Tour de Lab September 1st

Willamette Week’s bike issue looks to spice up Portland’s cycling complacency

Posted by on April 26th, 2017 at 9:42 am

The cover of the Willamette Week’s bike issue aims to show that biking is sexy.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s an annual tradition we look forward to every year: When one of our local weekly news outlets devotes an entire issue to bicycles and the people who ride them. This morning the Pulitzer Prize-winning Willamette Week released its Bike Issue and newsstands around the city are now adorned with this provocative cover. And under the covers of the issue is a suite of articles that will hopefully make people think critically — and positively — about biking’s role in Portland.

The lede is all about how Portland has gotten complacent:

“… don’t you kind of feel like we’ve been in a rut?

The percentage of bike commuters in the city has been stuck for the past three years. Adding more bike infrastructure has been a battle. Vandals felt empowered to destroy bike-share stations earlier this month.

It’s not just drivers to blame — Portland cyclists have become complacent… It’s time to spice things up.”

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This isn’t a new idea, but the Willamette Week has approached it in an interesting and pragmatic way. The theme of the articles is all about considering new alternatives. For their readers that primarily drive, there’s a piece about how great cycling in Portland is in light of how much it sucks to drive a car here (unfortunately it’s not as bad as it should be). The issue also features an interview with Peter Walker, the Guardian (UK) reporter and author of the excellent new book, How Cycling Can Save the World. Walker goes over some of the basics about Portland and cycling advocacy in general.

And for Willamette Week readers who are already cycling-inclined there are articles about how great Biketown is for locals (not just tourists), why you should seriously consider an electric bike (with several quotes from yours truly), and reviews of interesting new products. There’s also a story about how Biketown is cutting into the bike rental profits of local shops.

And in case you read the e-bike article, please note that my use of the term “cyclists” was said with air quotes in mind. I regret not making that clear to the reporter before the story went to print.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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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

159 Comments
  • Avatar
    Brian April 26, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I enjoyed the e-bike story. I finally swung a leg over one on a recent trip to San Diego and had a blast. It was way more fun than I thought it would be, in fact. I don’t think I will choose to buy one any time soon (I have other bike priorities), but I no longer rule it out as an eventual possibility for my long commute.

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      Chris I April 26, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      It seems like a bit of a liability for bike touring. I used a road bike with 25c tires on the Nestucca Rd without issues. Running out of battery in the coast range sounds incredibly annoying. My e-assist bike is not fun to ride without the assist.

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        James C April 26, 2017 at 2:11 pm

        I personally wouldn’t want to worry about battery life and finding places to charge during a longer ride. Experienced a wonderful ride on a fully loaded touring bike on Nestucca Rd last year. Small stretch of gravel that I just hopped off and enjoyed a stroll. Nestucca is by far the best option of the main three routes to the coast (https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/301633). Hwy 101 seemed like heaven compared to the last 40 miles of cars/no shoulder/tight turns I experience on hwy 202 outside of Astoria.

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          todd boulanger April 26, 2017 at 4:42 pm

          In my experience of riding over the gravel section of this route over the last 6 years…its been very well maintained and compacted…no problems with a loaded 90s touring bike running 32 to 42mm width tires.

          If there was gravel problems it may have been early season ride or after a “yay-hoo” did some donuts(?!) perhaps? It is a great route and a rare one with multiple camping locations just where you need them…

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        Martin Cizmar April 26, 2017 at 3:08 pm

        Yeah, but how fast did you go downhill on the dirt roads?

        Probably not 28.6 mph 🙂

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    Lester Burnham April 26, 2017 at 10:42 am

    The cover is tacky. But I don’t expect much more from Willamette Week.

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      Martin Cizmar April 26, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      Weird response. Are you uncomfortable with images of biracial couples?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty April 26, 2017 at 3:22 pm

        Only when one of them is a bike.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 26, 2017 at 3:31 pm

          I suppose it’s more of a cyclophilic triad, but then I don’t really know the politics of that. I’m hoping WW will focus an issue on how Portland is becoming a thought-leader in biracial mechanical romantic/sexual/platonic relationships. Or maybe you can just do another pot issue, because I totally feel like you don’t do enough stories on weed.

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            dave April 26, 2017 at 6:46 pm

            Just when I start thinking there’s no way you could top yourself…

            Pure awesomeness…

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        Kyle Banerjee April 26, 2017 at 3:31 pm

        Yeah, nothing tacky about using a picture of naked people to sell a story about cycling. I’m not sure what they could have done that would be more relevant or classy.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 26, 2017 at 3:33 pm

          Tweed.

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          todd boulanger April 26, 2017 at 4:44 pm

          they really only were acting as “naked”…she in a body flesh coloured suit and him with a sheet [and likely hidden BVDs]

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            Kyle Banerjee April 26, 2017 at 7:50 pm

            Totally normal cycling togs, that. But I agree with HK — Tweed would have added a touch of class and distracted readers from the fact that the only apartment the couple could afford was so small they had to keep the bike in the bed.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty April 26, 2017 at 8:48 pm

              Tweed in a refrigerator box?

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            rachel b April 27, 2017 at 12:46 am

            He’s pretty covered up, comparatively. Less sheet in the new year!

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        Monkeysee April 26, 2017 at 7:52 pm

        Triggered much?
        There could be many ways someone might find issue with the photo. Race doesn’t have to be at the heart of every social grievance . As a former photo major, and professional photographer I have about 8 things I don’t like about it. Even for low budget shock value it’s lacking real punch. And let me clarify for the record ….mixing races in the bedroom isn’t one of them.
        Perhaps the person just doesn’t like suggestive sexual imagery. Pretty simple really .

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          Pete April 28, 2017 at 11:34 am

          I don’t see any references to race in LB’s comment. What am I missing here?

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        Monkeysee April 26, 2017 at 7:55 pm

        My post below is for Martin….

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        Middle of the Road Guy April 27, 2017 at 8:43 am

        Projection much? Why would you assume that is what someone is thinking? Almost like you are looking to be aggrieved over an imperceived issue.

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          Monkeysee April 27, 2017 at 11:21 am

          I’m sorry, we’re you addressing me? If so, yes I was assuming the person assuming the other person was possibly offended by a image of biracial sexual references . What’s your point?

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            Middle of the Road Guy May 1, 2017 at 10:50 am

            I was responding to Martin Cizmar.

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        lahar April 27, 2017 at 3:54 pm

        Martin, this is also a weird response. I think it is a little silly and borderline offensive to make bike sexy and sultry. Occasionally that is fine but it becomes WW and the Mercury’s go to for most subjects. Then it just become lazy sensationalism regardless of the journalism. And now that I am a parent I think what would my 10 year old make of this cover?

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      wsbob April 26, 2017 at 10:21 pm

      Probably would never see a photo composition of that type, on the WSJ or the NYtimes. WW’s tackiest stuff is on the back pages, where I suppose it belongs.

      Couldn’t say that the lady on WW’s cover, has scrawny legs. Whether she rides a bike much, is what I was wondering. The paper’s graphic artist ran that corny word they coined, right over her calves.

