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An e-bike maker has finally made an ad that competes with the auto industry

An e-bike maker has finally made an ad that competes with the auto industry

Love the symbolism of leaving the car in the driveway.(Screengrab from Stromer)

The star of the ad leaves his car in the driveway.
(Screengrab from Stromer)

Biking in America suffers from a major image problem. Bike riders are rarely seen as cool, conquering heros in movies or advertisements the way auto users are. While we do our activism and political lobbying here and there, it has very limited impact when our entire culture is consumed by media that makes automobiles look like sexy, must-have products.

Many car commercials are fake, mean-spirited, and promote dangerous driving; but with billions of dollars to spend, the auto industry knows how to win the hearts and minds of Americans. The bike industry? Not so much. More often than not bike advertisements focus too much on racing or too much on the corny stuff bike advocates love but that non-believers (an important marketing target) can’t relate to or simply don’t care about. Granted, the marketing budget of the entire bike industry is probably equal to what Ford spends on office coffee for a week. But still.

Then I saw a new ad for Stromer bikes over the weekend….







What really caught my eye was how the Stromer marketing folks blatantly copied one of the most persuasive car commercials running today: the Matthew McConaughey/Lincoln MKC spots (directed by non other than Portland resident Gus Van Sant). Notice how the music, the look, the feel, even several scenes of the Stromer ad above mimic the Lincoln ad below. Notice the droning piano, the handsome, confident, and wealthy star getting ready for work, the reach for the key (that he passes over for his phone), and so on…

Stromer is doing exactly what Lincoln (and other carmakers) are doing: Selling the bike — not as a health and fitness tool or a way to “be green” — but as a device that makes you look cool and just so happens to get you from A-to-B in luxurious style. And by device, I mean an electronic gadget like a smartphone. In the face of an age where people are more and more consumed by their devices, the auto industry has smartly begun to position cars as high-tech nodes with all the bells, whistles, and comforts of an iPhone. And now Stromer is doing the same in this ad for their premium ST2 model.

It should be noted that Stromer is an e-bike company. This ad makes me wonder how the high-tech aspect of e-bikes is a major marketing asset that will make them more influential with mainstream (non-bike believing) audiences.

And did you notice how, in another jab to automakers, Stromer’s tagline is “The Swiss driving experience.” That echoes BMW’s “The ultimate driving experience.” Not only that, but by using the verb “driving” instead of “riding” Stromer is challenging people’s perception of cycling in a fundamental way. It reminded me of the legendary Miller beer ad by Errol Morris (that I also called the “best commercial ever made” when it debuted in 2007).

It’s not perfect, but this Stromer commercial could be a game-changer. If only they had a few million dollars to plaster it all over the airwaves during prime-time sporting events.

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

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The post An e-bike maker has finally made an ad that competes with the auto industry appeared first on BikePortland.org.

The BikePortland Podcast: The bike media

The BikePortland Podcast: The bike media

jrascreenerlead

Screenshot from Jonathan’s other blog, circa 2005.

Once upon a time, a bike-industry media consultant named Jonathan Maus observed that “blogs are changing the way people communicate on the web.”

That was 11 years ago, to be precise. And Jonathan’s feeling at the time — blogs are amazing, why doesn’t everyone and everything have one? — has basically come true; these days we just call most of them “Facebook pages.”

The media revolution between 2005 and today has changed a lot of other things, and one of them is biking. In the first episode of the rebooted BikePortland podcast, Jonathan, producer Lillian Karabaic and I talk about the modern bike media.





For some of the show, we’re speaking as insiders of a sort. For other parts, we’re speaking as consumers. And we try to get at the ways that the shifting bike media have led, fed and followed changes in biking culture over those years, too. We also mention a few of our favorite media sources and the stories and reporters who inspire us.

As I mentioned, this will be the first episode of a sort of reboot of our podcast. In this and the coming episodes, we’ll be making an effort to tackle unusual and surprising subjects, or at least look at familiar subjects in old ways. We’re excited to get that rolling. We’ll also be using the podcast feed for one or two other things — in-depth audio interviews with Portland mayoral candidates, for one. As always, we’re eager to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Oh, and one last thing: We’ve introduced a new closing feature for the end of the podcast: we’re going to ask readers and listeners a question and share some of their replies. So here’s next month’s question:

What’s the most dangerous thing you’ve ever carried on a bike?

