August 2009

Bike Share Bike
Bike Share Bike

August 2009 started with a Portland City Tour with 6 participants. A nice and sunny day, we headed up to the PSU farmers market upon request, before visiting some public art and towering buildings. We stopped for a picnic in the Park Blocks and listened to some local music from a nearby street artist. On the second day of the month, Good Sport Promotions put on the Hottest Day of the Year Ride. I had the shop open for rentals but was able to sneak away and check out this years route. Last year I volunteered to be a on-site medic and mechanic support. During the rest of the week, I had a broke bike mechanic come and ask if he could borrow a bike in exchange for some mechanical work. This was a special situation and I accepted his offer because I happen to need some more hands on that day. I had a good Smart Trips ride with Timo and the gang and this time we explored local storm water infrastructure and the ever popular bio-swales. Things went well, and I took some good notes for my Green Portland Tour.

After a Staff meeting on the 5th and rentals on the 6th I had a great day checking out the Twilight Criterium Race on the 7th. Another Portland City Tour on the 8th, this time with a large family visiting from Florida. A special focus on local restaurants and cafe’s this time. I love the food carts! On August 9th we had the Providence Bridge Pedal here in Portland, and I commuted to work on a four lane bridge void of motor vehicles. A strangely wonderful feeling. I had more rental requests than ever before for this event and rented out all of the fleet – approaching 35 bikes! This gave me a kick in the pants about getting my rental reservation software up. I still like the chance to have a conversation with my customers versus just an internet transaction. I’m human. Times must be busy because my phone wont stop ringing and I’ve got more cash flow to upgrade the bike fleet.

Bike Share Fleet
Bike Share Fleet

I had a great Portland Bike Share brainstorm session with my buddy Andrew at a sweet BBQ place and we talked about “automization” and what a modular kiosk bike share station might look like. It’s times like these that I love to reflect on my design education and experience. On the 11th and 12th I had long shop hours facilitating bike rentals, preparing for bike share demo days, and building bikes for the BTA’s National Safe Routes to School Conference. On the 13th I had a great Portland Sunset Tour with a family of 5 and we added on an extra bridge loop for the kiddies.

Spoke Card Closeup
Spoke Card Closeup

August 14 was the first day of the Portland City’s Bike Share Demo held down at the Waterfront Park. Portland Bicycle Share was one of 5 different companies that responded to the city’s RFI (request for information) and the event went great. We set up the booth in the morning and sipped Stumptown Coffee and shared Voodoo Doughnuts with visitors as they asked questions about the program. I talked with dozens of people throughout the day-long event and saw lots of cycling friends as they cruised by on the esplanade. This was a larger media event for me and I was interviewed by Oregon Public Broadcasting, Willamette Week, bikeportland.org, and the Oregonian. The City was great and really supported the idea of diversity in the demonstration.

The current Portland Bicycle Share description is:

Portland Bicycle Share is a subscription service for locals and a system for visitors to check out a bike while they are visiting. Participants can sign up for a monthly membership if they plan on using the system for commuting. This is facilitated now by a single downtown Portland location, but there is a strong possibility for multiple locations throughout the city with small modular kiosks that hold a few bikes each and operate as a place for both check out and check in. The kiosks that have been proposed so far would be roughly the size of a current city vehicle parking spot for the system to integrate in to the existing urban infrastructure.

This automated system allows users to approach a bike station with a credit card and leave with a bicycle. A security deposit is placed on the card by the bike station vending machine and a key is issued upon verification. The bike lock key, has a key card attached to it (barcode) to track the time usage of each bike. The user may then use the lock specific key to unlock the bike they are going to use and ride away. Bikes, locks, and keys are all identified with matching numbers. There may be different styles of bikes at each station, so the participant will pick the bike they want to ride, get it’s identification number and then use the vending machine to get the matching key.

Upon return, or to check a bike in to another station, the bike is locked back on to the rack, or the overflow section, and the key card attached to the key is scanned and placed in a drop box. Station attendants will go around to each station and pick up overflow bikes and keys to take to stations that are low on bikes. The keys will be taken out of the drop box and placed back in to the vending machine for the next user.

Another vending machine at each station would provide accessories, like helmets, lights, snack bars, water, or pant cuff retention devices.

Bike stations would be placed throughout the city and would be the same size as a standard city parking spot to integrate with the existing urban infrastructure. Space requirements would be roughly 12 ft wide and 7 ft deep.

Portland Bicycle Share BIkes
Portland Bicycle Share BIkes

Right now the Portland Bicycle Share fleet consists of 40 bikes and eighty helmets with a hope to expand to over 100 bikes by next summer. The bikes are a mixture of styles, shapes, and sizes and most are recycled and refurbished bikes from Portland. The majority of our bikes are upright ten speed hybrids and weigh between twenty and thirty pounds. We also have a number of single speed road bikes that weigh around twenty pounds each. The goal is to constantly upgrade the bike fleet and strive towards more modern hybrid style (user friendly) of bike that is easy to maintain. This would also be a opportunity for a possible local bike builder to receive a bike building contract. Especially if the builder could come up with a design that deterred tampering with the bikes and their components.

The cost for implementing a system of 500 bikes and 20 initial kiosks would be between $500,000 – $1,000,000.00 I am proposing a low cost alternative to a multi million dollar system that would keep the contract local, provide jobs here and now, and that uses recycled materials (including bikes) to operate. Hopefully the number of bikes and kiosks would increase with the popularity of the system.

For memberships, participants give credit card information for a $300.00 deposit, sign a liability release, and are issued a membership code. Ideally, with the help of grants or government subsidization the cost for a membership would come down to be a more affordable option for participants.

