February 2, 2006
Report from the Go Plantinum Kick-off
The unveiling of the Trek Portland
The first "Portland" off the production line was reserved for Earl Blumenaur (he insisted on paying for it).
Bike advocates of all ranks swarmed the store
Politician kissing babies
The biknoscienti gathered in force last night for a double-header event at the downtown Bike Gallery store. The Trek Portland was publicly unveiled and the City's campaign to attain Platinum cycling status was formally kicked off. It was announced that the first "Portland" was going to Congressman Earl Blumenaur (at Trek's insistence). Earl then insisted on paying for it - apparently he doesn't need a lobbyist scandal. The second is going to Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves, who announced it would be auctioned for charity.
A string of politicians spoke, getting much love from the crowd. The presentations culminated with Commissioner Sam Adams announcing Portland's drive to Go Platinum and reach a 15% bicycle mode share. The Go Platinum press release follows.
A good time was had by all.
RIDE PORTLAND celebration kicks off Portland Go Platinum campaign & The Bike Gallery showcases the TREK PORTLAND, Trek’s all-new urban commuter bike named after our city.
(Portland OR) – Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams announced the Portland Go Platinum Strategy - A Nine-Part Initiative to make Portland a world class bicycling city today. About one hundred area cyclists, bike advocates and community leaders gathered together at The Bike Gallery’s “Ride Portland” celebration, which featured a showcase of the all new Trek Portland bike. This is among Portland’s many bike-friendly distinctions – Portland gets its own namesake bicycle.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) and Portland Commissioner Randy Leonard joined Commissioner Adams for the kick-off. Portland is the only large U.S. city with the League of American Bicyclists “Gold” status for bicycling. Portland wants to be the first large U.S. city to gain the highest “Platinum” status for cycling.
“We want more people riding their bikes – for recreation, for their health, for getting around Portland, and for fun,” said Commissioner Adams. ”Two-thirds of Portlanders say they want to bike more.”
A Portland Go Platinum Steering Committee, chaired by Commissioner Sam Adams, with Vice-chair Evan Manvel, Executive Director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, is coordinating this comprehensive community effort.
1. Significant enhancement of Portland’s existing bikeway network
2. Significant expansion of bicycle-friendly infrastructure
3. A comprehensive update of Portland’s Bicycle Master Plan
4. Targeted educational efforts that serve as national models
5. A mountain of bicycle encouragement activities
6. Expanded programs with law enforcement
7. Integration of bicycling into Oregon’s tourism and economic development efforts
8. Finding and committing to increased funding for bicycle improvements and services using federal, state, and local resources.
9. Adoption of a City Council resolution on Platinum and review of possible City policy changes
"All Portland residents -- non-cyclists as well as cyclists -- can take tremendous pride in being part of Bicycling Magazine's Number One Bicycling City in the U.S." said Congressman Earl Blumenauer. The new March 2006 issue once again has Portland the Overall Best City for Bicycling. They created a whole new category just for Portland with the Overall Best City rating.
To reach Platinum, spur Portland’s economy, and improve the health and safety of
Portland residents, the strategy outlines a focused and energetic effort to increase bicycle use by 15% and celebrate – and expand – Portland’s commitment to bicycling.
The Bike Gallery, Portland’s largest independent bike retailer, hosted this thank-you party to celebrate the arrival of the all-new Trek Portland and honor the bicycle advocates and riders who helped put Portland on the map as “the City that Rides.” “It is only fitting that the best bicycling city has its own signature bike,” added Congressman Blumenauer (OR-3).
“We want to build a network of good bikeways so that everyone can feel safe and comfortable riding out there,” said Commissioner Adams, “and driving side-by-side with their fellow cyclists.”
“Portland is not just a great place to bike, but a great place to live with bikes,” said Commissioner Leonard. As the number of people bicycling has tripled, the number of crashes has stayed the same; as more people bike, more drivers and bicyclists are getting the know how to safely share the road.
In the next few months Portlanders will plan bicycle trips on a new web-based trip planner for bicycling, notice the “I Share the Road” bumper stickers on cars and bikes, see new bicycling signs on local streets, get a new and improved Citywide Bicycle Map, along with a host of other innovative and creative strategies to Go Platinum.
February 3, 2006 4:24 AM
Scott Mizée Says:
Thanks for the great article, Chris! My favorite caption is the "Politician kissing babies." So... who's making the "new web-based trip planner for bicycling?" Is that going to be another fine product from Portland Transport? ...or did I miss an announcement from the BTA or Sam's office or something?
February 3, 2006 7:08 AM
Chris Smith Says:
That's not us, although I think it's a great idea.