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        Kate April 27, 2017 at 9:51 am

        Wow. I enjoyed that HK was teasing you because it was assumed you were criticizing the tawdry nature of the photo. But really you have a problem with the model’s figure? I can tell you a ride a bike a whole lot and do not have “scrawny legs” either. My thicker legs are a direct result of all that riding, in fact.

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          wsbob April 27, 2017 at 10:36 pm

          “…But really you have a problem with the model’s figure? …” kate

          A problem with the model’s figure? Heck no. She’s got a GREAT figure. Just trying to not sound inappropriately enthusiastic.

          Sports that really work the legs, produce wonderful muscle tone. Think of all the subjects for classical sculpture of ancient Greece and Rome. None of them have flabby couch potato bodies. They all have excellently articulated, toned thigh and calf muscles, and great upper bodies too. They’re all beautiful. Not overdone like some extremes of body building can be.

          Biking can do a really nice job of toning up people’s leg muscles, regardless of the legs’ proportions, ranging from thin to thick, letting them become more beautiful than the person might have thought they could ever be.

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            Kate April 28, 2017 at 8:59 am

            Ah… gotcha, and yes I agree. I have to find myself fighting the urge to wolf-whistle at some of the gents I see ride by me. And there’s nothing like the lovely tone of strong hamstring muscles… I’ll show myself out. 🙂

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              rachel b May 1, 2017 at 1:06 am

              haha! Kate. 🙂 Agreed.

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            anna April 28, 2017 at 12:27 pm

            “Whether she rides a bike much, is what I was wondering.” boy bye

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        Justin M April 28, 2017 at 12:21 pm

        This is the best sexism I’ve read all day, but I’m only a quarter of the way thru the comments so far.

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          Monkeysee April 28, 2017 at 6:49 pm

          When an image such as this is published there are no rules whatsoever. All bets off. I have no issue with the image, other than my aforementioned lack of interest in its crappy production. I see myself as a gross absurdist, and find great humor in all the attention it’s getting. John Waters said it best…”everyone’s sex life is funny except your own. Every persons is, and yours never is…..”

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    Kyle Banerjee April 26, 2017 at 10:59 am

    The problem isn’t about spicing things up. It’s about making cycling normal.

    On one hand, Portland is the most cycling friendly place I’ve lived in bar none. Far more infrastructure, far more considerate drivers overall, far safer, far more tolerance of making life easy for cyclists (i.e. letting them bring bikes indoors), and distances are shorter.

    Yet I also encounter far more people with anticycling attitudes — including close friends and colleagues who are eager for car alternatives. When I lived in “cycling hostile” areas, such attitudes were practically nonexistent.

    The act of riding a bike should mean nothing other than you are on a bike. But here, it takes on political significance and gets you associated with attitudes people don’t want to be associated with. I don’t call myself a cyclist because it seems to imply how I think rather than just reflect how I get around.

    Also, our rhetoric needs to line up. If we think advocating helmets scares people away from cycling because it conveys the idea that it’s too dangerous, why do we repeat over and over how dangerous it is to be on ordinary city roads with cars? Few of us will ever live in a situation that allows us to ride even some trips totally separated from cars and it’s pure fantasy to think we’ll build this magical infrastructure and everyone will start cycling.

    BTW, helmets are a good idea. So is riding defensively. Why there is any resistance to encouraging people to be smart and safe everywhere they go is beyond me.

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      Alex Reedin April 26, 2017 at 11:09 am

      I’ve tried to stop saying that cycling is dangerous – once you count the health benefits, it’s easily the safest form of transportation. The problem, though, is that for most people, cycling near cars without separation FEELS dangerous. I’ve tried calling this “comfort” but it makes it sound petty. I think the best phrase for what I want is “a feeling of safety”or “low-stress.”

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        Kyle Banerjee April 26, 2017 at 12:47 pm

        In some ways, cycling with traffic is like walking on a roof. The comfort factor is huge, but those who don’t feel safe often anticipate and react to situations inappropriately making them more at risk (i.e. it actually is less safe). And it’s no fun no matter how you look at it.

        Newer cyclists may only feel comfortable in more controlled environments which is fine. But the more environments they’re comfortable in, the more fun they’ll have and the safer they’ll be. If they have access to a spectrum of experiences, they can select those they are ready for.

        It’s not entirely unlike helping people learn to drive — you start out in parking lots and sleepy low traffic streets before turning them onto high speed interchanges.

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          Chris I April 26, 2017 at 1:25 pm

          The roof analogy is quite good, because complacency is also a factor. You can’t ignore the risks, because that’s how mistakes occur.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty April 26, 2017 at 1:29 pm

            After a bad experience with a motorist up there, I’ve stopped riding my bike on the roof.

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              wsbob April 27, 2017 at 11:24 am

              Good decision. Even worse than a bad experience with a motorist, you might have got hit by lightning, or a meteor. On a high note though, if you did get hit by a meteor while riding your bike on the roof, your name, and maybe your remains and that of the poor bike, might forever be from that point, commemorated in some worthy museum. The sad legend of h kitty, famous roof biker, pursued and and put upon by a wanton amorous meteor from out of the night sky.

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          Alex Reedin April 26, 2017 at 6:09 pm

          I like the roof analogy, but the car analogy not so much. There are roof situations that feel completely safe to pretty much everyone (e.g. a rooftop restaurant with a flat walking surface, plenty of space so you don’t have to be near the edge, and railings), roof situations that feel sketchy to most people at first but are actually pretty darn safe for most able-bodied folks if you’re careful (walking on a low-slant asphalt-shingled roof when it’s dry), and situations that absolutely require special preparation to be safe (e.g. a 45-degree-or-more roof). And, almost anyone reasonable would prefer to walk on a balcony/restaurant type roof that’s clearly engineered for safe-feeling walking for their daily commute than on a low-slant asphalt-shingled roof.

          If there’s an incredibly strong societal interest in getting people to walk more on roofs, which would be a more effective governmental strategy for doing so: occasionally exhorting people to walk on roofs (but to be sure to be safe while doing so, determining safety and walk at your own risk, and always, always wearing your special grippy roof safety boots even while at a rooftop restaurant!), or build/retrofit buildings so that roofs feel completely safe to pretty much everyone?

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            Kyle Banerjee April 26, 2017 at 7:54 pm

            Moving forward, the path is clear.

            But the retrofit issue is huge because it takes a very, very long time even under the best circumstances.

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              Eric Leifsdad April 27, 2017 at 7:54 am

              A simple retrofit solution is to post “do not enter except bicycles” signs in many, many places and make neighborhood streets into a comfortable and peaceful place for people rather than allowing speeding cut-through traffic from suburbia to dominate our transportation spending and maintenance.

              Enforcing the actual posted speed (or lowering all of the signs by 10mph) would also help. “20 is plenty” works because it is a blanket policy across all neighborhoods, unlike one mile of shiny infrastructure connected to a car sewer like Barbur blvd.

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                Kyle Banerjee April 27, 2017 at 11:30 am

                This sounds very practical.

                The only drawbacks are inconsequential — I can’t imagine many people would object to making most of the city (including most peoples’ homes) inaccessible via motor transport. So buy in and compliance should be very high…

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                Eric Leifsdad April 30, 2017 at 12:32 am

                A tangle of one-way streets isn’t much trouble for residents, but can force cut through traffic into a circuitous path until it’s not worthwhile vs an arterial. Most people would like quiet streets.

