Bike Portland

Syndicate content BikePortland.org feed by FeedBurner
Your trusted source of information and inspiration since 2005.
Updated: 19 weeks 4 days ago

It’s a new era for Salmonberry Trail project as full-time leader takes the reins

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 07:22

The new Hoquarton Trail in Tillamook is the first paved section of the Salmonberry Trail and a model for how this ambitious project will progress.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

After 10 years operating mostly in the shadows, the Salmonberry Trail is ready to move into the spotlight.

Alana Kambury is the Salmonberry Trail Foundation’s first full-time leader.

For the first time since murmurs of the 86-mile trail between Washington County and the Oregon Coast began, the project has a nonprofit with a full-time leader standing firmly behind it. I recently sat down with Salmonberry Trail Foundation Executive Director Alana Kambury to learn more about her and what her work means for this exciting project.

While some assume a project of this scope will take decades to bear fruit, Kambury sees it differently. “Our goal is to increase the velocity of this project,” she said. And there’s reason for optimism. The first piece of the trail has already been built and there’s an event today (June 14th) on the Banks-Vernonia Trail to commemorate the start of a major upgrade to the Manning Trailhead — a project that was triggered by enthusiasm for the Salmonberry and will ultimately mark the eastern trailhead.

It was just 12 years ago when the Port of Tillamook Bay opted to let their rail line be overtaken by the forest. After severe storms damaged sections of the line in 2007, the Port made the decision to not repair it. Two years later, trail advocates came together to map out a different future for the rail line.

“Everybody has their plans to go to Crater Lake. They could have their plans to go walk or ride or bike the Salmonberry.”
— Alana Kambury

They formed the Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency (STIA), a group co-convened by Oregon Parks and Recreation and Oregon Department of Forestry. Their vision included an 86-mile trail from Banks to Tillamook — with 22 miles along Highway 101 on the Oregon Coast — that would become a world-class destination.

“Everybody has their plans to go to Crater Lake,” Kambury shared during our conversation outside her office in the Pearl District, “They could have their plans to go walk or ride or bike the Salmonberry.”

Just last year, STIA signed a lease with the Port of Tillamook Bay that gives them the right to develop the trail. This agreement is significant because it allows advocates to develop detailed master plans for each trail segment. Another big step that happened last year was the completion of an economic and health impact analysis. Kambury says they expect a $20 million per year boost to local communities. The trail will attract people interested in all types of activities; from trail-running and hiking, to riding horses and bicycles.

But Kambury is quick to point out that much of the current momentum revolves around more utilitarian uses. “Communities along the coast are very excited and motivated for the trail because they see opportunities for things like Safe Routes to School… The trail can look like many different things, like a tourist thoroughfare, but it can also be how kids and families get to school safely. I’ve seen mothers with strollers on Highway 101 and it’s terrifying. We want to provide a safe bike route on that stretch.”

Nearly everyone who looks at the future of the Salmonberry sees something different. It will be Kambury’s job to manage all those visions — then raise the money and build the relationships it will take to turn them into reality. Her Salmonberry Trail Foundation will play the lead role. The organization is in its infancy and its nonprofit status is still pending IRS approval; but Kambury is already going full steam ahead. She’s already found most of the board members and is building the infrastructure to accept individual memberships. The first priority will be to build capacity to go after major funding opportunities. Kambury was coy about details, but said there could be a “significant amount of money” coming into the organization next year.

“The Trail could take 8 to 10 to 15 years to build out, depending on when funding comes in, but in that time, we’ll see parts of the trail open up,” she said. “There are specific opportunities we’re keeping our eye on that donors both public and private have encouraged us to have on our radar… ”

Donors, government agencies, cities, counties, state legislators — Kambury says she’s heard from all of them.

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

To Kambury, this 100-year-old railroad line could not be more relevant or necessary today. She talks about how it can heal divisions and take down barriers. “I think we need a project like this now because it builds connections between urban and rural, and we’re at at time of really looking at diversity and inclusion and the past mistakes we’ve made in outdoor recreation… How do we build this trail with everybody in mind? What do we build in for outreach and programming — even just the design of the trail — so it’s relevant and approachable to everyone?”

A popular misconception about the trail is that it’s only for extreme adventurers. “This is not some crazy wilderness,” Kambury said. “We’re not asking people to through-hike. This isn’t the Oregon Timber Trail or PCT [Pacific Crest Trail].” A stronger comparison would be the Crown-Zellerbach Trail in Scappoose that attracts everything from weekend warriors from Portland and locals who want a quick nature getaway.

The old rail line along a logging road outside of Timber.

Asked what she sees as the biggest challenge, Kambury said the project is often misunderstood. “It’s such a big vision,” she said. “We’re working hard to keep people informed, but it takes on-the-ground time with communities on the trail.” As with any major trail project, there are bound to be some people who worry that increased public access will lead to a decrease in privacy. The trail right-of-way (which the Salmonberry Trail Foundation has a legal right to develop) literally runs through peoples’ backyards. Kambury is well aware of the sensitivities around this. “Of course there are some concerns with having a recreational use that local communities aren’t familiar with come through their backyard,” she said when I asked if the trail had any opposition. “People moved to rural areas for a reason, we want to respect that.”

To tamp down concerns, Kambury won’t just tell local residents what the trail can do for visitors; but also what it can do for them. “We are asking people what they need in their own communities and how can we build a trail that respects their lifestyle, while showing them this is something that will benefit them directly, even if they don’t want to be the person who builds a business that serves it.”

Sign outside a home in Timber adjacent to the Salmonberry Trail alignment.

Tillamook Creamery is a lynchpin in the trail’s development. It’s by far the largest and highest-profile business on the route, serves as its southern terminus, and the company’s Director of Engineering Jack Mulder is on the Salmonberry Trail Foundation and STIA Board. The famous cheese and ice cream maker is currently discussing how to build a section of the trail along their property in a way that benefits both employees and tourists.

When it comes to negotiating with agricultural-based businesses, Kambury has a leg up. A native Oregonian who grew up in Portland and Ashland, she started Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm in 2014 after earning her MBA from Bainbridge Graduate Institute. “I love working with the agriculture community. I love the dedication and commitment it takes to work in natural resources and agriculture, the pride that comes with it, how it gets you out into the environment.”

Kambury is optimistic, but she’s no Pollyanna. She understands the cultural differences between rural and urban communities. “I don’t think conflict is a bad thing,” she said. “I think if we disagree on things but find something we can work together on; I think it will bring us together in a time when that’s really important. Our politics aside, anyone can benefit from just being outside. And Oregon is the prettiest place to be outside.”

To practice what she preaches, Kambury will lead two upcoming rides: Today at 2:00 pm she’ll attend the ribbon-cutting for the recently improved Manning Trailhead on the Banks-Vernonia Trail and then ride with attendees on a seven-mile ride. Then on June 27th, she’ll lead the MAX to Manning Pedalpalooza ride, a 40-mile out-and-back from Hillsboro.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

‘I hope it was worth the wait’: Commissioner Eudaly cuts ribbon on Foster Road project

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 17:00

Left to right: Foster Area Business Association President Allen Rowand, Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association Co-chair Eric Furlong, Portland Mercado Director Shea Flaherty Betin, Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, Transportation Director Chris Warner and Prosper Portland Commissioner Peter Platt cut the ribbon the Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project. (Photo: PBOT)

“I know it was a long time coming. I hope it was worth the wait.”

That was Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly this morning as she stood near the intersection of SE Foster and 72nd along with PBOT Director Chris Warner and Foster-area business and community leaders. The occasion marked the official completion of the Foster Road Streetscape Project.

PBOT created this new map as part of a marketing push to encourage folks to walk and bike on the street.

Eudaly said the project — which we shared a sneak peek of just a few days before it was finished — has, “Transformed Foster Road from a high-speed, auto-oriented corridor into a balanced streetscape.”

Ironically, while telling the assembled crowd that the former arterial now “enhances the quality of life for Portlanders in surrounding neighborhoods,” she had to pause her prepared remarks because a large truck rumbled by. “Unfortunately, it’s still quite loud so I hope everyone can hear me,” she said.

PBOT and their partners spent $9 million on a host of upgrades that stretch 40 blocks from 50th (intersection with Powell) to 90th (just west of I-205).

