Riding Healthy: How Physical Therapy Can Improve Your Commute

July 30th, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo
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Kevin and Andy (PPP) outside the shop

Recently I met with Kevin Schmidt, the Owner/Founder of Pedal PT, one of the only physical therapy offices in Portland specializing in physical therapy for cyclists and bike fitting. Kevin found his passion during a major life shift: In 2007 he left a corporate job and took a massive pay cut in favor of reducing his car commute and working closer to home. He started riding to work every day and while he felt miles better physically and mentally, he noticed that daily cycling was taking a toll. He found that even in his field of physical therapy the answers he was getting about how to avoid this were incomplete, so he set out to learn more about how to fix this. “85% of people who ride regularly develop pain,” Kevin says. “What we do is look at the body, the posture, the pedal style, and adjust the bike from a holistic perspective. We see dozens of people a week just for bike fit.”

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Kevin in the Pedal PT bike fit shop

The office is centrally located in the Clinton district with indoor bike parking, in a gorgeous open office space. They’ll adjust the bike in-house, in the physical therapy/shop pictured to the right. “We’re half physical therapist, half wrench monkey,” says Kevin. While you might spend 300 bucks at some shops for non-medical bike fitting, Pedal PT offers bike fit from a specialized physical therapist for $150, without the product upselling you might get at a shop.

Kevin is one of the more passionate folks I’ve met–a bike geek and cycling advocate–involved in the community and excited about it. His Rivendell bike is swoon inducing and I’m pretty sure I need a bike fit ASAP, since I ride everywhere and don’t own a car. In other words, I’m sold.

Top 5 Ways to Spark Creativity in Portland

July 29th, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo

There isn’t a better time than summer to step outside and expose yourself to art. We’re a city of creatives and now more than ever the city is buzzing with creative events and artistic enclaves. The best way to spark creativity is to get out and witness it in person. Take yourself out one of these summer days and get exposed. Here’s our top five favorite ways:

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    PPP team members being artful at the museum

    Portland Art Museum (PAM): Located smack dab downtown on the park blocks, PAM is a quick hop and a skip for those who work and create downtown. It is the seventh oldest museum in the United States and the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. The Museum is internationally recognized for its permanent collection and ambitious special exhibitions. We recently took a daytime team outing to the museum, taking a moment away from deliveries and promotions to witness the dramatic Gods & Heroes Exhibit (and to take some silly photos inspired by the lush paintings and sculptures). Hot tip: The museum is now offering a Creative License for just $40 a year, which is a total steal. You can use it to access the Museum and the NW Film Center all year long. You’ll also get the inside scoop on programs, lectures, events, and opportunities. This is by far one of the best ways we can think to keep the creative fuel burning during the lazy summer months and into the more focused fall and winter days. On August 21st, the museum will host its first ever Monster Drawing Rally (MDR), a live drawing event and fundraiser featuring more than 75 Portland-based artists. Part performance, part laboratory, part art bazaar, the Monster Drawing Rally is a great opportunity to watch some of your favorite Portland artists create original drawings from a blank page. Inspiration strikes!

  2. Rooftop Cinema at NW Film Center: Experience great films under the stars in the warm evenings, films like Almodóvar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (showing August 6th), as well as kitchy drive-in movies at Zidell Yards. The Film Center is currently in the middle of a Paul Thomas Anderson program called “The Art of Reinvention: Paul Thomas Anderson and His Influences.” The film center also hosts a variety of film festivals year round; next up is the Fresh Film NW, a festival celebrating young filmmakers. Getting a Creative License from PAM also gives you reduced tickets to the NW Film Center and it’s unique offerings.
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    Our bike out at First Thursdays in the Pearl.

    First and Last Thursdays: First Thursdays are a monthly art event in the Pearl, well-known and well attended. Ambling in the Pearl in and out of the galleries is a sure fire way to spark the art bug. We’re usually out with our bikes, cruising the galleries and drinking free wine. The Last Thursdays on Alberta is definitely not-to-be-missed. A community grown event, Last Thursdays is a great place to view and buy local art, get activated to create, and listen to live music.

