The latest addition to Portland’s bike shop ecosystem is Something Cycles, a small storefront that just opened last week on East Burnside in between 8th and 9th avenues. It’s exciting to see another new business join the burgeoning Central Eastside community — especially since this spot is just a few blocks from the carfree Blumenauer Bridge and the planned Portland Green Loop.
It’s just another example of bike-oriented development and a welcome sign as Portland grapples with negative headlines about cycling and the city in general.
Something Cycles owner, Nicholas Sorenson, told BikePortland in an email that he’d describe the shop as “friendly, convenient, affordable and fun.” And the proximity of the Blumenauer Bridge definitely makes him more optimistic about the future of his business.
Here’s what else Sorenson had to say about his new shop:
Can you share a bit about yourself and your relationship to biking?
I grew up in the middle of nowhere Washington, on 10 acres, spending my free time riding dirt bikes and building dirt jumps for my BMX bike. After high school I spent a couple years going to community college until I decided to move to Portland and go to school for photography and design. After not really riding bicycles throughout high school, this was the first time that having a bicycle was sort of a necessity if I wanted to have my own way to get around the city. This was in 2009, so of course the first bike that I bought was a fixed gear conversion.
From then on, I just continued to fall more in love with cycling as a way to get around the city, which then led to riding off-road and exploring more of what the PNW has to offer.
What unique qualities will Something Cycles bring to Portland?
I am focusing on rebuilding used bikes in a way that I find that makes them more enjoyable to ride, and look better than before. New bikes can be great, but you don’t need a new bike to get out there and have a great time riding. I also think the price, and overall environment of big bike shops can be overwhelming for someone that wants to get into riding a bike. There is so much going on in a large shop, and I want to have a more simple aesthetic that can feel more welcoming to people.
Then finally, I will be hosting weekly afternoon rides that depart from the shop and go hit different parts of the city in hopes to get folks to meet and start creating a larger network of people that are stoked to get out and ride.
How has it been to open a bike shop in Portland right now with the negative news about bike ridership and overall city morale?
It’s definitely a little discouraging to have that in the news, especially as someone who is putting everything they got into opening a new bike shop. It’s also a problem that isn’t going to fix itself. BUT, luckily for us, I think it is pretty easy to get people stoked on riding bikes. It just takes putting some extra energy out there to host rides and events that get people excited to ride their bikes, which we are going to do!
How do you feel about the future of biking in Portland?
I think the future of biking in Portland will be great! Especially if the city continues to commit to making more bicycle infrastructure throughout the city so that people feel comfortable to commuting or just exercising via bike. Riding a bicycle through the city with cars can be really intimidating for people, and for good reason. Having more actual protected bike lanes on busier streets and limiting car traffic on our greenways is crucial.
Can you talk a bit about the location of your shop?
I wanted to be located in a central location that would be easily accessible to both residents and visitors of Portland. With the Blumenauer Bridge being a major new connection between two neighborhoods, a part of the bigger Green Loop, it’s really exciting, and I think that it will be a major draw for people who want to bike or walk to our shop! I believe that these projects like these will make Portland an even better place to bike, and I’m excited to be a part of it.
What are you looking forward to in the upcoming months?
Other than warm weather??? Definitely meeting people and being able to help them out with their bike goals, getting out there and hosting some fun rides and other events that will help promote biking in Portland.
Also my neighbors, Our Store (a rad vintage clothing shop) host a monthly Night Market at our building during the summer, and I think it will be a great opportunity to get some folks into the shop that might not usually have a reason to wander into a bike shop. The first one of the year is May 20th! (More info on Instagram.)
Sorenson added that “if your bike needs some love…now is the time to bring it in to get it fixed up!” You don’t want to miss out on all the bike fun during the upcoming warm months.
Find out more about Something Cycles by following their Instagram or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorenson said he’ll be sharing information about the weekly rides on the shop’s Instagram account, so make sure you stay tuned. The shop is open Wednesday-Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.