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Weekend Event Guide: Velocirque Bike Show, Gateway Green open house, Oregon Timber Trail and more

Bike Portland - 4 hours 23 min ago

Discover the secrets of riding the Oregon Coast with author Bill Thorness on Friday night.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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If you value our work and look forward to features like this Weekend Event Guide every week, please become a supporter today!

If you’re worried that this crazy weather has foiled your bike fun for the weekend, think again! While the snow and ice (and soon, mud and gravel) might seem frightful, we’ve got a full menu of great options that look simply delightful. Not to mention most of them are indoors.

And you want ride inspiration? How about meeting the expert on the Coast Route on Friday night? Then on Saturday you can hear bikepacking tales galore from pioneers who’ve tackled the Oregon Timber Trail. On Sunday, why not get together with fellow three-speeders and plan your world takeover?

We’ve got all that and more in this week’s event guide. And as always, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the BikePortland Calendar for even more great ideas.

Friday, February 23rd

Breakfast on the Bridges – 7:00 am to 9:00 am
The last Friday of every month Shift volunteers serve breakfast on the Steel and Hawthorne bridges. Many bike commuters have come to look forward to hot coffee and delicious pastries on their way to work once a month – and you can’t beat the view! For the latest updates and breakfast locations, follow @bonbpdx on Twitter. More info here.

PDX Coffee Outside – 7:00 am to 8:30 am
Weekly gathering of nice people and good coffee. Bring your own brew kit and/or something yummy to trade for coffee. Check out this group on Instagram for inspiration and updates. More info here.

Cycling the Coast Happy Hour – 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Base Camp Brewing Company
Author (and Ride With GPS Ambassador) Bill Thorness has rewritten the definitive guidebook to cycling the Pacific Coast. He’s in Portland to promote, Cycling the Pacific Coast: The Complete Guide from Canada to Mexico and you can meet him at the launch party. Learn his route secrets, win great door prizes, and more. More info here.

Saturday, February 24th

20 is Plenty Yard Sign Pick-Up – 9:30 am to 2:30 pm at Madison High School
Do your part to spread the word about sensible speeds in your neighborhood. The City of Portland is putting up new speed limit signs, so you should too! They’re giving out free “20 is Plenty” yard signs and bumper stickers in attractive Vision Zero orange. This is one of several pick-up events. See VisionZeroPortland.com for more. More info here.

Velocirque Classic & Vintage Bike Show – 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Velo Cult
Come one, come all and immerse yourself in the world of “bike geekery, of fascination with frames and componentry, clever design and sublime craftsmanship, fillets and lugs, gear-inches and effective rim diameters, shiny bling and soulful patina.” Velo Cult welcomes you out of the cold for a DIY bike show. That’s right, bring your own classic or custom bike and get ready to show it off to an appreciative crowd. More info here.

Gateway Green Community Open House – 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization
Portland Parks is hosting this special event to hear what you’d like to see in the next phase of Gateway Green — our local, off-road cycling fun park! The City is set to start building new features later this year so let’s make sure they build the right stuff. More info here.

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Biking About Architecture: Woodstock – 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at Stumpton Coffee Division
Jenny F. is ready to lead you on another fun and educational architecture tour. This time you’ll set your signts on an eight-mile loop in southeast that will include an Arts & Crafts castle, a dome home, a bike windmill, and more! More info here

Oregon Timber Trail Pioneers Panel & Slideshow – 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Base Camp Brewing Company
Been dreaming of tackling the new Oregon Timber Trail this year? Then this is a must-do event. Six (or so) people who pioneered and/or helped build the route will come together for a special night of sharing. Panelists include: Corey Fitch, Colin Frazer, Daniel Stranahan, Ben McCormack, Kimberly McCormack, Daniel Sharp, Harry Dalgaard, and Gabriel Amadeus Tiller. Oh, and guess who’ll be asking them the questions? Hope to see you there! More info here.

Sunday, February 25th

A Ride of Two Cities – 1:00 pm at Ruby Junction / East 197th Avenue
This exploration will tempt you with new vistas and routes through two cities just east of Portland — Fairview and Gresham. Highlights will include multi-use paths like the Gresham-Fairview Trail and the fun trails around Salish Pond. More info here.

Three Speed Get-Together – 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Velo Cult Bike Shop & Tavern
If you have a heart for classic three-speeds and want to chat it up with others who feel the love, join the Society of Three Speeds for this happiest of hours. There will be talking and probably some beer and likely some trivia. Perhaps a ride will follow. More info here.

Stay plugged into all the bike and transportation-related events around the region via our comprehensive event calendar and sign up here to get this Weekend Guide delivered to your inbox.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Need inspiration to keep riding? Our readers have you covered

Bike Portland - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 18:27

It hasn’t been easy — but in many ways it’s been thrilling.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This morning on Twitter we asked our friends if they were still riding through the snow and ice. It was great to see all the responses. People shared photos and tips about how they fared.

Here are some of those replies:

@PPBBikeTheft: Count us too!

City plans to add protected bike lanes (and more) to North Rosa Parks Way

Bike Portland - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:59

A key east-west street in north Portland is poised for a makeover.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation will piggyback on a maintenance and paving project to add protected bike lanes and other upgrades to North Rosa Parks Way.

As detailed in their just-updated project website, the plan is to update Rosa Parks from North Willamette to Martin Luther King Boulevard. That’s a nearly two-mile section of road that crosses five major north-south bikeways (Williams, Vancouver, Concord, Michigan and Willamette), four schools (Growing Seeds, Chief Joseph, Ockley Green, and Holy Redeemer) and two parks (Peninsula and Arbor Lodge). Other destinations include the Yellow Line MAX stations, New Seasons Market and other businesses at Interstate, restaurants and markets at Denver, a medical clinic at Greeley and more.


Most notably, the City has proposed to create 10-foot wide bike lanes on both sides of the street between Delaware and Willamette (design proposals for the rest of the project haven’t been released yet). The north side would be “parking protected” — meaning auto-parking spaces would float in the street between the curbside bike lane and standard lanes. On the south side, PBOT would prohibit on-street parking. The bike lanes would have a three-foot buffer zone with plastic curbs and delineator wants within it.

Here’s the proposed striping from Willamette to Curtis:

And from Villard to Burrage:

And from Burrage to Delaware:

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This sign at Rosa Parks and Curtis was vandalized in 2011. PBOT cleaned it up right away.

PBOT is doing this because they recognize the growing importance of Rosa Parks as a bikeway, they realize it should be used more efficiently — and most importantly, they know the street’s current design leads to people driving way too fast which has resulted in too many injuries and fatalities.

In the 10 years from 2006 to 2015, PBOT counts 19 people who have either been injured or killed in crashes while using the corridor. 11 of those collisions involved people bicycling — with nine of them happening between Willamette and Interstate. In 2008 we reported on a serious injury crash at North Albina. And Since 2016 two separate crashes at North Delaware led to fatality and injury. One of those crashes paralyzed Arbor Lodge resident Brian Duncan.

PBOT cites speeding as one of the main reasons they want to change the design of the street. When they analyzed speeds at North Curtis in 2013 they found the average person was driving 32 mph (two miles over the posted speed limit). “Considering that people are driving from or towards a sharp turn at Willamette,” they write on the project website, “the speeds are particularly high.”

This section of Rosa Parks also allows on-street auto parking on both sides of the street; but PBOT says that’s valuable space that is currently being used “inefficiently”. Citing the same “low parking utilization” rationale they used prior to removing on-street parking on Willamette Boulevard late last year, PBOT said a recent study showed a paltry 17 percent parking occupancy rate on Rosa Parks between Willamette and Delaware. “Only one block face out of 12 had more than half of the spaces used… while four block faces had 0 percent occupancy.”

