Wednesday, November 07, 2007

One Day, There Will Again Be Posts!

Sorry for the lack of updates - I've been adjusting to a new job, and life's been too busy for me to devote time to writing blog posts. I hope to rectify that in the near future.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cycle Oregon, Day One

Cycle Oregon, Day One
Originally uploaded by Matt.Picio

62 miles - Sisters to La Pine. Well, it went good. You can see from the photo, we had a magnificent view of the Cascades today - Mt. Jefferson, Three-Fingered Jack, the Three Sisters, Black Butte, Mt. Washington, Broken Top and Mt. Bachelor. Great riding.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Yikes - Where's all the Posts?

Ok, I've been a little remiss in the updates.

First off, I did the Seattle to Portland ride, and it went pretty well. Secondly, I went on Jeff Bernards' Oxbow Park camping trip, and that was fun. Now, we're in the home stretch for that penultimate Oregon event - Cycle Oregon!

I still feel I'm not ready - I haven't done enough hills, and I haven't done any core exercises. The only thing I've got going in my favor is that I just bought 1.25" tires (to replace my 1.4" tires) and I've ridden nearly 3,000 miles already this year. (the marvels of living far, far away from everyone else). In fact, here are the stats:

As of noon, 07 August 2007:
Total Mileage: 2,943.76 miles (average of 13.44 miles per day)
Last Year (This Date): 2,196.76 miles
Scheduled This Year: 3,402 miles (444 miles behind schedule)
Average Speed: 10.7 mph
Total Time on Bike: 276 hours, 54 minutes

At my current rate, I should roll at least 4,906 miles by year end - a goal of 5,000 miles for the year is not out of the question.

The most exciting part is that last year, for the whole year, I rode 3,022 miles. I should pass that before the end of this week, nearly 4 months earlier than last year!

I'm really looking forward to what's coming up!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Milwaukie Hidden Routes Ride

Every neighborhood in Milwaukie has its secret places...

We're going to explore most of them.

Come on the Milwaukie's Hidden Routes ride and see the nooks,crannies, alleys, and cut-throughs of Milwaukie. We're going to ride nearly every legal shortcut through Milwaukie's neighborhoods. Thisis not a ride for the faint-hearted. Bring a mountain bike, or put wide knobbies on your road bike and bring a patch kit or a spare tube. We're going to see brambles, grass, dirt, gravel, hills, thrills, and hopefully no spills. (90% 0f the ride is paved)

If you've never ridden in Milwaukie, here is the basic topography. Milwaukie is cut in half by Hwy 224 and the Union Pacific Railroad mainline. Biking around Milwaukie (and from Milwaukie to Portland) is further complicated by a number of hills. The main features in "Milwaukie Proper" are "The Plateau" and the 34th Avenue hill (between 224 and Lake Rd).

Especially troublesome is the NE corner of The Plateau, which has only a single road connecting the upper portion with the lower portion.

Well, there are some sneaky ways around that, and up, down and around many of the other areas of Milwaukie as well. Come look and see - I promise the shortcuts will not be boring!

Here's the route map for the ride:

There are a couple of steep descents on this ride, a fair amount oflow hill climbing (at least 4 ascents up to 200' elevation changeeach).
Start time is 6pm, Thursday, July 19th. Repeat performance on Thursday, July 26th, also at 6pm, for those who can't make the first ride or want to ride it again. 16 miles, approximately 2 hours. Start and end at Milwaukie City Hall, 10722 SE Main Street, Milwaukie.
Live far to the north in Portland? No excuse - Milwaukie City Hall sits right next to a Tri-Met transit center. Take buses 31, 32, 33,70, 75 or 99 to get there from downtown Portland or the NE side. 28, 29 and 152 will get you there from the Clackamas Town Center area.
Note: Originally the repeat ride was Wednesday the 25th - it's been moved due to a conflict with another Milwaukie ride on that day.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Halfway Through 2007

This morning's commute was officially the midpoint of 2007 - 182.5 days. I've managed 2,151.88 miles, which means if I maintain what I've done so far, I can break 4,300 miles for the year. That would be quite a bit more than last year, when I rode just over 3,000 miles.

Seattle to Portland is less than 2 weeks away - and I'm eager to ride!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Clackamas Cycling Adventure

2 days, 8 hours of cycling, 85 miles. My friend Tomas and I spent the weekend cycling 40 miles up the Clackamas River and into the Mount Hood National Forest. We rode up to Fish Creek and managed to set up camp just as the sun faded. I had a host of new camping gear, most of which was purchased for Cycle Oregon - and I just had to test it out. One of the things that wasn't for CO was my new camp stove, a Coleman F1 ultralight. Great stove - I love it. Of course, I had to see what I could do with it, so packed in my panniers and surrounded with ice were 2 eggs and about 4 slices of bacon cut in thirds so they would fit in my camp cookware. I'll tell you, there's nothing like having real bacon in the morning, and not some boil-in-a-bag camping food.

The ride was great, though the climb up 224 south of Estacada was a bear. Normally, cyclists can take the old highway, Faraday Road, which is closed to car traffic and runs along the PGE reservoir. Unfortunately, in March of this year, a rockslide closed the road. PGE is now fixing it, but they've just started and I can't imagine it taking them less than 8 weeks to clear everything and stabilize the slope and the road. Maybe more, I'm not an engineer so I can only guess.

More later, but for now let me say that I am now over 1,600 miles for the year and I had a blast. Also, I biked to areas up the Clackamas I'd never been to except by car, and except for last year's Mount Hood trip, this was the farthest I'd biked from my domicile.

And now to bed.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ride Report - End of May 2007

3rd consecutive day riding after my 6-day hiatus. Feels good, though the muscles are a little tired.

Mileage: 12.71 (this morning)
Top Speed: 25.8 mph (nothing special)
Average Speed: 11.0 mph (took it easy, and still got a good avg. spd.)
Time: 01:09:09
Temperature: 60 degrees F
Weight: 248 pounds

For the Year
151 Days in. 1,513.90 miles (average 10.03 miles per day)
Average speed is 10.7 mph, for a total of 143:59:50 in the saddle (that's almost 6 full days)
Top Speed (downhill): 42.8 mph (May 10th)
Highest Average Speed for 2007 Commute: 13.7 mph (April 27th)
Highest Average Speed ever on Commute: 16.5 mph (from old house on SE Allan in Oak Grove)

Total Mileage, May 31, 2007: 1,513.90 miles
Goal Mileage, May 31, 2007: 2,184.00 miles (I am 681 miles behind my goal)
Prior Mileage, May 31, 2006: 1,231.99 miles (I am 282 miles ahead of last year)

The weather has been nice, though hot in the evening. I'm really ready to have 70 degree days, but I think we're done with that for the season. Pedalpalooza is coming, and I am leading a ride on June 18th.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Halfway to Last Year, a Month Early!

Ok, so when I ride home tonight, I'll break 1,500 miles for the year. Last year, I rode 3,022 miles. To match that, I'd need to ride 1,511 miles by June 30th. Today is May 30th. Hey, not bad! Well, unless you compare it to my goal for this year, and then I suck. ;-)

The goal for this year is 5,800 miles. I'm currently about 670 miles behind where I should be to meet my goal. I need to start putting on some serious mileage if I want to meet it. To be honest, though, I'll be perfectly happy with anything over 4,000 miles, and at my current rate, I should end up with 3,600 for the year - so I only need to put out 10% more effort than I have so far to break that 4,000 mark.

