Six questions for Portland illustrator and ‘Cycle City’ author Alison Farrell

by on April 5th, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Alison and a few of her many inspirations.
(Photo: Zoey Abbott)

As often happens as I peruse the web for story ideas, I come across something wonderful and then forget how I ended up there.

That’s how I came across the work of Alison Farrell. [Read more…]

Niner Bikes founder, now a Portlander, hopes to crowdfund children’s book

by on October 24th, 2017 at 10:43 am

Cover of Domahidy’s book.

Go to any bike race or adventure ride these days and you’re almost sure to see “Niner” on the downtube of at least one of the bikes. Niner Bikes, as their name suggests, is respected in the bike industry as a pioneer of the 29-inch wheel size, having launched their first model in 2004.

Steve Domahidy co-founded Niner and was head of its R & D department until 2011. He recently moved to Portland where he’s put his design and engineering prowess behind a new brand (Viral Bikes) and a new project that’s a departure from anything he’s worked on in his 30-year career in the bike industry: a children’s book.

Domahidy is currently in the final stretch of a Kickstarter campaign for A Bike For You, a book he wrote in tandem with illustrator Rob Snow. The book is a fun tale that uses animals to explore many different types of bikes and styles of riding. Here’s an excerpt:[Read more…]

20 years later, John Forester’s ‘Effective Cycling’ to be re-published

by on April 25th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

New cover of Effective Cycling
(MIT Press)

A book by the man who coined the termed “vehicular cycling” is set to be re-published by MIT Press on May 18th (which is Bike to Work Day). In 1993, John Forester’s Effective Cycling aimed to explain his perspective on how people should operate bicycles. That book, and Forester himself, had a profound impact on cycling in the 1990s and the new edition of the book will hit shelves as cities across America clamor to install the type of separated, protected bike infrastructure Forester abhors.

On his personal website, Forester urges visitors to, “Fight for Your Right to Cycle Properly!” telling them, “The right of cyclists to cycle properly and safely is disappearing. If you don’t fight to preserve it, it will disappear.” [Read more…]

Sneak peek at “Where to Bike: Portland” guide book and app

by on April 6th, 2012 at 11:08 am

Draft cover of new Where to Bike: Portland guide book. (Final cover will have different image).

Yesterday I got a visit from Phil Latz, Director of Bicycling Australia and publisher of (among other things) an exciting new series of guide books titled, Where to Bike. [Read more…]

First look at new Oregon bike touring guide book, ‘Cycling Sojourner’

by on March 30th, 2012 at 9:56 am


With all the rain we’re having, I’m sure some of you are scheming how to make the most of the sun once it returns. On that note, I want to share an update on an exciting new bike touring guide book that is set for release on May 8th. Cycling Sojourner is the work of Portland travel writer Ellee Thalheimer and it’s poised to usher in a wave of bike touring, just as rural communities throughout Oregon are beginning to recognize its economic potential.

Like we shared back in July, Thalheimer’s book is one of four bike guide books coming out this year covering rides in Portland and throughout the state. While each one of them will help plan bike adventures, Cycling Sojourner is the only one that focuses on self-supported, multi-day rides.[Read more…]

The ‘Bike Snob’ returns to Portland, with a new book

by on March 9th, 2012 at 8:28 am

The Bike Snob (Eben Weiss) has a new book and he’s headed to Portland next month as part of an 11-city promotional tour. The Snob’s eponymously named first book was a smash hit and he’s back for more with, The Enlightened Cyclist: Commuter Angst, Dangerous Drivers, and Other Obstacles in the Path to Two-Wheeled Transcendence (Chronicle Books).

Here’s the publisher’s blurb:

The joys of commuting by bike attract scores of new converts every year. But as fresh-faced cyclists fill the roads, they also encounter their share of frustrations—careless drivers, wide-flung car doors, zoned-out pedestrians, and aggressive fellow cyclists, to name a few. In this follow-up to the best-selling Bike Snob, BikeSnobNYC takes on the trials and triumphs of bike commuting with snark, humor, and enthusiasm, asking the question: If we become better commuters, will that make us better people? From the deadly sins of biking to tactics for dealing with cars, pedestrians, and other cyclists, this primer on bike travel is a must-read for cyclists new and seasoned alike.

[Read more…]

In Vancouver, Mia Birk rallies members of local bike club

by on November 14th, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Mia Birk
(Photo © J. Maus)

Author and CEO Mia Birk presented her book, Joy Ride, to the Vancouver Bicycle Club (VBC) on Wednesday at the new downtown Vancouver library.