These kids ride home from Chief Joseph Elementary School without an adult.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The greenway crossing at Concord. PBOT wants to know what other streets should get safer crossings.

Let’s do it for the children. This is my little girl in 2011 biking on Rosa Parks just west of Interstate.

Given these current conditions PBOT wants the street to include new crossings, improved transit infrastructure at several locations, and protected bike lanes. “These changes will emphasize the neighborhood character of the street,” their letter said. “A street design with a more neighborhood feel.”

At this point, PBOT says they haven’t finalized designs because they’re, “Currently doing outreach to the neighborhood to better understand community needs and preferences.”

Rosa Parks currently has standard, unprotected, door-zone bike lanes that were installed in 2011.

We’ll be following this project closely. As a nearby resident I’ve watched cycling conditions worsen on Rosa Parks in recent years as driver behavior has gotten worse and the amount of people in cars has increased dramatically. The biggest danger spots PBOT will have to address in this project are where Rosa Parks crosses I-5 — an area roughly from North Mississippi to Concord. As a section with daily peak-hour gridlock due to on-ramps and off-ramps to the freeway, PBOT will have to get some of the designs approved by the Oregon Department of Transportation.

This sequence shows the daily bike lane blockage that occurs at Rosa Parks and Michigan. The drivers are waiting in a line to get onto I-5. They move over illegally, onto the bike lane, in order to let other drivers pass by them.

One particularly troublesome spot is at Rosa Parks and Michigan where the road increases to two standard lanes westbound just prior to the freeway on-ramp. Every day during rush-hour the road backs up as northbound freeway traffic backs up into the neighborhood. As you can see in the photos above, in order to let through-traffic get by, drivers will move over onto the existing bike lane (which is clearly illegal) so that other drivers can get around them. This blocks the bike lane and causes dangerous interactions. PBOT is aware of this problem and they’ve said we can expect it to be addressed in this project.

If you ride on Rosa Parks Way and want to share your feedback with PBOT, email Project Manager Scott Cohen at scott.cohen [at] portlandoregon.gov.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Product Geek reviews the Chrome Kadet sling bag

Bike Portland - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:58

The Kadet by Chrome, a company based in northwest Portland.
(Photos: James Buckroyd/BuckyRides.com)

James Buckroyd is our resident product geek. See his past reviews here.

I have been slinging this guy around the city for a while now. Mainly on small in-city runs to and from meetings where I needed a few essentials but not a massive bag full. Here’s what I found:

Chrome’s Welterweight Kadet bag ($100) is a single strap low profile “sling bag” – this particular one has been weight-reduced by using aluminium buckles and selective use of lighter materials. Regular versions can be purchased with steel buckle and many spicy fashion-forward colour options.

What it carries well: a u-lock, notepad, can of beer, a few pens, keys, phone, and a wallet really well. If you omit the can of beer, you can squeeze an iPad in there (I fit the 9.7-inch version during the test), but I’m not so sure I recommend it, as it feels a bit too large and rigid. It can also accommodate a lightweight rain shell folded with care.

What it doesn’t carry well is a medium-sized camera. Think of this Kadet as carrying slimmer things well. Beyond that, I struggled either with not being able to zip it up all the way or had to make do with lumps. Maybe a pocket-sized point and shoot but not a small mirrorless or DSLR. My smaller camera is 5″ x 2.5″ x 2.5″ and it was just a bit too awkward which is a shame really (even though on the Chrome website it shows a camera in there, they have obviously not tried to zip it up and ride).


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So, why would you want this bag? A few logical reasons:

  • Smaller than a backpack, less bulky, more convenient than a larger bag.
  • Sling style swing around accessibility for on the go-ness
  • A single strap look without the played out messenger fixter look
  • Available in other colours in the regular models
  • You want a fresh look for on or off the bike

What would be cooler?

  • Make it fit a compact mirrorless camera, the “sling around feature” is a sell for this – riding and shooting.
  • Lose the Chrome badge off the front. You don’t need it chrome, you own this market. Have some confidence and make a design statement.

Consider this:

  • How much stuff you need to carry, this bag has a specific niche.
  • Chrome should lose the Chrome badge off the front. You don’t need it Chrome, you own this market. Have some confidence and make a design statement.
  • Not really for riding with a camera, Chrome should make it fit a compact mirrorless camera, the “sling around feature” is a sell for this – riding and shooting.

Read more about this bag over on buckyrides.com.

If you’re in the market for a full-featured camera bag, check out Chrome’s new Nike F-Stop Backpack.

— James Buckroyd @JBucky1 on Twitter and BuckyRides.com

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wheel compatability

Bicycle Tutor - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:34
Am thinking of buying a new bike and was wondering if anyone could tell me if the wheel,that I use on my trainer would fit on the new bike. The wheel in question is an XRIMS y2000 622x20 6061-T6. It...

[...]

Protestors make show of force against ODOT’s ‘unnecessary’ removal of 26th Avenue bike lanes

Bike Portland - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 11:45

(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

About two dozen people stood on the corners of SE 26th Avenue and Powell Boulevard last night to protest plans to remove a pair of bike lanes. As big, wet snowflakes fell, people rang horns and bike bells and held signs high that read, “No backpedaling on our safety,” “It’s always biking season,” “Keep your hands off our bike lane” and “Vision Zero now”.

“Why are we getting rid of bike lanes? We should be improving them and getting more.”
— JJ Heldmann, mother of Cleveland High School student

As we reported yesterday, despite the fact that Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman (who oversees transportation) does not think removal of the lanes will improve safety, the Oregon Department of Transportation is forcing the Portland Bureau of Transportation to take them out. (Note that ODOT has no jurisdiction over 26th. PBOT owns and manages that road. ODOT only has leverage here because of an agreement the two agencies signed in 2016.)

Last night’s rally was organized by The Street Trust and marked a significant ratcheting up of their action around this issue. The organization’s top policy staffer Gerik Kransky and their Executive Director Jillian Detweiler were among the attendees.

In an interview, Detweiler said she’s spoken to ODOT Region 1 Director Rian Windsheimer — yet she still hasn’t heard a clear justification for removing the bike lanes. “He expressed concern for bike safety,” she said, “But his plan seems to be to force people to 28th and that’s just not realistic. Bikes have a right to be here. Bikes will be here. And bikes need to be as safe as they can be when they are here.”

Detweiler says removing the bike lanes is “Completely unnecessary” and she worries once they’re gone drivers will only go faster. “And drivers won’t be looking for bikes,” she added. “These are meager bike lanes for sure, but they at least provide the bikes some space.”

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Tom Durkin.

ODOT says they are making conditions safer because the lack of bike lanes will encourage more people to use a new, safer crossing two blocks east at 28th. But that’s not adequate, Detweiler says, “Greenways are great between places, but ultimately they are rarely where your destination is, and people have to be safe when they arrive at their destination. A high school could not be a more important destination.”

Southeast Portland resident JJ Heldmann showed up to the rally because she has a son who attends nearby Cleveland High School, which is directly adjacent to the bike lanes. Feldman’s son currently bikes to school, but she says he won’t use 28th because it’s too far out of the way (they live on 21st). “This intersection is scary,” she told me last night. “Why are we getting rid of bike lanes? We should be improving them and getting more.”

Tom Durkin lives in the area and he and his family have used the bike lanes since they were installed in the 1980s. His son graduated from Cleveland High and rode his bike on them everyday. Durkin is worried that if the lanes come out, people will still use them. “This is a traditional bike route and people know it’s here. For them to take away this infrastructure is unconscionable.” “I think people will continue to ride on the road here,” he continued, “And it will be unsafe.”

