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North Portland rising: Arbor Lodge and Overlook residents ready to fight for safe streets

Bike Portland - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 14:09

At the N Greeley Traffic Safety Open House last night.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Something’s happening in north Portland. And it will have a profound impact on street safety for years to come.

People in all 11 neighborhoods that make up our city’s northern peninsula are sick and tired of living next to unsafe streets. And they’re coming together to do something about it.

Last night about 60 people crowded shoulder-to-shoulder inside Madrona Hill Cafe on the corner of Ainsworth and Greeley for a “traffic safety open house”. The meeting came five days after 50 people donned raincoats and rallied for safer streets at an unrelated event in St. Johns.

At the open house last night there were babies and kids and senior citizens and young professionals. And everyone had a story to tell. By the end of the night there were well over 100 post-it notes stuck to two large maps where people had written things like, “dog hit” “car hit” and “son cannot cross street w/ bike in the morning”. The event came after months of planning from a nascent group of volunteers from the Arbor Lodge and Overlook neighborhoods who are focused on traffic safety issues.

“Our goal is to get attention from the city.”
— Chris Jones, Arbor Lodge resident

Many of the leaders of the group first joined forces a year ago following a spate of fatal and serious injury collisions on nearby streets. With the pain from tragic collisions that took lives and forever altered others still fresh in their hearts, and armed with new complaints about increasing — and increasingly dangerous — auto use on many streets in the neighborhood, leaders like Katy Asher and Chris Jones want to have a larger and more powerful voice in City Hall.

“Everyone should feel safe using the roads,” Jones said, holding his baby in his arms, “Our goal is to get attention from the city.”

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50 people rallied last Friday for a safer N Fessenden.
(Photo: Jinnet Powel)

Last night’s event was held to gather feedback about traffic hot-spots and danger zones. It was also a chance to build a network of advocates to fix them. “Raise your hand if you’re interested in a longer-term commitment to represent north Portland on various city advisory committees,” Asher asked the crowd (several hands went up). Asher used last night as an opportunity to encourage her neighbors to take advantage of tools already available: free “Slow Down” yard signs from PBOT, the City’s 823-SAFE livability hotline, block party permits, intersection paintings, and so on.

Like so many other Portland neighborhoods, Arbor Lodge is dealing with the negative impacts of a startling rise in auto use. As population and congestion have grown, what used to be quiet neighborhood streets — like Villard, which came up a lot last night — are now popular cut-throughs used by drivers to save a few minutes on their commute. And streets that aren’t cut-throughs, like Greeley, Interstate, and Rosa Parks, are often so backed up that it’s hard to find a gap to cross safely.

This gathering was just one of several efforts happening simultaneously in north Portland. Last Friday about 50 St. Johns residents held a traffic safety rally on N Fessenden. They held signs, spoke into a megaphone, and stood in the street to make their voices heard. And as we shared this morning, another group is working to make North Willamette Blvd safer.

While it’s good to see these efforts take root, it would be even better if all these activists knew each other, pooled resources, and worked toward common goals.

Unlike other quadrants, north Portland lacks a go-to group for transportation-related issues. What if north Portland had a group that could stoke as much fear and respect in City Hall and PBOT as Southeast Uplift, SW Trails, the Central Eastside Industrial Council, or the East Portland Action Plan?

It all comes down to people showing up, working together, and getting loud. And I’m happy to see that north Portland is well on its way.

“We hope you’ll stay involved and make change happen,” Katy Asher said at the event last night. “Look around. We’re on to something.”

If you want to be a part of this effort, check out the Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Association website and stay tuned to the BP front page.

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

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Weekend Event Guide: Blazers Bike Night, costumed ‘cross, cemeteries, and haunted places

Bike Portland - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 11:51

A weekend of cyclocross racing like no other: The Crusade heads to Bend!
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Looks like we’ll have a nice and dry Halloween weekend. And that’s great because for some reason there are a lot of spooky-themed rides to enjoy!

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

If you’re not headed to Bend for the cyclocross racing like a few thousand other Portlanders, don’t miss the Crosstoberfest down in Lake Oswego on Saturday. There’s also a fun alleycat and Blazers Bike Night if that’s more your style. Then on Sunday we’ve got three scary rides to choose from. See the selections below and remember to check the full calendar for events not listed here.

Trick or treat!

Friday, October 27th

Breakfast on the Bridges Halloween Edition – 7:00 to 9:00 am on Steel, Hawthorne and Tilikum
Come for the free coffee and snacks, stay for the friends and conversation. Watch for the big gorilla on the Steel Bridge. Be nice and it’ll give you a banana!
More info here.

Filmed by Bike Volunteer Party – 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Baerlic Brewing (2235 SE 11th Ave)
If you’ve ever helped out with Portland’s best film fest, or if you’re curious about doing so, roll over to Baerlic for a fun party. You’ll also get a sneak peek at FBB’s 2018 slate. More info here.

We love cool event posters.

Saturday, October 28th

Luscher Farms Crosstober Fest (GPCM #7) – All day at Luscher Farm (125 Rosemont Rd)
Gotta love it when a city government (Lake Oswego) is the sponsor for a cyclocross race. You won’t want to miss Crosstoberfest whether your race, spectate, or both! There will be costuming, a vendor villege, and of course a fun and muddy course on Luscher Farm. More info here.

Cyclocross Crusade #5 – All day at Deschutes Brewing in Bend (901 SW Simpson Ave)
It’s the annual Halloween-themed ‘cross bash in Bend. Special this year will be a benefit party for Oregon Adaptive Sports, and there will even be a race for people who use adaptive bikes. And don’t forget the Islabikes Kids Cross event that happens both days.More info here.

Biking About Architecture – Hollywood/Irvington – 11:00 am to 1:30 pm at Velo Cult (1969 NE 42nd)
Join ride leader (and residential architecture buff) Jenny Fosmire for an easy tour of historic mansions and bungalows. She’ll point out cool stuff you probably miss when you bike buy — like cat-slip rooves, a modern log cabing, and more. More info here.

Q & A with Grant Petersen of Rivendell – 1:00 to 3:00 pm at Rivelo (401 SE Caruthers)
“Got a question for Grant? Ask him yourself!” Petersen is the founder of Rivendell and he’s not afraid to answer your questions about bikes, cameras, fly fishing, Bob Dylan, or whatever. More info here.

