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.

Portland Bicycle on Flickr

Check out our latest Porltand Bike photos on line at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/portlandbicycle/

East Bank Esplanade
East Bank Esplanade

2008 – Kaboom

2008 After waiting months for the 1st of the year to come around, I registered my business with the state like an afterthought and completed my first website. I had already started collecting bicycles and gear for a fleet and the 2007 garage sale season had rained bikes upon me. After taking some time to hone my mechanic skills, I bought liability insurance and completed my first “official” bike tour. I started volunteering for the Community Cycling Center and attended dozens of bike related events. I went to the Car Free Cities Conference, the National Handmade Bike Show, the Oregon Manifest Show, Cirque de Cycling, and raced my first Cyclocross season ( single speed YEah! ) under my own business name. I set up guerrilla style on the Eastbank Esplanade and talked with commuters and tourists about my Ideas. I was picked to show a custom bike in the greener homes and gardens expo. I checked out road races, attended BTA workshops on bike commuting and gave my own workshops wherever I could find a host with space for participants. I volunteered for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance Bicycle Safety Education Program and saw the next generation learn the rules of the road. I rented bikes out of my basement for a while, and ended up buying a short school bus to move bikes around and act as a support vehicle for longer distance bike tours. I got to be on the KBOO bike show and experienced my first Filmed By Bike Film Festival. A busy year for sure and my first whole business season of leading bike tours and showing off Portland’s bike infrastructure. Just the beginning.

history continued

In 2007 I learned about Shift a Portland based non-profit dedicated to helping facilitate bike fun. I started going on rides, attending events and experiencing bike fun in a way that made me feel better about myself and the community I live in. Most importantly, I made some great friends. One midnight mystery ride lead to another and soon enough I had experienced zoobomb. I joined the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, experienced my first Multnomah Co. Bike Fair, and let Pedalpalooza take advantage of me. Riding around with friends and sharing these experiences lead to the start of a business model – leading sightseeing and local culture tours -European style -here in Portland, Oregon.

a slice of the past

I graduated the Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington with a degree in Outdoor Leadership and Education. During my time in school I trained to become a wilderness first responder, took sustainable community design courses, and worked with the Wilderness Education Association of America. I earned my National Trail Guide Cert. – Specializing in group dynamics and guiding techniques. During this time I also completed several independent learning contracts including traveling as a photojournalist in Western and Central Europe, becoming a white water raft guide and whitewater rescue technician, and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. This is one of my best achievements representing work towards a long term goal. After working as a freelance mountain and whitewater guide and earning my Oregon Stage Guide cert., I moved to Portland and started a guiding co-op called Intrepid Experience LLC, a place for outdoor educators to share resources.
Portland Bicycle was born from this project and has consumed my attention for the past three years. I needed a vehicle that would allow me to facilitate an equation that sums up my feelings about leading people. Safe Enjoyment + Education = inspiration and conservation.