  4. Portland Opera: If you need more drama in your life and swelling emotions welling up in the center of your chest, visit the Portland Opera. Guaranteed to make you sigh heartily and make your eyes gleam. One of the more creative programs out there, the Portland Opera often re-imagines traditional Operatic styles, like the current offering The Elixir of Love.
  5. Literary Arts/Portland Arts and Lectures: Just as summer is waning, the Portland Arts and Lectures season begins, spewing inspiration all over the stage. In addition to live events that are broadcast statewide on OPB, this program connects renowned authors with readers and writers of all ages through classroom visits and writing workshops. The coming 31st season features some of the most influential writers at work today; novelists, journalists, essayists, and poets who have won the most prestigious awards in their profession. Influence your own scribbles with literary exposure. Full speed ahead!

 

Maximize Your Weekend, PDX

July 23rd, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo

Hope to see you this weekend at Sunday Parkways!

Summer in Portland means patios, rivers, bikes, and beer. It means: get busy and get outside. This weekend Portland Pedal Power will be out in maximum, cruising our big bikes round a handful of hot summer happenings. On Saturday we will be hitting the Saturday Market and the Oregon Brewer’s Festival riverside at Waterfront Park. You can easily do both on Saturday and still have time to hit the PSU Farmers Market to shop for dinner (if you’re not too sauced!).

On Sunday, we’ll be riding the Sunday Parkways NE route in style with our Point West bikes. Sunday Parkways is an excellent event for the family or a daytime date and you’ll score lots of free stuff from vendors along the way. We will be stopping occasionally to hand out sunglasses and blinky bike lights to spread the word about the #DriveHope Campaign. There’s always a good smattering of yummy food cart options too.

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Get your golf on at the Portland Classic, coming up

Summer in Portland also means planning ahead. Weekends fill up quick! We will be cruising all these events to help promote the upcoming Cambia Portland Classic, the longest-running non-major tournament on the LPGA tour, returning to Columbia Edgewater Country Club August 13-16. This will be the 44th year that the LPGA has come to Portland, and it’s getting better every year.

Last year some of Portland’s most iconic food carts were added, including KOi Fusion and Retrolicious, returning this year. The Craft Beer center will also return this year, featuring some of the Northwest’s best microbrews. The tournament promises to feature many of the worlds best golfers.

This year they’ve added the Portland Classic Sprint to the Green 5K, a race on the golf course prior to the final round on Sunday, August 16. Tickets for the event are available online at portlandclassic.com. Weekly passes are $25 and daily tickets are $10, and children 17 and under are free. All ticket proceeds go to charity.

Get crackin’ Portland! Summer doesn’t last forever!

 

Hashtag Your Story to Help Drive Hope

July 22nd, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo
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Hashtag it! The Portland Unipiper did!

Portland Pedal Power has partnered with Point West Credit Union in support of raising funds and awareness for the Metropolitan Family Service’sWays to Work” program. To promote the awesome #DriveHope campaign, we will be out on the bikes at Sunday Parkways this weekend passing out some swag: free sunglasses and free blinky bike lights supplied by Point West.

The goal this summer is to help our community by sharing stories of what inspires or drives YOU. We want to hear what motivates you in your work life, personal life, and beyond. Share your stories or photos with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with the hashtag #DriveHope and for every entry received, Point West will donate $5.00 (up to $2,500) to Metropolitan Family Service’s “Ways to Work” program. Plus, you’ll be entered to win a $250 VISA Gift Card!

For some parents, getting to work can be such a challenge, they run the risk of losing their jobs. Not to mention the added stress of getting kids to childcare and to school. The ability to access affordable loans to purchase, repair, or refinance a car can be a life-changing experience for working parents. As part of the national Ways to Work program, Metropolitan Family Service is getting parents on the road when they need it most.