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            Dan A April 27, 2017 at 6:24 am

            I would feel a hell of a lot safer if I knew our police shared the same mindset as UK’s West Midlands Police:

            https://trafficwmp.wordpress.com/

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          wsbob April 27, 2017 at 11:17 am

          If the person walking, stays a safe distance from the edge, flat roofs are comfortable to walk on. Walking next to the edge…the danger area…of a flat roof is manageable and safe, if the person doing so, knows what they’re doing.

          Biking in traffic with motor vehicles, holds huge potential for danger. That there aren’t more bike related collisions, close calls, injuries and deaths than there are, doesn’t mean biking as a mode of travel, isn’t dangerous.

          Biking, is dangerous, but the danger associated with riding in motor vehicle traffic, can be managed to a point where the danger is reduced to a point where biking can be a reasonably safe way to travel. People need to know this, that biking in traffic can be reasonably safe, and they need to know the techniques and procedures involved in reducing the danger associated with biking in traffic.

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            Pete April 28, 2017 at 11:45 am

            Funny thing about helmets, though, is that many people believe they are necessary for a bicyclist riding in proximity of cars, despite being designed to protect primarily in fall scenarios (they certainly don’t reduce the risk of being hit by said driver tending to criticize said bicyclist).

            Question is, how many of those who criticize helmet-free bicyclists wear any kind of head protection while walking on their roofs? I’ve seen many people on roofs – including those who work on them – but my neighbor (a cyclist) is the only person I’ve ever seen wear a helmet while walking on a roof (adjusting her HD antenna).

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              wsbob April 28, 2017 at 6:28 pm

              Maybe ‘minimal’ is a somewhat subjective thing, relative to bike helmet impact absorption, but actually, I think the impact protection bike helmets can offer people’s heads against, is significant. The specs are, I think, that they can protect up to a 6′ fall, loaded with a 10lb force.

              It’s important to visualize what that means in an actual use situation, compared to on the test rig. I think of it as, what would the effect be on my head, if it were impacted against a concrete or other hard surface at a sudden applied pressure of 10 pounds. Not likely a good effect.

              For comparison, a person could lie on their back on the ground, and carefully set a 10 lb bag of sand on their head…that would probably be no big deal, maybe feel a little heavy, but not too uncomfortable. If a ‘helper’, experiment assistant, were to next lift the bag off the very brave or dopey persons head, to a height of 6′, and drop it back down on the person’s head, what might the effect be. If the person lying down were still in shape to participate more, the helper might switch the sand in the bag out for rocks, same weight, and drop it on the person’s head.

              I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to have people drop 10lb bags of anything on my head, and I definitely don’t want my head to be hitting a curb, or the street with that weight force under any circumstances, but in the event it does happen, sure, the helmet might be nice to have on my head.

              People getting on their roofs without protective helmets: that’s an interesting thought. I think that getting on the roof without head protection, is one of those things that many people don’t give much thought to, though maybe they should. Of course you must know, that in the construction industry, helmets use is required. Even engineers walking around on the ground with clipboards got to wear them. I’m not sure I’ve seen residential roofers using helmets. Definitely have seen some, using ropes and body harnesses.

              Years ago, I heard this story about a guy that was building a spec house as a sideline. He gets ready to get on the roof with his harness and rope, which he ties to the bumper of his car. He gets on the roof and goes to work hammering away. Then, his wife shows up to borrow the car, gets in, starts it up, and starts to drive off…w-e-e-e-e!! I don’t remember how the story ended. Without a fall, I hope.

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                Pete May 3, 2017 at 9:47 am

                I’ve split two helmets that saved my noggin, so you don’t have to sell me (or drop a sandbag on my head). Kyle’s helmet comment was a little bit of a tangent, but it does tie into his thought on ‘normalcy’. You certainly don’t see many online commenters raging that “people who walk on roofs without helmets are stupid and breaking the law!”.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 26, 2017 at 11:12 am

      That cover sure looks like normal behavior to me.

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        Brian April 26, 2017 at 11:25 am

        I’ve slept with my mountain bike.

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          Todd Boulanger April 26, 2017 at 12:54 pm

          Good to know…but have you considered marrying it yet? (And settling down?)

          [MCBF at the end of Pedal Palooza has been a great place to consider tying the bike knot in the past.]

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            Brian April 26, 2017 at 1:00 pm

            I have now!

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              todd boulanger April 26, 2017 at 4:45 pm

              Congrats!

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            GlowBoy April 26, 2017 at 1:30 pm

            Call me commitment-phobic, but I prefer having the ability to change mountain bikes over the years.

            Or even (gasp!) have multiple mountain bikes at the same time.

            In fact, at the moment I’m keeping a mountain bike in Portland, and one back home in Portland. Ohh la la.

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              Brian April 26, 2017 at 1:32 pm

              You living in Maine these days?

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                GlowBoy April 26, 2017 at 8:29 pm

                Oops, meant to say one in Portland one back in Minneapolis.

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        Kyle Banerjee April 26, 2017 at 1:04 pm

        Though that bike has zero signs that it’s ever been used — everything totally brand new, not a scratch, or even the teeniest bit of dirt. Which is pretty normal for many people who get bikes…

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          rachel b April 27, 2017 at 12:49 am

          I think it may have been given a bath for the…er… activity.

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            Kyle Banerjee April 27, 2017 at 4:00 am

            I wonder what kind of lube they opted for…

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              Kate April 27, 2017 at 10:14 am

              Insert laughing-crying face emoji here.

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                Justin M April 28, 2017 at 12:24 pm

                Can we lobby JM to give us emojis? Can’t tell you how many hair flips I’ve been denied.

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              rachel b April 27, 2017 at 6:18 pm

              HAR! 🙂

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      Pete April 26, 2017 at 11:29 am

      “But here, it takes on political significance”

      I don’t believe that’s peculiar to Portland. I encounter that attitude wherever I travel in North America. We live in an increasingly divisive country, and people polarize on many issues. I’m in renewable energy and have seen a huge jump in people publicly attacking wind and especially solar, focusing solely on emissions and subsidies and disregarding OpEx, production efficiency, and energy portfolio diversity. And if you think it’s just bicycling, try dropping “high speed rail” into a conversation here in California…

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      soren April 26, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      “When I lived in “cycling hostile” areas, such attitudes were practically nonexistent.

      I must be unlucky because the last time I cycled in Kentucky I experienced plenty of hostility…

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        Kyle Banerjee April 26, 2017 at 3:21 pm

        What I mean by that isn’t that nothing happens in these areas — I assure you I’ve been at the receiving end of plenty. But there’s a difference between idiоts messing with you for sport (even if that is dangerous) and real hostility driven by animosity/rage towards cyclists.

        My stomping grounds are Southern Illinois which is not entirely unlike the areas of Kentucky I’ve seen. Definitely not cycle friendly. But I’ve always been treated with respect wherever I go and no one who knows me whines about cyclists. But in PDX, friends and coworkers regularly share their frustrations regarding cyclists with me. And when people learn that I ride, I sometimes pick up a “oh, you’re one of THEM” of vibe. Never encountered either of those things before moving to Portland.

