Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

Top 11 Bike-Friendly Cities: America does better!

In Bicycle advocacy on January 21, 2010 at 1:10 am

We kvetched recently about how only one American city, Portland, made the Top 10 bike-friendly cities in the world list compiled by that paragon of velo-ology, AskMen.com. Now in the spirit of Spinal Tap, Virgin Vacations has gone one notch further up with the 11 Most Bicycle-Friendly Cities in the World. And guess what: There’s FOUR from the U.S. — San Francisco, Portland, Boulder and Davis. We love you Virgin Vacations, even if you sound like an oxymoron.

OK, fair enough. Anyone gets to name their Top 10, so why not Virgin Vacations, one of the world’s leading authorities on getaways? There’s no disputing that all four American destinations, which we’ve spent time in, are eminently bike-friendly. We can quibble whether Boulder and Davis are really cities — I mean, is there any other possible compilation where you’d find Davis alongside Berlin, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Copenhagen? But what the heck. We’re hard at work tracking down a list of the 12 Most Bike-Friendly Cities in the World. Is there an AskWomen.com? Or maybe Carnal Vacations?

SF v. Portland: Who’s the Cyclingest of Them All?

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Commuting on June 29, 2009 at 2:37 am

San Francisco bike policy is picking up momentum. Mayor Gavin Newsom, a true progressive who’s running for governor, is a big bike booster. The city Planning Commission and MTA (Municipal Transportation Agency) just gave thumbs up to the SF Bike Plan, prompting this observation from Newsom:

“Already 6% of our commuters are bicyclists; that’s more than any other city in America. We know when we add a bike lane we see about a 50% increase in use. Fifty-four percent of  greenhouse gases are transportation related, the tailpipes of these cars you see behind you. Even those of us who are not bicyclists will get the benefit of this because of the air we breathe and the benefit of the example that we will leave to our children to get more physically active as well and to look at bicycling not just as recreating but as a pragmatic way of getting to and from places of work, to and from places we need to go.”

So I guess the burning question of the day is: Does SF now trump Portland as the most cycling-centric city in the U.S.? I’m assuming Newsom’s stats are correct but wonder if Portland isn’t actually ahead (here‘s an unsourced citation putting Portland at 6 percent mode share; BikePortland.org cites 8 percent in this post last fall). My home base of Seattle isn’t too shabby in the commute department btw. Cascade Bicycle Club, which it should be noted is the nation’s largest local club, estimates commuting at a respectable 4.2 percent.

Having bike commuted in San Francisco as well and ridden in Portland, my observation is that Portland is by far the easiest to get around in, but it’s also the smallest and most compact. So the stats may not be the whole story.

More SF links from Streetsblog:

Mayor a yay and nay.

Dancing, make that cycling in the streets over MTA vote!

Less Gas, More Ass: World Naked Bike Ride Exposed!

In Bicycling, Daily Roundup on June 15, 2009 at 8:23 am
Jonathan Maus/BikePortland.org

Jonathan Maus/BikePortland.org

World Naked Bike Ride goes off without a stitch!

Yet it remains uncovered by the media!

Portland had to take top honors, although curiously unlinked by Google and Bing, which put Chicago, Sydney and other cities ahead in their queues. According to BikePortland.org, some 5,000 semi-clothed and all-naked (hey, they got photos!) riders showed up. What’s more, the cops went along with the ride.

What I like about Portland: They really ride naked down there. Here in Seattle, cyclists body paint in the annual naked bike ride opening the Fremont Solstice Parade (which is coming up this weekend). I have nothing against body painting, but it’s not really naked. The same for bikini shorts, thongs, g-strings and what have you. But somehow the World Partially Clothed Bike Ride doesn’t carry quite the same cachet.

So today’s burning question is: Will riders really get naked for Seattle’s World Naked Bike Ride on July 11? (Early July can be cold, wet and miserable, so other factors impinge as well.) Or will our image as half-assed and wishy-washy simply be reinforced…

More naked rider news:

In Denver, police warned that participation in the ride could mean arrest and registration as a sex offender. Sheesh, who thinks up this stuff anyway? What’re they worried about? Sex with a bicycle?

