Subscriber Posts

These posts are written and submitted by BikePortland subscribers. Everyone can view them and comment; but only paid subscribers can post. We’ll publish almost anything — from short announcements, questions, or requests for help to longer stories about your biking experiences and observations. Depending on what you write, we might even publish your post on the Front Page too. Submit your post today via our handy form or learn more about our subscription program here.


St. Johns Bridge

by on May 26th, 2017 at 9:41 am

I dreamt the St Johns Bridge could look like this in a Vision Zero universe with no rider ever again having to pedal past a ghost bike …

Getting to class, safely: Finding Safe Routes in greater Portland

Metro by on May 17th, 2017 at 7:37 am

From September to June, mornings in greater Portland’s neighborhoods see a common pageant. Around hundreds of elementary, middle and high schools across the region, kids fill sidewalks and bike routes, or spill out of buses and parents’ cars, trying to get inside before the bell rings.

But that pageant isn’t the same at every school.

In some communities, many students walk or bike. But not every kid has a sidewalk or safe bike route to class. Still others don’t walk or bike because parents and educators are understandably concerned about their safety.

How kids get to school matters. Kids that can’t or don’t walk or bike are missing out on what could be a great opportunity for physical activity. Studies also show they can perform better in school. Meanwhile, car drop-offs can snarl traffic for blocks, adding to growing congestion and creating more hazards for everyone.

Safe Routes to School will soon take on a new regional shine in greater Portland. Last year, after a concerted campaign by advocates, educators, parents and students, the Metro Council and Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation directed Metro staff to begin work on a regional Safe Routes to School education and encouragement program. They reserved $1.5 million in federal transportation dollars over two years to set up the program.

The program will partner with communities and school districts around the region to help more kids get to school by foot, bike and bus safely. It will begin in earnest in 2019 when federal funding is expected. But Metro is already preparing.

Metro recently worked with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and Alta Planning & Design on a report assessing the state of Safe Routes in greater Portland today.

From education and encouragement, to engineering and enforcement, Safe Routes has many faces. Through videos, interviews and stories, get a glimpse of Safe Routes in action in Troutdale, Beaverton, Clackamas and Portland in Metro’s new series.

Learn more:
– 6 key findings from the Safe Routes report: http://oregonmetro.gov/saferoutesfindings
– A curriculum for safety in Beaverton, Troutdale: http://oregonmetro.gov/saferouteseducation

More stories are coming soon.

— Metro is a BikePortland subscriber. If your agency or organization would like to post in this section, become a subcriber today.

Tale of two taxes: bicycle tax and taxing the system

A J Zelada by on May 16th, 2017 at 9:11 am

Tale of Two Taxes: The bicycle tax and taxing transportation system.

The Bike Industry leaders in the May 15th BikePDX article state an excellent articulation of the troubles with taxing a single mode. Earlier this month a comment was made about taxing the ADA modes of wheel chairs & personal mobility devices as bringing intersections into ADA compliance is expensive. Taxing waffle material on sneakers could sarcastically satisfy the madness of Trump to balance tariffs in making pedestrians pay for Walk lights and stripe-ings and street calming measures. These, of course, are a snarky revelation that taxing a mode share can be a ridiculous paradigm.

But perhaps we need to chess move ahead. One of the programs that was successful in England was allowing companies to buy bicycles for their employees. The company could write off the bicycle costs as a company expense. The employee was then allowed to buy the bicycle from the company with specific employment guidelines (e.g. duration of employment). The employee could use pretax payroll dollars to purchase the bicycle. This boosted the use of bicycles tremendously during the ‘programme.’ This could be a simple amendment attached to the transportation bill which supports a positive active transportation scheme. Using honey to reduce cars on the road might be a bigger benefit than the 2 million potential dollars income from taxing bicycles. We need a legislator to write an amendment.

Associated with this concept is also a bicycle tax credit for those individuals who do not own a car and have purchased a new bicycle for the primary transportation. This would be easy to check through Oregon DMV. Again, to echo all the dealers: we need to promote efficient, health maintaining, sustainable modes of transportation. We need a legislator to write an amendment.

I spent a frustrating decade of the 2000s talking with legislative people who kept telling me that they receive more calls from angry citizens that bicycles don’t pay their way than they did from citizens who want bicycle infrastructure. The old BTA produced two great position papers in those days to show how people who ride bicycles do pay for road transportation in many ways. Our anemic sector participation in government of the last decades has come to roost in many ways. I ~sometimes late at night~ felt ‘let them tax us- get this off the table so we can have substantial development of infrastructure instead of millimeter steps. In those days, it was a turncoat’s idea to acquiesce to paying tax on bicycles. And there still is an vague sense that there is a potential quid pro quo of ODOT saying, well you only raised 2 million in taxes and that’s all you get for active transportation. We are still having this partisan, polarizing conversation as car drivers get to stare at each other at slower congested speeds and bicycles get to whiz by them at healthy speeds.

