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Author: Will Vanlue (Contributor)

The Monday Roundup

The Monday Roundup

“Streets that prioritize biking and walking and include amenities like bike lanes and pedestrian plazas have been proven to boost retail sales by 10-25 percent.”
Statement by Transportation Alternatives

Here’s the news and other interesting stuff that caught our eyes this past week…

– An article from Bill McKibben Rolling Stone discusses the terrifying new math of climate change and how we have over five times more carbon in current oil and gas reservers than scientists think we can put into the atmosphere and still have a “reasonable” chance to avoiding catastrophe.

– Tragic statistics from Los Angeles find that people who drive in the City of Angels kill people walking and biking at a much higher rate than the national average.

Transportation Alternatives and a coalition of 150 businesses in New York City are encouraging economic activity by creating a bike-friendly business district to attract customers.

– And speaking of New York City, the positive effect of bicycling there, as well as the gains we’ve seen here in Portland, are the focus of a “tale of two cities” benefiting from improved access for bicycling.

– A plan by the City of London to manage traffic in the city seems to suggest they’re looking to “encourage” people on bicycles to specifically avoid certain streets and roads. Sound familiar?

– Dan Sorger, owner of DBC CIty Bike Design, is building city bikes designed specifically for American roads.

– Touring gear was once a specialty product that was hard to track down in bike shops but now manufacturers and shops alike are seeing strong growth in sales of gear for long-distance rides.

– There’s a new hashtag and Tumblr blog tracking people wearing “whatever they like” while riding a bike. To put it another way, it’s a collection of people who #cyclewhatever.

– Bob Huckaby’s plans to push for state-wide bicycle licensing in response to a partial street closure has spawned a tongue-and-cheek response from Grist as well as a thoughtful opinion from the Eugene Bicyclist who’s not as opposed to the plan as you might think.

– Tragically, a fatal near-dooring in Chicago forced one person out into the road where they were pulled under the wheels of a large truck.

– The concept of designing cities for people and not cars is gaining mainstream attention, this time with a video shared by Wired Magazine.

– Last week, Cher took to Twitter to tell us how much she hates people who ride bikes on the Pacific Coast Highway, leading to many calls for her to “Cher the road.”

– Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine learned, first hand, the dangers of distracted bicycling after he fell off his bike while trying to read a text message.

– In San Francisco, bollards and green paint are being installed to create a physically-separate bike lane on Cesar Chavez Street.

– The Portland Mercury discusses how plans to reroute the North Willamette Greenway Trail on to busy surface streets will hurt businesses and employees looking to commute to Swan Island.

– A chance meeting at Interbike led Ms. Lovely Bicycle to a nice chat with Bruce Gordon, a renown frame builder from Petaluma, California.

– Old bike chains might seem like they’ve reached the end of their useful lives but before you toss them aside, check out these beautiful bike chain chandeliers.

– The Bureau of Land Management shared a video highlighting Cycle Oregon’s 25th Anniversary ride:

– The long-awaited video of the 2012 Rapha Gentleman’s Race was released last week:

– Four-year-old Malcolm captured his first decent at Highland Park on film and it’s quite impressive:


— Did you find something interesting that should be in next week’s Monday Roundup? Drop us a line. For more great links from around the web, follow us on Twitter @BikePortland.

The Monday Roundup

The Monday Roundup

“Streets that prioritize biking and walking and include amenities like bike lanes and pedestrian plazas have been proven to boost retail sales by 10-25 percent.”
Statement by Transportation Alternatives

Here’s the news and other interesting stuff that caught our eyes this past week…

– An article from Bill McKibben Rolling Stone discusses the terrifying new math of climate change and how we have over five times more carbon in current oil and gas reservers than scientists think we can put into the atmosphere and still have a “reasonable” chance to avoiding catastrophe.

– Tragic statistics from Los Angeles find that people who drive in the City of Angels kill people walking and biking at a much higher rate than the national average.

Transportation Alternatives and a coalition of 150 businesses in New York City are encouraging economic activity by creating a bike-friendly business district to attract customers.

– And speaking of New York City, the positive effect of bicycling there, as well as the gains we’ve seen here in Portland, are the focus of a “tale of two cities” benefiting from improved access for bicycling.

– A plan by the City of London to manage traffic in the city seems to suggest they’re looking to “encourage” people on bicycles to specifically avoid certain streets and roads. Sound familiar?

– Dan Sorger, owner of DBC CIty Bike Design, is building city bikes designed specifically for American roads.

– Touring gear was once a specialty product that was hard to track down in bike shops but now manufacturers and shops alike are seeing strong growth in sales of gear for long-distance rides.

