May is known nationally as Bike Month, when cities and communities host bike commute challenges, bike safety rodeos, and various other events to show they support cycling. A lot of the great changes that are happening in our cities is because of the work of passionate advocates – but they do not operate in a vacuum. Supportive businesses and business improvement districts are also helping accelerate change, and this month we’d love to flip the script a little.
Let’s give thanks to the businesses that support biking this month! Let’s frequent the restaurants, pubs, hotels, and retail shops that are supportive of bicycling. I had a creative writing professor tell me that “it’s always better to show than tell,” so in that vein draw a little bicycle icon or thank them for supporting bicycling on their receipts this month and take a photo of it and share it. If you are on Instagram or Twitter, tag it with #bikenomics. If you are on neither, you can email us the photo and we can post it for you.
Our goal is that, by the end of the month, we’ll be able to illustrate to businesses that bikes (and the people who ride them) do generate business in very real and tangible ways! So start drawing bikes and snapping photos!
While our primary focus is on bicycle tourism in rural communities, we also do a few other bike-related video projects with bike advocacy groups because we have a good understanding of the issues at stake. This video is the culmination of several months of interviewing the initial Green Lane Project cities for PeopleforBikes. We traveled to Memphis, Chicago and Austin to interview city officials, engineers and everyday riders to make a short and punchy piece that explains what a protected bike lane is, shows some of its success and provide an emotional hook. The goal was to provide the on the ground advocates a tool to show to their city leaders that can explain what they are asking for in a concise and compelling way.
Walking our talk, we traveled to all the shoot locations largely either by bike or transit. In Chicago we navigated in from the suburbs via commuter rail and bus, in Austin we borrowed an electric cargo bike from Austin B-Cycle, in Portland we used our bike trailer and in Memphis we took the bus from our motel and carpooled with the city Bike/Ped Coordinator. All our gear was condensed into a handful of bags that we had to be able to drag across airports and onto buses, trains and even bikes.
This shoot was easily one of the most challenging involving multiple cities, LOTS of plane hopping, navigating strange new transportation networks, as well as the challenge of threading a narrative from hours of interview footage. At the end of the day, we are pretty happy with video and hope it can serve as a tool for advocates and city officials. That said, the video wouldn’t have the breadth of imagery if it wasn’t for the Clarence at Streetfilms who have been documenting this stuff for years! So grab some popcorn and enjoy and share.
Last summer, we had the great opportunity to film the Portland Disaster Relief Trials. As a video project it was a lot to cover, multiple locations with moving targets who weren’t going to stop for very long. We put a call out and assembled a small band of videographers and positioned them in strategic locations at different time slots. The final vid, a sizzle reel to build excitement and promote this year’s DRT has finally been released to the general public. Check it out, then visit the www.DRTPDX.com for more details!
To everyone who joined us for the Oregon Scenic Bikeway Video Release Party… THANK YOU! We packed the house at Chris King HQ and celebrated not only the videos but the whole of the Scenic Bikeway program.
For us, it was incredible to watch the videos on a big screen with a few hundred people, and be able to step back and appreciate all that we accomplished. What a different experience from scrutinizing them on the computer screen in our apartment!
Our hope for the event was to bring the Scenic Bikeways to Portland for an evening and spread the word about the great riding across the state. Our guess is that 200-300 people joined us on Thursday evening, which hopefully means that 200-300 people are now ready to ride the routes and tell others.
One of the biggest highlights was that so many of the proponents traveled out for the event and shared stories and insights about what makes their routes so great. We leaned heavily on these folks when we filmed each route, because we wanted to accurately capture the uniqueness of their area; so we were excited to have them at the event and introduce them to potential new visitors.
Our heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to each of these proponents, for working with us throughout the length of the project; to Travel Oregon, for jumping in to such an immense project with us; to Chris King, for hosting the event and providing delicious food; to Base Camp Brewing, for donating beer to the event; to all of the talent, for spending a few days filming with us and being oh-so-patient; and to each of the businesses that we worked with along the routes.
For more information on the Oregon Scenic Bikeways, visit RideOregonRide.com.
One of the most unique facets of the Oregon Scenic Bikeways is that each route has a proponent group. A route isn’t just designated by the state, rather there is a long application process that requires a group of local supporters to not only propose a route but help create a management plan. While filming the Scenic Bikeways last year, we worked closely with many of these proponents. It was important for us to hear what they saw as the best features of their routes, so we could communicate it in our videos.
On a more practical note, the proponents are also a tremendous wealth of knowledge about the local area. Want to know where to find an IPA out in Heppner? Curious if the “U-Pick” orchard in Kimberly is open for the season? Looking for some good gravel riding in John Day? The proponents know. They can also tell you the best season to ride, where to find water in the middle of nowhere, who makes the best hamburger in the county, and a hundred other details that won’t fit on a printed map or in your GPS.
We are lucky that many of the proponents from different parts of the state will be joining us for the Travel Oregon Scenic Bikeway event! They’ll be wearing something special so that they stand out (we haven’t figured it out yet, but we’ll announce it that evening). We can’t overstate what an incredible opportunity this is to get insider information about planning your trip, and to meet the folks who are supporting cycling in Central and Eastern Oregon. It’s also a great opportunity for the proponents to hear from potential visitors.
If you’re in the Portland area (and beyond!), we hope you can join us. It will be an awesome event, bringing the Scenic Bikeways to you!
-Thursday, March 20th, 2014
-6:00-8:30pm (networking 6:00-6:30pm)
-Location: Chris King HQ @ 2801 NW Nela Street, Portland, Oregon 97210
-Libations from Base Camp Brewing Company
-Appetizers by chef Chris DiMinno
This event is free with donations encouraged for the Oregon Travel Philanthropy Fund.