Bye Bye Better Naito

According to Central City in Motion, Better Naito is the most heavily used protected bike lane in downtown Portland. Many cyclists, tour patrons, staff, and renters here at Cycle Portland, use Better Naito as an alternative to riding on busy city streets or the crowded East Bank Esplanade. Unfortunately, this is the last month that the protected bike lane will be in place. Come October you can say goodbye to the plastic barriers that we have come to love. The bike lane will become a lane reserved for cars. Better Naito will, once more, regress to Worse Naito.

What is Better Naito?

The bike lane is a key north- south thoroughfare connecting Portland’s downtown to other prominent bike routes along the West bank. Additionally, it leads to some of the most widely used bicycle friendly bridges that span the Willamette. The two-way bike lane is perfect for Portland commuters and visitors alike. Fortunately, Portlanders have a way to efficiently and safely navigate through downtown without fear of cars or pedestrians.

What if we didn’t have to bid Better Naito goodbye?

This fall there will be a vote on a permanent design for Better Naito as part of Central City in Motion. Do you want to tell your local representatives that you are in favor of making Better Naito a permanent bike lane? If so, come down to Salmon Street Fountain tonight, (September 18) at 5PM! There will be a rally hosted by BikeLoudPDX & The Street Trust and you can sign petitions or talk with other cyclists about your vision for Naito Parkway.

What if I can’t make it tonight?

ehankfully, this is the age of iPhones and emails, so you can still make your voice heard even if you can’t go to the rally. We encourage you to email or call your local representatives and tell them your opinions about Better Naito!

Ted Wheeler, Mayor

503-823-4127, [email protected]

Chloe Eudaly, Transportation commissioner

503-823-4682, [email protected]

Gabe Graff, Central City in Motion Project Manager

503-823-5291, [email protected]

 

Portland Sun Glasses

They’re finally here. After ten years of squinting into the sun, we have released our own Cycle Portland sun glasses! We asked Woodies to hook us up with some custom shades representative of who we are. Catch folks on tour, in the shop or walking the sunny streets in these sylish Portland sun glasses.

Portland Sun Glasses

Emblematic Shades

As Portland’s first bicycle tour company, Cycle Portland bleeds the blue-green of the Willamette river and stands with the wood of trees in the temperate rain forest we reside. The handmade and polarized sunglasses represent the beautiful craftsmanship we believe our shop provides in both tourism curation and bicycle service. Read along the bamboo temples are the words “CYCLE PORTLAND”. There are many cities to cycle in throughout the USA. There are many cities to cycle in throughout the WORLD. But there is only one place to cycle and be greeted by passers by on the Neighborhood Greenway. There is only one place where a car will wait to make a right turn until after you have passed in the bike lane. There is only one Portland, Oregon.

Stylish LookStylish Look

Reflection is in. The green tinted mirror leaves those looking at you with a view of their own awestruck expression in the lens. This lens provides 100% UVA/UVB protection. Surrounding, a classic wayfarer frame allow for that “goes with just about anything” look. Whether commuting to work or cycling along the Columbia River Gorge, these sunnies are fresh. Light, durable and sturdy, Cycle Portland’s Woodie sun glasses are easy to bring with you for any occasion.

Get Your Portland Sun Glasses Today!

The best part is… these sunglasses are only $10! At that price even I can afford them. A cool look, sun protection and a little piece of Portland always on my mind. Come by the shop and get yourself some Cycle Portland Sun Glasses.

Reserve your bike for Bridge Pedal!

Join thousands of people this Sunday walking or riding bikes across the temporarily car free bridges of Portland at the bridge pedal. Reserve your bike before they are all gone; it’s our busiest day of the year! This is a once a year opportunity to bike across Marquam and Fremont bridges and take in the spectacular views from the top! Check out the link for more details on reserving your bike for the Bridge Pedal!

