Bringing up the Rear

What to carry on a ride depends on your priorities, your ride length, the amount of ride support you’ll have and your own comfort level. Whether you ride minimalist or with everything but the kitchen sink, there’s no shame in taking a page from the Boy Scouts and “be prepared”! Have your pack ready to go at all times so you never have to look for the items you want to put in it.

Level I: Weight Weenie

You want the smallest, lightest, most compact bag possible.
A tire lever (or two)
Tube – out of box and tightly wrapped in plastic wrap to be compact and not open up
Patch, glue and emery cloth (essentially a patch kit without the box)
Cash (for food, bus fare or as an emergency tire boot)
CO2 and inflator
I.D./Insurance card/debit card (Note: Debit card does not work as replacement for cash in a tire boot.)

Level II: Easy Rider

You ride solo a lot and are weary of getting stranded.
Duct tape (1 ft wrapped around a small piece of cardboard)
Tire boot
1-2 additional tire levers
Small multi tool
Presta-to-Schrader valve adapter (which you can simply leave attached to your valve)
Pump (may be carried on bike or in pocket)

Level III: Not counting grams

You’d rather be safe than sorry.
Extra tube
Emergency energy gel or nutritional bar
A master link or replacement pin for chain repair
Tire Boot

Go to a bigger multi tool with all the bells and whistles

Level IV: Going the Distance

You’re in it for the long haul. You’re randonneuring, have a really long commute or are on a self-supported bike tour. You’re not afraid of the weight, but weary of the cold dark rain. Your small seat pack has morphed into a carrier clamped to the seatpost.
Zip ties
Lightweight jacket/extra clothes
Emergency spoke replacement
Tire Boot
More extra food
Spare batteries
4″ crescent wrench
Anything else you don’t think you can live without

Tori Bortman is a mechanic and instructor who runs classes through her company Gracie’s Wrench.

Your Handy Guide to the 10th Anniversary Filmed by Bike

Filmed by Bike is a film festival featuring bike-themed movies from around the world. The festival happens only here in Portland every April and this year is the 10th anniversary. Because of this celebratory year, there are 75 movies over the course of six different programs that show on five days with 13 screenings total. That’s a ton of movies.

The festival happens April 13-18 at the Clinton St. Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St.

The opening night on Friday features the New Belgium Street Party in the middle of Clinton St. with a beer garden and live entertainment.

Wade through all the excitement and make the most of your Filmed by Bike experience with this handy guide.


A limited number of pre-sale tickets are available. When those sell out, additional tickets are for sale at the box office while supplies last. The Friday box office opens at 5:30 and the shows will sell out. A pre-sale ticket guarantees entry.


Each program is different, and they repeat twice so hopefully one of the times will fit your schedule. Check out the program to find the shows you want to see. Tuesday features all cyclocross films and Wednesday the Best of the Best, crowd favorites from the Filmed by Bike archives.


Beyond the street party, Filmed by Bike offers more than just movies on the screen. The filmmaker Q+A sessions (Sat. at 5, Sun at 7) are powerful nights in the theater, when filmmakers talk about their work. In honor of their 10th anniversary, Filmed by Bike is bringing in filmmakers from all over the country. You also don’t want to miss the Golden Helmet Award, presented by Nutcase Helmets at the 7:00 Saturday show. The winner of this top award will receive $300 cash and the coveted Golden Helmet trophy.


If you love the idea of watching bike movies on the silver screen, a festival pass is the way to go. For only $32 you’ll get unlimited entry to the theater all festival long. It also includes a free commemorative 2012 DVD.


If you’re trying to get in to the Friday shows, even if you’ve purchased pre-sale tickets, you should arrive early. The crowd is fun and the beer will be flowing. You can pick up your tickets and come back later, or simply stay for the fun. There is no fanfare on the other days, but arriving early is still recommended.


The Audience Choice Award, presented by Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers, gives fans like you a chance to vote online for your favorite movie. The willing filmmaker will be awarded $100 cash.


How are you getting to Filmed by Bike? Don’t go alone, go with Gary, mt. bike legend Gary Fisher. The Friday ride leaves from the Bike Gallery Spring Sale at 1001 SW 10th Ave at 6pm sharp. More info >>


Bring friends, take pictures and revel in the excitement of this momentous 10th anniversary celebration.

A Brief History of Bicycle Racing

By Stacy Nelson

When bicycles first appeared, people immediately wanted to test how fast they could go by racing them. History holds the first recorded bicycle race on May 31, 1868 at the Parc de Saint-Cloud, in Paris. The race was 1.2 km and the winner was an Englishman named James Moore. He rode a wooden bicycle with iron tires.

