Portland Bureau of Transportation's SmartTrips program gives residents no excuse for bulky carbon footprints: Abra McNair brings green commuting information directly to residents (via bicycle, of course). After two summer stints with the program, McNair pedaled her way into a full-time gig this winter, racking up three days a week riding and averaging 10 miles a day dropping transit info on doorsteps all the way from the West Hills to Gresham. Even with this year's extended rainy season, she'd rather be on the road than stuck at a desk.
What started as a bikey gimmick has delivered two years of delicious, nutritious lunches. Jed Lazar's SoupCycle has smoothly cooked and served soups to "soup-scribers" across the city, taking the concept of bike delivery to a whole new level. With co-founder Shauna Lambert running the kitchen, Lazar spends his days pulling a 200-pound trailer packed with soup, bread, and green salads. His customers vary from business folk to families to chilly hipsters who are apparently sick of pizza.
"In other cities, if you ask people if they're a biker, they don't even know what you're talking about," says Good Sport Promotion's Marketing Director Ayleen Crotty. "They just ride their bike. Here we have a culture." Crotty has been a major part of building bike culture in Portland for 10 years, starting with organizing the Worst Day of the Year Ride for the Community Cycling Center and now pulling together 11 big bike culture events a year, including Filmed by Bike and Reach the Beach. Those rides draw 14,000 participants and 20,000 spectators a year, Crotty estimates. Also responsible for starting up Portland's debaucherous Midnight Mystery bike rides, Crotty straddles the line between paid, supported bike rides and the grassroots, bike-fun events that make up Pedalpalooza.
Jonathan Maus should have gotten a Bike Employee Of The Year award for each of the five years he's been running BikePortland.org, the go-to blog for coverage of bike events and policy. But we only started handing them out this year, so take what you can get, Jonny Boy! Maus' blog has evolved somewhat, in its time covering more policy details than the bike parties it did in the past, and garnered its 100,000th comment this year. "I'm a lot more cynical and critical about things than when I started," says Maus. "If you read the first posts, it's all, 'Let's go team! This is awesome!'" He's looking to bring on some help now that the wide-eyed excitement is gone. "I've been at this full-time for four years. That's four solid years of trying to wake up every day and write as much as I can."More Bike Issue articles here!
See the whole list of Pedalpalooza events here!