 

https://www.providence.org/bridge-pedal

Information & Photo Credits: Providence Bridge Pedal

Biking in the Heat – A Guide to Summer Cycling

It’s the summer. It’s hot out. It’s crowded. It’s sticky. But man, is it beautiful. Birds are chirping. Music is playing. People are smiling. We don’t want you to miss out on all of the positive because of a particular tilt in the earth’s axis! So shift up and and prepare for biking in the heat!

Biking in the Heat

Biking in the heat takes concentration, determination and most importantly, preparation. Here we will set you up for success in the difficult yet enjoyable hot bike season. We’ll run through dress, hydration and other techniques toward building the groundwork for an amazing and bike-able summer.

Clothing

Many of us wait all year to shed our layers of clothing. As the gloves, jackets, leggings and wool socks come off, the sun hits and it is a-blazin’. It is imperative to make sure you have the right attire for this time of the year as well. By looking the part you will show off your bike as well as work on your tan! I’d recommend getting a bike jersey with a zipper so you have the option to open it up and feel that pedal-made breeze you have created. Light but vibrant colors with sun reflectors avoid attracting too much heat while still allowing visibility. These Pearl Izumi Jersey’s are sure to help you fight the heat!

Additionally you may want some accessories like polarized glasses, a bandana or scarf for your head/neck and thin cycling shorts and socks. This will help you avoid some of the powerful sun and let your skin breathe out on the road! It may seem like a no brainer, but you’ve just gotta dress for success!

Hydrate

Drink water! This often overlooked aspect of biking in the heat starts before your ride does. If you know you are planning a bike ride the next day, make sure to get liquids in your system prior to the ride. Water should do the trick, but if you want the electrolytes that many crave without the unnecessary sugar provided by gatorade or something more refreshing than  overly sweet electrolyte powders in your water bottle, leave some water in a container with some slices of cucumber.  That way when you’re ready the next day for your bike ride you will have a natural sports drink!

When you are cycling it’s important to have enough water for the day. Carry a couple of full bottles on your bike and maybe even wear a hydration pack stocked with a couple of liters of water. This will ensure that you have enough in case there are no stopping points along the ride. When you do stop, be sure to drink in sips. Large gulps can cause cramps. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to get sippin’ either. Avoid exhaustion with frequent and regular drinks. Hydrate hydrate hydrate!

Eat Right

We become so fixated on the liquids we’re consuming that we forget about the solids. It’s just as important that we are eating right as we travel by bike to our destinations. Make sure to bring snacks to fill in those calories as we burn so much from being the awesome cyclists that we are. The best foods to eat are raw or whole foods dense in calories and protein. Sweet potatoes, nuts/seeds, apples, bananas or even nut butter sandwiches are all excellent options as you’re on the road.

For a more comprehensive list of on the road dining options check out our other article about bike food and how to make your ride delicious. However, as a general rule, we should all eat right all the time. But there’s never a better time to start than right now on your bike!

Protection

The sun is a frenemy to say the least. It brings people together, providing brightness and vitamin D. It separates us when we bathe in it for too long. Make sure to apply sunscreen before each ride. Sun exposure sounds good until it reddens and flakes. That lotion scent becomes my cologne in the summer time, and for good reason.

Additionally, as sweat is released from pores around our body, they slip and slide into many spots. Sometimes uncomfortable spots. Don’t forget your deodorant and antiperspirant to help with smell and sweat reduction. With all that sweating, the inevitable chafing will occur as well. To deal with this, I will refer you to our article regarding Chamois Butt’r. Protect your body from these common occurrences and you will be sure to ride comfortable and smiling.

Chill

Do it. Think it. Be it. Stress is such a large factor in heat exhaustion. Make sure you give yourself enough rest at the end of and before your bike rides. Your body, brain and butt will all thank you for some relaxation. Get a good night of sleep before and after days of riding as to not exhaust yourself.

Don’t make the mistake of overriding. It’s fun to bike. And even more fun to make bike more. However, with all this fun, it is quite easy to forget how important rest time is. Don’t become the victim in what need not be a problem. Plan for your next adventure. Cook a tasty and nutritious meal. Read articles about biking in the heat. Take your time off the bike as reward for all your hard work!

