Misc

September 8, 2009

Bike For Shelter – Ride For A Cause

If you are in Portland, or aren’t able to ride the Peach of a Century on Sunday, September 27, you might want to consider another ride in the Portland area, Bike For Shelter. The 27 mile ride will help raise funds for a shelter to house victims of underage sex trafficking in Portland. I got word of this ride from a buddy and received this note about the event:

Hey all!  Come join us September 27th for the first annual Bike for Shelter ride as a volunteer, rider, or both!

This event is a fundraiser, planned by a small group of citizens who want to make a change. Despite the unbelievably high numbers of underage victims of sex trafficking here in Portland, the state is currently ill-equipped to address the issue or offer refuge to those who seek it. All BIKE FOR SHELTER proceeds are benefiting Transitions Global, a Hillsboro-based non-profit organization with plans to open Oregon’s first shelter for underage girls who are survivors of domestic sex trafficking. It’s only $27 to register, $10 for students, and free to volunteer!

BIKE FOR SHELTER is a 27.7-mile ride through East Portland with a 4-mile stretch along the Columbia River and a view from the top of Mount Tabor. Registration is open to single riders, as well as to teams of three that would prefer to tackle 9.3-mile legs.

Volunteer, donate, and/or sign up to ride at http://www.bikeforshelter.org/

Spread the word, and rock on!

Thank you!

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August 31, 2009

Salem Bike Parade Was A Lot Of Fun!

Sue and her little dog, who did a great job all the way through the parade!

Sue and her little dog, who did a great job all the way through the parade!

I know, I need to wrap up the Short Track Series, and I will, but before the last race, we had a great time at the Bike Parade. Most of our family hustled down to the Oregon State Fairgrounds Pavillion to meet up with the many other riders who would ride down the State Capitol and back, as a bike and family friendly way to kick off the Oregon State Fair.

Bike parade participants getting signed in and ready to ride!

Bike parade participants getting signed in and ready to ride!

We met up at the central location where BMX and Mountain Bike Short track would register and enter the race the following day. Many riders were in costume, or had their bikes dressed up and many kids were in tow or on their own bikes as well! It was great to see the kids out enjoying the ride.

Mother and son getting ready to ride. (OK, thats my son and wife...but had to put them in!)

Mother and son getting ready to ride. (OK, that's my son and wife...but had to put them in!)

Earlier in the day the rain dumped down and we wondered how miserable the ride would be for the parade, however, we caught the sunbreak and had really nice weather for the ride.

Kurt telling Martha and Ellen where they could stock up on pig squeaky horns.

Kurt telling Martha and Ellen where they could stock up on pig squeaky horns.

Many thanks to the local law enforcement for providing a police escort along the way, giving us a safe path all the way to the Capitol building and back. We even had a few folks who came out to cheer on the riders.

The bike parade moving out from the fairgrounds.

The bike parade moving out from the fairgrounds.

All in all a great little 4 mile jaunt to celebrate bikes and riding in Salem. I only wish we’d have stopped for a picture at the Capitol! A few more photos on my Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/37571505@N06/ – and be sure to check out Eric’s photos from the event as well! – http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/08/scenes-from-fair-parade.html

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August 21, 2009

To Serve and Protect….On Two Wheels

Dirt and gravel, dismounts, people yelling from the sidelines, timed laps, thrown chains, obstacles and barriers…sounds like cross season right? Well, it’s not, but instead, the target practice segment of national Law Enforcement Bicycle Association‘s annual training. Sarah Mirk posted about her visit to the training on the Portland Mercury blog this week.

“Here’s the first thing I learned: bike cops don’t actually shoot guns from their bikes. Like other officers, they rarely shoot their guns at all. But when they do, they can’t ready, aim, fire while still pedaling (though that would be AWESOME). Instead they drop their bikes and fire like “normal” police, except that bike cops are often worse shots because their bodies are coursing with adrenaline from riding.”

Be sure to check out the video. Poor guy, chain problems right at the start line. I hope he gets a free entry into the next race.

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August 14, 2009

Local Fellas Release “Performance” Video. Internet Applauds.

4 days ago, a couple of Portland cyclists released this “Performance” video. Half mocking fixie hipsters, half mocking serious and wannabe roadies. I gotta say, I watched it pretty much after it hit, said “eh,” and moved on.

But in the last 4 days, it’s taken off like a wildfire across the cycling blog-o-rama, with nearly 300,000 views, and has even garnered a post on BikeSnob, and mentions in tweets from Lance and Hincapie.

