Cargo Bikes to Save the Day!

September 30th, 2015 by admin

Disaster (517x800) (414x640)Imagine this: It’s two days after the big earthquake… roads are broken, fuel is unavailable, but your family and neighbors need supplies. Think you are out of options? Think again! Use your cargo bike!

Portland cyclists are called to test their navigation, problem solving and load hauling mettle on October 17th, 2015 in a disaster drill designed to showcase the relevance of cargo bikes in disaster relief.

Portland’s 4th annual Disaster Relief Trials (DRT) is a cargo bike competition that makes a visual display of the potential of bikes as a key component of disaster response and recovery. In a friendly competition between human-powered vehicles, self-supported riders will carry up to 100lbs. of cargo while navigating a course of 10 predetermined checkpoints throughout North Portland. At each checkpoint, riders will overcome obstacles (e.g. concrete barriers, deep water, rough terrain, etc.) or complete tasks designed to simulate providing disaster assistance to their community.

The 2015 DRT will have a “hub-and-spoke” checkpoint arrangement, centered at the University of Portland. Riders will begin on campus and return periodically to the “hub” at the University of Portland to complete disaster relief challenges, making this year’s event especially spectator friendly. The LeMans start, barrier crossing, flood fording, awkward load lashing, and harried relief cargo delivery will all be located at the campus hub. All are welcome to come to the University of Portland to watch the riders accomplish their challenges and for a resilience fair with information and activities to get you prepared for any disaster.

In addition to being a challenge for riders, the DRT will serve as an exercise for other aspects of community disaster response such as Neighborhood Emergency Response Teams (NET), local Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), and the newly developed Oregon Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST).

2015 DRT Sponsors include: University of PortlandPortland Bureau of Emergency ManagementMultnomah County Emergency ManagementCascade Regional Earthquake Workgroup


Portland Pedal Power will be participating in this exciting and important upcoming event and we hope you’ll join us!


A Match Made in Portland

September 24th, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo

Transporting Healthy Food to Those in Need by Bike


European plums and Bartlett pears. Picked by the Portland Fruit Tree Project

For the last three years Portland Pedal Power has partnered with the Portland Fruit Tree Project to support the neighborhood harvesting parties sprouting up around the city. Groups of neighbors on bikes work to harvest urban trees, donating fresh fruit to local food banks. The program is expanding this year from the Richmond neighborhood to start bike harvests in Woodstock and surrounding neighborhoods; there is a current need for neighborhood participation, harvest leaders, and volunteers.


Paige, a volunteer at Portland Fruit Tree Project

“The bike events help connect the community a little more,” says Amanda Virbitsky, a harvest leader in the Richmond neighborhood. “Instead of driving cars separately to sites, we ride together and get to experience the neighborhood together.”

Bike harvesting parties typically meet at a set location, then ride as a group to several harvesting sites. They transport all the harvest tools by bike too: fruit pickers, crates, and even an ingeniously made trailer that doubles as an orchard ladder.

Fruit is sorted by quality; everything that looks grocery store fresh is donated to the food banks, and the rest is divided up among the volunteers. Portland Pedal Power then loads the donations by cargo bike and transports the fruit to Urban Gleaners, who handles distribution of the fruit to local food pantries and food banks.

Diana Foss at Urban Gleaners says they’re grateful for the fresh fruit, most of which goes to their Food to Schools program that sets up family food pantries in schools. “Typically food bank food donations have been canned or boxed foods, not the healthiest options,” says Foss. “It’s a really important a source of fresh produce, which is usually really expensive for struggling families.”

The Portland Fruit Tree Project truly empowers Portland’s neighborhoods to share in the harvest. Homeowners and those with urban orchards can connect with the Portland Fruit Tree Project to share the bounty of their trees. Neighbors who want to lead harvests are encouraged to connect as well. Harvesters that need a delivery assist can call on Portland Pedal Power.

Equal Exchange = Small Farmers, Big Change

September 8th, 2015 by admin

Guest post from Hope Williams at Equal Exchange

From left to right : Teodora Lunazco (27) Teresa Trad’o (27) Erlinda Pizarro (28) Naura Navarro (24)

Cacao farmers (Olaf Hammelburg)

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Producer trip India, 2012 (Scott Patterson)


The Equal Exchange rainbow of staff members

Equal Exchange was founded over 30 years ago with the purpose of redefining the way we approach trade. Our goal was to use trade to support and empower small farmers and democratically run coops around the world. We envisioned long lasting and tangible social change through honest and truly fair partnerships.