However, bicycle racing in the early days was considered very dangerous. Bicycles were not up to today’s standards and racing them coined the phrase, “breakneck speed” because if a rider crashed he would fly over the front handlebars with disastrous results.

Professional bicycle racing was so popular in the United States that it practically became the national sport of the U.S. during this time. Racers were like superstars; early racers include Arthur Zimmerman and Marshall “Major” Taylor.

Bicycle racing also became popular around the world. Bicycle racing was one of the events in the first modern Olympic games held in Athens, Greece in 1896. The first Tour de France was held in 1903. It was a promotional event for the French newspaper, L’Auto.

Of course bicycle racing has continued to grow in popularity, especially here in Oregon, and thankfully now we have not only safer bicycles, but safety gear as well.

The Dan Henry: A tribute to the man and the method


Time to geek out on route marking!

What are those faded paint markings you see on pavement? In some cases, they’re the markings of utility workers, but often they’re Dan Henry directional markings. Dan Henrys are the most popular simple, effective and easy-to-see route marking technique for cyclists. 

The exact history of the Dan Henry is not very clear. But we do know about the man. Sadly, Dan Henry died March 15th. He was 98.  From his obituary,

An early advocate for biking facilities in Santa Barbara County, Dan Henry’s enthusiasm for the sport and impact on the local cycling community is reflected in the bike route on Alamo Pintado and Grand Avenue in Los Olivos being named after him.

Henry wrote poetry about the joys of cycling, which he would hand out to strangers. He also designed and built a road bike with front and rear suspension, for which he received a patent, as well as a hammock-type “sling” seat that he found more comfortable than a traditional bicycle saddle.

He spent 25 years as a pilot for American Airlines, which fired him three times because of his insistence on bringing a bicycle along on his flights so he could ride it after landing. Each time, the pilots union had him reinstated, but after the third episode in 1963, he retired the following year.

We will remember him for the markings and ultimately guiding cyclists from start to finish of many of your favorite rides. 

Effective Use of Markings

Good course marking is consistent, designed for cyclists and thorough. For every turn, there must be at least three marks. One well in advance to prepare, one to indicate a turn and one after the turn to provide confidence that the turn was correct. Additional markings might be needed depending upon the circumstances, such as the speed at which the rider will approach the marking, complexity of the intersection and other local factors.

Why Aren’t They Always Used?

Though Dan Henry’s are generally what cyclists prefer to see on organized rides, in some cases they cannot be used due to local municipal restrictions. Often these regulations come from a mis-informed administration or past conflicts. Drivers have been known to misinterpret poorly placed and sized Dan Henry’s as markings intended for them. Yes, an elderly woman once drove off the road because of a Dan Henry. We’ve heard the stories and while they’re not common, it only takes one instance for a municipality to take the cautious approach.

Proper placement and sizing is key. Dan Henry’s should be visible to cyclists but subtle to someone looking from a car. They should be placed where cyclists are intended to see them. 

How did I get lost?

You have your map and you have been following the Dan Henry’s, but now you are lost. How did that happen? Most likely you were admiring the scenery and missed a cue. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. And it’s not entirely a bad this, for admiring the scenery is a big reason we ride our bikes out in the countryside.

It’s easy to want to blame the ride organizers when we get lost, but let’s face it, we all make mistakes once in a while. Back track your steps and get back on track. Check our rider map, many include a phone number you can call and a support person will guide you back to the course. Yes, always bring your cell phone on an organized ride. The small weight is well worth it for such situations. 

Dan Henry, the man, set an easy to follow standard. He was an individual and so are we. It ultimately up to us to be prepared, be alert, and enjoy the ride

Essential Pre-Race Checklist

by Russell Cree of Upper Echelon Fitness

It’s hard to believe it, but the 2012 racing season is well underway. The Banana Belt Road Races are complete and we are moving toward a big month of road racing in April. Nothing is worse than training hard for an event only to show up unprepared by forgetting a key piece of equipment or having the wrong clothing. There are many variables in cycling that are hard to prevent – once the race begins there are many things that can go wrong. So do yourself a favor take the time to prepare in the areas that you can control. Use this checklist as a guideline when filling your race bag the night before the event.

The list may seem long, but trust me, you’ll be glad to have all these items, and to not have to think about what to pack on the day of the race.


