Gravel - Cycle Oregon

City will close two gaps, add safety features to NE Marine Drive

By on August 27th, 2018 at 3:38 pm

New flashing beacon will be installed at this unmarked crossing where people often drive as fast as 50 mph east of 138th.

“We understood that this was more forward momentum than we have seen in many years.”
— Jim Sjulin, 40-Mile Loop Land Trust

Marine Drive is a gem in our cycling network and a thorn in our cycling socks at the same time. For as great as it is in some spots — and as valuable as it is as an east-west connection between St. Johns and Troutdale — it remains neglected and riddled with dangerous gaps that prevent it from being a truly great route for cycling.

If you love/hate riding on Marine Drive, we’ve got two bits of great news: There’s a new advocacy effort afoot to close the gaps, and the City of Portland has just put real money on the table to close a few of them by next summer.
[Read more…]

Get on the bus with your bike

Community Cycling Center hires Craig Fondren as programs manager

By on August 27th, 2018 at 1:30 pm

Craig Fondren.
(Photo: CCC)

Well-known northeast Portland neighborhood organizer and nonprofit leader Craig Fondren has been hired as the Community Programs Manager at the Community Cycling Center.

Fondren was formerly executive director of the Sabin Community Development Corporation (CDC), a group that works to make housing more affordable for people of color and people with lower incomes. In 2011, Fondren was named Newsmaker of the Year by the Royal Rosarians for his work in bringing free technology and training to northeast Portland residents.

Here’s more from a CCC press release:

Mr. Fondren’s primary initial work will be leading the Community Cycling Center’s programs in the New Columbia / Portsmouth neighborhood of North Portland… Mr. Fondren will also be working with the parents, staff, and community at Cesar Chavez and Rosa Parks schools (both in Portsmouth) through our “Community Based Safe Routes to School” initiative. In the longer term, Mr. Fondren will work with the team at the Cycling Center to identify other needs and opportunities for Community Programs.

[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: Hit-and-run psychology, best bike for the city, BUI, and more

By on August 27th, 2018 at 11:24 am

Welcome to the week.

Before we get started, a special shout-out from our sponsor Cycle Oregon is warranted. Their new Gravel ride is coming October 5th-7th and it’s sure to be a fantastic weekend of fully-supported unpaved adventures on some of the best backroads in the region. I checked out one of the routes recently and can’t wait to share a recap!

And with that, here are the most noteworthy things we came across on the Internet in the past seven days…
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Prepare for new school-related traffic on North Flint

By on August 23rd, 2018 at 1:06 pm

Flint Ave outside of the newly opened Harriet Tubman Middle School.

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Bringing the ‘Bike Lane Uprising’ to Portland

By on August 22nd, 2018 at 10:13 am

What was the outcome of this? How often does it happen? I have no idea.

Catie Gould and Emily Guise are co-editors of our Adventures in Activism column.

It’s a scenario familiar to anyone biking in a city: you’re riding down the bike lane, when suddenly you’re forced to brake and swerve around an unforeseen obstacle blocking your way. At best, this is annoying; at worst, it is deadly.

Reporting these issues can be extremely frustrating. In Portland, there is no way to send a photo to the Parking Enforcement number, and callers rarely know if a ticket was ever issued. Reports to the 823-SAFE hotline can take months to be reviewed and disappear into a database that is not publicly accessible. This leads people to resort to social media, which raises only temporary awareness.

A new website aims to fill the gap. Since Bike Lane Uprising launched in September 2017, it has received over 2200 bike lane obstructions reports. Christina Whitehouse, an industrial designer in Chicago, has been surprised by how quickly it has taken off. The site allows people to submit incidents of bike lane infractions which are posted online and entered into a database and mapped. As more people contribute, Whitehouse can create heatmaps to identify conflict zones, trends, and notify businesses that are repeat offenders.
[Read more…]

Family Biking: Get ready to bike to school

By on August 21st, 2018 at 10:43 am

Many Portland schools have great bike racks.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

We love biking to school.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

With Portland Public Schools starting in less than a week (!), this week I’ll share a bit about my family’s commute and then get into biking to school more broadly.

My two kids attended the same elementary school last year, a tad less than a mile from our house. It was a perfectly flat ride, but with two busy crossings that meant I always accompanied the kids, though they sometimes zoomed ahead of me once we got to the quiet part.
[Read more…]

Guest post: Does Portland need a ‘Bicycle Mayor’?

By on August 21st, 2018 at 10:36 am

Bicycle mayors Katelijne Boerma (left), Lotta Crok (middle) and Areli Carreón.
(Photo: Adam Stones/BYCS)

I’m Robin Scholetzky, an urban planner and southeast Portland resident. This past June I participated in a graduate-level course at the University of Amsterdam on bicycling and urban design called Planning the Cycling City.

One of the organizations I learned about through the course was thetBYCS. The BYCS is an international advocacy organization with a mission to increase the number of trips by bicycle to 50 percent by 2030 worldwide (50by30). This is an ambitious goal and one of the ways they are seeking to gain traction is the development of the international Bicycle Mayors Program.