Scaredy Cat Alleycat – 3:00 pm at Lone Fir Cemetery (SE 23rd and Morrison)
Roll out to the spooky Lone Fir Cemetery for this combination alleycat, scavenger hunt and costume contest. Proceeds benefit the Trans Resistance Project. Bring $5 for entry. More info here.

Trail Blazers Bike Night – 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Moda Center
Annual Bike Night at the Moda Center is a way to support the Blazers and show people how easy and fun it is to ride to the game. This event is co-hosted by the Community Cycling Center. More info here.

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Cyclocross Crusade #6 – All day at Deschutes Brewing in Bend (901 SW Simpson Ave)
Second of a back-to-back race weekend, this is the big day for costumes. You will be judged (and heckled) and prizes will be given for the best ones. And did we mention the course in Bend is super fun! More info here.

Portland Monster Ride – 1:00 to 4:00 pm at Holladay Park in The Lloyd
The Portland Society is hosting this first annual ride where they promise, “Wild things with wild fangs, tendrils, spikes, and more.” More info here.

East Portland Cemeteries 1:30 pm at Parkrose/Sumner Transit Center
Join urban historian Shawn Granton for this tour of lesser-known cemeteries in east Portland. Expect a 10 mile route of five cemeteries along the 205 corridor. Ends at a food and beverage establishment. More info here.

Puddlecycle Halloween Ride – 5:45 to 8:45 pm, meet under the viaduct at 499 SE Caruthers St.
This ride will start with a viewing of the classic “Halloween is Grinch Night” followed by a ride to the Davis Graveyward, a super-spooky haunted house in southeast Portland. Most of the six-mile route is on the Springwater path. More info here.

This is just a sampling of the great rides this weekend. See the full list here.

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

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

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Neighbors see Willamette Blvd paving project as golden opportunity for better bikeway

Bike Portland - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 09:57

Current cross-section of Willamette. Lane on the left is used by residents to park cars.
(Image: Friends of Willamette Blvd)

Volunteers from several north Portland neighborhoods are seizing on a paving project as an opportunity for the City of Portland to make long-awaited changes to Willamette Blvd that would improve bicycle access on a key link in the network.

The Friends of Willamette Blvd have set up a website and are urging people to call Mayor Ted Wheeler, City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, and PBOT Director Leah Treat. They also have an online petition to gather as many signatures as they can by the end of this week.

Map of paving project location.

University Park neighborhood resident Robert Ping is one of the group’s leaders. He’s been working for two years now with an ad hoc committee that includes representatives from several north Portland neighborhoods and the University of Portland (a small college whose campus is on Willamette). The group has presented their idea at many neighborhood association meetings during that time. They’ve also run the idea by PBOT and have been in touch with Commissioner Saltzman’s office. “So far all the feedback we’ve gotten has been positive,” Ping shared in an an interview today.

Ping says he’s lived in the neighborhood for 14 years, rides Willamette twice per day on average, and he wants it to be safer.

Willamette Blvd currently has unprotected bike lanes and one standard vehicle lane in each direction. It also has an extra lane currently used as free parking for adjacent residents (nearly all of whom also have large driveways and/or parking spaces available on sidestreets). The Friends of Willamette Blvd want the city to repurpose that northern curbside lane for mobility purposes instead of free parking, which would create the space needed to restripe the street with wider and buffered bike lanes in both directions, and a five-foot wide shoulder on the bluff side for people who want to walk or run with a view of Swan Island and the downtown skyline.

Graphic: Friends of Willamette Blvd.

Taken yesterday. It appears PBOT is only paving the standard vehicle lane and not the bike lane. This is unfortunate. Not only is it disrespectful to people who use the bike lane, it also leaves a ridge and bumps which reduce bike lane quality.
(Photo: Robert Ping)

“Given the low utilization of existing on‐street parking and availability of alternative parking opportunities on nearby cross streets, private driveways, and garages, there may be opportunities to prohibit on‐street parking in order to pursue innovative bicycle treatments on Willamette Boulevard.”
— PBOT in 2011

Willamette has long been on the radar of PBOT as a street in need of better bicycle access. In 2011 PBOT undertook the North Willamette Boulevard Bikeway Development Project. Their plans were also to create more space for cycling by reallocating space currently used to park cars. But before the project even got started, PBOT accepted defeat because homeowners didn’t want to give up their parking spots the space they use to park cars in the street. As we reported at the time, The Oregonian called PBOT’s retreat, “a troubling statement about where Portland’s 2030 Bike Plan is headed without better work from the folks at the top.”

PBOT promised to look at “other options” but the project was shelved and not much has happened since. Thankfully PBOT hasn’t completely forgotten about Willamette. In recent years the bikeway has been widened and an extra stripe added to the southbound bike lane. The speed limit has also been recently reduced from 35 to 30 miles per hour (which is still very dangerous when drivers put their cars just inches from vulnerable road users).

But it’s not enough. As Portland has grown, auto use has gone up and many drivers use Willamette as a cut-through to avoid Lombard (this is epidemic happening on dozens of Portland streets right now, but that’s a different post).

Conditions on Willamette are very stressful.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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Photo taken yesterday by Robert Ping.

The current paving project came up rather abruptly, with sources telling us that PBOT and their maintenance division weren’t as coordinated as they should have been. With several bad potholes forming since winter, conditions on Willamette have worsened. People in cars and on bikes swerve to miss the holes and debris, which leads to extremely unsafe situations.

“Every house along Willamette from Bryant to Woolsey has 100 feet of frontage on Willamette and they have a driveway. They literally have four times what any other average home has for parking and they still complain about losing less than half of it.”
— Robert Ping, Cathedral Park neighborhood resident

The Friends of Willamette Blvd think now is the time to make it better and are asking people who live, work, or ride on Willamette to sign their letter. Here’s the text:

To Commissioner Saltzman and Leah Treat

The Friends of Willamette Blvd is a group of residents and business owners in the University Park, Overlook and St Johns neighborhoods who believe that N Willamette Blvd must safely serve people who walk, bike, and take transit. N Willamette is a crucial link in the transportation network for people in our neighborhoods. It is the only connecting street from N Rosa Parks to N Woolsey other than N Lombard (Oregon State Highway 30). For years, members of our community have asked the city to make N Willamette Blvd safe and accessible for people who walk, bike, and take transit.

Currently N Willamette Blvd fails to provide people with transportation facilities they can use safely and comfortably. People accessing transit have no place to wait for westbound buses. People walking on the south side of N Willamette are forced to pick their way along a make shift deer trail with a steep ravine to one side. People bicycling do so next to speeding traffic in narrow bike lanes. As such a vital connection for active transportation, N Willamette must be improved for the city to meet is transportation, livability, and climate goals.