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      soren April 26, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      “BTW, helmets are a good idea.”

      I’d like to thank you, other bike portland commenters, Trimet, and PBOT for inspiring me to stop using mine on my commute.

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        Huey Lewis April 26, 2017 at 2:42 pm

        I don’t get it.

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          soren April 26, 2017 at 3:37 pm

          I’m fed up with the negativity directed at vulnerable road users who do not conform to the standards of the bike commuting/recreational-riding elite. Now, anytime an experienced and skilled bike commuter/recreational rider claims that people walking or rolling should take personal responsibility by doing X, I consider doing Y.

          It’s amusing that someone who wore a helmet for decades of daily commuting (including late 70s bell helmets) and resisted the arguments of many anti-helmet friends, was actually spurred to stop using a helmet by so-called safety proponents. Some habits are hard to break…

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            Kyle Banerjee April 26, 2017 at 4:02 pm

            I hear what you’re saying.

            Following this same line of reasoning, it should be no mystery why much of the advocacy practiced here undermines support for cycling among many people…

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              soren April 26, 2017 at 4:49 pm

              Given the car-centric inequity built into our transportation system, I don’t think we are going to a see a major shift away from automobility until we make active transport safer, more comfortable, and/or more convenient than driving.

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                Kyle Banerjee April 26, 2017 at 7:39 pm

                In other words, restructure things so people only need to go short distances in good weather during daylight and don’t need to haul much stuff (or other people)…

                If you want people to change their behavior, the solution is 12 bucks a gallon gas. While that wouldn’t raise the true cost of driving that much, there’s something about the price of gas in particular that’s hardwired into peoples’ thinking that actually affects behavior once you reach a certain point.

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                wsbob April 27, 2017 at 10:31 am

                “…If you want people to change their behavior, the solution is 12 bucks a gallon gas. While that wouldn’t raise the true cost of driving that much, …” banerjee

                Raising the cost of gasoline, would raise the cost of putting food on the table. Not such a big deal for people with high incomes, but for people with middle or low incomes, an extra 90 bucks a week to fuel the motor vehicle (comparing ten gallon fill-up at current 3 bucks a gallon.). To some extent, that could result in a much bigger draw on food banks, than currently.

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                Dan A April 27, 2017 at 3:15 pm

                Or people would reduce the trips they take. Most people drive more than they need to.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 27, 2017 at 4:52 pm

                “Need to” is very subjective, no?

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                Dan A April 27, 2017 at 8:04 pm

                You’re nitpicking a very generalized comment, no?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 27, 2017 at 9:58 pm

                No. Your comment is predicated on your judgement of how much people “have to” drive. Their judgement likely differs, and so maybe people don’t drive more than they “have to”.

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                wsbob April 27, 2017 at 10:10 pm

                “Or people would reduce the trips they take. Most people drive more than they need to.” dan a

                Actually, reducing the number of trips I drove for travel, is how I responded to the last big gas peak, and less household income.

                I still had/have to drive the distance to work, but I came to understand and be more familiar with my neighborhood, and be more comfortable with it, when I decided to try walking various routes between it and area shopping centers. All within about a mile from home.

                The thing is, which I’ve noted in comments to this weblog numerous times, is, I could do the walking, or biking, though many people can’t. I came to recognize that this ability and opportunity of mine, does not at all apply to many of the people on the big thoroughfares in Beaverton, and on the smaller streets in the neighborhoods.

                It takes ability and time to walk and bike to walk to and from the neighborhood to nearby destinations of a mile or less distant. Especially off commute hours, it’s literally easier to drive, and often much more pleasant, than is walking and biking. As community members, it’s regrettable that over generations, we’ve allowed this kind of correlation to assert itself.

                The reverse should be true: infrastructure and conditions within and to the nearby destinations, should be so appealing and comfortable to use on foot or bike, that people in their neighborhood would be very drawn to use them by those modes of travel, unless circumstances simple required that they drive, or travel by motor vehicle instead.

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                Dan A April 28, 2017 at 7:08 am

                Most people who drive to the front of the parking lot by the store entrance are driving more than they “need” to. They could take the first parking space they see and walk a little further.

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                Dan A April 30, 2017 at 10:55 am

                I saw a guy climb into a large truck in front of my house yesterday, start up the engine, and then sit around for at least 10 minutes before he left (I gave up watching and went inside). I doubt he would do this if gasoline was $12 a gallon.

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            wsbob April 27, 2017 at 10:57 am

            “…It’s amusing that someone who wore a helmet for decades of daily commuting (including late 70s bell helmets) and resisted the arguments of many anti-helmet friends, was actually spurred to stop using a helmet by so-called safety proponents. Some habits are hard to break…” soren

            Not ‘someone’…You. Being contrary just to be contrary, and not for any particularly good reason. If you don’t want to wear a bike helmet, then don’t. Oh right…now someone has told you not to wear a bike helmet, I suppose you, based on your principle of contrariness, will feel compelled to start wearing one again. Deciding not to do something, just for the purpose of snubbing people, doesn’t suggest maturity or respect for others.

            People need intelligent help in understanding the reasons for wearing bike helmets, and the benefits for doing so. They need more than some stock order to ‘Do this’, or ‘Don’t do that’. Having been given the straight scoop on the realistic limitations on protection that use of a bike helmet can provide the wearer with in the event of a fall from the bike, many people still elect to wear one. That’s a very good reason for wearing one.

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              soren April 27, 2017 at 4:12 pm

              i’ve been persuaded for some time that helmet use discourages people from cycling by making it seem like a dangerous activity (and that this likely outweighs any safety gains are associated with their use) so i’m not being contrary.

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                wsbob April 27, 2017 at 9:49 pm

                You’re easily persuaded to what is a ridiculous contention. Actually, I don’t believe you have been persuaded to the notion that people wearing bike helmets, make biking seem dangerous to people. I think you’re just saying you’ve been persuaded, to try lend your choice not to wear a bike helmet, something some people may think is more significant than simply saying, ‘I’d rather not wear a bike helmet, the law doesn’t require me to, so I don’t. It’s my choice’.

                When subject of bike helmets comes up, I regularly hear people commenting that when they see someone riding a bike and wearing a helmet, this conveys to them that the person riding is taking advantage of an easy way of helping improve the safety of their ride.

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            Justin M April 28, 2017 at 12:27 pm

            To be fair, helmets with big visors are great in the rain. Keeps the water out of the eyes. Also nice to have some extra protection when the roads are slippery.

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        Kyle Banerjee April 26, 2017 at 3:26 pm

        You know what you really need to be safe? Separated bike infrastructure. And there’s no way you can be safe on a street where the cars can go over 20mph — even that is really pushing it… 😉

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          VTRC April 26, 2017 at 3:30 pm

          And be sure to start with Clinton Street! It’s a deathtrap.

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            soren April 26, 2017 at 4:53 pm

            nice strawman. clinton activism was always focused on safe routes for families and kids, comfort, and perception of risk.

            and for the record, i’m personally sick of clinton. imo, we advocates should now focus on getting (diverters, one-way blocks, signage, speed bumps) installed elsewhere, including the 4 new greenways being built or expanded in east portland.

