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The Single Steed Challenge from Open

Bike Hugger - Wed, 06/05/2019 - 11:24

The great thing about the bike business these days is there’s a niche for everyone. For those cyclists into having one bike to do it all there’s even a race. Just announced, the Single Steed Challenge is a raffle and an opportunity to prove how an Open can compete on gravel and single track.

From the Best of Both PR

In celebration of our all-new and super-challenging “single steed quiver killer” category—presented by Open Cycles, we are delighted to raffle the all new Open Wi.De

The Wi.DE launched just last week and updates the already very capable U.P. to accept mountain bike tires sizes. The raffle supports Bend based OAS, a nonprofit that facilitates fully equipped recreational programs and events for athletes with disabilities.

Single Steed Challenge at Wanoga SnowPark

Staging at the Wanoga snowpark on the lower slopes of Mount Bachelor, the Best of Both combines 62-miles of epic paved roads, and 23-miles of famed, Bend, single-track, into one stunning 85-mile race course.

Open thinks you can do it on one bike, switching wheel sets perhaps, and so do I. Even before the Wi.DE was announced, I’ve ran fast 32s on my UP and WTB 2.1s for North Cascades single track.

What I’m excited about is dropbar mountain bike is not only back, but better than ever. Why would you want to ride a road bike with mountain bike tires and discs on dirt roads?

Because it’s light, agile, and fast. You’ll have enough tire volume to soak up most of the bumps. And, the best stoke for me comes from picking lines on a double-track, forest service road, and rolling tempo high up in the North Cascades. Where the only interruption is views and wildlife instead of cars and construction in the big city.

I ride for pleasure now, but I understand the competitive spirit and if I was still racing would enter the Best of Both to prove to myself there is one bike to do it all.

The post The Single Steed Challenge from Open appeared first on Bike Hugger.

Watch: Rooted In Rights why proper bike share parking is so important

Seattle Bike Blog - Wed, 06/05/2019 - 11:09

It should be common sense, but don’t block walkways when you park a bike share bike. But you should also go a step further and think, would this bike impede someone with a vision impairment? Is it too close to a bus stop, curb ramp or building entrance?

Disability rights organization Rooted In Rights partnered with SDOT to produce a short video clearly showing some problems poorly located bikes can cause people with various disabilities. Sometimes users don’t park correctly and sometimes other people or the weather move or knock them over. Either way, if you see a problematic bike, do everyone a favor and move it.

Here’s the parking guide we made to help:

Annotations by Seattle Bike Blog. Base image from SDOT’s draft update for their Right of Way Improvement Manual.

There are bike lanes on SE Foster Road

Bike Portland - Wed, 06/05/2019 - 09:56

Pretty sure the “BS” stands for bicycle symbol. PBOT still adding some finishing touches to the new lanes.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s been about 78 months since we first covered the possibility of dedicated cycling facilities on Southeast Foster Road, a major arterial coined the “Foster Freeway” by former mayor Sam Adams when he launched an attempt to make it safer in 2010.

A few nights ago it finally happened. PBOT striped bike lanes as part of the finishing touches on their $9 million Foster Transportation and Streetscape project.

Fresh pavement in the western section of the project between 82nd and 90th.

The stated goal of the project is to, “Transform Foster Road [between 50th and 90th] from a high speed, auto-oriented corridor into a more balanced streetscape that is safer and more accessible for people walking, biking, taking transit and driving,” and to, “support and enhance the growing mix of businesses and residences in the neighborhood.”

My initial impression is that — despite being outdated, narrow, and unprotected — the bike lanes have helped PBOT reach that goal. The presence of bicycle riders in the street on their own right-of-way dramatically changes how the street feels for everyone. The new lanes also make Foster a more feasible place to ride a bike in general, which will increase customers to businesses, encourage window-shopping by bike, and add vibrancy and humanity to the street.

In addition to the cycling-only space, the $9 million project repaved the street between 82nd and 90th and included: upgrades two traffic signals; wider sidewalks in some sections; new median islands and flashing beacons at six intersections; new street trees and ornamental street lighting; and upgraded ADA curb ramps at 69 locations.

While these bike lanes are clearly lacking from a design standpoint, it is no small thing for PBOT to add cycling space to such a major arterial.

Below are more photos and a video to give you a better sense of how it turned out.

PBOT did that thing where they drop the bike lane right before a big intersection (82nd) to create a shared lane.

Some sections have a buffer, like this one just west of 82nd Ave.

Curbside going westbound. It’s definitely not low-stress and it’s definitely not for everyone; but it’s better than nothing.

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PBOT retained 94% of the on-street parking in this project, so much of the new bike lane is sandwiched between parked cars and drivers.

With one lane for drivers, the back-up was pretty severe yesterday. It will be interesting to see how people respond and how/if diverted drivers impact adjacent residential streets (I saw many people bail off Foster out of frustration at being stopped).

With frequent bus service, leapfrogging will be an issue as bus operators cross over the bike lane to service stops. Really wish they would stop in the lane instead.

A look at the new cross-section.

A buffered section.

This is the section just before 52nd (outside Devil’s Point).

And of course it didn’t take long for people to take advantage of the new space…

Striped just in time for a Pedalpalooza ride last night!
(Photo by Matchu Williams)

PBOT says there will be a ribbon-cutting event next Thursday (6/13) at Portland Mercado.

Get out there, ride these new bike lanes, and let us know what you think.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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As a birthday present to yours truly, WSDOT will fix 520 Bridge Trail bumps

Seattle Bike Blog - Tue, 06/04/2019 - 14:38

Photo of the less bumpy plate design from WSDOT.

In what is obviously a birthday present to yours truly, WSDOT announced today that they will fix every bumpy expansion gap plate on the 520 Bridge Trail.