– There’s a new hashtag and Tumblr blog tracking people wearing “whatever they like” while riding a bike. To put it another way, it’s a collection of people who #cyclewhatever.

– Bob Huckaby’s plans to push for state-wide bicycle licensing in response to a partial street closure has spawned a tongue-and-cheek response from Grist as well as a thoughtful opinion from the Eugene Bicyclist who’s not as opposed to the plan as you might think.

– Tragically, a fatal near-dooring in Chicago forced one person out into the road where they were pulled under the wheels of a large truck.

– The concept of designing cities for people and not cars is gaining mainstream attention, this time with a video shared by Wired Magazine.

– Last week, Cher took to Twitter to tell us how much she hates people who ride bikes on the Pacific Coast Highway, leading to many calls for her to “Cher the road.”

– Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine learned, first hand, the dangers of distracted bicycling after he fell off his bike while trying to read a text message.

– In San Francisco, bollards and green paint are being installed to create a physically-separate bike lane on Cesar Chavez Street.

– The Portland Mercury discusses how plans to reroute the North Willamette Greenway Trail on to busy surface streets will hurt businesses and employees looking to commute to Swan Island.

– A chance meeting at Interbike led Ms. Lovely Bicycle to a nice chat with Bruce Gordon, a renown frame builder from Petaluma, California.

– Old bike chains might seem like they’ve reached the end of their useful lives but before you toss them aside, check out these beautiful bike chain chandeliers.

– The Bureau of Land Management shared a video highlighting Cycle Oregon’s 25th Anniversary ride:

– The long-awaited video of the 2012 Rapha Gentleman’s Race was released last week:

– Four-year-old Malcolm captured his first decent at Highland Park on film and it’s quite impressive:

– And finally, have a look at the 121 miles and 12,000 feet of the Rapha North West Gentleman’s Race:


— Did you find something interesting that should be in next week’s Monday Roundup? Drop us a line. For more great links from around the web, follow us on Twitter @BikePortland.

Go behind the "SAG" van at Cycle Oregon

Go behind the "SAG" van at Cycle Oregon

Cycle Oregon SAGs

Bart Simpson and a shark fin adorn
two SAG vans in Ashland, Oregon.
(Photos by Will Vanlue)

Last month I spent a week volunteering on Cycle Oregon in one of their SAG vans. I get a lot of questions about what exactly a “SAG” is and what we do to support the ride, so I figured I’d share a bit more about my experience.

Even some people who have ridden Cycle Oregon for years, who’ve been lucky enough to avoid mechanical programs and fatigue and so haven’t needed a ride, have asked me how the SAGs work. And while the logistical details are interesting, there’s a whole other reason why I choose to volunteer in a SAG van year after year.

First, a little background on SAG vans and Cycle Oregon.

According to many seasoned riders I’ve spoken with, there was a stigma attached to catching a ride in a SAG van in the early years of Cycle Oregon. Originally riders who needed a ride from a SAG van, for whatever reason, had to miss out on the rest of that day’s ride. Once you got into a SAG van you were required to take it the rest of the way into camp, making climbing into a SAG van a “game over” sort of moment.

Cycle Oregon SAGs

Volunteers Steve Ross (top) and Matt Mathews (right) load bikes and passengers on a SAG van.

As Cycle Oregon has grown, people have realized that there are many reasons why someone may need a ride in a SAG van and people shouldn’t be “punished” for wanting a ride.


These days you can get picked up by a SAG van and get dropped off later in the route. It’s not a taxi service, and the vans are there for the safety of the riders on the road first and foremost, but volunteers in SAG vans can accomodate just about everyone who needs a lift to the next rest stop, Bike Gallery mechanic, or safe place along the route.

For instance, along with mechanical breakdowns and medical concerns, the SAG vans now transport people down steep and technical descents if they don’t feel safe riding downhill at high speeds.

I’ve fielded lots of questions from people who wonder if anyone “abuses” the SAG vans, asking for a ride when they’re not really tired and could actually continue riding their bike.

In the four years I’ve volunteered in a SAG van I can say virtually all the passengers I’ve had in my van have either had mechanical trouble with their bike (e.g. a broken spoke) or they’ve had clear, unexpected medical issues that make riding difficult or impossible.

Cycle Oregon SAGs

Volunteers David Shoop and Maria Monteleone count riders
as they pass a SAG on this year’s Cycle Oregon.

People obviously signed up for Cycle Oregon to go on a bike ride. You’d have a hard time finding many people on Cycle Oregon who would purposely choose sitting in a stuffy, sweaty van over cruising through Oregon’s countryside on a bike.