Today we still fight everyday against the ever changing market, social and climatic events that put at risk our farmer’s livelihoods. We continue this fight by not only paying the best price for our products to our farmers but also providing on-the-ground support to ensure their crops quality, longevity, durability, and productivity. We work with our farmers to organize and claim more control over the volatile market and demand a fair price for their products. We do all of this in the name of authentic fair trade.

At Equal Exchange we roast our coffee fresh locally to the highest standards. Craft chocolate with pure simple ingredients: all fair trade and organic cocoa, sugar, and vanilla. We work on developing non-plantation models of fair trade tea using alternative trade models. To put it simply: we are proud of all of our products. By purchasing an EE product you are making a direct and noticeable impact globally. We can trace every purchase you make to the farmers who provided the product. Our supply chain is always transparent, always Fair Trade and always organic. We truly believe that small farmers create the biggest change.

Teaming up with Portland Pedal Power was an obvious choice. Jenn and her PPP team are a group of outstanding innovators, hard workers, and strict purveyor of the best local products you can find. PPP’s work strengthening local brands and transforming the equal_exchange_186_400x720_72_CMYK (1)Portland delivery system is necessary and exciting. PPP is a great resource to help Equal Exchange expand our work within the Portland market. With the help of PPP, Equal Exchange is eager to reach more local businesses and increase market impact for our farmers

Since Equal Exchange believes in holding ourselves to the same standards as our farmer partners, we organized ourselves into a worker-owned cooperative. Each worker-owner retains one share and one vote. We set very strict pay ratios for ourselves in order to maintain a fair and equal workplace. Additionally, Equal Exchange maintains a no-sell out clause in our bylaws that prevents the owners from ever making a profit by selling of the company. This is done to maintain accountability and responsibility for the company’s choices and actions. We work not for profit or personal gain but for the advancement of our farmers and social justice around the world.

For more information visit: or our blog:

New Partnership with Newspace Center for Photography

September 2nd, 2015 by admin

2015_Fall_Newspace (800x788)Newspace Center for Photography is a multidimensional photography resource center and community hub for students, working artists, professional photographers, educators, and photo-enthusiasts of all types. Through a full roster of course offerings, gallery exhibits, digital lab, darkroom, and lighting studio access, artists’ lectures, portfolio reviews, an artist residency, and more, Newspace makes a wide spectrum of enriching photographic opportunities available to the Portland Metro communities.

The Center’s broad curriculum is made up of beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes. From foundational, technical classes to classes on creative studio lighting, darkroom and alternative processes, design and digital applications, personalized training, and creative classes for the fine-artist, Newspace has an evolving variety of educational programming to choose from.

The Newspace gallery mounts 12 exhibits annually. Artists are showcased in solo or two-person shows with the occasional group show or juried exhibition. Curatorial emphasis is placed on modern, fine-art and documentary photography and has included the work of emerging as well as established artists. The gallery is free and open to the public.

In addition to regular programming, Newspace fills a particular niche in supporting the regional nonprofit community by partnering with other organizations to enhance the programming goals of all institutions involved. Newspace has partnered with Washington School for the Deaf, Saturday Academy, Portland Community College, as well as Pablove Shutterbugs – a nonprofit that teaches children living with cancer to develop their creative voice through the art of photography.

facade8Newspace sees Portland Pedal Power as an undeniable partner within the PDX community. We both strive to support and collaborate with organizations that are locally owned and sustainably minded. We engage and challenge the community to think differently – whether creatively through art and photography or holistically through sustainability and green practices. Newspace is proud to be aligned with Portland Pedal Power and encourage all of our members, followers, students, and donors to help improve Portland through healthy and holistic practices. Be Creative! Make Photographs! Ride a Bike!