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

New striping and signals at SE Holgate.

Foster Area Business Association President Allen Rowand said the new access for bicycle users and reduction of driving lanes is, “The next step in the district’s evolution in becoming a destination instead of a throughway.” Rowand added that the new street design will make the annual Foster Tasting Tour even better this year, “Now that people can safely walk and bike to the events.”

Portland Mercado Director Shea Flaherty Betin said the “new street” is worth celebrating because it will led to more family biking and walking to local festivals and events.

Speaking of which, PBOT has planned a full slate of events dubbed, “Summer Fun on Foster” to encourage people to get out and enjoy the street (which Eudaly referred to as public space in her remarks).

You can’t just build it, you also have to promote it.

Here’s the list of events:

June 16th – July 20th: #FosterFaves Photo Contest

June 16th – July 8th: Visit a Local Bike Shop

July 10th: Sweet and Savory Summer Bike Ride

July 13th: Let’s Go FoPo NeighborWalks hosted by AARP Oregon

July 20th: Foster Tasting Tour hosted by FABA

August 3rd: Lents Green Ring Ten Toe Walk

August 6th: The Art of Foster Bike Ride

August 11th: Lents Fair

August 18th: Grocery & Market Transit Tour

September 7th: Portland Mercado Taste of Latinoamérica Festival

Learn more about all of them here.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

Oregon’s version of ‘Idaho stop’ rolls closer to passage

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 10:43

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s not the Idaho Stop, but a law that would allow bicycle users to treat stop signs and flashing red signals as yields (when safe, of course) would be a major step forward for bicycle users in Oregon. And it just moved one major step closer to passage as the 2019 session rolls into its final few weeks.

Senate Bill 998 passed the Senate Rules Committee yesterday by a vote of 4-1. This comes two months after it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Lane County Senator Floyd Prozanski — who introduced a bill inspired by Idaho’s law in 2003 — was the sole person to testify at the committee hearing yesterday. “What Idaho has is much broader than what’s been introduced here, he explained to the committee. “It [Idaho’s law] also allows bicycle riders to do the same [yield] at red lights. I believe that’s too far to go at this stage and that’s why we should follow what would be more the Delaware model.”

Delaware passed their law, which they call the “Delaware yield”, in 2017.

According to Prozanski, the main benefit of this law is that it would allow people on bicycles to maintain momentum at intersections and therefore be less likely to suffer from a collision or close-call. When bicycle riders come to a complete stop, the act of starting up again can make them vulnerable to being hit by other road users who can increase speed more quickly and easily.

Only two of the five senators on the committee made a comment before filing their vote. Republican Sen. Herman Baertschiger (Grants Pass) voted in favor of the bill. “If you want to ride your bicycle through a stop sign; very good,” he said, “But I would strongly suggest if you’re riding around the capitol today with all these log trucks [being driven around in protest of Oregon’s pending climate legislation], today wouldn’t be good day to do it.” Then everyone laughed.

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

Prozanski making his case.
(Screenshot from Oregon Legislative Information System website)

Committee Chair Senator Ginny Burdick said she feels the bill will be a boon for riders who click into their pedals with cleats. Removing feet from cleats at every stop sign can “sometimes be dangerous for those of us who are not particularly skilled,” she said; then added, “I will also point out that if anyone messes up it’s the bicyclist that pays the price, not the driver.”

Prozanski told his colleagues an additional benefit of the bill would be that more bicycle riders would stay away from more heavily congested streets and opt for residential ones if they knew they treat stop signs as yields.

Sen. Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) was the sole no vote. He didn’t explain why.

To clarify what SB 998 would do, below is the description taken from the official summary published by the Senate Rules Committee:

Senate Bill 998 A allows a bicyclist approaching an intersection regulated by a stop sign or flashing red light at a safe speed to proceed through that intersection or make a turn without stopping. It also creates traffic violation of improper entry into an intersection controlled by a stop sign and improper entry into an intersection controlled by a flashing red light. A violation of either occurs when a bicyclist fails to yield to traffic within the intersection or to traffic that is approaching so close as to constitute an immediate hazard, disobeys a police officer or flagger, fails to exercise care to avoid an accident, or fails to yield the right of way to a pedestrian. SB 998 A makes a violation of either a Class D traffic violation.

This is the third time Oregon has tried to pass a bill like this. Prozanski’s first attempt failed in 2003. Advocates tried again in 2009 but it didn’t have enough support.

From here the bill will move to the Senate floor for a vote. Assuming it passes it would then be referred to the House Rules Committee before it could advance to the House floor. Once it moves to the House, it will be imperative for supporters of the bill to make their voices heard. The end of the 2019 session is constitutionally set for June 30th, but there are rumors it could end even sooner.

Timing will be key. Hopefully the bill can keep moving through the process without coming to a complete stop.

In other legislative news, SB 558 — the bill that would allow any city in Oregon to reduce the speed limit on residential streets by 5 mph — is nearing a final vote in the House.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

Guest Article: The Tabor Trail (60s Bikeway) and a safer NE Halsey

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 09:20

A good spot for a bicycle lift? (Graphic: Terry Dublinksi-Milton)

Terry Dublinksi-Milton is a Portland resident and dedicated neighborhood activist and transportation reformer. Last summer we shared his call to create an active transportation network in southeast.

I have worked on and critiqued multiple bikeways over the years and though a smaller bike project than many, I have a personal attachment to the NE 60th and Halsey Improvement project. This project is in my neighborhood of fifteen years and has its own history nearly as long.

That’s why it’s so important for me to get it right. Before I share my concerns on the project and feedback for how to make it better. Here’s a brief look in the rear-view mirror…

60th Avenue Station Plan (2007)
A series of outreach meetings in 2006-2007 developed the 60th station plan that proposed significant changes to local access, bikeways, and MAX light rail. Routes in the plan included NE Hassalo/53rd to 61st, 61st to Sacramento north, and Oregon/63rd to Davis south. For reasons lost to planner history, it was not adopted by council; but the bikeways made it into the Bike Plan for 2030 which was adopted in 2010.

Comprehensive Plan (2014-2017)
As Land Use & Transportation Chair chair of North Tabor Neighborhood Association I helped resurrect the 60th Ave Station Plan and through multiple outreach meetings moved the Tabor Trail to 62nd, extending it south to Mount Tabor Park. NE 61st remained, but a bikeway connection west to 47th, Providence Hospital and points further was added to the Comprehensive Plan.

Growing Transit Communities (2017)
In this refinement of the station area plan, the local access road building was removed in favor of a Vision Zero-compliant Halsey Blvd. The Tabor Trail remained on the same route outlined throughout the comprehensive plan.

Despite this long history, all it took was one community ride-along where a few people expressed discomfort with the hairpin turn at NE 61st (circled in red in graphic at right) caused PBOT to move the climb up Alameda Ridge to 60th. An engineering solution to 61st was not even suggested, thus this meandering alignment suddenly became the current proposal (outlined in yellow).

PBOT’s new route introduces two turns, requiring one to go west, then east, to go west.

Will a student from Madison High follow a route like this to the Waterfront?

While it’s the cheapest to build, plans for NE 60th offer no protection for bicycle users other than sharrows and speed bumps. While 60th has an average daily traffic (ADT, a stat that only includes car drivers) count of 1,040, 61st has only 400. The way I see it, PBOT is using bicycle riders to calm driving traffic, instead of diverting them away from the route to maintain a quality bikeway.

Another option would stay on 60th from the MAX station the entire way north (as PBOT proposes for just a few blocks in their current plans). Parking would be completely removed and replaced with a two way cycle-track and significantly wider sidewalks than proposed.

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

This second option has the benefit of being the most direct and predictable up the ridge for cross-traffic but provides no significant protection for the ascent. Option 2 requires a complete redesign of the NE 60th/Halsey intersection and removal of the center turn pockets. These center turn pockets are what requires the segment from Hassalo to Halsey to be moved to 62nd for queuing. The traffic lights were rebuilt last in 1984, do not allow for leading pedestrian intervals (LPIs), and are required to properly time the 57th and 60th signals which should speed up the 71 bus line.