30-year-old Mt. Tabor area resident Andew Demarrias agreed with Durkin. “If they take it out I don’t think it will stop bike use, it’ll just make it more dangerous,” he said. “It sounds like flawed logic. They make the assumption that removing things will push people to other places. But really, this is the most convenient thoroughfare. People aren’t going to stop using it. You’ve really got to make both of them safe.”

So far no date has been announced for the removal. As for next steps, The Street Trust’s Detweiler says, “I’m hopeful we can get the plans revised.”

Here are a few more photos from the event:

That’s River City Bicycles owner David Guettler in white and former Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Chair Jerry Zelada on his left.

Dan and Lucas Kaufman.

For more on this story, see our archives. And stay tuned, we’ve got more reporting on this coming soon.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Corporate ties to assault rifles and NRA spark boycotts of Giro, Bell, CamelBak and Blackburn

Bike Portland - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 09:25

Bicycling friends: Did you know that @Giro, Bell, @CamelBak, Copilot and a few other bike gear brands that you may enjoy are owned by @VistaOutdoorInc, America's largest manufacturer of ammunition? https://t.co/BGXEjEvgvo

— Aaron Naparstek (@Naparstek) February 21, 2018

Last night Aaron Naparstek shared via a Twitter thread that Vista Outdoor — parent company of many well-known bicycle product brands like CamelBak, Giro, Bell, CoPilot, and Blackburn — also owns brands that sell assault weapons and ammunition. Moreover, the company is a proud supporter of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Vista Outdoor and Action Sports Logos (PRNewsFoto/Vista Outdoor Inc.)

Given the current tenor and seriousness around the gun control issue, the news has spread quickly in cycling circles with some people calling for a boycott.

And the facts check out.

Vista Outdoor owns 50 different brands. Their core business is their “shooting sports” division. Rifles, rifle accessories, and ammunition make up over 75 percent of their revenue, which is expected to reach $2.4 billion in 2018. One stock analyst said Vista is the largest seller of ammunition in America with 40 percent of the total market.

The company rode what Mother Jones referred to as “the Barack boom” in firearm sales, capitalizing on people who feared Obama and Democrats would severely restrict gun rights. And Vista’s sales soared after high-profile mass shootings with profits skyrocketing from $10 to $64 million the year after Sandy Hook.

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(Graphic via Seeking Alpha)

In early 2015 Vista was hailed as the, “biggest company in the outdoor recreation sector,” by the NRA’s American Rifleman magazine. But in the past few years they’ve purchased several non-gun-related brands in a bid to diversify their business.

In July 2015 they bought CamelBak for $412.5 million. Then in February 2016 they purchased Bell, Giro and Blackburn for $400 million. By early 2017 however, the company’s revenue began to decline. In the first quarter of that year overall sales went down 5 percent and their stock sank nearly 30 percent. Shooting division sales plunged nearly 20 percent and the company laid off 57 employees. Why? Their CEO blamed the election of Donald Trump and the lack of fear from Democratic rule.

By November of last year Vista saw a 13 percent decrease in revenue and announced plans to sell the Bollé brand, because their CEO said it was, “not core to our business.” Now Vista’s stock is in freefall with shares falling 62 percent in 2017.

With their shooting sports business hurting badly, Naparstek thinks boycotting their bike-related brands “could really hurt them.” Several of our friends on Twitter have said they will, reluctantly, stop buying Vista-owned brands completely.

“I own products from several of these brands and I’ll continue to use them,” said Portlander Andy Kutansky, “but I’ll take a hard look when it’s time to replace – and I urge everyone to do the same.”

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Marine Drive is latest ‘High Crash Corridor’ to get speed camera enforcement

Bike Portland - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 15:44

Marine Drive is a very popular corridor, and people drive way too fast on it. Hopefully that’s about to change.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)


Slow down!

Current locations of speed cameras

  • SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway (between Hillsdale Town Center and SW Shattuck Road)
  • SE Division Street (between 148th and 162nd)
  • SE 122nd Avenue (between Foster and Holgate)
  • NE Marine Drive (eastbound near NE 33rd Drive, westbound near NE 138th Ave.)

*via PBOT’s Speed Safety Camera web page

24/7 speed enforcement is now a reality on one of Portland’s most dangerous roads. After years of deadly crashes, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has just flipped the switch on two speed enforcement cameras on NE Marine Drive. The cameras started issuing warnings today and citations will start being mailed to violators on March 22nd.

PBOT has installed the cameras in two locations along Marine Drive where drivers have well-documented speeding problems. At NE 33rd Avenue, where a traffic study found 995 people a day driving at least 10 mph over the 40 mph speed limit. And at NE 138th, where PBOT found 485 people driving over 10 mph over the 45 mph speed limit every day. Underscoring the speeding problem on Marine Drive is the fact that the design of the road is very wide-open. Because it’s on a levee where buildings and other structures are few and far between, there’s very little visual clutter. That makes road users go way too fast. Add in the fact that there are very few traffic signals and a relatively narrow cross-section with just one lane in each direction in addition to bike lanes — and you have the recipe for disaster.

According to PBOT, the percentage of “lane departure” crashes on Marine Drive is more than three times higher than the citywide rate.

All of this is especially worrying because of the role Marine Drive plays as a gateway to popular riding destinations in the Columbia River Gorge.

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With a road this straight and uncluttered, we need a lot more than just clever striping and rumble strips.

Marine Drive is the fourth street to get what PBOT calls a “speed safety camera” (“safety” added for better public relations) after their successful lobbying for a state law in 2015 that gives the authority to install them. The first one was installed on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway in 2016. And last year the city installed cameras on SE Division and SE 122nd. All these streets are on an infamous list of High Crash Corridors — roads that make up just eight percent of Portland’s streets but account for 57 percent of our fatal crashes.

Looks intimidating. Good.
(Photo: PBOT)

“Safety cameras are one of the best tools we have for slowing down traffic and saving lives,” PBOT Director Leah Treat said in a statement released yesterday.

The results of existing speed cameras speak for themselves: PBOT claims that the amount of people who speed on SE 122nd decreased by 91 percent after cameras were installed. The number dropped by 71 percent on Division.

This is really great news.

Another bonus: State law requires that all the money received from speed camera tickets must either go back into the program or pay for safety projects on High Crash Corridors.

Learn more about PBOT’s efforts to improve the safety of Marine Drive on their website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Texas-based bicycle writer killed in roadside crash

Biking Bis - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 13:37
Freelance bicycle writer Andrew Tilin was killed on the shoulder of a Texas highway last week after he had pulled off the road to fix a flat tire. Tilin’s writings appeared in Outside magazine and elsewhere. He’s also known his book, “The Doper Next Door,” about his experiences doping with testosterone while competing as an …

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Advocates will rally to save bike lanes on SE 26th Avenue tonight

Bike Portland - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 12:36

Flyer for tonight’s rally by The Street Trust.

The Street Trust will host a rally this snowy evening at 5:30 pm Powell Park to show support for the bike lanes on SE 26th Avenue.

The saga on this street (which we’ve been reporting on since 2015) has opened up an important debate over whether narrow bike lanes are better than no bike lanes at all — and whether having a safer bikeway two blocks away is a reasonable justification for getting rid of one. It also shows just how far the City of Portland is willing to go to stay in good graces with its powerful state partner, the Oregon Department of Transportation.

