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Weekend Event Guide: Backroad adventures, Springwater alternates, Pedalpalooza picks, and more

Bike Portland - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 08:30

Discover the Crown-Zellerbach Trail and much more on Saturday’s Columbia Century Challenge.

Boy have we got a weekend in store for you!

The Weekend Event Guide is sponsored by Abus Bike Locks. Thanks Abus!

From epic challenges to unrivaled hijinx, there are many great things to choose from. And remember, this is just a sampling. The BikePortland Calendar and Shift’s Official Pedalpalooza Calendar have even more.

What do you have planned? I’ll be headed east to the small town of Burns in eastern Oregon for the Skull 120 Gravel Race. Tomorrow night there will be a dinner where locals will offer knowledge about the area and share their hopes for how cycling can help boost their economy.

Here are this week’s selections…

Friday, June 15th

Breakfast on the Bridges – 7:00 am to 9:00 am on Steel, Hawthorne and Tilikum Bridges
Leave yourself extra time on the commute to stop and enjoy free conversation, coffee, and maybe even some nibblings at this special, Pedalpalooza edition of BonB. Look for it at the east end of lower Steel, west end of Hawthorne, west end of Tilikum. More info here.

The Mural Ride – 6:00 pm at Portland Art Museum
Discover Portland’s thriving mural scene on this ride that will check out several hotspots around downtown and the central eastside. Will meet with Dropout Prom at the end. More info here.

No Hands Olympics – 6:30 pm at Overlook Park
Riding no hands is fun and it looks really cool. How good at it are you? This is your chance to compete against the best no-handers in the city. Games will include: fastest lap, last bike standing, off-road rally, bikeathlon, and more! Free pretzels and beer discount at Hopworks Bike Bar follows. More info here.

Dropout Prom – 9:00 pm to late at Colonel Summers Park
The theme for this year’s annual shindig is “Endless Summer” so don your best beachy outfit, grab a date or three, and have fun! More info here.

Saturday, June 16th

Columbia Century Challenge – All day at Heritage Park in Scappoose
A great opportunity to revel and ride in the historic backroads of Columbia County. Different routes to choose from on this fully-supported event. More info here.

Skull 120 Gravel Grinder Race/Ride – All day in Burns, Oregon
A challenging course on remote unpaved roads awaits you in the untamed Malheur National Forest. The Harney County Chamber of Commerce, USFS, BLM, and Northern Paiute Tribe have collaborated on this event. Hope to see some BikePortland readers out there! More info here.

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Multnomah County Bike Fair – 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm at SE Alder and 12th
The traditional fun fest right in the middle of Pedalpalooza. Expect all sorts of hilarious hijinx like a slow race, bike jousting, and more. Bring your BBQ! More info here.

Springwater Closure Alternate Routes Ride – 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Brooklyn Park
We’re just about two weeks away from a major closure that impact thousands of people: The Springwater Corridor will close near Oaks Bottom starting July 1st and this ride will help familiarize you with detour routes. More info here.

Photo Ride – 6:30 pm at Salmon Street Fountain
Join bike photographer extraordinaire Eric Thornburg for a ride that will celebrate and encourage your love of image-making by bike. More info here.

Sunday, June 17th

Epic Urban Street Tree Ride – 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at Portland Art Museum
Ride from downtown to the Cully neighborhood while learning about the vital role street trees play in our lives. Led by Portland Sustainability Commissioner and eco-friendly housing developer Eli Spevak. More info here.

Slowest Ride of the Year – 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Salmon Street Fountain
When your ride leader is on a unicycle and dressed in a tiger costume, you know you’re in for some fun. “Any human powered vehicle is welcome, the slower and stranger the better,” he says. Come one! Come all! Route will be very flat and easy along the Waterfront. More info here.

Proper Pedal Picnic – 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Green Zebra Grocery (Kenton)
Put on a classy outfit and step up your picnic game for a jaunt in north Portland with several sophisticated cycling lovers. Expect a five-mile ride to a beautiful location led by a knowledgable and friendly leader (hi Shawn!). More info here.

Stay plugged into all the bike and transportation-related events around the region via our comprehensive event calendar.

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

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1984 Bike Tour: Day 33 – Don’t fence us in; we’re rolling

Biking Bis - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 05:30

LA CROSSE, KAN. -- We're sitting here writing at our journals at a picnic table that's about 30 miles south of the geographical center of the US.

We clicked off a lot of miles today, and I am tired and a little sore, but I feel like I could charge across more than 100 miles of Great Plains tomorrow morning. ...

At North Portland Sunday Parkways there will be a place where everyone can ride

Bike Portland - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:48

Event flyer.

Events like Sunday Parkways are known as “open streets” events. But for people who don’t feel comfortable riding in a crowd of people or who don’t have access to a bicycle due to their special needs, the event can feel closed.

“We want our tent of physical exercise for all to be as big as possible and include all who dream of bicycling.”

The North Portland Sunday Parkways on June 24th will be different. That’s because a section of street next to Harper’s Playground in Arbor Lodge will be open only for people using adaptive bikes and other assisted devices. It’s called “Every One Rides” and it’s the work of Oregon cycling advocates A. J. “Jerry” Zelada, a retired optometrist and former Chair of the ODOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and his partner Martine Sacks, a pediatric neurologist at Providence Hospital.

Zelada and Sacks have collaborated with over a dozen organizations to create a free opportunity for people with disabilities to ride and roll. “We’ll provide a small, blocked-off location where families can gather to try out the adaptive bicycles, meet and share with other parents, and be a part of the Sunday Parkways spirit, while still having their own space to ride,” they say.

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Partners on the event include: Providence Transportation Management; Portland Parks & Recreation; Kerr Bikes Adaptive Rentals; Oregon State University; Different Spokes; Adaptive Sports NW; United Cerebral Palsy Association; Portland Hand Cycling; Northwest Down Syndrome Association; Providence Children’s Development Institute; Swindell’s Resource Center; AMBUCS: Oregon/SW Washington Chapter; Portland Bureau of Transportation; and Adaptive Biketown.

For Zelada and Sacks, the event is about broadening access to bicycling. “We want our tent of physical exercise for all to be as big as possible and include all who dream of bicycling.”

In addition to trying out bikes, the event will have an ADA port-a-potty, special assistants to help and welcome participants, and industry experts to share information about equipment.

Here are the details:

Every One Rides at North Portland Sunday Parkways
June 24th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Harper’s Playground at Arbor Lodge Park (2525 N Dekum St.)