This is by far the most expensive choice. It prioritizes walkers and bicycle users, but it also creates delays for transit and car users.

The final and original route follows a low volume 61st from Halsey to Sacramento. The main fear is the 10 mph hairpin switchback with poor sightlines.

The Trampe Bicycle Lift in action.
(Photo: City of Trondheim)

To safely engineer this troublespot we could remove rarely used westside parking and convert the northbound lane into a physically-protected bike lane. The descent would consist of a shared, low-volume lane southbound. The switchback would make the climb easier than 60th without growling cars menacing at riders from behind. The new traffic pattern would only impact 12 households and 150 average daily driving trips and would have vast benefit to the active transportation network. Moderate in expense, it would provide a direct route and the only truly protected climb up Alameda Ridge just in time to coincide with a newly rebuilt Madison High School. The sidewalk-free side could be striped with a walkway and the one-way would mitigate head-on collision risk between vehicles, thus providing safety benefits for all three traffic modes simultaneously.

The 2007 plan called for a bioswale (a planted curb extension to soak up rainwater) at 61st and Sacramento to narrow the intersection which could become a rest area with maps of the entire Tabor Trail. In the near-term, wands could be used to protect the lane. This would have the added benefit of narrowing Sacramento, thereby calming two greenways. A bike lift — like the one used in Trondheim, Norway — could even be added as this is the only climb up Alameda Ridge without curb cut conflicts.

Providing a facility for all users regardless of ability, a lift would be an amazing amenity and become a local attraction. If PBOT is serious about getting young people to bike to school, this is the type of creative infrastructure we need. In our age of climate crises, we must use every tool possible to lower emissions.

Portland’s adopted plans make it clear that walkers and bicycle users are at the top of the transportation pyramid. This means new bikeways are to be protected when possible and direct even if it mildly disrupts single-occupancy vehicle users. In the case of NE 61st, we have an opportunity to improve safety for all traffic modes.

If you want to learn more, I’m leading a Pedalpalooza ride on Monday (6/17) to highlight the choices, investigate other proposed improvements and point to missing connections. PBOT representatives have promised to join us as we circle the station and climb the ridge.

Maxing Access to the MAX, a 60s Adventure
Monday June 17th 5pm, leave 5:15
Normandale Park, near the restrooms
60s Clothing Encouraged

The public comment period for the NE Halsey project closes June 24th, so let’s use this opportunity to get it right!

See you in the streets,

— Terry Dublinski-Milton

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

Commissioner Eudaly’s big move for bus-only lanes

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 10:51

There’s more of this to come.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The cat is officially out of the bag.

In a story posted this morning, the Willamette Week reported that PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly wants to go big for bus only lanes.

In 18 months, Portland streets could see the most dramatic change in public transit since the arrival of the streetcar. All it will take is gallons of red paint.

Deep in the bowels of city bureaucracy, Portland transportation officials under the direction of Commissioner Chloe Eudaly are preparing to debut what they’re calling the “Red Lane Project”: removing miles of roadside parking and traffic lanes from Portland streets to make room for uninterrupted routes for buses.

While this is the first major report of the plan, Eudaly’s office has been working on it behind the scenes since last year. Eudaly’s Director of Policy Jamey Duhamel shared details of it with me back in December. At that stage she wanted help connecting to various community leaders and groups that might be impacted and/or might want to get involved in organizing support for the plan.

The plan also builds on a foundation already built by PBOT that includes the Enhanced Transit Corridors and Central City in Motion plans.

As Portland’s population has exploded, so has the amount of traffic and congestion. Eudaly has decided that faster bus service is the best tool to make streets more efficient. The plan is just the latest manifestation of TriMet and the City of Portland’s growing effort to speed up bus service. Back in November, PBOT’s Central City in Motion Plan was adopted by City Council with several transit-centric projects on its high priority implementation list. Back in May, PBOT worked with TriMet to give bus operators more space at an intersection on NE Fremont and created a bus/bike only lane on SW Madison.

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

For Eudaly — who’s built a reputation for her work on tenant protection — bus users are the transportation equivalent of low-income renters. And to take that analogy a bit further, drivers would be landlords. Eudaly sees bus users as needing help in a system that is stacked against them. Here’s more from the Willamette Week’s story:

“Transportation intersects very dramatically with all the things we really care about,” says Eudaly’s policy director, Jamey Duhamel, adding that the commissioner and her aides asked themselves: “What can we do within transportation to really affect people’s lives, the most vulnerable in our community? What we heard over and over was: ‘How are you going to get buses out of traffic?'”

In that story, Eudaly said another reason she’s decided to act is that the “clock is ticking on climate catastrophe.”

As for voices that might oppose the plan, it’s worth noting Eudaly’s office has already lined up support for the plan — both on City Council and among myriad community groups (who will no doubt be asked to turn out their members/supporters once the plan is officially launched). Our transportation commissioner has also shown signs that she’s not afraid to start a debate about transportation policy.

Details on the plan are still to come, but Eudaly’s office is likely to choose a list of a dozen or so routes that will be sped up and then implement the changes on a pilot project basis.

Read more in the Willamette Week and stayed tuned for more details, opportunities to give feedback, and how bicycling will be impacted.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

Pedalpalooza Mural Ride photo gallery recap

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 05:41

Bikes just might be the perfect mural-viewing vehicle. (Photos by Eric Thornburg/No.Lens.Cap)

Sunday’s Mural Ride had a great turnout with about 100 people showing up to see a few of Portland’s many intriguing public paintings.

The ride was led by veteran Portland bike fun instigator Meghan Sinnott and local artist and photographer Mel Christy.

Our Pedalpalooza photographer Eric Thornburg tagged along and captured the vibe. Here’s what it looked like through his lens…

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

These summer bike camps still have a spot for your kid

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 05:01

Bike camps teach riding skills, bike maintenance, safety, and friendship.
(Photo: Nat Shreffler for Community Cycling Center)

Portland has a wide variety of summer bike camps: Everything from learn-to-ride camps that ease kids onto two wheels to camps that teach advanced riding and repair skills. You might think it’s late in the game to find a spot in one of them, but most area bike camps still have spaces in some sessions.

My son attended his favorite bike camp back when he was five. He decided he wanted “bike racing camp” instead of “regular bike camp” and I found a new camp offered at a bike coaching facility. They started each morning of the week watching Danny MacAskill bike trick videos before pedaling off via multi-use path to a park where the instructor had stashed an obstacle course in the bushes. In addition to the emphasis on riding and tricks, he came home with more art projects from this camp (we still have a precious old bike cranks and duct tape creation) than from the larger, more traditional bike camps he’s attended.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

I’ve called around to find out which bike camps still have spots. Check out my list below. If you’re aware of any camps I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments and I’ll update the post. (Note: all grades reflect the campers’ grade in the fall.)

Community Cycling Center
$360-$425 per week

Spots are available in Cruisers (grades 5 and 6), Freewheelers (grades 7 and 8), Food Cart Seekers (grades 7 and 8), Girls Mechanics (grades 7 and 8), and Voyager (NEW! grades 9 and 10).

Community Cycling Center’s Bike Camp enters its 18th year this summer. At camp, our goals are to:
➤ Develop the skills of youth in a fun, safe, and supportive environment
➤ Provide opportunities for cooperative learning and decision making in a team environment
➤ Develop self-confidence and enthusiasm for the bicycle
➤ Connect youth with Portland’s cycling infrastructure

CCC is also partnering with Hacienda CDC, Urban Nature Partners PDX, Home Forward, and Catholic Charities to bring Bike Camp to the Cully neighborhood, New Columbia neighborhood, and McCoy Village this summer thanks to Metro’s Nature in Neighborhoods grant and City of Portland’s Expanding Opportunities for Youth grant. Through these community bike camps, participants will attend a week of bike camp at no cost and receive a bike, helmet, and lock at the completion of their week.

— Learn more at communitycyclingcenter.org.

Lumberyard Indoor Bike Park
$425 for full day per week, $49 for half day per day

Lumberyard’s website has current availability listed, with quite a few camps still with room.