Introduced by Portland’s own Joe “Metal Cowboy” Kurmaskie, Birk informed the crowd of about 60 VBC members that Portland’s famous bicycling atmosphere didn’t happen overnight. [Read more…]

New book is a ‘Survival Guide’ for bicycling in American cities

by on August 31st, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I got a review copy of The Urban Cyclists Survival Guide in the mail the other day. It’s a new book by Los Angeles based author James Rubin and published by Chicago-based sports book publisher Triumph Books.

I haven’t delved completely into the 250 or so pages of advice and tips; but the book’s packaging has already caught my eye due to how it makes bicycling seem like a risky and life-threatening proposition.

At the very least, the book sends mixed messages to potential riders (and buyers). On one hand, the book’s success relies on more people choosing to ride bikes. The headline of the back cover reads, “Shed Pounds and Save Money by Riding Your Bike to Work.”

However, the cover image shows a man doing a full, over-the-bars endo into the side of a car. The image echoes the tone of the title itself, with its focus on “survival.” Is that the type of words and imagery that will encourage someone to ride?[Read more…]

Four new bike guidebooks for Portland, Oregon coming in 2012

by on July 19th, 2011 at 4:26 pm

East Sunday Parkways-36

New guidebooks will help you
explore more of the city (and state)
with confidence.
(Photo © J. Maus)

What good is a city and state that’s absolutely brimming with great bicycling if you don’t know the best routes or the insider tips?

By the end of next year, four new cycling guidebooks — two for Portland, and two for Oregon — will remedy that situation, making great routes and advice available to everyone. [Read more…]

‘High Cost of Free Parking’ now in paperback

by on June 21st, 2011 at 1:44 pm

The most important and respected book on parking policy and urban development is being re-published in paperback with a new preface and afterword by author Donald Shoup. See details below…

The High Cost of Free Parking
The book that started the parking revolution is now available in paperback with a new preface and afterword from the author.

CHICAGO— The book that started cities rethinking free parking is back. The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup, FAICP, is now available in paperback with a new preface and afterword by the author highlighting parking policy improvements since the book was first published in 2005.

Published by the American Planning Association, The High Cost of Free Parking was the first book on the economics and politics of parking. In the book, Shoup shows how so-called “free” parking is devastating U.S. cities— from the cost of subsidizing off-street parking to increasing traffic congestion and distorting urban landscapes.

Sparing no one when attacking what he calls “wrong-headed” parking policies, Shoup is a UCLA professor who has spent 35 years studying the impact our cars have when we aren’t driving them. He reports that in 2002, the subsidy for off-street parking was between $127 billion and $374 billion, more than the U.S. spent on Medicare that year.

To correct these parking policy problems Shoup advocates three things:

Setting the right price for curb parking. Cities can use performance pricing to vary meter rates according to proximity, time of day, and day of week to achieve about an 85 percent occupancy rate. This would mean one to two curb spaces would remain vacant throughout the day on a given block. Washington, D.C. and Seattle, Washington, are testing performance parking policies, and San Francisco has implemented SFpark that automatically monitors parking demand and adjusts prices monthly.

Return parking revenue to pay for local public services. Shoup argues that drivers will be more willing to pay higher meter rates if cities return the money directly to the metered district (not into the city’s general fund). The money can be used to increase local public services in the district. Pasadena, Redwood City, San Diego, and Ventura, California, return some or all of the meter revenue to pay for added public services in the metered districts. So do Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C.

Remove minimum parking requirements. According to Shoup, most cities erroneously view their parking problems result from a shortage of spaces, not from underpricing. He estimates that required off-street parking accounts for one-third of the cost of a typical new office building. Shoup suggests allowing in-lieu fees by allowing developers to pay a fee in lieu of providing the required number of parking spaces. Another option is for cities to reduce the demand for parking through transit incentives. Since 2005, Shoup estimates that at least 129 cities have removed off-street parking requirements in their downtowns.

Shoup writes that everyone pays for subsidized parking in countless unseen ways. Most commercial buildings are required to provide a parking lot bigger than the building itself. Restaurants are usually required to provide a lot three times larger than the building. As a result, even customers who come without a car pay for parking indirectly in higher costs for goods or services.

These parking policies not only distort urban landscapes but also present a host of consequences including higher housing prices, extreme automobile dependence, extravagant energy use, rapid urban sprawl, social inequity, economic stagnation and environmental degradation.

Americans take free parking for granted, which helps explain its ubiquity and its sheer magnitude as a land use. Shoup estimates there are between three and four parking spaces for every car in the U.S., or between 705 million and 940 million spaces. If all of U.S. parking spaces were combined into one surface lot, it would require as much land as the state of Connecticut.

Shoup writes with humor. He makes his points using excerpts from songs, TV programs, and newspaper stories with parking references. New York Press called the hardcover edition “beach reading.” Shoup’s work to reform parking policies has even inspired a devoted Facebook group who has dubbed themselves the “Shoupistas.”