Rolling into BikePortland’s 19th year

It started off so innocently! (Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

19 years ago this week I published the first-ever blog post about biking in Portland. On April 8th, 2005 I wrote a short post about the arrival of spring (I went back and added a lead photo a few months later because I was publishing on The Oregonian’s OregonLive.com at the time and they didn’t let us to share photos). The photo is of my wife Juli and my daughter Eleni wearing bunny ears (above). We were setting out for the Bunny on a Bike ride, one of the first group rides I ever attended in Portland.

The time I’ve spent doing this weird job really hits home when I think about how Eleni is now in her third year of college.

My first 155 posts were done via email. I would type them up and email them to someone at OregonLive, then they’d post it to the “Bike Fun” blog. Once I got the hang of blogging, I got frustrated with The Oregonian and went out on my own. I bought the BikePortland.org domain name and shared my first post there on July 29th, 2005.

July 2005 selfie (before they were called that).

19 years. Just last night I had another moment when the passage of time hit me like a ton of bricks. I confirmed my hunch that I did a story about one of the dads on my son’s basketball team. The story was posted in July 2006 and it was about two sweet kids who opened a bike shop in their garage on NE Holman Street. One of the kids in the story was 13 at the time. Now that kid is a man and his 13-year-old plays on a team with my 13-year old. (Head-exploding emoji.)

Anyways, I don’t have the time or energy to get too reflective about this right now. My to-do list islong, I have a local TV news crew coming into the Shed in a few minutes to talk to me about e-bikes, and then I’m heading out to southwest to spend the rest of the day on a ride-along with a city council candidate.

I just want to say thank you. Thanks for sticking with me for the 550,016 comments, 18,047 stories, and 19 years. I’ve given a lot to this job (probably too much), but it has given me a lot in return. Despite everything, my love for BikePortland and its potential is as strong as ever.

We have built some very special and I’m extremely proud to say we built it the right way: one reader at a time, one subscriber at a time. And we’ve maintained 100% independence. There’s no editor or corporate overload looking over my shoulders, no board of directors. It’s just you and me. That’s it. My most important advisor, investor, and source of revenue are the people — just like you! — in this community. Individuals paying $5-$10 a month are by far our largest source of revenue. That means, at the end of the day, I am accountable to the community over anything else.

It’s very fitting that we’ll celebrate the one year anniversary of Bike Happy Hour next week (4/17). I hope you’ll come out and join us. That event has helped cement my love for this community and has given me fresh eyes and a fresh heart for keeping this candle burning.

Thanks for all your support.

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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jakeco969
jakeco969
1 month ago

Congrats Jonathan!:-) What you’ve built here is pretty incredible. I was looking at a political blog back in 2007ish and it recommended your site as a good place for cycling info (I wish I could remember who that was, but memory being what it is these days) and I’ve paid attention ever since.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
1 month ago

Thanks for all you do for the community!

 
 
1 month ago

Congratulations! I don’t always agree with everything you write, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. BikePortland has become one of the most valuable sources of cycling and wider-transportation news in Portland and provides an important resource.

9watts
9watts
1 month ago

I will add my thanks and congratulations, too, Jonathan. What a thing this is you have created and shepherded all these years.

Betsy Reese
Betsy Reese
1 month ago

Jonathan, I first found out about the inception of bikeportland when I saw you quoted in an article in the Oregonian. My first thought was, ‘Wow! Who is this guy, and how did he gain this ability to advocate so calmly, but so authoritatively, for the experience of bicycling?’

I first met you in person in the fall of 2007 at a meeting at Portland Water Bureau about the notoriously dangerous intersection of N. Broadway, Flint and Wheeler. Had BP not kept the public pressure on, the many safety changes made at that location likely would not have happened when they did. To not have to wait for a fatality to get those changes is just one example of BP’s concrete results.  

Jonathan, thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for our city and for the world. I know it has cost you at times.

Dylan
Dylan
1 month ago

Congrats on the 19 years Johnathan and team. I remember a colleague mentioning BP to me in 2006 or 2007

Surly Ogre
Joe Bicycles
1 month ago

Congratulations Jonathan !!
You are a treasure !!
Here’s to many more years ( 19 more? ) !!
Huzzah !!

Home
Home
1 month ago

I’m glad to have this blog as a community resource. It grows in importance everyday as the printed news media contracts and disappears. BikePortland is so much more than just a bike blog.

Curt
Curt
1 month ago

Congratulations! I’ve been getting a lot of my Portland news from this site for at least 15 years now, much appreciated.

Harald
Harald
1 month ago

Congrats! I probably got introduced to Bike Portland when I spent a few weeks in Portland in winter 2007. Even though I have lived elsewhere since then and never had an opportunity to return to Portland, I’ve been reading the website pretty regularly ever since. You have built something very unique.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

Since everybody else is telling us when they started reading here: It was after I saw a bikeportland.org sticker in a random spot in a bike shop in 2015. Haven’t seen one of those stickers since then, I don’t think.

(Tangent alert)
The 2nd photo caption got me wondering, is the word “selfie” really that young? The answer is “sort of”: Check out the interesting footnote on the word’s history from Merriam-Webster.

Nick
Nick
1 month ago

Thanks for everything you do! This is really one of the best sites on the internet, and there are just an amazing number of positive things that have happened as a result of all your work.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago

BP is one of the best things about cycling in Portland, so you should be very proud of what you have accomplished. I have learned so many things and taken so many good rides, and even helped to improve cycling in Portland – all thanks to this site.

I’m glad you still have energy for BP and are taking it in new directions, but you would do well to consider the very high likelihood that your energy will wane in the future – possibly the very near future, so you should start working now on a succession plan. That is, what will become of BP when you no longer run it? You don’t want everything you have built to go down the drain when you step away – and you *will* step away eventually.

One other thought about legacy: Is BP the only site of its kind? That is, do other cities have a blog dedicated to cycling in their metro area – aside from the ones associated with cycling clubs? I haven’t seen anything else like it but I’m not the world’s web-savviest person. I hope people can chime in to answer that question.

OregonRainstorm87
OregonRainstorm87
1 month ago

community reporting and organizing are SO important (especially as we see so many media outlets, large and small, falling). Thank you for keeping the torch burning, Jonathan & documenting everything! <3

A fellow commenter, Fred I believe, had an excellent point about your legacy. I was just listening to a podcast the other day about now defunct media sites losing their webpage and either all their work disappears forever (hard to believe something disappears from the internet for ever these days…) or it is bought for pennies by some random dude who farms the well known name for web search clicks. Just something for you to think about, what happens to all your countless hours and amazing reporting one day…