In the future, when bikes dominate the world (according to our crystal ball, this will happen shortly after gas hits $10 a gallon or runs out entirely), businesses that have already adapted to bikes and to serving customers on bikes will be poised to take over. Meet those businesses now—and become a regular, before all the bike parking's taken up.
Think they'll be eating pizza in the future? Mmmm... sure. Why not. But even when every last drop of gasoline is gone, green-thinking businesses such as Old Town Pizza (226 NW Davis, 5201 NE MLK) and Hot Lips (2211 SE Hawthorne, 1909 SW 6th, 721 NW 9th, 5440 NE 33rd) will be more than prepared; because they're already using bicycles to deliver their tasty pies! Old Town, for example, has been delivering pizza exclusively via bicycle for the last four years, using either "box seat" bikes (pizzas are loaded into a trailer up front), or trike style where the pizzas are carried in back. Hot Lips has also recently joined the bicycle delivery game with a bike and trailer for each location, delivering up to 10 blocks away (if it's more, they use the electric car). So give these delivery folks an extra big tip—they're busting hump to feed you AND protect the environment! WSH
Leatherman product designer Jeff Castro launched BikeRacker back in March, as a way to supply temporary bike racks to big local events and businesses. Remember the May Obama rally in Waterfront Park, when people were piling their bikes on top of each other, and scrambling for a spare piece of steel railing? Or the Handmade Bike Show back in February, when everyone was locking bikes to anything they could find? BikeRacker (bikeracker.com) will make such clusterfucks a thing of the past. MD
God bless BikePortland's Jonathan Maus. Since arriving in Portland from California, he's found the perfect forum to put his journalism, photography, and advocacy talents to use by starting bikeportland.org. It's a news source, discussion forum, social forum, and event calendar, and it generally drives the bike world here in town. Sam Adams has got nothing on this dude when it comes to promoting Portland as a bike-friendly city. And he sells Google ads, so it's entrepreneurial, too! MD
Portland's most rickshaw-tastic form of transportation, pedicabs have enjoyed an increasingly high profile downtown. The two pedicab companies in town, Cascadia Rose Pedals Pedicab and PDX Pedicab, offer the same basic service—you hop in a basket, somebody pedals you around—with a few minor differences.
Cascadia drivers (pedalers?) work for tips (usually between $10-30 per ride), and since they have 25 cabs at their disposal, a call to Cascadia usually results in a cab picking you up in about five minutes. You can also call make reservations and get either special rides through the city ($50 an hour) or, if you're super lazy, have someone pedal you around for a full day ($250 a day; 421-7433 or rosepedals.com).
Portland's other pedicab joint, PDX Pedicab, charges on a "weight vs. incline" system that generally works out to be about a buck a block. PDX Pedicab has eight cabs throughout downtown, and can dispatch one to you usually between five and 10 minutes, and they also have a reservation system ($50 per hour, $250 per day; 733-4222 or pdxpedicab.com). PDX's cabs also boast iPods, so you can kick back in style: Never before has "Ridin' Dirty" sounded so legit as when you're being pedaled through the Pearl. EH
When the carpocalypse comes down, what will satisfy our weary souls as we navigate through the hulking wrecks of petroleum-deprived vehicles? It will be the tinkling bells of pedal-powered sweet delivery. But why wait 'til the oil dries up? There are a few bike-powered goody providers who are already roaming Portland streets. Sol Pops (solpops.com) can be found at various Portland Farmers Market locations, with their brightly colored bike cooler, selling refreshing frozen-fruit bars. They're perfect when the weather gets warm (if it gets warm). Lulu's Confections can be brought right to your door or office. Her "normal-sized" cookies and bars range from the old standbys to more adventurous fare that include ingredients like rosemary and cayenne (lulusconfections.blogspot.com). Finally, Portland's beloved Staccato Gelato (staccatogelato.com) one-ups the old gas-guzzling ice cream truck, by peddling homemade gelato all around town. PAC
Want a delicious vegan snack? Well, sure, who doesn't? But how about getting said snack without the hassle of dismounting from your sweet, two-wheeled ride and locking it up? Hell, with Black Sheep Bakery's "Bike Thru" (833 SE Main) you can consume a tasty, and cruelty-free, bakery treat and a nice hot cup of joe while still wearing your helmet.
