The people, clubs, and culture that make up Portland’s bike scene.

Meet the BikeCrafters: Makeshifter Canvas Works, Velo Gioielli, and Filmed by Bike

Posted on November 8th, 2017 at 12:39 pm.

In case you haven’t heard, Portland’s bike-centric holiday gift fair is back! BikeCraft 2017 is December 15-17 at the Bike Farm (1810 NE 1st Ave.)

This year our friends (and BikeCraft veterans) at Microcosm Publishing have taken over the reins and it’s sure to be one of the best ever.
[Read more…]

Introducing the SaunaVelo: Portland’s mobile, bike-powered warming hut

Posted on October 27th, 2017 at 11:44 am.

The SaunaVelo-7.jpg

Simon Lyle and his SaunaVelo.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Powered by leg muscles and fire, the SaunaVelo is the manifestation of many passions for southeast Portland resident Simon Lyle. At its core, the cedar wood structure that sits atop a bicycle trailer is simply a place to warm up. But it’s also a mobile community builder. After all, it’d be difficult to enjoy its warmth — usually done wearing only your skivvies — without getting to know the people huddled next to you.

For Lyle, the 37-year old builder who grew up near the Buckman neighborhood of inner southeast Portland where I met him yesterday, the SaunaVelo is a fun side-project. But it’s also much more than that.
[Read more…]

Niner Bikes founder, now a Portlander, hopes to crowdfund children’s book

Posted on October 24th, 2017 at 10:43 am.

Cover of Domahidy’s book.

Go to any bike race or adventure ride these days and you’re almost sure to see “Niner” on the downtube of at least one of the bikes. Niner Bikes, as their name suggests, is respected in the bike industry as a pioneer of the 29-inch wheel size, having launched their first model in 2004.

Steve Domahidy co-founded Niner and was head of its R & D department until 2011. He recently moved to Portland where he’s put his design and engineering prowess behind a new brand (Viral Bikes) and a new project that’s a departure from anything he’s worked on in his 30-year career in the bike industry: a children’s book.

Domahidy is currently in the final stretch of a Kickstarter campaign for A Bike For You, a book he wrote in tandem with illustrator Rob Snow. The book is a fun tale that uses animals to explore many different types of bikes and styles of riding. Here’s an excerpt:[Read more…]

Gal by Bike: How guerrilla artist Dawn Furstenberg started making ‘road signs for the soul’

Posted on October 5th, 2017 at 3:42 pm.

Dawn Furstenberg was here.
(All photos: Furstenberg)

— This post is by our Gal by Bike columnist Kate Johnson.

As a wise film character once said, life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

While you’ve been sleeping, guerrilla bikeway artist Dawn Furstenberg has been hard at work to remind you of that fact.

Perhaps you’ve ridden down Clinton or Tillamook a million times, your eyes looking straight ahead. Your mind is wandering — thinking about what you’re going to cook for dinner or which film Hollywood Theater should play in 70mm next. Then you start to wonder, “what does 70mm really mean anyway? And, “did I remember to marinate the tempeh?” And just like that, your commute is over.

[Read more…]

An interview with Momoko Saunders, co-founder of Bike Farm

Posted on September 18th, 2017 at 1:01 pm.

Momoko Saunders.

This is the second installment of our Women’s Bike Month interview series written by Steph Routh. Don’t miss her interview with Meeky Blizzard. This content is sponsored by the Community Cycling Center and Gladys Bikes.

Momoko Saunders is the quintessential behind-the-scenes creator. There are those who take their applause from a stage, and those who hear their work appreciated from the back of the room. Momoko has held a hallowed place in the latter category, and it’s time to shine a light on her work.

As co-founder of Bike Farm, a nonprofit dedicated to bike repair and education, Momoko developed the administrative back-end that makes or breaks any new enterprise. She volunteers on the Board of Portland Society and is an iOS developer by trade.

Momoko and I met up at the Community Cycling Center office, which happens to be right around the corner from Bike Farm.

How did you get started in biking?
I didn’t get into biking seriously until Bike Farm and then not seriously myself until my bike tour. And then I never looked back.
[Read more…]

An interview with Meeky Blizzard, one of Portland’s original freeway fighters

Posted on September 13th, 2017 at 10:16 am.

Meeky Blizzard.
(Photo: Matt Giraud)

Written by Steph Routh, this is the first in our Women’s Bike Month interview series sponsored by the Community Cycling Center and Gladys Bikes.

Every day we travel past, on, or under structures and streets named for the people who had some relationship to its construction. Ladd’s Circle. Flanders Street. Naito Parkway. The Glenn Jackson Bridge.