With early drop-off, snacks provided, aftercare available, free park access with guardian supervision the rest of the day, and 70,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space to shred, Lumberyard is sure to entertain (and tire out!) your lil’ shredder. The Greenhorns Half-Day Summer Camps for balance bikers on Mondays and new pedalers on Fridays are fun for the aged 3-6 set not yet ready for a full day or full bike park. Rental bikes (as well as rental balance bikes) are available for camps, too.

— Learn more at lumberyardmtb.com.

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

OBRA Junior Track Camp
$150 for three days

Juniors aged 10-18 with OBRA licenses can attend a track camp June 27-29. Kids 13 and up will camp overnight at Alpenrose Velodrome while 10-12 year olds will join for the daytime activities. The weekend includes a shred session and pizza party at Lumberyard on Sunday. Those who own track bikes should bring them, but the camp fee includes track bike rental if needed as well as Lumberyard bike rental.

— Learn more at obra.org.

OMSI
$305.00 member/$382.00 non-member per week

As of this writing Bike PDX for grades 4 and 5 has space for the week of July 29th. This class is taught by Community Cycling Center’s fun instructors and meets at OMSI for 4-15 mile explorations of the area around the museum. Extended care is available and bikes can be stored at OMSI overnight. “Take science on the road!”

— Learn more at OMSI.edu.

Pedalheads
$169 1.5 hours, $249 half day, $439 full day per week

With four locations around Portland and one in Beaverton, Pedalheads has a spot for you. From three- and four-year-old balance bikers with 1.5-hour-long skill building through games and obstacle courses to road and mountain bike classes for the age six and up more experienced set and everything in between.

— Learn more at pedalheads.com.

Trackers Earth
$235 half day per week

Learn to Bike: Road Rovers has some spots available at all three Trackers locations. This class is for kids entering kindergarten and 1st grade who are just learning to ride. The class is just 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., but it’s action packed with personalized instruction, crafts, and games. Includes a bike to use if the camper doesn’t already have one.

— Learn more at trackerspdx.com.

Learning to throw their bikes down chain-side up before sprinting across the field.
(Photo: Madi Carlson)

Vancouver Parks and Recreation
$260 per week

Bike Clark County is running camps for the City of Vancouver, Washington and the three weeks of 6-9 year old camps still have spots. Kids ride 4-10 miles each day on different field trips to places like Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Pearson Air Museum, the Water Resources Education Center, and Esther Short Park. Kids love these camps so much they take the same camp two weeks back-to-back and return year after year! Personal bikes that pass a safety inspection on the first day of camp are encouraged, but bikes and helmets can be provided.

— Learn more at cityofvancouver.us.

WashCo Bikes
$295 per week

Washington County kids aged 9-12 will love Saddle Up Summer Bike Adventures. The Hillsboro camp is full (but there’s a waitlist), but other cities — Beaverton, Forest Grove, Tigard, and Wilsonville — each have one open one-week camp spaced throughout the summer.

Campers will bike to different programs and activities in 2-5 mile increments, building their fitness levels over the course of the week as they gain riding skills and repair knowledge. Using project-based learning each camp will explore parks, watersheds, and cultural sites in and around the communities of Washington County. In addition to riding, kids will do art, environmental projects, community building activities, play interactive games, and journal about their adventures.

Note: scholarships application are still being accepted online, and no campers will be turned away for lack of resources.

— Learn more at washcobikes.org

YMCA Camp Collins
$835 per week overnight camp

Camp Collins Questers in grades 7-9 leave the comfort of their extraordinary Treetops Village for camp activities each day, including 2-3 hours of a specialty focus. For sessions 1, 3, 5, and 7 (June 23–29 Harry Potter theme, July 7–13 Color Wars theme, July 21–27 Jurassic Adventure theme, and August 4–10 Star Wars theme) Questers can select mountain biking as their specialty (note: Camp Collins does its best to assign each Quester their first or second choice specialty so no guarantee you’ll be biking).

Questers learn basic riding skills, maintenance, and bike safety. They’ll explore the trails of Oxbow Regional Park and enjoy a long trail ride off camp. Bikes and helmets are provided.

— Learn more at ymcacw.org

Did I miss any? Or do you have a fun bike camp story to share in the comments? Thanks for reading!

Remember, we’re always looking for people to profile. Get in touch if it sounds like fun to you. I’d especially like to feature families of color so please get in touch or ask friends of color who bike with their kids if they’re interested in sharing their stories. And as always, feel free ask questions in the comments below or email me your story ideas and insights at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com.

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

‘Missing middle’ housing bill needs a push in Salem

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 07:46

Plenty of “middle housing” in Montreal is one reason why it’s such a great city for biking.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

One of the most important bills we’ve been tracking this legislative session is hanging in the balance.

House Bill 2001 would allow “missing middle” housing (a.k.a. multi-family dwellings) in places currently zoned for only single-family housing. It would have a vast impact on cycling because it would enable more people to live in closer proximity to jobs and other destinations — making a trip by bike more feasible.

According to advocates who support the bill, the time is now to press legislators to move the bill forward. Below is a message from southeast Portland resident Doug Klotz:

This is the crucial time to make your voice heard in Salem in support of House Bill 2001, Speaker Kotek’s bill to legalize duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes statewide. It would require cities overt 10,000 to allow duplexes everywhere in single-family zones, and triplexes and fourplexes somewhere in those zones as well.

Most Democrats [who hold a super-majority] wants to do the right thing, lift the ban on missing-middle housing and make affordable housing possible in every neighborhood. But they need to know, right now, that you’ve got their back on this. Can you take four minutes to find your state legislators here — you’ve got one senator, one rep — and ask them to support HB2001?

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

Those in Southeast Portland and Milwaukie should know that our Senator is Kathleen Taylor (503-986-1721), who is on the fence about it. You could also call Representative Rob Nosse (503-986-1442). I don’t know his position on it. If you’re in other districts, look up your legislator here.

Votes are being counted right now. There’s a hearing Tuesday and it could go either way. It won’t go to the floor unless there are enough votes counted among the members, even those who are not on the committee. Your call could make the difference.

For more information on this bill re-read our past coverage in the related posts below and check out PortlandForEveryone.org/hb2001.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

The Monday Roundup: Breaking through whiteness, disabilities, DOT lies, and more

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 05:08

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by the Community Cycling Center.

Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past seven days…

Upsetting norms: US road champion Justin Williams is in “rebel mode” as he forces the cycling scene to embrace young people of color into a sport that is primarily white.

Cycle of dependency: The venerable Todd Litman of Victoria Transport Policy Institute reminds us about the vicious cycle of automobile dependency — and how to break it.

Brooklyn bike history: Learn about the Brooklyn Red Caps, a group of cycling lovers known for their speed, longevity, and pioneering history as one of the first black bike clubs in New York.

Monkey see, monkey do: ODOT isn’t the only agency using the fallacious argument that wider highways are better for the environment: Thankfully, activists in Baltimore are calling their DOT’s bluff.

Cycling for everyone: Great words of wisdom about breaking down barriers to riding from the perspective of someone who cycles with a disability.

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

Density = safety?: A Pennsylvania study found that streets in more dense areas closer-in to the city had lower crash rates than suburban areas.

Facebook bike share workers: The social media giant has a fleet of 1,000 bike share bikes at their Menlo Park campus and the people who keep it running want to unionize to get better treatment.

Carmaker testing helmet impacts: Volvo is (surprisingly) the first company to specifically test how its cars impact bicycle helmets.

More good PR for e-bikes: I continue to be fascinated with how e-bikes will transform what we think about bicycling and the potential they have for urban mobility.

‘Quick build’ is music to my ears: The City of San Francisco isn’t satisfied with business as usual when it comes to building bicycle facilities so they’ve streamlined the political process in order to build them faster.

Tweet of the Week: We can only hope that Portland sees more bus and bike lanes like this in the future…
https://twitter.com/InvestinPlace/status/1135765288287260674

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

Business district welcomes carfree customers with ‘Walk Williams’ event

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 14:29

If I owned a business on Williams I’d want to celebrate these potential customers too.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Imagine a business district that celebrates cycling and welcomes those who do it with open arms. That’s what we have on North Williams Avenue.

As one of the first major commercial corridors in Portland with dedicated cycling access and the highest volume of riders in the city, I’ve often thought of Williams as the best bike street in Portland. Now Venture Portland and the Williams Vancouver Business Association want to cement that reputation with their monthly Walk Williams event which is set to kickoff next Wednesday June 12th.