Not far away in inner Northeast Portland, there's the new Voodoo Doughnut (1501 NE Davis). The brand-new expansion—they even relocated their grease from their original spot—of this delightfully fattening Portland institution is widely known for their generosity toward local bicyclists. Voodoo's new digs feature an immense bike parking area—which sure beats the clutter of downtown, or trying to park next to those creepy dumpsters on SW 3rd—which will soon be covered, plus they are planning bike-in movies as well. Now tell me, what is better in this cruel, cruel world than watching a free flick while deep-throating their epic Cock-n-Balls doughnut? Nothing, that's what. EAC
Wanna see Portland? There's no better way to get out and about than with Portland Bicycle Tours, offering extensive glimpses of the Rose City without being trapped in the back seat. The tours take you to Portland's landmarks, parks, and bridges for interactive sightseeing that's as up close and personal as it gets. There are a number of different tours available, and the itinerary can be customized to suit your interest. Since this is a great experience for out-of-towners, bikes and gear are supplied, although you're certainly welcome to provide your own. Tours are offered from Fridays to Sundays and cost $20-80, depending on the length (less for kids). More info at portlandbicycletours.com, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. NL
After a long bike ride, nothing sounds better than a warm cup of coffee. The Little Red Bike Café (4823 N Lombard) offers that hot, brown pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, with robust espresso drinks, vegan baked goods, and an absolutely delicious array of sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. There's also homemade ice cream, but the real draw for cyclists is the adorable "bike-thru window" (walking up is okay, too), where you can pick up all your treats without leaving the saddle.
Okay, I lied. There is one thing is better after a long bike ride, and that's a cool pint of freshly brewed beer. Hopworks Urban Brewery (2944 SE Powell) is located on the decidedly not bike-friendly Powell Boulevard, but it's a sanctuary for cyclists amid the fast-moving traffic. The building is eco-friendly, the ingredients are all organic, and the business is a model of sustainability. But as noble as these factors are, they're pretty much irrelevant once you wrap your lips around a glass of their smooth, refreshing pilsner lager, or their crisp, biting IPA. So jaunt over to Hopworks, where the beer is truly fantastic, and where your bike will be safe and sound in their super-sized bike rack. Just try to avoid all the SUVs in the parking lot. NL
Buying into a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture, where you pay a subscription fee at the beginning of the growing season in exchange for a weekly share of the produce) supports local, mostly organic farming, and tickles the old Michael Pollan fancy—plus it saves on transportation fuel. Kollibri Sonnenblume's Sunroot Gardens takes these virtues to the extreme. Looking for local? Sunroot's comes from a collection of gardens and greenhouses scattered right through town, mostly in Southeast. The variety of plots complements a variety of crops (last year's crop had over 100 varieties, with new ones added to the current season), but even with these multiple locations Sonnenblume's footprint is low. He uses a bicycle for almost everything, keeping the entire operation 90 percent car-free. Imagine an urban landscape where access to quality food is not dependent on oil, and even the immediate future looks a little less dystopic. MS
When the car-based economy collapses and the rest of the world gets REALLY GRUMPY because they can't make it to Starbucks to get their triple grande nonfat extra-hot lattes, Portlanders will be smug and caffeinated (in other words, business as usual) thanks to two forward-thinking coffee purveyors, Courier Coffee (couriercoffeeroasters.com) and Café Velo (cafe-velo.com). Courier's owner Joel Domreis is a self-taught coffee wiz whose beans are considered some of the best in town—oooh, Stumptown, better watch your back. Domreis delivers his beans via bicycle to a select group of restaurants that include sel gris and Nutshell—with a clientele like that, the kid's obviously doing something right. Café Velo, meanwhile, keeps the crowds at the Portland Farmers Market caffeinated out of a portable cart that moves around via, you guessed it, bike. Choose your beans from a selection of Stumptown Coffees, then wait while a friendly barista grinds it fresh and brews to order your very own cup. AH