To make sure the vans can carry everyone who might need a ride, each of the eight SAG vans on Cycle Oregon are equipped to carry up to twelve bicycles and a total of eleven people (nine passengers plus a two-volunteer team). The vans also carry snacks, water, basic medical supplies including an AED, and some basic bike tools like tire levers and a pump.

Cycle Oregon SAGs

It takes a lot of gear to support over 2,000 people on bicycles.

It’s important that the vans stay spread out through the ride, placed where people are likely to need their help. Volunteer teams in each SAG van are assigned one of three types of work on any given day of the ride: they can “be on count”, they can be assigned “rover duty”, or they can have “hill duty.”

Clicker

“Being on count” means the SAG van will wait at a designated spot early in the route and count riders as they pass. Most days there are four SAGs (half the total number) assigned to be on count each day and each van will count about one quarter of the riders before moving on and passing the count to the next van in the count order. That process keeps four vans spread evenly throughout the riders as the day goes along.

The other half of the SAG vans are generally assigned “rover duty”. Rovers leave camp in order, about half an hour apart, and proceed along the course around the same time as the vans counting riders. Rovers don’t need to worry about staying with a specific group of riders which provides some flexibility to reverse course, move further ahead, or transport supplies along the route as needed.

SAG at Cycle Oregon

“Hill duty” is only assigned on days with a challenging ascent or descent . On an ascent the vans provide supplies like water and food, and on a descent they’re there to ensure riders’ safety.

Cycle Oregon volunteer Ken Westby
stands by his radio console.

To coordinate all this activity, and respond to emergencies when needed, each SAG van is equipped with a number of radios, many of which are provided by the volunteers.

One of the two volunteers in the van uses the radios to relay information about how many riders are in the van, where the van’s headed, and any other pertinent information.

I’ve heard the term SAG explained as an acronym for “Support And Gear.” You’ve seen that the vans do carry a lot of gear and the volunteers are there in the vans to support the riders, but the logistics of the job don’t fully encompass the role the SAGs play on Cycle Oregon.

In addition to the supplies the vans carry to keep people safe, volunteers in the SAG vans spend hours of their own time and money collecting and building decorations, party favors, external lighting and audio systems, and other gear; some volunteers install industrial bubble machines and water sprayers on their vans.

SAG

Volunteer Ray Scholl stands on his SAG van as riders pass by during 2010’s Cycle Oregon.

People riding bikes on Cycle Oregon would still get from start to finish without all of these “extras” but that’s not the point.

Over the years volunteers have grown the role of the SAG vans from simple “support” to more of a cheering section, ensuring people on Cycle Oregon have a fun and rewarding experience.

Each year the volunteers, myself included, take a week of time away from friends, family, and work to help with Cycle Oregon. It takes a lot of hard work to support the ride, but being the cheering section for over 2,000 people on bicycles is what keeps most of us coming back.

Go behind the "SAG" van at Cycle Oregon

Go behind the "SAG" van at Cycle Oregon

Cycle Oregon SAGs

Bart Simpson and a shark fin adorn
two SAG vans in Ashland, Oregon.
(Photos by Will Vanlue)

Last month I spent a week volunteering on Cycle Oregon in one of their SAG vans. I get a lot of questions about what exactly a “SAG” is and what we do to support the ride, so I figured I’d share a bit more about my experience.

Even some people who have ridden Cycle Oregon for years, who’ve been lucky enough to avoid mechanical programs and fatigue and so haven’t needed a ride, have asked me how the SAGs work. And while the logistical details are interesting, there’s a whole other reason why I choose to volunteer in a SAG van year after year.

First, a little background on SAG vans and Cycle Oregon.

According to many seasoned riders I’ve spoken with, there was a stigma attached to catching a ride in a SAG van in the early years of Cycle Oregon. Originally riders who needed a ride from a SAG van, for whatever reason, had to miss out on the rest of that day’s ride. Once you got into a SAG van you were required to take it the rest of the way into camp, making climbing into a SAG van a “game over” sort of moment.

Cycle Oregon SAGs

Volunteers Steve Ross (top) and Matt Mathews (right) load bikes and passengers on a SAG van.

As Cycle Oregon has grown, people have realized that there are many reasons why someone may need a ride in a SAG van and people shouldn’t be “punished” for wanting a ride.


These days you can get picked up by a SAG van and get dropped off later in the route. It’s not a taxi service, and the vans are there for the safety of the riders on the road first and foremost, but volunteers in SAG vans can accomodate just about everyone who needs a lift to the next rest stop, Bike Gallery mechanic, or safe place along the route.

