City’s most underrated bike jump? A driveway near Peninsula Park, Mercury says

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merc underrated cover

We’re maybe a little late to the Portland Mercury’s “Most Underrated” issue, out last week, but it’s a nice twist on the “best of” genre and it has a few interesting details about bikes.

The most intriguing claim, from Merc reporter Dirk VanderHart: Portland’s “most underrated bike jump” is a not-explicitly-identified private driveway on North Ainsworth Street near Peninsula Park. Here’s what he says:

It’s not much to look at, but if you’re pedaling west on N Ainsworth near Peninsula Park, there’ll be a driveway off to your right that’s so choice for the casual jump enthusiast. This driveway gives way to the curb not in the straight, matter-of-fact manner of most. Instead, it swoops up gracefully, exultantly, a miniature launch ramp to add some sweet altitude to your stolid commute. Hit it right, and you can pop over a bed of succulents and correct in time to avoid the tall wooden fence. Hit it wrong, and you’re killing succulents and/or injuring yourself. Bike jumps are awesome; not easy. (Also: This is someone’s home. Don’t mess it up.)

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From trucks to trikes: Portland Mercury now delivered with pedal power

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Michael Hanchin, left, drove a Portland Mercury delivery truck for 5 years before successfully pitching the company on a plan to switch to cargo trikes in the inner west side.
(Photo © M. Andersen/BikePortland)

Michael Hanchin couldn’t take any more hours behind the wheel.

“You would never know where there’s a loading zone,” the veteran Portland Mercury delivery contractor, 42, recalled Wednesday. “I think that’s what did me in.”

Hanchin’s back ached from crawling into the bed of his truck to haul out 18-pound newspaper bundles on hands and knees. His fuel and repair costs were eating up his contract income. Sometimes, when he couldn’t find anywhere to park downtown, he’d sit behind his wheel and glare at other contractors while they ate lunch in their rigs, hogging the available space.

Then, after five years of delivering the Mercury to inner Southwest Portland every Wednesday, Hanchin had a revelation.

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Auction update: Get exposure for your best bike idea

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He’s waiting to hear
your big bike idea.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Yesterday, I shared the news that the Portland Mercury has included a fun item in their annual Auction Issue: A ride with me (on a new bike!) followed by lunch with future Mayor Sam Adams.

Since bidding began at $1.99 yesterday, the item has shot up to $632 (as of this morning).

I thought it would be fun to sweeten the pot a bit, so here’s what else you’ll get if you’re the winning bidder…

If you intend to chat with Mayor-elect Adams about a specific biking issue or idea, I’ll promise to detail your idea (and Adams’ response to it) in a Front Page story on Think of it as a way to get some serious attention for whatever your biggest biking dream might be.

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How much would you spend for a ride with me and lunch with the future Mayor?

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You, me, and Mayor-elect Adams?
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Portland Mercury, a local independent weekly news source, has just launched their annual Auction Issue. The idea is simple: Let the community bid on a huge slew of fun items and gifts and give all the money to a local non-profit.

This year’s benefactor is the Portland Women’s Crisis Line (you might remember them from the great ride they put on back in April).

One of the gifts to bid on is a ride with me (on a new Specialized bike), followed by lunch at Little Red Bike Cafe with the future mayor of Portland, Sam Adams.

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