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            Monkeysee April 27, 2017 at 7:18 am

            How many cycling deaths have occurred on Clinton? Actual deaths please. I’ve lived here 16 years, and I’m forgetting all of them I guess.

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              VTRC April 27, 2017 at 7:41 am

              That’s what makes it snarky.

              I’m torn, Clinton is a great example of how the city making driving worse on Division did make Clinton bike access worse. It really demonstrates our city’s lack of planning and that when it makes driving worse it can make cycling worse. The sentiment that driving “isn’t as bad as it should be” only works when there is planning to make transportation better for somebody, and Portland doesn’t do that.

              When cars did move onto Clinton it did make it less safe and Clinton became a rallying point for activist. In a city with Barbur and Outer SE, energy got spent on Clinton. A lot of people ride it, they deserve better, but there’s some harrowing places in this town and Clinton wasn’t one of them.

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                soren April 27, 2017 at 9:19 am

                I’ve attended over a dozen active transportation-focused actions/events in the outer SE in the past year. (And I missed several successful BikeLoudPDX yctions/events that focused on outer Division.) Maybe instead of whining about Greenwat activism that happened *several years ago* you could put your energy where your mouth is.

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                rachel b May 1, 2017 at 1:09 am

                With that stirring invitation, soren, how could they resist? 😉

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          BB April 26, 2017 at 3:40 pm

          Keep laughing, you and yours just normalize the attitude that 40,000 fellow citizens dead each year is A-OK.

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            paikiala April 26, 2017 at 4:02 pm

            BB,
            The vast majority of those who died were inside cars just before the crash, not outside them. The steel surrounding them seems to have made them less cautious.

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              BB April 26, 2017 at 4:35 pm

              You are correct in pointing out that needlessly high speeds affect everyone, but you’re arguing with a point nobody is making.

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      • John Liu
        John Liu April 26, 2017 at 8:54 pm

        And you’ve stopped wearing seat belts when you drive, no doubt. Those darn messages reminding everyone to buckle up. Makes ya just want to take more risks.

        The whole helmet backlash is weird.

        “I don’t want other people telling me what to do”. This is understandable, but hardly interesting. So, ride bareheaded if you want, and quit making such a big deal about it. No-one is impressed that you’re helmetless, no-one is upset – honestly, no-one really cares.

        “Helmets are bad because they make people think cycling isn’t safe”. This is weird. Aren’t most of the posts on this site about how cycling in Portland isn’t safe or isn’t safe enough? So on the one hand, we talk endlessly about how cycling in Portland needs to be safer, and on the other hand, it’s a no-no to suggest that cycling might have risks like, um, falling?

        “Helmets are a barrier to more cycling”. Mandatory helmet laws might well be a deterrent to more cycling. But we don’t have mandatory helmet laws. And any slight hesitation about riding that the “interested but inactive” might have due to the do-I-wear-a-helmet-or-not decision is, I suggest, negligible compared to: it’s cold and raining; there are cars everywhere; riding uphill is hard; getting somewhere in 60 minutes takes twice as long as getting there in 30 minutes; being lazy is easier than not being lazy.

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          Jim April 26, 2017 at 10:32 pm

          “ride bareheaded if you want, and quit making such a big deal about it. No-one is impressed that you’re helmetless, no-one is upset – honestly, no-one really cares.”

          I rarely wear a helmet. I rarely say anything about it to anyone. I sometimes get yelled at, called an idiot, drivers slow down and drive alongside me to tell me I’m stupid, or worse. My experience does not at all match your view.

          “Aren’t most of the posts on this site about how cycling in Portland isn’t safe or isn’t safe enough? So on the one hand, we talk endlessly about how cycling in Portland needs to be safer, and on the other hand, it’s a no-no to suggest that cycling might have risks like, um, falling?”

          Cycling isn’t particularly dangerous compared to the rest of life. But the number of people who die due to careless or aggressive or reckless vehicle use is not acceptable. Cycling is becoming deeply unpleasant on our city’s streets, but for me it is not exactly a question of danger.

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            rachel not swenson April 29, 2017 at 9:46 am

            motorists take time out of their lives to slow down to tell you how to live your life?????
            that is just sad.
            what do you say in response?

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              Jim April 29, 2017 at 9:52 pm

              Not much. I’m very uncomfortable when someone is yelling at me whilst piloting a weapon.

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                Middle of the Road Guy May 1, 2017 at 11:14 am

                hyperbole.

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          rachel b April 27, 2017 at 12:52 am

          Helmet has saved my brain more than once. Thank you, helmet.

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            Jim April 27, 2017 at 9:42 am

            I’m happy that you’re happy. I don’t quite know why you’ve responded to my comment though.

            I’ve never needed a helmet in my life. We all have our own anecdotes and experiences. I’m glad we can all make our choices and respect other peoples’.

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              Jim April 27, 2017 at 9:56 am

              I think I misunderstood the nesting of comments on this site, and Rachel B was not responding to my comment. So I apologize for responding to it in a way that was probably over-defensive.

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                rachel b April 27, 2017 at 6:16 pm

                Hi Jim! I was responding to John Liu’s comment, not yours. It’s confusing because it’s just below yours, but it would indent further if I was responding to your comment. No need for apology in any case!! 🙂

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              Mike April 28, 2017 at 2:34 pm

              I have never needed a seatbelt either but I certainly put one on each time I drive. Not seeing the logic in not using a safety measure you don’t think you will ever need. Is a helmet going to save your life if you pancake into a car at 30mph? Probably not. Should people be required to wear one? Adults no, kids yes. Go ahead and consult your local trauma doc and I will bet you he or she says they work.

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                Jim April 29, 2017 at 10:02 pm

                I have never needed a seatbelt either but I certainly put one on each time I drive. Not seeing the logic in not using a safety measure you don’t think you will ever need. Is a helmet going to save your life if you pancake into a car at 30mph? Probably not. Should people be required to wear one? Adults no, kids yes. Go ahead and consult your local trauma doc and I will bet you he or she says they work.

                Do you wear a crash helmet each time you drive? If not, why not? Risks for traumatic brain injuries are at least as high for car occupants as for cyclists. I can give citations if you would like. Seatbelts obviously aren’t enough. How about as a pedestrian? Again, similar injury rates. Do you go on forums to tell these people what to do? Should kids legally have to wear crash helmets whenever inside cars or walking on the street? Funnily enough, the person who drove alongside me downtown whilst looking at me and holding up angry traffic claimed to be an ER doctor. Did he do the same thing to helmet-less pedestrians?

                Seriously: Should children under 16 be required to wear crash helmets when in cars or when pedestrians? If these things carry similar risk to cycling, why are they not legally required?

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            Dan A April 28, 2017 at 7:19 am

            I’m glad your brain is okay, but we have no way of knowing that the foam hat is the reason why. I think actual studies that looked at the effectiveness of helmets in real-world situations vs their negative effects would be a lot more convincing than anecdotal evidence.

            Two facts we know are true:

            When there are more cyclists on the road, safety for all cyclists improves.