(Guest post from Newspace)

There’s a New Sandwich in Town

August 31st, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo

Chef Charlie and wife Ali at the deli

We’ve just added a new yummy vendor into our always growing delivery stable, Charlie’s Deli. Chef Charlie Mattouk has got an east coast flair for hefty sandwiches, thick cut meats, and classic deli sides. Their food is handmade from scratch, meat is always smoked or slow cooked in-house, and they don’t skimp on size — these sammies are BIG.

The menu boasts a large selection of meats: smoked brisket, pork shoulder, prime rib, corned beef, and pastrami. The Willamette Week raved about the pastrami on rye and called the brisket “damn juicy.” All sandwiches come with a free side too!

Some menu stand-outs include:
Corned Beef on Rye: Charlie’s Home Made Traditional Corned Beef | Smoked Swiss Cheese | Pearl Bakery Marble Rye Bread | French’s Yellow Mustard | Pickles
Smoked Pork Shoulder: Applewood Slow Smoked Pork Shoulder | Smoked Pepper-Jack Cheese | Pearl Bakery French Baguette | Tomato | Lettuce | Onion | Pickles | Mayo | BBQ Sauce
Pastrami on Rye: Applewood Slow Smoked Angus Brisket Pastrami | Smoked Swiss Cheese | Pearl Bakery Marble Rye Bread | Pickles | Deli & Dijon Mustards
Smoke Angus Brisket: Maplewood Slow Smoked | Angus Brisket of Beef | Smoked Tillamook Cheddar | Pearl Bakery French Baguette | Lettuce | Onion | Pepperoncini | BBQ Sauce | Smoked Garlic Mayo

We’re also excited about their giant fresh baked cookies and cannoli.

He and his wife Ali are an exceedingly friendly pair of hosts as well, with a great staff, and their location downtown is definitely worth a visit. Or even better, order some sammiches direct from us, and we’ll deliver them hot and piping!

Hood to Coast: Relay Running to Finish Cancer

August 26th, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo
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These runners are inspiring!

We’re going to be out Friday supporting the teams running the “Mother of all Relays” — Providence Hood to Coast (HTC). Together, teams of 12 will run nearly 200 miles from the Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood to the Oregon Coast, raising funds in the fight to end cancer. HTC is challenging everyone to donate $1 for every mile, to help #FinishCancer.

The event this year will include 12,699 runners and 3,600 volunteers. HTC began in 1982 with 8 teams and has filled the team cap on the opening day of registration for the last 17 years straight. The event culminates in a finish party with music and goodies. It’s an awesome event for a great cause.

HTC has been working to raise funds to #FinishCancer, raising near half a million in funds thus far. Many of those involved are running for a personal cause; as part of Team Runners for Research, Nancy Leitgeb will conquer the relay this Friday. But Nancy is also in the process of conquering cancer. Watch Nancy’s story and how a new clinical trial at Providence Cancer Center allows her to stay fit and continue running.

Join us Friday afternoon on the esplanade near OMSI to greet the brave relay runners and support the #FinishCancer campaign.

Green Up Your Biz Practices at GoGreen 2015

August 25th, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo

Here at Portland Pedal Power, our delivery network was grown from a simple commitment: use bikes to fulfill an existing need in the urban core. We’ve worked to sustainably fill the gap of last mile delivery needs. What does sustainability mean to a business run by bikes? It means reducing congestion and green house gasses on our downtown streets, it means helping businesses to up their sustainable businesses practices, it means encouraging our vendors to think differently to access the growing market demand for green services, it means building a business that provides healthy and active employement for our riders. It’s a holistic approach that we are constantly working to improve.

The challenge many local businesses face is how to incorporate sustainable practices holistically and profitably. We are committed to promoting this goal, and that’s why we’ll be at the GoGreen Conference this year. We encourage you to join us, to continue thinking about how you can green up your business and build connections to help make it happen.

GoGreen Portland is Tuesday, October 6 at the White Stag Building. Now in its eighth year, GoGreen Portland has established itself as the largest regional conference bringing together business and government decision-makers to advance sustainability best practices.


GoGreen Portland 2014. Flickr:

Keynote speakers include: Governor Kate Brown; Gifford Pinchot III, President and Co-Founder of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute; Deborah Kafoury, Multnomah County Chair; and Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, Director of Community Affairs, New York City Department of Environmental Protection. The event features many more local leaders, listed here.

