Oregon Walks to screen new Jane Jacobs doc at annual meeting

Posted on April 25th, 2017 at 3:48 pm.

On May 4th, urban planning giant Jane Jacobs would have been 101 years old. To mark her birthday, Portland-based Oregon Walks will host a screening of a new documentary about her life. The event is also the organization’s annual membership meeting and will also include a panel discussion with three women who are “following in Jane Jacobs’ footsteps.”
[Read more…]

Pedaling Yamhill County: A preview of Cycle Oregon’s ‘Weekender’ event

Posted on April 24th, 2017 at 3:26 pm.

Cycle Oregon Weekender Pre-Ride-28.jpg

Friday afternoon traffic jam on SW Muddy Valley Road southwest of downtown McMinnville.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Willamette Valley is no stranger to great bicycling. After all, it’s home to the first official “scenic bikeway” in America. But until this past weekend there was a large chunk of it which I had yet to pedal through: the western section of Yamhill County south of Forest Grove.
[Read more…]

‘Green Loop’ takes center stage at Design Week Portland

Posted on April 21st, 2017 at 10:07 am.

The Green Loop will come of age at Design Week Portland.
(Images: Untitled Studio)

Design Week Portland kicks off tonight. If you are an urban planner, transportation reformer, bicycle commuter, or just a lover of Portland, you should check out what they’ve got planned.

“… design process whereby Portlanders define the character and identity of the project in a way that reflects their individual needs and aspirations for the future.”

The event — which runs through next Saturday (April 29th) — features several bicycle, transportation and urban planning-related talks, workshops and more. And this year the City of Portland’s Green Loop project is the brightest star of the entire festival.

From this Sunday through Friday (April 28th), there will be a free Green Loop exhibition at Design Week Portland Headquarters at The Redd (831 SE Salmon St). At Assembling a Mosiac, planners aim to “bring to life a design concept for the Green Loop” — a project they describe as a “six-mile linear park, linking Portland’s east and west sides with a robust bicycle and pedestrian network.” Untitled Studio, winners of the LoopPDX design competition, will host the exhibition. You can learn more about their vision for the Loop here.
[Read more…]

Biketown back to full capacity after vandalism, just in time for bike month

Posted on April 19th, 2017 at 2:32 pm.

Biketown bike share launch-3.jpg

Boo-yah!
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Biketown is back.

After over 20 percent of the system was taken offline two weeks ago due to vandalism, Biketown says all 1,000 bikes are back in operation.

The City of Portland and bike share operator Motivate were caught off-guard by the scope of the vandalism. Sources told us they didn’t have enough parts on-hand — or enough labor to repair them. Thankfully, our community stepped up to help. Local bike business owners and employees lended a helping hand by rebuilding wheels and doing whatever it took to nurse the bikes back to full health.

In an email sent to members today, Biketown said, “We would like to extend a huge thank you to you, Portland. The support you’ve shown for bike share in this city is overwhelming. The team at Biketown is very grateful to know that the work we do is appreciated by so many of you. Now, let’s ride!”[Read more…]

Get ready Portland, here comes the Ladd’s 500

Posted on April 11th, 2017 at 12:59 pm.

All bikes are welcome.
(Photo: Josh Roppo)

As we predicted after last year’s inaugural edition, the Ladd’s 500 is back.

For the uninitiated, the event is a novel homage to one of Portland’s most beloved bike routes, neighborhoods and public spaces. Ladd Circle is a public park inside of a roundabout smack-dab in the middle of the historic Ladd’s Addition neighboorhood of inner southeast Portland. The idea behind the event — like many other events that make our local bike culture so interesting — is to simply have fun doing something silly on bikes with a bunch of other nice people.

With the 2017 edition coming this Saturday (4/15), we asked one of the event’s protagonists Eric Ivy to share more about it.

Here’s what he sent over: [Read more…]

‘Human Transit’ author Jarrett Walker to keynote Oregon Active Transportation Summit

Posted on March 17th, 2017 at 9:20 am.

Jarrett Walker.
(Photo: Jarrett Walker)

Starting this Sunday with mobile tours and a social mixer, transportation reform activists from across the region and state will gather in Portland for the annual Oregon Active Transportation Summit. The event, hosted by The Street Trust, offers three days of presentations, workshops, speeches, and more.

Taking place this year at the Oregon Zoo, the event (3/19 – 3/21) also includes the Oregon Safe Routes to School Annual Meeting and the Oregon Bicycle Tourism Conference (presented by Travel Oregon). If you care about making it easier to bike, walk, or take transit in Oregon — or if you are a professional in the field seeking to learn the latest best practices — you should consider taking part.

The main event kicks off Monday morning with keynote speaker Jarrett Walker. Walker is a transit consultant based in Portland and author of the book, Human Transit: How clearer thinking about public transit can enrich our communities and our lives. Walker also maintains blog, has a Ph.D. in Drama and Literature from Stanford University, and is only person with peer-reviewed articles in both the Journal of Transport Geography and Shakespeare Quarterly.[Read more…]

Advocates hit the Hill for National Bike Summit lobby day

Posted on March 8th, 2017 at 7:58 am.