For instance, along with mechanical breakdowns and medical concerns, the SAG vans now transport people down steep and technical descents if they don’t feel safe riding downhill at high speeds.

I’ve fielded lots of questions from people who wonder if anyone “abuses” the SAG vans, asking for a ride when they’re not really tired and could actually continue riding their bike.

In the four years I’ve volunteered in a SAG van I can say virtually all the passengers I’ve had in my van have either had mechanical trouble with their bike (e.g. a broken spoke) or they’ve had clear, unexpected medical issues that make riding difficult or impossible.

Cycle Oregon SAGs

Volunteers David Shoop and Maria Monteleone count riders
as they pass a SAG on this year’s Cycle Oregon.

People obviously signed up for Cycle Oregon to go on a bike ride. You’d have a hard time finding many people on Cycle Oregon who would purposely choose sitting in a stuffy, sweaty van over cruising through Oregon’s countryside on a bike.

To make sure the vans can carry everyone who might need a ride, each of the eight SAG vans on Cycle Oregon are equipped to carry up to twelve bicycles and a total of eleven people (nine passengers plus a two-volunteer team). The vans also carry snacks, water, basic medical supplies including an AED, and some basic bike tools like tire levers and a pump.

Cycle Oregon SAGs

It takes a lot of gear to support over 2,000 people on bicycles.

It’s important that the vans stay spread out through the ride, placed where people are likely to need their help. Volunteer teams in each SAG van are assigned one of three types of work on any given day of the ride: they can “be on count”, they can be assigned “rover duty”, or they can have “hill duty.”

Clicker

“Being on count” means the SAG van will wait at a designated spot early in the route and count riders as they pass. Most days there are four SAGs (half the total number) assigned to be on count each day and each van will count about one quarter of the riders before moving on and passing the count to the next van in the count order. That process keeps four vans spread evenly throughout the riders as the day goes along.

The other half of the SAG vans are generally assigned “rover duty”. Rovers leave camp in order, about half an hour apart, and proceed along the course around the same time as the vans counting riders. Rovers don’t need to worry about staying with a specific group of riders which provides some flexibility to reverse course, move further ahead, or transport supplies along the route as needed.

SAG at Cycle Oregon

“Hill duty” is only assigned on days with a challenging ascent or descent . On an ascent the vans provide supplies like water and food, and on a descent they’re there to ensure riders’ safety.

Cycle Oregon volunteer Ken Westby
stands by his radio console.

To coordinate all this activity, and respond to emergencies when needed, each SAG van is equipped with a number of radios, many of which are provided by the volunteers.

One of the two volunteers in the van uses the radios to relay information about how many riders are in the van, where the van’s headed, and any other pertinent information.

I’ve heard the term SAG explained as an acronym for “Support And Gear.” You’ve seen that the vans do carry a lot of gear and the volunteers are there in the vans to support the riders, but the logistics of the job don’t fully encompass the role the SAGs play on Cycle Oregon.

In addition to the supplies the vans carry to keep people safe, volunteers in the SAG vans spend hours of their own time and money collecting and building decorations, party favors, external lighting and audio systems, and other gear; some volunteers install industrial bubble machines and water sprayers on their vans.

SAG

Volunteer Ray Scholl stands on his SAG van as riders pass by during 2010’s Cycle Oregon.

People riding bikes on Cycle Oregon would still get from start to finish without all of these “extras” but that’s not the point.

Over the years volunteers have grown the role of the SAG vans from simple “support” to more of a cheering section, ensuring people on Cycle Oregon have a fun and rewarding experience.

Each year the volunteers, myself included, take a week of time away from friends, family, and work to help with Cycle Oregon. It takes a lot of hard work to support the ride, but being the cheering section for over 2,000 people on bicycles is what keeps most of us coming back.

The Monday Roundup

The Monday Roundup

“…these data suggest that warning patients who are medically unfit to drive may reduce the risk of road crashes…”
Statement by researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Here’s the news and other interesting stuff that caught our eyes this past week…

– Local Portland businessman Chris King recently visited the White House to talk about the current state of domestic manufacturing.

– The Atlantic Cities shares the story of Em Baker, who is riding across the country with two friends to bring attention to “pointless bike deaths.”

– Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood probably should go back and check his numbers after he misquoted a statistic about pedestrian injuries by blaming 80% of victims in fatal accidents involving someone walking across a street.

– Robert Marchand, a French centenarian, is the first in his age bracket to be officially recognizedby bicycling’s international governing body for riding a metric century.

