Restore the Columbia Gorge after the Wildfire

10 Tips for Riding More Often

Let’s face it: When it rains, it can be hard to want to be on your bike. Fortunately most areas of Oregon have relatively mild winters, but the dampness surely can be a mental barrier to biking.

Try these tips for staying active through the winter.

1. Invest in Gear

Quality gear is a wise investment that will last you for many years to come, especially if you treat it well.

2. Keep Your Gear on the Ready

Designate a place to air and dry out your gear that makes it easy to grab when you’re headed out the door. Keep your lights charged/powered and on or near your bike. Keep your bike lock key on your master keychain.

3. Join a Club

Oregon is filled with riding clubs, and these groups offer a sense of camaraderie that’s sure to keep your wheels spinning. Whether you’re fast or slow, in Portland, Salem or Pendleton, there’s surely a club that’s right for you.

4. Sign Up for Supported Rides

Signing up and paying creates a sense of obligation like nobody’s business – even better if you rally a group of friends to join you.

If the registration fee is a barrier, check out the website early for volunteer positions that will allow you to ride for free. In most cases, the events are fundraisers for non-profits, so you can feel good about where your money is going.

5. Set Modest Goals

Life is full of challenges, so there’s no reason to make this a monstrous task. Set modest goals that you can feel be proud of conquering, and reward yourself for going the extra mile.

6. Rewards Rule

Did you bike through the rain 10 miles to work AND run grocery errands? Way to go – you’re a rockstar! Be sure to pick up some treats while you’re at the store.

7. Soak and Relax

You’ll make it though that rainy, chilly ride much more easily if you know the prospect of a hot bath or warm house awaits. Relax, read a book and warm up after your challenge rides.

8. Swap Stories

Conversing or commiserating with other riders does wonders for keeping you on your bike. Velo Cult (42nd and Sandy in Portland) has become the winterime go-to spot for bikers, and you’re sure to find a good drink and great company on any given day, especially during traditional after work hours. They feature pour-over fine coffees and a huge selection of craft beer.

9. Choose Your Routes Wisely

Taking the most direct route possible while being safe is generally a good way to go, unless it’s a lovely afternoon and you’re up for a meandering scenic tour. In the dark days of winter, it’s particularly important to ride on safe roads where you’re a comfortable and confident member of traffic.

10. Smile. We’re Serious.

Did you know that there mere act of smiling has been proven to brighten your mood? When biking, it has the added effect of rubbing off on other bikers and showcasing to drivers that biking isn’t all that bad. So even if the rain is beating down, whistle a little tune and pat yourself on the back for being a warrior.



Stationary Racing Comes to VeloCult

Speedy Racers and plain ole biking folks will go head to head in a stationary competition that pits two racers against each other to ride as fast as possible in the largest Goldsprints competition in PDX history.

Goldsprints races have long been popular in Portland, but they don’t happen that often. In the race, two bikes are fitted to rollers for fast paced fun and plenty of action. Goldsprints are known for their crowds of heckling, jeering and cheering bystanders and ridiculously entertaining antics.

VeloCult bike shop and bar is hosting this weekly showcase every Saturday at 7pm for six weeks, beginning on February 2.

There are prizes for spectators, including festival passes to the 11th Annual Filmed by Bike, and racers and anyone can compete. This event is the perfect excuse to hang out at VeloCult, known for their fine beers, pour-over coffee and walls lined with enticing bikes and vintage bike paraphernalia.

VeloCult is located at 1969 NW 42nd Ave, just off Sandy Blvd.


Open Bike Night

Check out this cool new event.

* Open Bike Night at VeloCult (1969 NE 42nd, off Sandy)
* Streams live on YouTube around the world
* Wednesday Jan 23 and 30 at 8pm.
* Free!
* Excellent beer selection and pour-over coffee
* Mechanics working on bikes
* Crowd of bikers
* A huge collection of live short 5 minute stage presentations

This cool event takes place within the expansive VeloCult bike shop and cultural hang-out. While watching presenters on stage, mechanics work on bikes, beer is served, people mix and mingle, and the whole affair streams live on YouTube. Open Bike Night offers people worldwide a glimpse at Portland bike culture.

This new event is not to be missed!