Last night I led a Bike Boulevard ride around Milwaukie. There was a lot of interest at the last TSP bicycle workshop about the concept of Bike Boulevards, which Portland has successfully implemented, and the BTA is pushing heavily for. Milwaukie really doesn't have a lot of good candidate roads, but last night we rode three of the best ones - Monroe, Stanley, and 29th. In each case, they provide a way across the city that parallels a much busier route. Monroe and Stanley are heavy secondary routes in their own right, and could really benefit from some traffic calming, or even a cul-de-sac / passthrough arrangement of some sort. The real question is how the local neighborhoods would feel about it. The ride itself went well, about 7 people showed up, including city planners Katie Mangle and Brett Kelver. The next TSP meeting is coming up soon - Saturday, June 2nd at 10am.

Back to the personal front, I averaged 11.9 mph on the way in to work today, which isn't bad. I'm riding on the new back wheel now - I replaced the old one on Monday. The old (original) back wheel is a stock Matrix 750 rim, and I'd broken 18 of 32 spokes over the last 18 months. Last Thursday, I sucked the chain into the rear wheel and bent (and in some cases gouged) the bottom of 12 spokes on the drivetrain side. I tightened a number of opposing spokes to make the wheel straight enough to ride home on (and feel pretty good about my emergency repair skills). So, away it goes, and the new wheel is mounted and ready to go. The spokes tinged a bit while adjusting, and it seems to be properly stressed in now.

So once again, I'm ready to ride!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Non-Cycling Memorial Day Weekend

Yes, it's true - sometimes I do things that have nothing to do with the bike. No, I am not in this picture. This is the Egil Skalligrimson Memorial Tournament, which is an SCA event. The SCA is the Society for Creative Anachronism, a 41-year old organization where people emulate pre-17th century personas (a persona is like a character. You create a fictitious person who could have existed in the time period you are interested in, and that becomes your name / persona in the Society) (Yes, I simplified that explanation - you SCAdians can just deal with it).
My name in the SCA, for example, is Hallgrimr Ulfsson. Hallgrimr is a norseman from 10th century Norway - commonly referred to as a Viking. Egils (the Egil Skal. Mem. Tourney) is / was primarily a norse-themed event. (they changed that this year - now it's all periods) So, I spent the weekend camping with a bunch of people in Creswell, Oregon, all dressed in pre-17th century garb and running around with chainmail, swords, axes and all kinds of cool stuff.
It also means I was off the bike for 6 days. *sigh*

Friday, May 18, 2007

Mileage Report - Friday, May 18th

First of all, let me start out by saying the Bike to Work event put on by PDOT was great, and on top of that, Jay Graves worked on my bike!

See, I have proof! ;-)

There were eggs and toast (I don't know what you call that - they tore out the center of the bread and used that hole to contain the egg while it fried), pedal-powered smoothies, bagels and other goodies. Elly handed out stickers, Jeff Smith from PDOT was at the grill, Roger Geller was there, as was half of Shift and at least a couple members of the BTA. Oh, and Aaron Tarfman, transportation diplomat and member of ECT. I got to stay for most of the event, since I took the day off work. (Yes, I know, kind of defeats the purpose of Bike-to-Work) I took advantage of my day to ride around taking pictures, ostensibly for the Milwaukie TSP Street Design workshop. In practice, though, I think I got more pictures of cool houses & buildings in Historic Irvington and SE Belmont and Hawthorne than I did street features.

The day was great, though, and I spun 58.4 miles on Wednesday. I capped off the day with the Ride of Silence, a memorial for fallen cyclists. We passed 5 (or was it 6) of the ghost bikes in Portland which mark the locations where cyclists were killed by cars. City Commissioner Sam Adams was there, Mayor Tom Potter was not. <Soapbox Moment> I don't know how Tom Potter can say he's a friend of cyclists, and helps the community when he not only initially does not fund the bike master plan update, but also never shows up for community events involving cycling. A one-time showing at the opening of the Three Bridges project does not count. </Soapbox>

The RoS was a little eerie - having hundreds of cyclists riding without noise, without cheering, everyone with a somber expression, wearing black armbands, and only the sound of gears and pedals turning. A dozen or so of Portland's motorcycle officers were our official escort, as we had a parade permit. The route took us down (and blocked) a number of main routes in the city: Alberta, MLK, Fremont, 33rd Avenue, Stark and Belmont. I don't know what everyone in their cars thought of this spectacle of bikers showly riding by with police escort.

It was a serious end to the day, but one I feel very.... priviledged to be a part of. While I didn't know any of the deceased cyclists personally, for a moment I felt one with all cyclists on the ride, worldwide, honoring those who have gone, and commiserating with the loved ones they left behind. The power of those emotions, and the rituals that we build to surround and direct them, is in a word, awe-inspiring.

The Shift meeting afterwards was an appropriate coda, and a good opportunity to unwind.

Wow. reading that makes this next part seem trite.

Mileage as of May 18th:
Total miles: 1,394.56 (average 10.11 miles/day for 138 days)
Average Speed (overall): 10.7 mph
133:05:36 hours total saddle time
Top Speed: 42.8 mph (May 10th, 2007)

Goal Mileage: 2028 miles
Mileage this date last year: 1209.25 miles

Big Rides: 2006 (over 30 miles, single ride)
Feb 12th: 41.46 (Worst Day of the Year Ride)
Feb 19th: 52.16
Mar 05th: 74.58
Mar 19th: 101.00
Jun 15th: 85.03
Jul 02nd: 107.07
Jul 15th: 103.25 (Seattle to Portland)
Jul 16th: 103.25 (Seattle to Portland)
Aug 27th: 113.13 (Rode from Milwaukie to Timberline and back)
Sep 12th: 34.78
Oct 08th: 78.42 (Harvest Century)
Nov 12th: 30.63

Big Rides: 2006 (over 30 miles, single ride)
Jan 07th: 34.36
Mar 25th: 55.01
May 01st: 32.43
May 05th: 40.03
May 29th: 31.85 (Added May 31st)

Hmm.... my rides are a bit smaller this year - going to have to correct that forthwith. I have ridden 12 of the last 14 days, though. February and April were my weak points this year, with a 12-day and 14-day gap, respectively.

Back to the grind.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Midnight Mystery Ride - May 11th

Last night was the ever-popular and always fascinating Midnight Mystery Ride. As always, the ride started at midnight (duh) at one of Portland's fine drinking establishments. This month, the destination was Hayden Island, and I made it to the destination area but did not stick around for the festivities - since I live in Clackamas County, it's a LOOOONG ride home.

In fact, since I had to stop by work and finish a couple of things before heading home, it was longer than normal: 20 miles from the office to the ride location and back to the office, and I got back to the office at around 2:30am. It was well after 4am when I was finished and ready to go, and I was so wiped that I knew I wouldn't make it home. So, I crashed on the couch in the break room until 6am and then took my bike on Tri-Met until I got within a mile of my place.