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Bikes — and the people who love them — are making their presence felt on Capitol Hill today.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Hundreds of advocates are on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. today to remind members of Congress that bicycling — and transportation reform in general — is a high priority for the American people.

Lobby day is one of the most important elements of the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit. It’s a time for advocates to make a personal connection with their elected representatives, share stories about why bicycling matters, and make specific “asks” for bills and policies to support.
[Read more…]

National Bike Summit: The health of the bike movement — and its future under Trump

Posted on March 6th, 2017 at 8:11 pm.

Bike Summit bike ride-8

Sunny — but with a few dark clouds.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Day one of the 2017 National Bike Summit is in the books. After a two-year hiatus, we decided to head back to D.C.

I was motivated to make the journey for several reasons. With the Trump era in full-swing, it seems like showing up for bikes in the nation’s capitol is more important than ever. Relatedly, I wanted to check the pulse of the national movement: If we do receive a major attack, will we be healthy enough to fend it off? Is it even possible to have a “we” anymore?
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New ‘Friends on Bikes’ group wants to create a warm welcome for women of color

Posted on March 6th, 2017 at 11:20 am.

Posts from the Friends of Bikes Instagram feed (top) and a motif from their website.

One reason Portland’s vaunted bike culture keeps growing and evolving is because new people arrive in town, look at the local cycling landscape, and feel like something’s missing. Then they set out to create it.

That’s the story of how Molly Sugar and Gritchelle Fallesgon started Friends on Bikes.
[Read more…]

Portland’s first unsanctioned, virtual stage race starts this weekend

Posted on March 2nd, 2017 at 11:12 am.

Event flyer

This weekend a new type of cycling event will start on the streets in and around Portland. It’s called La Boucle Des Roses and it’s unlike anything we’ve heard of before.

French for “The Loop of Roses,” La Boucle is an unsanctioned race/ride with five stages that will take place between this Saturday March 4th and Saturday April 1st.

Unsanctioned rides are nothing new to Portland. We’ve seen huge turnouts for the annual De Ronde and its sister ride, La Doyenne. Last weekend there were about 70 people who showed up for the Timber Logjam. “Organizers” of those events simply pick a date and mark a route (both online and on on-the-road), and sit back and let the promotion happen through word-of-mouth. What makes La Boucle different is its presentation as a multi-stage event and its use of an online platform to tabulate times and rankings for everyone who enters — regardless of when they complete the routes.

La Boucle’s organizer Will Hahn says the event is a “stride forward for Oregon cycling.” It’s his response to a recent decline in sanctioned road racing events statewide. A recent thread on the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association email list titled, “State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events” brought out dozens of voices to hash out the causes and impacts of why people are racing less and why events continue to fall off the racing calendar. Membership at OBRA is down as well and it seems like everyone has an opinion as to why. Ideas I’ve heard include: the difficulty of getting permits for road closures and a lack of affordable and quality venues; a lack of profit for promoters; people doing their own rides and “competing” via Strava; and so on.

Hahn’s La Boucle avoids some of those hurdles (administrative costs) and embraces others (use of technology). The low overhead allows Hahn to manage the race for a relatively low entry fee of $22. The five-stage Baker City Classic by comparison, costs $140. To help raise money for the prize purse, Hahn has set a GoFundMe campaign. So far he’s raised just $20 of his $2,000 goal. To protect himself from legal claims in the event of a crash or other accident, Hahn will require each official participant to fill out a waiver form.

Here’s more from Hahn’s description of the ride on the Ride With GPS event page:

The idea of this race grew out of the desire to grow Oregon bicycle racing from a grassroots level, to promote the tenets of good bike riding and to satisfy the missing holes in the Oregon race calendar. My intent is to draw riders from all walks of life, to pit them against excellent courses that would otherwise be off-limits and create a renewable system of racing that eases the costly burdens of race promotion.

I will describe this as a race, but it is more akin to a mass start Gran Fondo, open to all and free…

These courses are (for the most part) difficult and long. They are all marked with paint, but it is up to you to know the courses before hand. There are no referees or course marshals, no follow cars and no feed zones; other than those provided by yourself. Riders who break traffic laws aren’t following the tenets of good bike racing, sullying the image of cyclists and creating an unsafe atmosphere for other riders, please don’t be this person.

There will be a roll-out at 10:00 am from the bottom of NW Saltzman Road (off Highway 30) for Saturday’s opening time trial stage. You don’t have to be there to have your time counted and the course will be “open” for a one week period. To vye for prizes however, and to be considered an official participant, you must show up to at least two Saturday starts in the five-week series.

For the full details, view the official Technical Guide (PDF).

Credit to Hahn for trying something new. Do you think it will catch on?

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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