Fall 2023 Adaptive BIKETOWN Newsletter

Welcome to Adaptive BIKETOWN’s second newsletter of 20! We hope these letters keep you in tune with our work all throughout the year.
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2023 Adaptive BIKETOWN Fall Newsletter

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Welcome to the fourth edition of the Adaptive BIKETOWN newsletter, brought to you by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and Kerr Bikes. We have closed out our 2023 season with the highest ridership and rental numbers ever! Our workgroup from spring 2023 shared ways they thought the Adaptive program could reach more people, and it seems like we delivered!  

Here is a reminder that the shop is closed for the season for regular hours, but bikes are still available to rent through the fall and winter by reservation.  

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2023 Highlights

Adaptive BIKETOWN had a busy summer packed with partner events. We kicked off the season with Buddy Rides, participating in Sunday Parkways, and tabling at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society “Bike MS” event. We were also thrilled to start new partnerships with local high schools. The Kerr Bikes OMSI location operated with extended hours all summer, and we had our highest ridership numbers to date! In case you missed it, Adaptive BIKETOWN was featured on the Better Bike Share Partnership’s page in a blog series highlighting adaptive bike programs across the country. 

As the warm bike season comes to a close, we are working hard planning for the 2024 season. Read on for more details on what Adaptive BIKETOWN did this summer and what's in store for next year.   

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2023 Adaptive BIKETOWN Community Engagement

This past year provided countless opportunities to get out in the community to share Adaptive BIKETOWN with people who have never heard of the program and others who are regular users. Here are some of the events, organizations and groups we had the pleasure of connecting with: 

Community Service Network & Meadowlark Disability Resource Fair (April) 

As the rain began to dry up and Portland’s cycling season commenced, Adaptive BIKETOWN dove into outreach by connecting with high school youth in transition programs as well as youth and adults with developmental disabilities to bring awareness to the adaptive bike resources and to sign people up for BIKETOWN for All.  

Hosting school field trips (Starting in April) 

While at the resource fair, we got to know folks at the Life Education for Adults in Parkrose program, also known as LEAP. Our conversations led to supporting groups of students riding adaptive bikes at our OMSI location as a LEAP field trip. 

Victory Academy, a private school focusing on the needs of youth who have autism, also contacted us about group adaptive rides at our OMSI location! 

We are excited for future partnerships with schools or groups who would like to plan field trips to our OMSI location to ride along the waterfront. If you would like to organize a group ride, don’t hesitate to reach out at info@kerrbikes.org.  

Ride with a Buddy (third Saturdays of the month, May-August) 

As a result of the spring 2023 workgroup, Adaptive BIKETOWN hosted four Buddy Rides, two led by PBOT and two that were led by The Street Trust, that toured the East Bank Esplanade and Springwater Corridor. One or two new riders were paired up with an Adaptive staff member who served as a support system along the bike route. Rides started at Kerr Bikes’ red shed (next to OMSI) and concluded with pizza, drinks, catching up with old friends and making new ones at Tilikum Station Brewing. The rides fostered a space for connecting with others, learning about adaptive bikes, as well as gaining confidence and familiarity riding adaptive bikes in Portland.  

Seven people riding different adaptive bikes passing by on a sunny day by the river and downtown Portland buildings.
Buddy ride along the Eastbank Esplanade (Photo: PBOT)

We hope to continue Buddy Rides and are workshopping what that will look like in the future. Stay tuned for updates!

Sunday Parkways (May, June, and September) 

We commemorated the first Sunday Parkways of the season by gathering at Gateway Discovery Park to get the word out about Adaptive BIKETOWN. We also had several adaptive bikes on hand for people to reserve and ride! 

As part of this year’s Sunday Parkways Cully event, Adaptive BIKETOWN joined forces with Adaptive Sports NW and Portland Shriners for one of the biggest group adaptive rides in Portland! 

A group of people gathered around various adaptive bikes on a sunny day.
Sunday Parkways at NE Cully (Photo: PBOT)

We closed out a great summer of Sunday Parkways by tabling to raise awareness about Adaptive BIKETOWN at the Multnomah Village Arts Center.  

Transitions Projects Veteran Ride (June) 

We ventured out to inform veterans with disabilities about Adaptive BIKETOWN and BIKETOWN For All at Transitions Projects’ Veteran Ride.  

