Western Bikeworks Bike MS Kickoff Party

The Monday Roundup: A cycling revolution, bike fashion sense, order versus safety, and more

Posted by on May 8th, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Welcome to Monday.

Here are the best stories we came across last week…

Bikes will rule the world: And cars will be the biggest losers. Seriously. So says a, “a prominent analyst of disruptive technologies, who has spent the past three and a half years researching the future of transportation.”

Order — not safety or livability — is the priority: Doug Gordon at Brooklyn Spoke explains why people on foot and bikes in cities is so unsettling to law enforcement and the (mostly driving) public in general.

Mr. Trek speaks: Trek Bicycles President John Burke dishes on products, sales figures, the “Lance Effect”, advocacy, Trump, and a lot more in this interview with Business Insider.

Bike fashion opinions: The head of Rapha, a high-end cycling apparel brand, told The Guardian that most people look “appalling” on a bike.

Ride into office: Jared Fisher, a bike shop owner in Las Vegas, wants to be the next republican governor of Nevada.

How walking helps us think: You have probably experienced this while biking too: The act of moving your body with your own power — especially while walking — puts your mind and body in a state of optiminum output.

Safer streets for all?: Streetsblog Chicago looks into the data to show that while streets are safer for people inside cars and trucks, they are more dangerous for everyone else.


It’s Oregon’s time: T4 America has the analysis of the 27 states that have recently passed major transportation funding measures.

Faster and faster: Organizers of the famous Giro d’ Italia stage planned to maintain a leaderboard of the fastest descenders. Many were worried it would incentivize risk and lead to crashes. The UCI asked the Giro organizers to remove it, and the organizers removed the category.

Culture shifting in London: British MPs are using words like “privilege” when it comes to driving and saying that in a perfect world vulnerable road users should have highest priority.

The state of suburbia: Richard Florida makes the case that American suburbs are in “crisis” as demographic and economic shifts now favor urban areas and outlying rural zones.

Transit vs cars in L.A.: The Economist shines on a light on the status of Los Angeles’s efforts to tame auto traffic with better transit.

Drive less, save more (lives): Streetsblog says what the mainstream media and road safety groups will never say: The key to less road deaths and injuries is to simply stop driving so damn much.

Let them drink!: The American Beverage Institute is very unhappy that Utah has lowered its drunk driving threshold to .05% BAC.

Mandatory helmet laws don’t work: Can we be done with this debate already? Please?!

Common question, uncommon answer: The Willamette Week did a bang-up job answering a readers question about why bicycle riders don’t have to have insurance.

Thanks to everyone who flagged articles for us this week!

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

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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

  • David Hampsten May 8, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    As NC raised more road tax revenue, they spent it all on more freeways. Oregon looks poised to do the same.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. May 8, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      Illinois, too. The ISTHA just voted unanimously to spend $4 billion widening the Tri-State Tollway. Meanwhile, people are griping over a few million being spent on the Navy Pier flyover, which will fix a notoriously dangerous bottleneck in the Lake Front Trail.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 8, 2017 at 1:36 pm

        It is amazing how stuck people, even professionals, are on the idea that we can build our way out of this problem. Pursuing solutions that will ultimately fail is a very costly mistake, and not just financially.

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        • K Taylor May 8, 2017 at 11:10 pm

          I don’t think most professionals do believe this anymore – but if someone wants to hire them to do the work, they’ll take it. A highway design job can keep a consulting firm afloat for a lot longer than a bundle of bike/ped improvements.

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        • K Taylor May 8, 2017 at 11:12 pm

          Also, to vouch for my transpo planner and engineer buddies, most of them take every opportunity to influence the various powers that be away from this paradigm – they tend to be very forward-thinking people as a group – at least in Portland.

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          • David Hampsten May 9, 2017 at 2:52 am

            That’s true even here in conservative NC. The younger the planners and engineers, the more likely of them being progressive and pro bike and walking on design. However, since the retirement age keeps getting raised and pensions wiped out by Wall Street, the older senior “let’s build highways forever” engineers still haven’t quite died out and have a big influence upon state legislators.

