Monday, January 21, 2008

Portland on Marketplace

I went down to the Iowa Bicycle Summit in Des Moines this past weekend. The Summit ran Friday and Saturday, so I drove down after work Thursday evening. On the way down, I was listening to NPR and on the Marketplace show and they had a segment called Portland's Support of Bikes Pays Off. It opens thus:
Imagine San Diego as one big peloton today. Thousands of cyclists are converging there for the Bicycle Leadership Conference. They'll be figuring out how to expand the bicycle market. One obvious answer: get more commuters to ride bikes to work. On that score, Portland, Oregon, is way out front of the pack. According to Bicycling Magazine, the city has the highest number of bike commuters in the country.
Apparently there's an Oregon state statute that any story on bicycling in Portland starts with the Zoobombers, and this one conforms. They talks about other companies and even Vanilla Bicycles, which I think are just about the most succulent of the custom frames out there. Ten grand now, and a five-year waiting list. Anyway, it's nice to see bicycles getting a bit o' coverage on a show mostly concerned with larger markets.

I'll be out sampling the Portland Bicycle Scene in a couple of weeks; I'm taking the Framebuilders Express out to Portland to go to the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. I'm sure Vanilla will be there and the list might be six years by the time the show's done. It's going to be like getting on the list for Green Bay Packers season tickets--you'll need to sign up your unborn offspring.

A couple of items of note from the Iowa Bicycle Summit: Trek is doing an advocacy effort and apparently liked my blog name a lot. They've called theirs One World Two Wheels and have some nice non-Trek-specific advocacy materials. One of the things they wanted to do, but Clif Bar beat them to the punch, is a site like Clif's excellent 2 Mile Challenge, which shows people what's within 2 miles of home, and thus easily rideable. From Trek's point of view, getting more people to ride means selling more bicycles, and addressing the Practical Cycling arena is a way to expand these markets. I'll write more about the Iowa Bicycle Summit tonight or tomorrow.


Snakebite said...

I'm looking forward to reading more about the summit.

I'll be in Portland, too, but doubt I'll jump on the years long waiting list!

brother yam said...

Crikey, the Mrs and I are heading there on Friday. We'll miss the show, but we'll soften 'em up for y'all. If the beer is gone, don't blame me.


Anonymous said...

I think Trek can make an improvement on Clif Bar's map and make it more like's map. Walkscore lists all businesses in a 1 mile radius and I think if Trek could expand it out to 2 miles, it would be different from Clif Bar's maps as they don't list any businesses, only user submitted businesses. that's my $.02 worth.

Anonymous said...

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