Riding

April 16, 2010

Update on Youth Development Team – Flow Riders Pace

I’ve been getting updates from Teresa White, one of the coaches of the Boys and Girls youth development team we help sponsor, also officially known as the Flow Riders. The updates are always a great encouragement to read, and I’ve decided that I need to start sharing those here, especially as we get closer to the Cycle Challenge, on June 26, 2010. If you’d like to come volunteer on a ride and support a local youth program, please note the Saturday ride time in the post and come participate.

Here’s this weeks update from Teresa:

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Hey guys!

The Monster Cookie is just around the corner and the Flow Riders have been doing some extra training to get ready for the big day! This past Saturday the Flow Riders went on a short ride of 28 miles out on Macleay. We decided to do a short ride because we wanted to get back to do a little maintenance class with Bob and Robert. The Flow Riders just loved it! I have attached a few pictures of them all hard at work. I can tell you this much, those bikes look fantastic after all the hard work that the Flow Riders put into them!

Saturday there was not much excitement but man have those kids really excelled in their speed. We are averaging about 18 mph now. The Flow Riders have also started to break into two groups naturally…Boys with Robert and Bob and the girls with Joann, Cyndi, and myself. The group hangs together for about 25 miles then of course the levels of conditioning take their tolls.

As we keep pushing for physical success, so does the push for academic success. In the last three weeks I have really seen the academic success take its course. The Flow Riders are telling me about projects and test that they have aced, all of the extra help they are getting from their teacher and the great feeling of having a higher GPA to show for it. They are all growing academically from this experience and I am very proud of them!

As they continue to grow so does the Flow Riders program. If you would like to grow with us please join us at our weekly events.

Tuesday: Spinning @4pm Lancaster Court House
Thursday: Spinning @4pm Keizer Court House
Saturday: Road Ride @9am Wipper Teen Center – Editors note: this ride will start at 10 am this week.

Hope to see all of your out this next Saturday. Unfortunately I will be out of town Saturday participating in a roller hockey tournament so any extra hands that would be available to attend would be great! Thanks again for all of our support and never forget to ride for HOPE and OPPORTUNITY!

Teresa White
Program Coordinator II
Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties

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April 14, 2010

Handy Blog Helps Determine If You Have Bike Culture

New-to-me blog, Copenhagenize.com has a tongue in cheek article on determining if you live in a city that is very bikey or not. Although their recent post, 18 Ways to Know If You Have Bike Culture, is mostly for kicks, I was reminded that I was mocked by my father and his buddies last month when I mentioned something about my bike mechanic.

“Bike mechanic? Who has a bike mechanic?”

Old school guys, but all of a sudden there I am smack in the middle of bullet point #11: You and your friends have repeated discussions about which bike repair shop in your neighbourhood is the best for price and service.

I guess it makes a little sense, we are after all, 19th on The List! (ok, we still have a ways to go…)

Lifted from BSNYC.

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April 5, 2010

Local Developmental ‘Flow Riders’ Team Gets Good Press!

Shots of the Flow Riders from the Statesman Journal article.

Last year, Pacific Pedaling signed on to sponsor a few riders in a new youth development cycling team run by the Salem Boys and Girls club. Since that time, riders of the team have been growing in their knowledge of all things cycling, and in their skills on a bike. They have been working out three times a week, building up to participate in a 75 mile challenge on June 26, 2010. In addition to financially supporting the team, members of the Pacific Pedaling team also get out on rides, and help train the team whenever possible, alongside of a slew of other volunteers and coaches. The whole process has been an amazing experience for everyone involved.

This week, the ‘Flow Riders’ got some great coverage in the local Statesman Journal paper…on the front page of the Sunday edition. Click here for the full article, and click here for the photo gallery. If you can grab a copy of the print version, they also have bios of each of the individual riders.

But the team isn’t all about just riding bikes, check out this blurb from the article about expectations for the team:

The program is new, having launched in September, and incorporates road safety courses, nutrition classes and designated times for homework. All but one of the teens were struggling in school, in some cases failing, before committing to the team. Now they are required to maintain a 2.5 grade-point average and turn in regular progress reports to their coaches. “Part of being in this is they have to put time in on academic achievement,” said Tim Sinatra, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties.

And if you keep finding ways to make excuses not to ride, check out this snippet:

Bryan Rosales is able to ride a real bike for the first time in his life. He was born with a disability and has limited mobility in his right arm and right leg. He was teased for riding a trike to the Boys & Girls Club that was rigged with a bungee cord to keep his leg in place so he could pedal. Now he rides on the back of a tandem with Sinatra and answers to the nickname “Wingman.” “I clip off my feet and don’t pedal, and he can pedal my weight, his weight and the weight of the tandem,” Sinatra said. “We just need to work on his balance.”

Each rider has their own story, and there is so much good stuff in this article, you really just need to go read it. Seriously, go read it. Why are you still here….go read the article.

