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Category: community cycling center

New Columbia’s Bike Repair Hub wants your help to double its hours

New Columbia’s Bike Repair Hub wants your help to double its hours

Half the residents of north Portland’s Portsmouth neighborhood are kids, and 80 percent of households with kids live in poverty.

Bikes are simple, inexpensive machines that can be a big part of those kids’ lives — but bikes often need repairs and tuneups, not to mention friendly folks to talk about how and where to ride. Four years ago, the Community Cycling Center opened a Bike Repair Hub in the middle of the New Columbia mixed-income housing community to try and solve that problem.

It’s a shed with tools and a staffer, next to an awesome skills course. But staffers cost money, and the CCC wants to double the number of hours that the Hub can be staffed this summer — enough to fix 50 bikes per week, they say.

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(Photos: Community Cycling Center)







Hence the CCC’s current campaign on IndieGogo. It’s looking to raise $7,500 from the community for this purpose. In exchange, they’re offering a bunch of fun gifts, from a map of “our favorite secret bike routes from Bike Camp” ($25) to a detailed portrait of your favorite bicycle ($50) to a personalized haiku ($100).

teaching repair hub work

For people who pledge today (Thursday), every gift is entered to win one of two founding memberships to the Biketown bike-sharing system.

Check out the video above for an explanation, and check out their campaign page for more details.

The post New Columbia’s Bike Repair Hub wants your help to double its hours appeared first on BikePortland.org.

100 kids from east Portland families now have new bikes to ride

100 kids from east Portland families now have new bikes to ride

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

Every year the Community Cycling Center’s Holiday Bike Drive gives 300 kids a new bike. But what about the families that can’t make it to inner north Portland to pick one up?

Enter the Bikes for Kids event that happened Saturday. In an effort to expand the reach of their program, the CCC partnered with the Rosewood Initiative to give 100 children a free bike, helmet and safe riding tips. Families with children from three to eight years old that had been pre-selected by Rosewood and CCC social service partners, were ferried through the event by 61 volunteers.

They set up shop near the city border with Gresham at SE Stark and 162nd — that’s about 10 miles east of their holiday event. For families with limited incomes and limited transportation choices, the event was a dream come true.

Check out these great photos from photographers Charles Edelson and Anthony Georgis:

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

61 volunteers made the magic happen.(Photo: Charles Edelson)

61 volunteers made the magic happen.
(Photo: Charles Edelson)

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

(Photo: Charles Edelson)







CCC CEO Mychal Tetteh (L) and U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer.(Photo: Charles Edelson)

CCC CEO Mychal Tetteh (L) and U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer.
(Photo: Charles Edelson)

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

(Photo: Charles Edelson)

(Photo: Charles Edelson)

(Photo: Charles Edelson)

(Photo: Charles Edelson)

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

(Photo: Anthony Georgis)

CommunityCyclingCenter.org

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

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Community Cycling Center gets $75,000 grant to offer cheaper bike share memberships

Community Cycling Center gets $75,000 grant to offer cheaper bike share memberships

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Coming soon. And cheaper for some.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When Portland made its first attempt at bike share in 2011, concerns about equity gave local leaders pause. So when the City rebooted the idea they made sure it would be accessible to as many Portlanders as possible; rich and poor.

Now the nonprofit Community Cycling Center will add to those efforts thanks to a $75,000 grant they just earned from the Better Bike Share Partnership, a collaboration between the City of Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, People for Bikes, and the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). The program, “strives to increase the accessibility and use of bike share in underserved communities.” The CCC’s award is one of nine grants totaling $532,000 that were announced today.

The CCC’s grant funding will be put toward a grassroots outreach and education effort that will start when the BIKETOWN bikes hit the streets in mid-July. The marketing initiative will be aimed at Portlanders living on low incomes. “In addition to offering very low-cost memberships through workshops, they will also use community feedback to improve and guide the system through launch and its first year of implementation,” reads a press release about the grants.





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The Portland Bureau of Transportation has already set the cost of using bike share lower than any other major system in the U.S. It’ll be $2.50 for 30 minutes or 90 minutes free per day with an annual pass that costs $10-$15 a month. Because of the public blowback about equity the first time around, PBOT has made it a much higher priority for BIKETOWN. In addition to the system being relatively inexpensive to use, the City of Portland has committed to hiring BIKETOWN staff from underserved populations and paying them a “living wage.” PBOT also got a huge boost when Nike’s sponsorship came with a 60 percent larger service area which has allowed them to expand the program well beyond the central city (a key criticism in 2011).

