Cycling News & Blog Articles

Stay up-to-date on cycling news, products, and trends from around the world.

Jobs of the Week: Kerr Bikes, Velotech, Bike Loud, Oregon E-bikes

Need a new job? Want a better job?

We’ve got five great opportunities that just went up this week.

Learn more about each one via the links below…

Kerr Bikes Manager – Kerr Bikes / Albertina Kerr

Shipping Specialist – Velotech, Inc.

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Nerd Alert podcast: Flat tires and sketchy brakes — it’s Field Test time again!

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Nerd Alert podcast: Flat tires and sketchy brakes — it’s Field Test time again!

This week’s Nerd Alert episode comes to you live from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where we’ve assembled four testers and a video team to evaluate ten different bikes. We’ve split them into six gravel and four road models this time around, with a focus on lower-priced options. The full reveal will come a bit later once we’re all done with testing, but let’s just say some of the bikes have already genuinely surprised us with how good they are, while others have made some unforgivable missteps.

Never miss an episode. Subscribe to our ‘Nerd Alert’ podcast on iTunesSpotify,  Google or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Freewheeling: Tour de Suisse was epic

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Freewheeling: Tour de Suisse was epic

Epic is a word that is potentially overused but no doubt applied to the battle that was the Tour de Suisse. A race that will be WorldTour in 2023, and definitely earned that right this year. The Freewheeling team gather to discuss the four-day stage race and the new additions to the WorldTour calendar next season.

Never miss an episode. Subscribe to our ‘Freewheeling’ podcast on iTunesSpotify,  Google or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Brand Focus – Endura

Endura are one of the few UK clothing companies to have developed a strong worldwide following in the super competitive Road, Triathlon and MTB clothing markets. Endura have supplied road kit for World Tour Team Movistar and manufacture arguably the fastest skinsuit around. They also produce some amazing kit for riding in the foulest of […]

The post Brand Focus – Endura appeared first on Merlin Cycles Blog.

New plaza springs up in former slip lane at SE 72nd and Woodstock

Looking north on 72nd toward Mt. Scott Park.View looking northwest across Woodstock toward 72nd.Hopefully these barricades do the job.View looking southeast from 72nd toward Woodstock.The exit lane for mini-mart customers.Looking southeast across 72nd.(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

“Seeing the slip lane closed, the traffic calmer, and more people walking about and enjoying our neighborhood has left me with a renewed sense of hope.”

– Nadine Salama, resident

What began on a wish list from neighbors has become a reality.

This week transportation commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty announced the latest development in her effort to reduce gun violence and restore public safety in the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood just south of Foster Road. 

The wide slip lane between SE 72nd and Woodstock Boulevard that used to provide a speedy getaway for criminals in cars and drivers looking to avoid red lights, is now closed off with 12 large concrete barricades. Arleta Triangle, a community space that used to be on an island surrounded by dangerous auto traffic, is now at the tip of a public plaza peninsula that has become the most high-profile element of the city’s effort to employ the principles of crime prevention through environmental design.

And future plans for the space look even better.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
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Sunday Parkways returns this weekend!

A scene from a Sunday Parkways event in 2018 in north Portland. (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

This Sunday, six miles of streets in Portland’s northeast Cully neighborhood will be free of cars and open to people walking, biking and rolling. That’s right: Sunday Parkways, Portland’s beloved annual summer open streets event, is back in-person after two years off and it’s almost time for the kickoff.

During the last two summers, the Portland Bureau of Transportation made Sunday Parkways virtual to keep people safe during the pandemic. They came up with some innovative ideas to try to fill the hole, but nothing beats the real thing, so we expect people will be raring to go this summer. And not only does will this Sunday hold Portland’s first big open streets event since 2019 – it also marks the start of the 15th annual Summer Parkways season. Combined with Pedalpalooza’s 20th anniversary bike summer in full-force, there’s a lot for Portland’s active transportation enthusiasts to celebrate this year!

From 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday, people can take over carfree streets and enjoy free activities while hopping between four parks in Cully – from Roseway Parkway on NE 72nd to Fernhill Park on NE Holman and 37th, and K’unamokwst and Wellington Parks in between. There will be food vendors, live music, community mural-making, free bike tune-ups and more.

A map of the Northeast Cully Sunday Parkways loop. (Credit: PBOT)

A map of the NE Cully Sunday Parkways route for June 26, 2022
Taylor Griggs (Staff Writer)
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Weekend Event Guide: Disney ride, biking in Independence, Sunday Parkways, and more

This Sunday the street in Cully will be taken over by bikes! (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Hi everyone!