Stay Positive

It’s easy to be deterred by the powerful sun and scorching air. I want to leave you with one last reminder to stay positive! This heat won’t last forever. You will have cool air to come home too. A nice shower. A hearty meal. You are on your bike because you are a commuter, an athlete, an enthusiast, a cyclist. You’ve earned road rights, now take those roads with a grin.

Keep your head up. Keep your legs moving. And keep biking in the heat. Just do it safely, deliberately and merrily!

Cycle Portland tour gets two thumbs up from the UK!

A recent visit from UK-based radio presenters on Gaydio.co.uk, Emma Goswell and John Ryan, had them raving about our Portland Essential tour which features some of the best of Portland’s car-free cycling infrastructure while explaining a bit about how Portland evolved into the city it is today. Top of their list of things to do when visiting Portland, their experience on out Essentials tour illustrated for them the ease of navigating Portland by bike, where they felt at ease on two wheels here in a way you just can’t get across the pond!

“It’s quite therapeutic when you aren’t filming on your phone with your other hand!”

Read here: https://www.gaydio.co.uk/life/travel1/once-upon-a-portland/

Podcast (45mins): https://www.gaydio.co.uk/on-air/podcasts/gaydio-replay/

How Can I Upgrade My Bike? (And How We Can Help)

We see a wide spectrum of bikes in the shop. Anything from full carbon race bikes worth thousands of dollars to 70’s cruisers with mostly sentimental value. Because we do repairs, usually people bring their bike in because something has gone wrong. Often they ask “how can I upgrade my bike?” Whether you’re looking for speed, reliability or style, we often want more bike in our bike.

How Can I Upgrade My Bike Cost Effectively?

The most affordable and effective upgrade you can give your bike is proper maintenance. It doesn’t matter if your bike is super light, if the chain is rusted and the tires are flat. Regular cleaning and fixing can also help you identify problems while they are still fixable. A good example is replacing your chain when it is worn. If you wait too long to replace it, an old chain can actually wear out the rest of your drive train. This means a new chain wouldn’t “fit” the wear pattern of your old chainrings and you’ll have to replace the entire system to get your shifting back to what it used to be.

One of the cheapest upgrades you can get is a set of new tires. A flat tire turns your bike into little more than a clunky accessory. Quality tires can reduce your encounters with this inconvenience substantially. I ride Schwalbe Marathon tires, which we carry in the shop. Many times I only notice a patch of glass after its too late to avoid and I ride right over it. With good tires, I roll right over these inevitable obstacles, unscathed. Higher quality tires can also help you grip the road during wet Portland winters.

A few other little upgrades that go a long way are your handlebars and saddle. If you are splendidly comfortable on your bike, great! If not, simple adjustments could turn your bike from a pain machine to a joy to ride. I’ve met a lot of people that suffer through uncomfortable saddles or poorly adjusted handlebars simply because they did not realize another way was possible.

Upgrading vs Getting a New Bike

Many people ask for advice on what I would upgrade if it was my bike. Sometimes, I hate to say it, but you’d be better of just getting a new bike altogether. Thrift store bikes are often donated because the owner calculated it was cheaper to donate than fix. Box store bikes are usually designed to be flashy and as cheap as possible. It entirely depends on what kind of riding you’re doing. Not everybody needs a sleek bike with electronic shifting that weighs as much as a sneeze. On the other hand, not everybody can tolerate a 50lb rust bucket that breaks every two or three blocks.

The key is to be honest with yourself about how you use your bike. If you commute in the rain everyday, it probably doesn’t make sense to spend hundreds of dollars on replacing your old steel rims and squeaky old components on your $40 Goodwill bike. You’d be better off spending that money on a new bike altogether. Even the most basic of modern bikes tend to perform better than any bike from the Cold War  you’re bound to salvage from a garage sale.