Fortunately, the city has an immediate opportunity to improve the street for people who walk, take transit, and bicycle. The Portland Bureau of Transportation is paving N Willamette Blvd between Rosa Parks and Woolsey. Now is the time to re-purpose the low-use on-street parking to improve safety, comfort, and access for people traveling actively.

We ask that Commissioner Saltzman and Leah Treat direct PBOT to make N WIllamette Blvd a street where all transportation users have safe facilities and access to where they need to go. The opportunity to act is now and the failure to do so means a city that is less safe and less healthy.

Ping says the only pushback to the idea are likely to be the same people complained about parking loss when PBOT last approached them six years ago. To Ping, there’s simply no justification for using limited roadway space in this relatively small section of Willamette for free private auto parking. “Between Rosa Parks and Woolsey, I often see only two or three cars [near a church, which also has an off-street lot]. Every house along Willamette from Bryant to Woolsey has 100 feet of frontage on Willamette and they have a driveway. They literally have four times what any other average home has for parking and they still complain about losing less than half of it.”

Back in 2011, some local residents started an online petition opposing PBOT’s plans. They said the project would take away “100 much needed parking spaces” (PBOT analysis disagrees) and would turn Willamette into “a constant thoroughfare” that, “will decrease the quality of living for existing residents while simultaneously creating a more dangerous N. Willamette Blvd. for all stakeholders.” 15 people signed that petition.

The Friends of Willamette Blvd’s petition has about 60 names so far.

Asked whether PBOT will consider new striping with their current paving project, spokesman John Brady told us this morning that, “Yes, we will review the striping and look for ways to improve it.” When they last looked at the issue in 2011, PBOT’s plan was to shift auto traffic to the south and stripe a two-way bikeway on the north side.

What the striping ultimately looks like, and whether or not PBOT will use the full width of the street to create safer access for vulnerable road users — or if they’ll continue to protect free parking for a few dozen homeowners — remains to seen.

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

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OMSI wants to realign Water Ave and build a two-way cycle track

Bike Portland - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 07:05

Slide from a PBOT presentation made to City Council on October 18th. The yellow line is the realigned Water Avenue.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is located in a prime location transportation-wise. It sits at the confluence of the Eastbank Esplanade path, the carfree Tilikum Bridge, a streetcar and MAX station, and there’s even a submarine dock and a major railroad line nearby!

When their latest plans come together it’ll be even more impressive.

Last week Portland City Council moved the “Water Avenue Realignment Phase II” project into the Transportation System Plan as part of the Central City 2035 Plan update. Water Avenue currently makes a big “s” through OMSI’s property — which stretches west of Water to the Willamette River and from Market Avenue in the north to the Tillikum Bridge in the south. According to their new Master Plan (you can download it here), OMSI wants to straighten out that s-curve so Water Avenue runs adjacent to the railroad line. This would allow OMSI to create higher quality, people-centered spaces, plazas, and smaller “green streets” in the interior of their campus as new buildings are constructed in the future (see renderings below).

Here’s the vision for what OMSI calls “Tilikum Plaza”:

And another look at the future of the southern part of the campus that shows tighter integration with the existing streetcar stop:

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On the new Water Avenue, OMSI envisions a two-way, 14-foot wide bikeway separated from motor vehicles by a four-foot wide, planted stormwater bioswale.

Here’s the cross-section:

And this is an artist rendering that shows the bikeway (on the right):

Here’s more from the plan:

“The design of New Water Avenue creates rich opportunities for the intersection of disparate uses and experiences. Occupant oriented ground floor uses promote activity on the street level, while generous pedestrian sidewalks and covered walkways on the west side invite passers-by to engage and interact with ground oor occupants. Rolled curbs allow for easy, informal loading while large, rolling garage doors allow for production to spill out onto the sidewalk, contributing to the spectacle of street life.

Though Water Avenue serves as the primary thoroughfare for freight, the design also emphasizes bicycle circulation through the inclusion of a designated two-way cycle track. A vegetated strip traveling the whole length of the avenue serves as a buffer between vehicles and cyclists and while also collecting stormwater.”

In the “Circulation System: Bikes” section of the plan, OMSI says the new bikeway will “serve as the primary bikeway through the OMSI Master Plan area,” and “will provide for convenient and comfortable bicycle travel between the Clay Street and Tilikum crossing traffic signals.”

But that’s not all. OMSI isn’t trying to discourage bicycle traffic from its inner campus or from the existing path along the river. They’ve proposed upgrades to the Esplanade path, “to allow for greater separation of pedestrians and bikes with the minimization of conflict points.” The riverfront path adjacent to OMSI has seen its share of conflicts. Two years ago the museum put up signs encouraging “fast bikes” to use bike lanes on Water Avenue. According to City of Portland counts, about 2,800 bicycle riders pass the OMSI campus via the Esplanade and 1,600 use Water Avenue on an average day.

Part of OMSI’s motivation to improve bicycling conditions is to encourage more people to ride to the museum. According to findings presented in their master plan, if current modal shares (how people get to the museum) stay the same, OMSI would need to add 152 auto parking spaces (or 790 total) to prevent their existing lots from filling up. “However, given the accessibility to transit and bike infrastructure,” states the plan, “OMSI will likely see a higher utilization of these modes by guests and a lower parking demand in the future… should OMSI increase the museum guest walking, biking or transit mode share by five percent, the peak parking demand could be reduced by about 25 cars per day.”

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

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Sony a7R III: 42 MP, Fast Performance, Compact

Bike Hugger - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 14:51

Ed note: Sharing this post from the camera side of the house, Sony Mirrorless Pro. 

After a private press event in New York last night, Sony announced the a7R III with an unexpected Pixel Shift Multi Shooting Mode (whoa!) and specs that respond to pretty much all the feedback they’ve gotten since the first and second marks.

  •  35mm Full-Frame 42.4 MP Back-Illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS Image Sensor with Evolved Image Processing
  • Continuous Shooting at up to 10 fps with either Silent Shooting or Mechanical Shutter and full Auto Focus/Auto Exposure tracking
  • 399 phase-detection AF points covering 68% of image area, 425 contrast AF points and approximately 2 times more effective Eye AF
  • 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization with a 5.5 step shutter speed advantage
  • High Resolution 4K Movie Shooting with full pixel readout and no pixel binning
  • Completely redesigned for professionals, including upgraded Auto Focus, Dual SD Card Slots, Extended Battery Life, SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1 Gen 1) USB Type-C™ Terminal and more
  • Compact, Lightweight body at only 23 oz
  • $3200 USD and shipping next month.