Meeky Blizzard’s name is not attributed to a structure, because she made her mark on transportation and land use planning with the structure that was never constructed — the Western Bypass. Instead, the planned Western Bypass corridor from Tualatin to Hillsboro remains largely agricultural land, thanks to Meeky and other activists who started the group Sensible Transportation Options for People, also known by its apt acronym STOP. Meeky and other STOP members opposed the project and instead proposed alternate solutions that were eventually codified in the Land Use, Transportation, Air Quality (LUTRAQ) study.

After the demise of the Western Bypass in 1996 (which briefly re-emerged in the recent legislative session), Meeky went on to serve as Livable Communities Advisor to U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer until her retirement in 2012. Now living in rural Washington County, she still advocates for livable communities. Meeky testified against a freeway proposal in April, telling legislators that building freeways is “simply a waste of money.”

I recently sat down with Meeky in Portland City Hall to learn more about that fateful freeway fight and what lessons it might hold for today’s activists…
[Read more…]

Meet Armando Luna, Pedalpalooza’s #1 fun seeker

Posted on June 23rd, 2017 at 7:34 am.

Armando (center) at the Photo Booth ride Thursday night.

Armando Luna is everywhere. From monthly advocacy meetings to late-night party rides — this guy soaks up the cycling scene.

During Pedalpalooza — the month-long, grassroots festival of creative bike rides and events — he kicks it up a notch. So far this month (we’re 21 days in), he’s attended 29 rides.

I recently asked a few questions to learn more about him and his impressive Pedalpalooza prowess…

What’s your background?

I moved to Portland in 1996, fell in love with it and then fell into a job at OHSU, where I still work. I commute by bike every workday from my home in Hollywood. I am grateful for being able commute by bike, for OHSU partnering with Go By Bike bike valet, and for my work paying bike riders to ride to work. (And the tram rides!)

How long have you been doing Pedalpalooza rides?

I don’t really know! I don’t remember the early years, mostly because I was a new dad, that sort of took everything over. When the kids were young they ended up attending a daycare downtown, so when they were old enough I’d pull them in a trailer to daycare, then ride to work.

[Read more…]

‘PAZ’ DIY bike-making space in debt, seeks members and donations

Posted on June 8th, 2017 at 4:53 pm.

Got a project you want to build? Check out PAZ.
(Photos: PAZ on Facebook)

As affordable space to live and work becomes scarce in Portland’s inner neighborhoods, higher rents are forcing many people and organizations to move further out. As this trend continues, Portland Autonomous Zone (PAZ), a member-supported space for making and fixing things — especially bike-inspired things — is struggling to hold onto their space at SE 16th and Woodward.

PAZ was founded by Brian Smith in 2013 with a “focus on bike fun and DIY sub-culture.” Smith, who likens PAZ to “an Eagles Lodge, but with a focus on DIY tinkering and bikes,” is a regular in the Portland bike scene and can often be found astride his tall bike. He’s also a computer and audio expert who loves tinkering with mobile sound systems and once dreamed of a tall-bike powered tour with his punk band. Smith has kept PAZ alive for the past four years by pouring his heart (and sometimes his own money) into it. He has also worked to recruit new members, whose monthly rents help pay for the space.
[Read more…]

Montréal’s amazing murals are a free street-level art gallery that’s always open

Posted on June 6th, 2017 at 3:59 pm.

Tour de L'ile in Montreal-34.jpg

Suddenly the wall comes alive with color and expression.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Public street murals are more than just pretty paintings on walls, they’re signs of a healthy city. By that measure, Montréal is full of life. The city is teeming with such a variety and volume of murals my head was literally spinning nearly as fast as my wheels as I cycled through its streets for the past four days.
[Read more…]

Portlanders doing good things: A big ride, a rising leader, and a race promoter

Posted on March 31st, 2017 at 2:31 pm.

Retired brothers David (L) and Marty Stabler are prepping to embark on a ride across America.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

How do know if your local biking ecosystem is healthy? Take the time to learn about what people are doing.

Are they riding? Are they starting new clubs, programs and organizations? Are they re-thinking the status quo to make biking even better?

This week I met with four people who are doing good things in our community.

The Bike Brothers

David and Martin (“Marty”) Stabler are retired Portlanders who are three months away from the biggest ride of their lives: a 3,650 mile pedal across the country. Their plan is to dip their wheels in the Pacific Ocean in Astoria and do the same thing in Portsmouth, New Hampshire 50 days later.
[Read more…]