As Portland becomes famous in Japan, local firms will show off bike products

A handmade leather “can cage” is one of the Portland-
made products Walnut Studiolo will be offering
Japanese bike lovers.

Portland is, city officials say, big in Japan right now. Two admired local bike accessory makers are looking to ride that cultural wave.

Fashionable headgear design firm Nutcase Helmets and Walnut Studiolo, a maker of custom leather products, will send their owners to Japan next month as part of a delegation of nine local businesses that are lining up distribution in the world’s fourth-largest economy.

The one-week trade mission on April 13-19 is organized by the Portland Development Commission, the city’s economic development agency, to “make the most of Japanese interest in all things Portland,” as its website says. Grants from two state trade programs will pay some of the cost for participants.

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Look out! This bike packs an airhorn (video)

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

People on bikes have always used creative tricks to get people in cars to pay attention to them on the street. But these days, the available tricks can get pretty professional-looking.

Here’s a quick look (watch the video below) at a Portland bike commuter who got so sick of cars cutting him off as he crossed Interstate 405 on his way from home to work in Northwest Portland that he’s discreetly installed an airhorn beneath his handlebars, right next to the bell.

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