The #DriveHope Campaign will run from July 1 to August 31, 2015. You can post your photos and stories to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram – just remember to use the hashtag #DriveHope to have your entry counted! The more platforms that you share your story on, the better your chances of winning. Be sure to encourage your friends and family to participate – we will also be giving away a $100 VISA Gift Card to a second lucky participant.

To learn more about Metropolitan Family Service visit metfamily.org.

Grand prize and runner- up prize winners will be chosen at random. Each unique story/photo equals one entry. Visit facebook.com/pointwest for updates!

We’re Hitting the Streets with A Taste of Greek!

July 21st, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo
Photo Credit to Erik L. from Yelp

Photo Credit to Erik L. from Yelp

Portland Pedal Power is now delivering food from the long running and much-loved food cart, A Taste of Greek. Dishing up great food and welcoming smiles, the owner Jota and his right-hand/manager/marketing strategist Rodrigo, have consistently been rated best gyro in town. Check it out: visitors and locals alike praise the 5-star Super Lamb Gyro like crazy on Yelp.

The secret is simple: the best quality ingredients prepared by hand and from scratch by two Brazilian guys with giant smiles. The friendly customer service is highly valued by regulars, so we recommend you stop by the next chance you get, or even better, have a Super Gyro delivered direct to your office. What better way to wow your coworkers than organizing the next office lunch with authentic and savory lamb gyros, crispy falafel, stuffed grapes leaves, and smoky baba ghannoug?

Greek food is always best in summer, something about the combination of flavorful meat or falafel topped with cool minty yogurt sauce, lemony hummus, and crisp salads.

Check out the menu online, our favorites include:

Gyros – The main event at A Taste of Greek, marinated chunks of lamb or chicken serviced in pita bread with tiziki sauce, onion, parsley, and loaded with fresh lettuce and tomatoes.

Chicken Plate – Grilled chicken with rice, greek salad, and tiziki sauce. Served with pita bread.

Baba Ghannoug w/pita – Grilled eggplant with garlic, lemon and tahini sauce. On of my favorites: smoky eggplant and lemon, so much yum.

Kafta Plate – Ground Lamb with rice, greek salad, and tiziki sauce. Served with pita bread.

Ready to treat yourself? Make sure you drop by our menu and see what strikes your fancy.

Introducing…New People at PPP!

July 17th, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo

Howdy folks! I just joined Portland Pedal Power as the new Marketing Specialist, and I couldn’t be more excited to be working with the fabulous team here. So far I’ve toured the town on the big bikes, attended a Sundown Concert with Ecotrust, visited the new exhibit at the Portland Art Museum with some of our team, and have met with several of our great sponsors and partners. I’m excited to help grow social media, strengthen partnerships, and further develop our marketing strategy. The amazing Peter Wang also just joined the team as the new Vendor Relations Manager, and we took a moment to interview each other. This is the magic that happened:

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Peter being techy in the shop.

MD: So Peter, tell me why you are an amazing person.
PW: I am not so much an amazing person. I am just amazed a lot.

MD: Are you excited about joining the PPP team?
PW: Yeah, I mean, I get to ride bikes and get paid for it. It’s like a reverse gym membership.

MD: What background do you bring to Portland Pedal Power?
PW: I graduated from Oregon State University with a business degree, but I am also interested in tech stuff like the cloud and user experience. I’m halfway between computer nerd and business bro.

MD: So you call yourself a nerd. What’s the nerdiest thing about you?
PW: I play StarCraft. I know the characters and I am sad that they are concluding the story after 17 years this winter. On the other hand, I did get into beta fairly quickly. I have that going for me, I guess. One thing to be sure, though, is that a part of me will never be the same once the Legacy of the Void (the final part of the story) ends. That’s the day I will have to carry on my own journey without the Protoss fighting along with me. En taro Tassadar!
(Maria blinks uncomprehendingly)

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Don’t worry, I always wear a helmet.