We first reported about the bumpy plates back in 2016 before the trail was completed, then again in 2017. The problem was that the plates covering the floating bridge’s expansion gaps were built with an abrupt incline along the edges, making them feel more like hitting potholes than the more gradual bumps a user might be expecting from a brand new trail.

Luckily, I have not heard of any crashes caused by these plates, as I had feared. But the plates are unpleasant enough that it is worthwhile improving the trail experience on this $4.5 billion public investment.

The agency has been testing a more gradual expansion plate design, and 95 percent of users surveyed said the new design is an improvement.

The new plates should all be installed by the end of summer.

More details from WSDOT:

We asked, you answered and now change is coming to Seattle’s SR 520 Trail across Lake Washington!

You may recall that after some concerns were raised about the steel cover plates on the trail’s expansion joints, we installed a prototype plate designed to ease the bumps that some bicycle riders were reporting. We asked if the new plate, designed by our engineers, was an improvement over the previous plates. And, overwhelmingly, the answer was YES!

More than 260 trail users responded to our survey and provided feedback, and 95 percent said the new plates were an improvement.

Late summer installation
We’re working with our contractor to replace all of the narrow cover plates on the floating bridge portion of the 520 Trail by late summer. This will require several intermittent trail closures and as we get closer to the replacement work we’ll get information out about any disruptions, including on our 520 webpage. We’ll do what we can to avoid high-traffic times in the morning and evening.

Many thanks to everyone for taking the time to test out the new plate and provide their feedback. We’re excited to have found a solution that works for everyone and we’re confident the new cover plate will provide an even smoother trip for those enjoying a bike ride across the SR 520 bridge.

Bikes, Bridges and Bullet Trains: Riding Japan’s Shimanami Kaido route

Bike Portland - Tue, 06/04/2019 - 10:27

Dedicated bike path that connects to the Kurushima Kaikyo bridge.
(Photos: Robert Pickett)

Robert Pickett, a former (and future!) Portland resident and member of the Portland Police Bureau Bicycle Patrol Unit, is currently serving as a U.S. diplomat stationed with his wife and two daughters in Sapporo, Japan.

“Its the best ride in Japan—let me know if you end up doing it and want some company.” High praise from my boss — a taciturn triathlete with an eye for art and nature, and many years living in Japan. I figured I’d better ride the Shimanami Kaido sometime before the end of my time here.

The route hops over several islands.

The Shimanami Kaido is a 45-mile bicycle route across Japan’s Seto Naikai (Inland Sea) from the City of Onomichi on Japan’s main island of Honshu to the City of Imabari on Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands. Well marked, its mostly country roads skip across six smaller islands via one ferry and six soaring bridges, all with dedicated bicycle facilities.

Last May, during Japan’s Golden Week of consecutive holidays, my boss and I spent three days and three nights surrounded by amazing culture and unforgettable scenery in an out-and-back trip starting in Yokohama.

Our bikes, tucked away on the train.

It says, “Let’s follow the traffic rules and enjoy cycling!”

In Japan, if your bike is covered by something, anything, you can bring it on most trains for free. This lovely policy his has led to the birth of a relatively small, but active rinko (bike travel) culture. Most bicycle shops sell thin plastic rinko bags shaped to encase a bicycle with one or both wheels removed. It isn’t exactly putting your bike in a plastic trash bag, but close. My boss and I bagged our bikes and hopped on the bullet train, stashing them in the space behind the last row of seats. Arriving in Onomichi about two hours and 400 miles later, we reassembled our bikes and rode to a hostel for the first night.

The next morning started with a ferry across a narrow waterway to the first island stepping-stone. Originally designed for a couple of cars, the boat now hauls cyclists and pedestrians for a minimal charge. At the opposite terminal we started following the special blue-colored fog lines that guide cyclists along the Shimanami cycle route to the first of six major bridge leaps to the next island. The bicycle approaches to most of these bridges are completely separated from the motor vehicle approaches, and the first one was a ten foot ribbon of asphalt winding through trees and flowers on a climb up to the cycle/ped crossing suspended below the main automobile deck.

Satisfied grin of a biker on a bike/ped only ferry.

Follow the blue painted line.

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One of many lovely bridge approaches.

Cars above, bike riders and walkers below.

The day continued with bridge crossings and blue road traverses along emerald-edged coastline, through citrus and fig fields, and narrow village streets.

Traffic was relatively light, and featured plenty of other cyclists. Some were clearly serious with lots of spandex. Others were families with younger kids, out to ride just a bridge or two. Another nice thing about Japan is the frequency of convenience stores and their relatively fresh, healthy fuel options.

The last bridge of the day was the longest, tallest with the most breathtaking views. The Kurushima Kaikyo span is actually three contiguous suspension bridges, resulting in 2.5 miles of road suspended 200 feet in the air by six, six-hundred foot towers. Imagine the St. Johns Bridge, but six times longer and two-hundred-foot taller towers. The bicycle-only approaches spiral up into the air, first through, then above the trees to reach the road deck.

Oh the political will needed to pour that kind of money into a bicycle facility!

Sea level.

Climbing up.

Made it!

That night we spent at an Airbnb that featured bike parking in the bedroom. We also explored the local castle.

You know you’re on a well-worn bike path when…

We began the next day with a soaring, tailwind-powered flight back over the Kaikyo Bridge. Instead of repeating the exact ride back to Onomichi, we diverted to a few of the less-pedaled islands, enjoying the even quieter roads and blue-water vistas, slowly making our way to an intriguing guest house I’d found online.

Entrance to Shiomi Guesthouse.

Japanese family-style dinner.