For more information contact Zelada at ajz@zelada[dot]com.

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

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Finding a family-friendly Pedalpalooza

Bike Portland - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:06

We had a great group for the Kidical Mass ride to Cargo Bike Roll Call on Sunday.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

I’m incredibly excited to be experiencing my first June as a Portlander, which means my first Pedalpalooza!

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

Organized by the all-volunteer Shift, Pedalpalooza is a month-long festival filled with hundreds of bike events, organized by anyone who wants to lead a ride. There’s hopefully something for everyone. Most events are bike rides and most have a fun theme, but anything goes (like Bladepacking, “like bike packing but on BLADES SKATES AND BOARDS. This is an overnight”).

There are so many rides, it can feel overwhelming. Here’s how to navigate it all and find rides that are fun for families.

Of particular interest to people like me are the events with a green “Family Friendly” notation to the left in the online calendar. These aren’t the only family-friendly events, mind you. Tomorrow’s Cruise the neighborhood to free bike-in movie put on by A Better Cycle bike shop is at a leisurely pace and ends with a family-friendly movie at dusk (of course dusk will be at 9:38pm on Wednesday). So read the full event descriptions and you might find some hidden family-friendly gems. Not sure if a ride is for you? Most rides have a contact email and/or phone number to get in touch with the ride organizer.

Some family-friendly events on the SHIFT calendar.

Using the calendar

I put a link to the Pedalpalooza calendar on my home page so I have it at the touch of a button.

Pedalpalooza is so important that the Portland Mercury prints the whole calendar the last Wednesday of May. This is great for affixing to your fridge with a magnet after you’ve circled the rides you want to attend so you can refer to it multiple times a day. You can also print your own pocket-sized version.

But the print calendar alone isn’t enough. Shift’s online calendar is more up-to-date and includes new additions and cancellations.

If you want to see all the Pedalpalooza rides, starting back at June 1st, click the “Pedalpalooza” link at the top of the Shift website; if you want to start with the current day, click the “Calendar” link. Click on the title of a ride to expand it and see the details. I’m using the “Sharable links” at the bottom for each event to link to here.

I’ve deemed Pedalpalooza important enough to move an app off the front screen of my iPhone to make space to add the calendar webpage to my iPhone Home Screen (thanks to PJ for suggesting this at the Cargo Bike Roll Call).

Many Pedalpalooza rides have Facebook events, too. I don’t always like Facebook, but I love Facebook events for tracking RSVPs and interest, and for providing a useful spot for event discussion and photo sharing. Facebook events are created by the individuals or groups leading each ride so there’s no one place to find them all, but most organizers who’ve made a Facebook event will provide the link to it in their Shift calendar listing.

Rides I’ve attended

Kidical Mass to Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, June 2nd.

One year I hope to be a super participant à la Armando Luna, Pedalpalooza’s #1 fun seeker, but this first year I’m just getting to whatever I can easily…except for the Kickoff Ride, that is.

The Kickoff Ride was not easy to attend with my boys’ school carnival at the same time, but I really wanted to go get a Pedalpalooza souvenir pennant and to hand out flyers to promote Kidical Mass. I also wanted to see more bikes than I’ve ever seen in one spot before. And it was amazing! I rode near the front, trapped between competing, thumping sound systems. The ride looped through Ladd’s Addition and we at the front got caught at an intersection waiting for the back half of the ride to clear through — this was probably intentional because it was quite the view! (Read the BikePortland coverage of the ride here.) I peeled off early, but to before I made some new friends. As did Pixie (our dog): she met Rando Awesome (below), a pug who rides in a BMX bike side-car, and Kepler the bike-basket cat.

Love at first sniff at the Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride, June 1st.

My two Kidical Mass PDX rides were Kidical Mass to Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day at Gateway Green on June 2nd and Kidical Mass to Cargo Bike Roll Call on June 10th.

I also enjoyed the Lunchtime School Bus Ride a fun concept where participants hopped on the bike train at different stops for a big loop, scheduled to take an hour.

Jessica’s Engelman’s “school bus” for the Lunchtime School Bus Ride.

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Rides on my radar
Coming up, I’m excited to check out the Multnomah County Bike Fair on Saturday, June 16 and North Portland Sunday Parkways on Sunday, June 24th — specifically the “Everyone Rides” Adaptive Cycle Event at Sunday Parkways 11-4 in a small blocked-off area next to Harper’s Playground at Arbor Lodge Park (I don’t have a link for this event, but here’s a flyer organizer AJ Zelada sent me).

Here’s everything currently on the calendar marked “Family Friendly:”

Wednesday, June 13
4:30 PM NW PDX Kids Ride

Thursday, June 14
6:00 PM Discover Vancouver’s Heritage Trees by Bike

Saturday, June 16
11:00 AM Wizard of Oz Sing-a-long Bike Ride
12:00 PM Multnomah County Bike Fair
1:30 PM Magical Unicorn Ride

Sunday, June 17
1:00 PM Splish, Splash It’s a Wet Wet, Portland Ride
2:00 PM The Slowest Ride of the Year

Wednesday, June 20
10:30 AM Balloons, Bubbles, and other things that go POP!

Friday, June 22
11:00 AM Botanical Bike Ride
8:00 PM Monster Ride

Saturday, June 23
8:30 AM Laurelhurst Garage Sale Ride!
9:15 AM Solstice Fairy Ride
10:00 AM Bike 2 Groceries Sellwood

Sunday, June 24
9:00 AM BRUNCH ON THE BLUFFS
11:00 AM Sunday Parkways North
11:00 AM Bike Decoration Station @ Sunday Parkways North

Saturday, June 30
9:00 AM HiFi Show & Tell
12:00 PM Mid-day Mystery Ride
3:00 PM N Portland Green Infrastructure Tour

Hey, add an event!
The beauty of the online calendar is that you can still add events! Want to lead a kid-friendly park-to-park-to-park ride in your neighborhood? You can! Want to copy a neat-sounding event you missed earlier in the month? You can do that, too! Worried about thousands of people showing up and feeling overwhelmed? You can set a limit. You’ll need to pair your event with an RSVP engine of some sort, like Eventbrite. Or if this year feels too soon, start thinking about putting something on the calendar for next year. Consider attending next year’s the Bike Fun Library presents: Ride Leader Empowerment ride.

Get out there!
If you see a ride that’s close enough to home to bike to you should check it out! Or if you take your kids and bikes on the MAX to a ride please let me know how it went in the comments of last week’s column.

