guest article

Guest article: Challenging conditions test bike commuter ‘tolerance’

Avatar by on July 8th, 2010 at 1:52 pm

The article below was written by reader Paul Manson in response to my recent story on how construction at the E Burnside/12th/Sandy intersection is impacting the bicycling experience on SE Ankeny, a nearby bike boulevard street.

Paul is an environmental and sustainability consultant and also serves as a volunteer on the Sullivan’s Gulch Trail Committee and as an alternate citizen representative for Multnomah County on the Metro Policy Advisory Committee.

[Read more…]

Guest Article: Another big idea: Make driving less convenient

Avatar by on June 10th, 2010 at 9:32 am

[The following article was written by new executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Rob Sadowsky.]

Another big idea

“To make a significant dent in bicycling mode share in Portland…we need to take significant steps to limiting the convenience of driving a car.”

I was excited to read the various ‘Big Ideas’ submitted to BikePortland, even my favorite — the giant slide down Mt. Hood. To make a significant dent in bicycling mode share in Portland, and in the region, we need not only big bold infrastructure ideas, but we need to take significant steps to limiting the convenience of driving a car. [Read more…]

Guest article: PBOT responds to Williams Avenue opportunity

Avatar by on June 2nd, 2010 at 4:25 pm

[Publisher’s note: In a story last week I hoped out loud that City of Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) would seize the opportunity to re-stripe Williams Avenue north of Broadway with a wider bike lane. The road is currently torn up for a repave, so what better time to try and eke out an extra foot or two for bikes? PBOT got in touch with me after reading that story and requested to write a guest article about the situation. I agreed and I’ve published the piece in its entirety below. I’ve put some of the most important bits in bold.]

Williams Avenue torn up-12

Williams is currently torn up.
When it gets re-striped, the bike lane
will likely be one foot wider.
(Photo © J. Maus)

A BikePortland headline from May 27 asked, “Williams Ave getting repaved: Can we get a wider bike lane?” We are writing today with an answer: Yes. And not only can Portlanders get a wider bike lane on North Williams, but they probably will get one in the next month and may get something better in the next year.[Read more…]

Guest Article: Oil, coal, and thoughts on a fossil-fuel conscious life

Avatar by on May 3rd, 2010 at 9:23 am

Sarah Gilbert
(Photo: Amy McMullen)

[This article was written by Portland resident Sarah Gilbert, a professional writer who blogs at AOL’s Daily Finance,, and many other places. She’s also known as the woman who got a local food chain to open up their drive-thrus to bicycles. When not writing, Gilbert is tending to her three young boys, whom she pedals around on her Xtracycle-equipped Electra Townie with a “One Less Minivan” sticker on it.]

“I no longer feel I must defend my choice to go by bike instead of car; instead, I feel I must hold it high, a banner of hope and, perhaps, victory over these heart-clogging disasters.”

[Read more…]

Guest article: The 12-year struggle to tame the Morrison Bridge

Avatar by on January 11th, 2010 at 8:30 am

If Phil Goff had his way, his “Greenway Esplanade” concept would have transformed the Morrison Bridge into a biking and walking oasis. It didn’t quite turn out that way.
(Concept drawing by Phil Goff)

[Read more…]

Editorial: The bicycle insurance gap and what we can do about it

Avatar by on January 5th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Russ Willis
(Photo © Elly Blue)

Before moving to Portland and ditching his car, Russ Willis was a founding board member of the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation. Russ is the author of the blog, Taking the Lane and this is his first editorial for BikePortland. This is the third article in a three-part series on The Bicycle Insurance Gap. See all three articles here.

Not very long ago, when I used to drive a car, I carried liability insurance against the possibility that I might injure or kill someone.[Read more…]

Book review: The new issue of Boneshaker cycling almanac

Avatar by on December 30th, 2009 at 1:03 pm

In the world of print, most bicycle-themed publications are novice-level — they tell you how to fix your bike or guide you through gaining skills and confidence to ride in traffic. Then there’s the other end of the spectrum — the ivory tower of transportation theory.

That’s why I have to bless Boneshaker‘s scrappy heart and 104 information-packed pages for filling the much needed void between these two genres.

This small volume communicates on a level for those who just want to ride their bikes and then talk about it afterwards. It fully lives up to its subtitle, “A Bicycling Almanac.” [Read more…]

Guest editorial: Planting trees by bike

Avatar by on December 28th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

“….[Without a bike trailer] it would have been several times as much work to get 3 dozen trees, several hundred pounds of mulch, wood stakes, and several gallons of water to the entire 1/4 mile planting area.”

[This article was written by contributor Aaron Tarfman.]

On Saturday I went out to be a part of the Friends of Trees planting event along the I-205 path. The staging area was near the top of the hill by SE Alder St & SE 94th Ave.

I’ve volunteered with this group several times before and I appreciate the work that they do. I was also a little disturbed by some comments about the event made on BikePortland, and it was my hope to make a more positive impression. I don’t always have success with showing people the wisdom of human powered transportation, but it was worth bringing the trailer out to give it a try.[Read more…]

Book Review: How to Live Well Without Owning a Car

Avatar by on October 26th, 2009 at 10:31 am

Publisher’s note: Despite a recent BTA survey showing that 90% of respondents own a car, many people are finding that living without one (or several) is not only possible but enjoyable. Even the New York Times has noticed that in America, people are falling out of love with cars.

On that note, here’s a review of a very highly recommended book about how to take the carfree (or just car-light) plunge. It was originally published by Elisa Munoz on her Birmingham, Alabama-based blog Bike Skirt, and has been republished here with her permission. We’re looking forward to publishing more reviews from Munoz in the future.

[Read more…]

How to navigate through your child’s first bike purchase

Avatar by on May 27th, 2009 at 8:55 am

Marion Rice and daughter Gleneden

[Publisher’s note: This article is by our Family Biking columnist Marion Rice. Marion’s last two columns have been about biking while pregnant. Today she talks about negotiating a first bike purchase with your child.]

Starting at about 10 years old, I can remember going everywhere on my bike with my group of friends on the weekend. We would pack lunches and take off for points unknown. Of course we would have to bring a dime or two to call home and check in with our parents during the day. Sometimes we would call to beg for a ride home after having biked a good 20 miles away. [Read more…]