The Shiomi Guesthouse was cheap, off the beaten path, featured communal eating and sleeping on Japanese tatami rooms, as well as a wood-fired hot tub. But the hook was set when I clicked “history” and found a multi-part account of Robert Shiomi, born in the house in 1904, and immigrated to Portland when he was 13. He attended Failing Elementary, Benson Polytechnic, U of Oregon Medical School, and became a doctor! Interned to Minidoka in Idaho with his wife and six-month-old daughter during WWII, he returned to Portland with his family after the war where he lived his life as a respected doctor and unceasing advocate for better relations between Japan and the U.S. It was an unexpectedly sassive Japan-Portland connection… And the guy’s name was Robert! My high expectations were met by a kind, gracious hostess, interesting guests from various parts of Japan (including a gentleman who had already accomplished his retirement mission of visiting all 6,800 or so of Japan’s islands), great local cuisine, and a hot soak. A great finale to a fun trip.

The next morning we made our way back to Onomichi, bagged our bikes back up, and bulleted back home to reality.

And of course I Strava’d my ride home on the bullet train, just so I could see the 249 mph average speed.

I highly recommend this route if you’re looking for a fun bike tour in Japan. For more info, check out this PDF for excellent maps and information in English.

— Robert Pickett

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Family Biking: How to Pedalpalooza with the little ones

Bike Portland - Tue, 06/04/2019 - 09:01

My kids on the Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Happy Pedalpalooza! My kids and I joined over a thousand others on the Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride on Saturday and we’re excited for more bike fun! Hundreds of rides with all sorts of themes for all sorts of people will take place this month and a lot of them are kid friendly.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

As I suspected would be the case, the Kickoff Ride was too much for one of my kids. But we went because I wanted to get this year’s Pedalpalooza poster (wolves riding a tandem bike!) for his wolf-loving brother, and I thought it’d be fun for them to experience such a massive ride. I figured we’d only stay for a bit of the ride before peeling off, but once it got headed in our homeward direction it seemed like our best bet was go with the flow. Fortunately the flow was pretty slow so when my overwhelmed kid decided he was done riding it was easy for me to scoot us to the edge of the street and load him onto my bike, barely losing our place in the mass. And despite one overwhelmed kid I had a brilliant time and got to chat with a lot of friends as we wound our way through downtown Portland, and my 12-year old happily pedaled near me and gleefully counted many dogs on bikes.

Our formation/mood for the majority of the Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride.

I’ve learned a couple things about Pedalpalooza rides since my Pedalpalooza column last year. The “Family Friendly” designation on the Pedalpalooza calendar means:
➤ Under six miles
➤ 10 mph or slower
➤ Few or no hills
➤ No 21+ activities

These are all the makings of a family-friendly ride. For the sake of comparison, a typical Kidical Mass PDX ride is usually:
➤ About two miles
➤ 5 mph
➤ Ideally absolutely flat

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Family-friendly rides are designated with a heart icon in the Portland Mercury’s print calendar and with a green “Family Friendly” box on the left in the online calendar. From the Shift home page click to expand the Calendar menu and choose Events for a calendar starting with the current day or choose Pedalpalooza Calendar to see rides going back to June 1st. The online calendar has longer descriptions making it easier to tell if a ride might be kid friendly. Both sources often have contact information for the ride leader if you want to get in touch to ask about details like distance, speed, and hilliness. Always check the online calendar for any changes or cancellations, as well as to find Facebook event links when they exist.

One of many dogs on the Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride.

Here are some events I think would be great for kids (note that rides usually roll out about 30 minutes after posted time):

Fanno Creek Family Bike Ride
Sat, Jun 8, 2019, Meet at 9:30 am
Garden Home Recreation Center, 7475 SW Oleson Rd, Portland, OR 97223
Meet in the back of the Garden Home Recreation Center on the basketball court by the pavilion.
Host: Garden Home Recreation Center
Join us for a family bike ride along the Fanno Creek Trail! Grab your bike and your family and friends! Meet at Garden Home at 9:30 am, where the ride begins. As you prepare for the start, enjoy our community partners, music, prizes, fun, and so much more! The guided ride will start at 10 am and will follow the flat, paved trail for one mile to Vista Brook Park. There will be a quick stop at the park before the ride returns back to Garden Home. The guided ride will be two miles total. If riders want to continue independently, they’re welcome to follow the trail further.
Madi’s note: We’ve MAXed to the Beaverton Transit Center and biked to the Fanno Creek Trail. We stuck to sidewalks some of the time, but it worked fine!

7th Ave Slow Roll
Sun, Jun 9, 2019 at 4:00 pm from NE 7th and Going
Host: Captain Kiel
Join us for a casual community ride through NE Portland. Bring music if you have some. Will start and end at same location where we will have grills for grilling your food.

Light Brigade – The Slow Glow!
Sat, Jun 15 at 8:00 pm from Salmon Street Springs
Host: Bike Fun Library & Scott Batchelar
Join the Bike Fun Library and Scott Batchelar for the Family Friendly version of the Light Brigade Rides. The Slow Glow is an easygoing circuit of Portland’s Waterfront and Esplanade. Grab your kid’s, light up your bikes and join us as we light up Portland’s Waterfront

Storytime Ride
Sun, Jun 16, at 11:00 am from Woodlawn Elementary School
Meet on the blacktop.
Host: Cat Odell
Gather the kiddos for a picture book reading and a little fun on wheels – bikes! trikes! scooters! skateboards! Local author/Illustrator Catherine Odell will share her debut picture book Pepper & Frannie, and will host a parking lot session for everyone to get comfortable on their wheels, play some games, or maybe try something new! Then the ride will leave the school lot and ride down the block to circle the paved paths through Woodlawn Park (Wheels in the Woods!). We plan to end by 1pm, but you’re welcome to peel off at any time as attention, hunger, and patience allow.

Ride in northwest? Tell PBOT what you think about latest bikeway designs

Bike Portland - Mon, 06/03/2019 - 12:33

PBOT is inching closer to finalizing these 12 projects.

It’s time to help the Portland Bureau of Transportation make northwest neighborhoods as bike-friendly as possible.

