Welcome to our new site!

screengrabs of bikeportland website
On the left: Our first Internet Archive screengrab from October 2005.

Things look a lot different around here huh? To you and me both.

On Monday afternoon we did the first complete update to this site since we launched in July 2005. I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed or proud that we kept the same theme and basic style for 17 years. Regardless, we have finally moved beyond the standard, single-column , “blog” format into something much more exciting.

This goes well beyond just wanting a new look. As publisher and editor of a site that has grown dramatically over the years, I’ve been very frustrated with inherent limitations of our old style. We’ve gone from “that guy’s bike blog,” to a mature news outlet that regularly features different writers and a wide range of issues (beyond bikes!) and content types. Simply put, I wanted to share more of our work in more compelling ways.

Hit the moon on the right for Dark Mode.

This new design by Steve Bozzone of Bozz Media allows us to do that. It features more stories above-the-fold and gives you a cleaner reading experience (if you’re looking for the stuff that used to be in our sidebars on the right, they’re now in our footer below).

I expect a lot of fiddling in the days and weeks to come.

And that’s just the start. From my perspective, what you can see here is actually the boring part of the change. Because we had such an old and clunky theme, we were not able to update to the latest editing tools of our content software (WordPress). Last night we finally made that update, and that means we have an exciting trove of new tools at our disposal to create more interesting posts and other types of content.

Along with our new look and the creative potential it unlocks, people who view BikePortland on a phone or tablet now have a much better experience.

Now the hard part: Please be patient as all of us here at BikePortland get up to speed with everything . The site is definitely not 100% done and there are many tweaks to make and bugs to fix. Back in the early days I’d spend many hours a week making tiny design adjustments and it took years for me to quit fiddling with things. I expect a lot of fiddling in the days and weeks to come.

As always, I’m extremely grateful for your support and our mission is to serve your needs. So if you have feedback, let us know!

Onto our next chapter…

Our first post was 17 years ago today!

Please Support Our Work

We cannot survive without your financial support

17 years ago today I wrote the first post on what would become BikePortland. It was such an innocent post, and written without a clue that I would devote much of my life to this work for the next 17 years.

But here I am, 16,501 posts later. And here we are — still dedicated to this community and still doing what we can to show the world that bicycles and the people who ride them and love them are awesome and worthy of respect.

The amount of change I’ve seen in this city and in the online news business is overwhelming to me at times. Through it all, I’ve kept our core values and principles in tact: respect readers, value conversations, amplify activists, lift up new voices, stimulate the local economy, create an inclusive “big tent”, focus on what matters, don’t chase clicks, and do it all in a way that informs and inspires.

Taken together, all of these things have helped build a strong community of people who care about the good stuff and are willing to work for more of it. That’s what BikePortland is about.

Read more

No Monday Roundup this week, but here’s a word from yours truly

Hiking with my fam on Navajo National land in Monument Valley, Arizona last week.

Hi friends and readers.

Because I just got back to my desk after nine days away, I won’t be sharing a Monday Roundup this week. Sorry about that. This column will return next week.

But since I have you on the phone… How are you? I feel like we don’t talk as much as we used to. Beyond just the Covid-induced changes, this site has changed a lot too. In a week or so we will embark on our 17th year. Can you believe that?!

And I say “we” not just as in you and I, but in reference to the small team we are building here. Did you notice that despite me being on a road trip to Utah and Arizona with my family all last week, we still published stories every day and kept the comment conversations going? That was thanks to staffers Taylor Griggs, Maritza Arango, and Lisa Caballero. They stepped up so I could step down. And it sure felt nice not to worry about work for a few days and feel confident BikePortland was in good hands.

Read more

Happy New Year everyone!

Me in Laguna Beach, California a few days ago.

Hello friends (and everyone else too).

You’ve probably noticed things have been pretty quiet around here. That’s because I just got back from visiting family in California for Christmas, and unlike years past I decided to leave my computer in my bag the entire time.

I know it’s New Year’s Eve and most of you are ready for some pensive and/or party time before the clock strikes midnight… but I just wanted to say Happy New Year and thank you for an amazing 2021. We accomplished a ton this year and BikePortland is poised to get even better in 2022. And we cannot do it without your engagement and support.

Stay tuned next week when we wrap up the top stories of 2021 and share a few thoughts about where we think things are headed in the new year.

And of course, our usual daily offerings of important news and information will start up again on Monday.

Happy New Year!

