In Focus Reports from the Urban and Regional Policy Program
option to cycle in Portland. Tis work is ofen done in collaboration with tourism organizations, the city, and other private, public, and NGO partners. Te Bike Gallery’s partner-ships take many orms. For example, Graves was the instigator and later the provider o a ree mechanic service or the annual exercise bike race, “Cycle Oregon,” which has evolved into a million-dollar busi-ness. Graves also started Te Community Cycling Center, a non-proﬁt organization that collects, renovates, and then sells or donates bicycles or children and adults. It also oﬀers community programs such as summer camps and bicycle repair courses. Graves spends so much o his time promoting cycling or three major reasons. First, he cites his ather, who was also a bike dealer and instilled in Grave the idea o giving back to the community that supports his shop. “You provide back to your community,” he said. Second, he reerences a simple business reason: the more people cycle, the better or business. Tird, Graves believes the community work is returned back to him in the orm o more customers. Surveys among his customers have shown that Te Bike Gallery’s active and advocacy role is the third most impor-tant reason why customers patronize Graves’ store, second only to “selection” and “location.” Te ﬁrst time he spoke with local politicians, Graves dealt with a case o nerves. “I was scared witless,” Graves said. While local leaders have not always agreed with Graves’ stance on local policy, they still greeted him with respect and responsiveness, whether in a business or cycling context. Since my visit, Jay Graves has sold his stores.
Pit Stop on Main Street
In downtown San Francisco, I met Zach Stender o Huckle-berry Bikes on Market Street. With several thousand bicy-cles passing his shop daily, Stender has sought to combine his mission to promote cycling with his goal o attracting more customers into the store. Each weekday morning between 7:30 and 9:30, Huckleberry Bikes oﬀers ree services and small repairs in an old news-paper stand a ew hundred yards rom the store. Te service allows people to more easily commute on their bikes, while also giving the shop an opportunity to interact with poten-tial customers.For the mechanics, adding some air to a tire, pouring a little oil on a chain, or tightening a nut gives them work and ofen leads to more business. Tey ofen discover the need or other major repairs that require a later trip to the store. Te initiative has been so successul and well-received by the community that another company now sponsors the mechanics’ wages. In his role as a business owner, Stender also regularly provides input on potential municipal bike projects by commenting in the press and participating in public meet-ings. Additionally, he serves as an advisor to the San Fran-cisco Bicycle Coalition, which has over 12,000 members. In many ways, he eels a certain obligation to advocate or
Yes, there are hills in San Francisco. And yes, there is a good deal of cycling taking place, here on Market Street. Complete with pit stops for small bike repairs during weekdays.