So if you’re wondering “do I need to upgrade my bike, buy a new bike, or just adjust a few things?” come by the shop. We’re more than happy to help you improve your ride experience.

What type of bike light should I buy?

What type of bike light should I buy?

A savior. A cost. A helper. A hassle. In a bike-able city like Portland, it is important that we are able to see the road in front of us with enough lighting while responsibly allowing cars to identify us in the dark of night. Where some opt to take the risk as a creature of the night, this lightless lack of illumination loses in the long-run. Between the dangers of the dimly lit roads and the risk of receiving a fine up to $75.00 as a class D driving infraction, it is decidedly better to purchase yourself a bicycle headlight. But… What type of bike light should I buy? We’re here to help you decide the best bike lights for you!

Analyzing the Options

Well, first let’s understand the difference between battery powered versus USB rechargeable powered lights. In terms of cost, battery powered lights will almost always come at a lower price. Battery powered lights tend to emit fewer lumens (lumens will be the main factor when it comes to light options throughout this post). Lumen is the unit used to measure the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source as related to the human eye’s sensitivity to wavelengths. When traveling at night in well lit areas the lower lumens with a battery powered light may suffice. Using batteries also allows the ability to carry spare when you run out of juice should the situation arise.

When opting for USB rechargeable lights, you won’t be able to throw in these spare batteries, but the benefits are quite overwhelming. With USB charge, lights are capable of emitting a much higher amount of lumens. With more lumens, there will be more options of places to safely travel by bicycle. The batteries are also rechargeable. When the time comes, as opposed to needing a new set of batteries, the USB plug will be able to give you the kick you need without the extra charge, paying off the extra cost of selecting USB.

In order to provide insight toward bike light preferences I asked some of my co-workers what their preferences are:

Quoc – Mechanic

“As a commuter traveling to and from Hillsboro, I use a USB rechargeable light with 300 lumens but I plan to upgrade to a 450 lumen soon. 450 is probably best for price point and also gives you more comfort in terms of safety when traveling in different parts of the city. Without cost consideration I’d even say push up toward 750-1000 range. At the end of the day whatever makes you feel safest as an unprotected cyclist on the road. When I’m biking home listening to David Bowie, more lumens means more safety. No need to be a “Rebel, Rebel.”

Shop Choice- Cygolite Streak 450 Headlight

Cygolite Streak 450 on bike

Frederick – Tour Guide

“1000? That’s a lot. Lights on cars only hit 700 on their low beams. You’d certainly be making yourself known out there in the roads. I had a 300 but when it ran out of batteries I just stopped buying new ones. Now I use a small blinker that works just fine for me as I only really bike within the city at night time. I think 250 lumens is about all I’d need as a commuter here, but definitely with a USB rechargeable. It’s nice to have a battery powered set for back up, especially during the winter. During my time in Tanzania, I didn’t have easy access to power outlets. With this luxury in the United States, I find it better to recharge rather than purchasing new batteries on a bi-weekly basis.

Shop Choice- Cygolite Dart 210 Headlight

Cygolite Dart 210 on bike

Jesse (me) – Tour Guide

“Yeah. Definitely USB is the way to go personally. I think if I wasn’t a regular commuter batteries would be perfect for the occasional night time ride. As it is, I like to have options with my lighting as I never know where I’ll end up on my bike. So pushing up toward 800 lumens is totally feasible to me. Additionally, I’ve had 2 headlights stolen off my bike since I’ve moved to Portland. This is due to both my ignorance and my frustration in taking bike lights off and putting them on. For me, it’s important that my light can easily slide on and off so it becomes a simple habit for me to practice.”

For more info on how to avoid bike accessory theft, check out this article.

Shop Choice- Urban 800 Headlight

Urban 800 on bike

In summary, as regular commuters with daily access to USB chargers, USB rechargeable lights have more benefits. Your lumen choice, however, comes down to preference. I hope this article can help you answer the question what type of bike light should I buy? Remember, with greater lumens comes greater cost. With greater lumens comes greater possibility.