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.

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GoGreen Portland 2014. Flickr: Photosbykim.com

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.

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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
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Sunday Parkways this Sunday!

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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.

Sundown

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

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Sunday Parkways. Dont miss the last two rides.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Why You Should Switch to a Credit Union ASAP

August 12th, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo
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Bike your way to a better bank!

Back in 2011, during all the activities related to Occupy Wall Street, I took my money out of my big bank and switched to a credit union as part of Bank Transfer Day. It was a small move in the right direction for me. I have never regretted this choice.

Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members rather than to maximize corporate profits like big banks. I can always get someone on the phone, there are no wonky hidden fees, and they have a really usable phone app.

By nature of being member-driven, credit unions tend to be involved in the community and are run under the philosophy of “people helping people.” One of our current partners USAgencies, was founded in 1936 under this foundational philosophy.

Over the years USAgenices has grown to be one of the best member-driven cooperative credit unions in the Pacific Northwest.

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People helping people

As a member, you’ll receive super convenient, anytime-anywhere banking with personal one-on-one service, with access to thousands of ATMs and shared branches, online and mobile banking, and 24-hour phone access.

Over the years, USAgencies has expanded their field of membership to serve many more groups in the Pacific Northwest including: active and retired military personnel; state, county, city and municipal employees; Native Americans; and family members of any eligible member.

USAgencies works to be a consistent resource for members along the path of their financial life. Through the USAgencies Community Giving Team they support the social mission of credit unions – to assist with meeting basic needs and to invest in programs to strengthen and enhance the community.

They also offer some pretty smart tips and tricks for managing home maintenance, encouraging members to use the CU as a resource for putting home equity to work. If you have equity in your home, you can use it for nearly any purpose: remodeling, vacations, debt consolidation, and even education expenses. It’s a way to maximize your assets so you can meet your financial goals.

Look into working with USAgencies and switching to a credit union ASAP, you won’t regret the move!

Our Favorite Time of Year is Here: Bridge Pedal!

August 6th, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo
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Ride with us, Bridgetown!

It’s Portland Pedal Power’s fourth year participating in the awesome event that is Bridge Pedal, a unique opportunity to ride across the city’s majestic bridges, car-free. Six of our fabulous staffers will be riding the bridges on the big bikes and participating in multiple events this action-packed weekend.

During the past 19 years one quarter million people have participated in Providence Bridge Pedal, biking a combined 6 million miles over Portland’s streets and Willamette River bridges. It’s great fun; we think all Portlanders should do it at least once.

Here’s how to get in on the fun this weekend:

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Jenn, Courtney, and Ken

This Saturday we will be out at the Providence Bridge Pedal Health and Wellness Expo. This year’s event will be held at the east end of the new Tilikum Crossing bridge adjacent to OMSI. The expo will be the only place to pick up your ride (or walk) packet before Sunday’s ride. Be sure to stop by on Saturday if you want to avoid the check-in crowd on Sunday morning.

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Find us for free samples, prizes, and more

In addition to picking up your packet at the expo, you can participate in mini trike races with us, grab some swag, or win some prizes or gift certificates to Pacific Pie Company, Súpa Soup, Addy’s Sandwich Bar, and Brunch Box.

The Health and Wellness Expo will be host to booths featuring dozens of health and wellness providers. This event is open to everyone (not just Bridge Pedalers) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 8, and from noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 9.

Also this Sunday (from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.) will be the People’s Preview of Tilikum Crossing, hosted by Providence, TriMet and the City of Portland. It’s a sneak peak for the new bridge and a chance for all community members to walk or bike across Tilikum Crossing before it officially opens in September. This event is separate from Providence Bridge Pedal, with no registration or fees.

On the day of Bridge Pedal, we will start the morning by passing out scrumptous Bowery Bagel samples to the hungry morning riders, then we will be off.

After crossing the Bridge Pedal finish line, the fun continues. All participants receive free admission to the Bite of Oregon food and music festival held in Waterfront Park.

See you on the bridges!

Classic Portland at the Portland Classic

August 4th, 2015 by Maria DeLorenzo
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All proceeds from ticket sales go to charity!

The Cambia Portland Classic, the longest-running non-major tournament on the LPGA tour, will return to Columbia Edgewater Country Club August 13-16. This is the 44th year that the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) has come to Portland, hosting some of the top golfers in the world. This is an iconic Portland golf event and will feature food cart faves like Koi Fusion and Retrolicious as well as a craft beer garden.

Since 1972, the Portland Classic has donated $17M dollars to local children’s charities, such as Red Cross Cascade and the Special Olympics Oregon (SOOR). The list of top ranked players includes Inbee Park, Lydia Ko, and Stacy Lewis–who will be challenging Austin Ernst for the trophy. Other notable players include Paula Creamer, Lexi Thompson, Angela Stanford, Morgan Pressel, and Michelle Wie.

The city of Portland will be getting a lot of press as the event will be covered on the Golf Channel. The purse for the event is $1.3 million dollars!

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Find us this weekend to win free passes and grab some swag.

Portland Pedal Power is going to be out this coming weekend with our mini putting green, where you might score free passes to the event. We will also be handing out some awesome swag: including Portland Classic nylon backpacks and handmade headcovers from local biz Seamus Golf.

We’ll be taking the bikes out to Bite of Oregon, the Portland Saturday Market, and the PSU Farmers Market. We will also be riding BridgePedal on Sunday with our LPGA bikes. Look for us out and about!

“This tournament not only attracts the best women golfers in the world, it also unites our community and reinforces the values of a healthy lifestyle,” said Mark Ganz, president and CEO of Cambia (the event’s title sponsor).

At PPP we are all for raising money for good causes, promoting healthy lifestyles, and women’s sport events. So get your tix quick and join us at the Portland Classic!

A day pass costs only $10, weekly tix only $25, and children under 17 get in free with a ticketed adult. All ticket proceeds go to charity.

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!