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“Gear Sphere” sculpture coming to North Williams Avenue

“Gear Sphere” sculpture coming to North Williams Avenue

The Gear Sphere sculpture-7.jpg

It’s coming to Williams Avenue.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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Artist Ivan McLean.

Portland’s busiest bike street is about to become even more bike-centric. Tomorrow at the corner of North Williams and Cook, crews will install the “Gear Sphere,” a sculpture made out of about 1,300 bicycle chainrings and rear cassettes.

The sculpture is by Ivan McLean, a renowned artist based in North Portland (his shop is in Delia on North Albina north of Rosa Parks Way). McLean was commissioned by LRS Architects to create one of his signature spheres with a bicycle theme in order to “tie into the bike corridor on Williams.” LRS plans to install the sculpture in a planter on the southeast corner of their Cook Street Apartments — directly adjacent to their short-term bike parking racks and a bike lane that sees more daily riders than anywhere in the city (see image below).

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Concept drawing of Cook Street Apartments that includes the sphere.

I stopped by McLean’s shop this morning to get a closer look.

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The Gear Sphere sculpture-9.jpg

The Gear Sphere sculpture-8.jpg


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Human added for context.
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The cassettes bulge out, giving the sculpture more depth and texture.

The sphere is six feet in diameter. McLean partnered with the Community Cycling Center to find the used chainrings. After he used all they could supply he was still several hundred chainrings short, so he ended up laser-cutting some of them himself. There’s a shaft in the middle to add stability and McLean has added several bicycle wheels to it.

While he’s added a glass-bead blasted finish to the parts, some of the chainrings and cassettes have already started to rust. McLean is fine with that. “It will be kind of cool with all the different textures as the rust comes through.”

You might not know his name but you have almost certainly seen McLean’s other work around town. He’s done several pieces for New Seasons Market, including the carrots on Vancouver and Fremont and the fish on the roof of several locations. McClean is also behind the road sign trash cans on Alberta Street; the blue, tree-inspired bike racks at the new Mason-Williams Apartments a few blocks up the road from the Gear Shere; the public benches along Highway 30 through Linnton (where he lives); and others. And if you’ve ever attended the What The Festival in the Gorge, McClean is responsible for the 70-foot long, fire-breathing dragon stage with the 30-foot pagoda that houses a DJ booth. (He’s also profiled in the current issue of 1859 Magazine.)

Speaking of fire, before I left I asked McLean if he had any other thoughts to share about the Gear Sphere. “I’m sad it doesn’t have any flames,” he said, with a smile. “Flames make everything better.”

Next time you’re riding up Williams, remember to look to your left as you cross Cook Street to steal a glance at this fantastic sculpture.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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The post “Gear Sphere” sculpture coming to North Williams Avenue appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Art project will put Portland riders on a pedestal as climate change heroes

Art project will put Portland riders on a pedestal as climate change heroes

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“Bicyclists are today’s heroes.”
(Photo by Bill Cravis)

Ever felt like you weren’t getting the props you deserve for riding your bike everyday and not spewing toxic, climate-change inducing exhaust into the air? An artist from Bend wants to fix that.

Bill Cravis is an assistant professor in the Fine Art and Communications Department at Central Oregon Community College and his latest art project aims to show how, “bicyclists are today’s heroes – contemporary mavericks who play an active role in reducing the threat of global climate change.”

To make his point, Cravis will set up a photo shoot in the South Park Blocks in front of the Portland Art Museum on October 24th. If you show up, you’ll be asked to climb up onto a miniature plinth with your bike and become a “living statue”. Artist Paula Bullwinklel will then photograph you right next to the bronze statue that depicts Theodore Roosevelt as a Rough Rider.

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All the images will be uploaded to a website and will be available to download for free. Each image will also have a quote from the subject that “relates to his/her use of a bicycle in Portland.”

The event is a benefit for and collaboration between Caldera, an arts non-profit that helps youth with limited opportunites and Fallen Fruit of Portland, a group of artists who use fruit to examine concepts of place, history, and public space.

— For more information about this event, download the flyer (PDF).

— Jonathan Maus
jonathan@bikeportland.org
(503) 706-8804
@BikePortland


The post Art project will put Portland riders on a pedestal as climate change heroes appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Portland artists featured in Artcrank’s new online store

Portland artists featured in Artcrank’s new online store

2015_WEB_Rory_Phillips_Ride_Like_Hell_1000pxss

Detail of Rory Phillips’ poster.