Talk to you next month.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

BikePortland can’t survive without subscribers. It’s just $10 per month and you can sign up in a few minutes.

You can subscribe to our monthly podcast with Stitcher or iTunes, subscribe by RSS, sign up to get an email notification each time we upload a new episode, or just listen to it above using Libsyn. Listen to past episodes here.

The post The BikePortland Podcast: The bike media appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Portland’s bike-powered BBQs and talk show get their due

Portland’s bike-powered BBQs and talk show get their due

media-grilled

Grilling by bike in Paste Magazine.

If you’ve followed this site for a while you know that here in Portland, people do a lot of amazing things by bike: raising a family, getting married, moving, and responding to disasters are just a few of them.

I like to share those types of stories here on BikePortland because they challenge people’s assumptions about what bicycles make possible. That’s why I get excited when larger media outlets give them attention because their I know their audiences will be even more amazed and inspired.

Case in point are two recent bits of media attention worth noting: Portland’s “Grill by bike” trend highlighted in Paste Magazine and the Pedal Powered Talk Show earning a spot on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Art Beat program.

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Bike-powered BBQ’s are nothing new in Portland (remember the Musical Mystery BBQ Ride during Pedalpalooza 2005?), but it seems to be enjoying a renaissance and Paste Magazine has taken note:

Group rides, fun, food: it all goes hand in hand. In many ways—except for the flames, maybe—mounting a bike on a grill is the next logical step. Enter Grilled by Bike…

Grilled by Bike exemplifies the DIY attitude, but does it all while riding at high speeds in extreme conditions. Their group motto: Ride on Fire.

If pedaling around a grill doesn’t impress you, how about producing a talk show from a cargo bike?

The Pedal Powered Talk Show launched in 2011 and has been gaining speed ever since. Phil Ross and Boaz Frankel have done a fantastic job keeping the wheels turning and they’re starting to get much-deserved attention. Last week the excellent OPB show Oregon Art Beat tracked them down and devoted an entire segment to telling their story:

Congratulations to all involved! While bbq’ing and hosting a talk show by bike might seem like trivial pursuits, expanding people’s minds about the bicycle’s potential is much more powerful than it first appears.


The post Portland’s bike-powered BBQs and talk show get their due appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Riding against violence: Two Portlanders’ story of using a bike ride to call for peace

Riding against violence: Two Portlanders’ story of using a bike ride to call for peace

As every bike-lover knows, it’s not really about the bike.

For Jason Washington and DeMarcus Preston, 40ish Portlanders and friends who were fed up with local shootings last summer, a bike ride seemed like a natural way to wipe aside a cycle of gang violence and bring the community together into “one gang” in the best sense of the word.

Filmmakers Joe Biel and Elly Blue ask Washington and Preston to tell that story, or at least part of it, for a new short film in their “Groundswell” series about underdog bike heroes around the country. This is the first in the series to focus on Portlanders (though it won’t be the last). Portland-based Microcosm Publishing will officially release this episode, “Take Back the Streets,” tomorrow on the series’ website. But they were nice enough to give BikePortland readers this advance view.

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This episode begins with Washington and Preston talking about their personal connections both to bikes and to Portland’s African-American community. Then it talks about the pair’s big idea last summer to bring the community together for a bike ride and social gathering. (We covered the event here.)

In the second half, the two talk about the diaspora of North Portland’s black community and about black culture more generally. Preston lays out his concept for a house in Portland, modeled on his own life-changing experience in the U.S. military, that would give young men a more positive and meaningful experience than jail.

Then, at the end, they shift into a subject that will be familiar to every BikePortland reader: the weirdly simple joys of riding a bike.

“I know once I started riding my bike, I feel a lot, not so stiff, a lot looser, you know what I’m saying?” Preston said. “Kind of make you feel athletic. You feel good about riding, too. … It’s just the first couple of days you’ve got to get through.”

Want to see more? Check out the previous film in Biel and Blue’s Groundswell series, in which they chronicle the promising rise and distressing collapse, over the last few years, of the League of American Bicyclists’ equity initiative.


The post Riding against violence: Two Portlanders’ story of using a bike ride to call for peace appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Portland’s most affordable neighborhoods to bike from (for now)

Portland’s most affordable neighborhoods to bike from (for now)

High Crash Corridors campaign launch-3

Number one is poised to get better.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The Willamette Week bike issue came out today, which makes this the one day a year when we stoop mooching off their generally excellent reporting and they get to mooch off ours. (Seriously, y’all, no problem.)