CCC is a natural partner for this type of work. Through their adult bike safety education and earn-a-bike programs they already have strong relationships with social service agencies and affordable housing providers. Through their groundbreaking “Understanding Barriers to Bicycling” project they learned that the two biggest reasons people in underserved communities don’t bike is due to access and cost.

With this grant the CCC will offer lower cost BIKETOWN memberships after people have taken a class on bicycle safety and a workshop about how to use the system. The $75,000 will help fund the equivalent of 500 annual memberships.

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

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Islabikes donates 14 bikes to the Community Cycling Center

Islabikes donates 14 bikes to the Community Cycling Center

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Happy kids on good bikes is a potent combination.
(Photo: Islabikes)

Islabikes might be based in the United Kingdom but they understand how to do business in Portland: The company has donated 14 bikes to the local nonprofit Community Cycling Center.

In a statement released last week Islabikes said their belief of “providing children with a quality cycling experience” coincides with the CCC’s mission. That makes sense because the CCC teaches young people not only how to ride their bikes, but also how to make repairs themselves. If you’ve ever tried to repair or maintain a cheap, department-store bike, you’ll know they are nearly impossible to work on. Islabikes full range of models are known for not cutting corners on function or quality just because they’re made for kids.







With the CCC’s approaching summer bike camp season, the addition of 14 high-quality Islabikes to the fleet will make neighborhood rides and explorations a lot more fun.

Previous to their partnership with the CCC, Islabikes was also a sponsor of the Kid Cross event at the annual River City Bicycles Cross Crusade cyclocross races. The company was founded in the U.K. in 2006 opened its U.S. headquarters in Portland in 2013.

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

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Community Cycling Center recognized for work with underserved people and places

Community Cycling Center recognized for work with underserved people and places

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The CCC’s Lale Santalices and a member of Andando en Bicicletas en Cully at Sunday Parkways in 2014.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Bicycle advocacy that’s inclusive of people from different racial and cultural backgrounds — commonly referred to under the umbrella term of equity — is something every bike group seems to be talking about these days.

But the Portland-based nonprofit Community Cycling Center has been doing this work long before it was common. And now they’ve been recognized with a “Catalyst Award” from the Alliance of Biking and Walking. The award was presented to the CCC at the recent National Bike Summit in Washington D.C.

Here’s more from the Alliance:

“From catalyzing (sometimes difficult) conversations on the national stage to investigating its own operations through an equity lens, the Center has charted new territory in the bike-walk movement and inspired others to join them in the pressing need to reevaluate how we engage with community and define our leadership. For instance, its work with Andando en Bicicletas en Cully (“Riding Bikes in Cully”) — a Spanish-speaking group in a low-income housing development — has shown how advocacy organizations can work with and be led by community to build a movement that recognizes the expertise and value of all residents.”

It was back in 2009 when the CCC gained national attention for directly calling out the lack of racial diversity in the bike movement. Their groundbreaking Understanding Barriers to Bicycling report named the problem by asking a simple question: “Is our bike scene too white?” “The people riding and making decisions about bicycles is a white, middle class group,” the group’s former executive director Alison Graves said at the time.





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A scene from the opening of the CCC’s Bike Repair Hub in New Columbia that opened in 2012.

The CCC didn’t just talk about it, they went into new communities. They challenged themselves — and by extension all of us who work on these issues — to address the elephant in the room.

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CCC logo.

“What we’ve learned is that it’s about more than just bikes,” wrote CCC Communications and Marketing Manager Melinda Musser in a blog post last week. “It’s about listening and engaging with people in our community whose voices are typically underrepresented at the tables where policies and decisions are made about our city of Portland. Advocacy is about being a bridge and supporting people as they amplify their own voices.”

CCC employee Lale Santelices uses her bilingual skills on a daily basis in her work. She runs the group’s programs in the New Columbia neighborhood of north Portland and in Cully in northeast. She encourages bike advocates to not always think bike-first. “If getting more people on bikes is your ultimate agenda, then it’s not going to happen. You’re not going to see lasting change. It’s not about the bike, it’s about community building.”

For the CCC “community building” isn’t just a glittering generality. They back it up with real connections and outcomes.