Summer is officially here! Today we woke up with clear sunny skies and it will stay so till Monday at least, while temperatures will reach the 80s tomorrow and even the high 90s on Sunday. If you’re going out, bring water, put on some sunscreen and consider wearing sunglasses or a hat. And again, double-check for possible event cancellations or rescheduling due to heat. Enjoy!

Friday, June 24th

Disney Ride – 11:00 am at Hancock Park (NE)
This kid-oriented, musical stroll will loop along the Madison South neighborhood greenways with expected stops for playtime. Costumes on your favorite classical or most recent Disney characters are encouraged. More info here.

Better Naito Forever Celebration Ride – 5:00 pm at the Salmon St. Fountain (SW)
Join folks of Better Block PDX for a ride touring along the Better Naito Forever project to discover about its history and challenges to become what it is today. More info here.

Saturday, June 25th

Joyride – 8:00 am to 4:00 pm in Independence, OR
Joyride is a fully supported, all-women event brought to you by Cycle Oregon. The small city of Independence, neighboring Salem on the SW, hosts this gleeful ride that is all about the beauty of Polk County, strolling by hopyards, crop fields, vineyards, and orchards. A whole feast while wine, beer and live music is waiting at the finish line. More info here.

Maritza Arango (Events Editor)
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After two-year stoppage, Portland ready to work on I-5 Rose Quarter project

Some harsh words were spoken about the legacy and impact of I-5 through the Rose Quarter at a Portland City Council meeting Wednesday. But for a project that has withstood years of stinging criticism and controversy, the overall tone was downright collegial.

“This is a big step.”

– Jo Ann Hardesty, commissioner

At one point, the leader of Albina Vision Trust, a nonprofit that walked away from the project in 2020 said, “This is a family reunion.”

After two years of keeping their distance from the contentious I-5 Rose Quarter project — a project that would expand the freeway between I-84 and the Fremont Bridge, build a highway cover and update surface streets — Portland City Council made it clear they’re ready to join forces with the Oregon Department of Transportation to move it forward.

As commissioner-in-charge of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, Jo Ann Hardesty had to walk a fine line in her introductory remarks. Just two years ago, the project was so out-of-step with Portland’s values that Commissioner Hardesty’s predecessor took the unprecedented step of issuing a formal stop work order. The project has also faced stiff opposition from people who don’t trust ODOT and who fear any new capacity on I-5 will create more driving and move us in the wrong direction in the battle with climate change.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
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Roundabout at SE Harold among ideas to make 122nd Ave a safe ‘civic corridor’

(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

“We are looking at a more significant change to the streets.”

– Bryan Poole, PBOT

A plan to update 122nd Ave in east Portland has taken a big step forward. After almost a year of collecting feedback, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has released the 122nd Ave draft project plan. It includes our first look at concepts for a roundabout and other significant changes that could finally tame this street.

122nd Ave is one of the most dangerous corridors in Portland for people walking, biking or taking transit. PBOT readily admits there are major safety concerns on the street: in the draft plan, they state “the wide roadway has inadequate infrastructure and its large intersections are among the most dangerous in the city. Significant changes are needed to save lives and reduce life-altering injuries.”

Right now, 122nd is on PBOT’s High Crash Network, and is generally unpleasant to walk or bike on. PBOT’s goal is that 122nd Ave would not only be a safe place for people walking and biking, but also that it would become a “civic corridor,” which the city defines as a street that is “attractive and safe for pedestrians while continuing to play a major role in the City’s transportation system.”

Taylor Griggs (Staff Writer)
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Shimano 105 R7000 VERSUS Ultegra R8000

Are you about to choose (or perhaps build) a new bike? Are you trying to decide between Shimano 105 R7000 and Ultegra R8000? Read on… Both the Shimano 105 R7000 and Ultegra R8000 groupsets have been around for a while now. They both have received fantastic reviews for performance & value, from our customers and […]

The post Shimano 105 R7000 VERSUS Ultegra R8000 appeared first on Merlin Cycles Blog.

OHA: Climate change anxiety plays large role in youth mental health crisis

Youth protesters at the Portland Youth Climate Strike protest earlier this year. (Photo: Taylor Griggs/BikePortland)

Youth are playing a major role in Oregon’s climate movement, but the flip side of their admirable passion and activism prowess is a looming mental health crisis.

A report released last week from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) shines light on this crisis. While its conclusion won’t be revelatory to people involved in climate work, its insights provide legitimacy to an issue that has not gotten the attention it deserves.