But one piece in their nicely put-together bike issue falls clearly in the “wish we’d done that” category: a tally of median single-family home prices per Portland neighborhood ranked by the time it takes to bike to the city center.

“Portland has long been thought of as a cycling mecca for one big reason: Affordable homes were close enough to work to commute by bike,” Willamette Week’s Tyler Hurst writes in the piece, more or less accurately. “Housing prices rose by another 6.6 percent last year, and a February project by Governing magazine found the city is gentrifying faster than anywhere else in the nation. Does the promise of an affordable, bikeable Portland still hold up?”

Hurst defines the problem well:

Consider that the median income for a family in Portland is around $50,000, which financial advisers will tell you means they should not spend more than $315,000 on a house. Also consider that the national average commuting time is 25 minutes each way. So can you find an affordable house in a place that’s about a one-hour round-trip commute to downtown Portland by bike? It’s increasingly difficult.

And Willamette Week’s pick for the most affordable biking neighborhood? It might not come as a surprise if you’ve been on the streets in the area lately:

The best bet for bikers is probably Foster-Powell. There, houses are selling for about $262,000, and the round-trip commute is 66 minutes. And the neighborhood looks to get even better with an upcoming “road diet” plan for Southeast Foster Road. Starting next year, the city will spend $5.5 million to build bike lanes and remove two of the busy thoroughfare’s five car lanes.

“Stripe” would probably be a better word here than “build,” since the $5.5 million will go almost entirely toward walking improvements, not white paint. Ok, to continue…

Two other mid-Southeast neighborhoods are close behind: Woodstock and South Tabor. However, South Tabor is the better value for bikers as living there shaves 12 minutes and nearly three miles from your daily commute. It has a better bike score to match: 84 compared to Woodstock’s 77.

Creston-Kenilworth—roughly the area south of Powell Boulevard between 28th and 50th avenues—also stood out. Homes there are selling for a median price of $330,000, and the cycling commute is 50 minutes.

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Missing here, of course, is the fact that lots of jobs and other destinations aren’t downtown; the main reason so many people bike to jobs there is probably that it’s relatively expensive to park there. Census figures suggest that the neighborhoods with the highest bike-to-work percentages are actually in retail-dominated neighborhoods like Northeast Alberta and Northwest 23rd.

In Portland as in most cities, proximity to the core is a pretty good proxy for the underlying factor that drives almost all our transportation decisions: were the buildings in the neighborhood built in an era before we expected everyone to own a car, or after?

But that’s forgivable. In Portland as in most cities, proximity to the core is a pretty good proxy for the underlying factor that drives almost all our transportation decisions: were the buildings in the neighborhood built in an era before we expected everyone to own a car, or after?

The other thing worth adding here is that the article doesn’t mention the existence of 42 percent of Portland’s households: people who live in attached housing units. It considers only single-family homes.

The main disadvantage of a single-family home, of course, is that you can’t fit very many of them onto the same piece of land. The more expensive land becomes, the bigger that problem becomes — and the more important it becomes for cities to allow some other sort of housing to be built.

Sadly, Portland doesn’t seem to be talking much about removing its ban on building multi-family housing on 69 percent of the residential land in the city’s innermost 3.5 miles.

Maybe next year.

Yellow areas are zoned for single-family homes, blue for mixed-use and multifamily, gray primarily for industry and office (with some residential allowed), green for park and open space.

WW’s bike issue is online and it includes a full ranking of the city’s neighborhoods. Check it out or just pick up a copy.

— The Real Estate Beat is a regular column. You can sign up to get an email of Real Estate Beat posts (and nothing else) here, or read past installments here. This sponsorship has opened up and we’re looking for our next partner. If interested, please call Jonathan at (503) 706-8804.

The post Portland’s most affordable neighborhoods to bike from (for now) appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Travel site says ‘driving cyclists off the road’ is rite of passage in Portland – UPDATED

Travel site says ‘driving cyclists off the road’ is rite of passage in Portland – UPDATED

“… you’re the one driving a two-ton bullet of a machine, and thus you’re the one with all the power.”
— MatadorNetwork.com

Portlanders are used to being on lists when it comes to the travel and tourism media; but not like this.

Matador Network, which bills itself as the “web’s best independent travel media site,” has published an article that makes light of driving a car into bicycle riders. The article, published on December 29th, says it’s one of the seven “rites of passage everyone will experience in Portland.”