According to organizer Dane Fredericks, for one evening a month they’ll roll out the red carpet for bicycle riders and other non-car-using customers with live music, freebies, discounts and more. “We know that biking is a pro-social decision that creates pleasant streets and strengthens our community,” Fredericks shared with us via email. He calls this event, “A monthly summer party on the only main street in Portland where bikes come first.”

Here’s how it’ll work (scroll down for full list of exclusive cycling deals):

Pick up an event passport at participating businesses on each second Wednesday June – October from 4-8pm, eat, shop and play to earn three stickers, and turn your passport in for automatic prizes like beer, chocolate or oysters. Each passport you submit is entered into our grand prize raffle, meaning you can play five Walk Williams, automatically win five monthly prizes and enter five times in the grand prize drawing.

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

And here are the cycling-only deals:

GET FREE STUFF
North Portland Wellness Center (4922 N. Vancouver) is giving out free bike seat covers.
JinJu Patisserie (4063 N. Williams) will boost your blood sugar with 2 free bonbons.
Starcycle (4133 N. Williams) will turbocharge your training with a free class card.
Stella’s Kitchen on Williams (4215 N. Williams) is helping you hit your macros with a free Chia Pudding

LEARN NEW THINGS
East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (5211 N. Williams) is offering a free educational urban garden tour for all, but only the cyclists get the free lemonade and cookies.
Poa Café (4025 N. Williams) will help you make and take home your own DIY Slime for $5

HYDRATE
Crisp Salads (3901 N. Williams) will set you up with $3 pints.
Hopworks N. Williams Pub & Beer Garden (3947 N. Williams) will knock $1 off your first beer.
Memoz Dessert Café (3494 N. Williams) has cold brew for just $3.

SCORE DEALS
Fringe & Friends Salon (3508 N. Williams) will offer 25% off any single item.
Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa (4155 N. Williams) is offering member pricing for 30 min massage $34.95 ($20 savings) all summer.
Monochromatic ( N. Williams) will take 20% off a single item.
Namaste On Williams (4201 N. Williams) will discount a 10 class pack for $102 (reg. $140).
Queen Bee Creations (3961 N. Williams) is offering 15% off everything all day on Walk Williams dates
SpielWerk Toys (3808 N. Williams) will give you 10% off your first visit all summer.
TEMPLE GOODS & PDCO+ HOME (3316 N. Williams) will give you 25% off any single item.
Workshop Vintage (4011 N. Williams) is giving out a free button pin and 10% off coupon.

Check out the official website for more info and download the official guide as a PDF below…

WW Passport DRAFT for review (1)

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

Breakfast on the Bridges is every Friday morning in June

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 12:16

Volunteers and commuters chat on the western end of the Tillikum Bridge this morning.
(Photos: Eric Thornburg/no.lens.cap)

Breakfast on the Bridges is a proud Portland tradition. It’s been happening for about 16 years and shows no signs of running out of steam — or should I say cream. As in, cream for your coffee.

Coffee is just one of the free treats you can find on the Steel, Tillikum and Hawthorne bridges on the last Friday of every month between 7:00 and 9:00 am. But during Pedalpalooza in the month of June those reliably wonderful Shift volunteers can be found every Friday morning.

This morning our photographer Eric Thornburg caught some of the action on the Tillikum where hot and fresh berry pancakes, muffins, coffee, and smiles were being served to anyone who walked or rolled by.

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

Breakfast on the Bridges is one more reason to bike to work. And just one more thing that makes Portland — especially during Pedalpalooza — such a fun place to be. So mark your calendars for June 14th, 21st, and 28th. And leave a few minutes early to make sure you have time to stop, snack, drink, and chat.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

PBOT begins design of 60s bikeway through North Tabor, Rose City Park neighborhoods

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 11:20

Proposed design of NE Halsey crossing between 61st and 62nd.

A 1.5 mile stretch of a north-south bikeway along the 60s will be built next fall and the Portland Bureau of Transportation is looking for your feedback on the design.

The bikeway proposed so far is in yellow and blue on the map below. It’s only on 60th for a few blocks and uses 62nd for most of the route…

The main goal of the NE 60th and Halsey Improvement Project is to get Halsey off PBOT’s High Crash Network list and update the outdated intersections at 47th, 57th and 60th. PBOT plans to reconfigure lanes and add new traffic signals that can synchronize traffic along the corridor. Another major component of the project will be the construction of wider sidewalk on 60th from the MAX Station (at I-84) to Halsey.

From a biking perspective, the big opportunity here is for bikeway improvements between NE Davis (in the south) and Sacramento (in the north). PBOT’s initial plan is to remove on-street parking and remove bike lanes on two blocks of 60th between the MAX Station and NE Hassalo. Unfortunately the current plan would drop the bike lanes north of that and divert bicycle users two blocks east to 62nd. The route would rejoin 60th six blocks later at NE Hancock.

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

Here’s how PBOT describes the bike-centric elements of the project:

— NE 60th Ave from NE Hassalo to NE Oregon St: 5′-wide bike lanes with 3′-wide buffers to separate cyclists from the vehicle travel lane

— Portions of NE 60th Ave, 61st Ave and NE 62nd Ave: Sharrows, speed bumps, signage, and stop sign changes

— New bike crossings, crosswalks, and curb extensions will be installed at two intersections: NE 60th Ave x NE Oregon St and NE Halsey x NE 61st /62nd Ave.

— On-street parking will be removed from both sides of NE 60th Ave from the south side of NE Hassalo St to NE Oregon St, and within 20’ on the approaches to each intersection along NE Halsey St, NE 60th Ave (south of Halsey), and the 60s Bikeway neighborhood greenway route.

— A new Bike Facility Route will be added to NE Hassalo St from NE 53rd Ave to NE 60th Ave. Improvements will include sharrows, speed bumps, signage, and stop sign changes.

Below is the proposed design of NE 60th crossing at NE Oregon:

And the new bike lanes proposed for 60th between the MAX station and Hassalo:

If you ride, work, or live in this area, please consider sharing your comments and concerns with PBOT via their online open house. They’ll accept comments through Monday, June 24th. Questions about the project can be directed to PBOT Project Manager Nicole Pierce via email nicole.peirce@portlandoregon.gov or (503) 823-6186.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

Cottage Grove rolls out welcome for Oregon Gran Fondo

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 09:57

Rolling out on the start of the 130-mile Sherman route. (I’m the happy guy in red jersey with #14 plate).
(Ride photos by Harry Apelbaum/Apelbaum Studios)


Sponsored by:

Ever had a ride that started with terribly bad luck that quickly changed to good luck? That was my experience at the Oregon Gran Fondo last weekend.

The event was the final round of the Oregon Triple Crown series (read my recaps of round one in Waldport and round two in Oakridge) and I started the day hopeful of becoming a finisher of all three. It was a fun goal I made for myself at the start of the year; a way to force myself to stay in good shape and learn more about three of Oregon’s intriguing small towns.

Brewstation Pub is attached to a farm and feed store.

(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

On that note, I was very impressed with Cottage Grove. It happened to be Friday Art Walk and Main Street was abuzz: The many independent stores and restaurants were full of people; musicians busked on corners; and locals came out in droves to meet up with friends, buy and spy local art, and take advantage of free food and drinks served in nearly every establishment.

For such a small town, Cottage Grove has a wealth of good food and shops. Beyond several solid-looking food carts, there’s Axe & Fiddle Public House on Main Street. With its low ceilings, woodsy interior and bar full of smiling staff and regulars up front, it has the ambiance of a wild west saloon. The beer and cider list is sublime and the menu features many thoughtful and modern choices. Across the street is Jack Sprats, which was so busy I opted for quick baked treats from the counter: a house-made marionberry bar and a peanut butter cookie.

I felt welcomed in Cottage Grove because it seemed like every shop had a “Welcome Oregon Gran Fondo” sign in the window and encouraged us to show our race badges for discounts and freebies (event entry came with a $10 food voucher redeemable at any local restaurant). I also noticed a flyer for the “Mayor’s Bike Ride,” a good sign that cycling is respected.