Bike Event Spawns New Running Event

For the past 12 years, hoards of cyclists have taken to the streets on a goofy winter ride that celebrates Portland’s resilient cycling spirit. The Worst Day of the Year Ride on February 10 coincides with what is historically known as the time of year with absolutely the worst weather in Oregon. But for the past 11 years, the weather on the day of the ride has surprisingly been rather pleasant.

At the finish line, you’ll be treated to hot soup and fresh bread feast served up at the Lucky Lab Brew Pub in SE Portland. Relax in the company of other costumed riders as you sip beer and kick back in Portland style.

You know a bike event has truly become a tradition when it spawns an all new event – one that doesn’t even take place on bikes.

The first-ever Worst Day of the Year Run on February 2 promises to be an equally fun spectacle with free beer for participants who come in costume, coffee and doughnuts at the start line, a gorgeous North Portland off-road paved course and an outlandishly whimsical day.

Worst Day of the Year Run benefits Sunshine Division, a non-profit organization that distributes food and clothing to people in need.

Sign up for both the ride and the run for a discount.

( Register for both events ) ( Register for the RIDE ) ( Register for the RUN ) ( RIDE info )( RUN info )


Actor Encourges People to Leave the Car Behind

What if just 1% of our state decided not to drive on Sundays? That’s what Grimm actor Sean Gettings wondered when he created No Drive Sunday, a movement that rallies people to reserve one day a week to leave the car behind. “I thought Sunday was a good day to start because people are generally off work, it’s a slower day and maybe people could use it as a starting point,” Sean explains. “I think it is important to try to encourage people to drive less, carpool, walk, use public transit and just discover what is located in their own community. It’s a great way to meet your neighbors, get needed exercise and help the environment.”

All in the Family

For Sean, bike riding is a family activity. “My son has been riding his own bike since he was four and last year rode to kindergarten almost everyday. I pull my daughter in a bike trailer and our record is ten days in a row without driving.” Sean says he loves riding around his North Portland neighborhood. “Biking in my neighborhood is fun and mainly flat. We have libraries, parks, grocery stores, a post office, schools, restaurants and the University of Portland all with in a few miles of home.”

America’s Friendliest City

Through No Drive Sunday, Sean enjoys showcasing that “Portland is America’s friendliest city for bikes, so this is the city to give it a try. I encourage people to try a few shorter rides and then maybe try a ride to a park, the grocery store or even to dinner.” He maintains a Facebook page where he posts resources and encourages people to share their stories of spending one day a week out of the car.

Sean, who also worked on the Ban the Bag campaign, is dedicated to the environment. “In my opinion, we as a society have become so dependent on our cars and trucks that we miss connecting with our neighbors and taking advantage of our community.”

Playing Cop

When he’s not working as a stay at home dad for his four and six year olds, Sean plays a precinct cop on NBC’s Grimm. In the past he has worked on Leverage. Sean rides his bike to work, as do several of the other cast and crew. “It’s great to arrive on set in the early morning and see bikes parked next to the actors’ trailers,” Sean describes. He says his goal is to be part of a bike riding scene on Portlandia.

Check out No Drive Sunday on Facebook.


Welcome to the future: 2013

It’s a brand new year, and here at we have a few predictions about what it’ll bring. We may still be a ways off from flying cars and holodecks, but there are some pretty cool products in the works.

From fat bikes to better cycling infrastructure, we’re pretty sure 2013 is going to be awesome.

Bike Trends

Fat Bikes

Will 2013 be the year of the fat bike?

Hailing from Alaska, these wide-wheeled beasts were originally created by Mark Gronewald of Wildfire Designs Bicycles for biking in the snow. His fat-tired designs excelled in some of the crazier Alaskan endurance races (think Iditarod for bikes), and over the last few years they’ve started to catch on in the Lower 48 and beyond.

So what is a fat bike? They’re essentially mountain bikes built to accommodate tires as wide as four inches. The width of the tires and low tire pressure gives them the traction and floating power to tackle snow, sand and other terrain that regular bikes can’t handle.

Fat bike advocates are busy hammering out best practices for sharing trails with other users and working out details of their use on public lands. The 2nd Annual Fat Bike Winter Summit and Festival will take place January 25-27 in Island Park, Idaho.

Wildfire Designs still makes their FatBikes (which are handmade by DeSalvo Custom Cycles in Ashland, OR), but Surly and Salsa have taken the lion’s share of the market with the Surly Pugsley and Salsa Mukluk (as well as newer offerings). Head over to for a complete list of manufacturers.