Their Bike Repair Hub in New Columbia is going strong and will be open two days a week this summer thanks to new staffer Laquida Landford. The Hub offers not only bike repair but it’s a meeting place where the power of cycling can take flight. In Cully, the CCC continues to foster growth of Andando en Bicicletas en Cully (ABC), a group that’s advocating for better cycling conditions in their neighborhood.

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

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The Holiday Bike Drive: Much more than just 300 free bikes

The Holiday Bike Drive: Much more than just 300 free bikes

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Her left hand is blurry because she just did that throttle-twist motion (which was immediately followed by this smile).
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you believe (as I do) that children are the true indicator species of a cycling-friendly city, then Portland just put a big down payment on its future.

At Legacy Emanuel Hospital in north Portland today the non-profit Community Cycling Center and over 270 volunteers helped give out over 300 bikes at their annual Holiday Bike Drive. It’s a tradition that has now spanned two decades; but the smiling and excited kids that rolled off with bikes could care less about all that. They just wanted to ride their new bikes.

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Event manager Patrick Loftus and volunteer Sheilagh Griffin.
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Steve Soto and his 12-year old son Luke volunteered together.

While this foul weather isn’t ideal for wee little ones to take to the streets, once they do start pedaling around the neighborhood they’ll be very well-prepared. That’s because the Holiday Bike Drive isn’t just about giving away free bikes — it’s about teaching each child how to be a competent rider and a responsible bike owner.

As I roamed the hallways and atrium at Legacy Emanuel today, I was impressed by the comprehensive approach the CCC takes with this event. It’s a much more involved process than you might think.

Each kid is pre-registered. From the moment they enter the doors of the event they are greeted by a volunteer. Once they check in and get their name badge they are escorted in groups (of 5-6 kids at a time) down the “Safety Corridor,” which is a hallway that leads to the main atrium where the bikes are lined up. The Safety Corridor is so named because it’s lined with four separate stations that educate the kids on: helmet use (many eggs were smashed to make the point); personal safety (flip-flops bad, reflective vests good); bike safety (is everything tight and where it should be?); and traffic sign basics.

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Meet your bike buddy.

After the safety lessons it’s time for each kid to meet their “Bike Buddy,” their personal volunteer that will be at their side for the rest of the day. The buddies lead the kids through a helmet-fitting station and then onto the main event: bike selection.

The bikes are lined up in neat rows according to size and the kids can choose any one they want. Some are overwhelmed and too nervous to move without prodding. Others just pick whichever one’s closest. And others still, take their time. I saw one girl walk up and down the aisles several times before she found just the right bike.

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I caught this young lady swiping away her dad’s hand, as if to say, “I got this!”.
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After a bike was chosen it was then fitted and accessorized to each kid’s liking. The bikes were rolled into one of a half-dozen or so service bays where expert mechanics sprung into action. They’d put on training wheels, or take them off. They’d raise seat posts, adjust handlebars, and make sure the bike is a good fit. From the fit and service station it was finally time to ride.

The Bike Rodeo was the penultimate stop of the day. And it’s where everything comes together. Some kids who hadn’t smiled all day (most likely due to nervousness at all the attention they were getting), finally let out their joy once the wheels got turning. The kids who didn’t yet know how to ride were led to a special section of the rodeo where eager (yet patient) volunteers reveled in the thrill of teaching them.

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Learning to ride.
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She did it!
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After making it around the rodeo course a few times, there was just one final thing to do: say thanks. Each family took the time to sit down and make a thank-you card for the Community Cycling Center and volunteers.

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


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A congressman, ice-cream, fruitcake, and 1,000 bikes for kids

A congressman, ice-cream, fruitcake, and 1,000 bikes for kids

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Rep. Blumenauer at the Community Cycling Center this morning.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Looking to make his famous holiday fruitcake last even longer, Portland’s representative in the United States Congress, Earl Blumenauer, has issued a citywide challenge: He wants Portlanders to help provide 1,000 bikes for kids in the month of December.

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CCC employee Patrick Loftus trains volunteers
from Nike to build bikes.

Blumenauer spoke this morning in the crowded volunteer service area of the Community Cycling Center on Northeast Alberta Street. “This is a way to bring together two of my favorite things,” the congressman said, “bicycles and fruitcake.”

Last year Blumenauer took his first foray into ice cream advocacy when he teamed with Portland’s famous Salt & Straw ice cream shop to make a new flavor based on his fruitcake recipe. Blumenauer is known for his holiday fruitcake, which he delivers along with a personal note to friends and colleagues each year.