PW: Maria, let’s start with a story. What was it like riding the big bike in high heels?
MD: Well here’s the thing, biking in heels is easier than walking in heels, and even though the guys in the office raised their eyebrows, I did take the big bike out the first time with a new pair of wood heeled wedge pumps, and I looked FANTASTIC. Or at least, I felt like I did.

PW: I know the words wood, heeled, wedge, and pumps on their own, but I have no idea what they mean when they come together.
MD: That is the number one reason I am needed here at PPP.
(Peter blinks uncomprehendingly)

PW: What did you study and why did you choose your major?
MD: I was a Literature major at UC Santa Cruz and I chose it because I like to read and write things.  I then went on to get a graduate MFA degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Then somehow I ended up working in Marketing (which I dig). I still write stuff; I am working to finish a novel.

PW: What made you want to work for PPP?
MD: I come from a recent longtime marketing job working with urban planners and transportation nerds. I was a bikey person already but I got even more bikey working with them. I really like the idea of working for a bike-based business, I love the food in Portland, and I’m excited to engage more with the community. There are so many awesome partners and sponsors and restaurants and food carts working with Portland Pedal Power. So, this job really rests at the intersection of several of my passions.
(Peter and Maria end the interview abruptly to eat pizza)

***

Both of us are super excited to join the excellent group here at PPP. Say hi if you see us on the bikes or at the food carts!

A Sweet and Savory Addition: Sunee Thai & Lao

July 14th, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo

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Thai food is definitely a comfort food for me. The combination of sweet and savory spices, bright veggies and basil, and coconut-based curries and soups never fail to satisfy. If you’re like me, you crave Thai at least once a week. So let’s get you some!

Portland Pedal Power is proud to deliver for Sunee Thai & Lao, a local restaurant located in the historic Buckman neighborhood. Sunee Thai & Lao offers authentic Thai food as well as unique Lao influenced dishes. Everything from hot curries and noodle dishes to deep fried hard boiled eggs.

Now you can get Thai delivered hot and piping right to your office. Some Sunee stand-outs include:

sunee1Lemongrass Chicken: Chicken breast marinated with lemongrass and then grilled to perfection, served on a bed of vegetables topped with peanut sauce. 

Pad Phet Pla Duke: Cripsy, boneless morsels of catfish, plus eggplant, bamboo shoot, basil, bell pepper, kaffir lime leaf, and Kha-chai root stir-fried with red chili paste and fresh coconut milk. 

Pineapple Fried Rice: Jasmine rice with pineapple, vegetables, and egg fried with a special curry powder plus cashew nuts, raisins and shrimp. 

Rice noodles wok-fried in a light but sweet, red sauce with egg, bean sprout, onion, and ground peanuts. This dish is consistently highly rated by customers, many who swear it’s the best Pad Thai around.

Ready to get a taste of Sunee Thai & Lao? Check out our menu and get things cooking!

 

PPP at PAM: Our Staff Explore the Portland Art Museum

July 8th, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo
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Our Account Rep. Andy has the courage to ride bikes and see art. DO YOU?

Yesterday, members of the PPP team beat the heat and cooled off in the art infused AC of the Portland Art Museum (PAM). We toured the summer exhibition Gods and Heroes: Masterpieces from the École des Beaux-Arts, ParisBack in the day, the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris was the OG school of fine arts, fostering fierce competition and the emergence of some of Europe’s most renowned artists. The exhibit features art that reenacts Homeric and biblical narratives, including approximately 140 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper dating from antiquity through the nineteenth century.

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Our Rider, Sky, being expressive.

I was struck by the gorgeously rendered bodies, cloaked in shadows but drenched in color. The artists of the École des Beaux-Arts were clearly theatrically inclined and partial to dramatic postures and symbolic staging. There are dragons and fire breathing bulls, folks. Epic. One thing I discovered: avoid pride and boastfulness because the gods will rain down their wrath upon you (wrath=arrows that shall pierce your heart).

