Posted on July 23rd, 2021 at 5:38 am.
Posted on July 20th, 2021 at 12:58 pm.
“Enough is enough!”
Portlander Hami Ramani is pissed. He’s tired of what he sees as a lack of bold action against climate change from the Oregon Department of Transportation and their bosses. To do something about it Ramani has just launched a new ride that will happen this Wednesday (tomorrow, 7/21) to show support for Sunrise Movement PDX and their ongoing protest at ODOT headquarters in downtown Portland.
As you might recall from our story on this protest last month, youth climate activists organized by Sunrise PDX have staged twice-monthly protests outside ODOT Region 1 headquarters on Northwest Flanders. The protests have grown in size in recent weeks. This is in part because the clear evidence of climate change-induced catastrophes is unfolding here in Oregon and in many other places worldwide, as our leaders sit back and rest on incrementalist rhetoric and status quo decision-making. Also fueling these fires are recent decisions by the Oregon Legislature and at Metro to endorse funding policy that will lead to more freeways being built and more cars being driven. [Read more…]
Posted on July 16th, 2021 at 3:34 pm.
Posted on July 15th, 2021 at 4:50 pm.
Hi everybody![Read more…]
Posted on July 15th, 2021 at 9:21 am.
Publisher’s Note: Maritza Arango is BikePortland’s new events editor! This is her first (non Weekend Event Guide) post. Maritza moved to Portland from Bogotá, Colombia in January 2021. Stay tuned for a proper intro and more of her perspectives on Portland’s bike scene. – Jonathan
How hard is it for humans to understand that differences should be acknowledged and respected? It is not just a matter of thinking that we are all the same, because we are not. With that on my mind, I attended my first bike ride in Portland earlier this month. It was the Unity Ride; a ride only for women, trans and non-binary people.
“I want to get to know the community through the eyes of those who, like myself, believe their bodies are not welcome, appreciated, suitable, or even allowed on a bike.”
For centuries, the patriarchy has drawn a line between “them” – as the bodies that matter, the bodies that “can and should” occupy public space like it belonged to them – and “the others.” They feel entitled to comment, to look, to touch, to harass. It is unnecessary for me to explain (and honestly I don’t want to because it is exhausting) which bodies belong to that historical patriarchal status-quo and which don’t.
Now, you should be asking yourself: What does all this have to do with biking? Why should I make the decision to start writing about biking in Portland on such an uncomfortable topic? Well, I want to get to know the community through the eyes of those who, like myself, believe their bodies are not welcome, appreciated, suitable, or even allowed on a bike. This is how I want to introduce myself.
Some may think that bikes are just for sports, for fun, or for daily transportation. I was drawn to the Unity Ride for several reasons, in part because I think that bikes are so much more than that. I think riding a bike can be a political expression of individuals and communities.
So let’s get to the ride recap!
Before I continue, I want to mention that I invited two friends to join me. Not only because I wanted to spend time with them, but also because I believed that I was not going to fit in. Why? Because I am a woman, I am overweight, I am Latina, and I have a disability and a service dog. Sounds like a perfect recipe for an entertaining conversation for a group of proud and drunk boys, right?
Here’s how it happened: First, I reached out to Sofie, one of the organizers, to let them know I wanted to join the ride and get to know them so I could write this report.
I arrived at Colonel Summers park, Friday July 3rd, at 7:00 pm. Around 15 people had already gathered, and were talking and waiting for something or someone. Everyone seemed to know each other except me. As I was waiting for Sofie, I felt like I was in an awkward blind date where I was waiting and looking for someone that should arrive “on a red bike.” My bike needed some adjustment so I decided to approach the group. People reached out to help and I even got a tool kit offered (thank you, PCC Active Transportation!). Everything seemed to have started from a good place. More people were showing up, and we quickly became a group of 20 or 30 bikers with so many different bodies and gender expressions.
Someone started talking to the group: “No homophobia allowed, no fatphobia allowed, no transphobia allowed, no misogynistic behavior allowed, no harassment allowed…” I can’t remember the exact words but I can summarize those with: No discrimination allowed. Turns out that person was Sofie. And that’s how I met her.
Some safety instructions were given to the group and we were ready to go. The ride was smooth, sunny, and beautiful. People were happy and it felt like a place where I could show any weakness with no judgment. During the ride some people approached me to check in, some to have a short talk and some were just sharing music and chillness – I know, it sounds too much like a unicorn safety fairytale, but it was real.
We arrived at Sellwood park for a swim and a picnic after a 10-mile ride across a couple of bridges. (I wouldn’t recommend the ride to beginners that are just learning how to ride; I’d say it required a minimum set of skills.)
At the picnic I talked to some of the organizers of the ride; here is a little bit of what they shared with me:
“The ride has been going on for about a year now. It started biweekly but now is weekly. We have two rides: One that goes at a pace that’s inclusive to all riders, and one that’s faster for more experienced riders. We strive to include women, transgender and non-binary people that have felt excluded or intimidated to forming community around bikes. We want the community to be as involved in the ride as they want to be! We aim to create an inclusive environment where no one person is the sole leader. We prioritize safety and inclusion while having fun!”
What is my conclusion after riding and talking with them? Everyone is invited except the ones that have a privilege that allows them to be respected, accepted and safe in any or every other ride. Why? Because women and other bodies that are non-dominant need spaces to feel safe and to…. just be. Don’t take my word as the Unity Ride’s word, this is just me asking the world to give women and others more spaces where we can take care of each other, be vulnerable, learn and especially, not be harassed!
I promise that you’ll read from me a lot more reasons why women belong on bikes and why public space is in debt to us, “the others.” Thank you for reading!
— Maritza Arango, @arango_mari on Instagram and Twitter.
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Posted on July 12th, 2021 at 4:34 pm.
Posted on June 22nd, 2021 at 3:50 pm.
Posted on June 22nd, 2021 at 11:53 am.
Posted on June 22nd, 2021 at 9:35 am.
Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic the 2020 bike racing season was nearly wiped out completely. This season has gotten off to a very promising start with huge field sizes and lots of enthusiasm; but this morning we got some bad news. The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association has announced that the Portland Short Track Series will not happen.
2021 would have been the 17th season for the beloved, weekday, off-road races that are held at Portland International Raceway (PIR) just north of downtown Kenton. Short Track is a discipline where people use mountain bikes to compete on a course that offers a mix of grassy double-track, tight singletrack through roots and trees, and the big highlight: whoops, berms, and drops on a motocross course. One of the best things about Short Track is how close it is to Portland, which means many people are able to bike to the event after work.
Interestingly, Short Track organizer Tony Kic said the cancellation happened due to a mix of factors (not just Covid). “After a long month of planning and deliberation PIR management has decided not to allow STXC [short track cross country] this summer,” Kic shared in an email to OBRA members. “Various issues and conflicts with the venue and other users have compounded over the years, the pandemic and some changes in leadership prompted new restrictions and priorities that squeeze out our little bike party.”[Read more…]
Posted on June 21st, 2021 at 11:28 am.