Now Blumenauer and Salt & Straw are back again to re-up their partnership. And this year they’ve added corporate heavyweight Nike into the mix.

Together this unlikely trio have issued a 1,000 bike challenge to Portland.

Starting this Friday (11/27) at all three Salt & Straw locations (NW 23rd, NE Alberta, and SE Division) you can add a new bike for a child in need to your ice cream order. Salt & Straw co-founder Kim Malek said that for every $50 donation made in one of their stores, the company will match it with another $50, providing two bikes for two kids. (Donations will also be accepted with orders made at SaltandStraw.com).

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Salt & Straw also sells ice cream at the sprawling Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton. For every gift-pack of ice cream purchased by Nike employees, the company will donate $25 to the Community Cycling Center. Salt & Straw will then match that with another $25 until Nike has donated a total of 100 bikes.

At this morning’s event, Nike Senior Director of Public Affairs Julia Brim-Edwards said her company sees this as a perfect partnership because of Nike’s commitment to getting kids more active. Nike is also donating volunteer time by having their employees assemble the donated bikes.

The Community Cycling Center usually raises enough money around the holidays to provide 400-450 bikes for kids — most of them given out during their big Holiday Bike Drive event that takes place early next month. If this challenge is met it would more than double the number of bikes they typically provide to kids.

A longtime supporter of the Community Cycling Center, Congressman Blumenauer kicked things off this morning by handing CCC CEO Mychal Tetteh a check for $500 — which will get 10 bikes refurbished and built up for kids who otherwise might not get one.

“Cycling is one of the definitions of our community,” Blumenauer said, “But we have a long way to go to make sure everyone can be part of it.”

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


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The Lumberyard is donating $10,000 in bikes to the Community Cycling Center

The Lumberyard is donating $10,000 in bikes to the Community Cycling Center

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Lumberyard co-founder Will Heiberg.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s way too early for us to start talking about Christmas, but we’ll make an exception for this story.

Today in east Portland the non-profit Community Cycling Center will pick up $10,000 worth of new bikes from The Lumberyard. The CCC’s Melinda Musser says the donation will include 32 “high quality” BMX bikes.

Musser says the “unprecedented” donation will help kick-start the organization’s annual Holiday Bike Drive and provide a new fleet of bikes to use in their kids programs next year. The CCC runs summer camps and bike safety programs in neighborhoods where some families can’t afford to buy bikes. And in December the CCC will give away about 300 bikes at their 20th annual Holiday Bike Drive.

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Scene from one of The Lumberyard’s “Shred Academy” classes.
(Photo: The Lumberyard)

The Lumberyard is a bike park that boasts 66,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor tracks, trails, and jumps. Since opening in 2012, The Lumberyard has planted itself firmly in the community. They have kids summer camps of their own and they even have a high school scholarship program.

This is the second bit of exciting news from the CCC this week. On Monday they unveiled a new website and video.

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


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Community Cycling Center unveils new logo, website and a very nice video

Community Cycling Center unveils new logo, website and a very nice video

Northeast Portland’s bikes-for-all charity/advocacy organization and nonprofit bike shop has a new look.

For the second time since its founding in 1994, the Community Cycling Center has “refreshed” its branding, offering a new digital-friendly logo and one of those scroll-y mobile-friendly websites.

Here’s a fun GIF of CEO Mychal Tetteh personally unveiling the new logo:

Mychal revealing new logo and tagline

That is the smile of somebody who no longer has to plan
the details of a brand refresh.

To celebrate the occasion, there’s also a quality video that talks about the CCC’s work through the story of Laquida Landford, a Portlander who earned her bike at the shop and rides it regularly.

“Sometimes you just want to tune everything out and be in your own space,” she explains in the short film by NW Documentary.

The brand refresh was a pro bono project by the folks at full-service creative agency BPN.

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For the benefit of local bike historians, the CCC has also circulated photos of its previous two logos, taken outside its shop at 17th and Alberta. Here’s CCC founder Brian Lacy sometime in the 1990s, with the original sign:

Founder Brian Lacy with original logo and bike shop location on 24th and Alberta

And here’s the one we’ve gotten used to over the last decade or so:

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“Our community needs to hear powerful stories like Laquida’s,” Tetteh said in a news release. “Our work is about more than just the bike, but the life-changing impact this tool can make.”

The CCC hopes its new website will be part of that, communications manager Melinda Musser adds.

“We hope to grow our blog into a more robust community space where more of our partners can share stories like Laquida’s,” Musser wrote on the blog.