The ride itself was great - lots of people I knew, a bigger crowd than normal, and an entertaining ride through the back alleys of N / NE Portland for a mile or more, all while watching a pair of tallbikes and a hundred plus riders try to negotiate choke points, avoid chains, fences, broken glass and busted pavement. I almost took a fall near Delta Park when I got into the gravel at the road edge on a turn, and once or twice I had riders cut right across my path really darned close. That happens, though - you've got to be prepared for it.

This is my fourth MMR, and one of the reasons why I love Portland. Sure, Amsterdam has 40% of its working people commuting by bike, but we have this incredible hodgepodge of cycling culture, and all the weirdness that ensues. It's part of what makes Portland such a vibrant place to live. I think it's great.

The start point, Amnesia, was pretty cool, and had tons of bike parking (they obviously know the score - cater to bikes and you sell a lot of beer). Barflymag says they have live bluegrass on Fridays, but apparently that stops before 11:30pm, or there just wasn't anyone there that night. The porter they had on tap was pretty good - I'll probably head back over there at some point to try the food.

Anyway, thank you Team Midnight for the Midnight Mystery Ride!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

New Top Speed!

Ok, so I needed to run some personal errands this morning, and went into work late. Since I was over near Clackamas Mall anyway, I rode up Bob Schumacher Drive to the intersection with Idleman, SE 97th Avenue and Otty Rd. (That sounds complicated, but it's not - it's a regular intersection, but each of the two roads has a different name on each leg)

Otty Road is almost ridiculously steep. Not quite as steep as Thiessen, but close. Now, Otty road has a bike lane part of the way, and has a 40mph speed limit. Oregon law permits you to leave the bike lane to avoid hazardous conditions. Riding at high speed to me qualifies as hazardous, so I rode in the middle of the car lane, and for good reason - I could keep up with traffic. I hit 42.8 mph on my way down Otty Road, and unfortunately had to stop for the red light next to Mall-Wart (sorry, Wal-Mart - same thing). So, I'm kind of celebrating, because I also broke 1,200 miles for the year. Anyway, here's the stats:

Mileage: 12.21 miles
Top Speed: 42.8 mph
Average Speed: 11.0 mph
Time on Bike: 01:06:47

2007 To-Date:
Mileage: 1,204.32 miles
Top Speed for Year: 42.8 mph (Otty Rd. downhill, Thursday, May 10th)
Total Days: 130
Mileage per Day: 9.26
Overall Average Speed: 10.7 mph
Total Time on Bike: 114:17:31

Goal Mileage by Today: 1,920 miles (715 miles behind schedule)
Mileage This Date, 2006: 1,151.11 miles (53.2 miles more in 2007 than in 2006)

What I need to do now is to start cranking up the mileage to make up for the gap. My schedule assumes riding to work 4 days per week, so every week I ride all 5 days I gain another 25 miles. At that rate, it will take me 28 weeks to make up the difference, which is basically all year. So, I need to work in some long training rides on the weekend to make up the difference.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Ride Report - Wednesday, May 9th 2007

Mileage: 12.61 miles
Average Speed: 11.0 mph
Time: 01:08:41 (in motion)
Temperature: 44 degrees F
Weight: 246.5 pounds

Year (2007): 129 days
Total Mileage: 1,179.36 miles
Overall Average Speed: 10.7 mph
Top Speed for the Year: 41.6 mph (Otty Road downhill - May 8th am)
Total Time: 111:59:57
Average Distance per Day: 9.14 miles
Mileage Goal (today): 1,908 miles
Mileage Goal (entire year): 5,820.6 miles
Mileage this date, 2006: 1,128.61 miles

Notes: Well, I did not ride RACC like I'd planned. I also didn't ride the Monster Cookie Metric Century. So, I'm nowhere near my mileage goal, and instead of being down 400-500 miles, I'm now down almost 730 miles. So, I've got a ways to catch up. Last night I left work late, and while riding home I got some good pictures of the dragonboaters. Not much longer until Rose Festival, when we get to see the dragonboats in action. I think I'm going to head downtown for that this year. I just need to remember to take sunscreen with me. Also coming up is Pedalpalooza, Portland's plethora of bicycle fun.

I'm hoping I can make enough of those events to build up some mileage. I'm also trying to use the bike rather than the car for as many things as I can. Technically I don't own a car anyway. I mean, my name is on the title, but I rarely if ever use it. Which brings me to some notes for an article I'm going to write and post either on this blog or another (new) soapbox blog:

Appropriate Transport:
  • 0 - 1/2 miles: Walk
  • 1/2 - 5 miles: Bicycles
  • 5 - 25 miles: Bicycle / Car (depending on how much time you have)
  • 25 - 100 miles: Car (or bike if you have all day, and the stamina to do it)
  • 100 - 300 miles: Car (or Bike if you have LOTS of time, and lodging)
  • 300 + miles: Train, Plane, Car (depending on time and other factors)

I'd prefer people replace "car" with something more fuel efficient. Motorcycles and scooters have less efficient engines, but they move a lot smaller mass, so many of them get better gas mileage. Do we really need 4,000 pound vehicles that seat six? Not for most people. maybe as many as 1/4 of everyone in greater Portland could get by 95% of the time with a 1 or 2-seat vehicle with a 100-150 mile range. We could easily build electric cars to do that.

More when I've though about it a while.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Milwaukie TSP Bike / Ped Meeting #2

Saturday, May 5th was the 2nd bicycle / pedestrian workshop for the Milwaukie Transportation System Plan update. This workshop is part of a series of meetings hosted by the City of Milwaukie and facilitated by Jeanne Lawson Associates to allow the public unprecedented input into the planning and decision-making process regarding the future of Milwaukie's transportation network. DKS Associates, a national transportation planning firm, has been hired by the city to provide design and planning services to supplement and support the city's staff.

Brett Kelver opened the meeting with an overview of what the workshop is trying to accomplish - this was the second of two planned workshops. In the first workshop, the participants identified current conditions and identified a number of areas where improvements would be beneficial. The planners then took that information, and along with the original 1997 TSP they compiled a list of operational and capital projects to be listed in the new TSP. In this second meeting, the job of the participants was to prioritize those projects and provide feedback on anything that might be "missing".

Ryan Marquardt then reviewed the evaluation criteria for evaluating projects, which covered the following areas:
  • Connectivity - To transit, the Springwater Trail, activity centers (schools, parks, commercial areas), and neighborhoods. Also focusing on "filling in the gaps" in the existing pedways / bikeways.
  • Safety - Addresses locations with higher rates of pedestrian / bicycle accidents

  • Existing Facilities - Addresses facilities that are currently substandard or in need of repair.

  • Commuting - Improves or enhances commuting corridors.

  • Maintenance - How difficult will the project be to maintain?

  • Overall Scope - Determine whether it is a long-term or short-term solution, and how well the project connects / coincides with other jurisdictions.