Right now, with only one station, bikes are placed at different locations throughout the city, and members can access them with a combination to the lock they are secured with. Members can text message or call our dispatch center and get the nearest location of the bikes and a combination for the lock (changed often) after supplying their membership code. They can then return the bike to its original location or another designated place.

Bicycles could be tracked to know their exact location and speed of travel at any time. Modern cell phone technology has made it possible to read gps location and speed of objects by connecting a computer chip. The chip would ideally be installed on the inside of the bicycle frame to make it inaccessible to thieves or vandals. The system works by the computer chip sending out a blip to a monitor (even another cell phone) that gives the current gps coordinates. Programs like Google earth, allow you to plug in those coordinates to get a real time location and speed of the chip (and bike). The cost for this tracking system for now is about $30.00 per bike, but the cost might come down if you were able to install the system on an entire fleet at once.

I know this system is not the fanciest or most modern, but it is evolving every day and has the opportunity to continue to grow. The system is designed to be flexible, upgradeable, and adaptable to work best for the participants and the host city. I know this is kind of small potatoes compared to the larger systems that we have seen implemented in different cities around the world, but could be a jumping off point for Portland or at least a start for something larger to come.

A beacon of hope
A beacon of hope

I had a hugely positive response and lots of congratulations for “getting out there and doing something” that’s always nice. I was surprised at the other demonstrators lack of knowledge about Portland. I have been practicing my tour guide skills, but I expected them to at least research the town a bit more. Anyway, we had rentals as well and the day ended with a great Friday NorthFreaks Ride. On the 15th Portland hosted the Tour de Fat, I swung though but was working hard on bikes for the conference still and needed to direct my employees. I did have another Portland Brewery Tour in the afternoon and we rode to Rouge, Bridgeport and Widmer Bros. Brewing. Yeehaw. Lots of prep for the 16th as another Sunday Parkways was upon us. This was also the second demo day for the Portland Bicycle Share event and also the day that the Portland Bicycle Music Festival would be arriving. Put on by the Ginger Ninjas, the music was great and the organizers (who I had been in contact with on their way to Portland during their West Coast Tour) were just as nice as I thought. More Booth set up, more rentals, more networking and interviews. I got interviewed by Chris of the Portland Transportation Blog and had a nice chat with some other city planners. I also got interviewed by channel 6 news and my story made the evening segment. I don’t have a tv, so I never saw it, but have had people come up to me since and say “hey, I saw you on the news!” I had Mark working for me that day with his mechanic stand on duty so that I could concentrate on the event. We had lots of people stop by for bike service at our booth in the beautiful Laurelhurst Park. We used the Portland Bicycle Bus for the event and then hooked up with the Ginger Ninjas to help them out with a bit of flyer production for the evening bike ride and event we had planned. I donated some cash for an epic grocery run and we had a potluck style dinner and celebration with movie showing of the tour so far, hosted at the beautiful Vanilla Bicycles workshop. What an awesome day. Did I mention that the Bicycle Music Festival is all human powered and they use bicycle generators to power their sound stage. Check out their website for a closer look.

On the 17th I attended  a Rotary meeting for their group study exchange program and worked all night at the shop. The 18th was my last day to prepare for the Safe Routes to School Conference and I had a few extra mechanics on hand. In the evening BTA staffers and I loaded up the truck we would use to transport the fleet to the on-site rental facility we set up in the underground parking facility of the Hilton on Broadway. A large task, but worth it to get more visitors riding. We took a pub break after and went over a few event details for the next day. On the 19 I got to read the Willamette week article that they did on bike share and and catchup on the bikeportland.org coverage. The conference started with early mobile workshops and bike checkouts as I processed the rental reservations and had participants sigh liability waivers. I brought about 40 bikes , helmets, locks and also directed the BTA”s 25 bikes they had on hand. Another huge networking day for me, as i met biking enthusiasts from around the country. I finally got an engraver and numbered all my locks for inventory. I gave out spoke cards, stickers and even a few t-shirts. “lots of positive feedback” is what Scott said to me about my part in the conference. That’s nice to hear after pulling a couple all-nighters. We had a party at the Flight Deck for some square dance action and went on Rodger’s ride. We talked about an event on Sept. 30th Friday night I put the shop back together and went on another Dropouts Bike Ride.

The One True Gear
The One True Gear

Tours and Rentals everyday and on the 22nd of August I had  the shop open and lingering rental returns from the conference. I updated my business log and caught up on e-mails. Sunday the 23rd we opened up for rentals and I sold off on of my Free Spirit bikes to a friend from the Portland Pedalworks Team. We had an awesome Monday Funday Zoobomb style on the 25th and I had a meeting on the 26th with Scott to learn more about Twittpay and other forms of meta-currency. I trekked up to the vibrant Last Thursday Artswalk with my good friends and pedaled our way through the crowd at a saunter. The end of the month was full of rentals and the annual Pacific Crest Trail Day that I help plan out in Cascade Locks, Oregon. Great to see hiker friends and give back a bit to the hiker community that supported me on my through hike of the trail in 2005.

A great month and super busy times for Just trying to keep up!

6 day Mt. Bike trip in the Gifford Pinchot

Oregon Bicycle Tours
Oregon Bicycle Tours

Wow, what a trip. I sometimes work as a freelance guide for a company called NW Discoveries. I got offered a position on a trip with another Mt. Bike tour company called Escape Adventures and our three companies came together for this amazing trip. We rode and camped around Mt. St. Helens and the Lewis River Trail. This is in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and it takes a special permit to tour with groups of people here. Part of the reason is the high quality of the riding attracts so many Mt. Bikers that the region has to be protected and part of the reason is the healing landscape from the massive volcanic eruption of Mt. St. Helens here in 1986. We rode between 10 and 25 miles per day of pristine single track of various terrains. Huge learning took place and we had thermarafting sessions on the Lewis River every evening to wash the dirt off out bodies and soak our sore muscles before delicious camp dinners. There were two other guides and ten participants – a private group that goes on trips together every summer. I took my Schwinn Moab three hard tail and rocked it to the core. A few minor crashes, but nothing broken.

