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Bike companies to high schoolers: We’re cool, come work with us

By on March 15th, 2017 at 12:56 pm

A local high school student in the “Bikes Mean Business” booth.
(Photos: Dan Steinle/Ruckus Composites)

To succeed as an industry cluster in Portland, bicycle companies must compete for the best talent. And that’s no easy task in a town full of well-known names in the tech, fashion and outdoor industry.

To help raise the profile of bicycle-related careers, a group of local bike companies shared a booth at the NW Youth Careers Expo held at the Oregon Convention Center yesterday. The annual event hosts 6,500 students from 70 area high schools who get a chance to meet-and-greet with over 200 companies.

Under the rubric “Bikes Mean Business” (it was also on their custom lanyards, made by Chrome Industries), representatives from Chrome, River City Bicycles, and Chris King Precision Components spent their day talking to local teens about how their future could include a job in the bike industry.
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Troutdale follows Gresham and now a 40-Mile Loop trail extension is dead

By on March 15th, 2017 at 11:10 am

They said no.
(Photo: Metro)

Fears of crime and of “undesirables doing bad things” have fueled another city in the eastern part of our region to say no to a major multi-use path project.

After tallying public feedback from an open house late last month, Metro has decided to suspend all planning efforts for the Troutdale section of their 40-Mile Loop Master Plan because of local opposition. This is a carbon copy of concerns that fueled opposition from the City of Gresham to the same project back in January.

Now, after a year of planning, public events and committee meetings, Metro will pull the plug and put this project on the shelf.[Read more…]

48 hours in Portland: Fatal hit-and-run, three injuries, 2 arrests, and a police chase

By on March 14th, 2017 at 4:04 pm

In just 48 hours many lives were changed forever because of dangerous driving. And it was all preventable.

I often feel that what’s often lost in our debates about transportation projects, policies and funding is a conversation about the staggering toll driving extracts from our city.

In 48 hours starting last Thursday evening, I noticed a stream of police alerts come across my computer. It was a startling spate of incidents that underscored this toll. They involved people using cars dangerously and without respect or consideration for others.
[Read more…]

City of Portland ratchets up their war on speeding

By on March 14th, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Activists with BikeLoudPDX and the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon rejoice at the sight of new — and lower — speed limit signs on SE Division.
(Photo: BikeLoudPDX)

The City of Portland has unleashed a barrage of attacks against a key rival in their fight against speeding.

With Vision Zero firmly planted as a top priority at the highest levels of city government, the Bureau of Transportation has turned their attention to two of our most dangerous streets: SE Division and SE 122nd.

Here are updates on several speed-related items we continue to track…
[Read more…]

New IMBA Director Dave Wiens visits Gateway Green bike park

By on March 14th, 2017 at 12:59 pm

IMBA Exec Dir Dave Wiens at Gateway Green-3.jpg

IMBA Executive Director Dave Wiens (left) gets a tour from trail builder Jason Wells.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The bike trails at Gateway Green aren’t even ready for the public yet; but they’re already attracting major attention.

On Monday Dave Wiens, the newly hired executive director of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), visited the park along with several other staffers from his organizations. Wiens and two senior planners from IMBA’s Trail Solutions crew were en route to Bend for the Sustainable Trails Conference. They spent a few hours in the rain with volunteers and city staff who are working on the Gateway Green project. They heard about the project’s background and challenges, and exchanged ideas about how lessons from other areas could be applied in Portland.

Wiens soaked up the information and seemed genuinely impressed with the progress so far. “It’s such an exciting project,” he said. “This is the type of project we could use an as example all over the country.” Wiens sees neighborhood bike parks like the 25-acre Gateway Green as a key to the future because of their potential to get more kids on bikes. After I shared a bit of background about how Gateway Green might influence trail access debates around Forest Park, he said, “Let the kids talk.” In his mind, these bike parks can help build a new constituency that will change the face of off-road cycling and offer a fresh — and more politically persuasive — perspective on access debates.


Wiens talks with NW Trail Alliance President Chris Rotvik (right).

