What a great time of year! Cyclocross is in full swing, the leaves are turning, and we are continuing to see business at the Pedalworks shop. A little expansion even – we are now offering bike delivery services in the Portland Metro area. Food runs, late night essentials, freight delivery, and messenger services. I attended another inspiring car – free happy hour early in the month and was excited to see some new faces. The first weekend of November brought us a Twilight Ride on the new 205 path here in Portland with regional planners and representatives from the BTA.
Great cyclocross races on Sunday the 8th launched us in to a new wave of building large cargo trikes. With a 4 foot by 2.5 foot flat bed we achieved a 500 lb weight rating and can use the trike to make deliveries. We have been getting a few cargo models ready for an upcoming Bicycle Brown Bag put on by the Portland City and their Transportation Options crew. Cross at Barton Park on the 15th – I got my first flat tire of the season in lap #2 but was able to get a new wheel from the pit and finish the race. After a 5 person multi-day rental, I met with my website master and we added some new picts. I was excited to attend ” an evening with Roger Geller” a low key evening event put on by bikeportland.org. I’m a huge fan of the bicycle master plan update (that Roger has been working on) and it was neat to hear some perspectives about the design process and what it entailed. lot’s of compromise – that’s what. We demonstrated at the bike brown bag with success and heard from some moms about their kid cargo needs and got some great tips on juice bottle retention devices.
On the 20th, I attended the Oregon Bicycle Tourism Partnership Group semi-annual meeting and rocked it to the core. We had great idea brainstorms and checked in with each other on real progress towards shared goals. The Rideoregonride.com website is amazing and I announced that the Bicycle Business League was taking part in the regional networking. Great progress from the Colombia Gorge Historical Highway restoration effort, a nice introduction from the Intertwine Trail Network, and thank you to Travel Oregon for your facilitation and hard work. The free small business services from Travel Oregon have surpassed ANY OTHER local tourism organization. Hint, hint – other local tourism organization.
Our good friend “fool” from the Shift list (among other advocacy efforts) threw a great housewarming party and we crashed the dance floor with eighties intensity and Chromeo Bonafied Lovin’. Bike polo continues on into the winter with the hard core axles of evil getting together three times a week. Good vacation time with the family in Port Townsend, and a food pile to the moon.
is always exciting with the cyclocross season in full swing and special events demanding our attention. This past weekend was the Cyclocross Single Speed World Championships (cxsswc ) at Portland International Raceway and it did not disappoint. Team Portland Bicycle Tours – We brought the tour bus (witch happens to be the best cyclocross station imaginable) and rolled in early to set up our pop-up training station. Everyone raced well in the morning, and we continued the day watching the other racers beat away at the course as we waited for the championship. Steady showers for a few days leading up to the races, the course was peanut-butter mud. The rain held off for the morning races but started up about 1 pm and continued to drizzle all night. Yakima brought a huge geodesic dome dubbed “the thunder dome” and there was even a Black Sabbath cover band rocking the night.
The course got re-directed to run through the dome and we cheered from the sidelines with raincoats and home brews in hand. After the final race, there was a the final event in a week long bout between the two cities of Seattle and San Francisco to see who would get to host next years CXSSWC.
After a debate night, waiting to see who the woman’s winner of the championship’s choice city was, and a 5 round mud wrestling gladiator competition. It was decided that Seattle would host next years event. With all the costumes, debauchery, and wild antics going on, I could not help but think about how bizarre this would all seem to a visitor from another land, who might not understand the history and context of such an occasion.
October is a great month in Portland, as local breweries unveil their best seasonal ales and tasty restaurants switch up the menus to reflect seasonal availability. The first week of the month was full of meetings, Re-Direct, PSU, SBDC etc… The shop continues on and I noticed more people stopping by for minor service/ repair. Fender installations and wheel truing taking up some time. I also tuned my cyclocross bike to perfection in anticipation for the Cross Crusade’s first race of the series at Alpenrose. I moved up to a new category this season and because of the random start selection, ended up starting dead last. So far back in the line, that they actually give you a free case of beer to make up for the disadvantage. I came home with a nice case of the Deshutes organic ale. Delicious. I still made it in the top 100 (mediocre) but had a blast, and got some motivation to train more.
