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Articles by Elly Blue

Elly Blue is a writer and bicycle activist based in Portland, Ore. She blogs at Taking the Lane and is writing a book about Bikenomics that comes out in 2013. You can also find her on Twitter.

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Nothing says, “Happy Holidays,” like …Photo: Mikey WallyMichelle Poyourow, a transportation consultant in Portland, Ore., decided to ride down Hawthorne Blvd. for just a block. She was already on the defensive — it was a busy, fast road, and she was wearing a short skirt that day. Then it happened:

“A big SUV came by and the asshole in the front seat barked at me like a dog out the window. I gave him the finger at close range, and turned and looked just in time to see that the guy in the front seat was … a dog. A big, slobbery, loving golden retriever. Sounded so much like a drunk frat boy, you wouldn’t believe it.”

Road rage is something we all succumb to. Even mild-mannered transportation wonks. Even Zen Buddhists. But the middle finger is a force multiplier — deploying it can ruin your day, not to mention that of its recipient, no matter how deserving he or she may have been.

It always seems to get worse during the winter holidays, when everyone on the road is more preoccupied, hurried, distracted, drunk, or just plain angry than usual. December is a quantifiably stressful time of year. Families are ge... Read more

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  • A gift guide to bike stuff that people actually want

    Photo: Adams CarrollI’m not going to hate on shot glasses with bikes on them or leather holsters for carrying wine bottles by bicycle, but if you want to give someone a bicycle-related gift this holiday season that is actually useful on a daily basis, this guide is for you. I’ll start small and build from […]

  • Wheely, wheely thankful

    Photo: iamosIn last Sunday’s New York Times, columnist Mark Bittman compiled a list of people and things in the food movement he’s thankful for. The bicycle movement deserves its own list. Here’s a start: 1. I’m thankful for the power of bikes to enable people-powered protest movements. Bicycles have been playing a supporting role in […]

  • Sharing time: Tracking the ‘sharrow’ on city streets

    A sharrow in Baltimore. Photo: Elly BlueVisiting Seattle last weekend, it was impossible not to notice that its streets are absolutely covered in sharrows. “It’s almost like they polluted the streets with them,” said Tom Fucoloro, proprietor of the Seattle Bike Blog, who took me on a walk through the city’s Central District, pointing out […]

  • The last rider: Learning to win on a 100k bike ride

    David from Eugene passes a decaying farmouse on the Verboort Populaire.Photo: Elly Blue“I think the rain is really good for us as cyclists,” said my friend Maria Schur. We were in her car, headed to the Verboort Populaire, an annual 100-kilometer (about 62-mile) bicycle ride west of Portland, Ore. “It’s good for character development. It’s […]