Asked what he thought of the trails at Gateway Green, Wiens — a resident of a small town in Colorado and respected mountain-bike racer who retired from competition in 2004 — said if he lived in Portland he’d definitely ride to the new park, “Do a couple of hot laps” and then ride home.

IMBA’s fingerprints are all over Gateway Green. They helped put together the original concept plan in 2007 and now their builders are making the trails. Locally based trail builder Jason Wells walked through some of the new singletrack with Wiens, pointing out how he carved a swooping line through what was once a tangle of ivy, brush, and a makeshift tent-camp.

The transformation of Gateway Green is testament to the work of IMBA, the City of Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau, nonprofit groups Friends of Gateway Green and the Northwest Trail Alliance, and others. The project is part of a national — and international — movement that’s bringing off-road trail riding to urban areas. I asked the Trail Solutions crew for other parks similar to Gateway Green. They mentioned the Sihl City Bike Park in Zurich, Switzerland; the Belle Isle Skills Park in Richmond, Virginia; and Wakefield Park in Fairfax County, Virginia.

As we approach the grand opening of Gateway Green on June 24th, the impact this park is likely to have on our region is coming into focus. Beyond the benefits for the Gateway District and everyone who visits the park, Gateway Green also represents a major step forward for cycling advocacy. Similar to how Vision Zero has helped coalesce a wide swath of interest groups to build political urgency for safer streets, Gateway Green could do something similar as an organizing principle for off-road cycling in the region. IMBA’s Vice President of Trail Solutions James Clark said on Monday that a project in Santa Cruz, California that brought together off-road advocates, land managers, and other trail user groups (even horse riders!), has had a major impact on the access discussion in that area.

“The mountain biking community is bringing all these people together and that’s the key to it all,” Clark said. “Showing that leadership is what gains you the credibility and that’s what allows you to get more access to different areas.”

With a draft of the City of Portland’s Off Road Cycling Master Plan due this spring (and a series of just-announced open houses starting next month), local off-road advocates should take Clark’s words to heart.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Multiple reports of nails strewn across north Portland bike lanes

By on March 14th, 2017 at 10:41 am

Nails found on/near N Interstate Ave in the past week.
(Photos sent in by readers)

There’s something fishy going on with roofing nails in the bike lanes of north Portland — particularly along the Interstate Avenue corridor.
[Read more…]

Industry Ticker: New Nutcases, big Ruckus move, Breadwinners, and more

By on March 14th, 2017 at 9:25 am

Nutcase’s offerings keep growing.
(Photo: Nutcase)

Portland’s bike culture goes way beyond bike lane activism and group rides. Our city is also a magnet for bike-related industry — from manufacturing to design and everything in between.

Here’s an update on the people, products, and places that make up Portland’s ever-changing bike industry landscape…

Ruckus moves into larger space

Ruckus’ new digs.
(Photo: Ruckus Composites)

Continuing the growth we reported on last fall, Ruckus Composites has just completed a move into a new space. Here’s more from a company statement:

“The new building that houses their carbon fiber repair shop is at 3380 SE 20th Ave “The new building provides space for increased department separation and growth opportunity, further optimizing its repair workflow. An improved structural repair area allows the company to begin to fully utilize their investment in NDT (non-destructive testing) technology using ultrasound, infrared and fluorescing penetrant dye to fully form a holistic image about how and why carbon fiber frames are damaged. Two immediate improvements include an independent, paint facility and a carbon fiber lay-up clean room, further bolstering the company’s “better service through science” model.”

[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Best carfree cities, school choice and mode choice, helmet law repeal, tolling, and more

By on March 13th, 2017 at 3:21 pm

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by The Bike Index, the nonprofit tool and community that has recovered thousands of stolen bikes.

Here are the best stories we came across last week…

Doing it right: Former (that’s important) Bicycling Magazine editor-in-chief absolutely laid into the infamous cycling “Rules” kept by Velominati.

Paying to drive fixes congestion: This NY Times column argues that all the technology in the auto world won’t solve congestion. The only thing that will is making driving more expensive.