Don’t miss the “Expressive Head Competition” sculptures; students of Beaux-Arts were tasked with various competitions where they explored human expressions in stone and marble. Pain, disdain, transcendent admiration. So expressive! We decided to take selfies with our own expressive heads.

For date nights the museum offers reduced admission and extras on Fridays: every Friday after 5pm the museum offers $5 admission, which gives you 3 solid hours to peruse. Every 4th Friday, admission is FREE! As an added bonus, Friday nights at PAM often feature beer and pizza in the pop-up pub, photo booths, and Game of Thrones tours (Wait, what? Yes, please).

I highly recommend heading over to the Portland Art Museum this hot and sticky summer; it is, literally, cooler than most places in Portland and witnessing art activates that internal drive to CREATE and INSPIRE. Step out of the office; go see some art!

Golden Horse Chinese, Brought Directly to Your Door

July 7th, 2015 by Jon
Image taken from user Ayla C. on Yelp

Image taken from user Ayla C. on Yelp

Chinese Food has a way of tying some delicious, unique flavors together into a cohesive meal. It can be hard to get quite right, but when you do, it can make your taste buds dance!

Thats why Portland Pedal Power is very excited to be delivering for Golden Horse Chinese, a delicious Chinese restaurant specializing in providing customers with fast & delicious Chinese and Asian cuisine.

Now. you will be able to enjoy some delicious, authentic Chinese meals without having to travel across the Pacific. Take a look at our menu, where you will find some great meals like:

Peking Duck – a famous dish dating back to the Imperial era of China. Traditionally served w/ scallions, cucumbers, & sweet bean sauce.

Fried Pork with Sweet & Sour Sauce – Popular both in & out of China! Prepared w/ tender pork and the traditional sweet & sour sauce.

Shrimp Fried Rice – Traditional fried rice prepared with a helping of shrimp mixed in.

Vegetable Buddhist Delight – An assortment of vegetables cooked in soy sauce and prepared to your liking.

Ready to enjoy some delicious, authentic Chinese food? Take a look at Golden Horse Chinese on our menu!

Summer Cycling: Enjoying the Outdoors on Two Wheels

July 2nd, 2015 by Jon

TREOAs summer rolls around, many people in Portland look for ways to enjoy themselves outdoors. Some take to hiking, others to swimming. We like to recommend cycling as a great way to get some exercise and burn off some energy, especially when it gets so nice outdoors.

Here are five reasons why you should consider taking up cycling during this summer and enjoy the beautiful summer weather we get to enjoy for the next few months:

Cycling is good for your muscles: If you’ve been on a bike for more than a few minutes, you should be familiar with a burning sensation in your legs. This is, of course, a good thing. Cycling is great for improving the muscles in your thighs, calves, and rear.

Cycling can help with joint conditions: Because cycling is considered a low-impact form of exercise, it can be especially beneficial for those who can’t take part in other higher impact exercises (jogging for example).

Cycling increases lifespan: Cycling has been linked to improving cardiovascular health, and drastically decreases your risk of heart disease. According to the British Medical Association,cycling just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. Discovery Magazine even writes cycling can improve your immune system, and has even shown evidence of fighting cancer. Even when adjusted for risk of injury, cycling has associate with increasing “life-years.”

Cycling improves the waistline: On an average ride, a cyclist will burn approximately 300 calories per hour. An average person will burn approximately 11 pounds of unhealthy fat per year, while building muscle mass and increasing metabolic rate.

Cycling improves mental health: While the physical health benefits are usually very apparent, few consider the mental benefits behind riding a bike. Bicycling has been proven to reduce stress and increase hand-eye coordination among those who choose to cycle a mere 30 minutes a day. The Journal of Occupational Health published an article showing cycling significantly improved mental health among those who choose to commute daily to work.

Some of these benefits may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember you can only take advantage of them if you choose to climb on the bike. The most important thing to remember is that this is an enjoyable experience! Get out and explore some of the fantastic bike trails Portland has to offer!