Tag Archives: bicycling

Quote About the State of Bikes in Portland

“In his February keynote speech for Oregon Business‘ ‘100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon’ awards dinner, Puppet Labs CEO Luke Kanies relayed a telling anecdote about the intersection between bikes and business. During their first staff meeting, new hires at this fast-growing Pearl District software firm are asked to reveal something interesting about themselves. But so many people want to talk about bikes (along with coffee and beer) that such interests are ‘no longer considered interesting,’ Kanies said.”
-From “Business Cycles,” Oregon Business, April 2014.

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April 9, 2014 · 8:00 pm

Feel the Burn: An Oregonian Explains a Yearly Rite of Passage

What do proper Portlanders do on the first sunny weekend of the year?

They get sunburned.

Here’s how it goes down. It’s a pleasant weekend morning. You decide to go for a bike ride. You’d like to leave by 10am, but it’s now 9:55am. Your brain says: “Hey, self! You should wear sunscreen! It’s sunny out there and you could get sunburn!” to which a different part of your brain responds, “We’re late! We should just go! It’s not that warm yet and there’ll be time for putting sunscreen on later!”

So you go.

And five hours later, when you’re within minutes of returning home, you’re stopped at a traffic light and notice your arms are feeling a teensy bit warm.

See, brain! We’re almost home and your skin is only now starting to feel a little pink!”

Your brain is very stupid. It never seems to remember that sunburn gets worse after you’re out of the sun.

This very series of conversations happened in my head this past Sunday. Two hours after returning home—approximately the time my arms started feeling radioactive—I went a-Googling and found this Scientific American blog post about how sunburn happens.

Humble readers, just take the 30 seconds to apply the sunscreen before you leave the house. Once I leave, I cannot be bothered to stop for such trifles. You’re smarter than that readers—don’t be like me.


On this particular day, I biked from my home in Clackamas County, to Kelley Point Park in North Portland—about 40 miles round trip, according to the calculations I did last summer. I made it to my destination in just over an hour and a half—not a bad pace for someone who hasn’t been riding regularly! (The photo above is of Sweetpea peeking out from the park onto the Columbia River, which separates Oregon from Washington. Kelley Point Park sits at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers.)

The ride was more preparation for my upcoming trip to Wisconsin—and the itinerary on that trip is starting to come together. Amanda and I will mostly be exploring Madison by bike, and it’s going to be great!

Plans for this weekend’s ride came together a little unexpectedly. The route shouldn’t be particularly challenging, but certain circumstances will make it a real adventure. If you want to spoil the surprise, click here. If it works out, I will see a long-time dream realized, and will have content for a nice juicy blog post afterward.

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Filed under Bicycles, Oregon

Allstate and Cyclists: Boo-urns

This evening I was eating dinner within earshot of a radio, and heard the most awful Allstate commercial. It featured “Mayhem,” played by Dean Winters, spouting a monologue about being that nasty fixed-gear cyclist who intentionally damages your car and makes you get into a wreck after you’ve gotten into the bike lane. Boy did I have a different perspective on that scenario, having been almost run off the road (intentionally) several years ago in Gresham.

At any rate, the bikes vs. cars mentality was coming through loud and clear—which doesn’t seem very helpful in keeping anyone safe.

I’ve yet to find a copy of the radio commercial on the internet (how convenient!), but did find this on a road bike forum, an image which was posted on the official “Mayhem” Facebook page in October of last year.

Allstate insures my car, and this begs me to question an assumption I’ve made. Many (but not all) car insurance policies also cover you when riding your bike—if Allstate is so anti-bike, what does this mean for me if/when I have a serious crash on Sweetpea, who I arguably use more than my car?

Even more disappointing, Dean Winters has said “when there’s not 10 feet of snow” in New York City he bikes to get around (photos). Actors are bound to their contracts, though, I suppose.

Have you heard this commercial? Anyone have a link to an online copy? And can we say a collective UGH?

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Filed under Bicycles