The 6th bullet is for the pros, the 1st and 2nd are for pretty much everyone else and that’s the main point. The Sony a7R III is a 42mp camera, so the resolution is traditionally for portrait work but it’s fast enough for use in all situations and with stunning results.

Those situations include bicycle races, an epic shot of a ride in the loam, or an assignment to capture the morning bike commute. I just so happen to have a max res lens in for review that performs wonders on my 1st-gen A7R, and I can’t wait to see what the Sigma 135 will do on a new Mark III.

That lens is also traditionally for studio work, but as learned, it really shines for street shooting. It was specifically designed for 50mp resolution, I guess anticipating this release from Sony and the Nikon D850

What that means is distracting elements disappear while your subject remains tack sharp even with the lighting isn’t ideal.

As I explained in posts about Kando, the intent of Sony’s cameras is to put you in the moment so you can get your best shot with the technology doing most of the work.

All About Image Quality

About the technology, the 42.4MP high-resolution, back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor utilizes a gapless on-chip lens design and AR (anti-reflective) coating on the surface of the sensor’s seal glass to dramatically improve light collection efficiency, resulting in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range.

The all-new α7R III also features a front-end LSI that effectively doubles the readout speed of the image sensor, as well as an updated BIONZ X™ processing-engine that boosts processing speed by approximately 1.8 times compared to the α7R II.

These powerful components work together to allow the camera to shoot at faster speeds while also enabling its impressive ISO range of 100 – 32000 (expandable to ISO 50 – 102400 for still images) and massive 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivity settings.

As I was saying, shooting in pretty much all conditions with sharp subjects is what this generation of cameras is about. And, handheld with a 5-axis optical image stabilization system that has been fine-tuned to support the high-res shooting capacity.

But wait there’s more! The new low-vibration shutter reduces vibration and image blur in all modes, including the high speed 10 fps shooting.

Addressing another complaint, Sony has finally resolved the dreaded red read light. The image pipeline will push 42.4MP images at up to 10 fps and most of the image functions are still operable.

That’s right, no more tapping your toes, or getting a cup of coffee while images write to the card.

In Focus

The upgraded focusing system of the α7R III is comprised of 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 68% of the image area in both the horizontal and vertical directions.  There is also 425 contrast AF points, an increase of 400 points compared to the α7R II.  This advanced system delivers AF acquisition in about half the time as the α7R II in low-light conditions, with tracking that is approximately 2 times more accurate as well.  The acclaimed Eye AF feature is also approximately 2 times more effective.

That means, you’re job is to compose with this camera, and it’ll get the shot.

4K Video

When shooting in Super 35mm format, the mark III uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 5K of information, oversampling it to produce 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth outputted with the HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) for an Instant HDR workflow. Further, both S-Log2 and S-Log3 are available for increased color grading flexibility and it’ll record full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, allowing footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion with AF tracking.

Pixel Shift Multi Shooting

I’m getting breathless reading all this, and then there’s the whoa part of the launch: Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode.

The mode takes full advantage of the advanced 5-axis optical in-body stabilization to precisely shifts the sensor in 1-pixel increments capturing four separate pixel-shifted images containing a total of approximately 169.6 MP of image data. The sequence of images can be composited together and processed utilizing the new “Imaging Edge” software suite.

That I gotta see for myself and will post the photos as taken. I’ll happily stuff the a7R III into a backpack with a lens and shoot from the top of the Lake Olallie climb.

TFW you show up for the ride hungover and your bro is more hungover than you @i_dream_bikes

A post shared by Byron (@bikehugger) on Aug 19, 2017 at 9:01pm PDT

Amazon hasn’t listed the a7r III yet, but those looking for a value should note that the Mark II is now 17% off at $2398 and the Mark I is $1898.

The post Sony a7R III: 42 MP, Fast Performance, Compact appeared first on Bike Hugger.

Let’s talk about bike boxes

Bike Portland - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 14:21

Tip: Please pull forward and fill bike boxes at red lights. They only work if they are used! (Pic is how NOT to do it.) pic.twitter.com/4WvTAnyLp1

— BikePortland (@BikePortland) October 25, 2017


On a ride into downtown this morning I came across a common sight: People on bikes waiting for a red light in a single-file line at an intersection that has a bike box. The bulk of the bike box — a large green space at the front of the intersection intended to make auto users to stop further back — was empty.

This has always puzzled me for several reasons. Whenever I come upon a bike box at a red light I’ve always thought it best to fill the box. That’s why it’s there right? So, in an effort to spread the word, I posted a photo and message about it to Twitter.

The many replies to that post surprised me. It turns out people have a lot of different opinions about bike boxes and how best to use them.

One of our friends on Twitter said the only reason to be in front of an auto user is to turn left. I disagree with that. In Portland the standard practice for turning left is to use what the Portland Bureau of Transportation calls a “left turn box” to do a “two-stage left turn” (a.k.a. “a Copenhagen left”). Stage one: If you’re headed north and want to turn left (westbound) you wait for green and roll to a green colored box in the intersection on your right. Stage two: You re-orient yourself 90-degrees to the left and wait for the signal to change before heading west.

Another person questioned the wisdom of filling the bike box if your plan is to simply continue straight and eventually have to merge back to the right to continue in the bike lane. “What good is that?” the person wondered.

Other friends on Twitter worried that waiting in front of auto users would make drivers “pissed”. And alarmingly, two people said they no longer wait in front because of experiences where a driver’s foot slipped off the brake pedal and bumped them. And related to that, others reminded me that some people are too afraid to position themselves in front of drivers and that bike boxes are not adequate for the “interested but concerned.”

The responses to my Tweet were enlightening. They reminded me that not everyone has the same understanding or opinions about how our various facilities are intended to be used. This is not good from a safety or efficiency standpoint.

I don’t need no stinkin’ bike box! --> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
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NW Broadway bike box in action.

That’s the way to fill it up!

As for bike boxes, they have many uses: They improve visibility between road users (which can prevent right hooks), they can facilitate turns (when they go all the way across a one-way intersection), they give bicycle users a head-start when the light turns green, and they give more space to bicycle users so that more of them can queue at an intersection and ultimately get through on the green signal.

