September 18, 2012

Ellee Thalheimer BA ’02

Ellee Thalheimer is an author and advocate for women building bicycle-related businesses.
  • Robert M Reynolds

Ellee Thalheimer started her cycle-touring career—that is, long-range tourism by bicycle—after college, with a trip from Astoria to San Francisco with her father, who owns a bike shop in Little Rock, Arkansas. Since then she’s ridden the entire state of Oregon, from the wet winding highways of the coast to the rocky red slopes of the Steens Mountains. The product of her pedaling is Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Tours in Oregon, which she published under her own imprint this May.

Thalheimer says she was inspired to write the book when she was planning training trips and came up empty-handed. “I was looking for information for cycle tourists in Oregon, and there was nothing. In fact, there weren’t guidebooks for any state in the country,” she says. “I had written Cycling Italy for Lonely Planet and had served as a routes coordinator for a tour company, so I had the perfect niche skill set to do the Oregon book.”

Cycling Sojourner took Thalheimer two years to complete, and she is already at work on her next projects: a cycle-touring guide to Washington and a guide to biking to Portland-area craft breweries, titled Hop in the Saddle.

Thalheimer is also the cofounder of the Portland Society, a business alliance of professional women who are passionate about bicycling. “Portland has incredible resources of female-owned bike-oriented businesses, which is unlike any other place in the country,” Thalheimer says. “And there was no place for us to really connect or network.”

Now in its third year, the Portland Society has expanded into charitable efforts, awarding education grants to women seeking to build bicycle-related businesses. “Through the society, we make each other stronger and help our businesses grow,” Thalheimer says. “It’s a way for our voices to be heard.”


Read more about how other alumni continue to put the bicycling stamp on every area of Portland life. 

Kiel Johnson BA ’09

Started Go By Bike which provides valet bicycle parking, bicycle rentals, and repair services.

Catherine Ciarlo JD ’94

The City of Portland’s transportation policy director and former executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

Matthew Hampton BS ’92

Senior cartographer for Metro.

Meghan Sinnott BA ’05

Bicycle advocate and employee of Nutcase Helmets.

Erik Tonkin CAS ’96

Owner of Sellwood Cycle Repair.

Jessica Roberts BA ’99

Program manager at Alta Planning and Design, a bicycle and pedestrian planning and design firm.

Read “Bike Paths,” from the Fall 2012 issue of the Chronicle Magazine.