The Mayor program is designed to provide a platform and resources for individuals to become change agents in major cities across the world. There is one bicycle mayor in the United States in Keene, New Hampshire. Others in North America include Areli Carreón in Mexico City.

Areli was a colleague of mine in the Planning the Cycling City program and when we talked about this program, she explained that “Changing a city is a long-term process that needs team work. The Bike Mayor position helps to build that team spirit and a sense of direction and energy to push and pull for urban changes.” For Areli, the Bicycle Mayor program has, “Been a chance to speak up on behalf of my community so that politicians never forget to design and build the city for us, the people.”[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: War on Cars podcast, biking to birth, Portland history, and more

By on August 20th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Welcome to Monday.

I’m out of town at the moment on vacation with my family (typing this after everyone has gone to bed), so I’m even more grateful than usual for everyone who has flagged great stories for us this week. I’ll be back at 100% bike blogging power one week from today (8/27). Please hold down the fort while I’m gone.

Before we share the best stories from the past seven days, let’s give a shout-out to this week’s sponsor: Mark your calendar for September 2nd because Portland’s fun and fully-supported, multi-pub ride — the Tour de Lab — is coming!

And here are your stories of the week…

Portland’s future?: This article from Grist about e-bike share in Seattle is full of interesting nuggets and it’s framed through the lens of one of Lime’s 50 rebalancers.
[Read more…]

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Portland’s most prolific bike thief steals again, gets 25 months in prison

By on August 16th, 2018 at 8:36 pm

Bikes found at Parsons’ camp in inner northeast Portland late last month.
(Photos: Multnomah County DA/PPB)

“I think it’s a big win for the community.”
— Officer Dave Sanders, PPB Bike Theft Task Force

A man who has been booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center 80 times over a 20-year career and is considered the kingpin of bike theft in Portland is behind bars.

Again.

Leroy Parsons, who once boasted about his bike theft skills in a local television interview, has been given a 25-month prison sentence for violating the terms of his probation.

“I think it’s a big win for the community,” said Portland Police Bureau Bike Theft Task Force Officer Dave Sanders, in a statement published by the District Attorney’s Office today. “For the last 10 years, he’s been one of the pillars in downtown who networks stolen bikes.”
[Read more…]

2018 BikeCraft dates set, vendor sign-ups open

By on August 15th, 2018 at 10:05 am

Treasures await at BikeCraft.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

So much has changed in our community in the past 13 years that I now cherish long-standing traditions even more. One of those is BikeCraft — Portland’s homegrown, bike-centric holiday marketplace that showcases locally made, cycling-inspired arts, crafts, components, and accessories.

BikeCraft 2018 will take place December 15-16th at a new location (Tabor Space at 5441 SE Belmont) and organizers are gearing up to make it better than ever. We’re grateful to our friends at Microcosm Publishing (famous for their great books and stickers like, “Put the fun between your legs”) for taking the reins of the event. Their commitment means BikeCraft will endure into the future!

We’ll share more coverage of this event when the time is right. What you need to know today is that the deadline for vendor space is September 1st.
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City will restart N Rosa Parks Way project this weekend

By on August 14th, 2018 at 12:51 pm

The completed sections — like this one next to the Peninsula Park pool — have made a dramatic change to the street.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland plans to get work started again this weekend on the North Rosa Parks Way project.
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Opinion: Scootering is very popular and hasn’t destroyed Portland

By on August 14th, 2018 at 10:52 am

I, for one, welcome our new scooter overlords.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

Sorry to break the news to all the local journalists and civic pundits who are desperate for juicy scooter headlines; but so far the predicted scooterpocalypse has not materialized.

We’re almost three weeks into the City of Portland’s electric scooter pilot program and things seems to be going very smoothly. The injuries and deaths many predicted would befall reckless scooter operators haven’t happened. And the sidewalk obstructions and right-of-way issues appear to be no worse than before the scooters got here. Yes, there have been some immature people who’ve destroyed a few of them and we hear there are people downtown stripping them for parts, but those are expected outliers and not a really big deal.

On the flip side, the scooters have given thousands of people a new mobility option — a way to get around that is a million times better for our city than using a car or truck.
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Family Biking: Sidewalk cycling can be a savior

By on August 14th, 2018 at 9:24 am

Riding on the sidewalk on the “wrong” side of the street to get to the MAX station.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

When I lived in Seattle I often said the best pieces of bicycle infrastructure were sidewalks.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

I stuck to streets for the most part, but there were several places we regularly biked that required covering a couple blocks where I didn’t feel safe in the street, and in those instances, thank goodness for sidewalks! These were fast, four-lane streets with no bike markings whatsoever. No bike lanes. No sharrows (not that sharrows on arterials are great, don’t get me started).

As I’ve written previously, my routes differ whether I’ve got the kids with me or if they’re riding solo or attached via a trail-a-bike or cargo bike. This also affects the amount, if any, of sidewalk riding I do.