Kerr Fun Zone (last Tuesdays, May-August) 

This year we debuted a fun monthly event at the Kerr Bikes/Adaptive BIKETOWN location featuring games, prizes, food, and bike rides. Kerr Fun Zone events provided Albertina Kerr program participants consisting of youth and adults who have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, with ways to let loose and enjoy the nice weather. 

National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Bike MS event (September) 

The Adaptive BIKETOWN crew was invited to be part of the fun at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Bike MS event hosted at the Evergreen Space and Aviation Museum in McMinnville. Not only did we table and have adaptive bikes on display, but we also provided bikes for people to ride during Bike MS’s “Victory Lap,” which is a short ride inaugurating the start of numerous long-distance bike rides that help raise funds to support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. 

Multnomah County Adult Care Home Conference (September) 

This conference let us connect with providers and residents of adult care homes to offer up the use of our adaptive bike fleet while also demonstrating how to make the most of our equipment. 

Future community engagement… 

While we made the most of this past summer and fall, we are energized about offering Adaptive BIKETOWN to even more people! If you want to do a group ride, let us know! Go to adaptivebiketown.com/reservations to reserve a bike and let us know you are coming. Note: Kerr Bikes and Boats is closed during the winter and available by reservation only. See you soon! 

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Bike Fleet updates!

Who would we be if we didn’t update you on the thing that has brought us all together, the Adaptive BIKETOWN fleet?!

The Adaptive BIKETOWN fleet keeps growing with over 30 total bikes! You can see some of our fleet on the Adaptive BIKETOWN website here. Of our fleet, the bikes that racked up the most miles were the side-by-side tandem and Delta trike. How lucky are we to be adding a side-by-side tandem (featured below) and an in-line tandem to our fleet later this month (November 2023), courtesy of a donation made by Shriners Hospital!? 

Green side-by-side tandem bike
Side-by-side tandem bike being donated by Shriners Hospital. (Photo: PBOT)

Highest ridership numbers and new bikes!

With our fleet larger than ever, it makes sense that ridership is also at an all-time high, totaling 438 rides January - October 2023! That's a 79% increase over last year! We’re thrilled with the direction we’re heading but know we can do more.  

We started the 2023 season with a very limited selection of adaptive bikes for smaller statured riders. However, we’ve purchased two bikes suitable for children or adults who are 36-60 inches tall and who have limited mobility and balance. The AmTryke ProSeries 1412 and AmTryke ProSeries 1416 have torso supports, foot straps, and steering handles in the back so someone can help guide the bike if needed. Both bikes are fixed-gear, so when the rider slows down or stops pedaling, the bike slows down or stops. Fixed gear trikes help young or inexperienced riders stay in control of where they go while also helping build leg strength and coordination. 

Red three-wheeled bike with supportive backrest
The AmTryke ProSeries 1416 is a three-wheeled bike. It features torso and feet straps, as well as an additional steering handle on the back. (Photo: AmTryke)
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The AmTryke ProSeries 1412 is a three wheeled bike. It has a low center of gravity for a stable ride. (Photo: AmTryke)

What’s Next?

As we come down from the high that was the 2023 cycling season, we plan to use the rain and lower temperatures to cozy up, clean house, and get our adaptive bike fleet in tip-top shape! We continue to take feedback from our workgroup to see how we can reach more people in 2024, connect to more partners, and create more opportunities with schools. 

With our bike fleet continuing to grow and evolve, we will be taking inventory and finding new homes for bikes we are no longer using.  

If you could use your own adaptive bike, please let us know your needs and we may have a bike available for donation (info@kerrbikes.org).  

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Adaptive BIKETOWN 

Friday-Monday (11 a.m. - 5 p.m.) 

1945 SE Water Ave., Bldg B (big red barn next to OMSI)   

Portland, OR 97214 

Closed for winter season - Available by reservation only at https://adaptivebiketown.com/reservations 

Adaptive BIKETOWN Website: www.adaptivebiketown.com 

Kerr Bikes Customer Service  

​Email: info@kerrbikes.org 

Phone: 503-802-5271 or 311 afterhours  

Adaptive BIKETOWN program questions, comments & feedback   

Email: sharedmicromobility@portlandoregon.gov 

Phone: 311 (503-823-4000)