PBOT has just opened an online open house and shared latest project concepts for their Northwest in Motion project. This is an effort to identify and prioritize about a dozen projects that aim to encourage biking, walking, and transit use in and around the Pearl District .

The future?

The online open house is presented in the form of an interactive map that features the design concepts for each project. You can click on a street to see the concept, then scroll down to tell PBOT if they’re on the right track (or not) and to share feedback.

We last shared the draft designs at the end of April and there appear to be several compromises made since then.

The NW Johnson neighborhood greenway is slated for updates, and the design at 15th (adjacent the REI store) has changed significantly since we last checked. The initial concept (shown below) was to eliminate eastbound driving space to make a two-way cycling-only lane:

Now the design shows only sharrows in both directions:

PBOT Project Manager Zef Wagner (via a comment below) said they heard some concerns from the community and business owners about driving access; but, “We changed it because we realized that to address the problem of both freeway traffic and east-west traffic, we didn’t really have to do a diverter on that block. Instead, we could solve the problem through alternating one-way streets (with contraflow bike lanes) between 11th and 12th, 13th and 14th, 15th and 16th, and 17th and 18th. This new design is simpler and easier to implement, with less impact on circulation, and is arguably a stronger approach to diversion than the previous concept.”

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Back in April, PBOT showed-off a beautiful diagonal diverter on the NW Pettygrove neighborhood greenway at 20th:

Now that appears to be an enhanced crossing:

Wagner says the diagonal diverter was removed from the plans at the request of “bike advocates” who felt it wasn’t a good idea to move drivers from one neighborhood greenway to another. “As staff, we agreed with this assessment on further reflection. So instead, we are proposing diverters at 18th and 15th to achieve the same goal in a different way.”

As you can see, these designs are still not finalized. As PBOT cements their Tier 1 project list, it’s imperative they hear from people who want these streets to be as safe as possible for bicycle riders. Here’s that link to the online open house one more time. You have until June 30th to leave comments.

And if you just can’t get enough of northwest neighborhood transportation planning, the Pearl District Neighborhood Association’s Planning and Transportation Committee will host a presentation on the projects from PBOT at their meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, June 4th). It will be held at Pacific Northwest College of Art (511 NW Broadway, Room 237) from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. There’s also an open house tomorrow night for the related Broadway Corridor project (which we covered late last month).

If a Pedalpalooza ride is more your way of learning, join PBOT and friends for the NW In Motion Bike Ride tonight (6/3). It leaves from Lucky Lab NW (1945 NW Quimby) at 6:00 pm.

UPDATE and CORRECTION, 3:50 pm: This post initially said changes on Pettygrove and Johnson were made due to pushback from drivers and business owners. I’ve edited it to reflect comments from PBOT project manager that further explain the context for the changes. I regret any confusion.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Here’s what the Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride looked like

Bike Portland - Mon, 06/03/2019 - 09:31

Fremont Bridge in the background as hundreds of Kickoff riders made their way on the route through northwest Portland.
(Photos by Eric Thornburg/no.lens.cap)

Pedalpalooza is off and running. And from the amount of smiles at Saturday’s Kickoff Ride, y’all are ready for it!

The annual month of free bike fun for everyone technically started Saturday morning with a big breakfast and coffee gathering on the Skidmore Bluffs; but the official kickoff came via a massive ride that set off from The Fields Park later that afternoon.

Our Pedalpalooza photographer Eric Thornburg was there to capture the vibe. Check out more of his images below…

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There’s so much more fun to be had! Check out the calendar for today’s lineup. And make sure to grab the current issue of the Portland Mercury where you’ll find a convenient printed copy of the calendar in the centerfold.

Happy Pedalpalooza one and all!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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The Monday Roundup: Gravel’s big year, highway industrial complex, killer ads, and more

Bike Portland - Mon, 06/03/2019 - 08:19

Welcome to the week. Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past seven days…

Double duh: A major study found that protected bike lanes work. And if that wasn’t obvious enough for you, they found that paint-only bike lanes are actually worse than nothing at all.

Flower power: Continental is set to launch a line of tires derived from “dandelion rubber”, which the company says are much easier on the planet than using rubber trees.

Highway industrial complex: The US DOT Secretary holds stock in one of the largest road paving companies in America — even though she promised to get rid of it.

SF bike share bloom: San Francisco plans to quadruple its bike share fleet to 11,000 despite a legal threat from Lyft, which says it has exclusive rights and doesn’t want competitors entering the fray.

*Sponsored* Mark your calendar for the inaugural Takelma Gravel Grinder, which departs from inside the Seven Feathers Casino on June 29th.

Gravel’s big year: VeloNews takes a look at why 2019 is such a banner year for gravel cycling.

Killer ads: Car ads in the U.S. promote the type violent, aggressive, illegal driving behaviors that contribute to thousands of injuries and deaths on our roads every year. Hell yes we should regulate them.

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Just ban the damn things: “Making increasingly crowded cities more livable has to become an urgent public-policy goal,” says this opinion piece from Bloomberg News, which makes the case for banning (non-electric) cars.

True traffic relief: In Portland some think the cure for congestion in the Rose Quarter is to add freeway lanes. In Paris, they think the opposite makes more sense.

Rah-rah Rapha: Love this new initiative from cycling apparel company Rapha to help boost bike racing in the U.S.

Sigh: The U.S. government is trolling us by referring to fossil fuels as “molecules of freedom” and “freedom gas.” Seriously.

Buy used: The Guardian took a deep dive into the carbon footprint of making a new car and found, on average, it equals more emissions than what comes out of the tailpipe over a car’s average lifespan.