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            • soren May 9, 2017 at 1:38 pm

              progress comes one…

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      • Middle of the Road Guy May 8, 2017 at 2:38 pm

        Ah…I-294. I thought tollways were supposed to pay for themselves 🙂

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  • Al Dimond May 8, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    I suppose I should have guessed that reading an interview with the Rapha guy would only make me hate Rapha more…

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    • SilkySlim May 8, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      Eh… I kind of found it refreshing for him to unabashedly say most cycling gear looks ridiculous, and that their company has an alternative to pursue if you deem it worthy. I’m pretty sure the way this whole capitalism thing works is that you can buy whatever you see fit, and wasting your time “hating” a random company that isn’t your style will only cause heartburn.

      Then again, I’m someone who generally likes simple, timeless clothing without any obnoxious logos or neon colors.

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      • Al Dimond May 8, 2017 at 6:16 pm

        Watching the commuter cyclists go by in the city and say they look “appalling” and should all dress like posh roadies is elitist nonsense, makes him and his whole company sound like jerks. Stuff like that makes me want to ride around town in garish Primal jerseys three sizes too big for me.

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        • Kyle Banerjee May 9, 2017 at 10:55 am

          What looks ridiculous is to get all geared up for a slow short ride in a stop and go environment.

          I own plenty of cycling clothing, none of which is used for commuting because it’s like pulling out a chainsaw to cut butter.

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          • BradWagon May 10, 2017 at 9:04 am

            Except a chainsaw isn’t meant to cut butter and cycling clothes are meant for riding a bike… but sure.

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        • BradWagon May 10, 2017 at 9:01 am

          I took his comments to be directed towards those who do wear cycling specific clothing that looks horrible. Street clothes are generally not made suddenly appalling just by being on a bike. Jogging pants, giant neon kites and a jacket hood under your helmet… now that is appalling.

          In my opinion if you are riding short enough to not justify properly fitting kit then street clothes should be fine, if you are riding long enough that street clothes would be uncomfortable than why not wear proper kit that would make you comfortable. Loose pants, jackets and garish accessories are only comfortable to those who haven’t experienced proper cycling gear. Not everyone can afford it, but his point on it’s own is valid, and I agree. I would say only 1 out of 10 cyclists I see commuting is in proper clothing, another couple in street clothes, but majority are in some of the most inefficient getups I could imagine.

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    • dan May 8, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      haha, I know what you mean. I mean, more power to him, he’s identified a niche of people who feel a need to differentiate themselves through their possessions, just like Apple and BMW. Still sounds lame to me.

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      • Lester Burnham May 9, 2017 at 2:03 pm

        Oh but we LOVE Apple products in this city. Funny how we look the other way with that company. Tax dodgers.

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    • Champs May 8, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      I’m a Levi’s kind of guy, but regardless of the baggage I would be happy to wear the Raphioso’s pink stripe. It’s hard to match that level of fit and finish, and for a few hours in the saddle I think that’s worth it. If only my budget could agree.

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      • Monkey see May 8, 2017 at 3:55 pm

        Assos. A cycling clothing purveyor for nearly 100 years. Quite different from a a neo-underground ironic twist at marketing famous classic cycling sponsor logo and aesthetic. Assos clothing is and has always been superlative. Still have Assos bibs from 1983. Nothing Rapha makes will last more than 2-3 seasons. Rapha didn’t invent the idea of nondescript looking kits, Assos did. Rapha. Ha.

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    • BradWagon May 8, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      I don’t see how his goal is any different than most auto manufacturers.

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  • JJJ May 8, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    .05 for alcohol is the global standard. Utah is a leader, the rest of the US is far behind when it comes to that

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    • Allan Rudwick May 8, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Pilots have .04 so it doesn’t seem too unreasonable… Glad to have more plentiful ride-hailing services if this goes into effect.

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      • B. Carfree May 8, 2017 at 8:32 pm

        Commercial drivers also have a 0.04 limit. If the professionals have to stay under 0.04, why would we even consider letting amateurs drive with more?

