A community blooms around fixed-gear freestyle riding

Posted on March 21st, 2018 at 1:34 pm.

Ramon Antonio found a nice jump line amidst the cherry blossoms in Waterfront Park yesterday.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Ramon Antonio (left), Matt Reyes, and Devin Tolman.

A reunion of old friends has sparked a resurgence in Portland’s fixed-gear freestyle scene.

Matt Reyes, Ramon Antonio, and Devin Tolman first met through the San Francisco Bay Area cycling scene. Lovers of fixed-gear freestyle, a discipline that combines flatland BMX tricks with the speed and grace of fixed-gear road bikes, the trio is happily established in Portland. Now they want to connect with other riders and create a community around fixed-gear riding similar to the vibrant scene they left behind in their previous home.

I caught up with them under sunny blue skies and cherry blossoms in Waterfront Park yesterday.
[Read more…]

An interview with Safe Routes to School policy advocate Kari Schlosshauer

Posted on March 8th, 2018 at 1:31 pm.

Mom, bike commuter, advocate — it’s all in a day’s work for Kari Schlosshauer.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Even if you don’t know Kari (it rhymes with “safari”) Schlosshauer, chances are you’re familiar with her work.

As the Pacific Northwest Senior Policy Manager for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Schlosshauer has spent the last five years making our neighborhoods safer for walking and biking. Her position puts here at the center of discussions and deals about how and where our city, region, and state spend money for school-related transportation projects.

Schlosshauer lives in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood near Powell and 25th. Earlier this week I sat down with her around her kitchen table before riding downtown where she attended a meeting of the Vision Zero Task Force (she’s a member) at City Hall.
[Read more…]

The woman who made Sunday Parkways a Portland institution is retiring from PBOT

Posted on January 26th, 2018 at 11:27 am.

Sampling her handiwork, Ginenthal would often bike the Sunday Parkways course, as she does here in 2009.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Bureau of Transportation employee Linda Ginenthal is retiring after more than 23 years with the agency.

Throughout her career, Ginenthal has been a force of nature in promoting biking, walking, and livable streets. Among the many programs, projects and events she played a major (often leadership) role in were SmartTrips, Safe Routes to School, Portland’s push for a Platinum award, the 2016 Open Streets Summit, and of course, Sunday Parkways.
[Read more…]

Portlander Paul LaCava wants to climb 1 million feet in 2018

Posted on January 18th, 2018 at 12:46 pm.

He knocked off 4,199 feet during a ride in the West Hills on Tuesday.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

How many feet of elevation do you climb each week? How many times do you ride per month?

These are the type of calculations that will weigh heavily on Paul LaCava’s mind for the next 11 months as he tries to accomplish his goal of 1,000,000 feet of vertical gain by December 31st.
[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…]

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.

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…]