That last point brings me back to people who line up single-file. Single-file is the least efficient way for bicycle riders to line up at any intersection. Our bikeways will never reach their potential if we’re afraid to bunch up a bit and share the space more efficiently. In high-functioning cycling cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam (where they don’t need bike boxes because they have an entirely separated lane for bikes), if people lined up single-file the lines would stretch around entire blocks! I know maintaining ample personal space is deeply engrained in our culture; but in my opinion we’d all be safer and happier if we weren’t so afraid to kindly pass others and let others pass when possible. And when there’s a bike box, we should definitely not be spread out way back into the bike lane. Doing so is much less safe and defeats the bike box’s purpose.

That’s just my opinion of course; but it jibes with what the Portland Bureau of Transportation and the National Association of City Transportation Officials think.

NACTO says one of the benefits of bike boxes is (emphasis mine), “Groups bicyclists together to clear an intersection quickly, minimizing impediment to transit or other traffic.”

And when the Portland Bureau of Transportation first rolled out bike boxes it’s clear they intended people on bikes to wait in front of auto users at red lights, as evidenced by the billboard and images below taken from a brochure they handed out in 2008:


What do you think? Are a single-filer or a buncher? Do you wait in front of the drivers at bike boxes? Or do you prefer to stay on the right?

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

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Council session reveals City’s commitment to I-5 congestion pricing

Bike Portland - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 10:35

I-5 north of Weidler overpass.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“I’m fully cognizant of the fact that [congestion pricing] may not happen before this project and I certainly don’t want to see this project fall by the wayside because of that.”
— Dan Saltzman, City Commissioner

As the Oregon Department of Transportation tries their best to move forward with a project to widen Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter, there remains broad support from experts, activists, insiders — and even politicians — that charging a toll to drive on the freeway is the most sensible way to respond to congestion concerns.

But until last week it had been all talk and posturing. That was before City Commissioner Dan Saltzman (who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation) drafted an amendment to an action item on the project in the Central City 2035 Plan. At their October 18th work session on the plan, Portland City Council agreed with Saltzman on an idea we first reported on back in September: That ODOT must implement congestion pricing on I-5.

But the devil is in the details. When would the tolls start? Would they be legal? How committed is the City of Portland to congestion pricing on I-5? Are they willing to risk the entire project if it doesn’t happen?

Saltzman’s amendment (a stronger version of an existing action item for the project) was seconded during the work session but still isn’t an official part of the CC2035 plan. PBOT will now spend six weeks refining the idea before it comes back to council on November 30th.

Here’s the language of the amendment that was supported by council last week (notice the changes from the previous version):

Words matter here. Notice that Saltzman’s language calls for the implementation of congestion pricing “… prior to the opening of this project.” That’s different than the language his office gave us on September 1st when he wanted to, “Include congestion/value pricing before the project breaks ground.”

There’s a big difference between doing something before a shovel hits the dirt and doing it before the ribbon is cut.

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“This [action item on congestion pricing] is what you want to see happen. It doesn’t mean that the project can’t happen if we don’t meet that action.”
— Art Pearce, PBOT

Mayor Ted Wheeler had some questions for PBOT staff at the work session last week. “I support congestion pricing and I support Commissioner Saltzman’s efforts. One possible hitch in all this: Who gets to decide that? Do we control that? Does the state control that? Or are we beholden to the federal government?”

“A little bit of all of those things,” replied PBOT Policy, Planning and Projects Group Manager Art Pearce. “The state needs to apply to the federal government for approval, and that’s what the legislature directed ODOT to do… to undertake a study in order to apply for approval to implement the program.”

Then Wheeler asked what would happen if the feds said “no” to congestion pricing. “I would hate to see all of the other aspects of this project go by the wayside and the funds returned to the state so they could use it to expand I-205 if the federal government doesn’t give us what we need right now,” he replied to Pearce. “I’m somewhat hesitant to throw down a gauntlet when I don’t know who’s picking it up on the other side.”

Then Pearce said something that should give pricing advocates pause. In describing Saltzman’s stronger language for the congestion pricing action item, he said, “It’s saying, this is what you want to see happen. It doesn’t mean that the project can’t happen if we don’t meet that action.”

With a worried look on his face, as if he realized how Pearce’s comments might be heard as being too weak on the city’s congestion pricing demands and wanted to make sure something stronger was on the record, Wheeler spoke directly to Pearce, “I want to clariy: Is that Commissioner Saltzman’s intent? Because I’m not sure you got that right.”

“Our intention is to see that [congestion pricing] happen,” Pearce replied.

Then Saltzman himself spoke up. “I want to see this happen. I think you have to push the bureaucracy in order to make something like this happen because it is a new concept, at least on the west coast. But I’m fully cognizant of the fact that it may not happen before this project and I certainly don’t want to see this project fall by the wayside because of that.”

And with that, Wheeler said, “Then you have me standing shoulder-to-shoulder with you on this. This is obviously an important project for the state. An important project for the City of Portland. I believe it has the opportunity to be transformational for this part of our city.”

Keep in mind that PBOT is a very strong partner with ODOT in support of the I-5 Rose Quarter Project — new freeways lanes and all. They’ll have to walk a fine line between demands for congestion pricing and a state agency that doesn’t seem to want it on the I-5 project.

At a major public hearing on the project back in September, an ODOT staffer threw cold water on congestion pricing by suggesting it would unfairly hurt low-income people. And in a story reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting on October 13th, ODOT Assistant Director Travis Brouwer “raised doubt about whether it makes sense to even try to impose tolls in the Rose Quarter.” Brouwer told OPB’s Jeff Mapes that, “It’s not clear that it is one [section of freeway] that would lend itself real well to congestion pricing.”

With council support for congestion pricing firmed up, PBOT’s Pearce told Mayor Wheeler and the commissioners that, “Our intention is to bring a much clearer point to the congestion pricing conversation about six weeks from now.”

Stay tuned.

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

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Bike ride to fall color on Snoqualmie Valley Trail

Biking Bis - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 09:01

The bands of winter rains lately dubbed The Big Dark by local media seemed to vanish early this week in the Pacific Northwest, so I made a bee-line to the Snoqualmie Valley Trail east of Seattle.

The section between Carnation (named for its contented dairy herds) and Duvall drew my attention because it gets a …

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Product Review: Cool weather, USA made kit from Ornot

Bike Portland - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 14:54

Socks, Bib shorts and jersey colourways sync up for a put together look.
(Photos: James Buckroyd)

Pretty psyched for a change of season, I ordered up some new gear.