According to the GoGreen website and presspacket, the conference, created and organized by B Corporation Social Enterprises, features regionally targeted content and recognized leaders from the community. GoGreen works across industry silos to foster peer-to-peer learning and collaborative solutions. Sustainability in the business setting is a powerful and indispensable tool for navigating the tumultuous waters of today’s global economy and solving our climate woes. GoGreen’s mission is to empower attendees with the strategies, tools and connections to green their organizations with profitability in mind.


Get Empowered. Get Inspired. Get Connected.

Last year’s conference included over 350 attendees and 60 speakers — business leaders and pioneering thinkers from regional public sector agencies, nonprofits, and educational institutions — with a focus on a diverse array of private sector companies from fields especially strong in Oregon. Attendees discussed new ideas and tackled the big issues facing sustainability efforts locally and globally. In workshop and lab sessions, attendees were exposed to hands-on strategies for improving employee engagement, increasing commitment to climate action and best practices for closing the waste loop, growing equity and maximizing social investment capital. Regional leaders shared their innovative approaches, challenges and accomplishments of their progress with their peers to move us towards a more sustainable future.

We hope to see you there!

Ride the Parkways Before Summer is Spent

August 19th, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo

Sunday Parkways this Sunday!


Find us for free stuff and #DriveHope

Heya Portland, I know you’re over the heat, but one of the last Sunday Parkways is this weekend, so grab your bike and get rolling. The SE Parkways ride is one of the larger rides of this series, circulating around Laurelhurst, Colonel Summers, Sewallcrest and Ivon Parks. In all the parks along the way there are opportunities to stop and grab some yummy eats, listen to tunes, and you can even jump into a dance or activity or two.

Last summer I rode the SE Parkways ride and it was a lovely cruise through the neighborhoods with cute kids selling lemonade along the way, lots of free stuff from promo booths, and some of my favorite food carts cooking up eats. We’re lucky to live in a town committed to free community events like this one.

The ride takes place this Sunday the 23rd, from 11am to 4pm, and the total route is 7 miles. Have a look at the handy Southeast Portland Sunday Parkways route map. Then take a moment to check out what activities, musical acts, and fun events await you at the event by checking out the brochure.

Portland Pedal Power will be out with our big bikes this day promoting the #DriveHope campaign. Our partner Point West Credit Union is donating $5 dollars per hashtag (#DriveHope) to raise awareness for Metropolitan Family Service’sWays to Work” program, helping families get to work (with purchasing a car, refinancing, repairs). We will be encouraging folks to share what drives them while handing out free goodies along the way. Find us to help the cause and grab some swag!

Also, you can end the Sunday Parkways season big by exploring the new Tilikum Crossing Bridge of the People and the Sellwood area on Sept 27th (11am-4pm – 7 miles). This new route will include the Tilikum Crossing and circle the Sellwood area introducing participants to the Westmoreland, Sellwood Parks plus Brooklyn School Park where music, food, and fun are waiting.

See you on the Parkways!

Top 10 Picks for the Dog Days of Summer

August 14th, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo

It’s the end of days, folks; the dog days of summer. Before you know it the trees will be changing and the weather will be cooling back down. I love fall in Portland but I’m definitely not ready to let summer go. You can’t beat the warm evenings and hot weekend days–and it’s been HOT! Before it’s too late, we recommend you get your barely clad booty out to some of these uniquely Portland outdoor happenings.


The last Sundown Concert is Sept. 3rd. Featuring kids who rock: School of Rock!


Sunday Parkways. Dont miss the last two rides.


The 2nd Annual Jade Night Market, August 22nd

For your handy end of summer planning, we’ve listed our top 10 picks:

