Happy 18th Birthday to BikePortland!

18 years ago today, I wrote my first post about the Portland bike scene. It was an innocent few words, but it was the start of something that I would end up devoting much of my life to almost every day since.

In those days I wrote my posts in emails that I would send to someone at OregonLive.com (the website for The Oregonian) and they’d make the words magically appear on what was called the “Bike Fun” blog. There were no comments allowed, no outbound links to other sites, and no photos in those initial posts. I could only do that for about three months before I realized I could do something much more interesting on my own and launched the site as we know it today. Not long after, I quit my other job because I was so excited about what was happening on BikePortland.

My oldest daughter was just two years old when I started doing this. Now she’s in her second year of college. I know it’s not a long time in the grand scheme of life; but as I always say, in Internet years, it feels like a very long time.

How it started (2006 photo by Clarence Eckerson) and how it’s going (selfie from Salem last week).

I have had a lot of ups-and-downs. A few times I really thought of walking away from all of it. One time I even applied for a job. I am so glad I didn’t get a call-back! I love doing this work and I love being a part of this community. Through all the changes we’ve gone through, I’m so proud and excited that BikePortland is still here. And in my very biased opinion, we are doing our best work ever.

This site would not still be alive without the support of my wife Juli. She understands how important this work is to me and she has held our family together with what she says has been “a lot of smoke and mirrors” just so I can continue to do it.

After Juli, the most important people that have kept BikePortland alive are all of our wonderful subscribers and financial supporters (especially the folks at Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost who’ve been our longest advertisers). Without your monthly subscription payments, Juli would have forced me to pull the plug a long time ago. I am also extremely grateful for the financial investment of Mike Perham, my partner in co-ownership of this weird business.

When it comes to the future of BikePortland and whether or not we’ll make it to year 20, that is still up in the air. Honestly, the business and revenue side remains a very difficult challenge. I’m hopeful, but I know enough to be realistic. I’ll be pushing very hard in the coming months to boost our revenue through subscriptions and advertising sales so that I can rest a bit more easily.

There’s so much work to do. And I’m eager to get to it.


If you haven’t already, check out the video below that features a conversation between Clarence Eckerson and I. Clarence launched Streetfilms the same year I launched BikePortland and it was fun to chat with him about our experiences making community and advocacy-oriented transportation content for the past two decades. And don’t forget to swing by the Bike Happy Hour this week — 3-6:00 pm at Gorges Beer Co on SE Ankeny and 28th! Hope to see some new faces.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Josh G
Josh G
1 year ago

I lived here from 2000-2002, and have been back for 13 yr.s. Reading BP was a big part of realizing this was the place for me.

Pockets the Coyote
Pockets the Coyote
1 year ago

Congratulations Jon! I very much appreciate everything you and the team do here.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
1 year ago

Happy birthday Bike Portland! Thanks for all you do for the community!

Daniel Reimer
1 year ago

Congrats on the 18 years and your conversation with Clarence was enjoyable to watch! Listening to it made me think it would be fun to have you do history segments once in a while to explain how/why some things are the way they are today.

Clarence
Clarence
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Reimer

It was a fun impromptu segment we both loved. I really think I am gonna try to do more of them myself.

Mick O
Mick O
1 year ago

You are a true asset to our community. Thank you for putting your heart into this. Onward, BikePortland!

Damien
Damien
1 year ago

I remain an avid reader/enjoyer of BikePortland – I hope it continues on for the foreseeable future. It’s one of the last places on the internet that I regularly see where the comment sections are themselves (usually) just as insightful as the article, which is a very rare thing in the age of reactionary online anonymity (unlike the BP forums, which fall squarely in that unfortunate bucket).

Happy to support it!

HH
HH
1 year ago

Me too. o/o<