Intrepid Riders
Intrepid Riders

Day one – We piled in the van and drove from Portland 205 N to the Gifford Pinchot Middle Falls Camp. After setting up, we headed up the mountain to park at Wright Meadow trail intersection for an afternoon out and back trip. The trail started up hill with bumpy roots and soft pine needle sections before breaking out into sandy rollers with 1,000 ft elevation gain. A fun up and down ride for a couple hours. I came down early and drove the van back to camp while the participants continued riding a nice single track all the way down in to camp. An easy trail to follow and push the limits a little bit. We had steak and potatoes for our first night with rubarb pie for the night cap.

Plains of Abraham Trail
Plains of Abraham Trail

Day Two – A warm night and mellow awakening to coffee, fruit, and granola in the morning. We rode the rolling Lewis River Trail for a few miles past the cool waters and beautiful waterfalls. I drove the van to the end of the trail and rode North to meet the group. I rode about 4.5 miles up hill before meeting them and then we backtracked to a good lunch spot in the shade. We biked back past the van and across the service road to a nice swim hole and another waterfall view. Another 10 mile afternoon and thermarafting session.

Ridge Rider
Ridge Rider

Day Three – Drove to Mt. St. Helens for uphill ridge ride for 5 miles to the “Plains of Abraham” trail. This was fantastic terrain and a new challenge. Lots of volcanic pumice stones that are chalky and super light. It is hard to get traction when the stones move so easily. Nice high altitude views and fresh air on another sunny day. I had a minor crash on the way down and tore a chunk out of my knee. After the ride we made a visit to the Ape Caves and Ice Cream Store for a little chilling out.

Falls on the Lewis River Trail
Falls on the Lewis River Trail

Day Four – Another great trail day on the South Eastern side of Mt. St. Helens. We rode 17 + miles through grassy meadows and a little jeep trail. Trails a little more technical today with some off-camber riding and bumpy meadows. Some good wildlife sightings and trailside berries.

Day Five – 12-14 miles total today on the Ward Primitive Trail. Gradual rolling single track broke on to service road crossings before darting back in to the shadows. Part of the trail today was new and had very little use. I only had to walk my bike down a couple sections due to the technical difficulty. The last thing I want is to be helicoptered out of the woods as a guide because I tried to play superman.

Lunch Spot Lookout
Lunch Spot Lookout

Day Six – Today we rode the Boundary Trail near Council Lake. I took a group North up the climb for people who wanted a little extra challenge while the other half of the group took a shorter route. I had a nice swim in the lake before loading the bikes back on top of the van to ride back to Portland.

What a great group of participants. This trip went super smooth due to fantastic conditions and the professional style of Escape Adventures – a super easy company to work with.

Check out this video I took while on the trip: or search youtube for Oregon Bicycle Tours.  http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hFM59fBRIO

July 2009

July has been another hectic month with lots of community events. I had a great game of Bike Polo on the 1st and the shop was open for rentals and tours leading up to and all over the 4th of July weekend. Hot times and lots of phone calls, I finished working on a new green road coaster. The frame was an old french steel garage sale score that sat in my workshop for about eight months. I’m still adding to the fleet steadily though because I want more options for people and more bikes on the road.

Green Dragon Road Coaster
Green Dragon Road Coaster

I experimented with leaving my advertising trike locked up on the esplenade this week, seeing if I could pick up any business with having address cards located on a sign in the trike. It’s a sweet model that I have used for hands off advertising at local bike events (like the filmed by bike film festival)

Advertizing Trike
Advertizing Trike

I had a great fireworks experience with some other cyclists while crossing the Broadway Bridge and made my way downtown to get let on to the roof of the Backspace Building for a little dance party. . OH, yeah – good times and incredible views. I’ve always enjoyed roof-tops for some reason.

During the next week I had a good Zoobomb and productive Monday funday and did things like make copies of fliers and give complementary sunset bike tours to a concierge from one of my favorite local hotels – The Mark Spencer.  We took the ariel tram up to OHSU and had a nice winding ride down back in to the heart of the city.

On the 8th I met with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance about my participation in the Safe Routes to School Conference. We discussed details like how many bikes I would be responsible for and how we were going to transport them to the downtown site. I’m excited to be a part of this conference and It will be one of the larger contracts I have facilitated so far.  I had a great ride with Timo and the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Smart Trips Program in the evening and was back at the shop early the next morning for a rental appointment.

Bought my first TANDEM BICYCLE!

Tandem Cruiser
Tandem Cruiser

I was very excited when I casually asked the girl behind the City Bikes counter if they had any tandem bicycle for sale and she said “well yes, I think so – let me look in back” and wheeled out an old tandem cruiser with fat white walls and a blue and white frame. I threw down the bacon and rode the front seat with no stoker back to the shop. I have had a few requests for a tandem rental and it will be nice to add it to the fleet. I celebrated at a car-free happy hour put on by Bikeportland.org and met up with some bike buddies at the pub.

on July 10th I attended a Bicycle Business League meeting in the moring and resitered as a vendor with the city in the afternoon to be able to vend or table at different city events. Then – I went to something that can only be described as “salad slaughterfest” an all out salad potluck competition with three categories and five judges. There must have been at least 25 or 30 different salads there and my mouth exploded in to glory. Thank you Team Woodlawn.

After a sweet Dead Prez show downtown I awoke to offer a Stumptown Market Tour.