Leading Kidical Mass to the Cargo Bike Roll Call, June 10th.

What do you think of Pedalpalooza as a family-friend event? Have you attended any rides as a family? Do you see a gap you’d like filled?

Thanks for reading. 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.

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1984 Bike Tour: Day 32 – Limping across Kansas

Biking Bis - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 05:50

We stopped at a cafe this morning for a long breakfast and fiddled around so we got a late start. Bruce later admitted he just didn't want to get going, given the accident yesterday on the busy highway.

We strapped his bent wheel rim to his panniers and left, finally reaching County Road 88 and the TransAmerica Route. ...

TriMet seeks bike user feedback for new Division Transit Project station design

Bike Portland - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 13:54

TriMet’s latest design for stations in the Division Transit Project.

As TriMet inches ever closer to the final design of their $175 million Division Transit Project, the agency once again needs feedback on how best to handle bicycle users at new bus stations. And with protected bike lanes becoming a more common feature citywide, whatever TriMet decides to use could become the new standard.

Since our look at this project in October, TriMet has worked to “recalibrate” the project due to a budget shortfall of $14 million.

Several of the cost-cutting measures are based around station design. Instead of a raised island for passengers to wait on and bike lanes that jog behind it, the latest design would keep the bike lane in front of waiting passengers and offer a “step out” strip to be used just prior to boarding.

The design will be revealed for the first time at City Hall tonight at a special joint meeting of the PBOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committees.

The update comes as TriMet reaches the 30 percent design milestone and looks to finalize the project by the end of next year. The Division Transit Project started in 2014 as a true bus rapid transit (BRT) line that would connect downtown Portland and Mount Hood Community College. But when it became clear that putting buses on state-controlled 82nd Avenue and/or dedicating lanes to them on SE Division wouldn’t be possible due to the presence of single-occupancy car drivers, the project stalled out.

In a FAQ published in August 2017, TriMet wrote that dedicated bus lanes weren’t possible because, “Division carries approximately 35,000 cars per day, which is well over the 20,000 to 25,000 cars per day that a 2- or 3-lane roadway can accommodate,” and that, “Reducing lanes on Division for a dedicated bus lane would very likely result in traffic diversion to other streets and significant delay.” Dedicated transit lanes would also prohibit some drivers from turning across them and the, “impacts to local access and vehicle circulation, including access to businesses,” were deemed too great.

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Even without dedicated lanes, TriMet is promising 15-20 percent faster transit between Portland and Gresham thanks to upgrades in signal technology that will give buses priority, shorter “dwell times” (time buses spend at stops) thanks to all-door boarding and easier fare payment, fewer stops (one-third mile station spacing) and “demand based stops” where the operator will only stop if necessary. Of the 40 or so new platforms TriMet expects to build for this project, about 16 will be demand-based.

In a briefing with TriMet staff yesterday, we also learned they’ve finalized a contract with Union Pacific Railroad to upgrade track switches in the Brooklyn rail yard. This means delays caused by trains at the SE 8th crossing will be significantly minimized when the project is completed in May 2019 (well before the new line opens in 2022).

East of 82nd, PBOT’s concurrent Outer Division Safety Project project calls for a variety of protected bike lanes. Since those are relatively rare in Portland, TriMet has yet to standardize a bus stop design that preserves and respects biking space. TriMet hopes their new “Bikes Behind Step Out” design works well not only in the Division Transit Project, but throughout the city and region as well.

The design features a bike lane that narrows to three-feet wide as it enters the station area. One of TriMet’s big concerns is making sure bicycle users slow down and respect bus passengers. People will be expected to wait on one side of the bike lane; then when a bus arrives, they’ll step up to the small island before boarding. Bicycle users will be expected to stop and wait as buses load and unload.

Here’s a larger view of the new design:

Consultants from Alta Planning and Design were hired to help create the design, which is best on best practices endorsed by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). It’s preferred by TriMet because — unlike the initial islands design — the step out design has a smaller footprint and can use existing right-of-way (meaning, it’s cheaper).

TriMet compares their design to similar ones already in use in Toronto:

Another Toronto example being shared by TriMet.

This is a very similar design currently in use on Sherbourne Street in Toronto.

What do you think?

TriMet has two open houses scheduled later this month where you can learn more, see the latest designs, and talk with project staff:

Wednesday, June 27
5–7 p.m.
Gresham City Hall
1333 NW Eastman Pkwy., Gresham

Thursday, June 28
5–7 p.m.
PCC Southeast Campus
Community Hall Annex
2305 SE 82nd Ave., Portland

We should hear good feedback from the advisory committees tonight. Stay tuned for more coverage.

UPDATE 6/13: Here’s one of the key slides shown last night. TriMet is trying to figure out which design to go with: A narrower “alighting area”/step out and straight/wider bike lane, or a narrower bike lane that jogs (and requires cutting into existing curb) around a larger step out zone:

Here’s another graphic that was shown to the committees last night. It’s an animation that depicts the intended movements of different users:

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

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City to accept $2 million in state funds for greenway parallel to 82nd Avenue

Bike Portland - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 10:20

Just one block makes a big difference. Here’s 82nd near SE Mill on the left and 80th near SE Mill — future Seventies Greenway Route — on the right.

At their City Council meeting tomorrow, Mayor Ted Wheeler and his colleagues will authorize an agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation to put $2 million into city coffers for the design and construction of the Seventies Neighborhood Greenway.

The money comes from a federal grant distributed by ODOT through their Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP. The total project cost is estimated to be $5 million. Once completed the route will traverse over five miles of east Portland on a circuitous path parallel to 82nd Avenue, a major arterial (owned and managed by ODOT) that’s full of destinations. The final route is yet to be determined, but initial plans call for using a variety of low-traffic side-streets between 75th and 80th. The greenway boundary would be NE Sacramento and SE Flavel streets.

Here’s the current route map (green line):

Because this project is still in its initial stages, PBOT doesn’t have much information to offer at this point. What we do know is that the project will come with the typical array of greenway tools including: traffic calming infrastructure like speed bumps and medians, new crossing treatments, paving, and new signage and pavement markings. PBOT also plans to build a new multi-use path through the Rose City Golf Course in the project’s northern end to fill an existing gap in the bikeway.

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Here’s more from the City Council ordinance:

2. There are significant gaps in the City’s bikeway network that discourage riding bikes to work, school, shopping, etc. The Seventies Greenway project will address deficiencies in this corridor.

