Ask BikePortland

Welcome to Ask BikePortland, where we delve into your burning questions of etiquette, laws, and everything else. If you have a question, send it to us and we might feature it on the site.

Ask BikePortland: What should I do if a driver harassed me and police don’t take it seriously?

Avatar by on April 4th, 2019 at 2:49 pm

(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The latest installment of our Ask BikePortland column comes from a woman named Sabrina S. I’ve changed her name at her request.

Here’s what she asked via email earlier this week:

“Hi – I was hoping someone at BikePortland could give advice on getting help from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) when confronted by dangerous drivers.

I was riding on Southeast Division Street with a friend. We were looking for a restaurant (which we couldn’t find) before heading over to the Clinton greenway. As we were on Division, a car came up behind us then went around us (plenty of room, not a problem). But then the driver started screamed profanities at us to get off the road. We continued on (legally riding on the street, well to the side) when the driver stopped, screamed, “You wanna fight, punk?” and then more profanities as we ignored him to continue on to our destination.
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Ask BikePortland: Know any good bike shed builders?

Avatar by on November 29th, 2018 at 4:40 pm

Reader A.L. needs someone to build a bike shed:

We need to build/have built a secure bike storage structure in our backyard. Limited budget ($500-700). Do you have any recommendations for who to work with? Doesn’t need to be someone licensed, and probably won’t be with our budget, but at least reliable/does good enough work.

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Things people asked BikePortland this week

Avatar by on November 9th, 2018 at 5:09 pm

“I found a stolen bike the other day at the Rose City Golf Course. Any suggestions on what to do with it?

BikePortland is really neat.

One of many things about my role in the community that I don’t think most people appreciate or realize is how much of a concierge BikePortland has become.

From the mundane to the ridiculous and everything in between, BikePortland is the place people come with all sorts of requests and questions. I love that this happens. It’s a sign that people are aware of BikePortland and it reinforces how much this site means to our community. And as a reporter, this is how I find many of my best sources and stories.
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Tilikum passing: Which side is right for faster bikes?

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 4th, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Sunday Parkways September 2015-5.jpg

Ride right, pass left? Or the other way around?
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

I got a call this week from Portland resident Alec Boehm, who’s looking for advice on a question many Portlanders have grappled with over the years.

When people biking and walking have dedicated spaces on a relatively narrow multi-use path, should faster bikes pass slower bikes on the right, or on the left? And (by the same token) should people who expect to be passed keep to the left of the biking lane, or to the right?

You can see the same situation constantly on the Hawthorne Bridge, and sometimes the Broadway, too. Until this week, you could sometimes see it for northbound bike traffic on Naito Parkway’s temporary protected biking and walking lanes, too.

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Ask BikePortland: What’s the correct way to cross the I-5 bridge?

Avatar by on August 10th, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Policymakers Ride-39

There’s no great way to cross the I-5 bridge, but perhaps you can help our reader make it suck a bit less.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Publisher’s note: We’re going to try something a bit different for our Ask BikePortland column. Instead of us bringing in an expert to answer the question directly in the post, we’re going to see if you — our fantastic and smart readers — can help with the answer. Please share your insights and tips in the comments. Thanks! – Jonathan

Today’s question came to us via email from Greg S.:
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Ask BikePortland: Do I have to stop for red lights while riding on ‘Better Naito’?

Avatar by on May 27th, 2016 at 2:19 pm

The cones and wide bike lane are temporary, the legal requirement to stop at lights is not.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Ask BikePortland is a regular column. Browse the archives or drop us a line if you have a question you’d like us to answer.

Today’s question is about Better Naito, the temporary project that has created a two-way, 15-foot lane for biking and walking on Naito Parkway.

Reader Skip Winters lives in West Linn and commutes into northeast Portland (thanks to an electric bike he says). His favorite part of the ride is Naito Parkway, especially now with the generous amount of space and safety afforded by the new alignment. But he’s confused about the signals.
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Ask BikePortland: Who takes the fall for a fallen bike?

Avatar by on September 21st, 2015 at 11:14 am

On-street bike parking downtown-17.jpg

When all you wanted was a parking spot and you ended up with a moral dilemma.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Have you ever accidentally knocked over someone else’s bike when you locked up your own? If so, what did you do about it? [Read more…]

Ask BikePortland: Is there a right way to confront someone who’s texting and driving?

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on June 18th, 2015 at 8:58 am

She could be behind you!

What to say?
(Photo: Raymond Clarke Images)

Welcome to the latest installment of our Ask BikePortland column. Read past articles here.

BikePortland reader Kim sent us a query that will be familiar to many people on the road, no matter their vehicle.

Today on my commute I observed a driver veering into the bike lane ahead of me. As I cautiously overtook the driver, I noticed her head skewed with a downward gaze and a cellphone in her right hand, actively texting. I felt anger at this dangerous behavior and yelled (loud enough to penetrate the rolled up windows) “Don’t do that!” and motioned to put the phone down. The driver was startled and didn’t know that someone was observing her.

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Ask BikePortland: As a driver, what does all that green mean?

Avatar by on April 14th, 2015 at 10:03 am

Ride Along with Ali Reis-22

Huh?
(Photo J Maus/BikePortland)

We get a lot of interesting emails here at BikePortland (and phone calls for that matter). And because we’re easy to find in search engines and we’ve been around for a decade or so, a lot of those emails come from people who aren’t daily readers or loyal fans. We often hear from people don’t even ride bikes and who just have something about cycling they want to get off their chest.

The question I want to share with you today comes via an email from David J., someone who identified himself as a driver. The subject of his email was “Autos and bikes”:[Read more…]

Ask BikePortland: Who can teach my autistic teen how to ride?

Avatar by on February 4th, 2015 at 12:27 pm

“My notion and hope is that there is some bicycle whisperer, bike shop dude, or cycling samaritan out there.”

Today’s Ask BikePortland question comes from a reader who is looking for a very specific kind of help. This is a bit different than our usual fare for this column. Instead of just trying to answer the question, we plan to forward tips and offers to help onto the reader (a woman who has asked to remain anonymous).

Here’s the email that includes the question and request for help:

Subject: Need an Awesome Pedaling Guru for Awesome 18-year old ASD son
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