 11:45 am

    So many bikes…so many inflated egos.

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    • John Lascurettes October 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      Methinks you doth protest too much.

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      • maxadders October 15, 2012 at 9:15 am

        Oh, you can’t laugh at yourself from time to time?

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    • Chris I October 15, 2012 at 9:14 am

      Interesting that you see that in these pictures. I see a lot of people just getting where they need to go.

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  • Ted Buehler October 14, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Great shots, good to see Portlanders riding bikes, enjoying those fabulous sunny first two weeks of October.

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  • bob October 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    25% Trek

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  • Travis Fulton October 15, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I love these photo series posts, even with all the “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG” comments.

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  • Ed October 15, 2012 at 10:24 am

    not one Cannondale 🙁

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    • Paul in the 'couve October 15, 2012 at 10:37 am

      #14 ???? Cannondale

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  • larry english October 15, 2012 at 10:27 am

    that isn;t portland – how is it not raining?

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  • Sam J October 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Love these pictures. This is what it’s all about. People going places. Not so much their machines (even the more interesting ones). People.

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  • Fred Lifton October 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    People do ride Williams fast. It’s like the Cat 6 proving ground of PDX. Makes it hard for me to stick with my “no hammering on commutes” rule.

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  • Joe October 15, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Almost time to get some rain action shots. haha

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  • Bill Stites October 16, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    #25 hand and foot cranked bike is owned – and ridden there – by Jane. Pretty sure the cranks are synchronized, that is, not independently rotatable.
    These are incredibly difficult to ride. Note the steering pivot just under the front of the seat, connecting rear green and front yellow frames. Every time you apply any power input it affects the steering, such that you must learn to counter this effect in your pedal and arm strokes … good luck with that … yet people do that – and unicycles – all the time.
    Hard to tell from the photo, but I think she’s rocking a Rohloff here.

    There is an interesting predecessor to this design – the ‘manuped’. Twas designed and patented in the 70’s, I think in the Eugene area. One big difference is that the manuped had the pedal crank going THROUGH the front wheel hub, but didn’t drive the wheel directly – chain came up from the crank on the left side, drove an intermediate hub [which also rec’d the chain from the hand crank]. This one did have INDEPENDENTLY rotatable cranks – OMG I couldn’t even roll down a hill clutching the hand crank and not pedaling … maybe 3X tougher than Jane’s!
    Friend of mine “Manuped Fred” won the world IHPVA speed championships in ’79 and ’80 on one, IIRC.

    I think Dave Levy of TiCycles built her this crazy bike. And you thought he just built titanium diamond frames. 😉

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