Tweet of the Week: An excellent example of bias in media coverage of traffic crashes from Paul Supawanich (who happens to be transportation policy advisor to the mayor of San Francisco)

Do you see a difference here? pic.twitter.com/kaajVuVfs4

— Paul Supawanich

Opinion: Our candid commissioner

Bike Portland - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 14:25

Pretty safe to say the commissioner won’t be at the World Naked Bike Ride.

It’s been many years since we’ve had a transportation commissioner as willing to voice progressive ideas and positions as Chloe Eudaly.

I’m not sure if it’s because Commissioner Eudaly is simply more comfortable on social media than any other council member, or because she sees the communication channel as a strategic tool to shift the conversation her way. Whatever the reason(s), I like it. And if you care about smashing the transportation status quo, you should too.

Two recent Facebook comments from the Commissioner stand out. One was lighthearted, the other more meaty.

Last week she jokingly posted a “Hard Pass!” graphic in response to our story about the upcoming World Naked Bike Ride. Then, in response to a constituent who felt the new bus/bike lane on SW Madison unfairly “forced him out” of his car (as if!), the Commissioner wrote in all caps “YOU ARE THE CONGESTION!”  The exchange was worth a screenshot:

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Eudaly speaking at the Lori Woodard memorial rally. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s one thing for a leader to have these opinions, it’s another thing to express them candidly in a public forum like Facebook. And they have added resonance because people tend to tune out politicians who can only speak in glittering generalities and who fear direct communication via social media. 

While PBOT remains too timid, they agency has shown promising signs of progress recently. Now with Chris Warner being firmly seated as director — and with Eudaly gaining more confidence on transportation issues with each passing week — I’m optimistic about what lies ahead.

If PBOT is ever going to start riding faster, they need someone like Commissioner Eudaly out front to provide a draft. We are nowhere near the finish, but at least we have someone on city council not afraid to engage and speak truth to naysayers.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Watch: City Council hosts equitable transportation talk by Tamika Butler

Seattle Bike Blog - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 11:21

City Councilmember Mike O’Brien and Transportation Choices Coalition recently hosted Tamika Butler, Toole Design’s California Planning Director and Director of Equity and Inclusion, for an hour-long talk about transportation equity and her experience as a land use, parks and transportation leader in Los Angeles.

Do yourself a favor and watch the whole talk. Seattle has made official efforts to run all major city decisions through its Race and Social Justice Initiative framework, and yet so many decisions still fail to put equity as a top priority. The city talks and talks about equity, but then fails to build safe bike routes connecting Rainier Valley and Duwamish Valley to the rest of the city’s bike network, for example.

Butler’s thoughts on congestion pricing (starts around 29:30) are also extremely important as Seattle begins to debate the concept.

City lowers speed limits in latest effort to control the insanity on Marine Drive

Bike Portland - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 09:43

PBOT crews installed the new signs this morning.
(Photo: City of Portland)

Marine Drive has been a problem child for the Portland Bureau of Transportation for years and the city hopes recent disciplinary actions help set it straight.

The road’s design encourages dangerous driving and the city has tried all types of tricks to slow people down and prevent them from running into each other, or from running off the road and into the Columbia River — something that happens more often than you think.

In one week last month, two drivers failed to control their vehicles and ended up in the river. One of them didn’t make it out alive.

The latest move is a speed limit reduction from 45 to 40 mph on an 8.5 mile segment between NE 33rd and 185th (Portland city limits). Last year PBOT lowered the speed limit west of this segment (from 40 to 35) and installed speed cameras at two locations (33rd and 138th).

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It’s really a two-lane freeway.

Why the fuss? Consider these stats: Between 2012 and 2016, there were 189 total crashes on Marine Drive between 33rd and 185th. Those crashes included four fatalities and 144 injuries. Since 2017, six people have died while driving on that segment. Turns out streets that have no guardrails (it’s built on a federally protected levee), are adjacent to industrial/rural zoning, have straight and clear sightlines and relatively few stop signs and traffic signals, are a petri dish for dangerous decisions.

And of course Marine Drive isn’t just an arterial for driving on, it happens to be a vital part of the very popular 40-Mile Loop bike route and serves as a gateway to many popular areas.

PBOT says this is just part of their ongoing war on speeders and dangerous drivers on Marine Drive. The construction schedule for this summer also includes: a new traffic signal at NE 122nd, gaps filled in the existing path from NE 112th to NE 185th, flashing beacons at NE 112th and NE 138th), buffered bike lanes from NE 112th to NE 122nd, and centerline rumble strips from 33rd to 185th.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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OPEN launches the WI.DE an Ever More Capable Bike

Bike Hugger - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 09:32

I’m on the road traveling to a media event while OPEN launches the WI.DE, so sharing the PR directly. What you need to know, besides Gerard made another amazing bike, is this one has FENDERS!

OPEN launches the WI.DE

Finally.

We’ll have more analysis and a demo ride soon. As our readers know, we’re big fans of OPEN and what they bring to market.

Here’s the press release and the link for more info with pricing and geometry.

Press Release

When OPEN launched the U.P. (Unbeaten Path) model in 2015, it created a new category of performance gravel bikes. Equally at home on-road and off, with 28mm or 2.1” tires, the U.P. allowed people to ride anywhere and get there fast.

This category has since exploded (and may we say, sometimes with bikes a little too “inspired” by the original U.P.). Meanwhile, the U.P., U.P.P.E.R. and New U.P. have gone from strength to strength, winning awards, rave reviews and even a mountain bike race with Geoff Kabush.

Today OPEN introduces the WI.DE. (Winding Detours), which will sit next to the U.P. family. While the U.P. focuses on the road-allroad-gravel spectrum, the WI.DE. covers allroad-gravel-extreme rides thanks to its expanded tire clearance. U.P. riders cover plenty of extreme terrain already but the WI.DE. extends the possibilities even further. OPEN co-founder Andy Kessler explains:

“The WI.DE. fits up to 2.4” mountain bike tires. That’s big even compared to some XC mountain bikes. At the same time, it still offers a performance road position for the rider and fits narrow road cranks, so riding efficiency remains high. This means it can conquer almost any terrain, without slowing you down on the easier roads and trails.”

