Willamette Week’s bike issue looks to spice up Portland’s cycling complacency

Posted on April 26th, 2017 at 9:42 am.

The cover of the Willamette Week’s bike issue aims to show that biking is sexy.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s an annual tradition we look forward to every year: When one of our local weekly news outlets devotes an entire issue to bicycles and the people who ride them. This morning the Pulitzer Prize-winning Willamette Week released its Bike Issue and newsstands around the city are now adorned with this provocative cover. And under the covers of the issue is a suite of articles that will hopefully make people think critically — and positively — about biking’s role in Portland.

The lede is all about how Portland has gotten complacent:

“… don’t you kind of feel like we’ve been in a rut?

The percentage of bike commuters in the city has been stuck for the past three years. Adding more bike infrastructure has been a battle. Vandals felt empowered to destroy bike-share stations earlier this month.

It’s not just drivers to blame — Portland cyclists have become complacent… It’s time to spice things up.”

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In case you read about us in the NW Examiner this month…

Posted on January 13th, 2017 at 2:27 pm.

Right now in the “Drafts” folder of this blog’s backend there are 303 unpublished stories. One of them is titled, “The Friday Profile: Allan Classen, the ‘fearless’ voice of northwest Portland.”

And right now on newsstands throughout northwest Portland is the January issue of the NW Examiner, the paper that has Classen’s name atop the masthead. And on page three of that issue is the monthly “Editor’s Turn” column where he takes issue with BikePortland for not publishing that story.

There are a few things Classen got right in his column; but unfortunately everyone who reads it is now mostly misinformed. That’s because it’s based on assumptions about our editorial motives which are simply wrong.
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Portland’s bike-powered BBQs and talk show get their due

Posted on October 12th, 2015 at 2:21 pm.


Grilling by bike in Paste Magazine.

If you’ve followed this site for a while you know that here in Portland, people do a lot of amazing things by bike: raising a family, getting married, moving, and responding to disasters are just a few of them.

I like to share those types of stories here on BikePortland because they challenge people’s assumptions about what bicycles make possible. That’s why I get excited when larger media outlets give them attention because their I know their audiences will be even more amazed and inspired.

Case in point are two recent bits of media attention worth noting: Portland’s “Grill by bike” trend highlighted in Paste Magazine and the Pedal Powered Talk Show earning a spot on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Art Beat program.
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Riding against violence: Two Portlanders’ story of using a bike ride to call for peace

Posted on September 15th, 2015 at 9:45 am.

As every bike-lover knows, it’s not really about the bike.

For Jason Washington and DeMarcus Preston, 40ish Portlanders and friends who were fed up with local shootings last summer, a bike ride seemed like a natural way to wipe aside a cycle of gang violence and bring the community together into “one gang” in the best sense of the word.

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The Oregonian’s unfortunate letters about Hawthorne bike counter – UPDATED

Posted on March 20th, 2013 at 12:25 pm.

Public opinion not based on facts.

The Oregonian published two letters in today’s paper that allow a falsehood to go unchecked and that further perpetuate the incorrect notion harbored by many readers of that publication that bike-related spending by the City of Portland is both bad policy and out of control (neither of which are true of course).

The letters came in response to a story about the Hawthorne Bike bike counter that ran online on Sunday (3/17) and also ran in Monday’s print edition (page A6).

The online version of the story, Portland bike counter: Nudging 1 million trips over the Hawthorne Bridge, mentioned “the city’s $20,000 bike counter,” in the opening lines. Much lower down, in a “quick facts” section of the story, the reporter noted (correctly) that the counter was “donated to the city by Cycle Oregon.”[Read more…]

Giant remakes GM ad and other reactions to the story

Posted on October 13th, 2011 at 12:09 pm.

Detail of Giant Bicycles response
to GM ad.
-See it below-

It’s been two days since we first shared the “Stop pedaling… Start driving.” General Motors ad and the story — and the ad itself — is still getting a lot of attention. GM themselves has responded by saying they’ll pull the ad out of rotation, several people (and one bike company) have offered their own versions of the ad, the national and local media has taken an interest, and the story has spurred an interesting discussion about the state — and the style — of bike advocacy in America.

Not long after word of the ad spread, GM began apologizing profusely about it via their Twitter stream. They said the “didn’t mean to offend,” that it was created with the help of students, and that they were open to the feedback and working on changes. Then the Los Angeles reported that GM decided to pull the ad saying that, “We respect bikers and many of us here are cyclists.”
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National attention for cargo bikes, Portland in Bicycling Magazine

Posted on September 15th, 2011 at 9:36 am.

Cargo bike story in Bicycling Mag-1

Nice to see in a magazine where
cool is usually defined by racing bikes.

The October issue of Bicycling Magazine includes a big feature article on the cargo bike revolution that’s sweeping the country.

Portland, with our flourishing cargo bike scene, figures prominently into the article. There’s copy and photos devoted to a local bike move and mentions of local cargo bike shop Splendid Cycles, B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery, custom cargo bike builders Metrofiets and fave bike-inspired hangout Hopworks Urban Brewery.
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“Bike Race”: OPB show will tackle Williams project

Posted on July 20th, 2011 at 12:48 pm.

OPB.org screenshot

The popular Oregon Public Broadcasting radio show, Think Out Loud, will tackle PBOT’s North Williams Traffic Safety Project tomorrow.

Here’s how OPB sets up tomorrow’s one-hour discussion:

“North Williams Avenue in Portland has become a controversial street in the last few months. Currently, on the one way street, there are two lanes for cars plus a bike lane, but the bike lane often overflows as cyclists leave downtown at rush hour. The Portland Bureau of Transportation planned on transforming one of the two car lanes into a wider bike lane, but the project has been delayed. That’s because some in the historically African-American neighborhood felt that the project didn’t adequately address important issues like gentrification, equity and race.”

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The Oregonian strikes again: And it’s not just about the numbers

Posted on May 17th, 2011 at 4:33 pm.

Last night, The Oregonian’s commuting reporter and columnist Joseph Rose published an article about Portland Mayor Sam Adams’ budget decisions. The article, Portland Mayor Sam Adams boosts funding for bike projects, but now there’s less for paving streets, attempts to make the point that Adams’ decision to allocate a larger percentage of discretionary revenue to “bike projects” comes at the expense of “motor vehicle projects.”

Not surprisingly, the article has spurred hundreds of comments, many of them by angry Portlanders who don’t like the idea of any spending that benefits bicycling and who feel Adams’ priorities are not in the right place.

Seem like a déjà vu? Unfortunately, it’s not out of character for him or for The Oregonian to frame a bike news story in a way that makes readers take sides. Whether it’s referring to a “cold war” on our streets and warning of an impending “backlash” against people who ride bikes, dropping an inaccurate and biased story on the Idaho Stop proposal the day before it was heard by legislators, or sensationalizing road rage to sell papers (which they later admitted to) — we’ve seen this happen time and time again. [Read more…]

Momentum Magazine gets a brand new look

Posted on February 25th, 2011 at 6:46 am.

Austin Day 1-27

Go with the “Mo”.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Just because it’s a handmade bike show, doesn’t mean there isn’t other news to cover here in Austin. On that note, last night I ran into Mia Kohout, co-publisher of Momentum Magazine. The successful bike lifestyle publication based in Vancouver, B.C. celebrates its 50th issue with their March edition and Kohout had some major news to share… Momentum has undergone a serious makeover.
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