– A three-foot passing law failed for the second time in California thanks to Governor Jerry Brown.

– The New York Times Sunday Review included a solid article on helmet use; after the author’s perspective on wearing one shifted significantly following a ride on Paris’ Velib bike share system.

Bicycling for transportation is up a whopping 26% in Vancouver, BC over the last three years, compared with only a 10% increase in motor vehicle use and 6% population growth over the same period.

– Protected bike lanes appear to be gaining mainstream acceptance as one major car company now features a complete street in one of their ads.


– An interesting article from New York City which delves into the question of how better bike access relates to questions of equity and race.

– People who ride a bike for transportation in Toronto, Canada are feeling doubly-insulted by the city’s decision to use funds from the city’s budget for bicycle improvements to remove a new and well-traveled bike lane on Jarvis Street.

– It’s been a little while since we checked in with our friends in the Windy City, but it looks like Chicago is due for a number of improvements to bicycle access, including new bike share stations, bike corrals, and even a compact street sweeper to clean protected bike lanes.

Cargo bikes are continuing to replace fossil fuel-powered delivery vehicles in major cities in Europe, creating “ever more jobs” for people “with strong cycling legs.”

– Of course riding a cargo bike might not take as much strength as you think according to this look at the physics of riding heavy bicycles, which borrows data on riding bikes from local bike shop Clever Cycles.

– Someone has once again debunked the notion that bike lanes increase costs for people driving cars by showing how encouraging bicycling for transportation benefits everyone in Vancouver, BC.

– If last week you saw the article that explains “why you hate cyclists” you might want to check out this response discussing what some feel the original article got right, and what it got wrong.

– Along with Jonathan’s look back at Critical Mass over 20 years, the San Francisco Chronicle has their own retrospective.

– Students from London’s Royal College of Art created the Velopresso, an espresso machine on a cargo trike.

– There’s a handy (and entertaining) guide on “spotting different species of bicyclists” from The Wall Street Journal which includes a nod to our hometown friends, Portland Design Works.

– Specialized has issued a recall of 12,000 men’s and women’s Globe model bicycles from 2008 and 2009 due to faulty front forks.

– Venerable news magazine The Economist is the latest to examine the drop in motor vehicle travel in industrialized countries including the United States.

– If you weren’t able to attend Interbike this year, there’s a thorough convention roundup with great pictures from The Path Less Pedaled‘s Russ Roca.

– And finally, speaking of Interbike, if you missed the new gear on display this year you can still have a look at this video showcasing the Xtracycle EdgeRunner:


— Did you find something interesting that should be in next week’s Monday Roundup? Drop us a line. For more great links from around the web, follow us on Twitter @BikePortland.

The Monday Roundup

The Monday Roundup

“…these data suggest that warning patients who are medically unfit to drive may reduce the risk of road crashes…”
Statement by researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Here’s the news and other interesting stuff that caught our eyes this past week…

– Local Portland businessman Chris King recently visited the White House to talk about the current state of domestic manufacturing.

– The Atlantic Cities shares the story of Em Baker, who is riding across the country with two friends to bring attention to “pointless bike deaths.”

– Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood probably should go back and check his numbers after he misquoted a statistic about pedestrian injuries by blaming 80% of victims in fatal accidents involving someone walking across a street.

– Robert Marchand, a French centenarian, is the first in his age bracket to be officially recognizedby bicycling’s international governing body for riding a metric century.

– A three-foot passing law failed for the second time in California thanks to Governor Jerry Brown.

– The New York Times Sunday Review included a solid article on helmet use; after the author’s perspective on wearing one shifted significantly following a ride on Paris’ Velib bike share system.

Bicycling for transportation is up a whopping 26% in Vancouver, BC over the last three years, compared with only a 10% increase in motor vehicle use and 6% population growth over the same period.

– Protected bike lanes appear to be gaining mainstream acceptance as one major car company now features a complete street in one of their ads.


– An interesting article from New York City which delves into the question of how better bike access relates to questions of equity and race.

– People who ride a bike for transportation in Toronto, Canada are feeling doubly-insulted by the city’s decision to use funds from the city’s budget for bicycle improvements to remove a new and well-traveled bike lane on Jarvis Street.

– It’s been a little while since we checked in with our friends in the Windy City, but it looks like Chicago is due for a number of improvements to bicycle access, including new bike share stations, bike corrals, and even a compact street sweeper to clean protected bike lanes.

Cargo bikes are continuing to replace fossil fuel-powered delivery vehicles in major cities in Europe, creating “ever more jobs” for people “with strong cycling legs.”