The WI.DE. achieves this by taking the most-copied feature of the U.P. – its dropped chainstays – and doubling down on it. OPEN co-founder & WI.DE. designer Gerard Vroomen explains: “The WI.DE. drops both chainstays, creating a very efficient box structure for the monostay behind the BB. This increases BB stiffness, reduces weight and squeezes even more tire clearance out of the frame. In addition, the WI.DE. is optimized for 1x drivetrains only, which further helps tire clearance (the U.P. also offers 2x, although most riders build their U.P. with 1x).

OPEN launches the WI.DE Features
  • Updated geometry: With slightly taller headtubes, the WI.DE. gives you even more control on the trickiest terrain, including rutted singletrack, loose rocks and “extreme gravel”.
  • New size: Due to popular demand, we’ve added an XS size to our line-up. This is one of the smallest gravel frames you will find. Be sure to check stack/reach for a fair comparison with other frames, not toptube length, which can be misleading.
  • Nimble handling: We have a reputation to “live U.P. to” as the original U.P. offered great handing regardless of the tire size used. The WI.DE. steering geometry was tweaked to offer the same feel but over a different range of tire sizes (35mm to 2.4”).
  • Smartmount 160: The brake calipers are attached directly to the fork and frame without any adaptors. The mounts are positioned pre-set for 160mm discs for both front & rear (the only sensible choice for gravel bikes). Lighter, cleaner, stiffer and safer.
  • Toolbox mount: Under the bottom bracket, the new monostay offers a perfect location to attach a toolbox. Out of the way with a low center of gravity, this is the perfect spot for your tools. The mounts are offset to create extra clearance with the chainring.
  • De-Fender-Ready: The WI.DE. frame and fork are prepared for OPEN’s upcoming De-Fender mudguard system (Dec 2019).

The post OPEN launches the WI.DE an Ever More Capable Bike appeared first on Bike Hugger.

Better Block’s ‘Project Pathway’ program now formally integrated into PSU curriculum

Bike Portland - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 05:54

The plaza on SW 3rd (left) and Better Naito are Better Block’s biggest successes. (Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This story was written by Malia Knapp-Rossi, a Master of Urban and Regional Planning candidate at Portland State University and intern with Better Block PDX.

Better Block PDX is excited to announce that Portland State University’s Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) has adopted the Project Pathway program.

A total of fifteen projects have been shepherded through the Pathway since 2015, including four that will be built in the first phase of the City of Portland’s Central City in Motion plan.

As BikePortland shared back in February, the Pathway program empowers PSU students and the greater Portland community to collaborate on low cost, transportation projects to serve neighborhood needs. These D.I.Y urbanism projects are fully integrated into the academic curriculum. The next generation of engineers and planners develop detailed traffic plans, public participation events, and transportation performance measures in order to create a safe and effective implementation path.

Founded in 2006, the nationally-funded, interdisciplinary TREC seeks to elevate “collaborative research and education that provide a unique lens on transportation insight for vibrant communities.” The PSU Project Pathway curriculum and goals align closely with center’s mission. This partnership will help institutionalize, streamline, and increase the capacity of the program. For the past two years, this collaboration and the Better Block PDX intern position has been supported by PSU’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions (ISS). Under the wing of the sustainability-focused center, the Pathway matured into a formal program with greater capacity to support more projects, students, and classes.

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Better Block announced the PSU partnership at an event last week.
(Photo: Better Block PDX)

Better Block PDX, a public spaces advocacy nonprofit, has spent the last four years working with Portland State University (PSU) students to develop design and implementation plans for community-driven transportation projects. In collaboration with PSU faculty, PSU’s ISS, graduate-level urban planning and engineering students, the City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation, and community organizations—Better Block PDX created the annual PSU Project Pathway program.

The Pathway program provides a practicum experience for PSU students, increases capacity for community organizations, and has been successful at influencing policy and leading to permanent changes in Portland’s streetscape — most notably the Better Naito project. A total of fifteen projects have been shepherded through the Pathway since 2015, including four that will be built in the first phase of the City of Portland’s Central City in Motion plan that kicked off this past weekend.

Better Block has had an indelible mark on Portland’s most innovative transportation projects in recent years. Learn more about the history of the organization in their Project Milestones report below:

AllReportsFinalAGAIN

— Malia Knapp

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Where We Ride: You’ve probably ridden in Vanport, the former city wiped out by a flood 71 years ago today

Bike Portland - Thu, 05/30/2019 - 15:38

Ever raced cyclocross, mountain, or road bikes at Portland International Raceway? Ever biked on the Columbia River Slough northwest of Kenton? Or maybe you’ve enjoyed the annual Winter Wonderland Light Show?

If you answered yes to any of those, you’ve ridden on the streets, across the yards, and around the borders of Vanport.

This bustling, working-class town was once Oregon’s second largest city. It was also a place where 40% of the residents were black. Tragically, Vanport was obliterated 71 years ago today when dikes that surrounded it gave way. 15 people died.

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What happened at Vanport is a painful part of Oregon’s racist history — and it remains relevant today as we continue to struggle with complicated web of race, housing, and sweeping demographic shifts. I still have a lot to learn about Vanport; but I can no longer ride there without thinking about its history. That land is so much more than just a cool place to ride bikes.

Here’s that map again:

(Oregon Historical Society)

Those two yellow dots mark where the images below were taken:

(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

And here’s a shot of the flood damage, with the yellow dots showing where I snapped those photos:

(Oregon Historical Society)

If you want to learn more Vanport, just Google it and start your journey. Also, check out the Vanport Mosaic Festival, going on now through June 5th.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Saturday: G&O Family Cyclery hosts a Cargo Bike Festival in Greenwood

Seattle Bike Blog - Thu, 05/30/2019 - 12:50

Greenwood’s G&O Family Cyclery is hosting the first annual Cargo Bike Festival from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The event is part of the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s LGBTQ Pride Rainbow Hop. It promises “test rides, kids activities, food, games and more.”

