The Cascade Bicycle Club will be hosting two screenings of VEER, the new film about Portland bike culture, tomorrow night at the Columbia City Cinema, 4816 Rainier Ave S. at 6:30 and 9 pm. Proceeds from the event ($10) will benefit Cascade's Major Taylor Project, which aims to "create a multicultural bicycling community where teenagers have equal opportunity to spend time outdoors and on a bicycle," according to Cascade's web site.

In between, I'll be part of a panel discussion on bike culture in Portland and Seattle, along with Cascade Bicycle Club uber-lobbyist David Hiller and VEER filmmaker Greg Fredette. This panel's especially timely for me, given that I crashed in a pothole on poorly maintained Jackson Street just yesterday (thanks, SDOT!)

VEER is a mixed bag—if you hate PBR-swilling white hipsters, you won't be a fan of the "subculture" segments, which feature downhill races on minibikes, tall-bike jousting and chariot duels, and a synchronized bike-dancing team called The Sprockettes.

Fortunately, those segments are offset by some smart reporting on folks who are trying to make Portland and Oregon as a whole friendlier to cyclists, including Gabe Graff of the Community Cycling Center (slogan: "The bicycle is a tool for empowerment and a vehicle for change"), which runs Bike Camp for kids. There's also a fascinating narrative about the fight in the Oregon legislature to pass the vulnerable users roadway law, which increases the penalty for hurting or killing a cyclist while driving recklessly.

One question I hope will come up during the discussion: Why, if Oregon bike advocates managed to pass the vulnerable user's law by an overwhelming margin, has it been so hard for a similar bill sponsored by Joe McDermott to even get a hearing in Olympia?
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