– Of course riding a cargo bike might not take as much strength as you think according to this look at the physics of riding heavy bicycles, which borrows data on riding bikes from local bike shop Clever Cycles.

– Someone has once again debunked the notion that bike lanes increase costs for people driving cars by showing how encouraging bicycling for transportation benefits everyone in Vancouver, BC.

– If last week you saw the article that explains “why you hate cyclists” you might want to check out this response discussing what some feel the original article got right, and what it got wrong.

– Along with Jonathan’s look back at Critical Mass over 20 years, the San Francisco Chronicle has their own retrospective.

– Students from London’s Royal College of Art created the Velopresso, an espresso machine on a cargo trike.

– There’s a handy (and entertaining) guide on “spotting different species of bicyclists” from The Wall Street Journal which includes a nod to our hometown friends, Portland Design Works.

– Specialized has issued a recall of 12,000 men’s and women’s Globe model bicycles from 2008 and 2009 due to faulty front forks.

– Venerable news magazine The Economist is the latest to examine the drop in motor vehicle travel in industrialized countries including the United States.

– Doctors in Ontario, Canada are confronting patients who are unfit to drive due to a medical limitation. Their efforts appear to have resulted in a drop in collision rates.

– If you weren’t able to attend Interbike this year, there’s a thorough convention roundup with great pictures from The Path Less Pedaled‘s Russ Roca.

– And finally, speaking of Interbike, if you missed the new gear on display this year you can still have a look at this video showcasing the Xtracycle EdgeRunner:


— Did you find something interesting that should be in next week’s Monday Roundup? Drop us a line. For more great links from around the web, follow us on Twitter @BikePortland.

The Monday Roundup

The Monday Roundup

“…although traffic accidents remain a major public safety problem, the biggest killer of people ages 5 to 34, vehicle travel is far safer than it was a few decades ago.”
The New York Times

Here’s the news and other interesting stuff that caught our eyes this past week…

– The Wall Street Journal takes a look at how “Bicyclists of a Feather Flock Together” in their article based on a new book about the subject of “bike tribes.”

– It’s been a few months since the reauthorization of MAP-21, the national transportation legislation, but our story on the implications of giving local roads over to federal control is creating national concern about the impact of federal road design standards, and some people are asking whether or not it makes sense to have federally controlled transportation projects at all.

– An analysis by the New York Daily News says the delay to New York City’s bike share system is a “blessing in disguise” that will give the city time to further build its network of bicycle infrastructure but also suggests the city should cancel the current contract with Alta Bike Share and restart the search for a bike share provider.

– Excitement (and sponsor support) is already building for the 2012 cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky. It will be the first time the event is held outside of Europe. The US ‘cross season got underway last week with Cross Vegas, where Jeremy Powers of the Portland-based Rapha/Focus squad took home top honors.

– Brussels, the capital of the European Union, recently banned cars from most city streets for one whole day as part of their celebration of European Mobility Week.


– Brussels isn’t the only major European city looking to curtail automobile traffic. Aljazeera takes a look at the effort by the Mayor of Paris who is working to ban motorized traffic on major roads to try and make the city more livable.

– One bicycle helmet supplier is on the defensive after a lawyer claimed they misrepresented the dangers of riding a bicycle in order to help retailers sell more helmets.

– An open letter to Interbike criticizing the convention’s outreach to women who ride bikes includes a nod to Elly Blue’s Bike Test.

– Data from the Los Altos Bicycle Transportation Plan (created by Portland-based Alta Planning) shows a bias in the Police definition of “fault” in collisions involving bicycles.

The Wall Street Journal looks at new types of traffic signals including a number pioneered here in Portland.

– And while new traffic signals are introduced, there are some old, redundant traffic signs that could use some standardization.

– The story of a reformed “scofflaw” explains why some people get so worked up when they see people break the law on bicycles when they shouldn’t.

– A man has been ticketed after being accused of harassing two men on bicycles by excessively blaring a car’s horn at them, an act which was caught on video by one of the men riding a bike.

– There’s a new smartphone app that automatically replies to text messages and mutes the distracting sounds of a phone while a person is driving.

– A new online service wants to make peer-to-peer bike rentals easier.

The New York Times has an interesting graph plotting trends in vehicle miles driven versus auto fatalities from 1950 through last year.

– Graem Obree is hoping to set a record by traveling at 100mph on a pedal-powered bicycle and the physics of the stunt stack up in his favor.

– Washington DC’s bike share system celebrated its second anniversary recently as membership and number of trips taken on Capital Bikeshare continue to grow.

– A driver in a hit-and-run collision in the UK was more concerned about dents in their car than about a schoolboy’s safety according to witnesses.

