Reader Story: A call for bikeway etiquette as fair weather floodgates open

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Summer bike traffic-2-2

As temps increase, so do crowds in the bike lanes.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This article reflects on an annual tradition in Portland: Veteran, all-season riders having to adjust to an influx of fair-weather riders at the onset of spring. It was submitted by 31-year old North Portland resident Adam Stone, who requested that I publish it as, “a timely plug for safety and etiquette.”

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Reader Story: Get a quick-fix of mountain biking in Forest Park

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The magic of Forest Park’s northern reach.
(Photos by Hudson Henry)

After I shared a story about a recent ride in Forest Park, I heard from many readers with fun routes of their own. The story and photos come to us from southwest Portland resident Hudson Henry.

Do you desperately need a mountain bike ride, but don’t have the time to get to the coast range or Gorge? Do you close your eyes and picture that knobby tire leading you carefree through the woods? When I feel the stress build up and really need a quick dirt ride, I head out Highway 30 to the northern reaches of Forrest Park. While the legal riding there is technically on firelanes, the northern lanes are often very rugged and trail like.

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Reader Story: Portland team heads to Hungary for MTB Orienteering World Championships

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Abra McNair (L) and Sue Grandjean
are ready to take on the world.
(Photo courtesy Abra McNair)

The story below was submitted by northeast Portland resident Abra McNair.

This August, two Portlanders will head across the globe to Veszprem, Hungary to represent the USA in the World Championships of Mountain Bike Orienteering (MTBO). This will be the sport’s tenth annual World Championship competition, but only the first time the US Orienteering organization has fielded a team.

Susan Grandjean and Abra McNair, two members of Portland’s bike racing scene, will be joining forces with Seattle’s Rebecca Jensen to create the first ever female MTBO team from the United States. Each athlete will participate in all races offered, including sprint, medium, and long distance courses; plus a team relay.

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Reader Story: What the Ride of Silence means to this mom

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[This story was submitted by Kristi Finney, who became a traffic safety activist after her son Dustin was killed by a hit-and-run driver while bicycling in Portland last August.]

Less than a year ago I’d never heard of the Ride of Silence. I don’t remember how I found out about the website but I came across it one day and it claimed that the organization was created for this purpose:

    To HONOR those who have been injured or killed
    To RAISE AWARENESS that we are here
    To ask that we all SHARE THE ROAD

To be frank, I still wish I didn’t know what the Ride of Silence is. But now I do know, and I can’t ignore it. I can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. I can’t pretend that it’s not happening. Most of all, I can’t pretend there isn’t a reason for it… and that is what my biggest wish in all the world would be, if I could have any wish.

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Reader Story: Portland Bike Polo, ten years in the making

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Oregon Bike Polo Championships-69

Bike polo players in Alberta Park.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

[This story was submitted by northeast Portland resident and president of Portland Bike Polo, Sasha Friedman.]

Portland Bike Polo has progressed over the past ten years from an offshoot of an indie messenger sport to a large group of athletes practicing year-round for national and international tournaments and putting on community outreach programs. Every week in Portland, rain or shine, twenty to fifty people come out to play a fun and challenging team sport on the pavement that combines individual bike riding ability with the ability to work and compete as a team.

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Reader Story: Shared space as a bridge to cycling utopia

(Photos © J. Maus)

[This story was submitted by Portland resident and active transportation activist Alexis Grant.]

With Jonathan’s recent mention that Effective Cycling (the vehicular cycling bible) will be republished, it seems like a good time to share some thoughts on cycling facilities that I developed after attending Towards Carfree Cities IX in York, UK.

At the conference, I noticed a theme emerging in discussing street configuration: mode separation vs. shared space. Separating modes (like walking, cycling, and driving) means putting them in different places on a street, or allowing them to proceed at different times through an intersection. In the US, we think of separation as normal for people walking. They go more slowly than vehicles, so we give them their own place on the street: the sidewalk. But it wasn’t always so.

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Reader Story: How I survived auto amputation

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Allison and her husband Michael.
(Photo: Allison Sliter)

[This story was submitted by BikePortland reader Allison Sliter.]

A couple years back I lost some weight. A lot of weight, actually. I lost about 1500 lbs when my 1980 Honda Accord was donated to NPR.

I had been dabbling in the carfree lifestyle for years. Leaving my car to sit on the curb for days, even weeks at a time. I paid to park it in front of my own house. I paid to insure it against crashes I couldn’t have while it sat there. My husband has never even had a driver’s license and although he appreciated having a driver in the house, he wanted me to be carfree, too. So, I knew I’d eventually get rid of it, but I kept putting it off. Then, during a Fall pledge drive on OPB (Portland’s NPR affiliate station), I just did it. It was October. I hadn’t been on my bike for more than 10 miles in the last month. If I had done it in June, my zealotry would have faded by the time the fall rain set in.

By starting in October, it may have been cold and wet and rainy, but I had fresh self-righteousness to keep me warm.

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Reader Story: St. Johns Bridge: Portland, how about a warning?

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St. Johns Bridge, Portland OR

A visitor finds that
even the sidewalk isn’t
that nice to ride on.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Editor’s note: I am excited to publish the first reader story submitted through our new Share Your Story page. Please keep the submissions coming! — JM (currently in Siesta Key, Florida ;-))]

This story was submitted by Peter Herreid of Madison, Wisconsin:

Portland is the cool West Coast cousin that bike enthusiasts, planners, and politicians from Madison visit and come back gushing about the bikeways, light rail, and urban growth boundary. My wife and I were there in mid-April and have since been rolling out daily dispatches on MadisonBikeLife.com.

So, one day we had just biked a nice tour of northeast Portland’s bike boulevards, or “neighborhood greenways” as they are referred to locally, and wanted to cross the Willamette River to get to Forest Park. The Portland Bureau of Transportation’s bike map, which had till then faithfully served us, showed the St. Johns Bridge as having a “multi-use path closed to motor vehicles.” Fortunate for us we thought, because it was the only bridge up and down the river for miles, so off we went.

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