Bike-friendly business sense from a mattress store

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Still from Path Less Pedaled video showing
Mattress Lot owner Michael Hanna.

A mattress store is the last place you’d expect to cater to bicycle riding customers. But that’s the case at the Mattress Lot on NE Sandy.

We mentioned this place back in 2010 when they started delivering mattresses by bike and they’re still going strong.

Now, in a new video just released by Path Less Pedaled, Mattress Lot owner Michael Hanna speaks some important truths about doing business in a way that respects more than just one transportation mode. In the excellent short video below, Hanna spells out why his approach works and why it makes sense.

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Bicycle ‘Aid Stations’ coming to Plaid Pantry stores

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New window decal coming to Plaid Pantry stores.

Convenience store chain Plaid Pantry has announced their latest effort to become more appealing to customers who arrive by bike: Bicycle aid stations.

According to Administrative Manager Laura Sadowski, the new aid stations will be available at all 104 Oregon stores and will consist of a flat repair kit, basic bike tools, and a floor pump. The aid kit will be kept behind the counter, so you’ll have to ask a store employee to use it. “As the weather is improving, I am seeing more bikes on the road,” said Sadowski via email. “Not everyone is prepared for a flat or adequate nutrition and fluids, so we want to be there on (mostly) every corner to ‘aid’ them!”

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Travel Oregon launches USA’s first statewide bike-friendly business program

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One of the customizable signs available to
participating businesses from Travel
Oregon. The program is free; signs cost
$26 to $56.

After a two-month pilot effort in Estacada and Cottage Grove, Oregon’s public tourism agency is going statewide with a program that publicly recognizes businesses for bike-friendly practices.

The idea is to create a well-recognized brand that can identify the state’s bike-friendly businesses by a sign in the window — which will, in turn, help bike tourists thank the businesses with their dollars.

In the long run, organizers hope, it’ll foster a culture of welcoming bikers at the state’s roadside diners, small-town hotels and big-city bars, similar to the 500 hotels now affiliated with Quebec’s “Welcome Cyclists” program. And that’ll help Oregon further improve its niche in the growing bike tourism industry.

“Enhancing the biking experience for visitors and Oregonians is one of our top initiatives at Travel Oregon,” Scott West, Travel Oregon’s chief strategy officer, wrote in a news release Tuesday.

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Secure gear storage: The next step for bike-friendly businesses?

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Bike gear lockers at New Seasons-2

New Seasons on Williams Ave has gear
lockers for bike riding customers.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

One of the advantages cars have over (most) bicycles is a secure, dry, roomy place to easily stash stuff. Take a look at the inside of most people’s cars and you’ll see all sorts of essential and random things in the center console, the glove box, and scattered on the seats and floor. Bikes on the other hand, are usually stripped clean when parked. This is for a variety of reasons including: the threat of thieves who will take anything that’s not bolted down; the threat of rain getting your stuff wet, and so on. For people who bike, there simply aren’t many panniers or similar products readily available that allow you to secure your stuff to your vehicle while keeping it protected from the elements (and yes, I have seen the Buca Boot on Kickstarter).

The thoughts above are why I’ve been thinking for the past few years that shops, cafes and markets might want to consider providing storage areas for cycling customers. I’ve pitched the idea of gear storage lockers to a few businesses and I’m thrilled that someone finally took me up on it.

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