May 16, 2012

Fully Loaded with Thoughts on Touring

Beginning June 11th, we will be rolling out a series of posts on touring, featuring bike camping destinations near Madison. Subscribe to this blog or follow mad_bike_life on Twitter to make sure not to miss the series. Till then, keep on trucking! 

May 5, 2012

Portland's Transformation

by Peter Herreid

Portland wasn’t born a bicycle-friendly city; it had to earn its platinum rating from the League of American Bicyclists. A variety of actions dating back to the 1970s laid the groundwork for advocates to transform Portland into a bicycle-friendly city in the 1990s and 2000s. In the 1970s, Portland chose to remove the Harbor Drive freeway along the west bank of the Willamette and create the much more inviting Waterfront Park. Portland also chose to redirect funds from the creation of a freeway that would have run through the southeast section of the city towards investment in light rail. An urban growth boundary was adopted in order to contain urban sprawl and focus growth inward onto Portland’s traditional street grid, leading to a more compact and bikeable urban area. 

May 4, 2012

Filmed by Bike

If you were to trace the lines of art and cycling culture to where they intersect, you would find yourself at the Clinton Street Theater in Portland for Filmed by Bike, a festival of bike-themed, short films. This year’s 10th anniversary festival included a variety of genres, such as music videos, documentaries, animations, and comedies.

May 3, 2012

Bicycle Rights! Portlandia Clip

When mentioning our Portland trip to co-workers and friends, the most common reaction has been, “Have you seen that show Portlandia?” Of course, I had seen the viral “Bicycle Rights” Portlandia clip. Someone obnoxiously taking himself too seriously makes for good comedic material and serves as a reminder to not be that guy.

What adds to the clip is that Portland seems to have long ago gotten the “bicycle rights” message. It shows in the political and media attention to the rights of bicyclists, the investment in bikeways, and the acceptance of bicycles by Portland’s motorists, demonstrated by a greater willingness to share the road.

For the record, birds in Portland do not ride little bikes.

May 2, 2012

Portland’s Three-Mile Downtown Bike Path Loop

by Peter Herreid

If you want to take a nice little bike ride in the heart of Portland, hit some highlights with the Steel Bridge - Hawthorne Bridge loop. Because it follows the banks of the Willamette, you can’t get lost, which is kind of nice if you are new to town. The loop also includes Portland landmarks, such as the floating section of the Eastbank Esplanade. Of course, you can always figure out how to best extend the loop with the city’s Portland by Bicycle map. 

May 1, 2012