PBOT has colored the narrow bike lane and added bike boxes at Powell.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

As we reported earlier this month, the removal of these bike lanes is imminent because the Oregon Department of Transportation has deemed them unsafe. The Portland Bureau of Transportation also signed an agreement with ODOT that they’d removed the bike lanes in exchange for the permit needed to put a new crossing and signal on state-controlled SE Powell at 28th. Beyond that permit agreement however, ODOT has been unable to cite any research or statistical analysis to justify their decision. ODOT reasons that simply by encouraging people to avoid using 26th, they are making cycling safer.

The Street Trust however, calls the 26th Avenue bike lanes, “a critical piece of bike safety infrastructure located directly outside Cleveland High School.” As such, the organization says, “We must do everything we can” to prevent their removal. A former leader of The Street Trust said they’d even consider a lawsuit if necessary. A petition started by The Street Trust earlier this month has been signed by 1,000 people.

So far it appears ODOT is unswayed. Asked again last week for a specific justification for requiring PBOT to remove the lanes (the street is owned and managed by the City of Portland), ODOT told us via email that the existing lanes, “Provide a false sense of security and are worse than having no marked bike lanes at all.”

Here’s more from ODOT’s response:

“Bicyclists currently are drawn into a dangerous intersection at 26th and Powell – one with a history of bike crashes. ODOT worked with PBOT on their 20’s Bikeway project, and we together agreed to the new bike/ped signal at SE 28th that provides a better, safer crossing. Consistent with transportation agencies around the country, ODOT is closing unsafe pedestrian crossings and making changes in vehicle traffic flow to avoid situations that compromise safety.”

The bike lanes are definitely substandard and have a width of just three feet for 130-feet immediately north and south of Powell Blvd. Beyond that they widen to just 4.5 feet. 26th itself doesn’t have a bad crash safety record, it’s the intersection at Powell that’s problematic (and PBOT has already added green bike boxes there). Even still, ODOT claims the street would be better off without the bike lanes.

The question remains: Will getting rid of the safest vehicle users and giving more space to the most dangerous ones really improve safety?

Opinions are mixed.

Some people who ride bikes say it’s not that big of a deal and they’re happy to use the safer bikeway on 28th. “As someone who lives and commutes through the area, I’m failing to see the reason for the outrage,” wrote a commenter named Jeff. “At this point, why wouldn’t you choose to ride on 28th?” And on Twitter this morning, Rich Posert told us, “I’m not sure I agree we need or want the lanes on 26th to stay.”

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In an opinion piece we published this morning, reader Kiel Johnson shared his opposition to ODOT’s decision. He feels it’s just the latest sign that ODOT leadership needs a major shake-up:

“How did the city that once served as the national beacon in innovative transportation policy get to a point where we are reactively removing bike lanes with no justification? This is a question that I hope the elected officials who oversee ODOT think deeply about. The lack of vision and a culture that apparently does not value facts or community input ultimately falls with the director of ODOT in Portland, Rian Windsheimer.

We all love Portland because of its livability. Today one of the biggest local institutional obstacles to that is the reductionist and reactionary culture at ODOT. A culture that is willing to trade safety of intersections around like baseball cards. For Portland to become the city it can be, where livability is shared equally among all the people who live here, ODOT needs to change. Keep the bike lane on 26th and show Mr. Windsheimer the door.”

What about PBOT? After all, it’s their bike lanes they’re being told to remove. ODOT’s statements make it seem like the city is in lockstep with them on this issue. But that’s not the case. Yes, the city’s official line is one of agreement with ODOT. That’s predictable because PBOT not only signed on the dotted line and made a promise to remove the lanes, they also know ODOT holds considerable power and pursestrings and it’s not politically smart to pick a fight over this.

But it’s also clear PBOT has mixed feelings.

Citing a traffic analysis taken after the new crossing on 28th was installed (we’ve requested that data), a PBOT spokesperson told us on February 6th that, “PBOT believes there was evidence to justify the State Engineer to reconsider his decision and leave the bike lanes in place.” (Last week we asked ODOT to respond to that statement. They said, “The data was reviewed by ODOT Region 1 decision makers including both the Region and State Traffic engineers and found to be inconclusive and did not provide sufficient justification for reversing the decision to remove the bike lanes.”)

And let’s not forget the difference of opinion shared by PBOT’s lead bike planner Roger Geller when this issue first popped up. “The research on safety seems clear,” Geller said in a letter to the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee in 2015. “There is a safety benefit to having bicycle lanes on the roadway—even at only 3’ wide. This safety benefit is not just for people bicycling on the street but also for people driving on the street.” He then cited four studies to prove his point and concluded the letter by writing, “Would the street operate more safely without bicycle lanes than with? Based on the evidence I’d have to say no.”

ODOT spokesperson Don Hamilton dismissed these disagreements when I brought them up in a phone call last week. “That’s not what we’re hearing form PBOT,” he told me. Hamilton acknowledged that bicycle users are bearing a heavier amount of burden due to ODOT’s decision, but he maintains the agency is just trying to, “Make this safer for everybody involved.” “And part of that,” he continued, “is to move the bike lanes to a safer location.”

“We’re not banning anybody from crossing Powell from 26th, we just don’t want to encourage it.”

PBOT Commissioner Dan Saltzman tells us he’s aware of the issue. His Senior Policy Director Matt Grumm said PBOT was hoping to do more thorough counts in spring. “The commissioner is disappointed that ODOT is requiring PBOT to remove these lanes before the spring when PBOT could conduct more realistic counts,” Grumm shared via email. “We’ve also come to understand that PBOT and ODOT do these counts differently with PBOT counting bikes and ped, but ODOT only counting bikes.”

But similar to PBOT, Grumm said Commissioner Saltzman’s hands are tied. “The commissioner supports PBOT following through on their commitments as integrity is key to any relationship and the one between PBOT and ODOT is already challenging. It would be seriously impacted if one party believes the other has not followed through on their commitment.”

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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How to keep little bike passengers cozy in the cold

Bike Portland - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 10:40

Lots of layers is a good start; but there’s much more to keeping them comfortable.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

You’ve decided to start biking more with your little ones. You’ve found routes that work for you. You’ve got your bike set-up figured out.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

And then you look outside and realize it’s 35 degrees.

Pedaling my heavy bike keeps me warm, but it’s a different story for my non-pedaling passengers. They need at least one extra layer when it’s cold outside. That’s one of the many things I’ve learned over the years.

As we get our first major snow storm of the year, this week’s post is all about how to stay warm and dry while biking with kids. First, I’ll go over the things you can put on your bike, then I’ll share the things you can (hopefully) put on your kids.

Trailers

Two blankets and a dog make the trailer toasty warm.

Most trailers are enclosed so they’re both warmer than exposed bike seats and great at containing layers–just toss in blankets, large stuffed animals, warm-blooded pets, you name it!

Even when the trailer was no longer part of our main family bike, I loved it — especially on cold days.

Canopies for box and bucket-style cargo bikes

A bakfiets with canopy keeps passengers comfy.

Many cargo bikes and cargo trikes have weather canopies. These are optional and if the manufacturer doesn’t make one, local company BlaqPaks has covers ready for many bike models and they’ll even make custom canopies (check out this 2013 BikePortland profile for more). Cargo bike specialty shops like Clever Cycles and Splendid Cycles can also help keep your precious cargo covered.

Windscreens

Bobike Mini front kid seat with wind screen.

Ordering the windscreen (also called a fairing) for my first kid seat was one of the best things I ever did. It kept each kid comfortable in cold, wind, and rain from ages one to three. Front seats that work with a windscreen include: Bobike Mini, Yepp Mini, and Thule RideAlong Mini.