            Mandatory helmet laws reduce the number of cyclists on the road.

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              wsbob April 28, 2017 at 5:38 pm

              “…Two facts we know are true:

              When there are more cyclists on the road, safety for all cyclists improves.

              Mandatory helmet laws reduce the number of cyclists on the road.” dan a

              Years ago, New Zealand and maybe Australia, had a big hew and cry over their mandatory helmet use laws. The public seems to want to keep those laws in place, but bike advocates came up with various studies which they used to claim that if people had to use bike helmets while riding a bike, nope, they just weren’t going to ride a bike. Too bad for them.

              I don’t think that helmet laws reduce in any particularly significant numbers the number of people riding bikes on the road, here in the U.S.

              People opposing mandatory helmet laws, and helmet use in general, often claim that helmets and helmet use laws, scare people away from biking, or cause them to decide not to ride a bike because the helmet is too hot, or too heavy, or messes up their hair, and so on. I think none of those reason are are particularly significant to someone that really wants to ride a bike.

              ‘Hey, biking is really cool…I’d love to ride, but legally, I’m supposed to wear a bike helmet, so forget riding.’.

              ‘Gee, I wouldn’t mind riding a bike a mile to school, but putting a bike helmet on my hairdo is going to mess it up.’

              Poor excuses not to ride. I don’t think it’s a good idea to have people with that low a priority on riding, to even be riding a bike on the road.

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            wsbob April 28, 2017 at 5:54 pm

            Impacts to your head, arising from what kinds of situations? Just curious.

            I’ve only had one mishap that led to my head impacting a hard surface…concrete sidewalk, no motor vehicle or other vehicle involved, other than my bike. Slow speed, but because the sidewalk was a little too artistically laid out, I rolled off the edge, lost my balance and fell…bonk! …right onto my forehead, left side.

            Dented the helmet slightly. Wouldn’t have been a serious concussion, but would have been a serious bruise. The helmet foam could have absorbed a much greater impact than it did. Technically, a helmet is supposed to be thrown out after a collision, but the dent being no bigger than a 2″ half circle, and no more than 3/16ths of an inch deep, I kept on using it for awhile.

            Not being to wear just any helmet…most tend to be too small for me…I have some understanding of the resistance to wearing them. It’s been worth it to me though, to find one that fits, and wear the thing. It’s worth it for quite a lot more than the impact protection.

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          Kyle Banerjee April 27, 2017 at 6:08 am

          Just make sure you don’t advocate using lights and reflective gear at night….

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            Jim April 27, 2017 at 9:47 am

            I think that lights and reflective gear are great ideas. I use them. That choice has a large impact on other road users. It doesn’t really seem related to the choice to wear a helmet or not.

            I haven’t been advocating for anything. I don’t really understand your comment. I think there is some sarcasm and criticism in there. It would be easier for me, if you want to express something, to say it in a clearer fashion.

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            Kyle Banerjee April 27, 2017 at 10:39 am

            I’m just yanking Soren’s chain.

            He doesn’t wear a helmet. From his description, it appears that’s because he doesn’t like to be told what to do rather than because he thinks helmets are ineffective. So I suggested that no one say using lights or reflective gear is a good idea. No one wants anything bad to happen to him…

            I suspect he’s much more sensible in real life than he comes off here. But he’s fun to rile up 🙂

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              jim April 27, 2017 at 2:02 pm

              Ah I see. I think I misread the nesting again and thought you were replying to my comment. I seem to be rapidly becoming technologically illiterate. I used to be with “it”, but they keep changing what “it” is.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 27, 2017 at 2:06 pm

                Put the pager down and slowly back away from the fax machine!

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                Kyle Banerjee April 27, 2017 at 5:03 pm

                Sadly, they use both fax and pagers where I work….

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 27, 2017 at 9:51 pm

                Fax is still more secure than email, alas.

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          Dan A April 28, 2017 at 7:13 am

          We DO have mandatory helmet laws for 16 and under. Anybody know how bicycling numbers have been affected for 16 & under since that law was enacted?

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty April 28, 2017 at 9:14 am

            I guarantee you that even without a law almost all children riding bikes would be wearing helmets. I don’t know the effects on ridership numbers, but I do know it has had almost zero effect on behavior.

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              Dan A April 28, 2017 at 9:41 am

              Maybe.

              I’ve been riding since I was about 4, and I didn’t start using helmet until I was 37. When I was a kid, I didn’t know a single other kid who wore a helmet when riding. My parents bought me one, but I never wore it. And most of my good childhood memories involve riding bikes with my friends! How many kids nowadays will say the same thing?

              The kids in our neighborhood wear helmets when they ride, on really crappy bikes that have serious mechanical issues, like brake pads that are about to go into the spokes, that sort of thing. I’ve tried to fix many of them, but these Magna bikes are a lost cause. If you want to increase safety for your kid on a bike, get them a real bike for starters.

              We’ve had three major bike crashes by kids in our neighborhood in the last few years.
              The first was a kid during our bike parade, who bombed down a hill one-handed while holding a bag of candy and crashed into another rider, resulting in a broken leg. This was a kid that we know, who rarely rides a bike. The second was a girl riding to school on our muddy path, crashing and breaking her arm. We are trying to get this path repaired. The third was a 12-year-old who had a problem with his chain and faceplanted in the road as a result of it. His dad was with him. He was not breathing and had to be revived. Parents claimed afterward that the helmet saved his life. Hmm.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 28, 2017 at 10:07 am

                >>> How many kids nowadays will say the same thing? <<<

                In this city, zero.

                All those crashes you described could have (and probably did) happen when you were a kid. Bikes were just as crappy then. Remember Chutes and Ladders (a game with a powerful strategic component)? One of the calamities was a kid crashing his bike and breaking his arm (or leg).

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              soren April 28, 2017 at 10:24 am

              “I do know it has had almost zero effect on behavior”

              citation?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 28, 2017 at 10:46 am

                Do you really think that, in the absence of the helmet law, current-day parents would let their kids bike on the street without a helmet? Kids wear helmets for just about everything. I hear they’ve even got kids wearing helmets to play football.

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                Dan A April 28, 2017 at 11:43 am

                Yes. I see kids riding without helmets in my neighborhood pretty frequently, actually, despite the fact that it’s illegal.

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                Dan A April 28, 2017 at 11:46 am

                Each of my kids have suffered a head injury, incidentally. One of them fell from a chair onto a tile floor. The other one fell from a trampoline through the surrounding net, which hadn’t been zipped up. They both have crashed their bikes, but never onto their helmets.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 28, 2017 at 12:04 pm

                So we know the helmet law hasn’t altered their behavior.

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                Dan A April 28, 2017 at 12:23 pm

                No, we don’t know that. As I indicated above, it may have affected the amount of riding that kids do.

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          soren April 28, 2017 at 8:31 am

          “Aren’t most of the posts on this site about how cycling in Portland … isn’t safe enough?”

          The horror of advocating for safer cycling.

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    • John Liu
      John Liu April 26, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      I’ve been bike commuting here for ten years, except for a recent hiatus. I haven’t experienced any actual negative attitudes such as you described. Some co-workers think I’m nuts, others worry about my safety, some think it’s okay-good-great (some version of positive, anyway), and most don’t care at all.

