By Sam Balto (Contributor) on March 31st, 2020 at 2:30 pm
The coronavirus has changed our lives forever. From here on out, we will think of life before coronavirus, and after. While these are very scary times, we are seeing some positive things appear. With calmer streets and less people driving, there’s been a surge of children and families riding bikes together.
If you’re one of them, it might be a good time to do a practice run to school (if you don’t bike there already).
As a Physical Education teacher at a K-8 school in north Portland I see daily the impacts physical activity — or lack thereof — has on my students’ well-being. In PE class we work to give children the skills they need to be a physically literate person. We are building students’ competence and confidence so they can live a healthy life.
I tell my students that doctors have studied why being physically active is important for children. The closer children are to the 60 minutes of physical activity recommended by the Center for Disease Control, I tell them, the better health outcomes they’ll see. Children who are more active do better in school, get in less trouble, have better relationships with friends, get sick less and live longer lives.
Thanks for reading BikePortland.
Please consider a $10/month subscription or a one-time payment
to help maintain and expand this vital community resource.
By Becky Jo (Columnist) on March 31st, 2020 at 12:08 pm
When I started this car-free adventure at the beginning of winter, I thought for sure my bike was not going to cut it. I thought it was a matter of time when I’d have to admit my little road bike just wasn’t the right bike for hauling groceries or getting me around town. I was 99% convinced I’d have to trade it in when I first started my daughter behind me on her little tag-a-long, and her lack of experience balancing nearly caused us a few bike dumps.
I had been looking up more “upright” and heavier/sturdier bikes, what I came to find out are called “mixte” bikes, when to my surprise, we all adapted rather quickly. My daughter started riding on her own, I got into a cadence with groceries, and I do really love having a super light and maneuverable bike when I want to go from North Portland to Montavilla.[Read more…]
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 30th, 2020 at 4:22 pm
It’s strange that while many things have slowed down or paused during these virus-impacted times, there seems to be more news than ever coming toward us. Even as owner of a niche transportation media outlet, I’m working overtime to keep up with everything.
In an effort keep you informed and entertained in your at-home existence, here’s a roundup of coronavirus-related news tidbits and other fun things I’ve collected in the past few days.
Free Hot Soup needs bicycle delivery volunteers
Free Hot Soup is an all-volunteer, grassroots community group that feeds hungry people. Since they’ve been barred from distributing meals at all but one local park, the group has made their operation mobile. We heard from an FHS volunteer that this means they need a lot more people to make deliveries — especially folks with bikes that have cargo capacity. Here’s the message:
Free Hot Soup needs more volunteers. We’re looking for bikers with trailers, who can team up to deliver along the I-205 corridor. We will have vehicles to transport meals to trailheads, to be taken from there to camps along the trail by bike.[Read more…]
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 30th, 2020 at 2:17 pm
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 27th, 2020 at 3:19 pm
I never thought I’d say this; but I’m happy the forecast calls for clouds and rain this weekend.
With virus outbreak mode at an all-time high in Oregon and nightmarish scenes unfolding across the country, it’s absolutely essential that we stay home and stay isolated as much as possible right now. (If you do head out, scroll down for my advice.)
Last weekend we had dreamy weather. Unfortunately it led to nightmarish scenes of overcrowding all over the the state as people fled to the outdoors. That decision came at the expense of public health and it increased fear and anxiety among residents of many smaller towns where our favorite trails, beaches and roads exist. It also led to a loss of open spaces as park and forest agencies have now opted to close everything down due to crowding fears.[Read more…]
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 27th, 2020 at 1:51 pm
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 27th, 2020 at 11:33 am
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 27th, 2020 at 9:41 am
I wanted to take a minute and hear how you’re holding up amid these crazy times.
Are you riding? If so, what has your experience been out there? (Or maybe you’re lucky enough to be able to ride inside.)
If you’re not riding, how has that impacted you? [Read more…]
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 26th, 2020 at 3:59 pm
We’re at that awkward stage in a highway mega-project when the agency in charge is under a cloud of controversy and still (after years of planning) doesn’t have an official endorsement to start construction, but still wants money to keep the project moving forward.
Of course I’m talking about the Oregon Department of Transportation and the I-5 Rose Quarter Project. And it seems whenever I do, there’s growing skepticism and concern from regional leaders about it.
