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The Monday Roundup: Mayoral challenge, ‘Breaking Away’ & more

Minneapolis’ Betsy Hodges throws the gauntlet.
(Photo: Stubble Magazine)

Here’s the bike news from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Minnesota challenge: In her first official proclamation in office, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges declared that her city’s “winter bicyclists” are “just plain tougher and much better looking the bicyclists from all those wimpier cities.” (Is Charlie Hales going to take this lying down?)

Strong mayor: Cyclelicious’ Richard Masoner says the newly former mayor of Santa Cruz, meanwhile, calls her rig the Mayormobile.

Streaming movie: Road-bike classic Breaking Away has joined the Netflix streaming library.

Axelrod Gaffe: President Obama’s political mentor apparently doesn’t get out much. “Does any other city have these goofy rental bike stands – people riding without helmets, even in dead of winter?” he tweeted on Saturday. “Or is that unique to Chicago?”

Dangerous work: Police in Ghana saved an alleged bike thief from being burned to death by an angry mob.

Cold case: Police surprised a Swedish woman by contacting her to say they’d located a three-speed bike that was stolen from her 20 years ago. Now she’s hoping all the others she’s lost will turn up. “This was the first one that was stolen so it would at least be in the correct order,” she said.

Non-dangerous travel: Easy as Riding a Bike has an inspiring photo gallery of people doing things on bicycles that it says are not inherently dangerous, such as listening to music, riding with passengers or towing luggage.

Westside freeway? The long-shelved Westside Bypass, a 1989 proposal for a new freeway linking Wilsonville to Hillsboro, is back in discussion with a major Washington County study now seeking public feedback.

Tigard populism: The Oregonian previews the March vote in which Tigard could block the high-capacity transit plan that officials have been counting on to remake the Barbur Boulevard corridor unless there’s a public vote in its favor.

New MAX stations: Inner southeast Portlanders might want to attend these coming open houses about planned MAX stations in the area.

Mountain bike death: Craig Steven Lyle, 54, died Saturday while mountain biking near John’s Peak outside his home town of Central Point, Oregon.

Driving tips: If everyone who moved to Portland were simply issued a copy of Elly Blue’s six tips for driving near bikes, it’d save everybody a lot of anxiety.

Irresponsible grownups: Here’s the Onion’s fake-news take on a real-news report that “adults were actually far more likely to text or talk on the phone while driving than teenagers.”

Car sharing: Next time someone tells you bike share is only good for people who don’t own bikes, ask them why more than half of New York City taxi users own cars.

Imprint grips: You’ve got a few days left to get in on a Kickstarter for hold-their-shape handlebar grips, starting at $34 with shipping.

Defending “urbanism”: Portland’s Jarrett Walker kicks off a series on urbanism buzzwords with a defense of the word “urbanism” itself.

Tax confusion: Though we can’t disagree with The Oregonian’s editorial about the stupidity of increasing the federal tax deduction for parking at work to $250 a month while cutting it to $130 for riding transit, it’s a little scary that none of their editors seem to be aware that no local transit pass combo costs more than $130, so the policy doesn’t affect Portland tax bills directly.

Corporate citizenship: New member of the National Bicycle Dealers Association: Amazon.com. The online retail giant ponied up $360 to become an “associate member.”

E-bike mag? This could be a promising startup.

NYC safety: On his first day in office, New York’s new mayor went out of his way at a press conference to call out “traffic fatalities” as “a huge public safety issue.”

Trottenberg interview: Brooklyn Spoke’s Doug Gordon gives a close read of a 2011 interview Jonathan did with the woman who just became New York’s new transportation commissioner. “The initial signs are nothing if not encouraging,” Gordon concludes.

Insta-tandem: You only need to watch the first 40 seconds of your video of the week to get the idea, but I’m not going to say the rest of it isn’t strangely compelling:

Vigurvant_Yep Yep from Kristjan Holm on Vimeo.

If you come across a noteworthy bicycle story, send it in via email, Tweet @bikeportland, or whatever else and we’ll consider adding it to next Monday’s roundup.

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