Surrounded by six other completely innocuous items, here’s the part about bicycle riders:

matador

Northeast Portland resident Gregg Lavender took to Matador’s Facebook page (which has 294,651 likes) to express his concerns:

“As a Portlander, I guarantee that I’ve never: “Daydream(ed)about driving cyclists off the road.” Please don’t fantasize about hurting me, my family, or my friends.

I’m sorry to read that Matt Staff feels otherwise. I’m sorry to read that Matador supports these dangerous (And not funny) articles.”

Thankfully, Gregg has already heard back. “We appreciate you reaching out,” said an admin for the Matador page, “and have sent this feedback to our editors.”

We get that Matador’s writers are paid to generate clicks and they certainly have the right to their opinions. But as we’ve noted several times on our front page over the years, it’s never funny to make light of traffic interactions like this — especially when the behaviors being encouraged could easily lead to someone being killed.

Hopefully Matador’s editors do the right thing and delete that item.

UPDATE, 9:23 am on 1/13/15: We are happy to report that the article has been taken down.

UPDATE, 1/14/15: I heard back from the author of the blog post. Here’s his apology:

You’ve my sincerest apologies for the recent article featured on Matador Network regarding bikers in and throughout Portland.

The riff on reckless action was inappropriate, insensitive, and disrespectful to those folks of the biking community impacted by the destructive actions of drivers in the past.

In no way was I EVER encouraging drivers to ‘kill’ cyclists or harm them at all – there’s a fine line between attempts at humor and ‘too far’ and that line was crossed in pursuit of a coldhearted punchline.

I’d never encourage, stand behind such an evil action (harming a cyclist-harming anyone), and will always condemn those that do. I’ll have you know those that know me outside the ‘click-bait, humorous writing’ know me to be a man of high morals, good character, and well grounded values.

The post Travel site says ‘driving cyclists off the road’ is rite of passage in Portland – UPDATED appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Oregonian story makes light of running over bicycle riders – UPDATED

Oregonian story makes light of running over bicycle riders – UPDATED

oregonian

A story posted on The Oregonian’s website earlier today seems to make a joke about very serious and potentially dangerous driving behavior.

The story, Portland’s morning commute without the Sellwood Bridge as told by GIFs is a response to current detours in place due to construction of the new Sellwood Bridge. The construction has caused a lot of congestion and backups during the morning rush hour.

The author of the story, Adrianna Rodriguez, uses a series of animated GIFs as a humorous way to share what some people are going through as they experience the traffic backups. Each GIF is accompanied by a caption.

“Looking out the window,” the story reads, “bicyclists pass by smiling like…” and the GIF shows a photo of Pee Wee Herman smiling and happy on his bike. Then the next caption reads, “And you just want to be like…” which is followed by a GIF of someone who swerves their car into a pack of bike riders.

This type of thing is totally unacceptable — especially on a day when someone died in a collision with a truck driver.

It’s also worth noting that The Oregonian Editorial Board is actively lobbying City Council to invest fewer dollars of their proposed street fee and tax plan on the type of projects that would make the scenario depicted in that GIF less likely to happen.

We’ve asked The Oregon to edit the story and will update this story when they’ve done so.
———–

UPDATE, 4:04 pm: The Oregonian has removed the offensive GIF. They have posted this update message at the top of the story:

“Update: We have removed a GIF from this story that was offensive to some of our readers. While this post is tongue-in-cheek and was meant to be humorous, we apologize for unintentionally making light of the dangers that cyclists face on our roads.”

UPDATE, 4:25pm: Reporter Adrianna Rodriguez has tweeted an apology:

UPDATE: @markecarter on Twitter has posted a GIF that would have made much more sense:

The post Oregonian story makes light of running over bicycle riders – UPDATED appeared first on BikePortland.org.

NW Examiner: Everett bike lanes part of ‘campaign against auto-orientation’

NW Examiner: Everett bike lanes part of ‘campaign against auto-orientation’

examinerlead

Frank Warrens is not happy
about the new bike lanes.

A cover story in this month’s NW Examiner is stoking an old but unfortunately familiar meme: the “war on cars.”

In Driving out Cars, Allan Classen, the publisher and editor of the free neighborhood newspaper, focuses on how new buffered bike lanes have impacted people who use NW Everett Street. As we reported back in August, the Bureau of Transportation re-designed Everett between 24th and I-405 in order to improve bicycle access.

