Bike Commute Challenge: Libraries, Happy Hours and Prize Deliveries

Hey folks! All-Star BTA volunteer Joel Finkelstein is continuing his series of profiles of participants in this year’s Bike Commute Challenge.  Check out his stories of meeting with Bike Commute Challenge Prize Winners Elaine Hogg, Graham Ross and Beth Flanagan while delivering their gifts donated from Portland Design Works, Columbia Sportswear, and 21st Avenue Bicycles.


Last week, we featured the Multnomah County Library in our Photo of the Day feature, and Team Captain Shannon Long noted that the Library had Bike Commute Challenge riders signed up at all 19 of the library’s branches. Elaine Hogg spent the month of September representing Multnomah County Library’s Midland branch, commuting to her work at the East Portland library branch on a foldable bike. Commuting is old hat for her; Elaine says she began riding a bike to work in 1992. Elaine appreciates all Portland does to make bike commuting easier and safer, including the city’s bike maps, and specialized signals for people choosing to ride, and she’s looking forward to putting her prize, a Columbia Manifest II Backpack, to use. Elaine could teach us all a few things, as she finds the scenic routes to be not only more safe, but so much more pleasurable; I took her advice and directions back through a park and a quiet suburban neighborhood.

In his daily commute to and from work at WebMD, Graham Ross gets in both his exercise and daily dose of Portland’s finest, often stopping at a park, or otherwise adding to his ride simply because he easily can – there’s hardly grid lock or traffic jams to contend with on a bike. Depending on the time of year and various errands, Graham rides either his seventies Gitane fixie, or his randonee Bianchi that is set up with a Dynamo light system. As the Team Captain of the WebMD team, he’s helped coordinate various bike clinics, rides, and an in-house list serve that goes to about forty webMD co-workers. The company had a complete locker-room installed in a recent build-out, which has made commuting and lunch time fitness that much more convenient for the crew over in their Montgomery Park headquarters. Graham received a free tune-up generously donated  to the BTA from Northwest Portland’s 21st Avenue Bicycles.


What better than to end a day riding all over town than to arrive at Alta Planning‘s happy-hour and ride a couple more miles with their enthusiastic team. Beth Flanagan extended the invite so that we could see how the crew at Alta makes use of a bike powered blender. She takes her work seriously in keeping the team enthused by coordinating neighborhood bike rides into work, flat tire repair clinics – and yeah, BCC happy-hour. Beth began bike commuting in Chicago, and in total was car-free for fifteen years, between the two cities she’s commuted by bike. She is an all-weather commuter, and loves how biking through town allows her to connect with others in the built environment. She’s looking forward to installing her newly-won PDW light set on her bike.

Tremendous thanks to all of our generous prize-donors, tremendous thanks to Joel for delivering our gifts, and tremendous congratulations to the winners! Joel has one last set of prizes to deliver; be sure to attend our October 10 Bike Commute Challenge Awards Party to see who goes home with the biggest prizes and awards for their logging their trips this September.


Comments (1)

  1. Beth Flanagan Permalink  | Oct 03, 2013 11:18am

    Thank you for joining Alta’s HH, Joel, and special thanks to BTA for use of the bike blender!