I never thought I’d say this; but I’m happy the forecast calls for clouds and rain this weekend.
With virus outbreak mode at an all-time high in Oregon and nightmarish scenes unfolding across the country, it’s absolutely essential that we stay home and stay isolated as much as possible right now. (If you do head out, scroll down for my advice.)
Last weekend we had dreamy weather. Unfortunately it led to nightmarish scenes of overcrowding all over the the state as people fled to the outdoors. That decision came at the expense of public health and it increased fear and anxiety among residents of many smaller towns where our favorite trails, beaches and roads exist. It also led to a loss of open spaces as park and forest agencies have now opted to close everything down due to crowding fears.[Read more…]
We’re at that awkward stage in a highway mega-project when the agency in charge is under a cloud of controversy and still (after years of planning) doesn’t have an official endorsement to start construction, but still wants money to keep the project moving forward.
Of course I’m talking about the Oregon Department of Transportation and the I-5 Rose Quarter Project. And it seems whenever I do, there’s growing skepticism and concern from regional leaders about it.
That’s the rally cry from Ayleen Crotty, one of Portland’s most dedicated and prolific purveyors of bike culture. Crotty’s Filmed by Bike started as a local event but has grown significantly in the past 18 years and now includes tour stops nationwide and an impressive list of submissions from around the world.
Originally scheduled for May 15-17th at the Hollywood Theater, the coronavirus pandemic has forced Crotty to postpone the event until September. But the world needs bike films now more than ever, so Crotty announced today she’ll host the Global Bike Festival on April 4th.
“I’m doing what I know how to do best in times of adversity,” she shared with me today. “Digging in on a new project, challenging myself to the max, and innovating. Here we go!” [Read more…]
Local bike bag and apparel maker Chrome Industries calls their retail stores “Hubs”. Now those hubs — including their location in Old Town — are the center of a new effort to help battle coronavirus infections.
Chrome announced today they’re galvanizing their global legion of fans around a new mission: to help fill the nationwide gap in N95 masks for healthcare workers. (*Note: N95 masks require special material. Please see update below for more about this.)
“There is a basic need on the front lines, and our community has an opportunity to help,” said Chrome Industries President Steve McCallion in a statement from the company today. [Read more…]
Becky Jo’s Vans after 4 months. (Photos: Becky Jo)
In the Pacific Northwest it looks like we’ve hit that time in spring when we alternate sunny weeks with rainy weeks, which gets me thinking about what changes are in store for biking in spring. Does anything even need to change?
For example, you’ve helped me join the biking community in winter, arguably the worst time of year to commit to being car-free. I took your advice and got a bike rack, water-resistant panniers, better suited clothing, and bike fenders. It took me a bit to figure out the wet-pedal situation. I was thiiiiis close to replacing my pedals, when for my birthday in January I got myself a pair of the snazzy all-weather Vans. These have been a life-saver. They have enough tread grip I no longer noticed my stock-pedals being slippery, and the water resistance and high-top saved my feet and ankles. As you can see, in less than 4 months, they look like they’ve been around. I found out later the Bike Shop Girl in Colorado recommends them too for winter cycling, which made me feel like I’m getting this bike thing down.[Read more…]
Most shops, like Upcycles in Woodlawn, have implemented serious distancing procedures already. (Photo: Upcycles)
Amid a growing number of coronavirus infections and pressure from concerned Oregonians and public health officials, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has issued an executive order to encourage people to minimize physical contact.
The “Stay Home, Save Lives” order clarifies which type of businesses must close and how to go outdoors without violating the order. Bike shops are not on the list of businesses that are required to close. The Governor has also not prohibited or discouraged bicycling. In fact, “biking in your neighborhood” is among the things called out in her official statement — as long as you maintain six or more feet distance between yourself and other riders. [Read more…]
Roule Cycling is selling apparel at cost to keep cash flowing.
One of the focuses of our work so far during this outbreak is to monitor the health of our local bike economy and do what we can to help them survive. One of the things I’m doing is scrolling through social media and emails looking for updates about how local bike businesses are holding up and adapting to the strange reality of the times.
Here are a few things I’ve learned:
Breadwinner Cycles is offering bike repair and maintenance service. Breadwinner is a bicycle maker and not usually available as a bike repair shop. That has now changed. “We are offering our services to our Portland cycling community to showcase that bicycles are a better way to go,” say owners Tony and Ira. To drop off your bike give them a call at (503) 236-8511 to set an appointment.
Component manufacturer Chris King wants your help to keep business flowing to local bike shops (who they rely on for orders). They’ve started the Bikes Build Us Up social media campaign that comes with the #SupportYourLocalBikeShop social media tag and a custom graphic you can place over your own image to promote the campaign online.[Read more…]
Iulia Hanczarek. (Photo: Portland State University)
Iulia Hanczarek was coming into her prime as a chemist and researcher at Portland State University. She had dreams of a doctoral degree and missions to space. At just 39 years old, she had a lot of important discoveries ahead of her. Staff at the university describe her as “brilliant”.
But just after midnight on Tuesday her life was cut short when a man chose to drive his car while drunk and hit and killed her as she walked home in southwest Portland. According to police, Ivan Cam was driving approximately 50 miles per hour prior to hitting Hanczarek. Cam told crash investigators the window of his car “suddenly exploded” and he didn’t even know what he’d hit. He now faces charges of manslaughter, DUI, and reckless driving.[Read more…]