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Winter Wonderland “Bike the Lights” is now in its 10th Year

by on November 19th, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Back in 2009 Portland International Raceway (PIR) decided to create a special night when only bicycle riders would be allowed to circle the 2-mile track to take in the extensive Winter Wonderland display. This event is called Bike the Lights, and it has been held every year since. I’ve been to all nine of the previous occurrences and thought a recap would be nice for this 10th anniversary coming up on November 27 from 5:30 to 9:30 pm.

For me, the most memorable year happens to be the first, when the temperature was 25 degrees with a 15 mph wind blowing. But even under those conditions a huge crowd showed up. Portland bike ride leaders Carye Bye and Ester Harlow had a group ride up to PIR for the well-publicized event. And Pedal Bike Tours also had a group ride to the event that same year, thus starting another new holiday tradition. Every year since there has been at least one group bike ride to Bike the Lights where Portlanders are greeted by a parade of holiday decorated bikes and sound systems on their way to the lights. It’s like a Pedalpalooza ride, just six months later.

One remarkable occurrence (at least for Portland) is that it has not rained during the event over the past nine years. But there were times when it rained earlier in the day, so the track was still wet. And one year it started drizzling just after the event was over. In 2013 Portland had a good snow the Friday before, but it was gone by the Monday evening of Bike the Lights. And there was another year (2015) where it would have been raining, but it had been raining so hard that the racetrack was flooded. PIR thus canceled the early December date and rescheduled Bike the Lights for December 28 of 2015. That made for a pretty light attendance, perhaps because fewer people were interested in taking in holiday lights after December 25. We’ll have to see if the rain-free weather holds out for another year! For reference, here are the weather conditions on each of the previous nine years. Thanks to Jonathan’s extensive archives, you can click on the year link for information pertinent to that particular year.

Year Date Weather – Temp, Wind, Conditions
Mon, Dec 7 25 F, 15 mph, Clear
Mon, Dec 6 44 F, 10 mph, Overcast
Mon, Dec 5 32 F, 5 mph, Overcast
Mon, Dec 3 50 F, 10 mph, Overcast
Mon, Dec 9 28 F, 5 mph, Overcast
Mon, Dec 8 47 F, 15 mph, Overcast
Mon, Dec 28 39 F, Calm, Mostly Cloudy
Tue, Nov 29 47 F, 10 mph, Overcast
Tue, Nov 28 46 F, 1 mph, Mostly Cloudy

A substantial change in Bike the Lights took place in 2016 when the event was moved backward in time to be in late November rather than in December. This meant that it was over with before a lot of people even had it on their radar. And this happened the year after it had been rescheduled to December 28. So that pent-up demand over two years’ time caused a lot of people to come to Bike the Light in 2017. It was the biggest crowd I remember seeing since 2009.

This year Puddlecycle is leading a group ride to Winter Wonderland that will follow a flat/downhill 4-mile route to PIR using quiet streets and the Columbia Slough Trail. Meet us in Dawson Park at 6 pm if you’d like to ride along!

Will Trade Bandannas For Socks

Rivelo by on November 11th, 2018 at 6:05 am

‘Tis the season, again. Bring us new or nearly new socks, and we will give you one of our current all-cotton/USA-made bandannas in exchange.

During the fall & winter, we make regular runs to the local homeless shelter to deliver socks, gloves, scarves, knitwear, and ANY articles of clothing that might help keep people warm during the coldest, wettest months in Portland, Oregon.

Springwater Corridor open a week early!

by on October 21st, 2018 at 4:19 pm

The Springwater Corridor was open this afternoon (Sunday, Oct. 21), one week early. The work, which had closed that section since July 9, isn’t finished (cabling the posts and fencing in the bumpout), but a lot of people were walking and riding it. Don’t know if it will remain open this week while they finish.

Get Joel a Tooth!

Rivelo by on October 20th, 2018 at 10:14 am

Friend and Rivelo shop regular Joel needs a new front tooth, and we’re hoping to raise the necessary funds to make that happen. If you’ve been to Rivelo, you may have met Joel.

When Joel was still a teenager in Florida, he crashed his VW Microbus and sustained a closed head injury that left him in a coma for almost a month. After he emerged from the coma, the trauma to his brain had unfortunate and lasting consequences. Joel’s memory and ability to concentrate were severely impacted, and he has not been able to maintain regular employment because of it. The State of Oregon awarded him permanent disability status a few years ago.

