“I would much rather err on the side of safety. My priority is to keep folks and their families safe.”
— Clint Culpepper, Portland Trophy Cup
It appears bike racing — even mass start events — can happen safely despite the lingering presence of Covid-19 and its variants.
The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association announced this week that after hosting four large bike races so far this year, they’ve had zero reported cases of the virus.
“It has been inspiring to see how much work our professional race promoters put into their events to make them safe while maintaining the raw excitement and energy we all feel at a bike race,” OBRA Executive Director Chuck Kenlan said in a statement Thursday.
With vaccine eligibility ramping up again today, lots of folks will be headed to the Oregon Convention Center next week to get the shot. We’ve heard a few questions from readers wondering about bike parking and routes to get there.
The Convention Center is very centrally located, but it’s bordered by freeways and a major arterial. As such, it’s not the easiest place to access by bike — unless you’re familiar with the area. It doesn’t help that official instructions sent out by some health companies doesn’t even consider that some people will show up by bike.
We’re in a strange phase of this pandemic: Infections and deaths are going up while many peoples’ familiarity with the virus and eagerness for normalcy is causing them to let their guard down.
This is definitely true with the local bike scene.
After all but shutting down in-person rides and events for the past few months, things are coming back to life. People are hosting group rides again and I’ve seen an uptick in informal group training rides with people rolling along in the traditional shoulder-to-shoulder paceline style — with no masks in sight.
Local bike businesses were among the hundreds of thousands of U.S. companies that asked the federal government for assistance to weather the coronavirus storm.
Data released from the Small Business Administration last week revealed that at least four Portland bike shops and two other bike-related businesses received loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Here’s the list (company name, loan amount, number of jobs retained (if available)):
Fat Tire Farm
River City Bicycles