– Check out the concept for this elevated “veloway” superhighway in Melbourne, Australia:

– Again from Brussels, there’s a great documentary on bicycle messengers in the Belgian city:

Brussels Express from Sander Vandenbroucke on Vimeo.

– Say what you want about Mitt Romney’s politics, his new plan features bike manufacturers as an example of small business in America:


— Did you find something interesting that should be in next week’s Monday Roundup? Drop us a line. For more great links from around the web, follow us on Twitter @BikePortland.

The Monday Roundup

The Monday Roundup

“…although traffic accidents remain a major public safety problem, the biggest killer of people ages 5 to 34, vehicle travel is far safer than it was a few decades ago.”
The New York Times

Here’s the news and other interesting stuff that caught our eyes this past week…

– The Wall Street Journal takes a look at how “Bicyclists of a Feather Flock Together” in their article based on a new book about the subject of “bike tribes.”

– It’s been a few months since the reauthorization of MAP-21, the national transportation legislation, but our story on the implications of giving local roads over to federal control is creating national concern about the impact of federal road design standards, and some people are asking whether or not it makes sense to have federally controlled transportation projects at all.

– An analysis by the New York Daily News says the delay to New York City’s bike share system is a “blessing in disguise” that will give the city time to further build its network of bicycle infrastructure but also suggests the city should cancel the current contract with Alta Bike Share and restart the search for a bike share provider.

– Excitement (and sponsor support) is already building for the 2012 cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky. It will be the first time the event is held outside of Europe. The US ‘cross season got underway last week with Cross Vegas, where Jeremy Powers of the Portland-based Rapha/Focus squad took home top honors.

– Brussels, the capital of the European Union, recently banned cars from most city streets for one whole day as part of their celebration of European Mobility Week.


– Brussels isn’t the only major European city looking to curtail automobile traffic. Aljazeera takes a look at the effort by the Mayor of Paris who is working to ban motorized traffic on major roads to try and make the city more livable.

– One bicycle helmet supplier is on the defensive after a lawyer claimed they misrepresented the dangers of riding a bicycle in order to help retailers sell more helmets.

– An open letter to Interbike criticizing the convention’s outreach to women who ride bikes includes a nod to Elly Blue’s Bike Test.

– Data from the Los Altos Bicycle Transportation Plan (created by Portland-based Alta Planning) shows a bias in the Police definition of “fault” in collisions involving bicycles.

The Wall Street Journal looks at new types of traffic signals including a number pioneered here in Portland.

– And while new traffic signals are introduced, there are some old, redundant traffic signs that could use some standardization.

– The story of a reformed “scofflaw” explains why some people get so worked up when they see people break the law on bicycles when they shouldn’t.

– Also from Slate, an excellent explanation of why people have a (misplaced) “hatred of cyclists.”

– A man has been ticketed after being accused of harassing two men on bicycles by excessively blaring a car’s horn at them, an act which was caught on video by one of the men riding a bike.

– There’s a new smartphone app that automatically replies to text messages and mutes the distracting sounds of a phone while a person is driving.

– A new online service wants to make peer-to-peer bike rentals easier.

The New York Times has an interesting graph plotting trends in vehicle miles driven versus auto fatalities from 1950 through last year.

– Graem Obree is hoping to set a record by traveling at 100mph on a pedal-powered bicycle and the physics of the stunt stack up in his favor.

– Washington DC’s bike share system celebrated its second anniversary recently as membership and number of trips taken on Capital Bikeshare continue to grow.

– A driver in a hit-and-run collision in the UK was more concerned about dents in their car than about a schoolboy’s safety according to witnesses.

– Check out the concept for this elevated “veloway” superhighway in Melbourne, Australia:

– Again from Brussels, there’s a great documentary on bicycle messengers in the Belgian city:

Brussels Express from Sander Vandenbroucke on Vimeo.

– Say what you want about Mitt Romney’s politics, his new plan features bike manufacturers as an example of small business in America:


— Did you find something interesting that should be in next week’s Monday Roundup? Drop us a line. For more great links from around the web, follow us on Twitter @BikePortland.

Exploring Ashland during the Cycle Oregon layover

Exploring Ashland during the Cycle Oregon layover

Turtle Time Glass

Inspired by Cycle Oregon’s visit, the
owner of Turtle Time Glass works
on a glass bike frame.
(Photos: Will Vanlue)

[BikePortland contributor Will Vanlue was a volunteer on the Cycle Oregon ride last week. This is his latest dispatch.]

