Meghan Sinnott B.A. ’05
September 18, 2012
Robert M Reynolds
Sometimes you start riding just because you keep missing the bus. “I would get myself out to 39th and Hawthorne and miss the last shuttle back to the college,” says Meghan Sinnott, reflecting on her undergraduate days at Lewis & Clark. “I finally realized I could take my bike on the shuttle and have more freedom.”
What began as a practical measure became an academic interest. “I asked my advisor, Associate Professor Deborah Heath, if I could write my thesis on bicycle subcultures of Portland,” Sinnott says. She was, she says, the college’s first sociology and anthropology major to write a thesis on bicycling.
“At the time, I was so new to biking and to Portland that I basically went to every single bike event that I could,” Sinnott says. She hasn’t stopped. Today, Sinnott is a regular volunteer at community bicycling events around the city, including the monthlong bicycle festival Pedalpalooza, the Oregon Manifest bicycle design competition, and the Filmed by Bike film festival.
In 2011, Sinnott and another writer, Elly Blue, published PDX by Bike, a 32-page pocket guide to Portland bike culture, infrastructure, history, and events for visitors. (They sell it packaged with Matthew Hampton’s “Bike There!” map through their website.) And she was recently hired by Nutcase Helmets, a Portland-based manufacturer of fashion-forward bicycle helmets, as an office manager and sales representative.
“It’s so exciting to be working full time in [the bicycle industry],” Sinnott says. “The first week nthey asked me, ‘Can you take these people fromout of town on a bike ride?’ And I said, ‘Yes! Yes!’”
Read more about how other alumni continue to put the bicycling stamp on every area of Portland life.
Started Go By Bike which provides valet bicycle parking, bicycle rentals, and repair services.
The City of Portland’s transportation policy director and former executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.
Senior cartographer for Metro.
Owner of Sellwood Cycle Repair.
Program manager at Alta Planning and Design, a bicycle and pedestrian planning and design firm.
Author and advocate for women building bicycle-related businesses.