Gravel - Cycle Oregon

Taking a break: A few thoughts before I go on vacation

Posted by on September 19th, 2017 at 6:56 am

Hi everyone. I want to share a quick programming note.

This morning I left Portland for a much-needed vacation. My wife Juli and I (without the kids!) are headed to do some sightseeing in and around Paris. We’ll also take a few days to soak up the culture in Amsterdam.

I won’t be back in Portland until October 5th, so you should expect things to feel a bit different here for the next few weeks: fewer posts, not as much commentary on social media, and a longer lag on emails.

That being said, those of you that know me well know it will be hard for me to make a clean break from BikePortland for a such a long time. This work is a big part of my life and I feel a responsibility to the community to stay on top of things. But I need time away with Juli and I need to remove myself from the day-to-day grind in order to recharge before taking a big step that will ensure an exciting future for BikePortland.


I’m not sure how much I’ll work on the road — or if I’ll work at all — but I do know I have some very capable help to keep the fire burning while I’m away.

I’m very happy to announce that our former news editor and staff writer for People for Bikes, Michael Andersen, will be filling in as a part-time guest editor. I know many of you miss seeing his byline here on a regular basis (I do too!) and he’s got some great stories planned. In addition to Michael’s writing and reportage, you can also expect more in our Women’s Bike Month Interview Series from contributor Steph Routh and a few articles from our Gal by Bike columnist Kate Laudermilk. You can also expect some Instagram and Facebook posts from Gladys Bike owner Leah Benson. She’s reached out to dozens of Portland bike shops and will feature photos and mini-bios of women and transgender employees as part of our efforts to amplify more non-male voices here on BikePortland.

While this isn’t a working holiday for me, you can also expect to see a few of my photos and opinions from Paris and Amsterdam. I simply can’t go to those cities and not spend at least some time checking out bike stuff! (You might recall I did a bunch of reporting from Amsteram in 2013, so this won’t be my first time there).

What you can do to help while I’m gone? This has always been a community-run enterprise, so here are a few thoughts:

➤ Help keep the comment section respectful and productive. BP supporter Ted Timmons has offered to help moderate comments while I’m gone (thank you Ted!); but as always, we rely on you to make good decisions.
➤ If you’ve been wanting to write a guest post, now would be a great time to send it in! Subscribers get priority and can submit posts via our online submission form.
➤ If you have a breaking news tip, please still send it in via the normal channels and I’ll try to get it handled.

I’ve got a few stories I’ll try to get to in the airport and on the plane, but after that I’ll be making a cleaner break from the daily news cycle.

OK, I need to catch my flight. Thanks for your continued support.

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

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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

  • abomb September 19, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Have a good vacation Jonathan.

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  • Tom Hardy September 19, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Take care Jonathan. Keep the phone charged.

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    • Stephen Keller September 19, 2017 at 7:46 am

      Tom Hardy
      Take care Jonathan. Keep the phone charged.

      … but turn off the ringer and relax: the wheels will still be rolling here when you return. I hope you and Juli have a wonderful adventure.

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    • alankessler September 19, 2017 at 9:49 am

      Best way to do that is to turn it off! 🙂

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  • Steph Routh September 19, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Safe travels and wondrous adventures, Jonathan.

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  • Velograph September 19, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Thanks for what you do Jonathan. Enjoy your time off!

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  • Champs September 19, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Welcome back, Michael, and have a great time in Europe, Jonathan! Watch out for all the tourists stepping into those cycle tracks.

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  • RH September 19, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Jonathan, simply upload pics of people on bikes and that will keep us all entertained. Enjoy the break…I get a feel Portland and its politics is getting you frustrated. Recharge!

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  • Ted Timmons (Contributor) September 19, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Good timing, leave when the rain hits 🙂

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    • alankessler September 19, 2017 at 10:08 am

      I always knew Maus was just a fair-weather Portlander.

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      • Kyle Banerjee September 19, 2017 at 10:14 am

        Cool refreshing rain is way better than heat and smoke…

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    • B. Carfree September 19, 2017 at 10:47 am

      This mild drizzle has brought us some much-needed breathable air. JM’s going to miss pleasant cycling conditions, but I’m sure he’ll find suitable replacements (and put up some wonderful photos when he can).

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  • Middle of the road guy September 19, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Have a great time. Rode the Tourmalet last week – cycling culture in France is wonderful.