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  • David Hampsten May 8, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Bikes will rule the world: Here in Greensboro NC, “a smaller mid-size city” of 288,000, we just had a guy from Limebike (SF-based bikeshare company) visit on Friday, complete with a bike just like in the picture. He was negotiating with the 19,000-student UNCG to start an on-campus bike share program as well as talking with the city about future partnerships. I’m sure he and his colleagues are visiting other cities too. The Limebike was very durable with many non-standard parts, but the one-speed gearing was much too high for the hills around here. As we told him, theft is not a major issue here, but dealing with auto traffic without good bike facilities is (and a timid city bureaucracy.)

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  • Middle of the Road Guy May 8, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    The Best Descender category was a dumb idea. Those Italian roads have some sharp turns.

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    • David Hampsten May 8, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      My brother nearly died going down one of those roads, a mix of gravel, sleet and broken pavement, back in ’88. Fortunately he had an experienced Swiss rider ahead of him and rode on his rear wheel. Scared the crap out of him.

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    • Monkey see May 8, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      Bicycle racing is a sport. It is not a sport for the timid. It involves descents. At times it also involves death. Descending isn’t the only time a cyclist can die while racing. Sometimes they have been known to die while riding uphill too.
      Death is an occasional and understandable outcome of sport.
      Descending has always been an amazing aspect of a races outcome. That should never change.
      Every professional bicycle racer knows this. You either have it, or you don’t.
      I say the category should be recognized.
      It has been an unspoken glory celebrated by millions that watch and wait for its execution with bated breath for over 100 years. It is absolutely beautiful.
      Those in the hunt for its accolades are not forced to pursue it. Those that want it and know how to chase it should be honored for their efforts and skill.

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      • 9watts May 8, 2017 at 9:29 pm

        “At times it also involves death. ”

        Isle of Man TT would be another example. I’m not sure about your blase take though. Setting up competitions that involve dangers where people regularly and predictably die as a consequence may be exciting but it is also stupid.

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        • Monkeysee May 9, 2017 at 2:32 am

          Blase is the modern condition. Simply reflecting life as I see it. By the way… I’ve been blessed I my life to attend Isle of Man three times in my life as a spectator. Would give my eye tooth to be fast enough to qualify for that race. I bet Joey D. would chuckle at this debate. God I love racing! Blase. Ha. So much here on this site.

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      • q May 8, 2017 at 9:45 pm

        That’s unconvincing. You could write something similar about many sports in which skill at dangerous aspects of the sport is an advantage. Yet those sports don’t give extra points or extra prizes for those skills. The fact that skills in those dangerous areas give competitors an advantage is viewed as enough of a reward.

        So in football, the jarring tackle may be the critical play of the game, but there are no extra points or prize money for the tackler (or for the offensive player who exposes himself to a hard tackle in order to make a decisive play). Same with giving or taking a hard check in hockey, diving over the finish line in a track race, running yourself the closest to depletion in a marathon…The ability to do each of those things helps competitors win, but isn’t rewarded in itself. And in every case, I think the sport (and competitors) would suffer if that changed.

        And your “Death is an occasional and understandable outcome of sport” may be true, but that doesn’t mean a sport should be creating extra incentives to pursue extra risk.

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        • Monkeysee May 9, 2017 at 2:11 am

          It’s called racing. It isn’t a ball sport. It is racing. You race. That involves high speeds. Thus the concept. You race. The world is getting so soft. Full of people willing to dilute the life out of everything. My opinion stands. I’m not concerned whether you like it or not. The grand tours have always been embroiled in controversy. This is no different.

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          • q May 9, 2017 at 10:35 am

            I think everyone understood it was racing before you pointed that out three times in your reply. And neither I nor anyone else here has criticized how the races are raced, or suggested diluting anything about them.

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          • Pete May 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm

            Bad bicyclist… BAD! No prime for you.

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        • Monkeysee May 9, 2017 at 3:21 am

          In addition q… I’m not sure if you are a fan bicycle racing, but there are categories of specialization involved. God I hate having to point out things that for so many millions of people are common knowledge. I love the Italians! God I wish I was at the Giro instead of posting stupid stuff here.

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          • colton May 9, 2017 at 7:49 am

            “God I wish I was at the Giro instead of posting stupid stuff here”

            Thumbs up to that one!

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            • Monkey see May 9, 2017 at 8:58 am

              I up voted your comment in full understanding that perhaps you wish me to be far away. Ha. Even if if you disagree with me, it is true.