Well, who am I to be keeping ‘art’ from the loyal readers of PacificPedaling? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so I’ll leave it up to you.

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July 24, 2009

Weekend Tip – Stop By The Saturday Market

Some flowers and visitors at the Salem Saturday Market.

Some flowers and visitors at the Salem Saturday Market.

There is plenty to do this weekend, but I thought I’d toss out this friendly reminder that one of the best places you can spend a few hours is right downtown at the Salem Saturday Market. If you’ve never been before, there are a plethora of reasons why you should shop locally and support businesses in our area. In addition to the Ten Reasons Why To Shop at The Saturday Market (from their website,) the Saturday Market has recently hopped up their efforts to make the location more bike-friendly with Bike Valet Parking, and Bike Safety courses. But in case you still need some encouragement, here are ten more reasons…

1.  Locally grown food tastes better and, because it’s fresher, it lasts longer.  Locally grown produce is usually sold within 24 hours of being harvested.

2.  Local produce is better for you and better for our environment.  Buying local shrinks the number of miles food has to travel before being eaten.  That translates into less use of fossil fuels and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

3.  Local food preserves genetic diversity and is free of genetically modified biotechnology.

4.  Buying local supports and strengthens local farm families and producers, providing jobs within our community.

5.  Buying local connects our community and allows consumers to know the farmers, understand the seasons and respect the growing process.

6.  Locally grown food preserves open spaces, supports a clean environment and benefits wildlife.

7.  Buying local keeps more dollars in our community.  One study shows that each dollar spent with a local grower is worth $2.50 for the community.

8.  Buying local is a form of rebellion against industrial food and corporate farming.

9.  Buying local is about the future, sustaining local farms, helping preserve the unique character of our community and helping you become a more engaged citizen.

10.  Except for a couple grumps, we’re not a bad lot to throw your support behind.

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July 23, 2009

Pacific Pedaling On the Road – Riding in Tucson, AZ

Tucson, AZ - A Bike Friendly town, with the signs to prove it.

Tucson, AZ - A Bike Friendly town, with the signs to prove it.

On the 5th day of our Epic Journey family road trip adventure, before heading off to Van Horn, Texas, I unfolded the Bike Friday and knocked out about 20 miles in Tucson, Arizona. I know from much internet reading that Tucson actually has some great cycling, but with just under 2 hours available, I knew I wouldn’t be able to go in search of much, so I simply headed out the door from our hotel to see what I could see.

Having pulled in late the night before, I really had no idea where we were. Turns out we were just a few blocks from the University of Arizona. In fact, as I was headed out, someone in the parking lot said, “you’ll want to head towards the University for your ride, and not the other direction. It’s a safer neighborhood for your ride.” And so I pointed my wheels that direction and headed out.

As expected, I saw many homes and buildings in typical southwestern flair — in fact, our hotel was just a couple blocks down from the Steinfeld Mansion, which is famous for some Mission Revival style architecture. I only rode by the mansion, but could see the courtyard that is on the “must see” list if you go, and it pretty much looked like a courtyard.

The some-what famous Steinfeld Mansion in Tuscon.

The some-what famous Steinfeld Mansion in Tuscon.

Before long I was in the downtown area, pretty much unsure of where to go, so I just kept riding and found myself on some pretty major thoroughfares. In fact, I spent quite a few miles on one road (pictured above at top of article) that ended up reminding me of Lancaster Drive, here in Salem, where I would never consider riding my bike. But being comforted by the Bike Friendly signs, I knew I could carry on without worry of incident. My first hour or so of riding in Tucson was basically sweating in the just-under 90 degree temps, sucking down morning commute exhaust. The highlight of the ride at that point was when an elderly lady with a dog met me at a corner where I was stopped for a red light and said, “that’s one of them folding bikes, isn’t it.”

A school along the ride...not too shabby, I'd dig going to school there. Well, I'd like the building anyway.

A school along the ride...not too shabby, I'd dig going to school there. Well, I'd like the building anyway.

I reached a turning point and started heading back down the same road I have been on for a while, and finally cut across to what I assumed would eventually lead me to the college and then back to the hotel. On one of the roads I saw a sign that said “3rd Street Bike Crossing,” and when I looked over I saw a big sign that said DO NOT ENTER, with another under it that said BICYCLES EXEMPTED. Apparently this WAS a Bike Friendly town after all, and as if to prove it yet again, there was another Bike Friendly sign across from it.