For the main face of the story, Classen chose an auto repair shop owner named Frank Warrens, who refers to the project as an example of PBOT’s ongoing “war on cars”:

The recent conversion of one vehicle lane into a bike lane along Northwest Everett Street between 19th and 23rd avenues blew his gasket.

“The brain-dead idiots who came up with the idea of making a bike lane on Everett are really out of line,” Warrens told the Examiner. “It’s clearly an attempt to get rid of all vehicular traffic in the downtown Portland area.

“A war on cars is a very appropriate term for what they’re doing,” he said.

Warrens, not a bicyclist, thinks bike lanes should be kept on side streets.

Although the city promised that the Everett Street modifications would reduce travel times only slightly, he has experienced quite the opposite, reporting that what used to be a two or three minute trip from 23rd to his shop can now take 10 minutes.

Classen includes some comments from PBOT Transportation Policy, Planning and Projects Group Manager Art Pearce, but he frames them in a way that serves the larger “war on cars” narrative the he wants to get across. Later in the article Classen himself writes that, “The Everett Street reconfiguration is a minor maneuver in the campaign against “auto orientation.” He then goes on to list what he feels are the other parts of this nefarious campaign: bike corrals, street seats, apartment buildings with no auto parking, bike lanes, and metered auto parking.

This is not the first time Classen has shared his opinions about bicycling and the people who do it. In 2010 he penned an editorial about “bicycle zealots” that included this passage:

“If you’ve ever been flipped off, sworn at or physically attacked by a bicyclist who didn’t like the way you drive or walk on the sidewalk, keep in mind that these are not ordinary people. They live on another plane. They believe that danger, disdain and ridicule may follow them all their days on the earth, but one day they will sit in glory at the right handlebar of God.”

Then in 2013 he published a misleading article on his front page about what he considered to be “illegal cycling” in Forest Park. (As an aside, one of Classen’s contributors at the NW Examiner is Michael Zusman, the Multnomah County Judge who once ruled that a woman right-hooked in an intersection while bicycling was not protected by Oregon’s bike lane law because the lane striping paint didn’t continue through the intersection. That “disappearing bike lane” was criticized by legal experts and eventually settled out of court.)

It will be interesting to monitor local media reactions to what are sure to be more projects like NW Everett in the future. I don’t agree with this article’s framing, but Classen’s is tapping into concerns and fears shared by many Portlanders. Re-configuring lanes and changing what types of vehicle are allowed to use them is a big deal and it has real consequences. These projects are also happening in a larger context of neighborhoods experiencing rapid changes in housing and a population trends that will only add to street demands.

If we want our transition away from an “auto-orientation” to be as smooth as possible, we need to let people like Classen and Warrens air out their feelings. We also need to be aware of them and understand how they might influence other people, our elected leaders, and policymakers.

This isn’t the last time we’ll read a story like this. I won’t be surprised at all to read similar articles and hear similar perspectives shared when the striping on N Williams Avenue is completed.

— Read the article and check out the comments at NWExaminer.com.

The post NW Examiner: Everett bike lanes part of ‘campaign against auto-orientation’ appeared first on BikePortland.org.

The Oregonian Editorial Board on Portland’s “risky bike share venture”

The Oregonian Editorial Board on Portland’s “risky bike share venture”

“Bike sharing isn’t essential, and a bike-sharing system with unexpected complications requiring city subsidies would undermine the public’s confidence in the city’s ability to set priorities and manage money.”
— Oregonian Editorial Board, December 21st, 2013.

With a big announcement about the Portland Bike Share system likely to come this month, The Oregonian Editorial Board is making it clear where they stand. Portland’s risky bike-share venture was the title of their editorial that ran on the front page of the opinion section on December 21st.

The piece reflects the opinion of the members of the O’s editorial board: Mark Hester, Erik Lukens, Susan Nielsen, Len Reed and David Sarasohn. As our bike share system gets closer to reality, we’ll be watching closely how the local media tries to frame the narrative around the project. After all, the project has all the components of a media freakout: the concept (at least on this scale) is unprecedented in Portland, bike share is usually misunderstood by people that haven’t used it (just like cycling in general), it’s an idea first championed by former Mayor Sam Adams, and it involves bicycling.