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  • Lenny Anderson
    Lenny Anderson September 19, 2017 at 10:27 am

    We all need to stop and recharge, and no one deserves it more than you. You have left things in good hands, so enjoy your time in Paris and Amsterdam. And if you happen on a bookshop with titles in English, look for Mark Girouard’s “Cities and People, A social and architectural history.” or get it at Powell’s on your return.
    Great chapters on the development of Amsterdam and on the redevelopment in Paris in the late 18th century…its nothing new!

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  • Alan 1.0 September 19, 2017 at 11:06 am

    “We’ll also take a few days to soak up the culture in Amsterdam.”

    From Amsterdam, a half-hour train ride – easy and not expensive – will take you to Utrecht where you’ll get a different vibe of Dutch cities…less touristy, more university town, great walking, biking, people watching and croquettes. Enjoy!

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) September 19, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      I liked the non-Amsterdam cities better. Utrecht has a cool new non-car bridge, the Dafne Schippersbrug. And ugly construction at the rail station.

      Here’s a quick vid of the town:

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      • Alan 1.0 September 19, 2017 at 12:48 pm

        Excellent suggestion! It’s ~45 minute walk from Grand Central train station to Dafne Schippersbrug, all nice city walking. The Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal has lots of river traffic to see, there are bike/foot paths on both sides to walk on both sides, and frequent bus routes when you get tired of walking. Grand Central station construction wasn’t too bad for me, still plenty of activity and shops open, but the sign to the bus connections was slightly confusing. Next time I visit Utrecht I want to do a self-guided kayak tour on the old city canal.

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  • TrailLover September 19, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Enjoy your well-deserved break! It sounds like you’ll be back just in time to cover the next meeting of the Off Road Cycling Master Plan (ORCMP) Project Advisory Committee on Oct 5th. Focus will be Forest Park and it’s going to be very interesting to see what BPS has in mind there.

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    • Brian September 19, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      I already bought my bag of popcorn.

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  • Kittens September 19, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    I wouldn’t blame you if you decided never to come back!

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    • Mr. Know It All September 19, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      Yes, JM, you should be in good company if you don’t return:


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    • Todd Boulanger September 19, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      Well…then we have to start a Kick-starter to divvy up the kids ;-)…though the schools in Amsterdam are very very good…my nephew is getting a much better education there vs. Texas, what I have been told.

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  • Todd Boulanger September 19, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Jonathan and Juli – have a great time! (Glad to hear that y’all are making time for yourselves as a couple.) Too bad you did not let me know sooner…my brother has a little B&B there…

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  • pixie September 19, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    If you could, it would be great to meet up with @lizbon and do a feature story on her successful move from portland to the netherlands.

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  • Jim Lee September 19, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Have you cleared this with RIck Steves?

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  • Caitlin D September 19, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    A no kids vacation–awesome (and well-deserved)! Have a good trip!

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  • Ted Buehler September 19, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Happy trails, be sure keep your phone on Airplane Mode at least 23 hrs/day.

    Ted Buehler

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  • bikeninja September 19, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    While you are in europe you should make side trip to Venice. Someone needs to tell them those little narrow streets and alleys with only people and bikes on them are going to cause traffic congestion and hurt job growth so they need to clear some of them out and build a nice 3 lane highway through the middle of the island.

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  • Todd Boulanger September 19, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Let see what other areas to suggest, if you want to see the rural / small city areas:
    – Vlissingen (the Miami Beach of the NL);
    – Slius (the whole SW section is very rural and very fiets friendly – less travelled since there is no trein service there)
    – Den Helder is a nice little town up north (a hop off to Texel Island, Maine of NL)
    – Zwolle a good example of a fortified town, and
    – Haarlem…if you cannot travel too far from your AMS hotel.

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  • Mossby Pomegranate September 19, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    It’s clear Maus needs a break. The level of snark on BP has gone up noticeably.

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  • emerson September 19, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Enjoy your time away, and don’t worry about working. We, and the important issues you cover, will be here when you get back!

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  • Erik Harper September 20, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Jonathan, please bring as much European culture back to Portland as possible! Our quirky American city desperately needs Europe’s culture of inclusion, livability and safety if we’re to solve any of our transportation problems.

    Safe and happy travels!

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  • Joe September 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    awesome enjoy 🙂

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  • rachel b September 25, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Hope you’re having fun! 🙂

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