There are also windscreens for the whole bike by Velotop. The classic versions will cover any front kid seat and the family version protects a kid in a rear seat.

Handlebar mittens

Handlebar mittens come as sets of two and work fine with shifters and brakes, though my kids like keeping their shifters visible.

Before I put an Xtracycle Hooptie on my cargo bike, my front kid held onto stoker bars to which I applied handlebar mittens. In my photo below, the kids are using black neoprene Bar Mitts and locally-made Portland Pogies (waterproof and fuzzy inside!). These are best paired with thin gloves underneath for any time spent outdoors off the bike. Bar Mitts Baby Jogger Stroller Mitts fit on longtail and midtail roll bars like my Xtracycle Hooptie.

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Anything metal is going to be cold to the touch and transfer a chill through gloves and mittens. Stoker bars can be wrapped in handlebar tape or covered with grips. Roll bars (like my older model Xtracycle Hooptie) are good to cover with pipe insulation or handlebar tape. If a kid leg rests against part of the bike frame, consider covering that with pipe insulation, too.

DIY covers

Most toddlers like these DIY bike seat covers.

When I got my cargo bike my younger son really missed his front seat windscreen so I made him a new one. Following a couple tutorials, I zip tied half-inch PVC pipe in an arch above his Yepp Maxi seat (which conveniently already has holes in it, otherwise I’d have had to do some drilling). To this I zip tied the sun canopy from a handed down umbrella stroller and then draped my jogging stroller rain cover over it all. He hated it. I think he may have liked it better with a clear stroller cover. So we didn’t use it, but I gave it all to a friend whose daughter appreciated it.

One of the things I like best about cargo bikes is they provide so much surface area for attaching stuff. Roll bars work well for longtail DIY covers, and someday there will probably be a mass market option or two.

Hamper as canopy prototype on a longtail cargo bike.

Before MADSEN made a soft top, some owners made their own.

Outer layers

Newt Suit and rain boots all day, every day.

I love one-piece rain suits for toddlers. We had MEC Newt Suits from a visit to Vancouver. Available in the US are the Tuffo Muddy Buddy that goes up to size 5T and the Oaki One-Piece Rain Suit that goes up to size 8/9. Our rain suits ran a bit big so there was room to layer up underneath them for even the coldest days. I was initially sad when my kids outgrew their Newt Suits, but two piece coverage (rain paints and rain jackets) proved easier for visiting restrooms solo and getting uncovered and in the door on time for elementary school. (And why yes, there is an adult Muddy Buddy, the dirtlej commutesuit.)

I’ve never seen a used one-piece rain suit, but we’ve found all our snow suits, snow pants, snow bibs, and snow jackets in thrift stores.

For footwear I like rain boots and snow boots equally, and most of ours we’ve found at thrift stores.

Mittens are warmer than gloves, but we use either. Between growing kid hands and disappearing gloves we seem to need a new set each year. This year we found two pairs of gloves and one pair of mittens (I only have two kids, but I like having a spare pair) at the local grocery store after our closest thrift store didn’t pan out.

Layer with spare adult jackets and blankets

Adult snow jacket makes for a cozy cocoon.

The best part about kids being passengers is being able to make them as bulky as necessary with no worry of pedaling and steering being impaired. I liked using an old snowboard jacket backwards on my rear deck passenger. It was big enough to zip around the back of the seat and pulling the arms through the big hole at the back of the Yepp seat kept the top of it in place.

Adult coats also make good extra layers worn forward for kids sitting on benches, decks, and trailer bikes. I’ve often had to give up my coat when we were unprepared for the weather. I also like using an old thin rain jacket as a kid leg apron for extra warmth or in rain, and some even drape down low enough to cover ankles and feet.

Gave my wool coat to a cold passenger.

Get creative! In a pinch, a reusable shopping bag will keep cold feet a bit warmer if you’re stuck far from home with a miserable passenger.

At one point we had a kid-sized Slanket (The Original Blanket with Sleeves) and while I adored the thing the kid didn’t, so I chopped it up to make a couple Halloween costumes and a dog sweater. I still approve of them as good bike layers, though.

Blankets are great, but Slankets are great with sleeves!

Any layer is warm, but a waterproof layer is particularly good since it’ll block wind and rain, too. I’ve used beach towels in a pinch, but prefer a picnic blanket as a cape–secured with a hair tie or Gear Tie reusable rubber twist tie.

Picnic blanket cape to the rescue in an unexpected downpour. (And spare socks as mittens.)

Blankets and buntings designed to work with strollers are also great on bikes.

For cold noggins

Ski helmets and goggles keep heads warm.

We already have snowboarding helmets and goggles so I break those out if it gets really cold. My kids don’t like wearing their balaclavas (even when I call them “ninja masks,” though for many kids that does the trick) so they usually wear knit caps under their bike helmets. Sweatshirt hoods under helmets and/or jacket hoods over helmets can also keep heads and ears warm. I have a set of hand-knit helmet earmuffs I attach to my own helmet straps when it’s coldest, and have considered getting Nutcase Insulation Ear Pads (which will fit any helmet) for the kids if they start complaining of cold ears.

Base layers

Merino wool! We don’t have fancy kid baselayers (just the usual uniform of sweatpants and t-shirts), but I’m a fan of merino wool. Many friends find their merino wool baselayers on Sierra Trading Post and while I don’t see merino wool in the Sierra Trading Post: kids baselayer search results now, there are non-wool options for cheap.

I’ve invested in wool socks for the kids over the years and encourage them to wear them on long days, but they’re usually fine in regular cotton socks.

Heat packs

Reusable heat packs when your layers aren’t enough.

Not nearly as small as the throw-away chemical heat packs, reusable hand warmers, like my HotSnapZ, are good for thawing frozen fingers. They’re a bit big to stuff into mittens or socks (unlike the non-reusable ones) so we usually use them when stopped for a snack break.

A word of warning

Actually two words, the first of which is wind. Anything big on your bike will catch the wind on a breezy day. Weather shields can make all the difference for biking year-round, but might dictate which routes you take on windy days. Weather shields are fairly easy to remove and install, but once kids get used to sitting under them, it’s not reasonable to remove them until fall/winter/spring is over.

Warning part two: as with anything carried on your bike, be cautious about things that might droop or fall and get tangled up with the moving parts of your bike. Tuck in blankets and securely knot scarfs.

Help!

You’ve got the kid, you’ve got the layers, but you’re having trouble getting the layers on the kid?

  • I’ve had a lot of luck with silly substitutions, like wool socks in place of mittens (bring the mittens along, and extra socks to double up on sock mittens if necessary).
  • Is your kid part dog like mine? Stressing the importance of keeping a tail warm can make all the difference.
  • Work towards layers, like sunglasses instead of ski goggles for a week.
  • Costume as extra layer: three years ago I had a kid who wore a Blue Angels flight suit as often as possible which made for his warmest two winters ever.
  • Pack along extra layers (or be prepared to shed your own). I’m often shedding my socks to cover cold kid paws, or sacrificing my rain chaps to cold legs.

Thanks for reading! Please add your own tips and favorite solutions in the comments below.

We’d love to see what works for you! Please send a photo and brief description to me at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com so we can share on social media and feature them in future columns.

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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Beyond Trails: Atacama

Bike Hugger - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 10:30

Beyond Trails: Atacama follows the ambitious human-powered adventure of Lorraine Blancher and Robin Munshaw as they embark on a multi-day bikepacking expedition through unmapped trails and canyons in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile.

The Atacama Desert, known to be the driest non-polar region on earth, is a barren and inhospitable place.