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              • David Hampsten May 9, 2017 at 9:18 am

                May/June in Italy is best, before the high season and the throngs of European tourists. Cooler too.

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              • Monkey see May 9, 2017 at 10:25 am

                David… Are you a brother of Andy ? I’ve know of Steven. Ive crossed paths with one of the Hampsten brothers many times at Bike Central years ago. Perhaps it was you.

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              • David Hampsten May 9, 2017 at 12:20 pm

                Probably. I’m the big fat ugly one. Orange Hampsten bike. Lived in Portland 1997-2015, priced out and moved to cheap NC.

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      • Pete May 9, 2017 at 2:08 am

        Completely agree. There are many sports where risk is rewarded. Hell, one of America’s most celebrated pastimes is notorious for invoking concussions in high-school aged children. Kitesurfing is one of my favorites, and we’ve lost friends doing what we love. Motocross and many other ‘extreme’ sports may fall into that category. Alpine ski jumping. These are not just situations where people are rewarded solely for their ability to take risk, they are crafts that take years/decades to perfect.

        A cyclist who can truly descend does so with grace and is a marvel to behold. It is artwork; the brush strokes of Vincenzo Nibali come to mind.

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        • Monkeysee May 9, 2017 at 3:05 am


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        • Brian May 9, 2017 at 5:33 am

          The entire sport of downhill mountain bike racing comes to mind in this conversation.

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          • Monkey see May 9, 2017 at 9:13 am

            I’m just dumbfounded at people and their need to police or cast personal moral concerns on the free choices of others.
            I give too hoots about football. On the other hand I was a fairly close social friend of Otis Taylor of the Kansas City Chiefs. He was lucky to survive a career in that sport virtually unscathed. We talked a bit about sports and danger. I obviously was in awe of his skills when I was a young man. ( BTW, ..If someone on the NFL Hall of fame committee happens to be reading this, pull your heads out and place Otis in the Hall. It is far to long your game of denial on this matter.) He thought we were crazy just riding our bicycles in traffic!
            Human endeavor is wrought with peril and risk. No one has the right to judge someone else’s risk taking, barring it being malicious to others.

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            • q May 9, 2017 at 10:24 am

              “I’m just dumbfounded at people and their need to police or cast personal moral concerns on the free choices of others.”???

              How did you get that out of anything I or anyone else wrote? I didn’t say anything negative about racing, or the dangers involved. I only agreed with the racers themselves who didn’t like the creation of a special prize for descent, and with the racing organization that decided that creating one was a bad idea.

              If you don’t like my view, then you don’t like the views of those racers and that organization, since they’re identical.

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              • Monkeysee May 9, 2017 at 1:34 pm

                Well Otis is dead now, so sadly enough that isn’t gonna happen. If you’d care to see him in action, there is a YouTube vid titled “the legend” attached to his name. He surely spoke often to me about how brutal football is. He also expressed opinions to me I will not state here. Just so you’ll have a marker on how the sport has changed in one aspect, I will share one exact quote from his lips to my ears. ” At one point I was able to make 75 thousand dollars a year in 1969. That is something so few black men could ever do. I was blessed, and I played to win.”. …

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            • Monkey see May 9, 2017 at 10:26 am

              ….two hoots…

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            • q May 9, 2017 at 12:08 pm

              Too bad you’re not still in contact with your friend Otis Taylor. You could ask him if getting hit hard was part of football. I’d guess he’d say yes.

              Then ask him if the skill of hitting someone especially hard could mean the difference between winning and losing. I’d guess he’d say yes.

              Then ask if getting hit to the point of getting a concussion or other injury was a legitimate part of the game. I’d guess he’d say yes, there was always the risk that even a clean hit could result in that, but it happens because hard hits help win games.

              Then ask him if at the end of the game, NFL officials should hand out a cash award to the player who carried out the hardest hit of the game, since after all it’s a critical skill that takes years to perfect, and critical to winning games. Then before he answers, remind him the NFL has never given cash awards for that before, and also that the NFL itself already decided that that award wasn’t in the best interests of the game, or of players’ safety.