But riders covered up just enough to avoid the police blotter.

In New York, they made a cause of it: Get commuters out of cars and onto bikes!

Time Out Chicago has actual video (SFW, hee hee) of the ride there.

In Vermont, the message was peace and love…

Upon reflection, good times were had by all. When you bring people and bikes together, only good can happen.

Weekend Roundup: Bike Pulls Car! Second Suspect Nabbed, Portland’s $150M Bike Industry, W Gets Wide Berth

In Bicycling, Mountain Biking on March 7, 2009 at 12:01 am

Salt Lake Tribune on the David Zabriskie hyper-burglary: “Both Carlisle and 39-year-old Leopold Howard have now been booked in connection with the case. Police say the two took various items from cyclist David Zabriskie’s home. Some of those belongings included two cars, a racing medal, an Olympic ring, 13 bicycles, computers, space legs and seven Marvel comic statues.”

OregonBusiness.com: “From businesses such as Nutcase Helmets to Bike Friday, Oregon’s bike madness fuels a $150 million industry. Not to mention that there’s an organized bike ride every 27 minutes.”

BushWatch: The former Prez still has the Secret Service entourage for his mountain bike rides. I just hope he’s gotten rid of the dorky bar ends!

Steamboat Pilot: “A 20-year-old Steamboat Springs man was arrested Tuesday after police said he ran into a bicyclist on Routt County Road 33 and hit two parked cars in downtown Steamboat Springs…” Good thing he hit the cars too or the whole thing would’ve been brushed off.

Mountain Bike Advocacy Heats Up in Portland

In Bicycle advocacy on March 1, 2009 at 8:46 am

From BikePortland.org:

“With the voting in of six new board members at their monthly meeting earlier this week, the Portland United Mountain Pedalers (PUMP) are set to embark a new era of off-road advocacy. These new board members mark a significant turning point for PUMP, a group that some advocates for more off-road riding opportunities in Portland had all but given up on…”

Advocacy is on the rise everywhere. We’ve reported on growing agitation among the members of Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (formerly Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club) for more advocacy on Tiger Mountain and elsewhere. Get involved! The trail you lose may be your own!

Portland’s Forest Park to Add Singletrack?

In Mountain Biking, Trail Access on February 26, 2009 at 6:49 am

Anyone who has spent time in Portland marvels at how bike-friendly the place is. For all its bike-worthiness, however, it has been surprisingly stingy with singletrack for mountain bikes. This is even more curious when you consider one of the great bike shops on the West Coast, Fat Tire Farm, lies within the shadow of Forest Park. (You can ride mountain bikes in the park but only on the freeway-like fire roads and a very short connector trail.)

Now comes word of some movement to increase trail access in the park. Let’s hope the effort can move forward. Forest Park is heavily used by strollers, runners and hikers, but for all of that there’s plenty of trail to go around and mountain bikers should pose no problems as long as everyone is polite all round.

Where Do 7,800 Stolen Bikes Go?

In Bicycle Commuting on February 25, 2009 at 3:04 pm

About half of the 15,000 bicycles used in Paris’ innovative bike rental scheme have somehow disappeared, BBC reports. Apparently they’re not turning up on eBay!

Still, the program — where you rent a bike from a rack for a nominal fee, then return it to another rack at your destination — is deemed a success. As Sarah Gilbert at WalletPop notes, only 15 thefts are reported for every 80,000 users. The company supplying the bikes threatens to jump ship, but StreetsBlog thinks its demise “is greatly exaggerated.”

The city of Paris will keep the program, no doubt, and it well should provide a model for any metropolis (several cities have adapted it, and in fact Paris emulated Lyon for its foray). If there’s enough density to the grid and the network gets enough use, it just becomes uncool to steal the bikes.

Portland had its Yellow Bike project, which apparently it had its ups and downs but has morphed into the Create-a-Commuter program.