Inspired? Your fellow Oregonians are fatbiking in Seaside, Mt. St. Helens, the Oregon Dunes, Bend and anywhere else that looks like fun.


Electronic bikes are huge in Europe and Asia, but so far they’ve been slow to catch on in the US. The sales gap might be a byproduct of how we look at cycling—in the US, the cultural association of cycling with sport rather than transportation has put a stigma on riding e-bikes that doesn’t exist overseas.

Slowly but surely, however, e-bike sales are growing. They picked up slightly when gas prices spiked to $4 a gallon, and seem poised to gain momentum as an increasing number of people get into bikes as a means of transportation – both for themselves and their cargo. In fact, Pike Research (a market research and consulting firm in the green tech industry) predicts that e-bike sales will grow by almost 50% in 2013.

E-bike manufacturers like Prodeco and Currie Tech are putting out a variety of designs for everyone from commuters to retirees to athletes, while cargo bike company Yuba offers a pair of cargo bikes, the elMundo and elBoda Boda, which have electric assistance to make it easier for people to ditch their cars and take up utility cycling.

As cycling for transportation becomes a bigger trend in the US, it seems only natural that e-bikes will be a big part of that equation.

Is your interest sparked? For a comprehensive guide to e-bikes and conversion kits, as well as the stores that sell them in the US, check out Electric Bike Report. In Portland, shop e-bikes in person at the aptly named eBike Store at 201 N. Alberta.

Fashion Trends

Neon! Really.

Folks, that fluorescent commuter jacket you’ve been rocking for years has just become fashion-forward. Did you notice those eye-burning pops of 80’s throwback color that the kids were wearing last summer? Well, it’s not over yet.’s roundup of fluorescent yellow 2013 gear features everything from shoes to helmets to locks. We’ve even spotted toe clips. Whether your color of choice is highlighter yellow, neon lime green, safety orange or all three, be prepared for the slew of compliments you’ll get from the fashionistas this year

(If we’re bringing back the ’80’s, can I please put in a request for hypercolor bicycle frames? Thanks.)

Not neon

On the other end of the fashion spectrum, neon is totally out. As more people take up cycling as part of their daily lives, clothing companies are beginning to take note. The overwhelming success of Iva Jean‘s recent Kickstarter campaign shows that women, especially, are looking for chic clothes that transition easily from the bike to a professional environment. Companies like Betabrand and even Levis have launched lines aimed at the casual commuter.

Even as apparel companies angle for a slice of the cycling clothing market, more people are realizing that there doesn’t have to be anything particularly “bike-specific” about their wardrobe in order for them to enjoy cycling. A growing number of cycling fashion blogs and tweed rides are popularizing the idea of people wearing their everyday clothes on bicycles.

Social trends

Cities will prioritize cycling as a means for economic growth

Studies like this one from the League of American Bicyclists have shown that cycling and economic prosperity go hand-in-hand, and around the country local governments are starting to take note. Yes! Magazine recently featured a trio of cities—Minneapolis, Washington D.C. and New York—that have been attracting good jobs as a direct result of their focus on better cycling infrastructure.

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s speech at a protected bike lane ribbon cutting directly linked cycling infrastructure with economic growth, and issued a challenge to Portland and Seattle. “I want them to be envious because I expect not only to take all of their bikers,” he said, “but I also want all the jobs that come with this.”

According to Bikes Belong, protected (green) lanes doubled in 2012, and is set to double again in 2013 as more cities begin to take note of their neighbors’ successes.

Bike share programs are big part of that vision. New York will see the arrival of the privately funded and operated Citi Bike in May 2013. Houston is set to expand their bike share program from 3 kiosks and 18 bikes to 24 kiosks and 200 bikes. Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Columbus also number among the cities due to launch bike shares in 2013. Even colleges like Wellesley are implementing bike share programs. Portland’s bike share program is in the works, though as yet no date has been set for its launch.

How about you?

What are you most hoping to see in the new year? Share your ideas below.


Jessie Kwak is a writer who loves to type about the good life: travel, outdoor adventures, food and drink, and (of course) cycling. You can find her at Bictoro: Bikes and Crafts.


Copyright 2017 ORbike: FIND ADVENTURE – Bicycle Events and Cycling Tips · RSS Feed · Log in