Business group to examine impact of ‘Portlandia Effect’

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Funny, yes; but is it good or bad for business?
(Photo: IFC)

Bicycling and the culture that has sprung up around it in Portland is a major part of our city’s brand. People move here because of our bike-friendly reputation — whether they’re drawn to mundane things like our great bike parking and bikeway network or more attention-grabbing things like our record-breaking annual World Naked Bike Ride.

With bikes featured front and center in the surprise success of the IFC mini-series Portlandia, that reputation is now stronger than ever.

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Naked bikers needed for Flaming Lips music video to be shot in Portland next week

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Art Bike Parade at Cirque du Cycling-58

The flash of naked riders
is an annual sight in Portland
(Photo © J. Maus)

The World Naked Bike Ride doesn’t roll around again til June, but Portlanders will have a chance next week to ride naked around Mt Tabor as part of an upcoming Flaming Lips music video.

I spoke about the shoot, set for Wednesday, with Flaming Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne during a break in preparing for the band’s appearance tonight on the Colbert Report.

Coyne was enthused about his plan. He said he got the idea from the scene at the end of the musical Hair: “You know how it’s a bunch of freaked out naked people climbing some mountain with blood and fire and finding some new civilization there — so I thought of Portland, right?”

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“I Love My Bicycle” documentary follows a homegrown BMX manufacturing company

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Editor’s note: This movie review was written by contributor (and our down-the-street neighbor) Joe Biel. Earlier this year, we covered Biel’s forthcoming documentary about Critical Mass. We’re actively seeking to publish more book and movie reviews on the site — if there’s something you’d like to review for us, please get in touch.

With the simultaneous surge of interest in all things bike and the availability of cheaper and cheaper digital video equipment, we are treated to more and more grassroots documentaries about bicycling and all of its colorful, related culture.

“I Love My Bicycle: The Story of FBM Bikes” is a splendid addition to this realm.

The movie tells the story of how FBM Bikes was built from a charming, homegrown t-shirt company put together by some BMX riders in upstate New York.

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Have faith in bikes? The Bike Temple is here for you

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[Editor’s note: Please welcome news intern Halley Weaver! Halley comes to BikePortland from a background in blogging. She jumped head first into the Portland bike scene as lead designer for the 2009 Pedalpalooza Kickoff Party. Her first story for us is a feature on a burgeoning new bike organization in town, the Bike Temple.]

Design for spoke card available

Oregon isn’t known for spiritual piety (we have the fourth largest percentage of people identifying themselves as “non-religious” in the United States), but here in Portland, a new organization is taking an earnest yet irreverent approach to a new kind of cycle-spirituality: It’s called the Bike Temple.

Why the combination of bicycles and religion? According to the Bike Temple’s pamphlet, which can often be spotted in spokes and on handlebars around town, “Bicycles give us happiness, good health, a closer communication to our communities, lower consumption, self-appreciation, and most of all, fun!”

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Local distillery’s vodka label homes in on passion for bikes

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(Photos © Elly Blue)

Portland-based New Deal Distillery will unveil a new label for their signature Portland 88 vodka next month.

The label features an illustration of a woman standing valiantly astride a fat-tired cruiser bicycle, sporting striped kneesocks, a flowing dress, and a playing card in the spokes. Think of her as Portlandia (Portland’s patron saint that adorns the City of Portland building downtown) on wheels.

Hoping to learn more about New Deal, I headed over to the distillery one sunny day (it’s right across the street from our office) to check out their operation and see the new label.

That happened to be during the Worst Day of the Year Ride, and the distillery had opened its doors to invite ride participants in for tastings. I chatted briefly with founders and co-owners Tom Burkleaux and Matthew Van Winkle before a bunch of costumed riders came in to sample the lemongrass vodka.

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Guest Article: Have More Bike (Tango) Fun!

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Jim Labbe

[Editor’s note: This article was written by guest contributor Jim Labbe, bike tango enthusiast and an urban conservationist with the Audobon Society of Portland. The Valentango festival begins today and runs through February 16th.]

Portland’s international reputation for bicycling is no news. Bikes, like beer, volunteerism, and strip-clubs, are part of the local culture. That (and a lot of hard work) has helped make Portland a fabulous city for bicycling.

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