February 3, 2006 8:42 AM
Peter W Says:
About the web based planner... I heard that Jack Newlevant was working on it. He also helped create the Washington County bike map. That may or may not be true... but what I'd like to know is who is paying for it? Last I checked, Metro decided not to fund its $275,000 bill.
February 3, 2006 2:33 PM
Bob R. Says:
According to the Trek web site, the Portland bike retails for $1,539.
What would really give bike commuting as serious boost among the general populace would be to promote a simple, durable commuter bike for under $500 (even under $400 if it can be managed.) Something with fenders, a unisex design, a comfortable adjustable seat, and easy shifting.
- Bob R.
February 3, 2006 3:42 PM
Scott Mizée Says:
I agree 100%.
February 4, 2006 1:09 AM
Peter W Says:
It was funny, the news anchors were talking about the price tag for the "Portland", and joking about how expensive it was and how they could split the costs of one and share. I wondered, "do they share a car too? How much do *those* cost?"
February 4, 2006 8:47 AM
Scott Mizée Says:
Jack Newlevant: Are you funding/designing the web based bike trip planner?
February 4, 2006 10:22 AM
Bob R. Says:
I wondered, "do they share a car too? How much do *those* cost?"
Pound for pound, moving-part for moving-part, system for system, cars cost less than bikes, but yes, I see your point.
I know that demand for bikes is significantly less than that for cars, and there is less competition, but I just can't accept the gap between the garden-variety Chinese $99 Target bike and then $1500 for what is supposed to be a simple commuter bike.
I'm willing to pay 2X, 3X, even 5X more than $99 to get something well-made and safe and functional. Does it really have to cost over 15X more?
Even a Lexus or Mercedes sedan doesn't cost 15X more than Dodge Neon.
- Bob R.
February 4, 2006 6:07 PM
I have a feeling that these bikes aren't mass produced like the chinese bikes are. It also reminds me of scooters - there are some cheap Vespa knock-offs from China that cost sub-$1000, in comparison to $5700 for a comparable Vespa.
However, you can't get parts for them if they break, there are no repair manuals, and they tend to catch fire and blow up quite often. Also, most aren't street legal as they have never gone through any governmental registration processes to become street legal.
Of course, bicycles can be really cheap pieces of junk - and still function decently well that a novice wouldn't notice much difference until they put on a few hundred miles onto it.
February 6, 2006 4:30 PM
Bob R. says:
"What would really give bike commuting as serious boost among the general populace would be to promote a simple, durable commuter bike for under $500 (even under $400 if it can be managed.) Something with fenders, a unisex design, a comfortable adjustable seat, and easy shifting."
I agree completely. When I was in Amsterdam, I noticed how the same bike was *everywhere*. It was called the AmsterBike, and it was what most people rode in the central city.
Of course, the AmsterBike was really heavy, like 45 pounds or so, which doesn't matter because the tallest hills in Amsterdam are the ones that you climb as you go over the little bridges arching gently over the canals. And, I don't know exactly how much an AmsterBike actually costs, as I only rented one for $6/day, rather than purchasing one.
Still, it seems like some Oregon-based bicycle manufacturer could probably provide some living-wage jobs for some employees, and some affordable, good-quality bicycles for the riding population, by stepping up and designing an OregonBike that would be light enough to make it up most hills, cost $400 or so, have fenders and a rack, rechargeable lights, and either be unisex or have enough models in the same price range that it didn't matter.
Any entrepreneurs care to step up and fill this market niche?
March 5, 2007 5:03 PM
Vernon Huffman Says:
Catalysts of HOPE Sendoff Ride
At 10:00 AM on Sat 17 March 2007 bicyclists will gather at Ladd Circle in SE Portland, OR, to ride along on the first leg of the Journey of HOPE (Healing Our People & Earth). The day's ride will progress south on 99E and culminate at the State Capitol in Salem, where riders will be greeted by local peace activists. Local cyclists who'd rather Bike4Peace than kill4oil are encouraged to participate in all or part of the ride. Some will ride across town, some across the state and some across the continent. Please join us.
The Catalysts of HOPE are a rolling community dedicated to a vision of sustainable peaceful lifestyles. The Journey will weave together a network of communities down the west coast and across the south, each only a bike ride from the next. Through facilitated discussions and less formal communication, riders will share techniques for simplifying life and building peaceful community. The Journey will converge with other Bike4Peace rides in Washington, DC, on Sat 22 Sept, World Car-Free Day.
More information about Catalysts of HOPE, including schedule and contact information, will be found at http:/www.emissariesofhope.org.