As mountain bike explorers, the endless kilometers of natural ridgelines scattered with unmapped wild trails and historic salt trade routes created by earlier civilizations offered adventure and challenge beyond the confinement of traditional mountain bike trail networks.

Every new trail you travel on or off the beaten path brings uncertainty. Riding bikes in a place like this forces you to pay attention to the terrain, listen closely to suggestions on how to move through it. Instead of success and failure you became to think in terms of adaptation and forward motion.

We’re fans and travel with Osprey packs; of interest too, are the Scotts Blancher and Munshaw are riding. I rode Scott’s Genius a couple seasons ago in Deer Valley.

 

The post Beyond Trails: Atacama appeared first on Bike Hugger.

How are the Burnside Bridge construction zone changes treating you?

Bike Portland - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 15:48

Dedicated bike lanes on the Burnside Bridge are closed while the County does repairs.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A two-year project to repair and upgrade the Burnside Bridge has started and it’s having an impact on everyone who uses it.

For bicycle users, the changes are mixed: In one direction conditions are much more cramped, in the other, some say it’s actually better than before.

Pre-construction conditions on the bridge were four five standard lanes (two westbound, three eastbound), two unprotected bike-only lanes, and sidewalks on both sides. Due to the need to stage equipment, the county has changed the configuration to: three standard lanes (two eastbound, one westbound); one physically protected, eight-foot wide walking and rolling lane on the south side; and a narrower shared sidewalk on the north side.

There was some talk at the County about having two standard lanes and making a dedicated bike lane on the bridge, but the City of Portland wanted to keep two eastbound lanes to have more capacity for drivers leaving downtown at the end of the workday.

I observed the bridge during the evening peak and saw major congestion on the road. From northwest, across the river to northeast, Burnside was all brake lights. Every time I see this daily gridlock I wonder, “Why the hell do we still make it so cheap and easy for people to drive such large and socially awkward motorized vehicles into our city?”:

The sidewalk headed into downtown wasn’t as congested, but the mixing of bicycle users with a steady stream of walkers was difficult:

(County has added new markings to help organize sidewalk users.)

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The shared protected lane on the south side of the bridge was much nicer to navigate. While it’s not nearly wide enough to mix bikers and walkers, the concrete jersey barrier protected makes a huge difference. I’m very happy that many people will get a sense of what real protection feels like (not the plastic wands or parked cars or measly stripes of paint they’re used to).

(The south side of the bridge (which most people use going eastbound), is arguably better because it has a relatively wide — physically protected space to ride.)

(Look at all those people in those large steel boxes. It’s a shame we can’t entice more them to quit the habit.)

We asked for feedback on Instragram ealier today from folks who’ve ridden it. Here’s what we’ve heard:

gabrielamadeus: It is such crap. I can’t believe the width is to code around the light posts.

nwsatire: I don’t. Back to the Hawthorne Bridge.

ambpdx: The physical separation from cars on the south side is awesome!

barnharty: I bike westbound every morning before sunrise and it is sometimes fine, sometimes extremely dangerous. Sometimes people refuse to move over and I’ve almost been hit by a person swinging their backpack, which would’ve easily knocked me into the car lane. I don’t feel that nervous on it because I’m a pretty experienced cyclists and I trust my handling and everything, but I can imagine it would be scary for someone new to biking. Overall it’s ridiculous that it is someone’s official plan. Someone probably got paid quite a bit of money to decide what is the best and safest way to go about things and This is what they came up with.

sheena_longbo: I bike westbound in the morning when it is still dark, and I have actually had to get off of my bike and walk it into the road to pass people taking up the whole sidewalk with large garbage bags/weaving when they walk. For the most part I haven’t had many issues but I feel like it wouldn’t take much for someone to cause a cyclist to fall into traffic, or if someone did want to harm someone it would be difficult to get away from them.

ky_berg: I cannot state strongly enough: someone is going to be killed riding west on that sidewalk. I am riding west in the vehicle lane and square in the middle of it and you should too. The current model is unacceptable!

justinparty: South side is actually quite wonderful. North side is pretty rough, especially at the light poles. Communication is key, but people gotta ditch the headphones. Sometimes I ring a couple times and give an “on your left” only to still scare the shit out of them when I ride by.

cgerlt: The north side is cramped especially around the many poles. Will be worse with increased summer foot and bike traffic. South side is fine, a little more room and no poles!

And a reader who works as a messenger on weekends sent us a photo of three young people walking shoulder-to-shoulder on the sidewalk. “This is a regular sight on the weekends when I’m working and forced to ride in the lane because they are too busy taking selfies,” he wrote. “Having to ride to the far left of the sidewalk with pedestrians on a bridge where traffic usually gets above 30 mph is just silly… It’s just bad planning.”

Do you ride this bridge? How are the changes treating you?

I’ll send this post to Multnomah County just to make sure they’re aware of the feedback.

[NOTE: This story was originally posted on 2/15 but due to a technical glitch the comments section didn’t display until 2/19. Sorry for the inconvenience.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Chris Billman is the only Oregonian with a disabled parking decal for his bicycle

Bike Portland - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 15:04

It’s not a bike, it’s a personal mobility device.
(Photos: Chris Billman)

61-year-old Forest Grove resident Chris Billman got a new lease on life when he discovered cycling.

He was born with scoliosis and suffers from a litany of degenerative issues including spinal stenosis and liver disease. He needs a cane to walk, and when he does, his legs can go numb.

But put his feet on pedals and everything changes.

Billman started riding years ago by putting upright “chopper” handlebars on a Schwinn 10-speed — a fine set-up for cruising around the neighborhood. Then in 2015 he invested in a recumbent and everything changed. “I was off and flying!” he told me during a phone call earlier this week in the voice of someone decades younger.

“They wanted to give me drugs, but the bicycle is better than opiates!”
— Chris Billman

“When I get on the bike I’m bent over like a pretzel,” he said. “But after I get on it my back is straight. If I can do that twice a week I’m in good shape. They wanted to give me drugs, but the bicycle is better than opiates!”

In fact they’re not just bicycles, they’re his personal mobility devices as defined by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Billman is currently the only Oregon resident with a disabled permit decal for his bicycle.

The bikes Billman rides are recumbents with electric-assist motors to make pedaling easier. His tandem Gulfstream (which he rides with his wife Barbara) is 17-feet long with the cargo trailer attached and his single-seat Slipstream is 12-feet long.

Chris and Barbara Billman.


But as the Billmans expanded their cycling horizons, they realized they weren’t welcome everywhere. A trip to ride carfree McKenzie Pass was met with a locked gate they couldn’t maneuver around without a struggle and damage to their bike. When they rolled up to the Banks-Vernonia Trail a sign greeted them with: “No motorized vehicles beyond this point.” And when they tried to run errands around town they quickly found that no bike racks on sidewalks could accommodate their relatively long vehicle.

“Why don’t they make it easier to get around that gate?”, “Why can’t I use that trail?”, “Why can’t I just park in a handicap parking stall?” Billman thought.

Given that his bikes are mobility devices and a mode of transportation, Billman wanted better access. No stranger to disability rights activism (he fought for more handicap parking at a City of Forest Grove parking lot in 2013), Billman began to research the issue.

He was able to guarantee his right to use the Banks-Vernonia State Trail by telling rangers his bicycle qualified as a mobility device under the American with Disabilities Act. Billman pointed out the section of the law that grants accces to “Other power-driven mobility devices” which are defined as, “any mobility device powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines… that is used by individuals with mobility disabilities for the purpose of locomotion, including golf cars, electronic personal assistance mobility devices… or any mobility device designed to operate in areas without defined pedestrian routes, but that is not a wheelchair.”