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Portland’s latest biking surge seems real, local bike shops say

Portland’s latest biking surge seems real, local bike shops say

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Commuter-related sales are generally up across the city.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

After a few uneasy years for many local bike shops, the people whose businesses are built around Portland’s core of daily bike commuters say they’re feeling the boom.

One week after a new Census estimate that Portland added 5,000 net new bike commuters in 2014 to reach a total of 23,000 citywide, we called a few of the city’s biggest bike sellers to see if that seemed right.

Yep. And what’s more, they said the boom got bigger in 2015.

“I know that we did sell more commuter bikes that year than we did the year before,” said Matt Karre, general manager at River City Bicycles, which operates Portland’s single biggest bike shop in inner Southeast. “For 2015, it kind of blew 2014 out of the water.”

Kelly Aicher, co-owner and general manager at the six-location Bike Gallery, said the same thing.

“When you look at the smaller, focused segments — disc-equipped hybrids, fenders, disc-brake-equipped road bikes — that’s the category that I would say we’ve seen steady growth the last couple of years for sure,” Aicher said. “I would say that this year it’s probably even stronger than the previous year.”

portland bike commute share with error curves

Data wonk Kyle James of Alta Planning and Design worked with us to create this visualization of Portland’s estimated bike commute mode share over the years. The dots are shaped to reflect the margins of error built into the data; the wider a shape is at any given point, the higher the probability that it reflects the true number of regular bike commuters.

At West End Bikes, where the focus is on racing as well as the commuter and lifestyle market, co-owner Mark Ontiveros said his business is up 20 percent in the last two years.

“It seems like there’s an uptick, and this whole town: people are moving here, and it’s interesting,” Ontiveros said. “I think we’re all doing OK because we built the bike lanes, we created this culture, and I think people are being enticed. … They’re riding bikes. And they probably can’t afford to own cars with these friggin’ rents.”

“Margins are skinnier than ever — nothing is easy,” Ontiveros said. “But service is up.”

East of Interstate 205, the jump in sales hasn’t been as big. But it’s there, at least for the Outer Rim shop at NE 106th and Halsey.

“It’s definitely better than it was a couple years ago,” said Mark Andresen, a mechanic at the shop. “In terms of repairs, definitely. We’ve increased the amount of space … that’s probably three times what we had a couple of years ago.”

“I would say a third of the bikes that we have here, people complain about having to leave it here for a day or two because they say it’s their only mode of transportation,” Andresen said.

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The Outer Rim is just six years old and West End Bikes is five years old, so some of their growth is likely related to getting established as businesses. The improving economy is another factor — though all these businesses said it was clearly their transportation segment that seemed to be growing strongly in 2014 and 2015.

“I think it’s just people moving into town. Literally every single day, we get people who say ‘I just moved to Portland and I need a bike.’ It happens every day. Sometimes more than once a day.”
— Matt Karre, general manager at River City Bicycles

“I think it’s just people moving into town,” Karre said. “Literally every single day, we get people who say ‘I just moved to Portland and I need a bike.’ It happens every day. Sometimes more than once a day.”

Portland’s unusually warm and dry weather in 2015 has also been also a big factor this year, Karre added.

Not every bike shop, though, is riding high on sales. Of the six shops we polled for this story, exactly one said that unit sales fell in 2014: the Community Cycling Center, which is based in inner Northeast Portland and exclusively sells used bikes.

“We’re still a growing shop; we’re not really suffering,” CCC Retail Manager David Kurushima said. But that’s not because of more unit sales; that’s because people are buying more expensive bikes.

“We’ve also seen declines in service overall year on year,” Kurushima said. “I think a lot of that has to do with the unique position of our shop and our position in the Alberta neighborhood. I think we’re seeing a lot less sort of older bike repairs that need to get done and more and more affluent customers who have just opted to buy a new bike rather than get an old bike repaired. Because of that, we see a lot more retail sales and not so much demand for service. … I think that’s a reflection of the changing demographic of North Portland in general.”

Kurushima said there has been a small uptick in unit sales in 2015, but he attributed that to weather.

Another factor for the CCC is that they don’t ride the rising tide of the Portland area’s strengthening economy as much as new-bike shops tend to, because demand for used bikes tends to hold up during recessions.

“We definitely see obviously increased demand in up years as do all other shops,” Kurushima said. “[But] we see a steady increase in demand in down economic years as well.”


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