  1. Concerts in the Park: There’s still a few of these left in late August. Grab a picnic, a blanket, and a buddy and enjoy some outdoor music.
  2. Movies in the Park: Some good ones still left in August and early September, lots of family friendly titles including: Back to the Future, Toy Story, and Maleficent.
  3. Sundown Concerts / First Thursdays: These concerts happen every summer and coincide with First Thursdays in the Pearl. The next concert is Sept. 3, presented by EcoTrust and will feature two bands: Horse Feathers and School of Rock.
  4. Rooftop Cinema: NW Film Center presents movies under the stars downtown all summer (atop Hotel deLuxe), the last one will be Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life!
  5. Urban Air Market: August 30th in the Pearl District, the Urban Air Market is a curated outdoor marketplace for sustainable design. Head out to shop local!
  6. Jade Night Market: August 22nd, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon and the Jade District will be hosting the second annual Jade International Night Market. The Jade International Night Market will feature 80 vendors representing the diverse culture of the Jade District, including food, retail and non-profit booths.
  7. Concerts at the Zoo: What what? Upcoming performers include Chris Isaak, Huey Lewis and the News, Weird Al, and Garrison Keillor.
  8. Sunday Parkways: SE Sunday Parkways is coming up on August 23rd. Tilikum Crossing/Sellwood ride is on Sept. 27th. This is an awesome event and we will be out there too on the big bikes. Great for the whole family and lots of giveaways throughout the ride. And it’s FREE!
  9. The 2nd Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational: The month long East Burn fundraiser for the Portland Women’s Crisis Line culminates with the Invitational, August 29th at 5pm. 9 local restaurants will compete to win “Best Grilled Cheese.” Games and live music too. Half of all ticket sales go to the Portland Women’s Crisis Line.
  10. Get thee to the river: If you haven’t yet swum in a river, you gotta do it ASAP. Get thee to a swimming hole, Portlander! Here’s a good list of Oregon’s 25 best.

Grab your fanny pack and make it happen, friends. See you on the streets!

LARDO and GRASSA are Here

August 12th, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo

Two Stellar Additions to Our Delivery Stable


Drool. Lardo sammys are so good.

Recently, Portland Pedal Power added two culinary superstars to our vendor list: Lardo and Grassa. Both restaurants are part of the ChefStable, a restaurant group behind some of the best restaurants in the city. We are excited to begin delivering heaping piles of yum from these two bigwigs. Need a Lardo office lunch or a Grassa pasta bar? Call us.

LARDO: Starting life as a food cart in SE Portland, rarely has a spot been so aptly named. Rocking an ancient charcuterie moniker that truly serves as a harbinger of things to come, Lardo is a sandwich shop that worships at the alter of  bovine & swine. Using old-world techniques, contemporary flourishes and a gonzo approach, Lardo proudly celebrates its excesses. Pushing a menu that features pork drenched double burgers, a giant meatball Banh Mi, and hand-cut french fries (again) smothered in pork, Lardo also has beer. Lots of beer, actually. Rotating taps of knee-buckling craft brew greatness, backed-up with a refreshing mix of premium cocktails. Operating on both sides of the river at SE Hawthorne and SW Washington, as well as up North on Williams Lardo serves as a mecca for those seeking a unique deli experience.


Handmade pasta dishes and swanky salads

GRASSA: Despite the epic eagle motif on the wall, the stoner-rock on the turntable and general industrial feel of the place, you cannot get a tattoo at Grassa. You can, however, get meticulously crafted bowls of fresh pasta on the fly, paired with traditional and seasonal salads, delicious appetizers and tasty cocktails. The brainchild of Lardo kingpin Rick Gencarelli, Grassa pushes the concept of artisan comfort food slung in a no-frills fashion. But don’t get us wrong; the sounds of throttled guitars and pummeled drums may echo through the place, but Grassa has nothing but love for you. When enjoying Rick’s family meatballs coupled with a refreshing Coca-Cola & red wine cooler, taking in the newly born pasta packaged and available for your take home enjoyment, try to not notice the heart on their sleeve.


The handcrafted interior of Grassa.

Behind both these popular eateries is chef Rick Gencarelli. Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Rick spent four years as sous chef at Todd English’s Olives. Rick moved cross country to San Francisco where he worked at both Rubicon and One Market restaurants. He crossed the continent once again to open Miramar Restaurant and Olives Restaurant in New York City. Later, Rick became the Chef at the Inn at Shelburne Farms, located on the non-profit environmental education center and working farm in Shelburne, Vermont. In 2009, Rick and his family moved to Portland, drawn to the diverse food culture and its commitment to local, sustainable, farm to table cuisine. Rick opened Lardo as a food cart in September 2010, and now has three thriving brick-and-mortar restaurants.