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Elly Blue's Posts

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Spokes Patrol: Bike cops out in force at Occupy Portland

My hometown got in on the occupation on Thursday, as a few hundred people came out for an Occupy Portland march downtown. Last week, I wrote about the interplay between the Occupy Together movement in cities like New York and Chicago and the monthly bicycle rally, Critical Mass. The topic was on my mind as I headed down to the march, half expecting to find the same symbiotic relationship between people on two wheels and those on two feet. It was there -- but not in the way I expected. As I approached the heart of the protest, I saw …

Read more: Biking, Cities

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Marching on two wheels: bikes, protest, and public space

Bikes can be effective tools in protests.Photo: Dan NguyenRecent weeks have seen the massive, multi-day protests spread from the original Occupy Wall Street encampment in downtown Manhattan to Boston, Chicago, Denver, and many other cities. But largely lost amid the headlines last Friday was another, related demonstration. Like the final Friday of any other month for the last two decades, bicyclists rode out on Sept. 30 for the often-controversial Critical Mass group rides in cities throughout the world. Critical Mass has played into the progressive groundswell that led to protests like Occupy Wall Street. After years of practicing the art …

Read more: Biking, Cities

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Dinner & Bikes Tour: The best and the worst

Elly Blue just finished a monthlong Dinner & Bikes tour around the western U.S., along with Portland bike filmmaker Joe Biel and traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg. This is one of her thrice-weekly dispatches from the road about bicycle culture and economy. Read them all here. The great 2011 Dinner & Bikes tour is officially over. We got home this weekend and did our final event here in Portland. To wrap up, I've put together a Q&A -- mostly questions that have been asked by others over the course of our tour, but since they're not here to ask, I'm going …

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Kangaroo bikes and Bambi killers: Meet the cyclists of ‘Outdoorsia’

Photo: Elly BlueElly Blue is on a monthlong Dinner & Bikes tour around the western U.S., along with Portland bike filmmaker Joe Biel and traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg. This is one of her thrice-weekly dispatches from the road about bicycle culture and economy. Read them all here. Spearfish, S.D.: Last year, on the intergalactic Bikestravaganza tour, Joe and I were flabbergasted to discover a mutant bike culture thriving in this tiny city in the heart of the region a friend calls Outdoorsia. This year we couldn't wait to come back. The day before we were to arrive, driving into the …

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Road hogs: Minneapolis cyclists don’t need to share

The Minneapolis Greenway.Photo: Micah TaylorElly Blue is on a monthlong Dinner & Bikes tour around the western U.S., along with Portland bike filmmaker Joe Biel and traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg. This is one of her thrice-weekly dispatches from the road about bicycle culture and economy. Read them all here. Minneapolis, Minn.: "Portland is just an avenue in Minneapolis" -- or so says the sticker on the rear rack of the bike I brought with me on our Dinner & Bikes tour. The words are attributed to R.T. Rybak, mayor of Minneapolis, upon learning in 2010 that his city had stolen …

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Red means stop, except for bikers in Kansas

Elly Blue is on a monthlong Dinner & Bikes tour around the western U.S., along with Portland bike filmmaker Joe Biel and traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg. This is one of her thrice-weekly dispatches from the road about bicycle culture and economy. Read them all here. Topeka, Kan.: "It's OK to just go here," said Meredith Fry as we pedaled up to a red light near Washburn University. She slowed down, looked both ways, and rode right through the red signal. I put my foot down and looked around nervously before following her. We had just passed three police officers on …

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Urban revival puts butts in the (bike) seats

Getting ready for a sold-out Dinner & Bikes show in downtown TopekaPhoto: Elly BlueElly Blue is on a monthlong Dinner & Bikes tour around the western U.S., along with Portland bike filmmaker Joe Biel and traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg. This is one of her thrice-weekly dispatches from the road about bicycle culture and economy. Read them all here. Topeka, Kan.: "Kansas is sneaky cool." So says the friend we're staying with in rural Kansas, about midway through our Dinner & Bikes tour. The state's capitol, Topeka, certainly proves this to be true. It's obvious that at some point in recent …

Read more: Biking, Cities

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Blogs put bikes on a path to world domination

Boulder blogger Sarai Snyder is the force behind Girl Bike Love.Photo: Michele ZebrowitzElly Blue is on a monthlong Dinner & Bikes tour around the western U.S., along with Portland bike filmmaker Joe Biel and traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg. This is one of her thrice-weekly dispatches from the road about bicycle culture and economy. Read them all here.   Boulder, Colo.: Sarai Snyder comes up to me after our recent Dinner & Bikes event and introduces herself as the proprietor of Girl Bike Love, a blog that covers bike news, culture, and gear with women in mind. We chat for a …

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In Utah, cyclists on a mission

Bike polo in Provo, Utah.Photo: Elly BlueElly Blue is on a monthlong Dinner & Bikes tour around the western U.S., along with Portland bike filmmaker Joe Biel and traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg. This is one of her thrice-weekly dispatches from the road about bicycle culture and economy. Read them all here.   Provo, Utah: As is the case at most bike polo matches, the sidelines at this game in a bank parking lot are marked by clusters of cans and bottles. But in this town, where dozens of players and spectators meet two or three times a week, they're not …

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Pedal pushers: Is Critical Mass bad for bikers?

A scene from the June 2007 Critical Mass bike ride in Vancouver.Photo: Tavis FordElly Blue is on a monthlong Dinner & Bikes tour around the western U.S., along with Portland bike filmmaker Joe Biel and traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg. This is one of her thrice-weekly dispatches from the road about bicycle culture and economy. Read them all here. Phoenix, Ariz.: I'm quizzing Nathan Leach, our host tonight on the Dinner & Bikes tour, about local bike culture. Leach is the main force behind the Rusty Spoke bicycle collective. He organizes the local version of Critical Mass, the monthly bike ride …