More details from the event page:

Be a part of Seattle’s first ever Cargo Bike Festival, a celebration of the life-altering power of cargo bikes! This event features family friendly activities and the chance to ride the best cargo bikes in the world…

This celebration is a part of the Phinney Pride Rainbow Hop, a family-focused neighborhood LGBTQ Pride event, and the whole business district is hosting fun activities.

When: Saturday, June 1 from noon – 4 p.m.
Where: Marrow Lane between Greenwood Ave N and Palatine
What: Celebrate the joy, fun and transformational power of cargo bikes with test rides, kids activities, food, games and more!

(Full Disclosure: My spouse Kelli helped organize this event, and G&O is a Seattle Bike Blog sponsor)

City of Portland wants to make side guards mandatory on all garbage and recycling trucks by 2022

Bike Portland - Thu, 05/30/2019 - 10:50

Side guards installed on a garbage truck during a City of Portland pilot project.

It’s been a long time coming, but Portland is finally about to take a big step forward in road safety. The Bureau of Planning & Sustainability (BPS) announced today they’ll propose a change to the City’s administrative rules that would require all garbage and recycling contractors to fill gaps in the sides of their trucks by 2022. The new mandate would apply to about 195 vehicles that currently don’t meet federal safety standards.

Commonly referred to as side guards, the goal is to close the gaps on the side of trucks between the front and rear axles where vulnerable road users often end up in collisions. US Department of Transportation research has found that nearly half of bicycle riders killed by large trucks first come in contact with its side. With side guards in place, people and their vehicles are pushed away from the truck’s undercarriage and wheels.

Portland first pushed for side guards in 2007 following the deaths of Tracey Sparling and Brett Jarolimek. But progress has been painfully slow. Our Vision Zero Action Plan, passed in 2016, lists the installation of side guards as one of its five-year actions. In February 2017, after yet another Portlander died in a right-hook collision with a truck operator, the Portland Bureau of Transportation said there was simply no funding for side guard installations.

But Portland Planning and Sustainability Commissioner Chris Smith never stopped pushing for them. As we reported in October 2017, Smith brought the issue to the table at every opportunity. The PSC advises Portland City Council on annual garbage and recycling rates, so Smith used that as a lever to keep the issue alive.

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The Portland Water Bureau has had side guards on some of their trucks since 2008.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Last month BPS published a report on their Side Guard Pilot Project (PDF). The agency installed side guards on 18 garbage and recycling trucks and worked with 11 different contractors. Based on their findings, BPS Solid Waste and Recycling Program Coordinator Pete Chism-Winfield says they will propose that side guards be mandatory on all garbage and recycling trucks by January 2022

Here’s the official language of the proposed amendment to the city’s administrative rule:

c. Side Guards and Safety Equipment. Side guards are safety equipment designed to protect vulnerable road users from the hazards of open spaces on the sides of large trucks. The following schedule will result in the implementation of side guards on all collection trucks with side gaps between wheels greater than two feet. All side guards shall meet the Volpe specifications according to the following schedule:

I. All new collection vehicle purchases after January 1, 2020. (A/I)

II. All collection vehicles newer than 2010 and older than 2019 by January 1, 2022. (A/I)

III. All collection vehicles must have decals placed on the side guards or body that indicate to vulnerable road users that they are in a blind spot. (A/I)

Based on current truck inventories, BPS estimates that 195 trucks will need to be retrofitted before January 1, 2022. Based on the costs of the pilot retrofitting the 2010 to 2019 trucks ($2,623 per truck) would cost approximately $432,795 across all garbage and recycling companies. BPS will subsidize retrofit costs up to $1,000 per truck.

Asked if BPS has contacted Metro to implement a similar mandate on a regional level, Chism-Winfield said they (and other regional partners) have expressed interest but have made no commitments. BPS is also looking at other equipment requirements like cab design and mirrors but says they want to carry out the side guard project before moving onto other efforts.

A public hearing on the administrative rule change is set for June 3rd from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Chris Warner named Director of PBOT

Bike Portland - Thu, 05/30/2019 - 09:51

PBOT Director Chris Warner.
(Photo: City of Portland)

City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly announced today that Chris Warner has accepted her offer to be the new Director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Warner had served as the agency’s interim director since July 2018 after previous director Leah Treat left for a job in the private sector.

“Director Warner brings over twenty years of public sector management and transportation policy expertise to his position,” Eudaly said in a statement. “As a policy and technical expert, he has worked at the local, state, and federal levels for Governor Ted Kulongoski, Senator Ron Wyden, Representative Peter DeFazio and City Commissioner Steve Novick.”

Commissioner Eudaly said she chose Warner after a national search (in part) because, “He understands how difficult it will be to reorient our transportation system to meet the challenges of the future… he knows PBOT, and he has the skills and experience necessary to turn ideas into actions.”

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Warner (left) with his former boss Steve Novick in 2013.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Warner’s style is much different than his predecessor. He doesn’t seek publicity and doesn’t seem to be interested in building a national profile. Even Eudaly referred to his “reputation for quiet competence and hard work.”

Warner was former City Commissioner Steve Novick’s Chief of Staff when Novick was in charge of PBOT and was named assistant director of PBOT in 2016. In 2015 Warner attended a week-long study tour of Copenhagen with a group of PBOT staff and downtown business leaders.

In her statement today, Eudaly credited Warner for implementing PBOT’s new crash response protocol and for his work in speeding up implementation of the new bus/bike lane on SW Madison, the first Central City in Motion project to hit the ground.

