Ice Bike

Posted January 18, 2007 by portlandor
Categories: Uncategorized

The past few weather days in Portland have certainly raised awareness in our community about “winter biking.” In further researching this topic, I came across a fascinating web site dedicated to winter biking. IceBike.Org claims to be “dedicated to the winter cyclists, who brave ice and snow and cycle for transportation, recreation, or competition in winter.”

A few people were joking yesterday about “…yea, if only you could put studded snow tire on your bike!” Well check this out – the Nokian Extreme W296 studded bicycle snow tire! There are others as well but this one happens to be my favorite. Not only does this delicious site spotlight studded tires, but tire chains, snowcat rims, performance lights, extreme weather computers, mirrors and other “specialized stuff” – all for winter biking!

If only I had know about this site a few days ago 🙂

Let in snow!


Rules Were Meant to be Frozen!

Posted January 16, 2007 by portlandor
Categories: Uncategorized

Well, it has happened once again, the yearly snow day in Portland!
Mark the date -> January 16, 2007.

Snow Day!

Is the above photo fact or fiction? Mere PhotoShop wizardry or true cycling insanity!?!

Actually the photo is legit but the scene was staged. I admit to being a cycling fanatic but I am not crazy! 🙂

Although there are apparently many hardy souls [view here] in Portland that braved these conditions as reported on BikePortland.

Have fun out there kids!

Wage War on Bike Makers?

Posted January 15, 2007 by portlandor
Categories: Uncategorized

It seems a professor from MIT is advocating suing bicycle manufactures to force them to make safer products. Professor David Gordon Wilson made his remarks during a recent keynote speech at the Thinking on Two Wheels advocacy conference in Adelaide, Australia. You can read a summary of his remarks here.

Do you think his suggestion to litigate is a good one?

Sunday Ride

Posted January 15, 2007 by portlandor
Categories: Uncategorized

I always look forward to the weekend when bike rides mean something other than a commute to work. This Sunday I took a nice leisurely 21 mile ride through the Beaverton suburb of Portland. The sky was sunny and the temperature was a brisk 36 degrees. My meandering route took me through a little slice of nature in this suburban setting – Tualatin Hills Nature Park.

The park is a 222-acre wildlife reserve in the heart of Beaverton, Oregon. It is made up of evergreen and deciduous forests, creeks, wetlands, ponds, and meadows. The Park is home to a variety of birds, mammals, and smaller creatures. There are approximately 5 miles of trails.  About 1.5 miles are paved, the rest are well maintained soft surface trails. See some great flora/fauna shots posted here (courtesy of “emiliemcw”).

My route also took me on one of the Portland metro regions famous tails – Fanno Creek Trail. The trail system spans 15 miles, from Portland’s Willamette Park to Tualatin, running through Beaverton, Tigard and Durham. It’s a very cool cycling and pedestrian trail system but there are some gaps through Portland, Tigard and Tualatin segments that cause you to get back on the road.

All in all a good ride!

Reaching the Limit

Posted January 12, 2007 by portlandor
Categories: Uncategorized

Man or machine. Flesh or steel. Which will reach the limit first?

Those were the questions that I was asking myself (albeit in not so dramatic terms)  this morning as I prepared to leave on my commute to work in 20 degree temperatures.

     From on January 12, 2007 for zip code 97223

The coldest temperature in which I had previously ridden was 28 degrees (Dec 28, 2006). Today was very unusual weather for January in Portland. Sunny and cold. Normally in the winter months Portland is entrenched in a pattern of “gray and 45 degrees.” Not today. I prepared myself no differently today than any other day this winter. T-shirt, jersey, rain jacket, riding tights, rain pants, wool socks, cycling shoes, neoprene booties, gloves, skull cap, helmet and riding glasses (with mirror). Man was fine.

Machine had issues. My bike, a Trek 7700fx hybrid, did fine the first 10 minutes into the ride. Suddenly I could no longer shift gears on the back sprocket. Of course this happened at the most inopportune time as I was approaching a steep hill. I quickly down-shifted the front sprocket to the middle range placing me in a gear that was reasonable to both climb and pedal on flat stretches. Once I was in a position to safely examine the bike, I found that the shifting linkage was frozen. It had nothing to do with the sprocket itself.

Machine is now thawing out in a warm building preparing for the return trip home.  Man is now a little wiser about the limits of machine.

Going Waterproof

Posted January 9, 2007 by portlandor
Categories: Uncategorized

Seeing a big yellow bag on my back during morning arrival and afternoon departure is a common site for my co-workers. That big yellow bag is a waterproof Ortlieb messenger bag. Ortlieb Messenger Bag

I must say that if you’re the sort who would rather “pack it on your back” than retrofit your ride with panniers, then this baby is for you. This is especially true if you live in a wet climate (like I do).

With a roomy 1,831 cubic inches of space this completely waterproof bag can carry quite a load. I routinely pack a laptop computer, work clothes, sack-lunch, valuables and extra cycling gear.

This little gem isn’t cheap but it’s well worth the price if you do a lot of wet weather cycling. An added bonus is the very bright color choices (yellow & orange) that improves your visibilty to motorists.

Only five types of people who commute on bikes?

Posted January 8, 2007 by portlandor
Categories: Uncategorized

Thirty-year bike commuter Grant Petersen from Rivendell Bicycle Works paraphrased the great Greg LeMond in his bicycle commuting tips when he wrote, “Riding never gets easier, you just go faster, but the effort remains about the same.”

Grant also asserted the following in his insightful piece “What They Don’t Tell You About Bike Commuting“…

There are only five types of people who commute on bikes:
 1. Athletes who use their commute as training or time-on-the-bike
 2. People who don’t have cars or access to public transportation
 3. Bad drivers who’ve had their licenses suspended
 4. Practicalists whose commute is easier by bike than it is by car
 5. People who just plain like pedaling a bike

Do you agree that Grant’s list is all encompassing?
So why do you commute by bike? For me it’s a little of #4 and #5.