Stumptown Coffee Tour
Stumptown Coffee Tour

We started up the Park Blocks in downtown Portland and cruised across Burnside before using 9th ave to approach the Portland State University Farmers Market. What a show, dozens of local vendors of craft and fresh food in a vibrant and beautiful setting. Then we headed down the Park Blocks and Peeled off towards the waterfront to check out the Salmon St. Fountain. After a little bridge history and local information we headed north on the esplanade to visit the craft fair.  The air smelled sweet of local coffee roasters and we hopped over to visit the Stumptown Coffee Shop before heading back to the Pedalworks shop.

The following week 11th – 17th – Was packed with BBQ’s  and visiting friends. I had lots of rentals and tours and kept a consistent schedule at the shop, catching up on maintenance and building more and more bikes. Another couple days of rentals and shop prep and the 19th brought us another Sunday Parkways. I set up the mobile bike shop next to Bike Farm again and had lots of bike service drop ins. There were steady rentals and a good flow of friendly faces rolling past. I offered service for tips only and still made it worth the time. I got to meet some more contacts with the Bureau of Transportation and we talked about the upcoming bike share events and garage sale bike rides. Oh, yeah – and the upcoming Portland Bicycle Music Festival. This place is non-stop.

I rolled to the Polo court and said my hellos to the Rev and J-Maus. Back to the shop to unload mobile bike station and return rental bikes. Still with the nonstop phone calls about bike rentals and tours – a good sign.

For the rest of the week I had the shop open everyday and got to do a pre- conference walk through of the Hilton Hotel downtown to see where I would set up bike rental station for the participants. We had another Bicycle Business League meeting and formed a website and some goals about showing appreciation to the construction workers who are building the new bike lanes across the river. I had a South East Portland Parks Tour that went great, with a couple of fun girls from Canada. I attended the Clinton/ Division Street Perade

Bike Businesses in the Clinton/ Division St. Parade
Bike Businesses in the Clinton/ Division St. Parade

with the Mayor’s Office and lots of my bike business community friends. I rode the trike in the perade and made it back to the shop just in time for another afternoon bike tour. The tour went well and we had great whether and saw lots of really random events not related to us. May have been “that tour where we saw the guy projectile vomiting out the side of a passing car”. Exiting times I tell you.

In the evening i had an interview with Bikeportland.org about the shop and my rental bikes. Then I packed for a six day/ overnight trip to go back country mountain biking in the Gifford Picot National Forest near Mt. St. Helens. (look for the next post)

June 2009

let's do this
let's do this

June 2009 started off with a bang as I started integrating bike tours with the new airiel tram that floats between the two OHSU campuses. Riding in the modern bubble shaped pod gives you a fantastic 360 view of the greater Portland area and a brilliant skyline in evening light. Thus the “Sunset Tour” was born. Something I will push all the way in to September. I also participated in another Pedal Potluck Picnic with the Urban Adventure League and had a grand time. We had some good rental and tour business days leading up to a Bicycle Business League meting on the 5th about formation and possible membership guidelines.

I had good session with the Small Business Development center in the afternoon and had another good talk with David of Portland Walking Tours. An evening flat repair customer wrapped up the day. June 6th I was invited to join Mayor Adams and his staff in the Grand Floral Parade.

Perade line up
Perade line up

I arrived at the coliseum just in time. I met the Mayor’s staff members (the ones I had not met yet) and we had a great ride through town. After the procession I had the shop open till the evening and enjoyed the crowd in Chinatown due to the Dragon Moon Festival next door. On Sunday the 6th I sent out a press release about my participation in some upcoming events and had a meeting in the evening with a gentelmen from a tour agency. Early in the next week I had a few rentals each day and I noticed more and more mult-day rentals. Wednesday was the annual Garlactica Festival in Eden, Utah that my friend Pete hosts at Sandhill Farm.

Friday June 12th started off the annual 17 day bike festival in Portland called Pedalpalooza. The events are organized on a large on-line calendar that anyone can access to add an event they want to host/ lead. I signed up to lead a few rides during the festival and started off with a Portland City Tour in the afternoon.

Cruising the Esplanade
Cruising the Esplanade

Here is a review of the ride posted by Michael on the Shift List.

Portland City Tour 
Friday 12 Jun 2009 12noon – 2pm

Evan Ross led about 14 of us through the urban jungle of downtown
 Portland and managed to keep everyone happy and safe.  No one fell on
 the tracks, and there were a lot of them.  One nice (unadvertised, I
think, or at least I wasn’t expecting it) feature of this ride was a
focus on developing urban riding skills, mainly negotiating streets busy
 with motorized, non-motorized and pedestrian traffic.  We jumped off the
 bikes and onto the sidewalks, off the sidewalks and back on the bikes, 
biked along side tracks, crossed over tracks, encountered MAX trains and 
streetcars, at least one pushy pedestrian and one speed-demon cyclist
who seemed put out that we had the temerity to take the Hawthorne Bridge
at a relaxed pace, and it all went off without incident.  Happily, no
 angry drivers.

 Our route took us from the Vera Katz statue on the Esplanade over the 
Hawthorne Bridge, north on SW 4th, west on SW Morrison to Pioneer
 Courthouse Square, south on Broadway a block or two, then over to SW
 Park, which we rode up to PSU (passing someone in a cap & gown –
congrats to the graduate).  Back down Park across Burnside some where and
 east toward Old Town/Chinatown — at this point I lost track of where
 exactly we were, Everett maybe.  We went down some little stretch of NW
1st I hadn’t been on before and did a kind of loopy thing to get across
 Naito Pkwy, at which point Evan suggested we write to PDOT ( Portland Dept. of Transportation) to ask for a
better crossing at that juncture.  (In order to do that, I’m gonna have
 to go back and figure out exactly where we were.)  Then south along
 Waterfront Park back over the Hawthorne, back to the statue.  The second
”all-MUP” leg for those who wanted more (and a good 8 or 10 of us did)
was a more straight forward loop south down Springwater, over the
 Sellwood Bridge, north up the Greenway back over the Hawthorne, ending 
back at the statue.