3. The project will address these deficiencies by filling in major gaps between safe and comfortable north-south pedestrian and bicycle routes in the City.

4. Specifically, the route will provide 11 enhanced crossing treatments such as curb extensions, island, RRFBs, cycle tracks, multiuse paths, etc. for pedestrian and bicyclists at busy streets and nearby schools.

While the ordinance says the design process for this project will start immediately upon passage, PBOT Communications Director John Brady told us this morning that it will likely start early next year.

If it’s done right, the Seventies Greenway could be a crucial link in the north-south network. It’s also just one of several east Portland projects in the works at the moment. PBOT has also started design on two east-west greenways, HOP (Gateway Transit Center to 128th) and 4M (Market, Mill, and Millmain); and two more north-south greenway on the 100s and 150s. Those projects are part of the $20 million East Portland Access to Employment & Education project.

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

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Pedalpalooza is rolling with tacos, a tiki bar bike, a pedaled wedding, and so much more

Bike Portland - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 07:39

(Photos by Aaron Brown)

From the wonky to the wacky, the seventeenth annual Pedalpalooza has shown that Portland’s creative, inclusive, free, and fun bike culture is alive and well.

Here are some highlights…

So much to discover on the Lents Green Ring Ride:

Thanks to everyone who came out for the Lents Green Ring ride! . . . #pdxbikes #sepdx #Pedalpalooza2018 #greenlents #everyoneonbikes

A post shared by Bikes for Humanity PDX (@b4hpdx) on Jun 3, 2018 at 2:32pm PDT

Look at all that purple on the Prince4Ever Ride:

#prince4ever Prince 4ever Ride #pedalpalooza2018

A post shared by armando (@dudeluna) on Jun 7, 2018 at 8:15pm PDT

Learning about our hidden city on the Remnants and Relics Ride:

Remnants and Relics Ride! Portland history is all around you. Thanks to Shawn and Dan for all the Portland history and a really fun ride! #pedalpaloozapdx #pedalpalooza2018 #pedalpalooza #pdxhistory #vintagepdx #oldportland #pdxlife #pdxnow #downtownpdx

A post shared by Keith Jones (@keithmj255) on Jun 7, 2018 at 9:25am PDT

Foosball in the park during Grilled By Bike:

Thank you @ericivy for allowing us to pay foosball in the park in the rain today #pedalpalooza #potislegalhere #contacthigh

A post shared by Tom McTighe (@tommctighe) on Jun 9, 2018 at 11:41pm PDT

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Dan Mallery and Dave Morgon got married while pedaling around Ladd Circle!

Married in motion #pedalpalooza

A post shared by Tom McTighe (@tommctighe) on Jun 9, 2018 at 2:45pm PDT

A very impressive (and fully-functioning!) tiki bar bike on the Tiki Ride:

Karl’s Big Kahuna Tiki Bike is here! #bigkahunatikiride #pedalpalooza2018

A post shared by armando (@dudeluna) on Jun 11, 2018 at 6:57pm PDT

Wonking out on bikes and transit:

Caught a hot minute of the #bikeloudpdx tonight, featuring when buses/transit and bikes interact. #pedalpalooza #pedalpalooza2018

A post shared by Shawn Granton (@urbanadventureleaguepdx) on Jun 11, 2018 at 6:55pm PDT

Healthy crowd for a rainy Atlas Obscura Ride:
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bj3wpTQBvH8

Chickens, goats, crops and new friends on the Cully Farm Tour ride:

I held a chicken for the first time. I definitely have room for improvement and want to try again. This is on the Cully Neighborhood Farms bike ride, seeing some of the 30 farms. #chicken #polishchicken #farm #neighborhood #firsttime #learning #new #portland #pdx #urban #urbanfarming #chickens #biketour #bikeride #bikehelmet #chickencoop #pedalpalooza

A post shared by Alex Linsker (@alexlinsker) on Jun 10, 2018 at 11:50am PDT

And that’s just a sampling of the fun being had out there. What has been your favorite ride so far?

Check the calendar to find your fun.

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

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1984 Bike Tour: Day 31 – Shortcut proves hazardous

Biking Bis - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 05:35
Tuesday, June 12, 1984 Chanute to El Dorado, Kan. 99 miles Locater map I’m reprinting the day-to-day journal entries of a cross-country bike tour my friend and I took in 1984.  More about the TransAmerica Tour 1984 Gene’s Journal We’re staying at a motel across the tracks in a town with the unlikely name of El Dorado …

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Mark V reviews: Park PRS-25 Team Issue Portable Repair Stand

Bike Hugger - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 23:18

Park Tool has been the first name in bicycle tools for decades, at least here in the States. For me worn and weathered Park workstands standing beneath faded pro rider posters are the trappings of every good bike shop. I’ve never worked in a bike shop that did not rely on heavy Park workstands drilled into the shop floor or affixed atop a seventy pound steel plate, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But when it comes to workstands for wrenching at home or  in the field, I haven’t exactly been faithful to the brand. Over the years I have had a few different brands and configurations, and the bikes have changed quite a bit since then. So coming to this Park PRS-25 Team Issue repair stand sorta feels like closing a circle.

The $325 PRS-25 is Park’s top portable repair stand in the seatpost clamp configuration. At just 13-lbs the PRS-25 folds down to 47″ but can put the clamp arm a full five feet off the ground, so you can work on bikes without hunching over. The two-legged  base quickly folds out to form a triangle 36″x36″x45″, giving plenty of stability even when you will swing a bike up vertical to fish cables around the bottom bracket, and the rotation is firmly held in place with a pivoting lever. But the best part of the #100-25D Micro-Adjust clamp to quickly and securely grip a wide variety of tube shapes, including aero seatposts and other non-round tubes from 23-76mm.

 

The cammed clamp lever flips to open or close quickly, but you do the final tightening by cranking the knob. The Park PRS-25’s Micro-Adjust clamp makes working on bikes with proprietary seatposts and seatmasts much more practical.

The Micro-Adjust clamp is tightened with a rotating arm that has a cam, so you can stick the bike in, flip the cam over to close it down fast, and then precisely crank it down the rest of the way. This makes the clamp fast to use but minimizes the chances that you’d accidentally clamp too hard on the tube (crucial with carbon fibre). The clamp’s contact surfaces are notched in the middle to steady aero seatposts and frame tubes without crushing them. This clamp is so much more versatile that I want to replace the clamps of the 35-year-old Park shop-grade stands at work.