We’re big fans of Artcrank, billed by its founder Charles Youel as “A poster party for bike people.” The event first came to Portland in 2009 and has returned each year since to inspire and entertain us with its creative representations of the thing we all know and love

While it won’t be back this year, Youel got in touch with us yesterday to share the news that Portland is still in his plans. He’s scaling back live events and has turned his focus toward a new website which launched this week. Similar to his live shows Artcrank.com features 30 artists who’ve created bike-inspired posters.

Of the 30 artists featured in his first online exhibition, three of them are from Portland.

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Check out the posters below by local artists Jenn Levo, Rory Phillips and Scott Agrimson.

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“Out of the Woodwork” by Scott Agrimson
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“Ride Like Hell” by Rory Phillips.
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“Scarves of Red” by Jenn Levo.

Why bikes in art? Youel told Bicycling Magazine back in June that, “I think fundamentally people see the bicycle as another means of creative expression… It’s that same idea of creating spontaneously that informs artwork, whether it’s posters or music.”

There are only 30 prints available of each poster and the price is $45 a piece. See them all at Artcrank.com.


The post Portland artists featured in Artcrank’s new online store appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Portland artists featured in Artcrank’s new online store

Portland artists featured in Artcrank’s new online store

2015_WEB_Rory_Phillips_Ride_Like_Hell_1000pxss

Detail of Rory Phillips’ poster.

We’re big fans of Artcrank, billed by its founder Charles Youel as “A poster party for bike people.” The event first came to Portland in 2009 and has returned each year since to inspire and entertain us with its creative representations of the thing we all know and love

While it won’t be back this year, Youel got in touch with us yesterday to share the news that Portland is still in his plans. He’s scaling back live events and has turned his focus toward a new website which launched this week. Similar to his live shows Artcrank.com features 30 artists who’ve created bike-inspired posters.

Of the 30 artists featured in his first online exhibition, three of them are from Portland.

– Advertisement –


Check out the posters below by local artists Jenn Levo, Rory Phillips and Scott Agrimson.

2015_WEB_Scott_Agrimson_Out_of_the_Woodwork_1000px

“Out of the Woodwork” by Scott Agrimson
2015_WEB_Rory_Phillips_Ride_Like_Hell_1000px

“Ride Like Hell” by Rory Phillips.
2015_WEB_Jenn_Levo_Scarves_of_Red_1000px

“Scarves of Red” by Jenn Levo.

Why bikes in art? Youel told Bicycling Magazine back in June that, “I think fundamentally people see the bicycle as another means of creative expression… It’s that same idea of creating spontaneously that informs artwork, whether it’s posters or music.”

There are only 30 prints available of each poster and the price is $45 a piece. See them all at Artcrank.com.


The post Portland artists featured in Artcrank’s new online store appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Meet Aixe Djelal, the ‘helmetographer’ behind BicycleHead

Meet Aixe Djelal, the ‘helmetographer’ behind BicycleHead

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All images by Aixe Djelal.

I’m not sure how I stumbled onto the work of Aixe Djelal (pronounced “eye-SHAY ja-LAL”), but now I find myself checking her latest images several times per week. I think it’s the randomness of them, or maybe it’s how she captures the ephemeral vignettes I often see myself but rarely capture.

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Djelal, the woman behind the BicycleHead website and Instagram account has been publishing (almost) daily images of Portland bike riders since May 2013. What sets her images apart is that she never even looks at her subject and all her shots are completely hands-free.

That’s because Djelal is a self-described “helmetographer” whose images are created with a camera mounted to her helmet that’s always on during her daily bike commute. The result is a running narrative of what it’s like to ride a bike in Portland in all it’s exhilirating, fun, stressful, annoying — and always interesting — glory.

I recently caught up with Djelal and asked her a few questions via email…

First, a bit of personal background. What part of town do you live in?

I live in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Southeast Portland.

How long have you lived in Portland?

I moved here in 1989 to go to Reed College, and I’ve lived here ever since (with the exception of graduate school in Arizona, which made me love cycling in Portland even more). The bicycle has been my primary form of transportation most of my life.

What do you do when not taking bike photos?

I’m a senior web project manager at OHSU and I also help my husband Matt Proctor run his electric guitar making business, M-tone Guitars. When I’m not riding my bike, you can usually find me walking all over Portland. I also like to take photos of local bands and BMX freestyle jams, and I daydream about extending my helmetography project all over the world.

What motived you to start BicycleHead?