 Met a nice couple from New York who just arrived yesterday and were
 delighted to find out about Pedalpalooza, rented bikes on the Waterfront
 and are all set to partake.  I made a bid for them to write to the
 tourism board and tell it they planned their trip around Pedalpalooza 
and talk about how much they spent while here.  🙂  A couple of us
tried to tell whatever scary stories we could about the Sellwood being
 ready to collapse, but we didn’t manage to scare anyone enough to
 chicken out of crossing the bridge.  It was fun to try.  Still, I could 
tell the woman from New York was a little nervous — gotta keep 
those New Yorkers on their toes!  (Okay, really she was more nervous 
about the width of the sidewalk than about the bridge falling into the
Willamette.)

My only suggestion for improving the ride would be to make a few more
 stops, even at the expense of covering as much ground, for greater focus
on Portland highlights and history.  It’s pretty tough with a group that size, though — you
really need a smaller, more manageable contingent.  I imagine Portland 
Bicycle Tours rides for paying customers are more informative and this was 
just a taste. Nevertheless, it was really impressive how Evan led a 
diverse bunch of people with different cycling comfort levels, different 
experience levels, and differing degrees of familiarity with Portland 
all around downtown with nary a problem — and made it look easy.

 All in all, a really nice orientation-type ride — definitely belongs
 toward the beginning of Pedalpalooza, and I hope it becomes a fixture.

–
Michael

After the ride I had the shop open until I went over to the Wend Magazine kickoff party. This was a great event – also nice to see a lot of friends from the adventure sports community gathered together. The day just kept going with a Midnight Mystery Ride – Pedalpalooza style with a great turnout and bumpin stereo bike-trailer systems for mobile dance party.

Green building ride
Green building ride

Saturday June 13th was the World Naked Bike Ride. I had volunteered with Shift to do bike loan for the event and I used my bus to host an on site service center and bike loan station. I was able to bring several bikes, took deposits but no charge, and still go on the ride. Right before the ride left there were several people who came by with flats and I helped them get back on the road. Then, J-Maus and I climbed on top of the bike bus and took some photos. I had to wait until the last few people were taking off to keep an eye on the bus, but was able to ride the route and pass most people to make it back first and start checking bikes in. The ride took about an hour and I saw thousands of smiling faces. What a great turnout – I heard later that there were about 5,000 naked people riding together at night through the streets of Portland.

On Sunday the 14th I unloaded the mobile rental station and had a short ride in the Gay Pride parade with the Mayors office again. Then I headed off to lead my own Portland Parks Tour for my second Pedalpalooza event.  Here is the Shift List ride report/ review of the event:

Portland Parks Tour (Rose Garden)
Portland Parks Tour (Rose Garden)

We had great weather and smiling faces on Sunday’s Portland Parks Tour. Our route took 
us South from the Tom McCall waterfront park, past the pride parade, and across the
Hawthorne Bridge to the East Side of the River. We then traveled up Salmon St. – checking
out what exactly makes a bike boulevard special before stopping at Col. Summers Park to 
look at the site for the Multnomah Co. Bike Fair. Next, we rode past the Community Garden and
 off to the Mt. Tabor neighborhood. After a quick jaunt up in to the park to see the reservoirs and the Portland
 skyline, we traveled North to share some history and duck pond facts at 
Laurelhurst Park.  After a good break – we found another bicycle boulevard to ride 
and headed down Ankeny St.  Again focusing for a minuet on local cycling
 infrastructure and pointing out the bike shop co-op on the way. Up and over the
 Burnside Bridge took us back across the river for a final loop through Old Town/ China Town and back
 to the Tom Mcall Waterfront Park. About 12 participants and lots of stops for history and park
 facts. Thanks to Portland Bicycle Tours for leading another awesome ride and thanks to all the riders!  – Mary P.

We had a great Zoobomb session Sunday night, stopping at legoland and crawling inside new spaces.

Monday the 15th we had a Bicycle Business League meeting at Vendetta and talked about the mission statement and definition through action. I had a long talk with Ryan about the upcomming Portland Bicycle Share project and decided to purchase the domains.

On Tuesday I updated my business log and on Wednesday had an excellent game of Bike Polo. On Thursday I filled out some ride reports and Friday the 17th of June I lead another Pedalpalooza event: The Portland Sensory Ride. Also known as ” Smells, Sights, Sounds, Tastes, and a touch of Portland”.

Here is another Ride Review:

Pedalpalooza Sensory Ride
Pedalpalooza Sensory Ride

We had 8 people today on the sights, sounds, smells ride around Portland and we
 managed to finish right before the rains came. It all started at a certain noise
 making sculpture in the waterfront park near the West end of the Steel bridge, 
and we got to kick it off with the thunder of local trains. We crossed the Steel
 Bridge and traveled north on Williams Ave up to Peninsula Park to take in the sweet
 smells of Portland’s oldest Rose Garden. After some tasty snacks and a little park history we 
headed back down Vancouver to go East on Shaver st. South on 7th ave and we 
landed in Irving park for a roll-around. We continued down 7th ave past a
 statue “Ideals” at the Oregon State Building. We crossed 84 at 12th and cruised
 up to the bread factory for a whiff. Then we headed down 7th again to Portland 
Coffee Roasters to smell their work. Back up 6th to Ankeny st and West to the
 Tazo tea factory. This was by far our most potent smell stop and we made sure 
to take a good break for cookies. We then crossed Stark street on to Water ave, 
and headed down to Salmon St. to ride the East Bank Esplanade. We stopped once more
 to take in the sights before crossing the Steel Bridge back to our starting 
point. Many happy faces and some new friends. Thank you Portland Bicycle Tours. – Jamie Digs