Hi I’m Taylor, BikePortland’s new reporter

[Publisher’s note: Thank you BikePortland subscribers and financial supporters for making this hire possible! If you read and appreciate this site, please consider supporting us. We are building a better news operation and we need your help to do it. BikePortland.org/support. – Jonathan]

Hi! My name is Taylor Griggs and I’m excited to introduce myself as BikePortland’s new staff writer. I can’t wait to jump into reporting on everything bike-related in Portland, and also dig into topics like car culture, equitable transportation, climate and pretty much anything related to how we use streets and how mobility impacts our lives.

I grew up near Denver, where I spent a lot of time riding my bike around my neighborhood and the surrounding bike trails. And when I moved to Eugene to go to school (University of Oregon), I fully embraced Oregon’s bike culture, riding my purple road bike everywhere.

To me, biking has provided so many freedoms: it’s freeing to know you can get places without having to sit in mind-numbing traffic or worry about where you’re going to park when you get there. Being a cyclist has allowed me to develop rich relationships with the surrounding environment, and I want everyone to be able to experience the kind of relationship you can have with a place when you’re not always watching it go by from the driver’s seat of a car.

Read more

Happy Birthday to us! BikePortland is 16 years old today

The cake from our 10th anniversary party at Velo Cult.

16 years ago today we published our first post as BikePortland (if you see posts before that it’s because I’d been posting since mid-April of that same year for The Oregonian before launching my own thing here).

About 16,000 Front Page posts and 500,000 comments later here we are, still serving this community with news, information, and conversation.

When I think about our time doing this, the word that always comes up is change. Constant change. Everything about the city and the world around BikePortland has changed dramatically since 2005.

Read more

It’s true! BikePortland has secured its first equity investment

Mike Perham and I at a recent Timbers game.

I’m excited to share that we’ve received our first equity investment. What does that mean? It means that after 16 years, this little upstart media company you’ve helped build finally has some breathing room — and room to grow.

Believe it or not I’ve never had a business plan (shocking, I know). This business started in 2005 with a lot of long hours, love, optimism, hard work, and blind faith. And that’s pretty much been how it’s survived ever since. But everyone has a limit. And I probably would have reached mine by now if not for Mike Perham (@getajobmike on Twitter).

I’m proud to announce that Mike is a new co-owner of Pedaltown Media, Inc., the parent company of BikePortland.

Read more

Meet BikePortland supporter Shannon Johnson

Shannon Johnson and her crew.
(Photo: Johnson Family)

Hi everyone.

It’s the end of another wild week here at BikePortland. Before we sign off for a bit, I wanted to share a profile from one of our supporters.

If you’re not one of our hundreds of financial supporters, subscribers, or Patreons (become one here!), you don’t get the weekly Insider Newsletter that goes out (mostly) every Friday. That’s where I share a personal note with readers, housekeeping stuff about the business, a recap of all our stories from the week, and other little tidbits I can squeeze in.

Each week I ask folks to send in a profile about themselves and why they decided to support us.

The latest one came from Shannon Johnson. I thought it was so sweet and fun that I asked if I could share it here on the Front Page as well.

So here goes: Meet BikePortlander Shannon Johnson…

Read more

We’re hiring: Help us find, promote, and cover events!

There’s no community if no one knows where and when to show up for it.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The rumors are true: BikePortland is growing and we’re looking to hire someone to help us cover events.

And when I say “us” I mean me. That’s because I’m currently the only staff person keeping this thing afloat. I won’t bore you with the details, but it’s hard being the writer, videographer, photographer, sales and biz dev manager, publisher, social media creator, spokesperson, and community moderator all at once. Every day. I absolutely love this job and wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I’m long overdue in building a team to help me do it.

Thankfully, a very generous BikePortland reader has stepped forward to help grow this thing into the type of community news and information resource I’ve always dreamed of. I’ll share more details about what that means in a separate post. For now, I want to focus on our need for an Events Editor.

Read more

Has our comment section improved? I think so

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

The old days when we left comments in person at Get Together events like this one in 2009.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Back in February, serious concerns from the community forced me to take a harder look at our comment section.

If you recall, the concerns were based on my moderating style that let too many mean and inappropriate comments get through. I’d known for years that some folks had stopped reading the comments because of the tenor of BikePortland commenters, but I didn’t take those concerns as seriously as I should have. It took getting called-out on Twitter and some pointed private messages and conversations for me to finally understand why our comment section wasn’t just disliked by some people, but in need of immediate intervention.

Read more