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Portland’s Bicycle Business League grows up

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

“To support, promote, and actively participate in bicycle-powered commerce for a healthier world.”
— Mission statement of the Bicycle Business League

Back in May, we reported from the first meeting of a group of local bike-based business owners who came together to discuss the formation of a new organization. The idea was to join forces so they could more effectively advocate for their interests and help ensure their business success.

In just a few months, this group has moved from energetic ideas to a formal structure and a new name, the Bicycle Business League. On Friday, Nov. 18, its members approved by-laws and elected a five-person board to help achieve ambitious goals.[Read more…]

In-Depth: Tracing the roots of the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

[This story was written by Mark Reber]

Andy Newlands of Strawberry Cycles

Andy Newlands, a pioneer of
Portland’s framebuilding industry.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Portland’s emergence as a hub of bike manufacturing seems new and shiny like the paint on the bikes at this week’s upcoming Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show. But the area’s provenance as a leading force in the bike business has its roots, just like the roots of the builders themselves, in its early pioneers.

No one understands this better than Andy Newlands of Terra Nova Cycles (a.k.a. Strawberry Cyclesport). He started building bikes when leather was the preferred material for helmets. I talked with Newlands recently about those early years.

“I graduated from the University of Washington with a Civil Engineering degree in 1970,” he explained. “It wasn’t exactly the best economy for finding a job in Seattle, so I started looking at what I might do to earn a living. Somehow, building bikes came into view.”
[Read more…]

Design Challenge race: More camaraderie than competition

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Pausing at the Rapha-sponsored
beer stop high atop Portland off of
Dixie Mountain Road.
(Photos by Mark Reber)

Saturday’s Constructor’s Design Challenge (part of the Oregon Manifest) race may have been for points and it was certainly tough, but the riders seemed to focus more on camaraderie than competition.

The day seemed to be an extension of the previous evening’s party, albeit without the DJ. The mood was light and joyful, the weather cooperated and there was excellent beer and food along the way.

Whether organizers at Oregon Manifest intended it or not, the day — from the first checkpoint where riders loaded a six-pack of Hopworks beer, to the lunch stop at Chris King’s home to the finish line — expanded what it means to have a biking culture and a bike community. The expectations of riders and visitors were exceeded and few could help but smile and laugh.[Read more…]

The Design Challenge from the builder’s perspective

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

An enthusiastic crowd turned out tonight for the reception party.
(Photo by Mark Reber for BikePortland)

[Read more…]

First look inside the Constructor’s Design Challenge

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Editor’s note: Please welcome new BikePortland contributor Mark Reber. A reporter and photographer, Mark is working with us to cover the Oregon Manifest Constructor’s Design Challenge and Race this weekend. Mark was able to spend some time with the bikes and their proud, nervous builders this morning, and sent this dispatch — and some enticing shots of some of the bikes — from the show floor.


The crew from Chris King stand with their Cielo entry. In the middle is Cielo brand manager Jay Sycip (yes that Sycip) and to his left (in short-sleeve blue shirt) is Chris King.
-More photos below-
(Photos by Mark Reber for BikePortland)

[Read more…]