“The definition of an electric assisted bicycle can reasonably be described as being similar to a motorcycle.”
— David House, Oregon DMV

With federal law on his side and an impressive familiarity with the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS), Billman turned his attention to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

In late 2015 Billman applied for an ADA decal for his bike. “It was like asking for a golden egg,” he shared. After a bit of back-and-forth where Billman said he “Had to throw around the ORS and OAR [Oregon Administrative Rules],” he eventually received it.

DMV spokesman David House recalled Billman’s case when we asked him about it last week. He says the decision has limited reach and doesn’t apply to all bicycles.

“We approved it by reasoning that since OAR [Oregon Administrative Rule] 735-080-0050(3) allows DMV to issue decals to ‘motorcycles, golf carts or other similar vehicles,’” House wrote in an email to BikePortland last week. “And the ORS 801.258 definition of an electric assisted bicycle can reasonably be described as being similar to a motorcycle.”

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The DMV then issued this memo to Oregon law enforcement agencies in 2015:

“DMV has made a determination to issue disabled person parking decals to motorized recumbent bicycles and 3 or 4 wheel motorized mobility scooters for disabled individuals. Non-motorized recumbent bicycles are not qualified for the issuance of these decals. The decal numbers will reflect on the persons driving record for parking enforcement purposes.”

House made it clear to us that the DMV’s decision is only applicable to electric-assist recumbent bikes. “DMV does not issue ADA parking permits to bicycles.”

“We bought a badass bicycle, we decked it out, we’ve got a 50-amp motor and plenty of solar power… We can go anywhere.”
— Chris Billman

Billman’s first request set a precedent; but he wasn’t finished. A year later he began using a new recumbent and needed a second decal. Strangely, it was actually harder to get than the first one.

Oregon law allows for one disabled parking placard (the hanging ones that hook onto the rear-view mirror of a car) and one extra decal. When he got a new recumbent and requested a second decal, the DMV initially declined.

A rejection letter to Billman from the DMV’s Driver Issuance Unit in September 2017 stated that, “Bikes, including E-bikes, do not meet the definition of a vehicle for the purpose of issuing a disabled parking permit.”

Billman claims he was also rebuffed in his request for a second decal at a local DMV office by a staff person who said he’d have to “Go down to Salem,” to take care of the problem.

Another DMV staffer told him last in October that he could only have one extra decal. “You will need to decide which bike you would like the decal to be placed on,” the staffer wrote in an email.

But Billman would not be denied.

If at first you don’t succeed…

“Your decision to force me into making a choice of what vehicle I would like the protection of the DMV/ADA decal on is uncalled for,” Billman replied. He felt the rules were biased in favor of people who drive automobiles. “The choice of having only one mobility device with an ADA decal is not forced on anyone else but the disabled whom don’t want to use a vehicle with registration fees attached to it,” Billman continued in a follow-up email.

Then he made his case using ORS 814.400, “Application of vehicle laws to bicycles”. “ORS 814.400 is clear in the first line the where it says the ‘same rights’,” Billman wrote. “And parking an oversized recumbent, pedal-assisted mobility device is not on the list [of exceptions]… Oregon ODOT receives funds from the Feds for ADA-related compliance, I think this is a clear ADA compliance issue… This is a quality-of-life dilemma you created and have forced me into,” he continued. “The stress from having to choose whether I want my one or two seat unit protected is uncalled for.”

Two months later, his second decal arrived in the mail.

Billman was pleased, but was also struck how the letter that accompanied the decal made no reference to the broader issues. “Nobody admitted anything. Nobody said, ‘Oh gosh, we’ve been denying people this right all alon. We’re not even sorry about it. We’re not even going to recognize that it happened. Here’s your sticker and go away.'”

I asked DMV spokesperson David House why he was initially a decal two years after the agency gave him one. “This is new territory for us, because this the only customer in this situation who has made a request to DMV,” House replied. Here’s the rest of House’s response:

“It’s no surprise that there was a second denial letter because the situation is one-of-a-kind and requires manual work by a data processing coordinator at DMV to add it to the record – and authorization by a manager to make such a manual change. (This is important so that law and parking enforcement can verify the decal electronically.) So we need to work with this customer individually because it is a unique situation each time a request for a decal is made.”

While it’s nice that the DMV was flexible with Billman case, the question remains why they don’t make this a standard operating procedure. There are surely other Oregonians in Billman’s who won’t go the extra mile to receive a decal. Or, as Billman put it during our phone call. “How many people just get denied and then give up?”

Billman has the passion and persistence that are hallmarks of an effective advocate. And there are a lot of other things he’d like to change (like making bikeways fall under ADA regulations for quality and accessiblity). It’s all about accessibility and staying independent as long as possible.

“TriMet spends millions of dollars to send a little bus out to your house [referring to their Lift service], as long as you get in the wheelchair. But to me, it’s about staying out of the wheelchair. I don’t want to get into one! That’s not transportation — that’s keeping people more-or-less captive,” he shared with me in a phone cal. last week. “I’m a 61-year-old man who’s been independent all my life and now I have to call up someone 48 hours in advance to take me into town? Screw you! I don’t want it! We bought a badass bicycle, we decked it out, we’ve got a 50-amp motor and plenty of solar power… We can go anywhere.”

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Opinion: To make Portland safer, ODOT’s Rian Windsheimer must go

Bike Portland - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 13:00

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post is written by Kiel Johnson, owner of the Go By Bike bike valet in South Waterfront.

The Oregon Department of Transportation, under the leadership of Rian Windsheimer, is trying to remove a bike lane on SE 26th without providing any satisfying reasons as to why this is a good idea. This should alarm anyone who thinks that Portland should be safer for bikes and that our transportation system should be designed around evidence. From favoring auto capacity over transit, to spending $450 million to widen a freeway while many of the most dangerous streets that are under state control lack safe crossings, ODOT has repeatedly proven they are not acting in the best interests of the people of Portland. If ODOT is going to regain the trust of the community they serve, there needs to be a cultural change at ODOT that starts at the top. The director of ODOT who oversees Portland, Rian Windsheimer, must go.

With the same logic and determination as your Fox News-watching uncle who is still upset about Hillary Clinton’s emails, ODOT has repeatedly called for the removal of the SE 26th ave bike lane. Their original reasoning was that ODOT would only let Portland make another intersection safe if ODOT got to make 26th less safe. ODOT is happy to have a transportation network where bikes and pedestrians are secondary and do not have the same right to public right of way as someone in an automobile. While it normally takes months of outreach and neighborhood open houses to add a bike lane, zero community involvement is required to take one away. The only community participation is a letter the Street Trust created asking for the bike lanes to remain.

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How did the city that once served as the national beacon in innovative transportation policy get to a point where we are reactively removing bike lanes with no justification? This is a question that I hope the elected officials who oversee ODOT think deeply about. The lack of vision and a culture that apparently does not value facts or community input ultimately falls with the director of ODOT in Portland, Rian Windsheimer.

We all love Portland because of its livability. Today one of the biggest local institutional obstacles to that is the reductionist and reactionary culture at ODOT. A culture that is willing to trade safety of intersections around like baseball cards. For Portland to become the city it can be, where livability is shared equally among all the people who live here, ODOT needs to change. Keep the bike lane on 26th and show Mr. Windsheimer the door.

If you want to show support for the SE 26th Avenue bike lane, come to rally on Tuesday (2/20) at 5:30 pm.

— Kiel Johnson, @go_by_bike on Twitter

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The post Opinion: To make Portland safer, ODOT’s Rian Windsheimer must go appeared first on BikePortland.org.