Bikeway widening: Instead of widening auto-only highways, smart cities are creating more bike-only “highways.” Berlin is building bike “superhighways” hoping to mimic success of the concept from London.
[Read more…]


The 670-mile Oregon Timber Trail launches March 23rd: Here’s the backstory

By on March 10th, 2017 at 10:58 am

Scenes from the Willamette Tier of the route.
(Photos: Travel Oregon)

Something big is about to happen for off-road cycling in Oregon.

On March 23rd the nonprofit Oregon Timber Trail Association will do a soft-release of their Oregon Timber Trail, an experience its creators promise will be, “North America’s premiere long-distance mountain biking route” and a “world-class bikepacking destination.”

That might sound boastful, but once you learn more about this project and the people behind it, it’s easy to see why they’re so confident.
[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Performance, Velotech, WashCo Bicycle Transportation Coalition

By on March 10th, 2017 at 8:50 am

We had three new jobs posted this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Bicycle Retail Store Mechanic – Performance Bicycle

–> Bike Builder (Seasonal) – Velotech

–> 2017 Summer Bike Camp Instructor – Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition
[Read more…]

Weekend Event Guide: Sauvie, Sorella, The Dalles, and a mystery

By on March 9th, 2017 at 10:40 am

How about a ride out to Sauvie Island?
(J. Maus/BikePortland)

I’m writing this from Washington D.C., waiting for my plane back to Portland. I don’t want to rub it in too much but it’s sunny and 73-degrees here!

I can’t wait to get home and get back on my bike. Hopefully there’s a nice break in the rain — and hopefully you’ve got plans to ride too. If not, check out the menu of rides below, grab a friend or two, and head out.

Friday, March 10th

Midnight Mystery Ride
Where it stops, nobody knows. We do know however, that it will be fun. Show up and ride late and into the night with friends old and new. It’s a Portland tradition. More info here.
[Read more…]

A newbie test-rides America’s bike advocacy infrastructure

By on March 8th, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Joel Maus didn’t know anyone when he came to the Summit. Now he’s got people.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Disclaimer: This post is about my brother.

For a movement to succeed there must be an advocacy infrastructure in place that newcomers can plug into; something that anyone with a passion and an idea can hitch themselves to and get pulled along until they become strong enough to roll on their own.

For the bicycle movement, that infrastructure has been built over the last century by the League of American Bicyclists. Since 2000, their annual National Bike Summit has introduced hundreds (thousands?) of newbies to the wonderful world of bike advocacy.

This year Joel Maus was one of them.
[Read more…]

Advocates hit the Hill for National Bike Summit lobby day

By on March 8th, 2017 at 7:58 am

bikes on Capitol Hill -2.jpg

Bikes — and the people who love them — are making their presence felt on Capitol Hill today.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Hundreds of advocates are on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. today to remind members of Congress that bicycling — and transportation reform in general — is a high priority for the American people.

Lobby day is one of the most important elements of the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit. It’s a time for advocates to make a personal connection with their elected representatives, share stories about why bicycling matters, and make specific “asks” for bills and policies to support.
[Read more…]

A ‘bicycle-friendly driver’ class changes hearts and minds in Colorado

By on March 7th, 2017 at 1:44 pm

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A lot of energy gets used up on safety education in the bike advocacy world. And most of it is focused on the wrong people.

After two bicycle riders died in the “Platinum” level bicycle-friendly city Fort Collins, Colorado in 2015, the main bike advocacy group held a town hall. Because both victims were riding legally and safety when hit, many people asked, “What are we doing to educate people who drive?”

That outcry led to a lightbulb moment for Jamie Gaskill-Fox, the woman who runs the Bicycle Ambassador program at the City of Fort Collins. The city was already teaching a bike safety class, but it wasn’t well attended. After that meeting, Gaskill-Fox and her colleague Scott Sampl decided to re-brand the class.