The report, written by OHA’s public health division, categorizes the different causes and effects of climate change-induced mental health issues. There are a multitude of experiences youth have that will inform how they react to the crisis. People who have experienced climate-related disasters, like the wildfires that devastated Oregon in September 2020, will probably have a more different mental health response than someone whose wellbeing has been impacted over an extended period time by chronic climate stressors like drought or poor air quality. The report also addresses “climate anxiety,” which authors define as general fear and worry about the effect climate change is having on the planet.

“I think this report has the potential to make people think more… Just knowing that you’re not alone and a lot of other young people are feeling the same and having similar emotions can feel really good.”

Taylor Griggs (Staff Writer)
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Lime is upgrading Portland e-scooter fleet with locking mechanism, swappable batteries

Lime Gen4 scooters parked in northwest Portland. (Photos: Lime)

Lime wants to show the City of Portland they’re ready for the next chapter in the shared electric scooter story.

As we reported last week, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is looking for one or two scooter operators to take over the existing pilot program and provide a larger fleet and other upgrades in exchange for less competition and a more stable contract. One of the major changes PBOT has asked prospective vendors to make is a locking mechanism that would allow scooters to be attached to designated parking stalls.

Lime says their new Gen4 scooters are up to the task. The company announced today they’ve begun to swap out their existing fleet with upgraded scooters that include a cable lock to encourage riders to lock them to bike racks and other designated parking spots. “This will decrease street clutter and promote safety, improving the micromobility experience for everyone in the city including non-riders and other pedestrians,” a Lime statement said.

With more scooters parked in racks, PBOT will need to work extra hard to make sure there are ample spaces available for bicycle users.

(Source: Lime)

The upgraded Lime scooters will also include swappable, interchangeable batteries. That means maintenance crews can re-charge scooters more efficiently in the field without having to round them up. This will reduce the vehicle miles traveled of Lime maintenance vehicles and lead to fewer carbon emissions.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
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Activists wary as City of Portland vote would re-start work on I-5 Rose Quarter project

I-5 at the Rose Quarter in Portland.

After years of back and forth between the City of Portland and the Oregon Department of Transportation on the plan to widen I-5 at the Rose Quarter in Portland, a negotiation may be back on the table. At today’s Portland City Council meeting, the city will adopt an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with ODOT to provide the state transportation agency with planning and design services for the controversial project.

In July 2020, the Portland City Council, led by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and then-Portland Bureau of Transportation head Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, pulled all support for the Rose Quarter expansion and directed all city staff to cease working on the project. A few months later, the city entirely split from ODOT on this project. Eudaly wrote a letter to the Federal Highway Administration which said they were taking this unprecedented step because the project is “not aligned with the values of the city as articulated in [the Central City 2035 plan], Racial Equity Plan or Climate Emergency Resolution.”

With their updated plan for the expansion, some advocates feel ODOT has sufficiently addressed the equity concerns. But climate activists have not been satiated, and they’re calling on the city to call off their participation until ODOT shows they’re serious about tackling the climate emergency.

“The agreement coming to City Council is a big step for PBOT and the city. It marks a turning point for the project.”

Taylor Griggs (Staff Writer)
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Nerd Alert podcast: Does the world really need another premium bike brand?

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Nerd Alert podcast: Does the world really need another premium bike brand?

If you’ve got a decent chunk of change and are looking for a higher-end carbon drop-bar bike, there’s certainly no shortage of good options — and probably too many of them, in fact. So why on earth would someone think it’s a good idea to start yet another one given this hyper-competitive environment?

Well, that’s just what the folks at Bridge Bike Works are doing in Toronto, Canada. The company’s first bike sounds interesting enough, but the story behind the brand is arguably more compelling. And that’s exactly what this week’s Nerd Alert deep dive covers.

Never miss an episode. Subscribe to our ‘Nerd Alert’ podcast on iTunesSpotify,  Google or wherever you get your podcasts.

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BES contractors want more detour compliance and warn of near misses at central eastside project

SE Stark Trunk Sewer Project vehicle detour and bicycle diversion map. (Source: BES)

Contractors working on a City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services project in the central eastside want to spread the word about near collisions between bicycle riders and heavy equipment. 

BES recently broke ground on their SE Stark Trunk Sewer Project, which will install a stormwater diversion structure to redirect combined sewer from a pipeline on Stark to the Willamette River during heavy rain events. Big pieces of material and heavy equipment are staged on SE 3rd near Stark. This is a relatively popular bike route that connects to SE Water Avenue.

We heard from a BES rep today that the contractor has reported some near misses with equipment operators  and they’re worried about keeping the area safe. 

