Sugar Wheel Work Classes

sugar_logo_topI just ran across these classes at Sugar Wheel Works in Portland. I often build wheels in the summer as I repair the winter weather damage and I am still learning so these look pretty interesting


Sugar Wheel Works is proud to offer free clinics to help you get to know your wheels. Each clinic offers the chance to learn about different elements of wheels and wheel building. There will be time to ask one-on-one questions of the Sugar Wheel Works team, including founder and Master Wheel Builder Jude Gerace.

We call these Clean Hands Clinics because while your brain might get full and messy, your hands will stay perfectly clean. Due to the size of these clinics, students won’t be engaged in hands on learning. If you are interested in more indepth learning, please sign up for one of our classes.

Sugar Wheel works can be found at

Strava Surprise! Your Personal Data Is Not So Personal

From, I was fairly surprised to find Portland purchasing my data.  In the old days of the Internet one asked and folks contributed.  how long until this is fed directly into the “machine” for “public safety” and bikes are tracked, just like cars.  Nitwits.

You can be forgiven for believing that your personal data is actually yours. After all, it’s your email. Your Fitbit. Your GPS device. Or your tractor. The reality of today’s data-obsessed world, however, is that the minute your data hits the cloud, it’s no longer yours. Not even remotely.

In fact, while it’s long been a truism that if you’re not paying for a product, you arethe product, it’s increasingly the case that your data is someone else’s property even when you are paying. But shouldn’t payment give us the option of privacy?

You Ride The Bike; We Mine Your Data

This fact hit home last week when reading that Strava, the tool I use to track my exercise miles, is now selling its user data to governments to help urban planners understand how and where cyclists use public streets. Oregon is the first customer of the service, called Strava Metro, paying Strava $20,000 to use the data for a year. London; Glasgow; Orlando, Fla,; and Alpine Shire in Victoria, Australia, have also signed up.

While I’ve never made any attempt to keep my Strava data confidential—you can see my full history here if you’re so inclined—I assumed that it was, well, mine.

Rookie mistake.

This would be less troubling if Strava were simply using my data. After all, I’m a free rider on the service. I don’t pay Strava for a premium subscription. I’m the product, right?

But Strava is also using its premium subscriber data for Strava Metro. While the company insists it "processes the data to remove all personal information linked to the user," and goes on to stress that "[t]he data provided through Metro has been anonymized and aggregated to a linear map so that cycling activity cannot be associated with a specific member of Strava’s community," there’s still the question of who owns the data in the first place.

The answer, obviously, is Strava. It peddles what you pedal.

All Your Farm Data Are Belong To Us

Think this is simply a problem for consumer-oriented apps? Think again.

Farmers have been collecting data on their farm operations for at least a decade. Farm equipment increasingly churns out data that is collected on servers, to be used by farmers or the equipment companies. In this scenario, farmers continue to own their data and have the option to opt-out of cloud services provided by the equipment companies.

That was then, this is now. With Monsanto, a giant multinational chemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation, on the scene, buying a data analytics company for nearly $1 billion and kicking off its own agriculture analytics service,farmers increasingly worry who owns their data. Monsanto increasingly collects data on individual farms, leading farmers to worry that this data could end up getting sold to rival farms, provide the basis for price discrimination in commodity markets, and other woes.

In theory, farmers can keep all their data to themselves. In practice, however, they can’t, as data on their land is publicly available, as are some data on crop sales. There’s also the risk that farmers who opt out will be mowed under by competitors who utilize Monsanto’s data services.

Can We Buy Privacy?

In this world, farmers still have some flexibility in how they use their data. But what about kids? Data is also being collected on children within schools, potentially mapping the trajectory of their entire academic careers. Google, for its part, electedto stop scanning student emails for advertising purposes, but only in response to a court case.

While government, school and software executives are quick to point to the security of such academic data, data security is as much a chimera as data privacy. Again and again, hackers find a way into credit card and other data. Academic data is no more secure than any other data.

So perhaps this is the lesson: Get over it. That’s certainly the message from the U.S. Department of Education’s first chief privacy officer, Kathleen Styles, who declares, "The only way to make data totally safe is to not ever use it or keep it. That’s not an option."

But perhaps it should be an option not to sell data for those too young to legally opt into having their data commercialized. It also seems like a fair request to expect our personal data to remain ours when we’re actually paying for a service. If I pay for a product, I shouldn’t have to be the product.

Payment should make my data mine.

Interactive Map Tracks Portland Bicycle Maps

Article from KATU

Bicycle Crashes in Portland  OR

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland cyclists have a new tool to examine the safety record of city streets.

A new interactive map from the MIT Media Lab tracks the 1,085 bike crashes that happened in Portland between 2010 and 2013. The numbers show some of the city’s busiest streets are also the ones most likely to see crashes.

Broadway, both the northeast and northwest sections, saw the biggest number of crashes. In the three-year period examined, there were ther 78 reported crashes. Southeast Division came in second with 49 crashes. Hawthorne and Burnside tied for third with 38 crashes. Southeast 82nd Avenue rounded out the top five with 35 reported crashes.

"For some who who look at the data a lot, this isn’t new," said Rob Sadowsky, executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. "But it does showcase that people are choosing to ride on larger arterial strees like Broadway and Hawthorne."

Just like those who commute in their cars, bike commuters tend to want to reach their destination as fast as possible. That helps explain why so many cyclists are seen on busy roads.

"If you want to travel more quickly, if you’re one of the faster commuters, you get a little stuck or slowed down on the neighborhood greenway system," said Sadowsky. "It’s nice to have those arterial opportunities."

If anything, Sadowsky hopes an examination of the map will encourage cyclists to be more aware.

