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First look at Travel Oregon’s new ‘Bike Friendly’ business program

Posted by on April 24th, 2013 at 2:31 pm

OR Active Transpo Summit-36

A new sign will help people find businesses
that cater to biking travelers.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

As regular readers already know, Travel Oregon, our statewide non-profit tourism development agency, has long put bicycling front and center. They’ve poured money into major marketing campaigns to promote bicycling, they developed RideOregonRide.com, they lobby for biking at the state and national level, and more. Now they’ve got a new tool: A bike-friendly business program.

I caught up with Harry Dalgaard, a “destination development specialist” for Travel Oregon (which means he helps create cool places people actually want to visit) here in Salem at the Oregon Active Transportation Summit to find out more about the program.

Dalgaard was showing of the new sign they’ve created to go along with the program. To earn the right to display the sign, business owners will have to enroll in the program. There will be a nominal fee to enroll, something like $20 or so, and the signs (and other materials) will also need to be purchased. Dalgaard says Travel Oregon isn’t interested in making money, but the fees will help pay administration costs. They also feel people tend to embrace a program more strongly if they are invested in it.

But if business owners want to be known as a “Bike Friendly” place, they’ll need more than cash. Dalgaard says there will be a test to take and everyone in the program will have to watch a tutorial and demonstrate a basic competency about what it takes to be welcoming to visitors with bikes (they could study up here). Once a business is all set up, they’ll be able to choose from 16 different icons to add to their sign. Travel Oregon says they decided to use the icons so it’s clear to people what services to expect.

“If you see one of these signs and you’re looking for food, but the actual business is still a mile up the road,” said Travel Oregon’s Kristin Dahl, “the icons will tell you if they’ll have what you need.”

Travel Oregon is currently doing a pilot of the new program with a few businesses in Cottage Grove and Clackamas and they plan to launch in fall. Dalgaard said businesses all over the state are “chomping at the bit” to be a part of the program.

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  • Zaphod April 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm


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  • Andrew K April 24, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    what a great idea!

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  • Joe April 24, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Will Wilsonville Ore adopt this? sure hope so, not one bike shop in town 🙁
    also very limited bike racks and business bike friendly places there. some I think worry about it becoming Portland like. WHY? sorry but connections are big with me if you tour and live in a place that feel car-centric its like living on a remote island

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    • Chris I April 24, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Sounds like a possible business idea; and there is a lot of good riding down in that area.

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  • A.K. April 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I think this is great. Even though I don’t tour, I keep a mental list of business along my usual routes where I can stop if I need something and not be out of place with a bike and lycra.

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  • dwainedibbly April 24, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Nice! Hopefully this will be denied to any of the businesses in downtown Portland who pressured the city over the Street Seats program.

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  • Ben Grimm April 24, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Pretty comfy with bikes in my home area but looking forward to these for bike tours or just in a different town.

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  • bikesalot April 26, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Very happy to see this. We are planning on our return from our tour this summer through K. Falls and Crater Lake to ride through Cottage Grove, so we will watch for these signs!

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