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Petition presses Commissioner Saltzman for immediate help on deadly outer SE Stark Street

By on March 9th, 2018 at 12:35 pm

Advocates are joining forces to create urgency for safety fixes to outer Southeast Stark Street.

After a woman was killed while walking on Stark around 148th last month, a coalition of community groups and residents being led by Oregon Walks and The Rosewood Initiative have started an online petition they hope will result in help from Commissioner Dan Saltzman. Saltzman oversees the transportation bureau and has shown a willingness to act quickly in the face of tragedy. Last year when a similar spate of tragedies befell another outer east Portland arterial, Saltzman attended a meeting where his PBOT staff presented a plan to tame traffic on Division. “We’re sorry,” the commissioner said, “and we’re bound and determined to do something about that.”

As we reported last month, outer SE Stark has become a repeat location of traffic violence. Three people have died in traffic crashes at or near that same intersection in less than a year and a total of five people have died on Stark between SE 122nd and 162nd since November 2016. Kem Marks with the Rosewood Initiative told us today that, “I just hope people come to realize that Stark is becoming what Division has been, and some of the fixes to Division have moved the problem north.”
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“Everybody in the industry thought I was mad”: An interview with Islabikes founder Isla Rowntree

By on March 9th, 2018 at 11:05 am

Isla Rowntree at her Portland facility in June 2017.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“Shops are typically run by conservative, not that young — and dare I say male — shop owners in the industry. That would be the profile who just thought I was mad. So I wouldn’t have persuaded them to buy anything from me.”
— Isla Rowntree on why she decided to sell customer-direct

You’ve probably seen them: Young kids zipping around on great-looking (usually red) bikes with the Islabikes name on the downtube. Isla Rowntree is the woman behind this business. She founded the company in 2005 in the picturesque town of Ludlow in the United Kingdom, about 155 miles northwest of London. In 2013 Islabikes came to North America and planted their headquarters in Portland’s Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood.

Last summer Rowntree paid a visit to her bustling U.S. outpost and I met up with her for a chat. We sat in the upper floor of their warehouse and showroom on SE 7th Avenue and she shared a brief history of children’s bikes, her passion for making good ones, the challenges she faced as a start-up, and how Islabikes almost never ended up in Portland.

The Q & A is below, edited slightly for clarity (for full effect, read her words in a proper British accent)…

I was intrigued to learn you started a children’s bike company, but that children weren’t your inspiration?

“No. It wasn’t through my own children. I’ve been in the bike industry pretty much all my working life. I started in a bike shop when I was still in school and experienced my own personal challenges with fit and ergonomics because I’m fairly physically small. I came up with some solutions for those challenges and tinkered about with them throughout my twenties. Then, 11 or 12 years ago, I got to an age when my friends — and my sister in particular — had started families. They were all asking me what bikes to get for their kids. And that really drew my attention to the details of children’s bikes as they were available at the time. I was expecting to make a recommendation, do a bit of research and say, “OK get this one for your child.” But they were all so awful.

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Keep it waterproof: A guide to getting more out of your gear

By on March 9th, 2018 at 9:20 am

You know the feeling: It’s nice when it beads, but it doesn’t last forever.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland and James Buckroyd/

James Buckroyd is our Product Geek. See his previous stories here and delve deeper via his website

We spend a lot of time choosing our gear carefully and as we know cycling gear is expensive! Especially when it comes to all-weather wear. But do you know how to keep your Rapha softshell going strong? Your Castelli Gabba still stretchy, or your favorite Showers Pass shedding through the spring? With a little investment in care you can keep your gear performing well.
[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Community Cycling Center, Cynergy E-Bikes, Velotech, Vancouver Cyclery

By on March 9th, 2018 at 7:31 am

Looking for a new place to spread you cycling wings? We’ve got five great job opportunities that just went up this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Bicycle Mechanic – Community Cycling Center

–> Experienced Mechanic – Vancouver Cyclery

–> Bike Camp Instructor – Community Cycling Center

–> Bike Mechanic – Cynergy E-Bikes

–> Customer Experience Specialist Full Time – Velotech
[Read more…]

University of Portland campus expansion puts greenway advocates on edge

By on March 8th, 2018 at 3:43 pm

University of Portland’s new campus. Advocates are asking, “Where’s the greenway?”

