Elsewhere

This post is completely derivative and maybe a bit stale if your reading list looks like ours, but lately there’ve been too many good things written elsewhere not to call them out:

  • Biking rate in Portland continues to soar — We’re so happy and proud to live here in the midst of this. We’re especially happy to have just opened a bike shop at the foot of the Hawthorne bridge which is seeing a remarkable 18% of all vehicles — nearly 15,000 daily — being bicycles. At this rate Portland will look like Amsterdam before the twenty-teens. Especially if Commissioner Sam can walk the talk after he’s elected Mayor. If there’s a downside, it’s that we’re losing touch with the conditions faced by most of utility biking America. So sell your cars and move to bicycle la-la island already; the rain is warm.
  • Get your jet pack — I like the sociological content of this commentary on biking in London as much as the celebration of folding bikes in particular. “I have never in my life owned anything so remotely cool.”
  • More sociology: Ride a bike? You must be rich. Indeed. There are of course many kinds of riches. This and the preceding item courtesy of Andrea at Velorution, a prominent model for Clever Cycles.
  • The greatest traffic-calming device of all time: women on bikes. Confident, slow, bareheaded women on city bikes with baskets and so on. Sexist? Lecherous in a platonic way, sure, but why sexist? Don’t miss the related links: The Spokes-Models and the latest addition to my bike-porn feedlist, Copenhagen Girls on Bikes.
  • “Free” parking — nicely sums up my feelings on the subject. Clever Cycles, with the help of the City of Portland, is working on displacing a bit of car parking with covered, on-street bicycle parking near our shop. The difference, of course, is that you can park a dozen bikes in the space required for just one car. Can you imagine your town with a 12-fold reduction in available parking space? Hold that thought.

21 thoughts on “Elsewhere”

  • Andy B from Jersey
    Andy B from Jersey October 3, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    Oh man! There is only one thing better that a beautiful woman and that is a beautiful woman on a bicycle. I know the Blog "Copenhagen Girls on Bikes" is a bit skeevy but I gotta' confess that I like it.
    When I travel to Europe, I always find myself falling head over heals for the well dressed lady's as they glide by. In America rarely does a woman even catch my eye, even in the college town where I live.

    Reply
  • Mark

    The choice quote from the "Get your jet-pack" link is:

    Even the main importer of these Danish classics doesn’t actually ride one.

    But if the importer is in London, it wouldn't be surprising.

    You and your importer ride (Dutch or otherwise), don't you? :) Well, yeah probably, from looking at both your websites.

    Anyway, want to put the velorution site in your links/blogroll? Otherwise I'm just going to forget about it once a few more posts shift this one down past my attention span.

    Reply
  • Bruce Wilson

    Portland sounds wonderful. I'm not in a position to move right now, but I'll certainly put it on my list of cities to consider when I am.

    Reply
  • Erik Sandblom

    I love the Copenhagen girls on bikes blog. I suspect there is a need for a similar blog with pictures of handsome men. It's important to show people that you can look good on your bike, even if you don't happen to be a woman in Copenhagen.

    Women have a much larger choice of clothes than men do. For a man to be elegant it's hard to escape a suit and tie. The tie does not ventilate well, especially compared with a low neckline such as on a formal woman's dress.

    I guess it all starts with the regal upright dutch position on the bike, but after that? What does a man on a bicycle wear to project dignity and style? I wear a long black coat which I'm happy with, but when it's too warm for that?

    Reply
  • Bill Manewal

    In my experience, the most attractive thing to wear while cycling, whether man or woman, is a smile. Nobody is attracted to an activity where its participants look grim. Enjoy yourself... it's catching!

    Reply
  • Erik Sandblom

    I find it easier to feel good if I look good. I mean, I _always_ look good, but I need the clothes to match :-)

    I think a cardigan might be what I need. I think those Copenhagen girls on bikes would fall for a man like me in a cardigan. Preferrably wool because cotton attracts rain and sweat. Or maybe a nice vest.

    Reply
  • Val

    To quote Walt Kelley: "It's funny how a good lookin' man looks handsome in anything he throws on." Of course, throwing yourself on a bike enhances the effect.

    Reply
  • Bruce Wilson

    I have a pair of wool knickers from bicycle fixation:
    http://www.bicyclefixation.com/prod_wool_knickers.html. Add a pair of over-the calf socks, and almost any good looking shirt, and there you are. (I don't have the hemp because they don't make them in my size.)

    Reply
  • Andy B from Jersey
    Andy B from Jersey October 5, 2007 at 5:33 am

    Hear! Hear!

    I totally agree that us men should do our part to look good too while riding a bike. I've said before on the "Dutchness" thread that I like to get well dressed as I cruise to my office job either on my old Ross or vintage Raleigh roadster.

    But I must agree with Bill Manewal, the best and most attractive thing to wear while riding a bike, whether your male or female, is a smile.