I needed some new colder weather kit and wanted to try something different, so I grabbed a few things from Ornot, a smaller San Fransisco company that has been around for about four years. Ornot’s brand stuck in my mind from the play on words in their clever marketing campaign: “You can be a rolling billboard, Ornot.” The whole point being that their kit has no logos, no sponsors, no massive branding. In the cycling world we’ve all been subjected to logos everywhere on cycling kit — some tastefully done, some not. Browsing through the website you see an array of products all with minimal branding and really nice patterns and designs.

I ordered up some winter bib shorts, a winter jersey and socks for the full matchy-match look.

Here are my impressions…

Sizing and overall quality

Cut and sewn in San Fransisco seems like an expensive endeavor and considering what they cost I was expecting lower quality than other gear I’ve tested. I was wrong. The materials are really nice, the construction is well done, and the fit is pretty good too. I say “pretty good” because I did have to exchange some sizes which can be annoying to get to the right fit. 160 pounds and 6-foot-3, I went by the guides on the website and I’d say they are a size off. Initially ordering small, the bib shorts were crazy tight and a medium fit much better, even if on the web it showed they were too big for me. As far as jerseys go, I’m not a spot-on fit, closer to a large in this winter jersey, than to a super skin tight medium, so it’s worth considering sizes before ordering. Generally I would say their pattern grading is different than published sizes on their website. For reference I’m a medium in Rapha and large in Castelli, which translates to a medium bib short and large jersey in Ornot.

The materials are of a higher quality and are sourced from abroad, while the pattern, design and the construction happens in San Francisco. Employing local people in the US costs comparatively more than manufacturing in foreign countries. Profit margins in apparel are generally pretty high, but given their quality and USA construction, it appears to me that Ornot is willing to accept lower margins to support an American workforce.

DWR Thermal Bib Shorts ($175)

Leg gripper.

The bib shorts come in mens and womens versions and are made from a heavier-weight lycra backed with a brushed-fleece lining. The fleece traps pockets of air in its weave and keeps you more insulated (and thus warmer), an ideal for these cooler fall temperatures we’ve been having. Along with a full dyed black material (meaning it lasts longer) it has a DWR coating to repel water. DWR coatings are used in a lot of outdoor gear and rain jackets. It’s proven to be effective at repelling light rain and stopping the material from soak-through.

Leg grippers are taken care of with a two-inch flat band with light silicone backing for a smooth taper to leggings or bare skin and embrocation. The pattern is very form-fitting and the main panels have a high amount of compression that makes the shorts feel snug and holds the muscles in place from vibration. The seams are high quality flatlock variety with no lose ends. The chamois is an unperforated Cytech pad (same Italian manufacturer that Rapha, Assos and Capo use). Ornot has opted for a slimmer, four-hour pad, which makes sense because a six-hour pad in a winter short is probably overkill (given that we’re taking shorter rides this time of year).

The bib shorts feel a lot like broken-in Rapha Pro Team Winter shorts and thats a really good thing, as my Rapha’s are excellent. Slightly compressive, the shorts fit well and the chamois doesn’t feel bulky at all. I personally like the slim pad as it doesn’t feel like a lump that gravitates to the back of the shorts. The leg grippers are thin yet tough material and work really well with knee or leg warmers to give you a tapered smooth transition. With a few sprinkles I did notice that the shorts resisted water.

Code Thermal Jersey – Orange ($150)


The jersey has raglan cut shoulders for a wide fit range and good shoulder articulation (available in mens and womens). The arms are cut longer for a good coverage when in bike position. Polyester geotherm material (185 gsm, milled in Italy) is used for the whole jersey and has a nice brushed-fleece feel on the inside with a thin silicone gripper on the hem to keep the rear drop in place. The jersey’s construction includes side panels which help with a good fit of the garment and stops puffing at the front. Pockets are ample and cut straight across. Seven-inch deep on my size large with a double-sewn elastic cinch hem at the top.

On the aesthetic front, the kit has an autumnal feel. It’s deep orange and covered by a subtle tonal graphic in the geometric abstract Ornot style. The finish of the material is slightly shiny probably due to the top surface being polyester and has a matrix light pattern on the geotherm.

The jersey is versatile, pockets are the right height, zipper is easy pull and the fuzzy feel near the neck is nice. I wore this several times on days which were low 50’s to low 60’s with a very light base layer and it felt great. The jersey doesn’t have any wind-block built into the front, it’s just jersey, so if you are sensitive to this on descents you might want to carry a vest. I found the pockets to be more than ample, and actually bigger than most. I folded small rain jackets in there no problem and a vest would be even easier. The one thing I do wish this jersey had was a small zippered pocket to put a credit card in.

Subtle graphics embellish the whole jersey in a tonal manner that doesn’t scream at you.

Summary

The Ornot gear looks, performs and feels great it’s available in both mens and womens specific fits (womens fit not tested). Supporting a USA manufacturing economy at a price that provides really good value for money is something I can rally behind. With its combination of subtle branding, performance and great value, you might like this kit. Ornot.

If you like USA-made apparel that’s great for fall, stay tuned for our upcoming review of the made-in-Portland longsleeve jersey from Wabi Woolens.

— James Buckroyd, BuckyRides.com and @jbucky1 on Twitter

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City launches Lincoln-Harrison neighorhood greenway project

Bike Portland - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 12:59

Overview of the project.
(Images: PBOT)

After shopping the idea around to neighborhood associations and various advisory committees, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has begun their $170,000 Lincoln-Harrison Neighborhood Greenway project in earnest. They launched the official website for the project last week and have announced two open houses in the coming months.

As we reported back in August, this project will aim to bring Portland’s most popular neighborhood bikeway corridors up to current greenway standards. Between SE Clay and 64th, Lincoln-Harrison has more bicycle traffic than any other neighborhood greenway with 4,230 daily bicycle trips on SE Harrison at Ladd (as of 2013). Unfortunately the same reasons it’s popular with bicycle riders — an oasis from busier streets nearby, proximity to fast-growing residential and commercial corridors, and direct connections to downtown — has made it popular with car drivers.

In order to reduce the speed and number of drivers and return one of its original neighborhood greenways (first designated in the late 1980s) to its former glory, PBOT has a host of major changes in store. The project will add automobile diversion at three new intersections and beef up diversion at an existing one. The goal is to reduce the number of driving trips to 1,500 vehicles per day (or a maximum of 2,000 in limited sections).

Below is a look at updated drawings for diversion at 20th,

Concept for SE 20th.

26th,

Concept for SE 26th and Harrison.

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30th,

and 50th.