• Cycling shoes – Most Important! You won’t be able to borrow shoes at the race.
• Helmet – Important!
• Socks: Tall socks or thermal socks for cool weather
• Shorts or Bibs
• Knee warmers
• Leg warmers
• Arm warmers
• Vest
• Full length tights
• Skinsuit (for time trials, crit, short track, or cross)
• Short sleeve jersey
• Long sleeve jersey
• Sleeveless undershirt
• Short sleeve undershirt
• Booties/Thermal shoe covers
• Wind/aero shoe covers
• Rain jacket
• Fingerless gloves
• Thin gloves for mild weather
• Thermal gloves for cold
• Cycling cap
• Racing glasses with lens options
• Post race casual clothing including team jacket and podium wear.


• Race Bike
• Race wheels
• Spare wheels – You may need to put these in the follow car if there’s not neutral support.
• Powermeter or Heart rate monitor
• Floor pump
• Rollers or trainer
• iPod for trainer warm-up
• Tool box
• Chain lube
• Rags
• Mussette bags and feed zone supplies


• Racing license or rider release print-out from website
• Money, cash, or check (most races don’t take credit cards)
• Race number (previously pinned to jersey/skinsuit if possible)
• Safety pins
• Rider release forms
• Race flyer and directions
• Cell Phone
• Plastic trash bags
• Toilet paper

Pre and Post Race Kit

• Towel
• Baby wipes
• Soap
• Chamois cream
• Sunscreen
• Lotion
• Lip balm
• Embrocation
• Large water container
• Medical/First Aid kit


• Pre-race food
• Pre-race drink
• Race food
• Water bottles
• Post race food and drink
• Large water container

Team Items

• Tents
• Changing tent
• Chairs
• Cooler + Bottles
• Nutrition supplies
• Bike Rack
• Trainers

Russell Cree is the owner of Upper Echelon Fitness, a sports medicine and training clinic for all levels of endurance athletes. He is a cycling training coach with extensive personal competition experience.

10th Anniversary Filmed by Bike

10th Anniversary Filmed by Bike in Portland

Filmed by Bike is a film festival featuring bike-themed movies from around the world. The festival happens only in Portland every April and this year they are celebrating their 10th anniversary of bringing bikes to the silver screen. All screenings take place at the Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St. in Portland April 13-18.

In honor of their 10th anniversary, the festival has curated a stellar collection of movies into six different programs that play over the course of five days and 13 showtimes. Each program features a mix of excellent movies in a variety of styles. Blood, Sweat and Gears, a special program of cyclocross movies, plays Tuesday, April 17.

Over the years Filmed by Bike has become a favorite springtime event as it brings thousands of people to the Clinton St. Theater. But it’s not just about being in the theater, in the true spirit of a cyclists wanting to be outside, Filmed by Bike opens up Clinton Street, the actual road, on opening night for the New Belgium Street Party. This free-to-get-in event showcases live entertainment, a beer garden, on-site screen printing and much more. How are you getting to Filmed by Bike? Don’t go alone, Go With Gary, mt. bike legend Gary Fisher! Portland Bicycle Tours will lead to ride from Bike Gallery (1001 SW 10th) that valiantly winds through Downtown Portland and across the river on the way to the festival.

There are plenty of additional features to this hotly anticipated 10th anniversary celebration. Sign up for the Filmed by Bike newsletter or like them on Facebook for updates.

Advance tickets are recommended as many shows will sell out. A limited number of tickets are available for sale online. When those tickets sell out, additional tickets will be made available at the door while supplies last. See the website for details.

Pedal Nation/PDX Bicycle Show Recap

Did you go to the PDX Bicycle Show this past weekend? What did you think?

I was impressed by the variety of new products coming out, particularly those that are a stylish take on practical needs. Bspoke Tailor featured expertly made clothing that constructed with cyclists in mind (knee bending, reinforcement in key areas, etc).

The trick riding area, with riders flying high off ramps, is always good eye candy. Test riding a wide variety of bikes was thrilling and of course just wandering through a sea of bikers is always a good time.

Tell us what your highlights were!

ORbike’s Guide to Pedal Nation – PDX Bicycle Show

Pedal Nation – PDX Bicycle Show is a gigantic consumer expo that showcases the latest in bike gear, organized rides, projects and products. For two days, bikers take over the Expo Center in Portland.

Wading through a sea of booths can be overwhelming.

The show only happens once a year, so make the most of it with this handy guide.