Among other portable repair stands, I find the V-shaped base of the PRS-25 to be more stable than tripod-style bases, since PRS-25 cantilevers the weight of the bike over the widest side of the triangle footprint. The stand’s base extensions are very close to the ground when deployed, and I learned that I could pin one of them down with my foot if I wanted some momentarily added stability.

I mentioned that I have used a variety of portable repair stand configurations before. For a while I thought that repair stands that clamp the fork tips and brace the bottom bracket were the cool way to go, if for no other reason than that all the European pro team mechanics preferred them. But now I am thoroughly in the seatpost clamp camp. For one thing the BB/fork mount stands are really only practical if you only work on bikes that are more or less identical, like a pro team would have. If you work on a variety of bikes with different BB contours, front-center lengths, and front axles, setting up the fork clamp becomes tedious. Since you have to drop the front wheel out, you can’t make useful adjustments to the front brake, especially for disc brake bikes. Those Euro team stands do not accommodate front fenders most of the time either. With the advent of thru-axles, flat-mount brakes, and internal cable routing, there are a lot of reasons that a mechanic might want to put a bike vertical or get underneath the frame for better access, but the BB/fork stands are basically always horizontal and typically much lower than the PRS-25. About the only thing that a BB/fork stand does better the PRS-25 is provide a firm support when really torquing with a threaded bottom bracket, which is hardly a viable selling point to road team mechanics anymore (because good luck finding a road bike with a threaded BB). Park Tool actually makes a top quality BB/fork stand called the PRS-22.2 ($340), but I just think that it is too limited outside of a pro road team environment.

After twenty years of wrenching on bikes, I consider the Park PRS-25 to be by far the most ergonomic portable stand I have ever used. There are cheaper or perhaps lighter stands that fold up marginally smaller, but they concede a lot to achieve that. At this point in my life I don’t have time for those compromises.

 

 

The pivoting lever secures the clamp arm rotation against slipping

The post Mark V reviews: Park PRS-25 Team Issue Portable Repair Stand appeared first on Bike Hugger.

No matter how you feel about the head tax, the Council should not start selling vetoes

Seattle Bike Blog - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 19:06

Regardless of your opinion on the city’s employee head tax to fund affordable housing and homelessness solutions, repealing the tax one month after unanimously passing it is effectively handing Council power to wealthy people and businesses. The repeal in the face of a likely voter referendum opens a new pathway for monied interests to effectively veto Council action, and this one will have a clear price tag.

We won’t know the exact amount of money it took to pay for enough signatures to get this referendum on the ballot until all the campaign disclosures are in. Filings by the No Tax On Jobs campaign so far show costs at a shade under $300,000. So is that the new price to veto Council action?

People and businesses with money already have all kinds of ways to influence politicians. And when that doesn’t work, they have other tools to stop or delay changes anyway. The Queen Anne Community Council sued the city, using the state’s environmental impact laws to delay common sense rules to make it easier for more people to build backyard cottages, for example. And, of course, a handful of businesses in Ballard have successfully delayed the Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link for more than a decade by using those same environmental review laws.

The vast majority of people do not have the money to file project-delaying lawsuits or spend $300,000 on signature campaigns. People experiencing homelessness certainly don’t. But the people should have the City Council.

If the Council hands their keys to the membership of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce or whoever else has enough money, what lever of power do the people have left?

What message would a repeal send to all the people who volunteered their time and energy to support this tax and get a compromise version of it through a unanimous Council vote? That even if they succeed, the money-holders will just pay to erase their efforts? Why would anyone dedicate another second of their time to working within such a broken system? I hope people stay engaged, of course, but the Council needs to uphold their end of that relationship.

A unanimous City Council vote must mean something. It should be the ultimate statement of intent. Our city’s elected leadership has negotiated and agreed to this policy, and we’re going to follow it until we have good reason to change it. A paid signature campaign is not a good enough reason.

If they were voting to replace the funds for housing and homelessness services with a comparable or better funding method, that might be a reasonable action. But so far, no such replacement plan exists. Since the head tax is the law of the land now, repealing it is a funding cut that hits our most vulnerable neighbors directly. Without shelter, people die. This is not a game.

Obviously, this is a very difficult and complicated situation. Far more so than I understand, I’m sure. But the message to the people if this repeal goes through is pretty simple: People with less money are less important.

What does this mean about our other Council-approved legislation? That’s why I said at the top that it doesn’t matter how you feel about the head tax. An issue you do support might be next. We have massive problems to solve in our city, and we’re going to need a lot more bold and controversial votes if we have any chance of addressing them. We need the Council to have the power to take bold action. Otherwise, they are just Student Senate, only making decisions the people actually in charge of the school will allow them to make. The value of your voice in Council Chambers will be diminished because the power of the Council will be diminished.

Of all nine City Councilmembers, only Kshama Sawant and Teresa Mosqueda are sticking with the head tax so far. I hope a few more have a change of heart before Tuesday’s vote. I first became a huge Mike O’Brien fan back in 2010 when he bravely reversed his stance on a punitive anti-panhandling ordinance. At the time, it seemed like a risky political move, alienating him from wealthy power brokers in the city. But it instead set him on a path to be a champion for the people on Council for nearly a decade. I’m hoping he and a few colleagues (like Seattle Bike Blog endorsement recipients Lorena González, Sally Bagshaw and Rob Johnson) do that again tomorrow.

Signs-ups are open for Portland’s first-ever interscholastic MTB team

Bike Portland - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 14:09

Coaches at the first Leaders’ Summit held in Portland in mid-April.
(Photo: NICA Oregon Chapter)

If you know a young person in Portland who’s stoked on mountain biking, now, for the first time ever, they can sign up for a team through their school.

The Portland Metro Composite MTB Team is the latest evolution of the fledgling Oregon chapter of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association we first reported on back in December.

In April, over 30 volunteer coaches from throughout Oregon participated in the inaugural Leaders’ Summit held in Portland. Now they’ve fanned out across the state to build their teams in advance of the first races which are set to begin this September.

With a team of certified and insured coaches, NICA Oregon is ready to get rolling. All that’s missing are the students! Let me make sure the Portland area fields a strong team and does us proud! Read below the jump to find out about how to get involved…

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(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

The team is open to students from any school in Portland, grades 6 through 12. Once the team is set up there will be weekly skill-development and practice events this summer to be held at Portland’s home court: Gateway Green! No previous mountain biking experience is necessary, there are no tryouts, no one gets cut, and all genders are welcome. Team dues (which includes NICA membership and registration at four race weekends) are $275 and there are scholarships available.