"If you’re traveling on one of the busier streets, be a little more cautious," said Sadowsky. "Behave more predictably, be seen and be clearly seen and watch for doors opening in that door zone."

How a blue light can keep cyclists from seeing red

From OregonLive

Q: At the intersection of Northeast Sandy Boulevard, 57th Avenue and Alameda Street, the eastbound traffic signal has a little bright blue light just to the right of the red light. Just what is the purpose, function of the blue light?

A: As if that six-way interchange weren’t chaotic enough, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has indeed installed a freaky, brilliant blue LED that appears to be the Eye of Sauron’s little brother.

Stay cool. It’s not watching you. It’s not the ghost of a Kmart special. It’s not revving up to hit you with a proton blast. It comes in peace with a mission to keep bicyclists from getting impatient and running red lights.

You see, when bicyclists approach a red light at a busy intersection, they often fail to position themselves where underground magnetic signal-detection loops can sense their bikes’ metal. When the signal ignores them and refuses to turn green, the bike riders understandably feel they have no choice but to blow the red.

Enter the little blue light mounted next to the red light. It’s attached to the wire coming from the induction loop. When the LED shines, bicyclists know they’re in the sweet spot for detection and a green is on the way.

In fact, over the past two years, the city has installed “detector confirmation lights” at five intersections in Northeast and Southeast Portland. A sixth is planned at Southwest Moody Avenue and Sheridan Street along the South Waterfront.

“These are experimental in nature, and we’re discussing these as a potential new device,” said Peter Koonce, PBOT’s signal, street lighting and intelligent traffic systems manager.

That discussion will happen this summer before the National Committee of the Uniform Traffic Control Devices, where Portland’s trials with intelligent transportation systems are often highlighted. The committee may eventually endorse the technology to be used around the country.

Before people start grumbling about the city spending more money on bicycles when there are potholes to be patched, I should mention that these devices are only $125 each. That’s a steal in the big-budget world of modern traffic-control devices. (It usually costs taxpayers more than $250,000 to purchase and install a new traffic signal.)

Also, if you’re going to complain about the city spending money on these gadgets, you have no right to rant about cyclists ignoring red lights. The LEDs also help motorcyclists, who also have difficulty triggering signals.

Portland is also experimenting with painting bicycle symbols over a neon green background on the pavement above signal loops.

But paint is apparently more expensive than LEDs in the long run. “Our cost estimate of striping markings for detectors is a bit higher,” Koonce said, “and the maintenance is higher because they wear out.”

5 of America’s 100 Best Beer Bars are in Portland

According to Draft Magazine who rated America’s 100 best beer bars for 2013, these Portland Bars are in the top 100 of the country.  Stop in to all of them.

Yes, thanks for the input, I know I put Seattle Bars in there as well, but hey, I drive up there a lot.


APEX | Portland, Ore.

Whether you’re inside the sleek aluminum bar eyeing the real-time digital tap menu or out front tipping back pints on the fleet of picnic tables, Apex’s hoppy list of 50 brews is the perfect intro to the IBU-centric taste of the Pacific Northwest. 1216 SE Division St.,

BAILEY’S TAP ROOM | Portland, Ore.

There’s no better place in downtown Portland to submerse yourself in beer than Bailey’s: Fresh hoppy flavor pours from 20 rotating taps while the locale’s exposed brick, shiny wrap-around wood bar and two-story windows blends city-chic with rustic Northwest attitude. 213 SW Broadway,

BELMONT STATION | Portland, Ore.

Part bottle shop, part biercafé with all the neighborhood charm you can stomach: This is the spot to tip back a few pints during one of the many (like, multi-weekly) intimate beer events, then pop into the adjacent bottle shop and pick from more than 1,300 beers to take home. Need advice? The staff’s always on point with tips for newcomers. 4500 SE Stark St.,


This neighborly West Seattle pub feels like your grandpa’s den—if your grandpa stocked nearly 200 craft bottles and scored rare kegs from Two Beers and Ninkasi. Just try to find Triplehorn Landwink IPA on cask somewhere else: You won’t. 6413 California Ave. S.W.,

HORSE BRASS PUB | Portland, Ore.

You can credit this well-worn, 37-year-old bucket-list bar as one of the nation’s original craft houses. Packed to the gills with classic beer memorabilia and stocked with every stalwart and newfangled beer imaginable, this English-style pub is beer Nirvana. 4534 SE Belmont St.,


A superclean, sprawling space posted with flatscreens and one of the Northwest’s greatest regional tap selections? A rare combo, but it’s exactly what you get at this laid-back tavern. Watch for head-spinning one-offs like early fall’s Notorious ALT, an imperial altbier the taphouse brewed with Ninkasi and Skagit River. 8564 Greenwood Ave.,


Shooting to the top of Seattle’s beer scene is this brand-new, airy beer bastion inside a former Capitol Hill funeral home. More than 30 taps and the world’s only built-in Randall pours Evil Twin Hop Flood, Mad Viking Bourbon Imperial Stout and Snipes Mountain lager through chilies, limes and cilantro. 1600 Melrose Ave.,

BestBar_west2-300x199SARAVEZA BOTTLE SHOP & PASTY TAVERN | Portland, Ore.

Retro beer-brand bric-a-brac fills every crook and wall of this little corner joint beloved by local brewers, while potato-stuffed pasties and Packers football drives home that Wisconsin feel—the stellar West Coast beer selection, however, is decidedly Portlandish. 1004 N. Killingsworth St.,



If you never make it to Belgium, this Capitol Hill hole in the wall is the next best thing. Dark and gritty, the place isn’t much to look at, but its unalloyed devotion to Belgian beers—Belgo-brewed and American-made, fresh and vintage, draft and bottle—makes the Monk one of the beer-geek greats. 1635 E. Olive Way, 206.860.0916