    Reply
  • Ian Hopper

    If you're really enjoying your ride, the smile comes naturally. People have told me mine is often that sh*t eating type of grin… especially since I bought my Azor Oma from Todd.

    Reply
  • Patrick Finn

    I have been trying to replicate the Copenhagen Girls on Bikes photo blog in Portland.
    It is quite difficult to capture this aspect of bicycle commuting, but I have been trying my best without being a conspicuous pedalphyle.
    I have been lucky to be working in downtown PDX for the last few months, but pickings have been slim since temperatures dropped and the rain has started. Fortunately I am armed with a new set of rainlegs from Clevercycle!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/14633132@N04/

    Reply
  • Erik Sandblom

    Patrick, nice pictures! Thanks for sharing! I suggest you crop them in the style of the original Copenhagen blog. It presents the subject better. If you want to have your own twist, consider allowing some handsome gentlemen to mingle with your lovely ladies.

    Generally, I think the upright regal posture is more elegant than the forward-leaning style. Leaning forward makes your back look humped. It makes it look like you're really working hard.

    Reply
  • AllanF

    Yes, very nice work Patrick.

    Reply
  • Patrick Finn

    My wife said the same thing about the cropping issue. I will modify my shots accordingly. I try to take photos of all cool things bicycle related, so I will include those also. For now I am focusing on compelling images.

    As for riding position, I rock the moustache bar, so I have the option of hunching over if I get a nasty headwind, but generally I'm sitting up. On the bike path I'm riding no-hands, because I'm tired after working all day on the Meier and Frank building remodel.

    Non sequitor: today I saw paparazzi set up with huge telephoto lenses on the Springwater Corridor across from the Oaks Bottom Skating rink. They are apparently shooting a movie there with someone worth photographing. It was a funny image I unfortunately did not capture photographically, but it's easy to imagine: about eight paparazzi set up with tripods on the bike path.

    Thanks for checking out my shots and the comments!

    Reply
  • Bruce A. Wilson
    Bruce A. Wilson October 12, 2007 at 1:19 am

    I hope they weren't blocking the path. I've had harsh words for people who've done that here.

    Reply
  • Andy B from Jersey
    Andy B from Jersey October 12, 2007 at 2:29 am

    If they are, run 'em over!

    Reply
  • Patrick Finn

    I just cruised around the paparazzi with haste. They were absorbed in what they wre doing, but had set themselves up against the fence, mostly off the path. I noticed one of them checking out the osprey nest with their binoculars, which gave me a first impression that they were birdwatchers, but the two foot long telephoto lenses trained on the rollerskating rink, bathed in high intensity lights, diffused by umbrellas, tipped me off.

    Nobody has figured out who the star(s?) is yet?

    Reply
  • jeff

    Commuting in Denver two weeks ago I came on a movie crew too. They were set up around Confluence Park with some people on 15th street were I access the bike path. I paused to see what they were up to when I saw what looked like a short log in the Platte River but it was moving up stream. Then I noticed the big flat tail and said to my daughter (2 yrs) riding in the Burley, "Look Zoe, a beaver!" She was very excited.

    How often does that happen when you're strapped into a car?! I just wish she were in front of me so we could talk and see the same things more easily. If someone drops a container of dutch cargo bikes and/or trikes on Denver, I'm so there.

    Reply
  • Bruce Wilson

    "How often does that happen when you’re strapped into a car?! I just wish she were in front of me so we could talk and see the same things more easily. If someone drops a container of dutch cargo bikes and/or trikes on Denver, I’m so there."

    I know what you mean; I notice so many things cycling around town that I wouldn't in a car.

    As for having your child in front, I presume that she's too big for a Kangaroo seat, but what about something like this?
    http://www.rad-nnovations.com/KidzTandem/kidztandem.html

    Reply
  • Bruce Wilson

    Here's a better link:

    http://www.browncycles.com/tandems.htm

    Reply
  • jeff

    @Bruce Wilson - that's pretty cool. I've never seen one like that before. I like it because it's cheaper than a Bakfiets and it's made vastly closer to where I'd be using it. The latter is an embodied energy issue for me but it's been pointed out that moving a bike by cargo ship is a relatively efficient process (do they come all the way to Portland?). If I were for real on this issue I'd pull down my copy of the Atomic Zombie's Bike Building Bonanza, get out the torch and hit the scrap yard. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

    The Bakfiets would solve more of the problems I'm negotiating as I move closer to a divorce from my car. A trike would solve even more of them.

    Henry Workcycles has some pretty good looking trikes on their website. I'm betting one will turn up in a Clever container and I'll hitch hike to Portland to get it. Oh sorry, that was the dream I had the other night ... at least my wife said I was dreaming ;-)

    In the mean time I'll probably put a much more affordable Freeradical on my 20 year old Schwinn and save my pennies (and my gas money!) for a Stoke Monkey.

    Congratulations to the Clever Cycles families on the expansion. Denver is a more than tolerable place to live and bike but you're all part of some pretty exciting stuff out there.

    Reply
Leave a Reply