Most days on Cycle Oregon riders travel from one community to another, spending just one evening in each town. But one day during each ride there’s a two-day layover that gives people a full day to explore the host community.

This year that layover day fell in Ashland, a town with vibrant and varied local businesses eager to welcome Cycle Oregon riders. Since many people chose to spend the whole day in Ashland, fewer people were out on course and fewer volunteers were needed to support them. That gave me a chance to explore a bit on my own.


The first place I dropped by was Turtle Time Glass, a relatively new glass blowing studio that happened to be located right on Cycle Oregon’s official route. The owner of Turtle Time Glass was so inspired by everyone coming to town on their bicycles and decided he should build a bike frame entirely out of glass.

Turtle Time Glass

Watching him and his staff work on the frame was impressive. They based the design off a Schwinn mountain bike and were able to recreate the frame geometry almost perfectly.

Turtle Time Glass

Turtle, the studio’s owner, tells me that he hopes to turn the glass frame into a neon light and he’s already been in touch with a local bike shop interested in purchasing the piece to display in their window. He’s promised to send me a picture of the finished product and I hope to share it here when he does.

Standing Stone Brewery

The other business I had a chance to visit was Standing Stone Brewery, located in Ashland’s downtown district.

Standing Stone has a great program for employees who want to ride to work. If an employee makes a commitment to get to work on a bicycle, they receive one free from the brewery.

Local bike shops in Ashland provide the bicycles, which feature beer-inspired graphics. The owner of one of the shops that provide the bicycles, Ashland Bicycle Works, just happened to be standing outside the brewery when I was there and said other business in town are taking note of Standing Stone’s program and are looking at starting their own.

Standing Stone Brewery

He also commented on something I had noticed myself when riding around town: many of Ashland’s off-street bike facilities provide a more direct route through town than facilities for cars. The result is that many people choose to ride a bike because it’s faster, safer, and more pleasant than driving even in a town known for it’s weather extremes.

I wish I had more time to explore Ashland, but Cycle Oregon continued on before I had seen everything. I know for sure though, that I’ll make a point of visiting Ashland again. And I’ll definitely bring my bike.

Exploring Ashland during the Cycle Oregon layover

Exploring Ashland during the Cycle Oregon layover

Turtle Time Glass

Inspired by Cycle Oregon’s visit, the
owner of Turtle Time Glass works
on a glass bike frame.
(Photos: Will Vanlue)

[BikePortland contributor Will Vanlue was a volunteer on the Cycle Oregon ride last week. This is his latest dispatch.]

Most days on Cycle Oregon riders travel from one community to another, spending just one evening in each town. But one day during each ride there’s a two-day layover that gives people a full day to explore the host community.

This year that layover day fell in Ashland, a town with vibrant and varied local businesses eager to welcome Cycle Oregon riders. Since many people chose to spend the whole day in Ashland, fewer people were out on course and fewer volunteers were needed to support them. That gave me a chance to explore a bit on my own.


The first place I dropped by was Turtle Time Glass, a relatively new glass blowing studio that happened to be located right on Cycle Oregon’s official route. The owner of Turtle Time Glass was so inspired by everyone coming to town on their bicycles and decided he should build a bike frame entirely out of glass.

Turtle Time Glass

Watching him and his staff work on the frame was impressive. They based the design off a Schwinn mountain bike and were able to recreate the frame geometry almost perfectly.

Turtle Time Glass

Turtle, the studio’s owner, tells me that he hopes to turn the glass frame into a neon light and he’s already been in touch with a local bike shop interested in purchasing the piece to display in their window. He’s promised to send me a picture of the finished product and I hope to share it here when he does.

Standing Stone Brewery

The other business I had a chance to visit was Standing Stone Brewery, located in Ashland’s downtown district.

Standing Stone has a great program for employees who want to ride to work. If an employee makes a commitment to get to work on a bicycle, they receive one free from the brewery.

Local bike shops in Ashland provide the bicycles, which feature beer-inspired graphics. The owner of one of the shops that provide the bicycles, Ashland Bicycle Works, just happened to be standing outside the brewery when I was there and said other business in town are taking note of Standing Stone’s program and are looking at starting their own.

Standing Stone Brewery

He also commented on something I had noticed myself when riding around town: many of Ashland’s off-street bike facilities provide a more direct route through town than facilities for cars. The result is that many people choose to ride a bike because it’s faster, safer, and more pleasant than driving even in a town known for it’s weather extremes.

I wish I had more time to explore Ashland, but Cycle Oregon continued on before I had seen everything. I know for sure though, that I’ll make a point of visiting Ashland again. And I’ll definitely bring my bike.