The Monday Roundup: Our helmet fixation, safer trucks, busy biking bridges, and more

Bike Portland - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:27

Welcome to the week.

We have just recovered from a pretty nasty battle with server bots and gremlins that took the site down last week. I apologize for the temporary lack of site access and then the lack of a comment section on many posts. Thankfully we appear to be past the problems (knocking on my wooden desk). Please let me know if you see something strange, and it don’t look good. One more thing… As part of those server issues, we’ve had to ditch our old “Related Posts” tool. We hope to find a replacement shortly.

Here are the most notable stories we came across in the past seven days…

Safer trucks for cities: Treehugger has the lowdown on a new model of Mercedes cement/garbage truck that was designed specifically to see other road users on crowded streetscapes.

The American “helmet fixation”: Newly published research from German scientist Gregg Culver makes a convincing case that America is less safe because of our “helmet fixation” which is “ultimately tied to the (re)production of unfettered automobility, and that it arguably hampers efforts to actually improve bicycle safety.”

Victim-blaming fixation: The city of Montclair, California has passed an ordinance banning the use of phones and earbuds while crossing the street.

Cars and Hollywood: What we see in films matters, and Mobility Lab says two reasons we see so much car use (and not transit) are ease of filming and product placement.

E-bikes akin to cars: Another week, another mainstream media article touting how awesome e-bikes are. This one is notable because of how it shifts the frame from seeing e-bike riders “cheaters” to seeing them as evolved drivers.

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Seattle fights car abuse: Our neighbors to the north are celebrating transit ridership growth while drive-alone commute trips are falling. That’s the opposite of what’s happening in Portland.

Free transit in Germany: To reach pollution targets set by the EU, Germany is set to try free public transit in five of its cities.

ODOT and the ADA: 97 percent of the 26,000 curb ramps inspected in a survey conducted by Disability Rights Oregon did not meet ADA standards. (via The Oregonian)

More bad news about ODOT: The venerable Strong Towns podcast takes on none other than the Oregon Department of Transportation for their abysmal, auto-centric road designs that make tragedies inevitable.

Busiest bike bridge: Portland-based transportation planner Ray Delahanty crunched some numbers and ranked bike traffic volumes on North America’s bridges. Portland’s Hawthorne ranked only sixth. “Oh how the might have fallen,” Delahanty quipped.

It’s the automakers’ problem, not ours: New report states that bicycle users are “the most difficult detection problem” for self-driving cars — as if that’s somehow different than traditional cars.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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The post The Monday Roundup: Our helmet fixation, safer trucks, busy biking bridges, and more appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Zoobomb’s Ben Hurt Chariot Wars – Photo Gallery

Bike Portland - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:03

Charioteers attempt to disable battlecars and bikes amid firecrackers and rowdy onlookers.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This past weekend was the annual Mini Bike Winter hosted by Zoobomb.

One of the many events participants competed in was the Ben Hurt Chariot Wars. The Chariot Wars have a long and glorious legacy and are the showcase event of the three-day Olympics. The winners get an iconic trophy and major bragging rights. They also get to make up the rules.

Speaking of which, here are the official 2018 rules:

1. Have fun, dammit. It’s fun to fuck up your friends, but remember that we ARE friends.

2. To be eligible to win, a team will consist of two people, one charioteer and one steed, a bike/trike/kickscooter/unicyclist and a chariot joined together by a hitch.

3. Battlecars may enter but may not win. If there are enough entrants, we propose a separate battlecar expo demolition derby, which would be hella sweet.

4. If any team member loses contact with their chariot, they’re out. If your chariot is disabled, you’re out. Participants cannot be tethered to their vehicles in any way. Cheaters are out. Goon Squad has final say.

5. Spectators are not to fuck with chariots in any meaningful way. You can hand someone a fallen weapon. Glitter/shaving cream balloon bombs, okay. Chili-flinging, gross, but okay. Build a chariot if you want to fight.

6. No chemical/biological weapons. Smoke bombs are okay, as is blood from a wound sustained in battle, but please don’t bring pipe bombs or months old piss, rotten eggs or expanding foam. This applies to spectators as well as charioteers.

7. If a battlecar is in the arena but not participating in the battle (like the hot tub), they are not to be fucked with.

8. Weapons must be padded. If you want to use an unpadded weapon ONLY against chariots, it must be painted bright orange. If you don’t want it used against you, don’t bring it

9. Goon Squad can and will blacklist spectators from the party and Sunday events if these very simple guidelines are not followed. Goon Squad has final say.

10. Deal with it.

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This year’s battle was held adjacent to the Eastbank Esplanade under the I-5 freeway near the Hawthorne Bridge. Here’s what it looked like:

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Chrome Collaborates with DKLEIN

Bike Hugger - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 10:23

Over the weekend, Chrome announced a collaboration with DKLEIN and here’s a video about it.

Perhaps you’ve wondered like me what Chrome has been doing since they were bought by Keen? It’s been a few years and we didn’t get any water sandals with a griffin logo on them. There is a new bag, and a few other items, but not any major updates or new lines. Chrome is in the fashion business where being on trend is essential.

Slate Olson, President of Chrome, has this to say about Chrome-DKLEIN,

Getting Dustin into our mix is going to lead to all sorts of fun things. He’s got a creative style that stands apart yet straddles the cycling and art circles, and I’ve always looked forward to seeing how he brings new product ideas to life. While we’ve got something of a roadmap of what we’re going to do together- from graphics to altogether new styles- I suspect that the unmapped roads we’ll come across are going to be the most rewarding for us to bring together.

I hope the new roads follow what’s happening in the adventure space and pays attention to what cyclists are doing with large-volume tires on dirt roads.

If it does, there’s sure a market there for fun and getting out for big miles. Klein’s work in the bike space includes embellishments like this one and while interesting I’m not sure where that fits into a larger, established brand like Chrome who hasn’t driven headlines in several seasons.

I’m very interested in what and if we’ll see Chrome work with Klein on the road+ category like maybe custom OPENs or bringing style to say a Surly.

If it’s limited to graphics, maybe not? As you can get a bike custom made and painted with your own embellishments, whatever they are.

Max @333fabmax welding

A post shared by Byron (@bikehugger) on Feb 15, 2018 at 2:05pm PST

 

 

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Specialized Bicycle recalls 5,500 Allez model bikes

Biking Bis - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 11:09
Morgan Hill, CA-based Specialized Bicycle Components is delivering the first of its replacement forks for 5,500 Allez model bicycles that were recalled after a report of a cracked fork. The company and the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends owners stop riding the bicycles and contact their dealer to learn how to get free installation of …

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Jobs of the Week: Go By Bike, Cynergy E-Bikes, Stages Cycling, Community Cycling Center, Oregon Walks

Bike Portland - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 08:36

Some simply stellar opportunities for you to ponder this week.

Learn more about each of our freshest listings via the links below…

–> PT Bike Valet Attendant – Go By Bike

–> Service Manager & Sales – E-Bikes – Cynergy E-Bikes

–> General Accounting Specialist – Stages Cycling/Foundation Fitness

–> Bicycle Mechanic – Community Cycling Center

–> Executive Director – Oregon Walks

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For a complete list of available jobs, click here.

Be the first to know about new job opportunities by signing up for our daily Job Listings email or by following @BikePortland on Twitter.

These are paid listings. And they work! If you’d like to post a job on the Portland region’s “Best Local Blog” two years running, you can purchase a listing online for just $50 by visiting our Job Listings page.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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The post Jobs of the Week: Go By Bike, Cynergy E-Bikes, Stages Cycling, Community Cycling Center, Oregon Walks appeared first on BikePortland.org.

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