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December 22, 2009

Top Ten Rules of Bicycle Safety

bikecommute

It’s crazy weather off and on out there, and additionally, there is not much daylight. Bike commuters and cyclists in general find themselves in dark and inclement conditions through the next couple of months. I always tell people ‘don’t do anything to surprise another vehicle on the road…whether you are in a car, or on a bike!.’ The League of American Bicyclists have a tremendous amount of resources on their website, including these Top Ten Rules of Bicycle Saftey. Most of us know these, but it’s good to be reminded.

1. Wear a helmet for every ride and use lights at night.

2. Conduct an ABC quick check before every ride.

3. Obey traffic laws: ride on the right, slowest traffic farthest on the right.

4. Ride predictably and be visible at all times.

5. At intersections, ride in the right-most lane that goes in your direction.

6. Scan for traffic and signal lane changes and turns.

7. Be prepared for mechanical emergencies with tools and know-how.

8. Control your bike by practicing bike handling skills.

9. Drink before you are thirsty, and eat before your are hungry.

10. Have fun!

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September 25, 2009

It’s Officially Fall – Pics and Vid from Chilly Breakfast on Bikes

Bike commuters in Salem gathering for some breakfast near downtown.

Bike commuters in Salem gathering for some breakfast near downtown.

Apparently I’m still living in summer land as I rode down to the Breakfast on Bikes in sandals, shorts and short sleeve short. I’m not alone though, as my buddy Conrad was thinking the same thing. Most other folks were smart enough to at least put on longer sleeves, if not jackets and something on their legs. The sun should be out for the commute home.

Conrad, sporting the still feels like summer to me look.

Conrad, sporting the "still feels like summer to me" look.

I wasn’t able to get to the breakfast until after 8:30, but when I arrived there were probably 20 commuters or so, partaking of the coffee, pastries and fruit (no pizza this month…sorry Tessa!) before heading off to work.

More of the smarter commuters, properly dressed for the chilly commute this morning.

More of the smarter commuters, properly dressed for the chilly commute this morning.

This morning’s breakfast was a good wrap up morning for the Bike Commute Challenge. I’ll take this time to do a quick update for our team. As of today, everyone (all 3 riders) have done at least 50% of their work day commutes on a bike, and we have 221 miles total. Again ,we’re all close, so we’re not going to set any records, but I haven’t been filling up the car very much this month!

Robert provides the morning entertainment with his battery powered sound system.

Robert provides the morning entertainment with his battery powered sound system.

Next week we wrap up the commute challenge, but I’m hoping to still log some decent days of commuting. Eric mentioned there will possibly be a local wrap up party, and I also got this note from Stephanie at the BTA:

When will the winners be announced? We’re thrilled to unveil the news that our official Bike Commute Challenge Awards Party will be held Thursday, October 8, at Portland City Hall! Everyone who has logged at least one trip this September is welcome to join us for free Hot Lips pizza, Widmer beer, a final prize drawing, and celebration between 5:30- 7:30.  If you’re in the Portland area, make it a team field trip and ride over together!  Our awards ceremony will begin at 6:15.  Results will be posted on the website by the following day.

Here’s a short little clip of the bikes and folks at the breakfast this morning (iphone video quality not the greatest this morning):

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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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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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July 20, 2009

How I Hauled My Bike and Gear Across 23 States This Month

The Suburban with the Stowaway2 on the back.

The Suburban with the Stowaway2 on the back.

Many of you know I was out for three weeks on a cross country trip our family dubbed The Epic Journey. I still have some posts to get up about riding in different states across and back, but I’ve had a bunch of folks ask about traveling with a bike, and wondering how and where the bike was, because they never saw it in the photos we posted. So for everyone who was curious, here’s what I took, and how I took it with me.

In the photo above you can see our Suburban with a large StowAway2 box on the back that our kids lovingly dubbed “the fanny pack.” There were six of us on the trip – 2 adults, 4 kids, (two teenage girls and two younger boys) and each of us were allowed ONE duffel bag, one toiletry bag, and a “carry on bag” of sorts…something you basically kept with you in your seat. In addition, we had some general bags of medical/health stuff, snacks, and pillows and blankets for everyone…all of which filled out the cargo space behind the third row with just enough room to see safely out the back window. We picked up the Stowaway to be able to haul anything additional, which ended up being some auto gear, an additional car seat for our youngest, and then all my bike stuff.

The "fanny pack" with bag of bike gear, additional car seat, assorted big gear, a folded Bike Friday, and some stuff for the Suburban.

The "fanny pack" with bag of bike gear, additional car seat, assorted big gear, a folded Bike Friday, and some stuff for the Suburban.

I considered just throwing a rack on top, and putting one of the bikes up on top, but I didn’t want to be concerned with weather for 22 days, or theft or vandalism everytime we were in a new city, or even forget that I had it up on top and shave it off at some parking garage. The fanny pack seemed like an easier, fairly secure method of being able to take something with me, and it proved to be perfect for our trip.