When the University of Portland announced a big campus expansion late last month, the question we immediately heard was: Where’s the trail?
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An interview with Safe Routes to School policy advocate Kari Schlosshauer

By 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…]

Weekend Event Guide: Womxn’s Ride, Timber Logjam, The Evelyn Hamilton Story, and more

By on March 8th, 2018 at 9:40 am

Where will your bike take you this weekend?
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Weekend Event Guide is sponsored by Abus Bike Locks. Thanks Abus!

The signs of spring are popping up everywhere: There are buds on the trees, flowers in the streets, and our bike event calendar is filling up quickly.

Today is also International Women’s Day and March is Women’s Month, so we’re proud to feature several events led by — and about — women in this week’s guide.

Here’s our full menu of special selections sure to satiate your appetite for cycling and socializing…

[Read more…]

Racial bias concerns and staffing shortage present enforcement challenges for Portland Police

By on March 7th, 2018 at 5:33 pm

Vision Zero Task Force member Karis Stoudamire-Phillips speaks at a meeting in City Hall yesterday.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

We hear from many of you that it feels like streets in Portland are getting more lawless by the day. One reason is a severe lack of police presence due to a staffing shortage that’s been years in the making. The flip side of that is a concern among traffic safety advocates and the Police Bureau that too much presence in certain parts of the city might lead to unfair or over-policing.
[Read more…]


It’s time to comment on final design plan for Gateway Green

By on March 7th, 2018 at 2:32 pm

The current design.

Yes Gateway Green has been open for nearly nine months now, but it’s still very much a work in progress. In the next few months the City of Portland will finalize the design plan and they want your help to make it as good as possible.
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The ODOT Files: Portland Mercury checks in on freeway tolling efforts

By on March 7th, 2018 at 2:01 pm

“Significant congestion will exist in 2027 on the I-5 and I-205 study corridors, even with all the improvements listed in the Regional Transportation Plan.”
— from a report published by ODOT as part of their Value Pricing Feasibility Analysis

The ODOT Files is our attempt to keep you informed of stories from around the web that illustrate how our state transportation agency is falling down on the job.

The latest entry into the ODOT Files is a story by Dirk VanderHart published today in the Portland Mercury: A New Report Shows Highway Widening Won’t Solve Portland’s Congestion Woes.

The piece centers around ODOT’s Value Pricing Advisory Committee, a group of advocates, electeds, and transportation leaders tasked with determining whether or not we should toll highways — and if so, how exactly it should be implemented. The central tension here is that ODOT wants to build lots of new highways (including an expansion of I-5 through the Rose Quarter) and there’s increasing political and public demand to consider tolling them before — or instead of — building them.

Then there’s the fact that expanding highways does not relieve congestion. And based on the Mercury story, even ODOT’s own analysts are trying to tell them that:
[Read more…]

City says five month ‘Better Naito’ will start May 1st

By on March 6th, 2018 at 12:38 pm

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland – Graphic: PBOT)

With just two months before they re-implement Better Naito, the City of Portland has released a 26 page report (PDF) touting its successful run last year.
[Read more…]

Biking with the family dog

By on March 6th, 2018 at 10:43 am

Pixie at the helm.
(Photos by Madi Carlson)

What’s a family biker to do when the kids have graduated to riding their own bikes? One way to conquer the empty [bike] nest doldrums is by joining the #carrypupolympics.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

I was born into a household run by cats and didn’t know the love of a dog until I was nine and we got Mandy, a mid-sized Shepherd mix, from the animal shelter. Mandy and I logged many miles on foot, but I never thought to combine playing with the dog with biking or skateboarding.

When I left home I became a small dog person and ended up with Lyle the chihuahua. My boyfriend at the time had wanted a chihuahua ever since, having been attacked by what he mistook for a woman’s fur while working at a taco restaurant drive-thru. Fortunately, Lyle had a lovely personality and I was delighted by his portability. Back then I rode a hybrid bike with a backpack so I tucked Lyle in front, between my t-shirt and sweatshirt, and brought him to college classes with me. This system worked well except for one time when a friend hailed Lyle from the sidewalk and Lyle leapt out of my sweatshirt. He got a bit scratched up, but luckily didn’t hold it against me or the bike and we lived to ride another day.
[Read more…]

North St. Bags moving to larger location in Hawthorne District

By on March 6th, 2018 at 8:45 am

“At a certain point, it became clear that we’ve outgrown our Clinton St. shop.”
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

North St. Bags needs more room. Again.
[Read more…]

Take PBOT’s survey if you want better bike access on North Rosa Parks Way

By on March 5th, 2018 at 4:55 pm

Rosa Parks is dangerous and outdated. We can do a lot better.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When we reported on the major changes coming to North Rosa Parks Way last month, the City of Portland hadn’t released their survey for the project.

