Friday, May 1, 2009

Finally.....a blog post


It's been awhile...

For starters, a community bike workspace is coming together behind the Bend Community Thrift Store on Franklin Ave. John Aho is working with Heart of Oregon Corps. to get this much needed program off the ground. So far they've assembled a list of over 100 volunteers, turned in a grant for operational money written by former Bend mayor Bruce Abernathy, repaired 10 bicycles with residents at the Bethlehem Inn(Bend's emergency shelter), repaired 35 bicycles for Commute Options and have received significant coverage from the press...Next Tuesday, May 5th, there will be a town hall style info and planning meeting at Bend's Community Center. I encourage anyone interested in being a part of this program to attend...

A few weeks ago, Our friend Laura turned 30....What better way to celebrate than to dress up in pink and have a good old fashion cruiser pub crawl..It was a blast and personally, I can't wait for the next one..

On Wednesday, May 20th, Bend's 3rd Ride Of Silence will take place..This is a worldwide ride to honor those injured or killed in cycling accidents with motor vehicles. Last year in Bend, 2 people lost their lives while commuting by bike...To give some perspective, Portland, which is about 7 times the size of Bend, had 0...That makes the ride this year very important for us...Find out more here and check back for specific details about Bend's ride.

Earth Day Fair was a huge success..The weather was much nicer than last year and our curbside composting program gained about 20 new customers. It was very encouraging to see so many people concerned about recycling their food waste...

Pheewwww...I think that covers most of it..

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bicycles are for lovers

Today was a good day...In between the morning composting route and afternoon's "The Source" route, my wife Amy and I picked up something that we have wanted for a very long time....A tandem bike...It's not the Co-motion racing tandem of our dreams, but it sure is sweet...Here's a picture..It needs some TLC and as of right now, the bike is in pieces at my shop, but it should be a fun project..I'll post pictures when it's done.

Who likes Cargo?

I received an e-mail today from Josh Lipton, president of Turns out in this miserable economy, people are starting to see the value in moving larger loads by bike. BikeTrailerShop is experiencing some steady growth and looking to hire another employee at their Flagstaff, Az location for the spring. This seems to be a great opportunity for anyone passionate about utility cycling..For more info, check out their website.....

Monday, February 23, 2009

What is this.....Eugene?

Today was a beautiful day...If you're into gray skies and rain. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. By most standards, this was a very modest rainfall...As a matter of fact, I actually enjoyed it. I grew up on the Oregon coast so days like today remind me of the good ol' days. What was funny(in an annoying sort of way) was that even with the little rain we did get, a lot of streets were beginning to flood. This goes back to my frustration with the whole urban growth boundary expansion that the City of Bend is pushing...I guess I'll never get their logic...You don't spend all of your money to build an addition on your house if your roof is leaking...You fix the freakin' roof...Oh well...I guess they have convinced themselves that Bend gets 365 days of sun/year and anything else is just a fluke...I'll take the means spring is coming

On another note, tomorrow is Webcyclery movie night at McMenamins. This month's movie is "PRO". Admission is $5 and the proceeds go to support Central Oregon Trail Alliance

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Media Spots and the Ultimate Warrior

Wow, looks like somebody has been slacking on his blogging duties...

It's been a busy few weeks...On Feb. 2nd, Ethan Lindsay rode with me for my downtown compost route. He is the Central Oregon correspondent for OPB....It was cool to have someone tag along and record what we do. The radio spot aired the following week and can be heard here.

Business is going well...I'm riding a lot more than this time last year which is great and the cargo bike has proven to be a great addition to the fleet.

Last night was the infamous Ice Criterium up at Swampy Lakes Snow Park...This year Cog Wild hosted the event. About 20 competitors raced around the parking lot to see how many laps they could do in 15 min. The organizers brought up a snow blower to ensure the corners were properly "iced"(there were definitely a few crashes).....They also set up a jump over a pit of fire to please the spectators. I decided to bring back the Ultimate Warrior for the race as there was a prize for best costume....I didn't win, but I did get cold!! I also got interviewed by the local news KOHD. I'd say it was a successful event.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Stop sign......what stop sign?

So yesterday Bend's daily paper printed an article on a proposed law that would allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yields. I was contacted for my perspective and I think the reporter did a fine job expressing the pros and cons...Check it out here

I have been paying a bit more attention to my habits as a cyclist over the last couple of weeks and I've got to tell you...This law makes even more sense now than it did before.

Most of the arguments that I've heard aren't generally against the law itself but more against how the law will be perceived by motorists and cyclists...I don't think that is a good enough reason to prevent a step forward for commuting cyclists.

In my experience, I generally travel through intersections at about 5 mph...I am up higher and can see, in most situations, for at least a half of a block in either direction before I even get to the sign...In a car, you are much lower and back about 6 ft. from the front of the car. Add the ability to hear and you have a legitimate case for cyclists being able to determine whether it is safe to proceed or not.

As to whether it will effect driver/cyclist relations....Hopefully it wont..Drivers don't need to change their driving habits to accomodate this law as it does not give right of way to the cyclist at a stop. I personally think that we should accept sooner rather than later that bikes are not cars...There are laws that make sense for both groups to follow such as using turn signals(when it's safe for a cyclist to do so), stopping at traffic lights, etc. There are however laws that simply don't appreciate the differences between the two forms of transportation...For those that think cyclists should follow the same laws as motor vehicles, I challenge you to ride down Reed Market at 35mph.

If you would like to find out more about this proposed law, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance has a great FAQ that can be found here

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year - New Bike

Sometimes it's tough to stay excited about a business that makes no money and takes so much time and effort....Usually when I get to the point where I wonder what the hell I was thinking starting a bike courier company in a resort town of 70,000 people, something happens to re-fuel my passion...

The new year marks a new beginning for Cascade Couriers...Starting this week, we will be handling the P.O. Box mail delivery for Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort...Also starting this week, we have a new cargo bike...I've been drooling over pictures of the long haul from Human Powered Machines ever since I saw Colin from Strictly Organic using one to deliver coffee to downtown businesses...Well, about a month ago I ran into Colin delivering with a B.O.B. trailer and asked what happened to the long-haul. Turns out they were just borrowing it from Jim Field's who happens to own Field's Farm where I take all of my food waste. I asked Jim if he'd be interested in selling and now we have ourselves a cargo bike. Here it is

We'll be using this bike for our P.O. Box deliveries and for our more urgent deliveries...It's fun to ride and looks a bit more professional than the trailers.

So there it is...A new bike, a new customer, a new year....I'm pretty excited about 2009