They called it the Bicycle Friendly Driver class. The number of people took the class tripled in just one year. [Read more…]

A look at how D.C. is building protected bikeways

By on March 7th, 2017 at 11:08 am

Wash DC - First St. protected bikeway-3.jpg

DC has started carving up their downtown streets so that bicycle users get a larger portion.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

If it can happen in D.C., can it happen in Portland?
[Read more…]

Blumenauer urges advocates to use cycling as tool to save America

By on March 7th, 2017 at 6:50 am

Congressman Earl Blumenauer at the Summit this morning.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

People who voted for Donald Trump in America’s rust belt (and other places) need to hear more about the role bicycles and cycling can play in the future of our country. And people who didn’t vote for Trump should see bike advocacy as a place to put their newfound energy for activism.

Those are two takeaways from a speech by Congressman Earl Blumenauer this morning at the 17th annual National Bike Summit this morning.

Blumenauer spoke about the “unprecedented levels of activism” seen in cities across America in January in response to Trump’s inauguration.

“Cycling,” he said, “Can be part of that menu where we try and give people something they can sink their teeth into. Something they can wrap their arms around that will make a difference in their community and will help shape and inform federal policy.”[Read more…]

National Bike Summit: The health of the bike movement — and its future under Trump

By on March 6th, 2017 at 8:11 pm

Bike Summit bike ride-8

Sunny — but with a few dark clouds.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Day one of the 2017 National Bike Summit is in the books. After a two-year hiatus, we decided to head back to D.C.

I was motivated to make the journey for several reasons. With the Trump era in full-swing, it seems like showing up for bikes in the nation’s capitol is more important than ever. Relatedly, I wanted to check the pulse of the national movement: If we do receive a major attack, will we be healthy enough to fend it off? Is it even possible to have a “we” anymore?
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New ‘Friends on Bikes’ group wants to create a warm welcome for women of color

By on March 6th, 2017 at 11:20 am

Posts from the Friends of Bikes Instagram feed (top) and a motif from their website.

One reason Portland’s vaunted bike culture keeps growing and evolving is because new people arrive in town, look at the local cycling landscape, and feel like something’s missing. Then they set out to create it.

That’s the story of how Molly Sugar and Gritchelle Fallesgon started Friends on Bikes.
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Plungers, tolls, chop shops, KISS on bikes, and more

By on March 6th, 2017 at 8:02 am

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Nutcase, the Portland-based company that offers cool bike helmets for everyday riding.

Rolling with KISS: The legendary band has licensed their logo on a line of aero bicycle wheels.

Imagine that: This Daily Mail (UK) reporter has no clue that fines and tickets to bicycle riders are down — not because police are looking the other way — but because more people are riding, thus improving the overall behavioral pool as expected.

Sobering impact of Uber and Lyft: NYC streets are flooded with Uber and Lyft vehicles, eroding transit ridership and clogging streets even more. What a mess. Yet another reason to be skeptical of any “new technology” that puts cars at its center.
[Read more…]

A bike excise tax, losing the Lottery, and more Safe Routes: Our look at state transportation funding package

By on March 3rd, 2017 at 2:41 pm

The state capitol building in Salem.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

By the end of this month Oregonians will have their first look at what state lawmakers and interest groups have cooked up for a transportation package.

I’ve followed the progress and have noticed several key themes worthy of your attention. Here’s my best take on what’s going on.

But first, let’s start with an overview of how the package is being developed:

How the sausage is being made

The package is being drafted by the Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization — a 14-member body with eight Democrats and six Republicans that represent districts throughout Oregon. They’ve met five times since February 1st. Their meetings are usually less than 30 minutes long because the real work is being done in four work groups. These groups have been assigned to focus on specific topics. Here are the names of the groups and the committee members assigned to each of them:

Congestion Work Group:
– Sen. Brian Boquist (R-Dallas)
– Rep. Barbara Smith Warner (D-Portland)
– Rep. Susan McLain (D-Hillsboro)
– Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose)

Public Transit/Bike/Ped/Safety Work Group:
– Sen. Lee Beyer (D-Springfield)
– Sen. Rod Monroe (D-Portland)
– Sen. Kathleen Taylor (D-Milwaukie)
[Read more…]