Local food activist makes the farm-bike-sailboat connection

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Part of the farm-bike-boat delivery team at
last year’s Village Building Convergence on
the dock at OMSI.
(Photos courtesy of CultureChange.org)

Jan Lundberg moved to Portland a year ago because it seemed like the best place to pursue his intersecting passions for food security, peak oil, bicycles, and sailing.

These passions will be coming to fruition later this month when the oil analyst’s brainchild, the Sail Transport Network, will launch into its first major, ongoing local venture. Lundberg is finalizing plans to deliver malted grain from Vancouver, Washington to a brewery further down the Columbia River by a combination of cargo bike and sailboat.

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Vegetable spokecards and a fun Saturday ride

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Vegetable spoke cards inspire bike2market riders
(Photo by Dan Liu)

One of the best things about living in Portland is meeting other fun people and their bikes, and going on group rides lends a bit of camaraderie to a sometimes-lonely activity. Last year, on one of his weekly rides to the Portland Farmers’ Market at PSU, Sean Sullivan decided his life would be not unimproved by a little more fun and camaraderie, in addition to the two staples of biking and local produce.

What does it take to organize a ragtag bunch like this? “I just announced it to friends Facebook, Twitter, the Shift list, even Craigslist…and people show up,” said Sullivan, who has dubbed his effort “bike2market.”

The ride meets at Ladd’s Circle every Saturday at 9:30am. So far, the rides are small, manageable and growing: two weeks ago when I tagged along, there were seven of us, double the last week’s attendance.

Sullivan says that he’d eventually like to start other, simultaneous rides around town. “What I’m hoping to do is eventually organize rides in North or Northeast Portland, but this one needs to become self-sustaining first — maybe, twenty committed riders a week.”

As a bonus for coming along with Sullivan, each of us received a collectible vegetable spoke card which he had designed, printed, and laminated as a fun bonus. With this year’s farmers’ markets stretching all the way to mid-December, collecting ’em all will be only for the truly ambitious — and the pair of Brompton riders who came along for the ride certainly do not have enough spokes.

Speaking of which: there is, as always, a fine line between the beautifully practical and the wonderfully ridiculous, all of which are on display on any group ride. In addition to the Brompton afficionados with their integrated front-mounted messenger bags (!); and one participant sported a vintage mountain bike paired with a custom powdercoated, bright red Bob trailer that matched the bike frame.

If you too, want to ride with a group in style to the Farmers Market on Saturday, you can meet-up with Sean and the group, Saturdays, 9:30am at Ladd’s Circle, in front of Palio. Go get your vegetable spoke card!

May is Bike Month at Portland Farmers Market

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Portland Farmers Market has announced that this May will be their first-ever Bike Month at the Market.

Throughout the month, the Saturday PSU Market will host a bike booth featuring bike displays, bike inspections and biking experts to provide market-goers with the information and inspiration to tote their produce and artisan foods home on two wheels instead of four.

According to a survey conducted at the market, 60% of shoppers arrive by car. And a visit on any Saturday morning finds a serious parking deficit and slow-circling cars hunting for a spot near the booths. Market organizers say they hope that Bike Month will help solve the parking problem as well as encouraging the community to make the connection between local food and sustainable transportation.

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