One block of SE Stark between 2nd and 3rd, and one block of 3rd between Washington and Stark are closed during construction (which is expected to continue for five more months).

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
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Brand Focus – Continental Tyres

Continental are a unique brand in cycling. The proudly German company has its roots deep in the highest echelons of German manufacturing for over 150 years. The brand’s technology and development centre in Korbach is the home to the latest advancements which have improved the quality of cycling tyre performance through the constant developments to […]

The post Brand Focus – Continental Tyres appeared first on Merlin Cycles Blog.

CyclingTips Podcast: L’Anticipation

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CyclingTips Podcast: L'Anticipation

The Tour de Suisse is over, the Dauphiné is over, Slovenia is over. The Tour de France is coming. This week the crew breaks down where the contenders stand, argues over Thibaut Pinot’s future, and laments some argy-bargy in Belgium.

Never miss an episode. Subscribe to our CyclingTips Podcast on iTunesSpotify,  Google, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Bike trailer + scooters are winning combo for family biking fun

Group shot at start of Banks-Vernonia Trail.

Do you have any summer bike adventures planned with the little ones? Ready to put them in the trailer and go for a nice long ride?

There’s just one problem: those tots have lots of energy! None of which gets used during a trailer ride. Likely as not, they take a sweet nap in the trailer, leaving them with energy to burn when you’re ready for a rest. And as they get older, they’ll want to ride on their own, engaging actively alongside the rest of the family. Trail-a-bikes are a common option for this phase, but they might not work for everyone. Some folks have two tots to tote, which won’t fit a typical trail-a-bike or tandem. Also, what happens if a little one begins to nod off on the trail-a-bike? (Has that happened to anyone? I can imagine my tired kiddo just falling over.)

We recently discovered a happy, easy, and fun solution to this phase: scooters.

Our little ones are proficient scooter riders. They use lightweight three-wheeled scooters, which are easier for them to navigate than the “big kid” and slightly tippy two-wheeled options. They typically ride back-and-forth on the one block of sidewalk in front of our house. I rarely let them ride the scooters to the park because they are just too darn fast…it’s impossible to keep up with them walking, and I don’t like trying to coach them from a bike as they speed those little wheels past driveways, which pose a real danger to a two-foot-tall speedster. Thus, the scooter riding has largely been relegated to the sidewalk in front of our house, which gets plenty of daily use. 

But I didn’t really appreciate how fast, far, and long my little guys could scoot, until we tested them on a family bike ride with their grandparents.

Shannon Johnson (Family Biking Columnist)
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Pedalpalooza Ride Guide: June 21 ~ 24

Pedalpalooza Bike Summer keeps rolling along. (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Finally! It appears we have warmer, sunnier weather on the horizon. And it’s a good thing because Bike Summer is still going strong into its third (of 12!) weeks.

To help guide you through the fun options, every Monday (sorry, I couldn’t get to this yesterday) we choose one ride from each day that looks interesting and worthy of your attention. As always, check out our Weekend Event Guide and Calendar for more of our ride selections (remember you can filter our calendar to only show the Pedalpalooza category).

This week you’ll have a chance to make some noise with some fun music-themed rides…

Sync It! – 7:00 pm at Woodstock Park (SE)
Booming music makes group rides better. But a cacophony of competing crooners can be sound more like chaos than coolness. Leaders of this ride will sync up their devices and roll with a shared Spotify playlist that everyone can contribute to. More info here.

Bleeps and Bloops Ride – 6:00 pm at Holladay Park (NE)
A different take on a musical ride, organizers promise a musical parade and encourage participants to, “Strap on your synthesizers, your noisemaking devices, your ring modulators and Gameboys…and your mini-xylophones, too,” as they pedal from park to park. More info here.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
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Comment of the Week: A new perspective on chop shops

“Most chop shop operations are not threats to legitimate bike shops, as the customer base is completely different – our customers are too poor […] to shop at any normal bike shop.”

Welcome to the Comment of the Week, where we highlight good comments in order to inspire more of them. You can help us choose our next one by replying with “comment of the week” to any comment you think deserves recognition.

Regular readers of BikePortland know David Hampsten as a frequent commenter on our posts. His comments take a lot of different tones, but the ones I like best are informative. He can often fill in useful background on a range of topics from his long years as an east Portland transportation advocate.

David lives in North Carolina now, but his comments in response to our post about a new ordinance in Los Angeles banning “chop shops” were not only colorful vignettes, but also added depth to my understanding of the “chop shop” world. David helps run something similar to a chop shop in NC. He writes from personal experience with a world-weary voice which can be hard to pull off, but which coming from David seems authentic.

Here’s what David wrote:

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