The 3rd Street Bike Crossing road.

The 3rd Street Bike Crossing road.

And so I was excited to ride on my first Bike-Only road in Tucson, the land where they really did care about cyclists. Where they closed off entire roads to cars and rolled out the red carpet for those on self-propelled two wheeled devices. I turned around on the main road I was on, scooted back to the cross walk, and pushed the magical button that would halt traffic and allow me to cross the road and enter the promised land.

Check it out...are you on a bike? Press here to stop cars and let yourself across!

Check it out...are you on a bike? Press here to stop cars and let yourself across!

And what did I find once I rolled out onto the bicycle road? It sucked. And not just a little, it sucked a lot. Bumpy, broken, and in need of repair. In fact, I’m wondering if the road got so bad for cars, that rather than fix it, they decided to close it, call it a bike route, and get some brownie points. I wanted to take a picture, but I honestly was not sure if I could control the bike if I let go with one hand.  I really thought it was kind of a joke, but then before long I was pulling right up to the University of Arizona, and it never got any better.

Along the bone rattling road I came upon a guy on a longboard being pulled behind a gal on a bike, obviously both on their way to class. I said, “dude this kind of sucks for a longboard, doesn’t it?” To which he said, “it totally sucks.” And there you have it, I rest my case.

The rest of the ride back to the hotel was uneventful, but hot, and before long we were loaded up in the ‘Burb and headed to Van Horn. I stopped in at a local shop and picked up a pump, spare tube, Co2 and inflator. I know Tucson has some good riding, and someday, maybe I’ll get back to actually experience it.

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June 30, 2009

Greetings from New Orleans!

Our hotel on St. Charles street in New Orleans.

Our hotel on St. Charles street in New Orleans.

I have a few posts to put up about riding in several states across this great country of ours, but we’ve hardly had a minute to breathe, let alone sit and write. However, we have a few quieter days ahead, so I should be able to blog about those soon. Meanwhile, feel free to read about our cross country trip on the little blog we set up for that.

For today, let me just say that the littlest things make me happy. For example, while my kids were all racked out from a long day of driving (complete with a nice chat with the captain of the Washington, Louisiana police force about the speed of my vehicle,) and a late night dinner here in the heart of New Orleans, I hopped on Ira’s site to see what was up. Lo and behold, there’s the phrase I’ve been waiting to read: “Paul’s cross all rounder.”

When I last met Ira, we drew up plans for a sweet cross bike that could also be able to serve double duty as an all around Pacific Northwest type of bike….fenders, racks, etc.  I’m stoked. All these months I’ve been seeing everyone elses name show up on the blog — jealous that they’d soon be riding their sweet custom builds, and today, it looks like we’re just that much closer.

I’m off to have some coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde (you gotta do that in New Orleans, right?) but wanted to update you on the progress of the Ira Ryan build. Too legit now!

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June 18, 2009

Summer Schedule for Breakfast on Bikes

photo11

Soon and very soon, I will be on the road, and most of my updates will be about where I’m riding my Bike Friday, and/or what we are eating in that same location. So before I take off on Saturday, let me take this opportunity to update you on the Salem Breakfast on Bikes schedule for the summer, according to the blog of the same name.

“A week from this Friday, on June 26th Breakfast on Bikes will be on the Union Street Railroad Bridge. We’ll be at the east end between 7am and 9am. We’ll have free coffee, pastries, and fruit for bicycle commuters.

On Friday, July 31st, we’ll be at Winter & Mission.

On August 28th, we’ll be at 12th & Chemeketa.

And in September, we hope to offer breakfast every Friday as part of the Bike Commute Challenge!”

I’m sad that I’ll be missing the June breakfast, but will be back for July. I hope to see you all there!

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June 11, 2009

Updated: Test Riding The Bike Friday Pocket Sport

Bike Friday Pocket Sport model, on the bike path in Eugene.

Bike Friday Pocket Sport model, on the bike path in Eugene.

Yesterday, I made a decision to tackle the Impending Three Week Dilema head on. We are heading out with our family for a three week, cross-country road trip, hitting a ton of states from Oregon to Georgia and back. I’ve been dreading the three weeks off without any riding, and had just resigned myself to losing the time, as we really didn’t have a ton of room for me to bring a bunch of bike gear on the trip. However, over the past few weeks, my wife has been saying that she really wanted for me to figure a way to get some riding in, and since she was twisting my arm so much…I finally relented. More on Updated: Test Riding The Bike Friday Pocket Sport

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June 5, 2009

Commuting By Bike Through Monsoons and Tornados

Editors Note: Yesterday as I was driving just South of town, with disco-ball style lightning in the sky, and wind and rain buffeting my vehicle, the thought occurred to me…”what if I was on my bike right now?” Well, PacificPedaling.com contributer Tina Brubaker was, of course. And lived to tell about it.