Rolling along the River
Rolling along the River

Afternoon  Green Buildings Bike Tour with the Office of Sustainability and Planning. We rode from the Eco Trust building after a good look at their on site storm water management including the green roofs and rain gardens. After that we headed down 10th to Overton St. Then rode across Natio to the Waterfront path along the NW stretch. We went down all the way to the RR crossing near the Steel Bridge and down to look at the White Stag Bldg. and the Japanese War Memorial. We looped back North to cross @ the Steel Bridge and stopped across the river to look at the 1st and Main Bldg and the “black box”. Continuing South, we rode past the Hawthorne crossing on ramp to the Boathouse Building on the East Side. Then we crossed the Hawthorne Bridge and headed to Bond Ave to work our way towards the SW Waterfront Bldg. groups. We ended at the community garden to talk about what it means when you “build” a community for these new settlements and what the infrastructure means to the people that will inhabit them.

Another long summer day is noted at midnight rolls around and I found myself still networking with bikey folks about upcomming events. I met up with Scott B. of the BTA and Roger G. of the City on a Dropout Bike Club ride that had merged with the annual Bowie VS Prince Mobile Dance Party and had a great talk about the National Safe Routes to School Conference in August.

On the 20th of June we had an early morning meeting for Multnomah County Bike Fair set up that went well and we covered the layout and details for the day.

I set up a new FLICKR account – Portland Bicycle and loaded the magic school bus again for Sunday Parkways.

Bike Rental Station
Bike Rental Station

June 21st – Solstice and Sunday Parkways. I shared a space with Bike Farm for this event and was right next to my friend Brian at Bike Empowered. I had a lot of posotive comments on the bike shop and people loved the bus. Lots of people taking pictures and business cards. I spent all day networking, renting bikes, doing some maintenence and repair and visiting with friends stopping by to see my booth.  Back at the Shop in the evening, I unloaded the bus, put the shop back together and built up a new Bike Polo bike to completetion – almost. Another beautiful night to Zoobomb, I lasted all three runs.

Portlandia
Portlandia

June 22nd. 2009. Shop Open as usual For the next week I painted my short bus in anticipation for the Multnomah Co. Bike Fair.

Transformation
Transformation

It took an entire day to wash the bus, another day to sand it, a day to wash again and start masking, a day to finish masking and start painting, and another whole day of painting. Later it would take one more day to touch up the paint and put the mirrors and reflectors back on that i had taken off during the masking process.

June 27th 2009 the Multnomah Co. Bike Fair. I volunteered to be set up coordinator and had to arrive early with the bus already packed and the mobile bike station ready. I had a great fair helping people place and set up their booths and communicating with all the vendors. What a great networking opportunity.

Bike Fair 2009
Bike Fair 2009

There was a great vip afterparty but everyone who was involved was so tired that it was super mellow. There was a midnight mission to Pirate Island for a little celebration off the radar.

The last three days of the month I had some great rental business, and did some work on my local business listings on-line. Lots of winding down from the epic Pedalpalooza experience 2009 but the summer just getting started.

May 2009 get ready

Happy Customers at the Portland Pedalworks Shop
Happy Customers at the Portland Pedalworks Shop

The first of the month came around and I continued work on the Pedalworks shop space while operating the business at the same time. New bike racks, a storage loft, shelves etc… This project was a big push for me because of my continuing full time day job. (rarely mentioned in this blog)  The first week of this month was a string of all nighters, trying to finish construction during closed hours. I took a break for bike polo on the 6th and the 8th brought another Small Business Development session. The meeting topics were about Google business listings and e-commerce – something I am still working on.

After moving the rest of the rental gear in to the shop over the next week, I worked to finish the business listing and had great success. On the 11th I updated a free business listing on the Willamette Week website classifieds section and rented a couple of single speed bikes to some visiting ladies from England.

May 12-15th NW Discoveries Oregon Cycling Trip

Riding along Marine Drive/ the Colombia River
Riding along Marine Drive/ the Colombia River

On May 12th I  started working a NW Discoveries/ Elder-hostel bike guiding trip, visiting some great bike paths and state parks in the region. After outfitting the 10 participants with bikes and helmets we started our journey right there and left downtown to ride South on the East bank Esplanade. Connecting with the Sellwood Corridor, we rode West to visit Crystal Springs Park. This park has a beautiful Rhododendron Garden with waterfalls and bright colors. Cruising through the campus of Reed College, we saw beautiful craftsman homes and carefully manicured gardens before heading back towards the city. In the Evening I gave a workshop on simple bike adjustments and maintenance. ( I still think regular cleaning is 1/2 of bike maintenance).

The 13th arrived and we piled in the van to visit Multnomah Falls on our way to ride the Mojer tunnels on the Historic Colombia River Highway. This is an old stretch of partially paved trails and roads that has become a renovation project that is truly massive. The old highway is the road that traved along the Colombia River East to West  between Portland and Hood River. The road was used  in to the early 1900’s when cargo trucks became to large to navigate the narrow road and dark blasted tunnels.

Group ride to Crystal Springs
Group ride to Crystal Springs

Years have been spent engineering and saving the old road from erosion and collapse due to its position on the steep slopes of the Colombia River Gorge. Recently renovated- the “mojertunnels” were part of the highway infrastructure, but were partially filled in when the road was closed. Years later the tunnels have been re-excavated and now are an ideal place to take a nice ride along this beautiful river. Beautiful views of Washington State and nearby mountains like Mt. Adams, St. Helens, and Rainier, can be seen along this ride and there are many wildflowers in the summer months.