I applied for a position at PSU to be a part of their bike hub, but will have to wait to hear back. After a few solid days of rentals and a glorious brewery tour, I participated in another bike league meeting and went to City Hall. Celebrating at the BTA’s Bicycle Commute Challenge party and rubbing some elbows. We ended up having an after party at the liberty bell and I talked with some members of Umbrella about a possible collaboration. I had another Brewery tour on the 10th and rocked out to another Cross Crusade race on the 11th. I placed 53rd out of 130 or so and felt better about my racing. I have noticed a definite improvement over last season, and I think the close range bike polo maneuvering has played a role in my confidence overall. I seem to get better every time I ride, imagine that. I had the shop open all the next week and felt the rental season starting to slow down. Still doing okay but being aware of the trend. I finally started taking some time to detail my personal fleet of bikes, and worked for a couple days on really dialing in my trusty single speed commuter bike. I made some new signs and have been doing a lot more designing in my sketchbook.
I had a successful web design meeting with Dave and an awesome soak at the Kennedy School with Drew. It seems to be this time of year that I take time to get together with friends for dinner more often, and I love sharing food. I attended a Bicycle Brown Bag with Timo and the PBOT team with Graig Raisman as the guest speaker, talking about bike/ traffic infrastructure and design, and a sideshow of what he ad experienced in traveling throughout Europe. Great discussion topic, and very interesting with the recent release of the Bicycle Master Plan update, and understanding some of the new designs. I feel a Portland Bikeability Ride coming on – Master Plan Update style. A busy week for service, I need more space to store bikes! I worked on my xc bike more (constant love needed ) to race again on the 18th. Great course, a little bumpy maybe, but a gnarly hill at the end of the laps took it out of just about everybody. More bike polo games and drinks with the PSU Transportation class (some good friends of mine) we talked about the future of the street car here and what the Max line will be doing. Yet another Brewery Tour on the 26th, an awesome couple that spend their time traveling for a living – writing reviews for a PR firm. Good, work – they said they would leave a review on my Google Business Listing. Check it out!
On the 27th I attended and testified at a Portland City Planning Commission Hearing about the Bicycle Master Plan Update for 2030. What a turnout – and strong community support for the plan. Several local planners and advocates stepped up to let their appreciation and occasional concern be heard. I never realized how easy it is to take part in the process of community design.
The morning of the 28th I attended another Oregon Manifest event with Creating Conversations. The event was titled: Creating Conversations Through The Love Of Bicycles. It was an interesting conversation/ interview with a panel of local bike business owners. Then an event that evening: Dreams on Wheels, where we heard from Mikael Coleville Andersen of Copenhagenize.com speak about cycling infrastructure in Copenhagen and the cultural differences between the scene stateside and abroad. It was a very entertaining evening at Oregon Manifest.
We finished off the month with a couple more tours and explored the possibilities of our own seasonal offerings. A rain gardens tour comes to mind with all the storm water swishing about. We are excited here at the shop to visit the next Bicycle Brown Bag topic: cargo hauling. Trailers provided.
Cha Cha Cha! Had a great kickoff to the fall with a tasty local foods and arts ride during a downtown First Thursday. I spent the first few days contacting a production artist about our new fliers and trying to improve on our already fantastic brochure. I worked on our marketing strategy and we officially started accepting twittpay. ( a combination of twitter and pay pal) We had a great polo match that first week and played in to the night, aware of the rainy months to come. I had the shop open for tours and rentals most days – pleasantly surprised at the continuing business on the slightly overcast days.
In celebration of a great season, I treated myself to a new computer and got to work using it to catch up on electronic details. The most time consuming of all the details. The month moved along as I overhauled an aging Schwinn cruiser and worked a contract at the Portland Convention Center for bike rentals at a conference they were having. I supplied bikes for an edible plants ride. That’s a great idea! I attended another Wend Magazine benefit party (never a disappointment) and raced in the mini-bike cyclocross competition. I had lots of good friends at the party and we had delicious micro-brews.
The middle of the month was full of shop maintenance and a little new construction. We are shifting with the seasons here at Portland Pedalworks and doing exciting things like taking inventory and cleaning house. We had a good Bicycle Business meeting for the first time in a couple weeks and I spent the week preparing for my annual vacation hike to the North.
For the rest of the month, I hiked on the Pacific Crest Trail (section K in Washington) and spent time with my family in Port Townsend.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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)
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!
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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
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.
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.
June 22nd. 2009. Shop Open as usual For the next week I painted my short bus in anticipation for the Multnomah Co. Bike Fair.
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.
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.