In 2013, an irate driver tried to run me off the road in downtown Portland. I got a helmet camera to capture video of my rides in case another driver threw a baby fit about cyclists using the road. Once I saw a couple of my rides on video, I realized I was getting some cool scenes of Portland that would be a lot more interesting as still photography. The goal of my helmetography is to share Portland from a year-round bicycle commuter’s point of view. People all over the world seem to have an interest in Portland bicycle culture right now, and my helmetography helps paint a picture of what it’s like to ride here.

What is your camera set-up and how do you get your shots?

I use a Contour Roam2 camera mounted on a Bell Muni helmet. The camera has a 170 degree lens which gives the photos a slightly fish-eyed dreamy look. It is set to intervelometer mode: as soon as I turn it on it automatically shoots a still every three seconds. I discovered that I get better photos when I point the camera backwards, so I do that most of the time. My standard commute is six miles round trip, though sometimes I will ride different, longer routes to keep the helmetography fresh. I like riding slowly, so every night I sort through 500-900 photos and keep maybe a couple. It’s a somewhat compulsive, time consuming project, but I really love sharing Portland through my bicycle commuter lens.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve captured on camera?

Some of my most interesting shots are of infrequent snow (mostly because it’s unusual), tail lights in thick fog, a guy shoving a crossfit sled down the street like Sisyphus, a right to sleep demonstration that was an offshoot of Occupy Portland, and most recently, the protest ride in response to the uptick of motorists hitting cyclists in May 2015. After 26 years, I consider Portland a fairly normal place to live and ride, but when people from other places see my photos they are surprised how many cyclists there are on the road.At this point I plan to keep on going with my helmetography. I enjoy it, others seem to as well, and I am happy show what a joy it is to ride a bicycle!

Check out a few more of Djelal’s images below, or see them all at BicycleHead.com.

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“The necktie and the truck” (9/12/14)

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“Wedge of blue through underpass” (1/24/14)
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“Cyclists streaming away from sunset.” (4/22/15)
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“Doggy bag” (7/22/14)
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“Downbound train” (5/12/15)
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“Shadows gliding down Salmon Street.” (4/20/15)

BicycleHead.com


The post Meet Aixe Djelal, the ‘helmetographer’ behind BicycleHead appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Craigslist post about post-dooring romance inspires film

Craigslist post about post-dooring romance inspires film

Still from Mike Vogel’s Doored.

Remember that awesome Craigslist post last summer when a guy got doored while biking downtown, but instead of being angry at the door-operener he sort of… fell in love?

Well it turns out that Craigslist post was the inspiration one of my favorite movies from the Filmed By Bike festival that wrapped up Tuesday night. Portland-based writer/director Mike Vogel of Front Ave Productions created his short film, Doored – Fractured Skull, Broken Hearts, based on that Craigslist post and it made its debut at the festival.

In the film, a man (Jamez Haze) and a woman (Jamie Langton) fall in love at first sight — which happens only after the man regains consciousness from a violent collision with her door. They romance through the city with coffee dates and long walks in the sun. Things are going swimmingly. Check out this funny exchange:

The driver: “You know, in driver’s ed they taught us that all cyclists were pretty much all social deviants hell-bent on destroying American culture from within.”

The biker: “I’ve always thought of driver’s as just lazy, inconsiderate resource hogs with a sense of entitlement about owning the road.”

Driver: “But I ride a bike sometimes.”

Biker: “And sometimes, I drive.”

But then things take a hilarious turn. Watch it for yourself below…

Craigslist post about post-dooring romance inspires film

Craigslist post about post-dooring romance inspires film

Still from Mike Vogel’s Doored.

Remember that awesome Craigslist post last summer when a guy got doored while biking downtown, but instead of being angry at the door-operener he sort of… fell in love?

Well it turns out that Craigslist post was the inspiration one of my favorite movies from the Filmed By Bike festival that wrapped up Tuesday night. Portland-based writer/director Mike Vogel of Front Ave Productions created his short film, Doored – Fractured Skull, Broken Hearts, based on that Craigslist post and it made its debut at the festival.

In the film, a man (Jamez Haze) and a woman (Jamie Langton) fall in love at first sight — which happens only after the man regains consciousness from a violent collision with her door. They romance through the city with coffee dates and long walks in the sun. Things are going swimmingly. Check out this funny exchange:

The driver: “You know, in driver’s ed they taught us that all cyclists were pretty much all social deviants hell-bent on destroying American culture from within.”

The biker: “I’ve always thought of driver’s as just lazy, inconsiderate resource hogs with a sense of entitlement about owning the road.”

Driver: “But I ride a bike sometimes.”

Biker: “And sometimes, I drive.”