It is also frustrating that cars represent half of all the 3 mile trips. It is frustrating that the ODOT’s Orego system of taxing miles used instead of gas consumed gets such a bad rap. The Orego system as presented in our Oregon’s sustainability meetings in 2008 has the potential of taxing congestion. This is because the system knows exactly where and when you are on a congested highway and time period. No different than the iphone’s Find Friends. Literally, the tax could be applied where and when congestion occurred. For example, if you entered I-84 at 181st street and came into downtown, that precise route by the vehicle is recorded & could be charged a congestion rate from 730 to 930 AM. The structure is there. This is much less programming than the algorithms of driverless vehicles proceeding along I-84 during congested highway times. There was no political will to forecast this as a solution. ODOT and legislators cowered then and now.

Thinking that bicycling is taxing our transportation system costs and a bicycle tax is part of a bill that attempts to ameliorate congestion makes me mad. The child in me wants to strike/protest and really show how the absence of bicycles would tax the system. One idea that Lenny Anderson and I had separately was to have an All Car Day in Portland. Organize all those who bicycle to work crossing the bridges to get up early (530-600 AM) and occupy all the parking spaces with cars. Park in all the spaces on the street. Park in all the garages. Have a simple sign on each car stating “This car was a bicycle yesterday.” Imagine the 14,000 bikes coming into downtown Portland being a car instead. What a reality check for those complaining about congestion. Cars tax the system, not bicycles. ~AJZ

Velocirque June 3-4: A Celebration Of Bike Geekery

John Liu by on May 15th, 2017 at 11:11 am

One of the most popular features on BikePortland is the occasional “People On Bikes” photo series, where we get to see our collective selves whizzing by on our bikes in Jonathon’s helpfully numbered photographs. Appreciative comments always follow, on #15’s adorable-dog-in-trailer or #20’s impeccable riding-cap-and-country-gentleman sense of style.

Some of us, however, have no time for pets-on-bikes or the fashion aspects of city cycling. While others are busy admiring the riders, we are fixated on what is between their legs.

I mean the bicycles, of course. We’re like, “hey, #7 is a ‘70s Peugeot AO-8!” “Um, what did the rider look like?” “Sorry, didn’t notice.”

Welcome to the world of bike geekery, of fascination with frames and componentry, clever design and old-world craftsmanship, gear-inches and effective rim diameters, shiny bling and subtle gleam.

Two aspects of bike geekery will be celebrated on the first weekend of Pedalpalooza, at the “Velocirque” weekend at Velocult. This is the third Velocirque; Velocult started doing these shows last year during Pedalpalooza and if you have even a little bit of bike geek in you, its well worth a peek.

On Saturday June 3, we’ll oogle over old-school “classic and vintage” bicycles. 1960s Italian city bikes to 1980s racebikes, from Cinelli to Hutchins, if it is cool and old, it is welcome in this DIY bike show. Here’s the Pedalpalooza blurb – show starts at 3 p.m.:

VELOCIRQUE BY VELOCULT
Velocult, 1969 NE 42nd Avenue
Saturday June 3rd – 10:00am, Ride 10 am, show 3 pm
Velocirque Saturday Classic & Vintage Bike Ride And Show. Bring your C&V bike to ride in the morning and show in the afternoon. Any C&V bike is invited – roadies, randos, tourers, mountain bikes, city bikes, Stingrays, track bikes. NOS garage queens or well worn racer, anything with soul. The ride will be at 10 am on Saturday: meet at Velocult, socially paced, not too long. The show starts at 3 pm and goes to whenever the shop closes. Bring a bike stand, if you have one.

http://www.shift2bikes.org/cal/viewpp2017.php#03-6267

===

On Sunday June 4, we’ll jump to the the opposite end of the spectrum and geek out over the coolest new designs and bikes from Portland’s most inventive framebuilders. These are “Modern Customs”, custom frames made by frame builders who are still actively taking orders. Maybe an order from you? There will be everything from utility frames with geared hubs and belt drives, lugged steel in the classic tradition, titanium and carbon cross and race bikes, and who knows what else our local framebuilder community has dreamed up. Here is the Pedalpalooza blurb – show starts at 3:00 p.m.:

VELOCIRQUE BY VELOCULT
Velocult, 1969 NE 42nd Avenue
3:00pm
Velocirque Sunday Modern Custom Bike Show.  Dedicated to the craft and creativity of the bicycle framebuilder.  Meet our area’s best framebuilders, check out their cool bikes and frames, and bring your own modern custom bike to show off.  “Modern custom” means a custom built frame by a frame builder who is still taking orders.  Lugged steel to Ti to custom carbon layup, racer to rando to city, its all here.
Sky Boyer, Velocult, 503-933-2012  

http://www.shift2bikes.org/cal/viewpp2017.php#04-6268

Two afternoons of groovy old bikes, cool new bikes, and lots of unashamed bike ogling, what could be better?