The Stowaway model we selected had 16 cubic feet of storage, which fit everything you see easily, and could have taken more if I needed to get creative with packing. The swing-away arm allows the entire box to move out of the way of the rear-access to the Suburban with a quick release and lock down mechanism that keep it securely attached during normal operation. It was easy enough for anyone to use, and we got in and out of the back of the Suburban multiple times a day.

For anyone who hasn’t read a previous post about the bike, or seen it folded up, the Bike Friday packs up nicely into a bag that’s not much bigger than a suitcase. Having it ready to go in the fanny pack was much easier than if I’d had it tucked in with all our stuff in the Suburban. Plus, there wouldn’t have been enough room with all our other stuff.

The Bike Friday, folded up in it's carrying case.

The Bike Friday, folded up in it's carrying case.

Folded up, and out of the case.

Folded up, and out of the case.

I carried one bag that had 2 jerseys, 1 pair of shorts, 1 bibshorts, 1 pair of gloves, 3 layers (1 long sleeve, 2 short sleeve,) 3 pairs of socks, 1 pair of shoes, 1 lightweight jacket, 1 rain jacket, 1 front light, 1 blinky light. When I got on the road I realized I had forgotten a pump of any kind! I rode without a pump for the first couple times and finally picked up a full sized pump in Tucson, a spare tube for the BF, and some CO2 and a attachment. Fortunately for me, no problems with flats before then, and nothing afterwards either.

The Bike Friday Sport, assembled and ready for a ride outside of our hotel.

The Bike Friday Sport, assembled and ready for a ride outside of our hotel.

Overall, I really liked having the BF with me as a riding option. It allowed me to keep my legs spinning on a three week trip, rather than return cold after all that time. It was a decent replacement for my normal road bikes, and the bigger tires made it easy to get off of pavement and take a path or gravel road here and there. Halfway through the trip I started picking up some ghost shifting issue that I never really resolved. I tried a few tweaks, but I think I’m just going to let the fellas at Bike Friday give it a look over. Will the BF replace any of my day to day riders? Probably not. Will I take it with me on future camping or vacation trips? Without a doubt, it’s perfect for that.

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June 24, 2009

Riding in San Jose…well, Morgan Hill anyway

sanjose1

On Sunday morning, I got the chance to put the Bike Friday to it’s first out-of-state test early in the morning in Morgan Hill. As I mentioned before, my plan on the trip is to get up on as many mornings as I can, before everyone else gets up, and put in a quick 15 or 20 miles, fold the bike back up and be ready for the day. I won’t get the chance to do any epic rides, but more of the Tour de Area Around Our Hotels. At least I’m getting the chance to keep my legs spinning.

I was ready for some sunny California riding, but that was not to be had on Sunday. It was a chilly sub-50 degrees when I set out. I almost didn’t bring arm warmers or layers, but I’m really glad I packed everything I thought I might need for all weather occassions. The sun eventually came out, but it never really warmed up to the point of taking any layers off.

The majority of my riding was simply road riding, and rough road riding at that. Next time I think that Salem/Keizer has bad roads, I’ll remember the areas I’ve ridden on vacation and be thankful. In fact at one point, the road was so bad I was thankful that there was an access road off to the side and took the chance to take the BF off-road and get a little psuedo-cross training in.

sanjose2

I didn’t get to spend hours out cranking up hills, but there were definitely some decent little climbs as I circled around the community we were staying in. Many of the great looking hillls all had private access roads leading up to them, so I climbed as much as I could on the public roads I could find, and still enjoyed some great views.

sanjose3

For miles along the driving part of the road trip, my wife kept telling the kids to keep their eyes out for palm trees. And sure enough, once we hit north California, we started seeing them. Along my morning ride I also saw plenty of them, including this really driveway to a home out in the middle of nowhere. I figured they wouldn’t mind me posing my BF in front of their house to prove I was out riding in the chilly California morning sun.

sanjose5

Now, I REALLY expected to see some bike folk out and about. We’re in California, right? Nope, in fact, I went almost an hour without seeing ANY bikes. Finally, I saw a dude out on a Trek who looked like he was heading out to do the same route I just did in reverse. As I rode back through Morgan Hill to the hotel, I was impressed with the size of the bike paths in town. Take a look at these babies:

sanjose4

Seriously, you could park a truck on the right side of that bike path, and still have a bike path twice the normal width to the left. Oh wait, a few blocks up the road, it turns out that’s exactly what they do. Still, a very roomy and comfy bike bath for riding through town. On a final note, the BF seems to be holding up well. I’m and idiot and forgot to bring a pump of any kind, and still don’t have a spare tube for this size of tire, so I’m stoping by a shop in Tucson today (my ride report from the Tucson ride will be up in the next couple days) to hopefully pick up a tube and pump.

Two states travelled, and two wheels down in each state so far! Yeehaw!

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