Concept for 50th and Lincoln.

Overhead view of 50th and Lincoln.

In addition to diversion, the project will include: 31 new speed bumps, four speed cushions (for emergency vehicle access), improved biking and walking signage, and three updated crossing treatments — including a push-button activated flashing beacon to help bicycle riders cross at SE 60th.

PBOT has launched an online survey and will host two open houses in the coming months:

➤ Wednesday, November 8, 5:00-7:00 pm – St Philip Neri Church, 2408 SE 16th Ave
➤ Tuesday, December 5, 6:00 – 7:30 pm – Atkinson Elementary School, 5800 SE Division St

Construction is set to being Spring-Summer of 2018.

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

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Four-month closure of Stub Stewart trails starts November 1st

Bike Portland - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 10:33

We’ll miss you. But it’s for the best.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

You have about one more week to enjoy the awesome off-road biking trails at Stub Stewart State Park before they close for the winter.

Word from our friends at the Northwest Trail Alliance is that a logging project is set to begin in November and continue to the end of February. In addition, Oregon State Parks says that the paved Banks-Vernonia path will be closed between Buxton and Tophill for the month of January. The BV will be closed Monday through Friday from January 8th through the end of that month due to helicopter operations.

The purpose of the Stub Stewart closures is a logging and forest management project. NWTA trail builder Joe Rykowski says crews will use helicopters to thin the forest — a project aimed at improving the overall health of the forest that will have the added benefit of making biking better. Helicopters will be used (instead of trucks and tractors) in order to limit erosion and other environmental impacts to the trail system. This also allow crews to lift each tree out of the forest without it ever touching the ground. About 560 acres will be logged and about 25 to 40 percent of trees will be removed depending on the area.

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“Safety will be our number one concern during operations,” park manager Dan Quigley said in a statement. “So that means that all trails at Stub Stewart will be closed to all users and volunteers from November through February, 7 days a week.”

The NWTA, who has been building and maintaining trails at Stub Steward since 2007, is in full support of the project. Rykowski says the thinning will result in healthier trees, more sunlight, improved biodiversity and, “More ferns to ride next to!”

Once the logging is completed, NWTA and Oregon State Parks will host a series of work parties to revitalize the trails for spring. Quigley told us via email this morning that crews will begin moving equipment into place November 1st and helicopters are likely to begin flying about a week later.

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

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Niner Bikes founder, now a Portlander, hopes to crowdfund children’s book

Bike Portland - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 09:43

Cover of Domahidy’s book.

Go to any bike race or adventure ride these days and you’re almost sure to see “Niner” on the downtube of at least one of the bikes. Niner Bikes, as their name suggests, is respected in the bike industry as a pioneer of the 29-inch wheel size, having launched their first model in 2004.

Steve Domahidy co-founded Niner and was head of its R & D department until 2011. He recently moved to Portland where he’s put his design and engineering prowess behind a new brand (Viral Bikes) and a new project that’s a departure from anything he’s worked on in his 30-year career in the bike industry: a children’s book.

Domahidy is currently in the final stretch of a Kickstarter campaign for A Bike For You, a book he wrote in tandem with illustrator Rob Snow. The book is a fun tale that uses animals to explore many different types of bikes and styles of riding. Here’s an excerpt:

“Turtle wants a slow one to race no one

Wolf takes his on a trail with bumps

Monkey takes hers on one with jumps

Giraffe needs one that’s tall

And Meerkat needs one that’s small

Rabbit has one that needs a push

And Koala has one that’s soft on her tush

Sometimes you need a bike to get through the snow

And sometimes you’re someone who’s on the go.”

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And here are a few of the illustrations by Rob Snow:

Steve Domahidy.
(Photo: Domahidy Designs)

With several successes in the bike industry, Domahidy hopes his book will, “Inspire a new generation of bicycle lovers.” “Our industry has not done a very good job inspiring new riders to want to get on bikes,” he says. “And in my opinion this starts at the youngest of ages! I want to build a culture around bikes, and I want young children to see them as early as possible and begin to dream about where a bicycle can take them.”

Part of the proceeds from Domahidy’s Kickstarter campaign will go to Ride for Reading, a nonprofit that delivers books via bike to low-income youth.

He aims to raise $15,000 for the project and he’s got over $10,000 so far with six days left. Have a look and consider supporting this great project.

Welcome to Portland, Steve!

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

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Randonnees Around Town

Bike Hugger - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 16:15

One of my Internet friends, tweeted how he loves encountering randonees in the wild.

Me too, like these in White Center earlier this year. In fact, I see at least one on every ride around town and with good reason, there’s a practical then as now.

I’m having one made too (sort of) and will share that story soon enough.

If you were wondering how to spell the term Randonnee as I was and the plural version, see Sheldon Brown.

The French word “randonnée” is not exactly translatable into English. The closest is probably “hike”, which is not commonly used in bicycle contexts. A randonnée is an organized group ride, with some emphasis on speed, but it is not a race. Riders will typically be on road-racing or light-touring bicycles. Randonnées are often quite long, but do not normally involve stopping for the night away from the start. Some randonnées run all night. One of the most famous (and most rigorous) is the quadrennial Paris-Brest-Parisride, 1200 kilometers, (750 miles) stopping only for meals and catnaps.

Also read more about Randonnee bikes in an article by Mark V from Issue 00, now on Medium and this story about Sugino cranks.

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Cyclocross roundup: Epic flooding at Crossword, photos from Heron Lakes, and more

Bike Portland - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 15:24

That smile, that strawberry helmet, those sweatpants: This kid is pure Portland cyclocross spirit.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

We’re right in the thick of this year’s cyclcross season. And from what I’ve seen and heard it’s been a good one.

First things first though. Have you seen the River City Bicycles recap video of the Cyclocross Crusade race at Alpenrose a few weekends ago? It’s hilarious and it’s not what you’re expecting (scroll down to watch).

I got out to my first event of the season yesterday: the Cyclocross Crusade race at Heron Lakes (adjacent to Portland International Raceway, see more of my photos below). Given the rainstorm we had on Saturday I expected soaking and muddy conditions; but it turned out to be quite a pleasant day for racing. The course was mostly rideable and the number of victims (bike and human) was relatively small.

The same can’t be said for Saturday’s Canby Crossword Cross Challenge event. After seeing a few images on social media of people racing through huge lakes of water I wondered what the heck happened. Organizer Patrick Croasdaile reports that a few hours into raceday — as rain continued to fall — the course rose about one inch per lap at the two main water crossings. Croasdaile says the water was at “hub level”.