The editorial opens by making it seem like the only reason Portland is pushing for bike share is due to “peer pressure” from other cities and to maintain our reputation as America’s top bicycling city:

Portland is feeling a little embarrassed. Other cities have bike-sharing systems and we don’t… How can Portland protect its image as one of the nation’s great bicycling cities without creating its own fleet? How can Portlanders sleep at night, really, until kiosks of government-issue bikes are airdropped all over the city’s central core?

In looking back at the history of this project in Portland (we first reported about it in February 2007), competition with other cities was never the main reason to have bike share. Adams wanted it because he saw how well it worked in France and he wanted to try it here. The competition among other cities was a fun way create excitement in the community and create political urgency among City Council colleagues.

Then The Oregonian delves into its main rationale for not supporting bike share: It’s just too risky. “The risks of developing and maintaining a bike-share system are real,” they write, “Unless the city can mitigate those risks, it should pull the plug on the initiative.”

This aversion to risk on a major transportation project is notable coming from an Editorial Board that has been a constant cheerleader for the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project — a controversial and extremely expensive highway expansion and bridge project. On New Year’s Day, the same editorial board that’s afraid of bike sharing’s risk — a project that will be paid primarily from federal grants and private sponsorship — said of the CRC, “it’s time to move forward decisively.” That’s the same, $3.6 billion CRC project that the state of Oregon has spent $179 million planning and lobbying for as controversies continue to pile on and there’s still no guarantee it will ever get built.

Since bike share has already garnered a federal grant, The Oregonian proposes that the bureau of transportation redirects that money to other bike projects. Some say that’s a sign of progress.

In other cities, bike share has proven to be quite cost-effective, especially compared to other transit systems. But The Oregonian suggests otherwise:

The city’s hope is to run the system without siphoning money from city coffers, yet experience elsewhere suggests this goal is hard to reach.

Most bike-sharing systems in the United States require public subsidies, according to an exhaustive bike-share guide released this month by the New York-based Institute for Transportation & Development Policy. Subscriptions and user fees provide a “stable revenue source,” the authors found, but “rarely do they provide enough revenue to ensure that the system is financially self-sustaining.”

Bike share should be seen as simply another mode of transportation or form of public transit. We heavily subsidize auto use, buses, light rail, and streetcar, so why should we hold bike share to a different standard? It’s also worth noting that as of March 2013, Capital Bikeshare in Washington DC (which is also managed by Alta Bicycle Share) paid 100% of its operating costs through user fees from its over 20,000 members.

It’s clear that The Oregonian Editorial Board thinks bike share is nothing more than a silly vanity project from a politician whom they at one time urged to resign. But examples from other cities show that it could have a major positive impact on Portland’s transportation ecosystem. And perhaps that’s what scares The Oregonian: They’re not afraid bike share will fail, they’re afraid it will succeed.

Portland’s ‘pedal powered’ talk show rolls into its third season

Portland’s ‘pedal powered’ talk show rolls into its third season

Two of the stars of the Pedal-Powered Talk Show:
host Boaz Frankel and his portable interview desk.
(Photo: Pedal-Powered Talk Show)

Wielding what claims to be “the only talk show desk bicycle in the world,” the Portland-based Pedal-Powered Talk Show is about to launch its third season of using a desk mounted on a Metrofiets cargo bike to conduct video interviews about a variety of subjects in weird and wonderful places.

“I’ve always liked talk shows, but those seem boring to me filming in the studio,” said PPTS co-creator and host Boaz Frankel. “Since it’s a mode of transportation as well as being a desk, we can take it anywhere. … On the side of a mountain. Into the studio of a Native American flute maker. Into chocolate factories.”

That’s exactly what Frankel and co-creator Phillip Ross have done:

Most of the interviews, which are edited and run two to eight minutes, aren’t bike-related; instead, Frankel and Ross have realized that a bike is a tool that can make their program unique.

“The show becomes about something else, and it’s also about the journey of getting somewhere,” Frankel said Wednesday. “If it’s raining, that’s a part of the show. If it’s freezing, that’s part of the show. If it’s really hot, that’s part of the show.”

The first season launched in January of 2012, and the second in fall 2012. Frankel said the third season, which features excursions to Eastern Oregon, will begin posting episodes in November.

“We already have eight in the can, and we’ll probably be filming more,” Frankel said. Here’s their promo sequence for the new season:

You can check out the first two seasons (or, if you’d like, sign the show’s tongue-in-cheek petition to be featured on Portlandia) on PedalTalkShow.com, and subscribe to Frankel’s channel on YouTube here.