      Now, I don’t go out of my way to rub my bike commuter status in their faces, and I understand and sympathize that most of them are going to sit in a car stuck in traffic when I’m riding my bike. So I don’t proselytize about how we need more road diets or lower speed limits or traffic barriers or higher gas taxes or whatever. Of course that will get most people upset.

      I just ride my bike. And appreciate that, every year, I see more cyclists on the road, and I see (most) drivers becoming more and more aware of and accommodating to cyclists. I go out of my way to be accommodating to drivers too. It’s a karma thing. We’re not going to get more roads. We’re not going to have less people. Everyone has to share the roads and get along.

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        Jim April 26, 2017 at 10:49 pm

        I’ve been bike commuting here for 13 years. I have heard countless negative attitudes towards cycling, though they are far in the minority. They are more common in the cheaper neighborhoods that are the ones I can afford to live in now. Mostly, I don’t know what people think because I don’t talk much about cycling except to close friends. Most people’s minds are made up, one way or another.

        I don’t have much sympathy with people who sit in traffic. I don’t wish them ill, but I don’t have sympathy for them having to sit in traffic they are part of creating. Most people choose it so that they save time/don’t get wet/don’t have to exercise/can carry stuff/can go wherever they want. Some people are in tough situations with difficult choices, some are not. I don’t proselytize either because it doesn’t do any good.

        I appreciate riding my bike. But every year, a see higher motor vehicle densities. And I see road users paying less attention and being less courteous. Private motor vehicle use is a terrible solution to our transportation needs, it is killing us all, quickly or slowly. I do thank other courteous road users because it is a nice thing to do.

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          wsbob April 27, 2017 at 10:20 am

          “…I just ride my bike. And appreciate that, every year, I see more cyclists on the road, and I see (most) drivers becoming more and more aware of and accommodating to cyclists. I go out of my way to be accommodating to drivers too. It’s a karma thing. We’re not going to get more roads. We’re not going to have less people. Everyone has to share the roads and get along.” john liu

          I think that’s a fair perspective on road use for travel. Riding out in Beaverton, it’s unusual to experience lack of co-operation between people biking and people riding. Stick out your arm for a lane change, and while some people driving will speed on by, most, if given some time for the signal to be seen before actually making the lane change, turn, etc, will slow down and allow the maneuver to happen.

          It’s economic reality that has so many people stuck in their motor vehicles in traffic for the daily commutes. Even if they wanted to live in a neighborhood within walking and biking distance from where they work, most probably couldn’t do it, for example, for lack of available housing. High density population isn’t the panacea for traffic congestion that some people seem to envision.

          Communities could though, probably do a much better job of conceiving and providing wonderful walking and biking infrastructure within let me say, a two or three mile radius of cities’ town centers. More than just minimally functional. This has actually been happening in Portland in neighborhoods, but very slowly, and if the public were to become more interested in this kind of infrastructure, with the result that their increased support would allow the pace in providing that infrastructure to be stepped up, that could bring about quite a good transformation towards better neighborhood livability.

          Living out in Central Beaverton, I know personally, that we could be doing better than we are towards providing much nicer and more functional walking and biking surroundings than we have. The new Cedar Hills Crossing (shopping, multi-service center) additions, being built right now, could have had incorporated into their design, excellent walking and biking esplanades leading to the streets bordering nearby neighborhoods. The very limited selection of graphic visualizations of the additions, I’ve seen, don’t seem to show much of this kind of thing. Instead: a repeat of the same old model for providing for travel to and from the center…lots and lots of area for parking of motor vehicles, but very little area provided for walking within the parking area.

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      wsbob April 27, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      “…The act of riding a bike should mean nothing other than you are on a bike. But here, it takes on political significance …” banerjee

      As more people are biking on the roads, biking does take on more of a political significance, because the greater addition of that mode of travel into the predominantly motor vehicle traffic on the roads and streets, changes things; the functionality of the roads and streets for moving traffic, and what’s involved in driving and biking.

      The more people are visible…or not visible as the case may be… out on the roads and streets riding, the less ‘out of sight, out of mind’ they are (no joke intended.) to people driving. People biking shouldn’t deliberately seek to be oblivious or ignorant of the challenges that people as vulnerable road user riding bikes, represent to people driving.

      People using bikes for travel on the streets and roads, represent far more to people driving, than just someone on a bike. The presence of people riding bikes on the street in motor vehicle traffic, makes driving more difficult and dangerous for people doing the driving.

      Safe use of dramatically differing modes of travel by people commonly using roads together is generally a challenging traffic situation. It is, maybe not often and consistently enough, a give and take, situation in which people using the road should be prepared to reach compromises at any time.

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  • Avatar
    Meghan April 26, 2017 at 11:11 am

    The Mercury’s Bike Issue, which they’ve been producing in tandem with local bike funnists since Bike Summer, is scheduled to come out May 24th, so that the Pedalpalooza calendar can be in our hands one week before the Kickoff Ride on June 1st. If you want your ride printed in the official Pedalpalooza “Pull Out” in the Mercury’s Bike Edition, please get your ride up on the Shift calendar no later than May 1st.

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      Todd Boulanger April 26, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks for the reminder, as I thought that bike ship had already sailed.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty April 26, 2017 at 11:11 am

    I’m going to try microdosing on the WW for a few weeks, and see if that improves my demeanor.

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      Justin M April 26, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      That’s a sure fire way to end up naked in bed with a bike and a stranger. Oh, maybe this issue is a sequel?

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        rachel b April 27, 2017 at 12:58 am

        HAR!!!! 🙂

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      Kyle Banerjee April 26, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      The trick is to not overdose. Considering it’s WW, reading just the masthead should be more than plenty

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        Justin M April 28, 2017 at 1:40 pm

        chuckle chuckle

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  • Avatar
    Paul Atkinson April 26, 2017 at 11:56 am

    I commute by bike about 90% of the time — on my own bike, with indoor parking and all that good stuff — and I’m also getting great value out of being a Biketown annual member.

    My commuter bike has SPD pedals. That’s not a big deal when I’m commuting, but if I want to run for something at lunchtime I don’t want to change my shoes. I just grab an orange bike.

    Or if I’m with a friend who didn’t bike and we want to, for example, go to watch the Timbers or the Thorns. We meet farther from the stadium and grab Biketown for the last mile.

    Or when I don’t want to bring my bag and worry about locking up somewhere.

    Honestly, I’d recommend anyone who enjoys riding at all to try it for a month and see how much you use it. Riding helmet-free and upright feels pretty nice.

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      Kyle Banerjee April 27, 2017 at 4:04 am

      The big problem with BIke town is the service area. I’ve had free credits since the very beginning that I still haven’t been able to use.

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    Matt S. April 26, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    I’m going to buy a home east of I205 and commute on an ebike into downtown. I want a Porteur Faraday. Parking and traffic are my main reasons.

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      Alex Reedin April 26, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      That’s what I did. It’s pretty awesome. (Relatively) cheap housing AND cheap transportation. Plus, easy access to cheap stores… no New Seasons issuing their siren songs out here! Your commute may take a long time, though, if you’re low-stress-bikeway-dependent like I am often depending on my mood.