Warner assumes this position amid heightened scrutiny of one of the bureau’s marquee initiatives. Yesterday the City Auditor released a report that found PBOT’s Fixing Our Streets program has had “ineffective monitoring and oversight” and that many of the promised projects are overdue. PBOT is also facing pressure to meet its Vision Zero goals amid a rising traffic death toll

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Weekend Event Guide: Pedalpalooza begins, a swap meet, adaptive bike clinic, and more

Bike Portland - Thu, 05/30/2019 - 08:14

Mood.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The time has come for Portlanders of all ages, shapes, and colors to ride together in the streets in the name of pure, unadulterated fun. That’s right, Pedalpalooza is here. Starting Saturday and lasting through the entire month of June, there are hundreds of free rides to choose from. They’ll help you learn more about our city, about yourself, and about the people you share it with.

But this is Portland, and when it comes to biking, there are always options. If Pedapalooza doesn’t pique your interest, perhaps you’d prefer to race or do a big ride, or to expand your cycling horizons in some other way? As always, check the BikePortland Calendar where we list a wide variety of rides and events.

Have a great weekend no matter what you decide to do.

Saturday, June 1st

Oregon Gran Fondo – All day in Cottage Grove
The finale of the Oregon Triple Crown series takes riders to the friendly town of Cottage Grove. The classic Gran Fondo course is a 117 mile, mass-start event. There are shorter routes and a longer, 130-mile route that contains several sections of gravel. More info here.

Breakfast on the Bluffs – 9:00 am at Skidmore Bluffs (N)
Jump start your body and your Pedalpalooza by meeting up with friends old and new on the beautiful bluffs. Bring coffee or sample the wares of Portland Roasting Company. More info here.

Swap Meet – 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at Portland Community College Cascade Campus (N)
Organized by Norther Cycles and the PCC Bike Shed, this is the place to sell your used bike stuff and find that extra special part/frame/bike/item you’ve been dreaming about. Just $10 for a booth, free to shop and hang out! More info here.

Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride – 3:00 pm at The Fields Park (NW)
This is the big one that officially begins 2019 Pedalpalooza. Get there at 3:00 to give yourself plenty of time to hang out, buy official PP merch, decorate your bike, socialize, and soak in the bike fun vibe. More info here.

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Adaptive Bike Clinic – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at Eastbank Esplanade (SE)
Come and try bikes built for people with disabilities and get your questions answered from the experts at Adaptive Sports Northwest and Portland Parks & Recreation. Free clinic (at 12:00 pm) and a group ride too. More info here.

Bike Touring Workshop – 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at Rivelo Bike Shop (SE)
Get the skills and insights you need to live off your bike. Taught by the ever-interesting and experienced Shawn Granton. $15 per person. More info here.

NE 7th Avenue Slow Roll – 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm at NE 7th and Wygant
Build community through a social and fun bike ride meant to bring neighbors together. Hosted by Friends of 7th Avenue. More info here.

East Portland Bike Train Pedalpalooza Launch Ride – 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at PCC Southeast Campus Quad (82nd & Division)
BikeLoudPDX and PCC have joined together to give you free pizza. Oh, and they will share info and debut the route for their new bike train. More info here.

Stay plugged into all the bike and transportation-related events around the region via our comprehensive event calendar.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Tern Launched BYB: Smallest Folding Bike

Bike Hugger - Wed, 05/29/2019 - 16:56

Earlier today, Tern launched the BYB. That’s their latest folding bike. BYB is an acronym for Bring Your Bike and it’s the smallest Tern to date. The ultra compact design is 30% smaller than a typical 20″ folding bikes, giving it a small folded footprint. It’d fit inside the GSD, another acronym-labeled bike from Tern.

The BYB is an urban bike meant to go everywhere with you and even tossed into an overhead of a plane.

Tern Launched BYB Pricing

The new BYB lineup includes two models: BYB P8 starting at $1,295, and BYB S11 is available at $2,495 respectively.

Besides the tiny fold, what Tern admirers will notice is how the front wheel is now secured with an anchor bolt, instead of their magnet.

That’s a welcome change.

The BYB incorporates ten separate Tern patented technologies, with highlights listed below.

BYB Features
  • TriFold Technology—BYB uses a patented new method of folding a bicycle—with two hinges in the frame and one in the handlepost. The positioning of the two hinges is incredibly
    complex—so complex that the patent includes a mathematical formula that describes the hinge positions, as well as alternative positions.
  • DoubleDeck Frame— The BYB inherits the DoubleDeck frame design and the burly trapezoidal tubing from the GSD for a stronger, lighter frame.
  • TFL Joint—Each hinge is also loaded with patented new technology and represents the state of the art in folding bicycle technology. The hinge rotates around stainless steel pivots sitting inside smooth Igus bearings. Levers lock shut automatically with strong aluminum pins. The TFL Joint is a complex 3D shape with internal interfaces with the frame tubes for a strong, durable connection.
  • Anchor Bolt—The folded bike is locked together with a strong and patented Anchor Bolt mechanism, so the bike always stays securely locked no matter how you lift or carry the bike.
  • Physis RF—Most folding bikes feature overly flexy handleposts which result in a ride best described as “riding a wet noodle”. The 3D-forged Physis handlepost is known for its stiffness and strength. This new RF version pairs with the stiff frame to form the foundation of the BYB’s excellent riding characteristics.
  • Metro Transit Rack—The Metro Transit Rack was designed to let the BYB stand vertically when folded, and features spinner wheels that make maneuvering the BYB in crowded spaces a breeze. It pulls double duty by also working with small and mid-size panniers, like the Ortlieb Sport Roller.

Along with that impressive feature list, there’s a full line of accessories you can learn more about from Tern.

The post Tern Launched BYB: Smallest Folding Bike appeared first on Bike Hugger.

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