Here’s the latest…
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 26th, 2020 at 11:08 am
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 25th, 2020 at 3:34 pm
“When shit goes down, bikes rise up.”
That’s the rally cry from Ayleen Crotty, one of Portland’s most dedicated and prolific purveyors of bike culture. Crotty’s Filmed by Bike started as a local event but has grown significantly in the past 18 years and now includes tour stops nationwide and an impressive list of submissions from around the world.
Originally scheduled for May 15-17th at the Hollywood Theater, the coronavirus pandemic has forced Crotty to postpone the event until September. But the world needs bike films now more than ever, so Crotty announced today she’ll host the Global Bike Festival on April 4th.
“I’m doing what I know how to do best in times of adversity,” she shared with me today. “Digging in on a new project, challenging myself to the max, and innovating. Here we go!”
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 25th, 2020 at 12:16 pm
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 25th, 2020 at 10:24 am
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 24th, 2020 at 3:35 pm
Local bike bag and apparel maker Chrome Industries calls their retail stores “Hubs”. Now those hubs — including their location in Old Town — are the center of a new effort to help battle coronavirus infections.
Chrome announced today they’re galvanizing their global legion of fans around a new mission: to help fill the nationwide gap in N95 masks for healthcare workers. (*Note: N95 masks require special material. Please see update below for more about this.)
“There is a basic need on the front lines, and our community has an opportunity to help,” said Chrome Industries President Steve McCallion in a statement from the company today. [Read more…]
By Becky Jo (Columnist) on March 24th, 2020 at 2:27 pm
In the Pacific Northwest it looks like we’ve hit that time in spring when we alternate sunny weeks with rainy weeks, which gets me thinking about what changes are in store for biking in spring. Does anything even need to change?
For example, you’ve helped me join the biking community in winter, arguably the worst time of year to commit to being car-free. I took your advice and got a bike rack, water-resistant panniers, better suited clothing, and bike fenders. It took me a bit to figure out the wet-pedal situation. I was thiiiiis close to replacing my pedals, when for my birthday in January I got myself a pair of the snazzy all-weather Vans. These have been a life-saver. They have enough tread grip I no longer noticed my stock-pedals being slippery, and the water resistance and high-top saved my feet and ankles. As you can see, in less than 4 months, they look like they’ve been around. I found out later the Bike Shop Girl in Colorado recommends them too for winter cycling, which made me feel like I’m getting this bike thing down.[Read more…]
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 24th, 2020 at 10:24 am
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 23rd, 2020 at 3:06 pm
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 23rd, 2020 at 11:40 am
Amid a growing number of coronavirus infections and pressure from concerned Oregonians and public health officials, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has issued an executive order to encourage people to minimize physical contact.
The “Stay Home, Save Lives” order clarifies which type of businesses must close and how to go outdoors without violating the order. Bike shops are not on the list of businesses that are required to close. The Governor has also not prohibited or discouraged bicycling. In fact, “biking in your neighborhood” is among the things called out in her official statement — as long as you maintain six or more feet distance between yourself and other riders. [Read more…]
By Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 23rd, 2020 at 10:35 am
One of the focuses of our work so far during this outbreak is to monitor the health of our local bike economy and do what we can to help them survive. One of the things I’m doing is scrolling through social media and emails looking for updates about how local bike businesses are holding up and adapting to the strange reality of the times.
Here are a few things I’ve learned:
Breadwinner Cycles is offering bike repair and maintenance service. Breadwinner is a bicycle maker and not usually available as a bike repair shop. That has now changed. “We are offering our services to our Portland cycling community to showcase that bicycles are a better way to go,” say owners Tony and Ira. To drop off your bike give them a call at (503) 236-8511 to set an appointment.
Most local bike shops remain open, but many changed their protocols over the weekend. Appointment only and zero-contact practices seem to be the norm. Our bike shop status update spreadsheet has all the latest info, including links to (most of) the shops where you can buy online or purchase gift cards.
Component manufacturer Chris King wants your help to keep business flowing to local bike shops (who they rely on for orders). They’ve started the Bikes Build Us Up social media campaign that comes with the #SupportYourLocalBikeShop social media tag and a custom graphic you can place over your own image to promote the campaign online.[Read more…]