Brett then went over the Operational Projects:
  1. Signage for the treatment plant trail (Kellogg Trail)
  2. Signange for the Springwater Corridor Trail
  3. Signage for Sparrow Street (Island Station neighborhood)
  4. Signage for neighborhood bike routes
  5. Re-striping projects (bike lanes)
  6. Sweeping out bike lanes
  7. Street-grate replacement (of existing badly-designed grates)
  8. Street-grate design
  9. Safe crossings for the Trolley Trail
  10. Milwaukie bike map
  11. Enforcement
  12. Education
  13. Multi-jurisdictional coordination

A lot of lively discussion ensued, mostly focused around items 3, 5, 11 and 12. The Island Station neighborhood was well-represented at the meeting, and it was determined that the issues facing cycling and River road on the hill up from and down to McLoughlin had concerns beyond simply signage, and that the project should be moved to the capital projects list. Ditto for the Trolley Trail. The participants generally agreed that the bike map that the City of Portland's Transportation Department put together was a great thing. (PDOT made a Milwaukie Bike Map thanks to a grant from Metro which covered extending the Smart Trips program to the Milwaukie portion of the Ardenwald / Johnson Creek neighborhood).

Additionally, "Encouragement" was added to the Operational Projects - programs involving community rides and other ways to encourage people to get out in the city on their bikes.

The discussion was followed by a vote. Each participant received a set of small circular labels (5 total) and was instructed to vote on the projects they thought were most important. Voting with more than 1 label per project was allowed.

After the voting was complete, it was evident that the participants overwhelmingly supported bike route signage, sweeping of bike lanes and education. Participants also supported (to a lesser extent) street-grate design, multi-jurisdiction coordination, the bike map (printing and distributing), signage for the trails and re-striping the existing lanes.

Alan Snook from DKS Associates then went over the capital projects, and introduced a map of the proposed changes to the bikeway system. Various points on the map were designated as capital projects, which were divided into Intersection Improvements, Bikeway Improvements, and Off-street Trail Improvements. Additionally, the 2 projects moved from the Operational Projects list were added, and during the course of discussion a few additional projects were also added. The final list that the participants voted on contained the following projects:

Intersection Improvements

A - Hwy 224 @ SE 17th Ave.
B - SE 17th Ave. @ SE McLoughlin Blvd. (99E)
C - SE Adams St. @ SE 21st Ave. (Railroad Crossing)
D - SE Johnson Creek Blvd. @ Springwater Trail
E - SE Johnson Creek Blvd. @ SE Linwood Ave.
F - SE Linwood Ave. @ SE King Rd.
G - SE Linwood Ave. @ SE Monroe St.
H - SE Linwood Ave. @ SE Harmony Rd.

Bikeway Improvements

I - SE 17th Ave. from SE Waverly Dr. to Harrison St.
J - SE Harrison St. from McLoughlin (99E) to SE 21st Ave.
K - SE Lake Rd. from SE Main St. to SE Guilford Dr.
L - SE Oatfield Rd. from SE Guilford Ct. to SE Lake Rd.
M - SE Harrison St. from Hwy 224 to SE 42nd Ave.
N - SE 37th Ave. from SE Harrison St. to Hwy 224.
O - SE Railroad Ave. from SE 37th Ave. to SE Linwood Ave.
P - SE 43rd Ave. from SE King Rd. to SE Filbert St.
Q - SE Linwood Ave. from SE Queen Rd. to SE Johnson Creek Blvd.
R - SE Linwood Ave. from SE Juniper St. to SE Harmony Rd.
S - SE Rusk Rd. from SE Lake Rd. to North Clackamas Park.

Off-street Trail Improvements

T - Springwater Corridor Trail from Three Bridges area to SE 82nd Ave.
U - Milwaukie Riverfront to Treatment Plant.

Added Projects

V - Sparrow & River Rd. - to connect to treatment plant trail.
W - "Big-picture" multi-jurisdictional coordination (e.g. regional bikeway system, etc.)
X - Trolley Trail design / planning / signage
Y - Bike Boulevards / Designated path location
Z - Railroad to International Way connection
AA - Intersection: International Way / Lake
AB - Intersection: Oak / 224

The participants then voted (10 stickers each this time, to reflect the greater number of projects), and a few items stood out well above the rest.

First off, the participants were overwhelmingly in favor of bike boulevards / designated bike paths. There was also a strong desire for improvements to the intersections of SE 17th with Hwy 224 and McLoughlin / SE Harrison. My issues with that second intersection require a post all to itself, which I'll try to put up in the next couple of days. Also given extra weight were projects V, W, and AB.

Other projects that the participants preferred were D, I, J, O, T and Z.

The remaining projects received 3 labels or less each, and projects C, R and S did not receive any votes.

Also discussed were the possibility of more exclusive multi-use paths, especially along the Willamette, and increasing connectivity by using alleyways / greenways between the "dead end" connectors in subdivisions. Milwaukie contains a number of hidden alleyways and accesses that are available to be utilized by bikes and pedestrians.

A couple of participants pointed to Portland's use of "dots" for directing bike traffic, and their new network of bicycle signage. Emily Gardner of the BTA (who was present as a meeting participant) expounded on this issue and others.

Due to the large number of issues raised during the meeting, and concern that all issues would be able to be addressed, it was determined that a third bike / ped workshop should be scheduled. Katie Mangle, Planning Director for the City of Milwaukie, also asked if the participants thought that the city needed a bicycle advisory committee, and a number of meeting participants thought that would be a great idea.

Further info coming when I have it.


After the meeting, I led a ride through a portion of Milwaukie to illustrate some of the issues present in the current transportation network. The ride included (among others) transportation diplomat Aaron Tarfman, Brett Kelver and Ryan Marquardt from the planning department, and Del Scharffenberg, a member of the Clackamas County Pedestrian / Bikeway Advisory Committee. We covered the major problem intersections along McLoughlin and SE 17th, the Three Bridges project, one of Milwaukie's "hidden" alleyways, and low and medium traffic residential and connector streets. I had planned a longer route, but misjudged the time required to cover all the locations I had planned.

Overall, the ride went well. It's difficult to understand the issues regarding Mcloughlin and the southern commute unless you actually ride it. Likewise, the problems with the SE 17th / McLoughlin / Harrison intersection are much more effectively communicated when you can witness them firsthand. I'm planning to do another 2-3 rides, each focusing on a different area of the city. We'll see how that goes.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Breakfast on the Bridge! Oh, and a ride!

Today's Stats:
Mileage: 12.68 miles
Top Speed: 29.1 mph
Average Speed: 13.7 mph (YAY)
Time in Saddle: 55 minutes, 36 seconds
Weight this Morning: 248 (Not so Yay)

Year-to-Date Stats:
Days: 117
Miles Ridden: 1,017.07 (an average of 8.69 miles per day)
Overall Average Speed: 10.7 mph
Top Speed: 35.8 mph (March 28th)
Fastest Average Speed To/From Work: 13.7 mph (today!) / 11.4 mph (Mar 21 / Apr 26)
Total Time in Saddle: 96 hours, 14 minutes
Goal Mileage, April 27th: 1,637 miles
2006 Mileage, April 27th: 1,060.81

Argh! I'm behind again! Not surprising, since I've been off the bike for two weeks! Not entirely by choice - my back wheel was totally hosed, and I was going to try to fix it myself, and loused it up. So, I begged Tomas to fix it for me, which he graciously did. So now it's rideable again, and the back wheel no longer makes those annoying spoke-popping and tensioning noises. Hopefully that means I won't lose any more spokes for a while. I mean, I'm replacing that wheel anyway, but probably not for another month or two.