But then things take a hilarious turn. Watch it for yourself below…

‘Circle Century’ documents 660 lap, 100-mile ride around Ladd Circle

‘Circle Century’ documents 660 lap, 100-mile ride around Ladd Circle

Still from Circle Century.

Southeast Portland resident and hobbyist movie maker Merritt Raitt debuted a new film at Filmed by Bike over the weekend. Circle Century documents his attempt to ride 100 miles, non-stop around Ladd Circle.

Raitt, who lives just a few houses down from the circle, accomplished his feat back in August 2011 but his movie has just now been released to the public. I followed up with Merritt to ask him a bit more about what it was like to ride a 0.15 mile loop of a neighborhood street 660 times without any breaks.

“Everyone asks if I got dizzy,” says Raitt, ” But it was a large enough radius that it really did not seem like constant turning.” Raitt is a very fit rider and he underestimated how hard the ride would be. He even did a 30-mile ride that same morning (up NW Germantown to Skyline Blvd). The Circle Century turned out to be tougher than expected: “I think since there was no terrain I tended to stay in the same position on the bike and used less variety of muscles than usual so it turned out to be a much harder ride than I thought.”

Throughout the day, many people from the neighborhood came out to watch. One group of kids set up a lemonade stand and offered Raitt free hand-ups as he went by (he also took coffee hand-ups from his family car). People also rode along with him, including his son and a friend on a tall bike. He figures he averaged about 20 mph, so he tended to be going much faster than average bike traffic.

As for traffic through the circle, Raitt said he had several cars roll through the stop signs and cut him off. “I’m not sure how well it is comes of in the movie but that red pickup came pretty close.”

Check it out for yourself.

‘Circle Century’ documents 660 lap, 100-mile ride around Ladd Circle

‘Circle Century’ documents 660 lap, 100-mile ride around Ladd Circle

Still from Circle Century.

Southeast Portland resident and hobbyist movie maker Merritt Raitt debuted a new film at Filmed by Bike over the weekend. Circle Century documents his attempt to ride 100 miles, non-stop around Ladd Circle.

Raitt, who lives just a few houses down from the circle, accomplished his feat back in August 2011 but his movie has just now been released to the public. I followed up with Merritt to ask him a bit more about what it was like to ride a 0.15 mile loop of a neighborhood street 660 times without any breaks.

“Everyone asks if I got dizzy,” says Raitt, ” But it was a large enough radius that it really did not seem like constant turning.” Raitt is a very fit rider and he underestimated how hard the ride would be. He even did a 30-mile ride that same morning (up NW Germantown to Skyline Blvd). The Circle Century turned out to be tougher than expected: “I think since there was no terrain I tended to stay in the same position on the bike and used less variety of muscles than usual so it turned out to be a much harder ride than I thought.”

Throughout the day, many people from the neighborhood came out to watch. One group of kids set up a lemonade stand and offered Raitt free hand-ups as he went by (he also took coffee hand-ups from his family car). People also rode along with him, including his son and a friend on a tall bike. He figures he averaged about 20 mph, so he tended to be going much faster than average bike traffic.

As for traffic through the circle, Raitt said he had several cars roll through the stop signs and cut him off. “I’m not sure how well it is comes of in the movie but that red pickup came pretty close.”

Check it out for yourself.

Renowned Embacher Collection coming to Portland Art Museum

Renowned Embacher Collection coming to Portland Art Museum

Screen grab of PAM email announcing the exhibit.

The Portland Art Museum has just announced that their summer exhibition schedule will include Cyclepedia: A Century of Iconic Bicycle Design. The exhibit is based on the book by the same name which documents the bike collection of Vienna-based designer and bike connoisseur Michael Embacher.

According to Stephanie Parrish, the museum’s Associate Director of Education and Public Programs, PAM will be the first institution in the U.S. to present Embacher’s collection, which they describe as “one of the most important bicycle collections in the world.” In addition to showing the bikes, Parrish says the museum is, “eager to talk to folks who will have great ideas about how to leverage the exhibition to feature and celebrate Portland’s bike culture.”

“As “America’s Best Bike City,” according to Bicycling Magazine,” read an email sent on Friday to museum members, “we will be creating partnerships and collaborations across the city to extend the exhibition through a variety of programs and activities celebrating the art of the bicycle.”

I can’t wait to see this exhibition. From kids bikes to cargo bikes and everything in between, Embacher’s collection of 200 functioning and very rare bicycles is truly something to behold. Here are just a few…

Stay tuned for more details on this exciting exhibit and possible related events that will take place.