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…]

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…]

‘When you have it, it’s priceless’: Nine questions for Seleta Reynolds

Posted on September 24th, 2015 at 9:16 am.

Seleta Reynolds

Los Angeles transportation director Seleta Reynolds.
(Photo via TREC at PSU)

Seleta Reynolds gets results.

As we reported last week, the city whose livable streets program she led for three years, San Francisco, has subsequently delivered the nation’s most consistent string of boosts in bike commuting.

She’s now one year into a vastly larger gig: transportation director for the City of Los Angeles, which turned millions of heads last month when it rolled out a citywide plan to gradually reallocate numerous auto lanes to create dedicated bus lanes and 300 miles of protected bike lanes.

She’s also one of the most reflective transportation leaders in the country, as the interview below makes clear. Ahead of her free Oct. 6 talk at Ecotrust, we caught up with Reynolds to discuss her advice for Portland’s advocates and bureaucrats, the arguments for biking that work best and whether Portland is still cool.

[Read more…]

Guest article: Biking on the cheap

Posted on July 7th, 2015 at 11:50 am.

Disaster Relief Trials -43

Reuben Deumling.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This article was written by Reuben Deumling, a Portland resident, active participant in the local cargo biking scene, and frequent commenter who some of you may know as “9watts.” You might also recall the cool, DIY wooden child seat he shared with us back in 2010.

——

I often read here on BikePortland about $5,000 singlespeeds and $6,000 cargo bikes, and I think about a lifetime of used or discarded bikes I’ve fixed up and ridden or resold. I enjoy the lines of a Vanilla or Ahearne or Bullitt as much as the next person, but choosing to live lower on the pecuniary totem pole, that is just not my market.

I’d like to share what the economics of bicycling looks like from my perspective.

Part of the fun of not owning a car is that you avoid all the bills — gas, oil, insurance, parking, and repairs, (not to mention buying the car itself and eventually replacing it) — that come with it. For me, that statistic you read about that suggests the average car-owning household spends around $9,000 per year in car-related expenses, is inconceivable given how our household has chosen to spend money.
[Read more…]

Meet Aixe Djelal, the ‘helmetographer’ behind BicycleHead

Posted on June 8th, 2015 at 11:46 am.

bicycleheadlead

All images by Aixe Djelal.

I’m not sure how I stumbled onto the work of Aixe Djelal (pronounced “eye-SHAY ja-LAL”), but now I find myself checking her latest images several times per week. I think it’s the randomness of them, or maybe it’s how she captures the ephemeral vignettes I often see myself but rarely capture.
[Read more…]

For Blake Hicks, bike tricks are ticket to the big time

Posted on May 3rd, 2013 at 10:58 am.

Blake Hicks at Salmon St Fountain-17-17

Blake Hicks is a fixture in Waterfront Park,
where he can be seen nearly every day
working on his tricks.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

For the past four years, southeast Portland resident Blake Hicks has focused his entire life on two things: Perfect his bike tricks and share them with the world. Now, after countless hours of hard work, the 28-year-old professional performer is about to embark on the biggest summer of his young career.

I first came across Blake’s amazing riding skills in 2006, when I photographed him practicing his moves in Waterfront Park. Yesterday I was riding through the park and there he was again — working on his awe-inspiring, spinning, rolling, and balancing act. And I’m glad I stopped to talk because he’s about to leave for a three-month performance gig at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida.
[Read more…]

Former Tribune photographer finds life lessons on cross-country bike ride

Posted on April 10th, 2013 at 10:19 am.

L.E. Baskow ready to roll around Lake Superior.

48-year-old Sellwood resident L.E. Baskow, a former staff photographer for the Portland Tribune, completed a cross-country bike ride in the summer of 2011. He rode 4,000 miles across nine states in three months and even crossed into Ontario a few times. Now he’s created a book about his journey that mixes photographs from the road with life lessons shared by the people he met along the way.

In Pedaling on the Road of Life, Baskow shares an intimate view into everyday, American life and his images are a testament to how much one sees when traveling by bicycle. While he waits to find the right publisher, Baskow is working at OHSU and looking for sponsors of his participation as the official photographer for the Cycle Greater Yellowstone ride coming up in August.

I caught up with L.E. and asked him a few questions about his trip and his book project…[Read more…]

April Economides is bringing bicycling to businesses

Posted on February 7th, 2013 at 12:05 pm.

April Economides

April Economides.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Yesterday I met April Economides, a self-described “green urbanist” who is growing a solid reputation for making bicycles — and bicycling — a more visible and respected part of doing business. Through her firm, Green Octopus Consulting, April works with business associations, advocacy groups, and government agencies to plan and implement bike-friendly business practices. She stopped in Portland en route to Eugene where she’s speaking and giving a workshop today thanks to an invite by the University of Oregon and the City of Eugene.

April, 37, seems poised to capitalize on the growing awareness that “bikes mean business.” That’s a term that emerged in Portland in May 2011 and has since ridden a wave of acceptance and high-profile attention: Research has proven the buying-power of bike-riding customers; bikes and business panels are common at transportation conferences; the idea of “bikenomics” has taken hold thanks to activist/journalist Elly Blue; and the League of American Bicyclists has made “Bicycling Means Business” the theme of the 2013 National Bike Summit.[Read more…]