    The PDX Bicycle Show is filled with interesting workshops, demos and activities, but these auxiliary events can be a lot to take in if you aren’t prepared for them. You don’t want to miss something that’s of interest to you, or to feel pressured by whomever has joined you for the day.

    Check out the schedule in advance and plan to go for a length of time and at the right time to enjoy some of these additional activities, like the fashion show, which features stylish and practical riding apparel, and the presentations by Tori from Gracie’s Wrench, an expert bike maintenance instructor.

    Ride your bike. The Expo Center is easily accessed by bike. A variety of roads with bike lanes will lead you there, choose your preferred route. Bike parking at the event is free and abundant. Don’t forget your lock.

    The MAX yellow line goes directly to the Expo Center, which is another smart way to arrive.
    Car parking will cost you money you’d probably prefer to spend on cool bike gear.

    Not used to that part of town? Make a day of it. Explore the restaurants of Kenton (or maybe the dive bars, like The World Famous Kenton Club, are more your style) and get your picture taken next to the Paul Bunyan statue; visit Smith and Bybee Lakes, a rich nature preserve teeming with wildlife – especially birds; take a stroll at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers at Kelley Point Park; spend the afternoon in St. Johns where independent business abound and the views from on top of or below the St. Johns bridge are stunning. There is a lot to see and do in that region of Portland.
    It’s more fun to cruise around the Expo when you’ve got people there with you to chat about what you’re seeing.
    Many exhibitors will have materials they’re giving away. The first 3,000 in the door will get a free goodie bag, but in case you aren’t one of the first, bring a bag to carry things around as you peruse the booths.
    Concessions are what they are. Your food choices at the Expo Center will be limited and there aren’t restaurants very near by.
    New this year is a bike swap meet area. Most of these vendors offering sweet deals on used gear won’t take cards. You may also want cash for the beer station where Hopworks is pouring their award winning brews.
    Don’t be shy. Vendors are there to talk with you and share ideas and info. They want to hear from you, and they want your questions.
    Take notes by taking pictures.
  10. HAVE FUN!

Show Hours:

Saturday, March 24: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday, March 25: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm


Portland Expo Center – Hall E
2060 North Marine Dr, Portland, OR 97217
MAP >>


Adults – $10
Kids – 12 & under are Free with paid Adult

Event Schedule

Click Here >>

The Best Coastal Ride

Have you ever thought about riding to the Oregon Coast? Arriving to views of crashing waves, the pounding surf? Reach the Beach, a 22-years-strong organized ride, helps make that happen.

Reach the Beach, on May 19, is a fundraising ride for the American Lung Association in Oregon. It’s no wonder why the ride is so popular: with four course options, top-notch support and the best route to the coast, this ride is the most stunning way to tour the Oregon countryside. Reach the Beach is a decidedly luxurious ride with ample time to meander your way to the beach to watch the sun set behind Haystack Rock.

Overall, the four routes are surprisingly flat as they roll through wine country, along quiet rural roads, through small towns and past farmland. There are rest stops approximately every 15 miles with an array of tasty treats and two full lunch stops. Reach the Beach gets you away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the daily grind of everyday life. The organizers make it easy to relax in your saddle and enjoy the sights, sounds and scenery of this gorgeous landscape.

The finish line is in Pacific City with a sink-your-toes-in-the-sand party directly on the beach. Relax after a rewarding day of riding and listen to the waves crash on the shore as you enjoy the feast served up at the award-winning Pelican Pub.

Reach the Beach is limited to 3,000 participants and has sold out the past two years, so sign up early to secure your spot and receive the early bird discount.


Your First Distance Ride

Training Tips for distance cycling

You’ve signed up for a distance ride, now what? If you ride regularly for work and errands, chances are good that you can tackle 75 miles with little effort. The bonus of doing a supported distance ride is that you won’t have to carry much more than a couple water bottles, allowing you to ride with greater ease.

Gearing up for the ride is still a good idea. Review the routes in advance so you are familiar with the terrain and the elevation gain. In terms of Oregon supported distance rides, 9,500 feet of elevation gain is on the extreme side and 4,000 feet is fairly moderate. Anything under that and you’re in flatlander territory. In the two weeks before the ride, make sure you get out for at least two long stretches of riding, preferably with some hill climbs.

The day before the ride, eat well and drink plenty of fluids. Moderate stretching and light riding will also help set you on the right path toward a comfortable ride.


Drop us a line at any time to find out how we can help promote your event!

If you have questions about an event, please contact the event directly. We do not host any events and cannot answer those questions.

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