Today I took a long, boring video with my digital camera, starting from my residence and going all the way to my bike locker downtown. I let it run the entire hour and 8 minutes - 55 minutes on the bike (plus a few minutes stopped at lights), and the whole 8-10 minutes I was at Breakfast on the Bridge today. I missed last month's, so it was good to stop by for a short bit.

I now have all the camping gear I need for Cycle Oregon, and now I just have a list of items I need to get for the bike - new cassette, new chain, brake pads, and bike clothing. I'm still stoked about going, and I really hope I can make it every day.

On the "activist" front, I've expressed my displeasure publicly to Mayor Tom Potter over his proposed budget, specifically the removal of funding for the Platinum Bicycle Master Plan Update. My email (comment #6) generated a couple of flattering comments on its own. I guess 8 years in the military and 10 years in the corporate world is worth something. I hope it helps. There were over 300 separate comments submitted to the Mayor's office, so one would think that they might look at that one again. I will be on the Master Plan Update Ride (#4) on Tuesday in North Portland, both to show my support and to learn more about conditions in that part of the city. I know a bit from previous rides, but I expect I'll learn things I had no clue about (just like on every other ride I've done in Portland). Also, I have another upcoming Milwaukie TSP Update meeting on Wednesday, and the 2nd (and final?) TSP Bike/Ped meeting on May 5th. I don't know what's happening with "Umbrella" at the moment - we're ready to work up our 1023 once we have the final info we need.

Well, that's it for now - back to work.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ride Report - April 11, 2007

Today's Stats:
Mileage: 12.34 miles (19.86 km)
Top Speed: 27.6 mph (44.4 km/h)(12.3 m/s)
Average Speed: 11.7 mph (18.8 km/h)(5.2 m/s)
Time in Saddle: 1 Hour, 3 minutes, 16 seconds
Weight this morning: 245.5 lbs (111.6 kg)

Year-to-Date Stats:
Days: 101
Miles Ridden: 929.69 miles
Overall Average Speed: 11.0 mph
Top Speed: 35.8 mph (March 28)
Total Time in Saddle: 88 Hours, 0 minutes, 38 seconds
Goal Mileage, April 11: 1409 miles
Mileage, April 11, 2006: 879.45 miles

So, I'm currently 50 miles ahead of last year, but 480 miles behind where I "should" be. This weekend is the "Pre-Season Century" in Bend. I'd love to go, but I can't right now. I *might* do the Monster Cookie Metric Century on the 29th, but in all likelihood my first supported century of the year will be either Ride Around Clark County on May 5th, or the Pioneer Century on June 2nd.

Just Another Day in Portland

Another day, another police sting

I approve of following the law. In fact, I encourage it. I stop at every stop sign unless it is unsafe to do so.*

*ok, there is ONE stop sign I roll through - SE Umatilla and the Oregon Pacific RR. I look both ways for trains first. That intersection sees 1-2 trains per day maybe 3 days out of the week.

I think bicycles should obey all traffic control devices (the law permits going through a red light when it won't change - like when the loop detectors don't "see" the bike), obey signs, markings, warnings, etc. Speeding is rarely an issue for bikes, except on long or steep downhill grades - yes, I believe bikes should obey that. No, I don't always practice it, but I'm willing to accept the consequences of my actions. I ALWAYS slow down around children and animals - they are too unpredictable, and the risk of a collision is too great.

Ok, so we've established that I think all bikes should obey the law. This morning is ridiculous, however - by reports from cyclists, there were 5-6 motorcycle officers at Ladd's Circle issuing tickets to cyclists who failed to stop for the stop signs on the traffic circle. Let's ignore the fact that traffic circles by their very nature work best without stop signs (something Portland hasn't figured out yet). Why 6 motorcycles? Why here? Ladd's is one of the safest areas in the city, traffic-wise. Reportedly, some neighbors complained about all the cyclists running the stop signs at the traffic circle. Fine, send *A* motorcycle cop, NOT 6.

That's 5 officers who normally perform traffic duties, who aren't busting speeders, or camped out at one of the 10 deadliest intersections in Portland. Shouldn't one of these guys be watching for people who run the red light at SE 82nd and Powell? Or how about busting speeders on Sandy? Illegal turns on red? Or patrolling east 122nd Ave, which has 5 of the top 10 crash sites in the last 5 years?

Someone in charge at the PPD isn't using his or her resources effectively, and in a city that doesn't have a large enough public safety budget and can't hire enough cops to fill vacancies, that's NOT acceptable.

Ok, soapbox time over.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Yowza - I need to be biking!

Ok, still not getting out and about enough.

Currently averaging about 9 miles per day. This morning, I rode my standard 12.3 miles into work, in a little under 65 minutes. Average speed 11.4 mph, top speed 28.1 mph. The weather was nice, if a bit cold, and the ride is was smooth and easy for the most part.

Yesterday I got my tent, footprint and camp pad. Another (ouch) $300 spent. The good news is that this equipment will work fine for the various events I plan on doing this year. Yay! Reusable for a good number of years as long as I take care of the equipment.

The next Milwaukie TSP Update meeting (bike / ped workshop, that is) is coming up on May 5th at Milwaukie City Hall.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Back on the Bike - In April!

Ok, took 6 days off the bike. Didn't plan on it, 3 of those days were due to Gamestorm. Until I get a trailer, it's difficult to cart 80 lbs. of stuff back and forth from Clackamas to the airport.

So, now that I'm back on the bike, here are the stats:

This Morning:
12.50 miles @ 10.4 mph average
01:12:13 ride time, top speed of 26.2 mph
Weight: 245.5 lbs.

94 days into the year
879.07 total miles (868.48 this time last year) - average 9.35 miles / day
83:13:00 total time in the saddle
Average speed 11.0 mph

Ok, so I'm not really losing any weight. I need to start measuring myself again, so I can see if this lack of weight loss is really because I'm replacing fat with muscle. (I hope so) Muscle tissue weighs twice as much as fat, so if you're building muscle you can sometimes drop waist sizes without dropping weight. Either that, or I need to start eating less.

The ride in today was leisurely. I enjoyed it, but I had to take a break at the midpoint because I was so sleepy. I most definitely need to get to bed earlier.

That's it for now - maybe more later.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Milwaukie TSP Bike / Ped Meeting #1

The Milwaukie TSP (Transportation System Plan) Update Bicycle and Pedestrian Workshop meeting was held from 10am to 12pm, Saturday, March 24th at Milwaukie City Hall in the City Council chamber. Here is an overview of that meeting:

Katie Mangle, planning director for the City of Milwaukie, started off with an overview of the process. The bike/Ped workshop for the TSP update consists of two (possibly 3 if required) meetings. The first meeting (March 24th) is to identify current problem areas in the city, errors in the provided maps of bicycle facilities and pedestrian sidewalks, and areas for improvement. The second meeting (probably in late April, TBA) will list proposed solutions developed by City staff and DKS Associates, the transportation firm hired by the city to help them through the process.

