By Elly Blue When I’ve worked downtown, the highlight of my commute has always been crossing the Hawthorne Bridge. The air quality changes, the breeze shifts, the river is right below you, and the view of other bridges, buildings, and if you’re lucky, a big freighter, make you feel connected to the city.
Elly Blue (Columnist)
Stories by Elly Blue (Columnist)
[Editor’s note: Please read this follow-up comment made by the author.] By Elly Blue Like any emerging issue, bicycling occupies an uncertain and even an unknown territory. In the courtroom yesterday it was clear that the judge, the DA, and most of the police officers present have not been on a bicycle in their adult … Read more
By Elly Blue The Midnight Mystery Ride was 150 riders strong last month and is well into its second year. Bike Buddy programs are taking off. Last June, there were so many rides during the two and a half weeks of Pedalpalooza that the calendar had to double in size. We have a wealth of … Read more
[Elly Blue] Bikey band Gatas en Zapatas—Spanish for “cats in shoes”—is playing this Saturday night at Mississippi Pizza Pub as part of a benefit event for the Village Bicycle Project’s Ghana Women’s Bicycle Initiative. The bikes that will be shipped to Ghana have already been loaded onto a shipping container and are ready to go. … Read more
[Elly Blue] “Ride predictably!” is a common mantra from both motorists and bike safety advocates. There’s a perception among non-cyclists that our behavior is at best terrifyingly confusing and at worst suicidal and malicious. Cyclists themselves even complain about near-misses with other bikers, particularly at intersections with stop signs.
Nearly every time someone complains about how bicyclists are unsafe, uncourteous, dangerous, and suicidal riders, they nearly always mention messengers. Or “those downtown messengers” as the cop put it who wrote me a ticket for rolling through a four-way stop intersection on a sleepy bike boulevard.
Last week I ran into Natalie Ramsland of Sweetpea Bicycles at a backyard party. We both bike a lot for transportation or work, and were talking about how we choose our clothes based on their bike-worthiness. Natalie said she chooses all her jeans by testing whether or not she can fit her U-lock in the … Read more
[Stop polarizing] A local TV station recently ran a news segment on the notoriously tricky I-5 bike path. A bicyclist was interviewed. He sometimes has a rough commute, though overall he seemed fit and cheery and enjoyed his choice of transportation. For some reason, the words “Bikes vs Cars” blared on the corner of the … Read more
[Click here to seethe rest of his display.] We have a lot of highways in Portland. Maybe too many of them. They require huge public subsidies to build and maintain, they break up neighborhoods, they promote sprawl, they encourage more driving and thus more pollution, they are the site of daily fatal crashes, and their … Read more
[NE Alberta St. duringLast Thursday ArtWalk.] “Cars are in the way!” goes the refrain from one song by local bike-punk band The Pheramones. The first time I heard the song this seemed pretty far out in left field, but the more I think about it the less crazy it sounds. Cars take up a lot … Read more
[What a healthy street looks like.] “What about ambulances?” a friend who is visiting from New York asked recently as I was excitedly telling her about our bike community and recent car-free activism. I had no idea what she was referring to. “And what about handicapped people?” she added by way of explanation. I was … Read more