              Now how would he answer? Would he say that anyone who objects to changing the rules so that that cash award can be given is trying to “dilute the life out of” football, or “trying to judge someone else’s risk taking”? And would he accuse anyone who disagrees with this new cash award of trying “to police or cast personal moral concerns on the free choices of others”? I doubt it.

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              • 9watts May 9, 2017 at 12:12 pm

                You are good with words, Mr. q

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        • q May 9, 2017 at 10:31 am

          I agree 100%.

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      • Middle of the Road Guy May 9, 2017 at 11:22 am

        It seems the UCI is also against the idea.

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        • soren May 9, 2017 at 11:35 am

          the competitors and UCI clearly don’t appreciate the “fine art” of racing, descending, and dieing. it’s always annoying when philistines judge true art!

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          • Pete May 9, 2017 at 12:00 pm

            Took them long enough to accept disc brakes and gravel sections.

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            • soren May 9, 2017 at 1:40 pm

              everyone hates my disc brakes.

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          • Monkeysee May 9, 2017 at 1:42 pm

            I’m more than certain not all of the racers were opposed to the bonus money. Politics control the sport as always. As to being a Philistine, so be it. Not arguing. Bukowski and I will sit over here and have a drink. I’m not moved that what I see beauty in is considered lowly and without value to you. No heavy shake’s.

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            • q May 9, 2017 at 4:10 pm

              Not sure where you’re getting the idea that anyone here isn’t also seeing beauty in descent skills, let alone getting the idea that anyone here is viewing those skills as “lowly and without value”.

              Or is it the actual writing of checks for the fastest descent that you’re seeing beauty in? I assume not. But those payments are the only thing that anyone’s questioning, as far as I can tell.

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          • Monkey see May 9, 2017 at 3:53 pm

            Moreover your interpretation of the definition of philistine isn’t exactly correct in its use as applied to me… To that end, neither was this one, but at least in an artistic sense it is far funnier.

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  • John Lascurettes May 8, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Safer streets for all?: Streetsblog Chicago looks into the data to show that while streets are safer for people inside cars and trucks, they are more dangerous for everyone else.

    Falls under the category of “obvious statement is obvious.” And it’s perpetrated at it’s worse by all the people that reach for larger and larger SUVs and trucks because it helps them feel safer (while allowing them to be more aggressive and reckless without fear).

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  • phillip porter May 8, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    You know what I do for “bike fashion”? I take a pair of pants I like. Cut the legs off at about half calf. Hem the cuffs. Then I take one of the cut off pieces, shape it properly, and sew it just above the knee, on the right side (I’d do left if I was left handed), making a cell phone pocket. (Some pants these days already come with such pockets, so you just have to cut them off).

    Then you’ve got custom made “bicycling pants”. Easy.

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  • Dan A May 8, 2017 at 6:19 pm


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  • Dan A May 8, 2017 at 6:21 pm


    It appears we can now look forward to pilotless planes having ‘accidents’ now.

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  • Peter W May 8, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Some thoughts on turning Portland into an autonomous vehicle testing ground (re: safety and open data):


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  • Trikeguy May 9, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Kyle Banerjee
    What looks ridiculous is to get all geared up for a slow short ride in a stop and go environment.
    I own plenty of cycling clothing, none of which is used for commuting because it’s like pulling out a chainsaw to cut butter.
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    I have a 13-14 mile 1-way commute (13 inbound, 14 outbound). I ride in the mid 20’s all the way up to low 100’s. I spend long periods in unbroken climbing (both Fairview and Terwilliger are not stop and go). I get poured on with temps around 40 and roast once the temps go above 70.

    Yeah, I need decent gear to commute in. Although I just buy plain wicking long-sleeve shirts instead of bike jersey’s – I won’t ride without lycra shorts/tights or my Amfibs for really nasty weather. Comfort trumps all – especially what anyone thinks of how I dress or what I ride.

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  • Dan A May 10, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Idaho Stop bill being worked on in California:


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  • Vince May 10, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    I think the WW article was really poorly done. The author suggests property damage being the worst outcome. I know of a pedestrian who was killed by a cyclist crashing into them. Bike Portland has reported on bike pedestian collisions that were serious. Is insurance the answer? That I don’t know but I do know that if you hit someone on your bike, there will be injuries

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