Oh, and there’s beer, too.

Bamboo bike building workshop coming to Portland this summer!

by on May 3rd, 2017 at 11:25 am

Bicycle builder extraordinaire, John Bam Climaco, is a bamboo enthusiast who has led workshops with Craig Calfee to master the art and science of building your own one of a kind bamboo bike frame. This 3 day workshop includes all the materials and guidance needed to create your own bamboo bicycle frame.

The mission behind the workshops is to share our passion for advocating for a more sustainable earth and advocate for the progressive livelihood of renewable materials such as bamboo and abaca (banana tree). We also aim to make professional bikes more accessible to people of all incomes, by building it yourself you can save thousands on a new bike. Finally, the heart of the workshop model is getting back to the makerspace, working with one’s hands, and learning that everyone has the tools and capability to build their own bike.

Check out finished bikes at Bambu Technologies on Instagram and Facebook.
For more on Bamboo bikes, check out: https://momentummag.com/how-green-is-your-bicycle-manufacturing

To reserve your space in the workshop, contact Portland host, Shawna at shawna.cain@presidio.edu

Should we open suburban bike lanes to other vehicles?

by on May 3rd, 2017 at 9:11 am

The suburbs: what to do? We have mostly disconnected streets and the ones that connect are wide and fast. This makes for less than ideal biking conditions. We have put bike lanes on these roads, but they are empty a lot of the time. Eventually, as transportation dollars become even tighter there will be push-back for spending this money.

Any time government builds something that doesn’t get utilized it appears as though we’re wasting our money. What can we do about this?

Slow-narrow vehicles are perfect candidates to use bicycle lanes. Currently many of these vehicles are not allowed in bike lanes. Mopeds can’t use bike lanes if they’re operating their motor, motorcycles definitely aren’t allowed in bike lanes. The relevant statue is here: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.440 (2015 ORS 811.440 – When motor vehicles may operate on bicycle lane)

I think that on suburban arterials with speed limits often between 35-55 mph, slower vehicles are basically unable to operate on these streets without being allowed into a ‘slow lane’. Whether we continue to call the bike lanes or not to me is not important. What we should want is build up a coalition of users strong enough to lobby for more lane-miles, better connectivity and better maintenance of bike lanes on suburban arterials.

What do you think? Should we allow other vehicles into bike lanes on suburban arterials? Will this help get more bike infrastructure or maintain what we currently have, or would this simply create more conflicts between bicyclists and other users?

Electric bikes are already multiplying and are currently allowed in these lanes. We should think about this sooner rather than later.

Stop by our new location in Kenton!

by on May 1st, 2017 at 1:20 pm

We’re excited to announce that we’re open in our new location, one block from the old one. We’re at 1926 N Kilpatrick Street. We’re still putting on the final touches! We’re excited to share our space with you, your friends and family, and of course, your bikes.

We’ve put our hearts into the space and hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do. We could not have done this without the continued support from the cycling community.

Thanks,

Rich – Shop Owner
Ashley – Shop Manager

Bike stolen out of car at the Lloyd Center

by on April 24th, 2017 at 8:29 pm

Hey everyone. Was either the first time I have not locked the door or thieves are getting smarter. I foolishly left my fiance’s bike in my car while parked at the Lloyd Center yesterday between 3:15 and 3:39 pm. When I got back to the car, the bike was gone.

2015 Masi X2 Comp. Silver frame with light blue accents. Skewers on wheels for theft prevention. Front wheel has a gold frame. Back wheel had gotten stolen previously so it now has a black wheel. Drop handlebars with light blue tape. White saddle with black tiger on it.

Filed a police report and put something on bike index. I live in Outer Buckman but again, got swiped at lloyd center.

Thanks!!

The Long Road Back

John Liu by on April 6th, 2017 at 1:12 pm

A few days ago, I was sitting at the Laurelthirst Pub, a neighborhood watering hole that is on my bike route from work to home. When I pass the ‘Thirst, I’m most of the way home, so I will often stop for a pint.

But this time at the ‘Thirst was different, because my legs were limp, my chest hurt, and I was a little shell-shocked. None of which usually describes my state after riding a few miles. It was different because . . . that day was my first bicycle commute in well over a year. And that morning, when I got on my bike, was to be the first time I’d ridden more than half a mile in, at least, six months.

Yes, I’ve become a non-rider and now I’ve started on the long road back. With rotund belly, spindly legs, atrophied lungs and somnolent heart, I’ve resumed riding bicycles.
[Read more…]

Stolen Trek Road Bike

by on March 29th, 2017 at 12:01 pm

My bike was stolen this morning from a Red Line train, at the Goose Hollow train station. It’s a black trek, 52-53cm with road clips and a camel back water bottle. The cops caught the guy on tape, looking for more leads. Thanks