I am 100% certain that the world would be 40% happier if 20% more people rode a bike to work. These figures cannot be substantiated with anything other than smiles and are base solely on my personal observations.

I’ve been ruminating over a commuting piece for some time now, but have lacked that ONE thing that has been able to push me from thinking about it, to typing it. Yesterday, while at work, I heard the push. SEVERE WEATHER WARNING. It was on the radio, the internet, coming out of customers mouths. While the masses are in a panic about this, I’m am slipping into my Sidi’s and helmet in great anticipation of my ride home.

Tina on a normal, non-monsoon work day.

Tina on a normal, non-monsoon work day.

My love for the forces of nature are deep and I’ve always had a John Muir-like love for the elements, much like you can read about here,  so the very utterance of the words ‘Extreme Weather Conditions’ elevates my blood pressure and puts a wry smile on my face. The sky goes from sunny to dark grey in a matter of minutes as I start to pedal home.

It’s hot out and sprinkling and smells like rain. The sky is black to the north were I’m headed, this makes my already ear to ear smile even bigger. About a mile out of downtown it hits. The wind is all over the place, but mostly at my back. The rain comes down hard, and loud. I hit stop lights and notice people in cars are staring at me in my soaked tank top and skirt and smiling or laughing. I keep pedaling to the next stop light, all the while feeling pretty euphoric about my current state of affairs. At this point, the streets are like rivers and the rain is pouring out of the sky like that of a hose nozzle being sprayed in your face from about 10 feet away. And it’s so WARM, it’s crazy!

I’m cautiously manuevering through the flooded streets and smiling, all the while casually watching the people, in their cars, watching me. Besides a lot of smiles, I got a few thumbs ups, a couple “Yeah’s” and an “awesome” from some teen-ager in a truck, but the best of all was a comment made by a well dressed woman driving a mini-van. She drove up next to me as we were both going about 10mph and rolled her passenger window down and yelled “I’m so jealous!”…and I knew she was. I also know for sure, based on the smiles I saw in that storm, that she wasn’t the only driver who felt that way.

The Veloforma as an all-season, tornado-tackling commuter bike.

The Veloforma as an all-season, tornado-tackling commuter bike. Yep, that's standing water, darn near up to the hub.

I finally made it to the bike route, out of traffic, where I was able to think about how great it was that I was soaked to the bone, on my bike and smiling about it! And this is where it occured to me, as it always does at some point on any ride, that going anywhere by bike IS awesome! And this in only ONE of the endless commuting stories of Epic adventure I am sharing. Calm, beautiful night rides home, taking the ‘long way’ on those perfect sunny days, tailwinds that make you feel like you’re not even pedaling. Even the completely average, uneventful rides still leave you feeling good. Every day offers something unique and different, but there is still the comfort and familiarity of the bike – you get to feel it ALL from behind the handlebars and I wouldn’t trade them for a steering wheel anyday*.

It’s raining quietly this morning as I get ready to head out and it seems almost negligible after yesterday’s monsoon, but I still think I’m gonna wear a raincoat today.

(*see me about this statement in January, after a few months of typical Oregon ’34 deg and rain’ days. I might just be eating my words)
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If you haven’t commuted by bike yet, you’re missing out! Tina also sent along these other photos of the great things she typically gets to see on a ride into work. Part of the beauty of getting to work on two wheels is just that….seeing the beauty:
A nice wide open field in North Keizer.

A nice wide open field in North Keizer.

Another shot on a peaceful morning ride to work.

Another shot on a peaceful morning ride to work.

And the beauty of Robert Fox! Robert is involved with the Willamette Valley Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Breakfast on Bikes, Salem Bicycle Club, and too many bike-centric things to mention. He's a dang fast rider too!

And the beauty of Robert Fox! Robert is involved with the Willamette Valley Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Breakfast on Bikes, Salem Bicycle Club, and too many bike-centric things to mention. He's a dang fast rider too!

To learn more about cycling in Salem, commuting by bike, bike safety or just about anything else, checkout the BTA’s website, or hop over to the Breakfast on Bikes blog, which provides so much local information, it’s scary!

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