Here are more of my thoughts and experiences on sidewalk cycling…
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Watch how ODOT’s Rose Quarter freeway project will expand right into Harriet Tubman Middle School

By on August 13th, 2018 at 2:08 pm

Still from video created by Cupola Media> shows how ODOT’s new freeway lane would encroach even further into the neighborhood it destroyed when it was first built in the 1970s. That’s Harriet Tubman Middle School on the right.

The Oregon Department of Transportation and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler have justified the I-5 Rose Quarter freeway project as a way to “restore” the traditionally African-American neighborhood that the freeway runs through.

But a new animated video released today by the No More Freeways coalition shows that a wider freeway will not only encroach further into that neighborhood, it will bring toxic fumes from cars and diesel trucks even closer to students and staff at Harriet Tubman Middle School.
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup: NYC’s special sauce, right-hook research, a moral dilemma, and more

By on August 13th, 2018 at 12:29 pm


Welcome to Monday!

Hope you had a chance to pedal through the nice cool weekend. Who got caught out on a ride without a jacket?

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Efficient Velo Tools: From inflators and wheel-building tools, to the EZ-Lift Repair Stand, Portland’s Efficient Velo Tools offers tools for the pro and home mechanic! Learn more about their great products here.

And with that, here are the most noteworthy stories we came across in the past seven days…
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Islabikes and Go Box are the latest Portland businesses to add electric cargo bikes to their fleet

By on August 10th, 2018 at 1:19 pm

Islabikes (L) and Go Box are ready to roll thanks to new cargo bikes.
(Photos courtesy of the companies)

When you do business in a city, electric cargo bikes are often a much better solution for deliveries and service calls than cars or trucks. There are many companies in Portland that understand this fact, and two of them recently added new bikes to their fleet.
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When moms escape: Tackling the unpaved Trask River Road route to the coast

By on August 10th, 2018 at 10:23 am

Team Sundress ready to hit Trask River Road (after an hour-long ride on the MAX).
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

“It was by far the hardest thing either of us have ever done, but we’d both do it again…though only after some rest and time to forget some of the details.”

While the kids are away the moms will play.

For me that means riding my bike much farther while carrying a bit less stuff than when I have the kiddos in tow. And ideally with a mom friend at my side. My friend Elle of Tiny Helmets Big Bikes came up from Sacramento, tasking me to find us a multi-day bike trip. I decided we’d take Trask River Road to Tillamook on the Oregon Coast.

Here’s the scoop on the route via Oregon Bikepacking:

While not technically easy, this the most straightforward, easiest dirt route to the coast from Portland. Starting from the end of the MAX line in Hillsboro, we route you through the least pavement possible to Mount Richmond and then on gravel up to the Barney Reservoir and along the North Fork of the Trask River directly into Tillamook.[Read more…]

ODOT/PBOT want new Barbur Blvd bridges as part of light rail project – UPDATED

By on August 9th, 2018 at 12:32 pm

Riding northbound on Barbur across the Newbury Street bridge.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

We finally have a bit more clarity around the future of the Vermont and Newbury bridges on Barbur Boulevard.
[Read more…]

Local retailers respond to Trump’s 25% tariff on electric bikes

By on August 9th, 2018 at 10:24 am

E-bikes, like this one crusing on the Eastbank Esplanade, have become very popular in Portland. A new tariff could chill the market.
(Photo: Will Vanlue for BikePortland)

“Our forecasts predict that a 25% tariff will cause a 65-75% drop in sales as consumers postpone their purchases until sanity returns to our trade policies.”
— Wake Gregg, The eBike Store

In their ongoing effort to achieve more “fair and balanced” trade conditions with China, the Trump Administration has finalized a list of $16 billion worth of products that will be hit with a 25 percent tariff that will go into effect August 23rd.

Among those products are electric bicycles and e-bike motors. Bikes imported from China previously had no tariff. The tariff on motors will be 29 percent as the new tariff will be added to the existing one 4 percent. People for Bikes, a national bike industry advocacy group, fought the move, but has so far been unsuccessful.

This is bad news for the e-bike market. As we shared last week, sales of the pedal-assisted bikes have been a major bright spot for bike companies and retail shop owners. Here in Portland, we have a thriving e-bike scene and shop owners report brisk sales. There’s been a sense that — after years of challenges due to an educational and cultural bottleneck — the U.S. market for e-bikes had finally matured. And like many bike trends, Portland is at the tip of the spear.

Here are reactions to the new tariffs from three local shop owners:
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Weekend Event Guide: Bridge Pedal, Velo Cult bike sale, Street Trust bike raffle party, and more

By on August 9th, 2018 at 8:39 am

Bridge Pedalers taking over I-405 back in 2010.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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

The weekend is almost here. And thankfully, the weather gods have planned a reprieve from the heat.

The annual Bridge Pedal happens on Sunday. The event has lost a bit of its epicness as organizers continue to wrangle with a new approach by the City of Portland to limit the scope of large-scale events in the public right-of-way. The full route includes just six bridges these days (down from ten); but lucky participants still get the chance to experience a carfree ride atop the Marquam and Fremont bridges. That’s an opportunity you can only get during this event!

Here are the rest of our picks for the weekend (see the full calendar for more suggestions).
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