Opal Whiteley mural on E 7th and Main.

Shared with pride by bookstore owner.

If you love used bookstores that reflect local culture, Cottage Grove doesn’t disappoint. I recommend Kalapuya Books and Bookmine. It was inside both of these shops I got my first hint that a woman known as Opal Whiteley was a big deal. My hunch was confirmed when I saw the massive mural devoted to her in the main public square. I had to learn more.

Whiteley was a mysterious figure who gained national fame for a diary she wrote about her life growing up in the woods of Cottage Grove. Despite her story becoming a national bestseller in 1920, there were as many questions about its authenticity as there were about the authenticity of Whiteley herself. As I payed for a copy of The Fantastic Tale of Opal Whiteley, (a historic look at her life published by The Lane Historical Society) the owner of Bookmine was thrilled to see I’d taken an interest. She beamed as showed me one of the original copies of Whiteley’s book and gave me flyers with copies of her poems and a walking map of where she lived.

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

After soaking up history and the vibe of downtown Cottage Grove on Friday, I was up at sunrise on Saturday for the 6:30 am start of the 130-mile “Sherman” route. I chose this route mostly because it was the toughest course offered, but also because it was the only one with sections of unpaved, gravel roads. There were only about 20 of us who lined up on East Main Street. The Sherman route was new this year, and the classic, 117-mile Gran Fondo route still gets all the attention.

About six miles into the Sherman route, four miles before disaster struck.
(Ride photos by Harry Apelbaum/Apelbaum Studios)

I had my Co-Motion Klatch set up as a pavement machine, since I heard there was only about 30 miles of gravel roads and I figured I could manage them on relatively narrow tires. I opted for slick, 32mm wide Sector tubeless tires from Hutchinson.

For us Sherman riders, the adventure began just a few miles out of town when we hit the dirt of Gowdyville Road for a 1,000 feet of climbing along the South Fork of the Siuslaw River. It was a beautiful start to the day. On the descent down to Territorial Hwy, I started to think I was a bit under-tired for the day as I had to ride much slower over the rocks then I prefer.

When we retured to the pavement, something weird happened. There were about three of us on the empty road. I was in the front and suddenly another rider came up from behind me on my right and tried to pass. Before I could avoid him his rear wheel became lodged in my front. “SHHHH! BANG BANG BANG! POP!” was what I heard as I struggled to stay upright and watched his rear wheel skewer decimate my front rim and tire. When I finally stopped I knew it was bad. The wheel was done. Spokes bent and broken. The tire flat. Ugh.

Luke DeMoe of Velofix Eugene working on my bike.

A few minutes later, after the guy made a quick apology and then rode away, I was by myself on the side of the road with no cell service. I was dejected that my weekend had been wasted for just 10 miles of riding. I figured I would hitchhike back to Cottage Grove; if I could find a ride.

I could smile at this point because I knew it would all work out.

Then the first sign of changing luck came into view. A truck driven by a race volunteer pulled up and offered a floor pump. Within minutes we realized he could just drive me back to the start line. The Gran Fondo didn’t start until 8:30 am and I’d still have time to find a loaner wheel if we hurried. Flustered but hopeful as we got back to Cottage Grove, I made a bee line to the big red VeloFix Eugene van. Owner/operator Luke DeMoe didn’t hesitate to help. He had a loaner wheel and swapped my parts and tire over. 15 minutes later I was rolling again — with just a few minutes to spare before the start of the Gran Fondo.

It wasn’t the ride I wanted to do, but it wasn’t too shabby. It’s been years since I spent the day in roadie-mode, gliding along in the draft of a big peloton and taking pulls in a paceline. I connected with a strong group of 7-8 riders and spent most of the day with them. We ticked off the miles and averaged about 20 mph or the first 100 miles as we rolled along rivers, on empty backroads, and up on high ridges.

My second start of the day (I’m in the baby blue jersey just right of center. Yes, I changed jerseys because it had warmed up so much.) (Harry Apelbaum/Apelbaum Studios)

(Harry Apelbaum/Apelbaum Studios)

At the end of the day I finished in 32nd place, about 40 minutes behind the winners. 117 miles in six hours and nine minutes; not bad at all! And a testament to the versatility of my bike, which also handles singletrack and bumpy gravel roads with aplomb (with wider tires of course).

It was a great day on the bike and I was grateful to be out there, especially given my bad luck at the start.

If you’re looking for a memorable event with top-notch support based in a town well worth visiting, put the 2020 Oregon Gran Fondo on your calendar. If you’re curious about riding in the area, check out the routes on RideWithGPS.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

Jobs of the Week: Go By Bike, Cycle Portland

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 06:54

Three fresh job opportunities posted this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

–> Go By Bike Afternoon Mechanic – Go By Bike

–> Bike Valet Sub – Go By Bike

–> Bike Tour Guide/ Shop Staff – Cycle Portland

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

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 $75. Learn more at our Job Listings page.

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

Never miss an opportunity. Sign up for our Job Listings email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

Weekend Event Guide: Ripplebrook, Fanno Creek, murals, Sunrise Movement, and more

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 06:10

The Sprockettes will host their last kids camp this weekend.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Remember how I said last week’s relative quiet was the calm before the storm? Well the storm is here. Pedalpalooza is in full swing and we’ve got a tantalizing selection of rides for you to choose from this weekend.

Whether you’re looking for adventure, activism, pure free fun, or all of the above — check out what’s in store. And remember to peruse the full Pedalpalooza calendar for even more rides.

Saturday, June 8th

Ripplebrook Backroads – 9:00 am from Ripplebrook Store in Estacada
If you want to delve deeper into the unpaved roads and trails around Timothy Lake and Clackamas River, this is the ride for you. Let Our Mother the Mountain’s route masterminds take you on an unforgettable adventure. More info here.

Fanno Creek Family Bike Ride – 9:30 am at Garden Home Rec Center (SW)
A very short (two-mile loop) and very sweet ride aimed at being doable for even the newest and smallest riders among your troop. Stops at a playground for extra fun. Come out and discover the great Fanno Creek Trail! More info here.

Sprockettes Girls Day Camp (Sat-Sun) – 10:00 am at Irving Park (NE)
The Sprockettes are a Portland-based mini-bike dance team. They’re hanging up the pink and black or good at the end of this year so this is your final chance to indoctrinate your kids to their wonderful ways. Camp will teach them basic bike dance/stunt skills in a supportive environment. Sliding scale price is $60-$100. More info here.

Beyond Portlandia Radical History Bike Tour – 12:00 pm at Everybody’s Bike Rentals (NE)
Ecology, geology, history and culture! Discover a different side of north/northeast Portland on this 10-mile ride led by knowledgable locals. More info here.

Brooklyn Scavenger Hunt – 1:00 pm at Brooklyn Park (SE)
Have fun while demonstrating your knowledge of the Brooklyn neighborhood as you fulfill interesting objectives and post proof of completion to Twitter. Prizes await the winners and everyone gets to imbibe and eat with new friends at the end. More info here.

Teenage Dirtbag Ride & Party – 8:00 pm at Laurelhurst Park (NE)
What’s Pedalpalooza without big dance party ride? Roll up and rock out with tunes from the likes of Blink, Lit, Len, Green Day, Weezer and all the other “dirtbag classics”. More info here.

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> --> Sunday, June 9th

Ghosts of Northeast’s Past: A History Ride – 10:00 am at McMenamins Kennedy School (NE)
Led by historian Doug Decker, this 8-mile ride will regale you with stories of northeast Portland neighborhoods known by only a few and mostly invisible to the untrained eye. More info here.

Mural Ride – 11:00 am at Clay Creative parking lot (SE)
Public art on walls is endlessly fascinating and usually beautiful. If you agree with that statement, get ready to ride your heart out with two fellow mural lovers. More info here.

Sunrise PDX Pedalpalooza Climate Ride! – 11:00 am at PSU Plaza (SW)
Come and join the growing movement that is connecting climate change and transportation reform activists into an unstoppable force. This ride will include a rally with speakers at the Zenith oil terminal just a few short miles from downtown Portland. More info here.

Pregnant AF – 12:00 pm at Normandale Park (NE)
Baby on board? Come join others in the same situation. Bike with your bump on this flat ride that will end in a picnic. More info here.