After a nice ride, we made a side trip to explore the Bonnevile Dam and Fish Hatchery. After a lesson on the dam’s history and creation, we saw “Herman the Sturgeon” at the fish tanks and had a nice picnic lunch on the grass.

On May 14th we took clients on the Marine Drive Bike Path. This path skirts the Colombia River as well but much closer. The trail runs parallel but below the highway that gives access to the Portland International Airport and the 205 bridge crossing. Several miles of beautiful scenic paved path and a couple State Parks grace this area, and the scene is nice and quiet considering the nearby highway and airport. We saw a great blue heron on this ride and pointed out landmarks that Lewis and Clark may have seen and used to describe the environment here while exploring the area. There is lots of Native American history along the Colombia River and we enjoyed learning more about their settlements while visiting Chinook Point Park. A nice ride up to Blue Lake and a dash around the small community of Interlachen carried on the afternoon as we rode back towards the river. I provided a commuting workshop in the evening and covered topics like: equipment, winterizing your bike, appropriate clothing, and navigational resources.

May 15 arrived and we piled in the van again to drive to Champoeg State Park.

Shady riding in Champoeg State Park
Shady riding in Champoeg State Park

We pedaled a nice rural farm route that gave us a taste of the countryside and local lifestyle here. Lots of hops growing and the usual grains, we even got to stop by a nursery and take some photos of the many varieties of roses there. After lunch, we continued on to ride more of the park and the awesome bike paths provided there. We pedaled through history as we reached the very point that the first Oregon settlers voted on creating a local government and writing the United States to request Statehood. A nice shady lane took us to a small ice cream shop – and the participants relaxed as we loaded the bikes back on top of the van and headed back to the city.

On May 16th and 17th I had the shop open for rentals and worked most of the days catching up on bike maintenance. There was a great Dropouts bike club ride down to the Sellwood area that may or may not have ended up with a moon-lit beach pedal.

May 19th I volunteered to lead a Pedal Potluck Picnic ride for the Urban Adventure League, and planned a route through the Alberta Arts district.  We used bicycle boulevards to end up at King School Park, a nice grassy knoll with picnic tables and a covered area.  I met the founder of Bikes to Rwanda and had a great evening visiting with neighbors.

May 20th I played Bike Polo with the Axles of Evil and on

May 21st I had some of my first service work at the new shop space for brake instillation and some misc. repair. More bike rentals and maintenance daily.

May 22nd we had one of the first Bicycle Business Alliance meetings (would become Bicycle Business League) at the Portland Development Commission building across from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. The meeting got some Bikeportland.org coverage that was nice and a lot of good connections were made. Bike shop open the rest of the day.

May 23rd and 24 Th. I had the shop open regular hours and had bike rentals and service customers stop by.

May 26th was a World Naked Bike Ride planning meeting and I volunteered to facilitate free bike loan and repair for the event. We covered details for many upcoming June events including my role as set-up coordinator for the Multnomah County Bike Fair and what some of the Pedalpalooza rides might look like.

On May 27 Th. I played another game of Bike Polo and on

May 29th had the shop open for a long day of bike rentals and repair. In the morning we had another Bicycle Business League meeting at Alta Planning and Design and we talked about the organization time line, creating a mission statement, by laws, and details like domain names. I placed a large Cyclone order for more supplies for the Pedalworks shop and checked out the new Zoobomb Pyle dedication party.

Sat May 30th was “ride your bike to the Farmers Market day” and I volunteered to lead a ride from my neighborhood (Irving Park) down to City Hall to Join with Mayor Sam Adams and the ride he was leading for the final stretch up to the PSU Farmers Market.

build in farmers market baskets
build in farmers market baskets

What a great day. With a few participants, we rode and collected others on our way to the vibrant commerce space that is the market. When we met up with the Mayor, the group grew to 40 or more. After a bit of veggie shopping, I left the market with the Mayor and we rode back towards Old Town talking about bike tours and such, then he invited me to join him and his co-workers in the Rose Parade. I had the shop open the rest of the day and had some rentals and maintenance work.

Portland's Mayor leads us to the market
Portland's Mayor leads us to the market

Sunday May 31st, I had the shop open regular hours and worked on installing handlebar bags on some of the bikes and caught up with some signage and promotional materials that I had been putting off. I noticed a nice Yelp Review showed up about Portland Bicycle Tours, somebody that really liked the Portland Rose Garden Tour.

Spring 2009

April 2009

April started off with a great surf trip to the coast with the freshly tuned bus.

a great surfing base camp
a great surfing base camp
Surf Trip to Indian Beach
Surf Trip to Indian Beach