Katie also presented the Draft TSP Goals:

  1. Balanced transportation system that provides travel choices
  2. Reduce length of trips; manage congestion
  3. Safety
  4. Enhance Milwaukie's livability
  5. Promote economic vitality
  6. Develop context-sensitive design standards
  7. Sustainability (environmental, economic, social)
  8. Coordinate with other jurisdictions & be consistent with the city's Comprehensive Plan
  9. Efficiently use available funds/monies to implement recommended projects

There were approximately 20 members of the public in attendance, who were nearly equally split between pedestrian and bike concerns. The group split into 2 working groups - I attended the bicycle portion. After 90 minutes of discussion, the two groups reassembled to summarize the information.

I delivered a list of map errors to Alan Snook, the transportation planner from DKS Associates who is working with the city. Overall, the map of existing bike facilities (bike lanes, shared lanes) was reasonably accurate, with some disagreement over the designation of north Linwood as "shared lane" and the omission of the relatively unknown multi-use path along the river behind the sewage treatment plant.

Brett Kelver, Assistant Planner for the city, facilitated. Brett is handling the bike side of things, and Ryan Marquardt (also Assistant Planner for the city) is focusing more on the pedestrian side.

Members of the public around the table took turns describing the bike issues currently in the city. The following items were discussed:

  • No signage for the trail behind the sewage plant- Bike lanes on lower Linwood poor quality pavement, full of debris
  • Curbs separating Linwood bike lanes prevent sweepers from cleaning the lanes
  • Crossings of Johnson Creek Blvd. are problematic and hazardous
  • Lake Road: one side is not bike-friendly
  • No good east-west connections in southern Milwaukie
  • Railroad Avenue totally unsuited for bikes, hazardous
  • The 1997 plan only addressed a few problems, most still exist
  • Lake at RR / Harmony / Linwood intersection: paint on bike lanes worn off
  • Upper Linwood does not have continuous paved shoulders
  • Storm drain at Linwood & King right in bike path on turn
  • Homeowner placing "For Sale" sign in the bike lane
  • Drivers not respecting bike lanes, parking in them, etc (esp. King / JCB / River Rd / Linwood)
  • No enforcement of bike lanes - PD needs to ticket more
  • SE 17th has lots of gravel & debris, bike lanes not continuous
  • SE 17th & McLoughlin: loop detectors not sensitive enough, bike lane outboard of right-turn lane
  • SE 17th & McLoughlin: sharp corner, cars drive into bike lane rather than taking it wide
  • SE 17th & McLoughlin: crosswalk button more than 10 feet from bike lane behind safety fence
  • SE 17th at 224: northbound cars off 224 do not stop
  • Springwater Trail - bumpy, debris, pothole in Tideman Park, bad surface quality
  • RR crossing at 21st & Adams dangerous, road surface bumpy
  • Stop sign lying on ground at Springwater and Precision Castparts Corp. parking lot driveway
  • Need better signage on Springwater Trail
  • Pedestrian ramp from 3 Bridges to McLoughlin poorly designed, sharp corners make bicycling dangerous
  • Need to coordinate with Portland for the areas that straddle the city / county line
  • JCB: If bike lane line worn off, cars veer into bike lane and crowd bikes out
  • Sellwood bridge (outside study area, but impacting the study area) needs bike issues addressed
  • Upper Lake Rd (east) has lots of debris
  • Need to repaint (restripe) bike lanes on Linwood, Harmony, King
  • Bike hit by car on JCB west of 42nd Avenue
  • Need more education and enforcement re: bike lanes
  • Low-speed, low-use roads better solution than bike lanes - people don't feel comfortable on King / Lake
  • Bike lanes are rarely clean and usually full of gravel and debris
  • River Rd descent problematic for bikes, especially those trying to turn left (west) into Island neighborhood
  • Need safe routes to schools, and between schools and parks
  • Concern over future Trolley Trail, and connections between it, Riverfront Park, and McLoughlin

There was also discussion about the good things in Milwaukie, mostly centered around the 3 Bridges project.

When the group reassembled, the bicycle and pedestrian points were summarized. There was little overlap between the two groups, and no stated major conflicts between them.

Kaite Mangle then outlined the process that was expected to happen over the next couple months. The planners will take the comments from this meeting, create a list of proposed solutions / projects for the city to incorporate into the TSP, and get public comment on them at the second meeting. After that meeting, there will be an open house in late spring / early summer for additional public comment, and then the main advisory committee for the project will take those recommendations and create a plan to submit to the Milwaukie City Council for final approval.

Haulin to work

Well, I got in a bit quicker than normal today. I usually average about 11-12 mph on the way in to work. Today, however, it was 13.6 mph! Still not my record (16.5), but it's not likely I'll repeat that, since I don't have as much downhill as at the old place, and I usually ride into the wind at least part of the way. The 16.5 day was with a fierce tailwind the whole way. Oh, and on bald, thinner tires that were overinflated. Downhill. Both ways. Yeah, you know the drill.

Mileage: 12.8 miles
Top Speed: 28.8 mph
Average Speed: 13.6 mph
Time: 00:56:41
Weather: Mostly Dry, 43 degrees F

Mileage: 829.58 miles (9.65 miles per day)
Average Speed: 10.7 mph
Total Time in Saddle: 78:35:30
Best Average Speed: 13.6 mph
Best Top Speed: 35.3 mph

Mileage Last Year on this Date: 824.97 miles

This weekend is Gamestorm, so it's not likely I'll get in any major rides, but you never know. I'm not running any games on Sunday, so that's always an option. I've done a 55-mile ride, so it's time to knock it up a notch - maybe 75-80 miles. We'll see.

This morning's ride felt good, and it was good to stress everything out just a bit. It's been a while since I really pushed myself the whole ride. Now it's time to think about pushing myself a little more often, maybe do some interval training. Also, it's time to think about a couple of the supported rides. The Monster Cookie Metric Century is coming up, as is RACC - Ride Around Clark County. Either of those would be nice to do, get riding with other cyclists.

I'd love to do more supported rides, but it gets expensive - anywhere from $15-$80 per ride. I mean, they're fully supported and all, hence the cost, but if you do more than a couple, it adds up quick. I'm already spending much too much this year as it is, with Cycle Oregon coming up. It's just so awesome that I'm going to do CO this year. The route is fantastic, it's the 20th year, so there will be all manner of special at this particular ride. It's going to be great. Yowza!

Monday, March 26, 2007

It HAS Begun (in the Mortal Combat voice)

Training has officially begun - I rode 55 miles yesterday, all within Portland / Milwaukie. About 1/3 of the way through the ride, I ran into the riders from Exchange Cycle Tours, and joined them on their ride to Kelly Point Park. What a great day for a ride!

The Usual:
Distance: 55 miles
Top Speed: ??? (the GPS says 87.7 mph, but I know that's not right)
Total Time in Motion: 05:01:22

Route: 97th & Lawnfield to I-205 bike path to Causey. Followed to Monroe, to Stanley, to King. King to 49th, then meander through the sub to 42nd and back to 55th to the Springwater Trail, then west into Sellwood. Follow the Springwater on the Willamette to the Hawthorne Bridge, then to SW 4th to Big Pink. Head back out around the tower to Broadway, and over the Broadway bridge to Interstate. Up Interstate to Marine Drive and Kelly Point Park. Then back out Marine Drive all the way to the I-205 bike path. Then south to home.