If you’re interested, the first team meeting for parents and guardians happens tomorrow (June 12th) at 6:30 pm at Irving Park in northeast Portland (near the basketball courts).

For more information, check out the Portland Composite Team homepage and NICA Oregon.

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

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Op-ed: Bicyclists should support I-1631, Protect Washington voter initiative

Seattle Bike Blog - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 11:59

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following op-ed is written by Chris Covert-Bowlds, M.D., a person who bikes, is a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and supports I-1631.

Washington state bicyclists should support I-1631 — the Protect Washington voter initiative. With a carbon dioxide emission fee paid by the producers to tackle climate change, I-1631 will fund non-motorized transportation, healthy forests, and clean air, water and energy investments.

Seventy percent of the funding would be dedicated to clean air and energy projects, of which non-motorized transportation would be eligible, potentially resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in walking and biking infrastructure.  In practice, these investments will go to multiple strategies, recommended by the board, but there is a preference for “strategies that reduce vehicle miles traveled.”

As a Seattle family doctor, daily bicycle commuter, and father of two 20-something-year-olds who bike frequently, I know we need safer roads for people who bike.

We also need clean air, water and energy, and healthier forests, to address the health dangers already caused by climate change.

A broad coalition of groups representing health care, the environment, unions, people of color, and tribes created I-1631 as an equitable way to tackle climate change.

I am gathering voter signatures for this initiative because it is very good for the health of the people of Washington, including our kids and grandkids.

If we gather 260,000 valid voter signatures by June 30, and voters approve it November 6, I-1631 will fund non-motorized transportation (think bike lanes, sidewalks, etc), and help us address wild fires, air and water pollution, and sea level rise, which are already killing us.

I-1631 will fund clean air, clean water, clean energy, healthy forests, help affected workers transition to sustainable jobs, and help affected communities and tribes address climate change impacts. The carbon fee starts at $15 per ton of CO2, rising by $2 per ton per year, until we reach our state greenhouse gas emission targets.

Climate change is the great moral and political challenge of our time. We can all can help gathering signatures to get I-1631 on the ballot.

For the health of ourselves, our children, grandchildren, and to alleviate the suffering of the people in our state already being affected by climate change, let’s lead the nation, with I-1631, the Clean Air, Clean Energy initiative.

To help, and for info, go to www.yeson1631.org.

Comment of the Week: We need stronger countermeasures to defend against out-of-control drivers

Bike Portland - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 09:19

Someone plowed their car into the bike parking structure at Hawthorne and 38th yesterday. Note the “See & Be Seen” poster.
(Photo: Doug Klotz)

Many Portlanders who use our streets outside the relative safety of a steel reinforced cocoon are growing impatient with the timid designs coming out of our transportation agencies.

Two posts last week — showing latest plans for Metro’s SW Corridor light rail project and PBOT’s Outer Division project — brought out an unusually high number of critical comments from some of our smartest and most engaged readers (and importantly, ones who don’t usually express such disdain).

I highly recommend reading the comments on both of those posts if you want to understand the widespread frustration in the community about the lack of willingness to constrain auto use in order to make cycling and other modes a more viable option.

One comment in particular stood out to me. It was written by reader “Kittens” in response to learning about the City of Portland’s latest designs for the Outer Division project:

“I honestly can’t imagine that the elite planners of this naive design have spent much time in East County beyond the obligatory focus groups and minority outreach sessions. They fail to grasp the basic understanding of what is going on out on outer division st. The sad truth is of the matter is that people are driving like jerks on purpose, not by accident or that they didn’t know the rules of the road or that they didn’t have enough lights or paint.

What we are talking about here is a willful disregard for the safe operation of automobiles, which, though increasingly common throughout all quarters of our city, is most prevalent in the wide open spaces outside the core.

We are living in a new age, one where the automobile, once a symbol of freedom and independence has become a weaponized phallus engorged with rage, a mobile terrorism device and menace to life beyond itself.

Bring on the Jersey barriers, tire teeth and retractable bollards protecting bike boulevards, impervious to lift kits, loud pipes and ragers with relationship issues.”

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This comment struck a chord with me because I think it accurately identifies a major problem in Portland: We are not doing enough to defend our streets against the scourge of dangerous drivers.

While PBOT and TriMet and other agencies aim to “balance the needs of all road users,” the historical imbalance continues. Our system is so tipped in favor of driving that the time for “balance” is long gone. Unless we want drivers and their cars to rule our city, it’s time to tip the scale the other direction. We must do more to curtail the amount of driving people do — and the recklessness they’re able to do it with.

Thanks for the comment Kittens. Your prize is a free loaf of bread compliments of our friends at Grand Central Bakery.

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

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The Monday Roundup: Cargo bikes over cars, history of VC, cycling in suburbia, and more

Bike Portland - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 08:04

Welcome to the week.

Before we get to the best stories we came across in the past seven days, let’s give some love to our sponsor: The Weekender Ride by Cycle Oregon. Grab some friends and head to University of Oregon on July 13-15 for a weekend of riding, relaxing, and reveling you won’t soon forget.

Now, on with the news…

Teach them young: You can help prevent driving abuse in the next generation by exposing young minds to books that share positive depictions of walking, biking, and urban living.

Cargo bikes’ rise: There’s a strong presence of cargo bikes for hauling kids and goods in German cities. So much so that this news out refers to them as, “the nippy, clean alternative to cars and delivery vans.”

Oslo is looking past car use: This city in Norway is showing the rest of the world that it’s possible to phase out driving as the dominant mode of travel. They’ve set a goal of being carfree by 2019.

Don’t ride like a jerk: London is similar to Portland in terms of street culture, so it’s no surprise they have many people who don’t bike with respect for others. That’s where a new “considerate cycling” awareness campaign comes in.

RIP VC: A recent episode of the Outside/In podcast presented a history of bike advocacy in the U.S., including the rise and fall of vehicular cycling.

Geography of driving deaths: Richard Florida connects the dots of a major study into where road fatalities happen to show how they relate to political leanings, speed limits, and even income levels.

Bike share data: Mobility Lab asks a good question about the trend of large, opaque corporations gobbling up urban bike share systems: Will they share ride data?

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Highways and segregation: How would ODOT’s proposed I-5 freeway widening through the Rose Quarter fare if planners were required to complete — and abide by — an “Equity Impact Statement”?