Get Lost! – 1:00 pm at Velo Cult parking lot (NE)
A Pedalpalooza mainstay, this ride takes the form of whatever the dice say. Seriously. Leader will roll two dice to determine how many blocks left or right to ride. Where you stop and go, nobody knows! More info here.

Stay plugged into all the bike and transportation-related events around the region via our comprehensive event calendar. Pedalpalooza is the entire month of June. Check out the full list of events on the official calendar.

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

Upgrade your inbox: Sign up here to get the Weekend Guide and all our stories delivered via email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

New bikeway signage to ‘encourage people to get out of their automobiles’ coming to South Waterfront

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 09:43

Riders on SW Bond in South Waterfront area.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Sign mock-up from City of Portland.

20 new wayfinding signs are coming to South Waterfront. This week the Portland City Council accepted a $13,460 grant from Metro that was awarded through their Regional Transportation Options program in 2016.

“Simple bike wayfinding signs displaying distance and time to key destinations will help current and would-be riders to understand bicycle accessibility to and from the South Waterfront,” reads a project description. “The signs will be strategically placed at intersections throughout the district , with the southernmost signs encouraging riders to venture to Willamette Park along the rail trail, and the northernmost sign displaying information to ride to Downtown and the Pearl District. Additional signs will direct travelers to the Hooley Bridge, Lair Hill access, and the Tilikum Crossing and access to the Central Eastside.”

Check out a map of where the signs will go below the jump…

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

(Map provided by PBOT)

Metro hopes the project will encourage people to get out of their cars and onto their bicycles, resulting in better air quality and less auto parking demand.

A map of sign locations provided by PBOT shows that about half of the 20 new signs will be installed south of the Marquam Bridge, and the other half north of it. The signs will stretch from Waterfront Park at Pine Street in the north to SW Moody and Bancroft in the south.

PBOT says they expect to have all the signs installed by the end of June.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

First Look: Halsey-Weidler couplet in Gateway updated with protected bikeways and more

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 13:30

Look what PBOT did!
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Southeast Foster Road fans are rejoicing today as their beloved retail strip now has dedicated bike lanes. But that’s not the only east Portland commercial area to get new bike access this month. The Portland Bureau of Transportation says they’re about 99% finished with the much-anticipated Halsey-Weidler Streetscape project.

This $5.5 million project is a partnership between PBOT and Prosper Portland that (similar to Foster), aims to use street design changes to improve safety and boost economic development. The city has made significant updates to Halsey and Weidler between 102nd and 112th. Changes include: curb extensions on every corner, new pavement on Halsey, improved street lighting, median refuge islands, three new crossings with rapid flash beacons, parking protected bicycle lanes, transit stop upgrades, new street trees, a “festival street”, a new public plaza, and more.

I spent about an hour so on the couplet yesterday to talk with folks and watch how the street is being used.

“People hate it,” said the manager of a liquor store near 103rd. “95% of our customers have asked me about it… Mostly they’re upset about the loss of parking. This is the main thoroughfare and they took out like 14 spots.” Upon further discussion, the man said he thinks the changes are, “A good idea,” but that’s just been implemented poorly. He didn’t elaborate on how he thinks it should have been designed; but he said he’s heard of two people (drivers) who have been hit as they stepped out of their cars in the new “floating” parking zone (which puts them in much closer proximity to passing drivers than parking at the curb).

Two people waiting for the bus were thrilled with the changes. I watched one man with a cast on his foot cross where PBOT just installed a curb extension and a median refuge island — essentially reducing the distance across by about 15 feet or so. “I wouldn’t have tried that before with my foot like this,” he said with a smile. “I’m not very fast these days.”

A woman behind the counter of Namaste Indian Market (which is wonderful by the way) had some concerns about parking loss. Her store is adjacent NE 103rd, the street PBOT converted from a parking lot/alleyway into a “festival street”. The idea is to make it more of a public plaza with one-way driving access that could be prohibited (via bollards) during events like farmer’s markets. She wasn’t sure what the plan was and didn’t understand the new bike lane and other changes to the street. Once I explained everything, she agreed it seemed like an improvement that would encourage people to visit the Gateway district and make the streets safer.

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

Here are a few of my observations and images to illustrate:

– The transit island just west of 102nd is a marvel: It makes transit service and biking more efficient, there’s plenty of space for bus riders to get on-and-off, and makes for a nice, low-stress welcome to the couplet.

– From what I could see, the changes are working relatively well. People are still getting used to the new striping and lane configuration. And yes, there were several folks who parked in the new bike lane. Hopefully that subsides.

– PBOT really needs to do more to protect these new biking spaces. Whether it’s plastic wands, concrete curbs or both. And maybe “BIKES ONLY” pavement markings, more signage, and a few enforcement actions to drive awareness. If we’re going to call these “protected” bikeways, let’s be honest about it and give people what they deserve.

– Fortunately speeds on the couplet are relatively low, and the median islands and other changes will only make them slower. People on foot now feel more empowered to cross in more locations, which makes people in cars more cautious.

– Now that we have this great bike facility, we need places to park! I had to park to a sign pole because there were no staples in sight. That should never happen!

– One serious problem is how many drivers coming onto the couplet from a sidestreet block the new bike lane as they wait for a gap in traffic (see below). This is a tricky situation and I’m not sure what the solution is, other than signage and pavement markings. Of course if people were more competent and courteous in general — and if cars weren’t such large and awkward vehicles — this wouldn’t be a problem.

– The new Gateway Discovery Park at 106th and Halsey is fantastic! It’s a modern facility with wifi, places to hang out, and lots of cool amenities. And one of the best crossing treatments is right on the corner so it’s very welcoming.

Here’s a video of me riding the entire couplet (has been sped up 2X to save you time)…

But wait, there’s more…

Bike only signal on 102nd is a welcome touch…

Here’s the current status of the festival street/plaza at 103rd…

The problem with parking protected bike lanes is that you feel kind of scrunched between the cars and the curb. Also not wide enough for side-by-side, social cycling…

Another view of the crossing treatment at 106th/Gateway Park…

This is a median-protected crossing enhancement at the off-set intersection of Halsey and 108th…

Beyond the project boundary, we still have some work to do…

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

Bicycle rider killed in collision with driver on 99W in Tigard

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 11:31

(Photo: Tigard Police)

A man riding a bicycle on SW Pacific Highway (99W) in Tigard was killed last night after a collision with a driver.

Top star shows where the man’s body came to rest (approximately). The lower star is location of car and bike in lead photo. Click for Google Map.

Tigard Police say the bicycle user was going southbound when he and the driver of a white Mazda Miata collided. It happened just before 8:30 pm. This section of 99W has seven lanes, including two bicycle only lanes and a center turn lane.

Based on a photo from the scene, the bicycle and car came to rest about 560 feet north of the SW Gaarde Street intersection. The victim’s body is about 150 feet away from where the driver finally stopped. Here’s the statement released by Tigard Police:

Based on witness statements and the investigation, the driver of a white, convertible Mazda Miata was traveling southbound on SW Pacific Hwy in the right travel lane. A bicyclist was also traveling southbound on SW Pacific Highway in the bike lane and then entered the right lane. The Miata struck the bicyclist, causing the individual to hit the pavement. By the time officers arrived, the adult-male bicyclist was deceased.

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

The driver stayed at the scene and was fully cooperative with investigators. At this time, it has been determined that alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

A Tigard Police Traffic Safety Officer, who is a member of a multi-agency Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team, is leading the investigation to determine the causation of this crash, including whether speed or other factors contributed to this incident.

The victim’s name is being withheld while police work to contact next of kin. If anyone witnessed this crash or the driving of the white Mazda Miata, please contact Officer Rod
Morse at 503-718-2753 or Rod.Morse@tigard-or.gov.

It’s important to note that Oregon Law (ORS 814.420) allows bicycle riders to leave the bicycle lane to make a left turn or to avoid hazardous debris. I will also point out that speed is always a factor in fatal collisions like this because if the driver was going zero miles per hour, the bicycle rider would still be alive.