For the Year:
804.55 miles (9.47 miles per day, on average)
10.7 mph overall average speed
76:21:31 total time in the saddle
85 days into the year

At the rate I've been cycling, I'll cover 3,455 miles this year. Which means I need to step it up a notch, because I'm intending to ride at least 5,000 miles this year. This time last year, I was at 825 miles for the year. According to my schedule, I'm supposed to be at 1,169 miles right now. I'm down 344 miles, which is somewhat less than optimal. OTOH, a few weeks ago I was 500 miles down, so I'm pretty confident I will meet or exceed my scheduled mileage in another month.

Now if I can just start getting out to the gym, I'll have it made.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Still Spinnin'

Rode all over Milwaukie on Saturday - update on that to follow this evening. Good ride in this morning - it was wet, but not raining much, so my shoes didn't get half as dirty as they could have. Kind of windy, though. 12.34 miles on the way in - it's interesting how the GPS reads different every day depending on how long it takes to acquire the satellites and whether or not it loses signal along the way. Generally it reads between 12.3 and 12.4 miles each way if I take my most direct route.

679.38 miles this year, with a total time of 65 hours and 5 minutes in the saddle. I'm currently averaging 8.6 miles per day, which is almost as much as last year (8.91). At the rate I'm riding so far, even if I don't do any major rides this year I'll still ride more than 3,000 miles. I'm planning to do StP and CO, so that means I should be riding at least 4,000 miles this year, not counting my training rides. posted an update on Dawn Slawta, the woman who collided with a car on February 7th of this year. She was in a coma, but apparently is now conscious and on the road to recovery. I hope she recovers quickly and fully. She's very lucky she wasn't killed - reportedly both Dawn and the motorist (Mark Grover) were inebriated (the Portland Mercury says they were both over the legal limit) and Dawn was not wearing a helmet or using lights (this collision was at night). To his credit, the motorist stayed at the scene and cooperated with the police. It's a sad statement about society that I feel the need to congratulate people who comply with the law, but I respect the fact that he did the right and responsible thing.

I've can't understand why anyone (over 12) would want to ride without a helmet, and especially in this day and age, why anyone would voluntarily ride without lights. This is just a general comment - I don't know the particulars of Dawn's situation, and it's easy to generalize if you aren't/weren't there. I've ridden without lights before, because when your battery dies at 2am and Tri-Met is no longer running, you have to get home somehow. Walking through, say.... North Portland at 2am (or Lents) is not an option for many people, especially for most women. I mean, I'm a 6', 250 lb. guy, I'm reasonably safe. Not so much for the 5'2" woman, and I know a number of them who bike.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ride Report - March 13, 2007

This morning:
12.39 miles
12.1 mph average, 31.7 mph maximum
1:01:14 riding time
43 degrees F, dry pavement, dark/twilight

2007 Total-to-date:
554.14 miles (7.70 miles/day average)
10.6 mph overall average
53:15:50 total riding time

Felt good to be on the bike today. Had a burger and a couple of beers with Steph last night, talked about all kinds of stuff, and about StP and Cycle Oregon. Feels good to ride in general - maybe because I'm getting used to the new equipment, maybe just because the weather is getting marginally nicer again. Either way, feels good.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Ridin' Steady

Been a while since I posted, time for an update....

I haven't been riding as much as I'd like to these last few weeks, but I am back on the bike, and I've ridden 4 of the 5 days this week. I'm trying to make up my massive sleep deficit, and trying to reduce my caffeine intake. Well, I'm not succeeding that well on either count, but having a couple cups of coffee did make it easier to ride home the other day. The important things are that I'm still under 250 lbs and I'm riding again.

I'm now at 504 miles for the year, which is better than last year. I haven't ridden anything over 40 miles yet, but that'll probably change this weekend. The big change is that I now have clipless pedals and "proper" biking shoes. I didn't think I'd ever become "clipped in", but I find that I'd like any advantage I can get for my upcoming suicide ride (Cycle Oregon).

You know, I don't think I talked about that earlier in the blog - I'm doing Cycle Oregon this year, a 7-day fully supported ride, 481 miles long with 28,000' of elevation gain. Yes, I'm apparently insane. They say you should have goals, and yes, I apparently took that seriously. So, I decided to spend $800 of my hard-earned tax refund (ok, we decided - the spousal unit approved it) to try to kill myself riding up some of the most beautiful land God put on this green Earth. I'm really looking forward to it, and I know it'll be the ride of a lifetime and something I'll never forget. At 2,000 riders, it'll be somewhat smaller than Seattle to Portland, which has 9,000 riders, but still a pretty populous ride.

So, the stats:

This morning:
12.42 miles
12.3 mph average, 30.1 mph maximum
1:00:38 riding time
45 degrees F, wet pavement, overcast skies, no precipitation

2007 Total-to-date:
504.42 miles (7.42 miles/day average)
10.5 mph overall average
48:54:46 total riding time

Mechanical/Equipment changes:
New clipless pedals
New cycling shoes
New rain jacket
New saddle
New brake pads (rear)
New 1.5" reinforced road tires
Replaced broken spoke
Replaced frayed rear shift cable
Bike completely broken down, cleaned, and lubed

I will likely need a new wheelset, chain and cassette before Cycle Oregon. My bike is a 2004 Gary Fisher Wahoo, and currently has about 4,000 miles on it. I previously replaced the bottom bracket, chain rings and crankset, and I've gone through 2 sets of brake pads and a chain since purchasing it.

2004: ~100 miles
2005: ~400 miles
2006: 3022.03 miles
2007: 504.42 miles so far

This morning felt really good to bike. I did something I haven't done before - I rode with headphones. I kept them low enough that I could hear everything around me, and that seems to work ok. I even heard the Prius come up behind me on SE Umatilla, and those things don't make much noise. I didn't hear one of the cyclists come up behind me on the Springwater, but he didn't "on your left" me and I wouldn't have heard him normally anyway. I'm not sure if I'm comfortable enough with having headphones on to continue doing so, but it was nice riding today with my music. I probably freaked out the other cyclist, though, since when he passed me I was singing about eating people's brains (Jonathan Coulton's song Re: Your Brains, which is about a pack of zombies. Hillarious, click the link and take a listen).

Anyway, that's it for now...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Late Long Haul

Well, the weekend only went sort of as planned. I made the MMR, but missed out on Meghan's bike move - I had to work longer than expected on Saturday, and was a little tired from the MMR. Riding 30+ miles to get a trailer, ride to the move, do the move, ride to the after-move party, ride to return the trailer, and ride home is do-able, but not when I got home at 5am and had only 3 hours of sleep.

Sorry Meghan - I'll do better next time, or skip the MMR.