Cycling suburbia: The town of Houten in The Netherlands is a marvel of 1960s suburban planning done with cycling in mind instead of driving. Hopefully the U.S. citizens on a recent People for Bikes study tour will bring its lessons back to America.

Think e-scooters are bad: The anti-scooter hysteria is silly on many levels. For me what makes it misplaced is that car-oriented problems — like the highly inefficient and often passenger-less Uber/Lyft vehicles that add to emissions and congestion — are a much bigger deal yet they fail to garner the same pushback.

Bikes and scooters for all: Lime announced a new payment platform that allows unbanked people without smartphones to purchase ride cards at places like CVS and 7-Eleven.

Skip’s scooter play: A dockless e-scooter company that sets itself apart by following the rules and treating cities and riders with respect? Sounds like the kind of company PBOT will favor when it hands out permits.

Hefty fines: Montreal is one of the most bike-oriented cities in North America; but if you ride there make sure you have plenty of reflectors on your bike to avoid an expensive citation.

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

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1984 Bike Tour: Day 30 – Kansas is big state to lose partner in

Biking Bis - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 05:34

Tonight finds us at Bryan and Janette's apartment in Chanute. They're a wonderful couple that Bruce met at a restaurant in town where he was eating. Bryan found me a few hours later as I was riding into town.

That's because Bruce and I got separated today.

We cycled the 35 miles from Golden City to Pittsburg in about 3 hours. Riding our first flat roads in four weeks meant  we had a lot of power to cover lots of ground -- fast...

Beyond “Compact” Dropbars Pt3: Compass Maes Parallel 31.8 handlebar

Bike Hugger - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 18:10

In this last in a series of three posts discussing long reach handlebar alternatives to the run-of-the-mill compact road dropbar, I look at a modern reincarnation of a French archetype, the Compass Maes Parallel 31.8 handlebar.

 

Once upon a time in the mid-20th century, there was a handlebar known  as the “Maes” that essentially established what we today consider the classic handlebar shape for road bikes. Not too much flare, the top flats of the bar running roughly straight outwards from the stem, lower drops not too angled away from the ramps….virtually the picture book definition of what we would define as a “dropbar”. From about 1960 on, the majority of road bikes were equipped with what could be generally considered a “Maes”-type handlebar, even as the brand itself faded away. But eventually the term “Maes” lost its usefulness as a way of differentiating the variety of handlebars that subtly evolved from the blueprint of that Maes archetype. In the context of current products that one can buy, Compass Cycles offers a handlebar that is inspired by the early expressions of the Maes form and yet fits in a modern 31.8mm clamp stem.

 

Compass Maes Parallel handlebar on a Davidson titanium Note the long ramps (part of the bar immediately above/behind the levers.

 

Same bike with a Fizik Cyrano Snake R3 handlebar, which has a traditional bend but far shorter reach than the Compass. Note that the stem here is 3cm longer than the one used with the Compass bar A Bontrager XXX VR-C handlebar, shaped much like a typical compact dropbar but with nearly as much reach as the Compass Maes Parallel

 

Perhaps it is more precise to say the Compass Maes Parallel is patterned off early models of the Atax Philippe Professionnel handlebar from France. In contrast to the later more influential Italian brands, the Philippe Professionnel had a long reach, moderate flare, and nearly parallel drops (relative to the ramps). Whereas the shorter reach and often deeper drop of the archetypal Cinelli models (#64, 65, and 66) reflected the flavour of intense, shorter events that have come to define modern sanctioned road racing, the longer reach French-style bars maintained a certain fidelity to the endurance events and sportive touring activities that found popularity in immediate post-war Europe. Multiple hand positions are the express purpose of any dropar, but the Maes’ long ramps extend the range that hands can roam behind the levers, which was especially important in that era when brake levers were little more than mechanical pivots quite inhospitable to hands.

A vintage Atax Philippe Professionnel handlebar on an Otso Warrikan. The ramps do slope slightly downward before the hook, while the modern replica by Compass has the ramps parallel to the drops

As dropbar levers evolved into integrated brake/shift controls, the levers grew larger and more ergonomically shaped; the ongoing move to hydraulic road levers continues this trend. Today’s ubiquitous “compact” road handlebar attains its short reach by largely eliminating the ramps of the classic dropbar, which is only tolerable because integrated levers are by themselves now large enough to comfortably be the default hand position for the modern rider. Still, a rider who habitually racks up more than 3-5hrs in a shot may be searching for more options to perch the hands. The Maes Parallel allows the rider to shorten up on the bar and sit more upright on a climb, perhaps resting the lower back muscles a bit. Riders suffering from cramped hands may also find relief on this bar. The longer the ride, the more this is necessary, and that is why the Maes Parallel is ideally suited to long distance rides like randonnees and touring.

Oddly enough, this once common handlebar shape had largely disappeared from the market dominated by the compact dropbar.  There has not been a classic Maes-type bar to fit modern 31.8mm stems, even while there are numerous modern copies of those Italian designs. Enter Compass Cycles.

The $115 Compass “Maes Parallel 31.8” handlebar is an adaption of a previously existing 25.4mm version, both of which are made with the utmost quality for Compass by Japan’s venerable Nitto. The Compass Maes Parallel is largely faithful copy of the old Philippe Professionnel, though the dozen or so Professionnel handlebars I have personally seen had ramps that were almost parallel to the drops, while the Compass is exactly so. Like the older French bar, the Compass is relatively shallow drop (125mm) and distinctly flares out below the shoulders. Because of this, the Compass bar is about 4cm narrower at the levers than where it measured at the bar’s ends (so a 400mm  size bar is 360mm at the shoudlers; the 440 is 400). Seen from above the Maes Parallel drops remain parallel at the bottom rather than angling outward. But before you rush to swap out your current handlebar, you need to think about the stem length.

With a reach of 115mm, the Compass Maes Parallel 31.8 have 30-40mm more reach than the typical modern “compact” handlebar. As compact dropbars represent more than 90% of the typical options on the current road market, and I strongly suggest that any potential buyer re-evaluate their stem length choice when they choose this handlebar.  A strong argument can be made that the most relevant aspect of bike fit concerning handlebars is where the lever hoods sit relative to the saddle, and obviously this Compass bar pushes the levers far forward. Where I would use a 100mm stem on a compact handlebar, I might chose a 70-80mm stem for use with the Compass Maes handlebar…otherwise the levers might end up uncomfortably outside my reach. In both cases the lever controls are the same distance:

(100mm stem+ 80mm reach compact bar) = (70mm stem+ 115mm reach Maes) 

…or close enough given that stems usually come in 10mm increments. Keep in mind that if you already use a stem shorter than 80mm with a compact bar, finding a short enough stem is going to be difficult (but not impossible).