A woman interviewed by KATU news said the highway is dangerous and people regularly drive 50 mph. Nearby resident and BikePortland reader Ramtin Rahmani rides by this intersection frequently. He told us, “Pretty much no one rides on 99W because it’s a death trap.”

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

There are bike lanes on SE Foster Road

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 09:56

Pretty sure the “BS” stands for bicycle symbol. PBOT still adding some finishing touches to the new lanes.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s been about 78 months since we first covered the possibility of dedicated cycling facilities on Southeast Foster Road, a major arterial coined the “Foster Freeway” by former mayor Sam Adams when he launched an attempt to make it safer in 2010.

A few nights ago it finally happened. PBOT striped bike lanes as part of the finishing touches on their $9 million Foster Transportation and Streetscape project.

Fresh pavement in the western section of the project between 82nd and 90th.

The stated goal of the project is to, “Transform Foster Road [between 50th and 90th] from a high speed, auto-oriented corridor into a more balanced streetscape that is safer and more accessible for people walking, biking, taking transit and driving,” and to, “support and enhance the growing mix of businesses and residences in the neighborhood.”

My initial impression is that — despite being outdated, narrow, and unprotected — the bike lanes have helped PBOT reach that goal. The presence of bicycle riders in the street on their own right-of-way dramatically changes how the street feels for everyone. The new lanes also make Foster a more feasible place to ride a bike in general, which will increase customers to businesses, encourage window-shopping by bike, and add vibrancy and humanity to the street.

In addition to the cycling-only space, the $9 million project repaved the street between 82nd and 90th and included: upgrades two traffic signals; wider sidewalks in some sections; new median islands and flashing beacons at six intersections; new street trees and ornamental street lighting; and upgraded ADA curb ramps at 69 locations.

While these bike lanes are clearly lacking from a design standpoint, it is no small thing for PBOT to add cycling space to such a major arterial.

Below are more photos and a video to give you a better sense of how it turned out.

PBOT did that thing where they drop the bike lane right before a big intersection (82nd) to create a shared lane.

Some sections have a buffer, like this one just west of 82nd Ave.

Curbside going westbound. It’s definitely not low-stress and it’s definitely not for everyone; but it’s better than nothing.

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

PBOT retained 94% of the on-street parking in this project, so much of the new bike lane is sandwiched between parked cars and drivers.

With one lane for drivers, the back-up was pretty severe yesterday. It will be interesting to see how people respond and how/if diverted drivers impact adjacent residential streets (I saw many people bail off Foster out of frustration at being stopped).

With frequent bus service, leapfrogging will be an issue as bus operators cross over the bike lane to service stops. Really wish they would stop in the lane instead.

A look at the new cross-section.

A buffered section.

This is the section just before 52nd (outside Devil’s Point).

And of course it didn’t take long for people to take advantage of the new space…

Striped just in time for a Pedalpalooza ride last night!
(Photo by Matchu Williams)

PBOT says there will be a ribbon-cutting event next Thursday (6/13) at Portland Mercado.

Get out there, ride these new bike lanes, and let us know what you think.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->

Bikes, Bridges and Bullet Trains: Riding Japan’s Shimanami Kaido route

Tue, 06/04/2019 - 10:27

Dedicated bike path that connects to the Kurushima Kaikyo bridge.
(Photos: Robert Pickett)

Robert Pickett, a former (and future!) Portland resident and member of the Portland Police Bureau Bicycle Patrol Unit, is currently serving as a U.S. diplomat stationed with his wife and two daughters in Sapporo, Japan.

“Its the best ride in Japan—let me know if you end up doing it and want some company.” High praise from my boss — a taciturn triathlete with an eye for art and nature, and many years living in Japan. I figured I’d better ride the Shimanami Kaido sometime before the end of my time here.

The route hops over several islands.

The Shimanami Kaido is a 45-mile bicycle route across Japan’s Seto Naikai (Inland Sea) from the City of Onomichi on Japan’s main island of Honshu to the City of Imabari on Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands. Well marked, its mostly country roads skip across six smaller islands via one ferry and six soaring bridges, all with dedicated bicycle facilities.

Last May, during Japan’s Golden Week of consecutive holidays, my boss and I spent three days and three nights surrounded by amazing culture and unforgettable scenery in an out-and-back trip starting in Yokohama.

Our bikes, tucked away on the train.

It says, “Let’s follow the traffic rules and enjoy cycling!”

In Japan, if your bike is covered by something, anything, you can bring it on most trains for free. This lovely policy his has led to the birth of a relatively small, but active rinko (bike travel) culture. Most bicycle shops sell thin plastic rinko bags shaped to encase a bicycle with one or both wheels removed. It isn’t exactly putting your bike in a plastic trash bag, but close. My boss and I bagged our bikes and hopped on the bullet train, stashing them in the space behind the last row of seats. Arriving in Onomichi about two hours and 400 miles later, we reassembled our bikes and rode to a hostel for the first night.

The next morning started with a ferry across a narrow waterway to the first island stepping-stone. Originally designed for a couple of cars, the boat now hauls cyclists and pedestrians for a minimal charge. At the opposite terminal we started following the special blue-colored fog lines that guide cyclists along the Shimanami cycle route to the first of six major bridge leaps to the next island. The bicycle approaches to most of these bridges are completely separated from the motor vehicle approaches, and the first one was a ten foot ribbon of asphalt winding through trees and flowers on a climb up to the cycle/ped crossing suspended below the main automobile deck.

Satisfied grin of a biker on a bike/ped only ferry.

Follow the blue painted line.

Advertisement

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
-->

Thanks for reading BikePortland.

Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
--> -->

One of many lovely bridge approaches.

Cars above, bike riders and walkers below.

The day continued with bridge crossings and blue road traverses along emerald-edged coastline, through citrus and fig fields, and narrow village streets.

Traffic was relatively light, and featured plenty of other cyclists. Some were clearly serious with lots of spandex. Others were families with younger kids, out to ride just a bridge or two. Another nice thing about Japan is the frequency of convenience stores and their relatively fresh, healthy fuel options.

The last bridge of the day was the longest, tallest with the most breathtaking views. The Kurushima Kaikyo span is actually three contiguous suspension bridges, resulting in 2.5 miles of road suspended 200 feet in the air by six, six-hundred foot towers. Imagine the St. Johns Bridge, but six times longer and two-hundred-foot taller towers. The bicycle-only approaches spiral up into the air, first through, then above the trees to reach the road deck.

Oh the political will needed to pour that kind of money into a bicycle facility!

Sea level.

Climbing up.

Made it!

That night we spent at an Airbnb that featured bike parking in the bedroom. We also explored the local castle.

You know you’re on a well-worn bike path when…

We began the next day with a soaring, tailwind-powered flight back over the Kaikyo Bridge. Instead of repeating the exact ride back to Onomichi, we diverted to a few of the less-pedaled islands, enjoying the even quieter roads and blue-water vistas, slowly making our way to an intriguing guest house I’d found online.

Entrance to Shiomi Guesthouse.

Japanese family-style dinner.

The Shiomi Guesthouse was cheap, off the beaten path, featured communal eating and sleeping on Japanese tatami rooms, as well as a wood-fired hot tub. But the hook was set when I clicked “history” and found a multi-part account of Robert Shiomi, born in the house in 1904, and immigrated to Portland when he was 13. He attended Failing Elementary, Benson Polytechnic, U of Oregon Medical School, and became a doctor! Interned to Minidoka in Idaho with his wife and six-month-old daughter during WWII, he returned to Portland with his family after the war where he lived his life as a respected doctor and unceasing advocate for better relations between Japan and the U.S. It was an unexpectedly sassive Japan-Portland connection… And the guy’s name was Robert! My high expectations were met by a kind, gracious hostess, interesting guests from various parts of Japan (including a gentleman who had already accomplished his retirement mission of visiting all 6,800 or so of Japan’s islands), great local cuisine, and a hot soak. A great finale to a fun trip.

The next morning we made our way back to Onomichi, bagged our bikes back up, and bulleted back home to reality.

And of course I Strava’d my ride home on the bullet train, just so I could see the 249 mph average speed.

I highly recommend this route if you’re looking for a fun bike tour in Japan. For more info, check out this PDF for excellent maps and information in English.

— Robert Pickett

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

-->