      The few times that I’ve biked down Foster, it’s been insanely fast. Like, I was at work in half an hour rather than the hour that it takes along greenways or the Springwater from Lents. A lot depends on being able to bike quickly, along the most direct routes, with priority at intersections. If you can’t do that, even an ebike isn’t all that fast.

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        El Biciclero April 27, 2017 at 9:28 am

        So, are you saying that all else being equal, your “low stress” route takes 30 minutes longer than the Foster direct route to the same destination? Or is that time savings a result of direct route + e-bike, vs. greenways + non-e-bike?

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          Alex Reedin April 27, 2017 at 5:32 pm

          Ebike on each route. Maybe 25 minutes difference is more accurate. Lowest-stress=Springwater Trail, around 11 mi each way, about an hour. Low stress = bumpy, stop-sign-infested (I stop for stop signs) neighborhood streets and Greenways, 7.5 mi each way, maybe 55 minutes. Foster to 50th to Clinton (the fast Greenway), 6 miles each way, about half an hour. Note: these are “look at the clock before leaving and when I get to my desk” travel times not stopwatch on saddling up to getting off the bike.

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            El Biciclero April 27, 2017 at 8:23 pm

            This is terrible,IMO. If for no other reason than it is what we expect bicyclists to tolerate either way. Want to get there efficiently? Then you must tolerate high-stress, unsafe conditions. Want low stress and greater safety? Then you must tolerate an extra 25 minutes of travel time.

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              Kyle Banerjee April 28, 2017 at 6:06 pm

              In all fairness, if you have distance to cover, the only way to get there efficiently is to ride fast and time lights. People should not do this near slower cyclists as that is neither safe nor comfortable for them.

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                Alex Reedin May 2, 2017 at 9:20 am

                Mmm… I would disagree. I think it’s fine to ride fast and time lights near slower cyclists, just ring your bell well ahead of time and slow down as you pass them. If there are so many slower cyclists on a route that doing this seriously slows you down, it’s time to advocate for wider cycling facilities. Fortunately, there are only a few places in Portland that ever get that busy.

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        Nony April 27, 2017 at 10:30 am

        I’m a Faraday owner here since 2015. My commute compared to regular bike was cut in more than half saving me about an hour “each” day (that’s 5 hours of extra time with my family). Think about it, a regular bike cruise about 10mph often slower with gear. My faraday cruises at 20mph with gear…going uphill. Yes, you bomb “UP” hills on an ebike.

        Some days my commute is longer because I’m now taking extra time to either run errands on the way home, or enjoying the rare sunny days just to get some more exercise. I find it now odd to go by car in the city because ebike is usually faster.

        ebike has paid for itself in about 2-3 years. no more parking fees, trimet passes fees, no gas, less car insurance, got rid of one of our 2 cars. I’m guessing close to $1000 each year in savings, or more.

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          Matt S. April 28, 2017 at 12:57 pm

          That’s awesome!

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    Bike Curious April 26, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Hello, Kitty
    Only when one of them is a bike.
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    This aligns nearly with my interests.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 26, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      I’ll admit there are some intriguing possibilities.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. April 27, 2017 at 12:31 am

    Tacky cover from a hack of a newspaper. For once, can’t we not use sex to sell something?

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      bah April 27, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      Well, it’s a nice break from all the pot-centric covers.

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    Paul Burdick April 27, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Infrastructure is the key, not “spice”.

    How about we clean up our bike lanes immediately after storms, repaint all of the white lines and sharrows, fix all of the damn potholes and cracks in the bike lanes and thoroughfares, continue teaching children and adults safe biking, expand the number of bike lanes, calm traffic, and other minor but important improvements.
    We’re not complacent. Even experienced bikers find Portland difficult and sometimes dangerous to bike in. It’s the small things that add up and will make our numbers increase. Bike infrastructure needs to be as reliable and consistent as possible so novices feel *comfortable* biking in Portland, even in bad weather.

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    Kyle Banerjee April 27, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    As a practical matter, expensive fuel would have all sorts of impacts as our economy is largely petroleum based. But delving into that is a distraction from the point that the price of gasoline has greater impact on behavior than changes of equal magnitude in other areas. For example, I guarantee that if gas were $5/gallon, people with $40K SUVs would be screaming how they can’t afford to fill them. High mileage cars have been around forever so it’s not like people can only afford guzzlers.

    Necessity being the mother of invention, I think you’d see a lot more people coming up with sensible alternatives if gasoline were expensive. At the very least, I’d expect more people sharing rides and seeking alternatives. A lot more people might actually value high mileage more than race car acceleration and/or the ability to tow a 40′ boat.

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      Kyle Banerjee April 27, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      This comment was meant for the part of the thread discussing $12 gas — the system hiccuped.

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      Dan A April 27, 2017 at 8:08 pm

      Yes, and there are other ways to help out disadvantaged folks besides artificially keeping the price of gasoline low for everybody.

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        soren April 28, 2017 at 8:32 am

        And that is exactly why Oregon’s constitutional limitation on gas tax spending is so tragic.

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          Kyle Banerjee April 28, 2017 at 5:47 pm

          Oregon’s Constitution is tragic.

          A semi-literate document that was riddled with spelling and grammatical errors until 2012, the foundation of our laws is a sad joke that has been amended over 400 times. When was the last time we had an election cycle when it wasn’t changed?

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      wsbob April 27, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      “…For example, I guarantee that if gas were $5/gallon, people with $40K SUVs would be screaming how they can’t afford to fill them. …” banerjee

      …nah…with a rise in gas prices, they’d just be eagerly anticipating and hoping for an increase in dividends from the petroleum stocks in their investment portfolio. What does five bucks, or twelve bucks a gallon for gas, mean to people with a 120K to 240K or more per year household income? High gas prices doesn’t mean people with high incomes aren’t going to be able to afford gas for their expensive cars…it means people with modest incomes will have to struggle with their household monthly budget.

      I remember when the last big gas price increase threw a lot of people into a frenzy, having them think they needed to trade off their F150 pickups for higher mileage cars, which many people did. Had the auto industry shaking in their boots too. And then what happens? The smoke cleared and the mirrors broke, revealing that the the petroleum industry had basically just cocked up a wild tale to boost the profits for their product. And, voila…American motor vehicle buyers again rekindled their love for the F150, the big suburbans, SUV’s and so on.

      People aren’t going to switch out their comfy modern motor vehicles for a reality awakening ride in the rain and heat on a bicycle, until their economic needs can be met with a bike for travel, in communities designed to have that mode of travel, be a great experience, in addition to it being a very practical way to get to work and so on.

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      Pete April 28, 2017 at 11:53 am

      When gas was $5 about the time I moved to California, bicycling mode shares and Prius sales were at record highs, and I quickly became sick of everyone bitching about gas prices. More recently gas was under $3, pickup truck sales were hitting record highs, and bicycle mode share stagnated. Gov Brown is now getting lambasted for proposing a gas tax increase (after all the bitching about what the weather has done to the roads), and this is coming from the same constituency (many counties, anyway) who voted for sales tax increases to fund “transportation measures.”

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