There is one quirk about the way Nitto manufactured this bar, that it is only 31.8mm exactly where the stem clamps. The bar cross-section tapers immediately on either side, which leaves no room for accessory mounts that need to clamp onto the 31.8mm area. For instance, K-Edge mounts for GPS units won’t fit; you will want some kind of stem mount alternative.

On my own bikes, I have used the Compass Maes for commuting, gravel grinders, road riding, and cyclocross. For cyclocross I use the hoods and drops exclusively because a cyclocross race is always 30-60min of high output. There’s not much point to having more hand positions since there’s no time to relax. Also, the long ramps got in the way of my forearms when sprinting, even though the Compass’ flared drops keep the bar’s shoulders narrow. I liked it best for commuting, with the bar run a higher than on my stripped down road bikes.

The Maes Parallel was for me a mixed experience on gravel grinders. Most handlebars targeted at the gravel market are similar to compact road bars in terms of short reach and shape of the hook, but are generally wider with twice the amount of flare, but my personal preference for narrow bars finds no fault with the 40cm size Maes Parallel. The Compass Maes’ longer ramps really did save me from hand pain during those 6-9hr gravel grinders. With the shorter stem, the bar tops were 2-3cm closer, so I  could sit up higher and relax my back occasionally on the long climbs. Probably due to the long ramps bending like a spring when you grip the levers, the bar has noticeably more flex than typical roadbars…but not so much as to hamper control. On the contrary, the added give made washboard surfaces seem more manageable. Overall the Maes was a distinct improvement for comfort on really long, grueling rides compared the typical compact dropbar, but in my case this was entirely because of the bar’s roomier upper portion.

There was a drawback to the traditional bend of the bar below the levers however. The Compass bar would be my first choice for a loaded touring bike where the bar would be higher for more relaxed cruising, and then the drops could be more accessible for descents or muscling into headwinds. But on the long, rough, and  fast descents common to the gravel grinders here in Washington state, I prefer to ride on the drops for the more secure grip and control. With the Maes bar, reaching that far down and forward put too much strain on my back, and my weight distribution was a little too forward.  Raising the bar height would alleviate that issue, but that would put the levers higher than my preference for fast riding. My ideal bar for gravel riding would have the long ramps of the Compass Maes Parallel but the more ergonomic lower bend of a compact bar, something similar to the Bontrager XXX VR-C. The takeaway is that handlebar shape should match the bike, type of riding, and the rider’s fit.

A rider has three points of contact to the bike: pedals, saddle, and handlebar. Of the those, perhaps the one chosen with the least consideration is the handlebar. The industry tells us to pick one that is light, stiff, and perhaps aero, but does any of that really matter compared to comfort? Almost all road and gravel bikes on the market right now come with a variation of the compact dropbar; the main differences in geometry are the widths and amount of flare at the drops. Taking inspiration from older French bars designed for long distance touring and racing, the Compass Maes Parallel offers riders room forward and aft on the tops of the bar. This allows the long distance rider to alternate grip and body position for happier hands and less back fatigue. The Maes will require a shorter stem, and the traditional bend below the levers makes riding in the drops more of a stretch if you are used to compact dropbars.

Part 1 of the series

Part 2

 

The post Beyond “Compact” Dropbars Pt3: Compass Maes Parallel 31.8 handlebar appeared first on Bike Hugger.

1984 Bike Tour: Day 29 – Charmed by flat roads, finally

Biking Bis - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 06:01

GOLDEN CITY, MO. - Was this a mirage after too many hours in the saddle? We slipped into a couple of valleys after Pennsboro and were climbing out of the second one when I saw something standing up ahead of me in the road. At first I thought it was Bruce, but he was behind me. Then it looked like a tree had sprouted from the pavement. As I got closer, I saw it was a woman sitting astride a horse watching our slow approach. ...

1984 Bike Tour: Day 28 – Lazy Louie’s Bicycle Camp

Biking Bis - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 07:45

The Ozarks are starting to level out, and we were on pace for a 90-mile day when we saw the homemade sign on Route 38 between Hartville and Marshfield: "Lazy Louie Bicycle Camp." It was only early afternoon, but we knew we had to stop; we had told the Cookie Lady back in Virginia that we'd check in on him.

Lazy Louie opened the bicycle camp in 1976, the first year that cyclists started passing through on the Bikecentennial route. A eastbound couple who we met in the morning called the camp "kind of rustic." The camp is an overgrown woodlot across the road from his house and barn. There's a shelter, picnic table, and shady grassy areas for tents. You can tell he has put a lot of work into it over the years. ....

Oregon City school wins “Riding for Focus” grant from Specialized Foundation

Bike Portland - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 12:32

A middle school student from Springwater Environmental Sciences School displays work for a unit on the Oregon Timber Trail.
(Photo: Gabriel Tiller, OTT)

A school in Oregon City will be rolling on a new fleet of Specialized bicycles next year. The bikes will help them delve further into the natural world.

The Springwater Environmental Sciences School, a K-8 public charter based in a rural area near streams and woods, was one of 37 schools across the country (and the only one in Oregon) awarded a “Riding for Focus” grant by the Specialized Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the global bike company. The grants aim to fund programs where bicycles are integrated into the school’s physical education curriculum.

The students at Springwater caught the cycling bug from an unlikely source: The Oregon Timber Trail, the 668-mile (mostly) off-road trail that spans the entire state from California to the Columbia River. Last summer the school partnered with the Oregon Timber Trail Alliance and used the trail as a vehicle to study the rich geology and history it passes through.

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Students and school staff see tons of potential for making bicycles part of their daily approach to learning. Here’s more from Springwater’s winning application video:

Along with the fleet of bikes, the school will gain access to the Riding for Focus curriculum, a starter maintenance kit, and new helmets.

Next month, teachers from the school will attend a training at Specialized headquarters in Morgan Hill, California. The bikes are set to be delivered to a local shop for assembly in August and the program will be in place for Springwater’s middle school students by September.

Congratulations! We can’t wait to see what comes of this (we hear the school plans to build an Oregon Timber Trail-themed pump track)!

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

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