Joel is a friendly and helpful guy who has spent the last 15 years volunteering in Portland at The Friends of Trees; The Street Trust/Bicycle Transportation Alliance (where he was named Volunteer of the Year); Food Not Bombs; and Cycle Oregon…to name but a few.

Joel’s volunteer work continued through a period of homelessness, during which he was living in his van. He now has his own studio apartment, but he has not forgotten this time in his life. I recently saw him on a well-traveled bike path with his portable repair stand set up, fixing bicycles for homeless cyclists. Classic Joel.

His monthly disability check takes care of most of his basic expenses, but it doesn’t begin to cover something like a dental implant.

We’re hoping that if all of our regular Instagram and Facebook friends and followers make a donation, even a small one, the cumulative cash will mean we can send Joel to the dentist’s office.

Dental procedures like the one that Joel requires are expensive, and we’ve set a goal of $6,000 to cover all aspects of the surgery and replacing his tooth.

Please consider chipping in. This is one time when even a few dollars can go a long way toward improving someone’s life.

And feel free to share this!

Casting for PDW Fall Photoshoot 10-8-2018

Portland Design Works by on September 26th, 2018 at 7:06 am

Portland Design Works is looking for some fresh faces for our fall photoshoot!

The shoot will take place in various neighborhoods around Portland on Monday October 8th from 10-6pm. We are seeking members of the bike community who are interested in modeling for the shoot. All ages genders and ethnicities are encouraged to apply! The entire day will not be required for all models.

This is a paid gig. Use of your personal bike is not required.

If you’re interested and would like more details please shoot us an e-mail at: with the subject line: Model for PDW Fall Photoshoot

Feel free to share this post, we look forward to hearing from you!

Hit & Run on SE Milwaukie

by on September 25th, 2018 at 8:34 pm

My daughter was just hit by a driver who failed to stop on SE Milwaukie. They were both south-bound between Knapp and Flavel, This occurred between 5:30 and 5:45PM, Tuesday , Sept 25. She was not seriously hurt, fortunately–a little bruising and scraping– the car sped off ,a woman driving a newer black SUV. She was unable to get the license plate ,but she wanted to alert ppl to the area as it seems to be accident prone.

Bike stolen from crash victim – Black w orange RoadMaster

by on September 12th, 2018 at 2:38 pm

A 14 year old cyclist on Division and 66th crashed,

While he was being patched in the ambulance the bike was stolen.

Crash Date Sept 11, 2018

– Roadmaster Granite Peak Mostly Black with tiny orange stripes
– Fenders
– Tool bag under seat
– Mount for flashlight ,
– Mount for horn

Please call 911 and tell the cops asap, and call me and leave a message or text me asap

(414) four 65-8805

Aerial photos of the Oaks Bottom restoration project

by on September 6th, 2018 at 9:20 am

From the Bureau of Environmental Services, some aerial photos of the Oaks Bottom restoration work that has closed the Springwater Corridor until Oct. 31. The photos are at the bottom of the slide show. It’s a pretty big dig.

Portland wants Biketown to have e-bikes, starting next year

by on August 22nd, 2018 at 10:49 am

Willamette Week’s Rachel Monahan seems to have broken some news in the 25th paragraph of her story today about how scooters could fit into Portland’s multimodal future:

“The city plans to introduce e-bikes as part of the next bike share contract in August 2019.”

During last winter’s snow, when I was combining MAX and Biketown for my own commute to the Central Eastside, I ran into a couple who seemed to be shoestring-budget tourists at the Rose Quarter Biketown station. They were extremely excited about the bikes.

“You can just rent them and get around the city?” the guy asked me. “How do they get charged?”

My face probably fell a little bit when I realized that he assumed, probably because they’re big and weird-looking, that they must be e-bikes. When I told him they weren’t, the couple lost interest.

I recently rode a shared e-bike up a hill in Seattle. It was freaking fabulous. A few other cities, including Copenhagen, Providence and Birmingham, have introduced e-bikes to their municipal bike share fleets.

E-bikes would be a big improvement for Biketown, and also a substantial investment in both capital and operations. It’s not clear from Willamette Week’s reporting whether the city has funding lined up yet.

(Thanks to Monahan for highlighting this scoop on Twitter.)

“Pedal Bikes Shoot Film” Photo/Poster Contest

Rivelo by on August 20th, 2018 at 9:57 am

Calling all black & white FILM photographers!!

We are teaming up with Stumptown Printers to create a new poster, and we’re looking for photos shot on a bike, of a bike, people riding bikes…..and like that.

Details, including photo spec requirements and prizes, are here in this link from Stumptown’s blog.

Deadline for entry is Tuesday, September 4.