After a few days of camping and surfing I re-upped my Oregon State Outfitter/ Guide Cert.  I confirmed on the May multi-day trip with NW Discoveries and contacted City Repair about the village building convergence. Another SBDC session passed and I visited Port Townsend for some family time and got to meet my new niece. The 15th brought me to another Shift Meeting about the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) to happen on June 15th. I volunteered to be bike loan coordinator. A great night of bike polo with Reverend Phill out at Rose City Park.  On the 17 th I was a Filmed By Bike volunteer.  I also joined the Small Bike Business group on Facebook (later to become the Bicycle Business League) Awesome Filmed By Bike party – I met several people and did some guerilla stationary trike advertising techniques. I built a cargo bike trailer by fitting up an old frame and spent some time gathering materials for moving in to the Pedalworks Space. I attended the Steve Nelson Memorial Ride with other Teem Beer members and had a beautiful day remembering this friend.  I went zoobombing on Sunday night. Monday the 20th I had a appointment with Travel Portland and met Marsha Stout. I checked in with the PDX International Hostel and went to chat with the guys at 21st ave cycle shop.  I checked in again at the Office of Planning and Sustainability. Tuesday the 21st was the start of the Oregon Bicycle Summit and I did some more marketing for the Bicycle Business Leauge.   Next, I stopped by Alta planning to say hello. Dave put up the new website and it rocks!  On the 25th I gave the bike safety class at Ockley Green Elementary for their Earth Day celebration.  In the afternoon I had a two person bike tour of the SE bike boulevards and we visited some parks as well. I went to the City Repair Eath Day celebration and talked to some volunteers about doing a City Repair cite tour.  On the 26th I strted cleaning out “the cooler” a space I started renting in the old “fish block” of China Town/ Old Town to facilitate bike tours, rentals, and service/ repair out of.  I painted on the 27th, paitned the floor on the 28th, painted the trim and racks on the 29th and had my first bike rental out of the new shop on April 30th.

Progress in 2009

January 2009

Portland Bicycle
Portland Bicycle

January started off with a visit to the KBOO Bike Show to announce the Siren Nation Valentines by Bike event and I got to see some friends from BikePortland.org,  Good Sport Promotions, and the Portland Bureau of Transportation.  I attended more Small Business Development counseling sessions (SBDC) with Portland Community College and learned quite a bit. On the 10th I had a booth at the Portland Velo Swap at the Lucky Lab Brewery in SE Portland. I checked out a SW Waterfront Neighborhood Development presentation and went to another Siren Nation Meeting for Valentines By Bike.  On the 16th I met Kathy Smith – Physical Education teacher for the Harriet Tubman Leadership Academy for Women to talk about developing their bike education program.  January 17th 2009 I worked as a freelance guide for NW Discoveries on a XC ski trip on MT. Hood. The 18th was the annual Palm Tree bike ride with Shawn of the Urban Adventure Leauge.  I went to a Bike Farm Meeting, a Shift Meeting, another SBDC session and on the 25th went to a Vision in to Action Coalition grant writing workshop.

February 2009

pedaltopia
pedaltopia

Febuary started off with a Travel Portland orientation breakfast and another Siren Nation meeting, followed by a party at zaytoon’s.  Black Sheep Bakery provided vegan chocolates.  After another SBDC session and a valentines day bonanza, the 15th brought us another great Worst Day of the Year Ride.  I volunteered to be a on route mechanic and medic. I saw more friends from Good Sport Promotions, and saw a good friend and Teem Beer member Steve Nelson -sadly for the last time. Wednesday the 18th took me to another Shift Meeting at one of my favorite neighborhood bars: Vendetta.

I was contacted in February by an artist named Abraham who was working on a pod-cast self guided walking tour.  He was asking people to participate in recording voice memories describing emotional events at locations around town.  I volunteered to do a recording session with him and described a couple events- one was my experience responding to a car accident on MLK Blvd in my neighborhood in NE Portland. I described the thoughts and emotions in my head as I gave medical attention and spine stabilization to a 17 year old African American woman sprawled out in the middle of a 4 lane thoroughfare. The woman who had multiple broken bones screamed at the top of her lungs for the entire time we waited for paramedics to arrive.  I also described my experiences during an accident with a cyclist going down on the train tracks.

Saturday the 21st was a Bike Farm gathering, and  I also attended a quick books workshop with the PCC SBDC. Wednesday the 25th was the Travel Portland Tourism Conference and I found out about two brand new competitors. I had a good talk with David of Portland Walking Tours – he gave me some good advice on credit card merchant account sharks. I networked with several local hotels and local small businesses. Friday the 27th was another great Breakfast on the Bridges and I finished out the month with another Snowshoe Tour up to the Tilly Jane cabin on MT. Hood with my good friends from my  Pacific Crest Trail through hike of 2005.

March 2009

I kicked off the month with meetings on the new website development and got to see the first screening of Veer – a local documentary about the Portland biking scene. The BTA’s annual Alice Awards happened and Sunday the 8th brought us the Interesting Architecture Ride.

Paused outside this house in the Alberta Neighborhood
Paused outside this house in the Alberta Neighborhood

I sent an intern application to BikePortland.org and went to a Zoobomb findraiser for Hollice – the Sprokettes Performed. After another Shift Meeting I recertified my Wilderness First Responder cert. with NOLS and the Wilderness Medicine Institute.  Ryan Hashagen of Portland Pedicabs contacted me about sharing some space and working towards a small bike business incubator that would later become known as Pedalworks.  On March 26th I met a PSU student who asked me to give a bike safety class at Ockley Green Elementary Shcool for their Earth Day event. I said yes.  I did another round of dropping off  Portland Bicycle Tours fliers and checked in with my friend Ian at the Westside Recyclery. I dropped by the Hawthorne Hostel to say hello and did some brainstorming for new advertising ideas. I checked out the Blue Bird Guest House  and on Friday the 27th went on another North Freaks Bicycle Club ride. I dropped off the Portland Bicycle Mobile (my stubby school bus) to get some work done at the shop and worked at Next Adventures semi-anual tent sale.  I purchased some new website hosting  and met with Danny Millholand about a promotional event with my hometown friends- that group of kick-ass acrobaticalistis – NANDA.  Next, I made some bike rental signs for the business. Ken of NW Discoveries contacted me about guiding for him on a multi day trip in May for an Elderhostel Program.

Brisk Blue Day
Brisk Blue Day

I posted the three Pedalpalooza rides I lead this year and called Joe Bike about the status on a past project “Stumpworks”.  I also called Valery  at the Portland Office of Sustaiability about working with them in the future.  Another productive Month.