It’s out now. And because this project is so important, we want to make sure you take a few minutes to fill it out.

To refresh your memory, the Portland Bureau of Transportation plans to update the street after they do a repaving project. The plan is to redesign the street from Willamette to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. PBOT says changes will include: “Improved pedestrian crossings at key locations, improved transit stops on N Rosa Parks at N Albina Street, protected bicycle lanes in the corridor; and a street design with a more neighborhood feel.”

This is a crucial neighborhood street that desparately needs a makeover.


In the survey, PBOT wants to know specific locations you have difficulty getting to transit stops, walking, or bicycling. And in classic PBOT fashion, they also want to know about, “Any specific locations… where on-street automobile parking is important for the community.” There’s also a question that asks about your overall level of support for the proposed changes.

We’re tired of having to advocate for what should be common sense updates to streets where auto users are given way too much priority. But at this point, PBOT still puts value into these surveys so it’s in everyone’s best interest to fill it out and share your input.

Here’s that link one more time.

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

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BikePortland needs your support.

With wheels rolling, HiFi Components is on track for success

By on March 5th, 2018 at 3:04 pm

Joshua Liberles and Bre Rue have put HiFi in a groove.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Southeast Portland-based HiFi Components is nearly five years into its journey as a bike company. And 2018 might be the year we can no longer call them a “start-up”.
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: AV myths, Team Sky high, Hype-PR-loop, and more

By on March 5th, 2018 at 10:56 am

Welcome to the week. Before we get going, let us not forget the stories that came before…
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Love riding gravel? Meet Washington County’s unpaved road “Kahuna” Dan Morgan

By on March 2nd, 2018 at 1:14 pm

Dan Morgan on Smoke Ranch Road, one of his favorites. After riding roads like these for years, he’s now helping make sure they stay unpaved.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s fitting that I first met Dan Morgan on a gravel road.

The 66 year-old former dairy farmer, IBM retiree and Beaverton resident has been riding unpaved country roads his whole life. Now that the activity has become one of the biggest trends in cycling, he’s become an ambassador of sorts. He’s also working to prevent the county from paving over this newly discovered paradise.
[Read more…]

REI puts ‘hold’ on Vista brands while CamelBak, Giro and others defend themselves

By on March 2nd, 2018 at 9:54 am

Pressure on Vista Outdoor Inc. has ramped up in the past week.

Last Friday we reported that several local bike shops decided to stop selling products from CamelBak, Bell Sports, Giro, Blackburn, Raskullz and CoPilot following revelations that their parent company — Vista Outdoor Inc. — has close ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and also owns brands that sell gun products and ammunition.

A lot has happened since then.
[Read more…]

Jobs of the Week: Joe Bike, Yakima, The Common Wheel

By on March 2nd, 2018 at 7:59 am

Well lookey here, we’ve got a job listing from a bike shop in Pennsylvania. We’re tickled that a place so far away sees value in paying for a job listing with us; but it’s also a sign of the times that they think they can lure someone away from Portland!

Check out this week’s listings below…

–> Consumer Service Rep – Yakima Products, Inc.

–> Mechanic/Sales – Joe Bike

–> Lead Bicycle Mechanic – The Common Wheel (PA)

[Read more…]

Portland State wins $75,000 grant to study bike share equity programs

By on March 1st, 2018 at 4:56 pm

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

You can add another bike-related topic that researchers at Portland State University have gained national notoriety for: equity in bike share systems.

PSU’s Transportation Research and Education Consortium (TREC) just won a grant worth nearly $75,000 from the Better Bike Share Partnership. The award, announced today by People for Bikes, is part of $410,000 split between eight projects across the country.

The money will go toward a “national assessment of bike share equity programs.” Here’s more about the project:

Portland State’s research team will document the programs and strategies developed to address equity in bike share across the U.S., and identify the definitions and measures of success for each of these efforts. The result will be a catalog of equity approaches employed, an aggregated summary of key elements of each approach or strategy, and a record of which metrics agencies used to assess if they are meeting their equity goals, along with the various ways agencies are assessing their programs.

[Read more…]