The St. Velotine's Breakfast on the Bridge today was cool - I didn't get to stay long, just long enough to talk to Jonathan, Shawn, Steph (the "other" Steph) and Kirsty. Oh, and to drink a half-cup of coffee (that's the whole reason for stopping in the first place) ;-)

I'm now up to 332.7 miles for the year, with 32.4 hours on the bike. 245.5 pounds - at the moment I'm losing 2 pounds per week, but we'll see if that holds up after the next month. I hope so, if I can keep that up, I could be down to 190 by the time of Cycle Oregon.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

200 miles

Well, I've got 205 292 miles so far for 2007. Next up, Meghan's bike move on Saturday!
Changed the mileage, found out my spreadsheet was only adding the first twenty rows - oops.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Well, I guess every year I need to have an accident on the bike, to remind myself that I'm still human or something. Today was that day - my first ever bike/bike collision. The funny thing is, I was just telling Steph the other day that I've never had a bike on bike crash. Well, I can't say that anymore.

I was riding westbound on the Springwater Trail, after passing Tideman Johnson nature area (which has been gutted by the sewer project - I hope it recovers this year), and had a good tail wind going. So, I decided to open it up a bit, and cracked it to about 27-28 mph. I was crossing the first of the three bridges over McLoughlin and Johnson Creek, catching up to a cyclist ahead of me and preparing to overtake and pass him on the left. All of a sudden, he started drifting to the center of the trail - so I drifted further left. He was slowing for the turn onto the ramp down to McLoughlin, which has a really sharp approach. I didn't really realize it at the time, and in any case I was now overtaking him by at least 20 mph and couldn't go any further left without going over the steep embankment. So I passed him on the right. Unfortunately, this was the instant when he made his right turn, and we had a spectacular glancing collision which I tried to avoid by braking - no such luck. I did, however manage to lock the front wheel and go end over the handlebars.

The bikes are ok. The other rider is uninjured. I'm ok but a bit shaken up, having had a 20mph crash with steep embankments on either side and a sharp drop to a busy road only 15 feet past where I landed. I'm alive! I remember my last thought before the crash was "uh oh - this is gonna hurt". Fortunately it was a very mild crash, and not at all like the one I had last year in February where I wiped out at the Salmon Fountain in Tom McCall Waterfront Park. The other rider and I pointed out our missteps to each other, made sure we were both ok, and apologized to each other, and went on our way. Man, cyclists are so much more polite than drivers. Then again, neither of us was seriously hurt and both bikes were virtually undamaged. Maybe totally undamaged - I haven't had the chance to closely examine my Wahoo, but she appears to be ok and nothing was out of alignment. I rode another 6 miles to work with no issues.


Crash Location: 45 degrees, 27 minutes, 34.6 seconds N latitude, 122 degrees, 38 seconds, 30.8 seconds W longitude. Roughly near the intersection of SE Clatsop and McLoughlin, about 10m east of the east end of the Springwater bridge over McLoughlin.

Crash Time and Direction: Approximately 7am, January 30th, 2007. I was overtaking the other rider, both of us were westbound on the trail.

Conditions: Dark but not full night. Visibility clear to about 20', diffuse out to about 100'. No clouds, dry pavement, no precipitation. Roadway was a paved chipseal path approximately 8' across, with about 2-3' of grassy shoulder on each side, flanked by a steep (45 degree or more) embankment dropping more than 20' to either side.

Safety Equipment: He had operating lights and a helmet, but no rear mirror. I had operating lights, helmet, bell and mirror. I used the bell as audible warning of my impending pass.

Cause(s) of Crash: There were 4 factors that caused the crash. First, I was riding very fast - closure speed was approximately 20mph. Second, the other rider crossed the centerline and moved all the way to the left of the lane without checking behind him for other cyclists. Third, the other rider did not signal his intent to turn right, nor that he was slowing down. (At this point there was enough light for me to make out hand signals) Fourth, and the immediate cause of the crash, I passed on the right.

Notes: By the time I realized that the other rider was going to continue drifting all the way left and leave me with no room to pass, my options had narrowed to A: Maximum braking (unsafe), B: Continue left onto the grassy shoulder (unsafe, and likely to put me over and down the embankment), or C: Pass on the right. I chose C, and had I reached him 1 second earlier, I would have passed him without contact, though I would have scared the heck out of him. He and I both broke cardinal rules of cycling, which is the real cause of the crash, but it would have been better had I been riding slower.


As far as 2007 riding is going, I've managed almost 200 miles in January. Not great, but pretty respectable considering the average temperature of my rides the last 3 weeks has been 38 degrees. Overall average speed 10.3 mph, 14 rides in 29 days, for a total of about 6.5 miles per day. My weight got back up to 256lbs in late December, but I'm back under 250. I've lost some definition in my thighs, quads & calves, so it's definitely time for me to get back on the bike regularly.

Anyway, that's my morning, hope everyone else's is better!

Oh, and what happened to me? I have an impressive black spot under my left middle finger, some light road rash on my lower right leg, and a couple of bruises - left ankle, right elbow, right hip, right shoulder.

Compared to last year's hand injury, that's alright. :-D

Thursday, January 18, 2007

So, where's the update?

Well, with the weather lately, it's been a little difficult to motivate myself to ride. Not that I have an aversion to cold (I am originally from Michigan, after all), nor to snow (again, Michigan),but I am allergic to falling. Granted, snow is softer than pavement, but I still don't like to fall and now that the snow is packed and melting, it's slipperier than ever. I don't ride a fixie, so I can't use zipties to make myself some cool snow tires. So, I'm waiting for the snow to mostly melt off. Hopefully, I'll be back 2-wheeling it again tomorrow.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Kirsty's Aquatic Bike Move

Ok, no photos - it was too blasted wet. This was a long ride for me. I left my place and rode 10 miles to Tomas' apartment near Mt. Tabor. Then we rode from there to North Portland to pick up a trailer from one of the Shifties, and then rode to NW Portland to Kirsty's OLD place. Then the work started. Well, after doughnuts. We loaded up, and there ended up being a lot more people than anyone really expected. Then usual crowd - Timo, Ken, Steph, Kirsty, Brian, Emily, Steve, and those of us who don't seem to be at every Shift event. ;-) Tomas, Sonia (who I met today), and myself. Oh, and I know I'm forgetting one or two others. It rained from just before I got to Tomas' place until just after we got to Kirsty's, and sprinkled a bit afterward. I stopped raining completely before we'd finished the move, and then everyone retired to the local pub in SE Portland.

I had a long, dark ride home, but since I had a spare set of gloves, my hands were dry and the uphill effort warmed me up fairly quick.

Total mileage: 34.36 miles
Total time on the bike: 3 hours 42 minutes
Weight this morning: 247 pounds

Since I haven't been riding, my weight crept back up, and I'm starting to lose some muscle tone. I've got 83 miles so far this month, though, and I rode 24 miles in the last 2 weeks of December, so I'm on the recovery road.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Ringing in the New Year!

Ok, I could have sworn that I'd posted something over the past 2 months, but I guess not. Life swallowed me up for a while, but fortunately it spit me back out and I landed on my bike.

Here's the stats for 2006:
Total Mileage: 3,022.03 (that works out to 8.91 miles per day - I biked for 339 days last year)
Average Speed, all rides averaged: 11.7 MPH
Total time in the Saddle: 259 hrs 43 min (whew)

I moved in December, and now my 11 mile commute has become a 12.5 mile commute. In addition, it usually takes 10-30 minutes longer to bus in than to bike in. (Biking home is about the same time, or 10 minutes less if my ride is going good) My final rides of the year were riding in to work from the new place, on December 18th and 19th.