Then it got worse:

“[By the start of the] Master 3 and the good ‘ole boy fields, water is rising about a foot a lap while the rain persists. We make the call to run the juniors on a shorter course. Mother Nature intervenes, water is now hip deep on the bikes, and we run everyone on a modified, shorter course.”

Yikes! The conditions didn’t stop the competition though. Check this Twitter update from Team Planet X…

It was a wet one at the Canby Crossword CX Challenge today. Moving water & muddy trails. @planetxbikes @Xiologix @ORBicycleRacing #MarkHand pic.twitter.com/AL2PPGtBMX

— Team Planet X USA (@teamplanetxusa) October 22, 2017

Speaking of competition, Portlanders like to start their little ones early. I got the chance to see the Islabikes Kids Race and it restored my faith in humanity. So many kids — even really tiny ones on scoot bikes! And their faces. Smiles of unadulterated joy that remind us why we never stop loving to ride.

There was one moment when a little guy fell and ended up straddling the barrier with his tummy. He was in the middle of two riders. One stopped to make sure he was OK. The other casually glanced over, then scooted away! Then the guy who fell looked up, as if to say, “I’ll remember that! I’ll be coming for you next weekend!”

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As for the official racing at Heron Lakes, there were 886 total racers on the day. That’s keeping about steady with last year, according to OBRA stats. (If you’re curious, the two races at opening weekend of Alpenrose this year had 1,863 racers which is about 35 fewer than 2016).

I was there early to support the 19-year-old son of a friend who was staying with our family during his visit from the U.K. He wanted to race but he didn’t have a bike. In a true testament to our awesome racing community, I got over a half-dozen offers for a loaner with just one email to the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association email list. So, to everyone that offered to help, here’s Josh Reid (son of author and journalist Carlton Reid) in action sporting a very rare BikePortland.org jersey! (And special thanks to Devin Bailly for the rad bike.)

And here are a few more images from the action at Heron Lakes…

And finally, here’s that funny, Sportscenter-esque River City Bicycles video I mentioned…

River City’s Alex Criss said it’s their attempt to do something different. Other ‘cross videos they’ve done “All just start to look the same” and are, “not that fun or interesting,” he shared via email recently. “This time we just decided to just roll with it and have fun….it’s more our style anyway.” The spoof of ESPN-style coverage, Criss added, is a response to how mainstream cyclocross has become. What used to be a fringe sport (remember that 2006 story in the New York Times?) now gets almost as much attention from the industry as road racing.

So what better time to poke some fun at the sport and focus on the colorful characters that make Portland’s scene especially fun? Criss says to stay tuned for future episodes.

Next on the schedule is the big Halloween weekend double-header and party in Bend. Check out CrossCrusade.com for the full schedule.

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

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The Monday Roundup: Cars are bad (but still popular), eMTB racing, Google knows, and more

Bike Portland - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 09:27

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

Future city: Google’s Sidewalk Labs has signed a contract to develop a “city of the future” in Toronto and the plan doesn’t include private cars.

A 3-D printed bike bridge: The world’s first bike bridge to come from a printer opened in the Netherlands (of course!).

Bikes instead of “clean cars”: Continuing on the theme above, Treehugger rounds up all the reasons why cities have much more to gain by prioritizing bikes over electric cars.

Our cars are killing our salmon: Scientists in the state of Washington are sounding alarm over research that shows brake dust, oil, gas, and other toxic crap cars spew onto our streets are directly responsible for a dwindling salmon population.

Le Tour goes gravel grinding: The 2018 Tour de France route was unveiled last week. Stage 10 will include a section of dirt roads, which proves that the gravel riding trend is trickling up.

Neighborhood activism FTW: Oregon Walks will hand out a Weston Award to the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association for their amazing work to secure millions in sidewalk funding.

Hating cars is actually quite reasonable: In a way that only he can, Eben Weiss (aka Bike Snob NYC) shares his extreme dislike of cars and the culture we’ve created around them: “No invention in modern history has been as successful in eliciting the very worst from people and making death, maiming, and general mayhem a part of everyday life.”

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Social capital: A major, peer-reviewed study from Spain showed that investment in bicycle infrastructure yielded an impressive socio-economic benefit (in addition to the obvious benefits to air quality, congestion reduction, and so on).

It’s called motocross: “eMTB” racing is a thing and organizers are jazzed to be pushing the envelope of off-road cycling closer toward motorcycling.

State of bikelash: “Cars First” was one of the tamer slogans seen at this bike lane protest in Minneapolis. Perhaps a sign of things to come in Portland?

SUVs are deadly by design: When a person chooses to drive a big 4-x-4 or even a “small SUV,” they are choosing to drive a vehicle that is much more likely to kill someone in the event of a collision with a vulnerable road user.

Dockless bike share Q & A: An interview with a Seattle DOT spokesperson about their experiences with dockless bike share systems, which we continue to think would be an effective supplement to Biketown.

Wheeler “lost at sea”: Oregonian columnist Steve Duin says Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is still without a rudder in his quest for productive leadership and that perhaps its his lack of good messaging that’s to blame.

Cars have come raging back: This breakdown of U.S. Census data on household car ownership shows that, “The boom in car-free and car-lite living that led urbanists and the media to speculate that Americans were letting go of automobiles is over.” Welp.

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

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The post The Monday Roundup: Cars are bad (but still popular), eMTB racing, Google knows, and more appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Omnium titles decided on muddy final day of Collegiate MTB Nationals in Montana

USA Cycling News - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 16:19
The third and final day of the 2017 Collegiate MTB National Championships was held Sunday with the varsity short track cross country races and team relays.

Ten more titles awarded on day two of Collegiate MTB Nationals

USA Cycling News - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 17:35
Mother Nature forced a shuffling of the schedule but at the end of the day, 10 more national champions were crowned in three different disciplines.

43 Issues on Medium

Bike Hugger - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 09:07

Well, that took all week, but 43 issues of Bike Hugger Magazine are now available to members, behind the “open paywall.” I’ll let Medium explain how it all works.

What you need to know is fans of ours can read bike-related articles ad-free along with all rest of the member-only content published here, like Noteworthy, and Creativity.

And, now I’ll get to work on Issue 44. Here are the covers from the past 3 years.

The post 43 Issues on Medium appeared first on Bike Hugger.

Collegiate MTB Nationals get underway in Montana

USA Cycling News - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 18:39
Cross country and dual slalom races highlight opening day.
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