Riding

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 16, 2009

Putting the Bike Friday Through The Paces In and Around Salem

bikefridayloop

We have officially rounded the corner and are into the final stretch before our epic 3 week adventure across the country. Yesterday I was having the AC recharged on our travel vehicle, and had the Bike Friday in the back, so when I dropped off the rig at the dealership, I simply unfolded it, grabbed my messenger bag, helmet and glasses, and headed down town. I remember thinking, “I could keep this thing with me all the time!” I rode from Capitol Chevrolet down to the Beanery downtown, did a little remote work for a couple hours, then headed back when the rig was ready for me. Great set up! More on Putting the Bike Friday Through The Paces In and Around Salem

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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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June 3, 2009

Oregon Scenic Bikeway Committee Meets in Salem June 16

I got this update from Alex Phillips, Bicycle Recreation Coordinator for the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department. If you’re interested in the Oregon Scenic Bikeways, this would be a good meeting to attend.

Oregon Scenic Bikeway Committee meets in Salem June 16

The Oregon Scenic Bikeway Committee will meet June 16 at the University of Phoenix* Salem Learning Center, 670 Hawthorne Avenue SE. The session will be from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in a first-floor classroom.

Agenda items will include the criteria for rating scenic bikeways. The committee also will continue discussions on management and marketing plans, and explore the future roles of bikeway proponents and resources to support their efforts. A time for public comments (three minutes per person) is reserved at the start of the meeting.

The committee was established to consider routes nominated by the public for state scenic bikeway designation. Appointed by the director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, the 11-member group includes a representative from a bicycle advocacy organization, a citizen *at-large* member, an Oregon Recreation Trails Advisory Council member, an Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee delegate, and representatives of the Oregon Department of Transportation, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, Association of Oregon Counties, League of Oregon Cities, Travel Oregon and OPRD. More information about the committee and the bikeways program is available from Alexandra Phillips, OPRD*s state bicycle recreation coordinator, at 503-986-0631.

The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. Special accommodations may be arranged up to 72 hours in advance by calling 503-986-0655. ###

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June 2, 2009

Post Weekend – The Saturday Market Ride

Making our own valet parking at The Saturday Market.

As is often the case when the weather turns nice, the fam and I took a little bicycle jaunt down to the Saturday Market. We’re an ecumenical little bunch, accepting a complete mix of any and all kinds of bikes. This week I rode my cross bike, pulling my youngest son in the Burley trailer. My wife was on her cheapo single speed cruiser, and my son was on his BMX bike. I was a little tired from doing an early morning 30 mile ride with Darrell, but we always cruise at a slow and friendly pace, for an enjoyable ride for all.

I had misunderstood that the volunteer-run valet parking was already happening at the market, and spent a few minutes walking around the stage area looking for the kind people that would take our bikes. After a brief moment of searching, we found our old standby tree, right next to the PortaPotties, and chained them all up. We’ve never had an issue with people messing with our bikes so far, but the valet service will still be nice….once it starts on June 6!

On another note, Saturday was THE day to be at the market. Check out the photo below to see just some of the people we bumped into while there. We finally had to say, ‘lets get a group picture,’ to capture the day:

Just some of the folks we bumped into at The Saturday Market.

Just some of the folks we bumped into at The Saturday Market.

Immediately after showing up we bumped into Matt and his family, who were hanging with Jeff and his family, then bumped into Rich and Corrie, then Charles and Kristi, Nate, Deanna, Chelsea, Emily and Delilah, Ryan and Kealy, Conrad, Kari, Mila and Nolan, and then bumped into another group of friends after that.

We were only there for about an hour, but the place was packed, with both vendors and patrons. We’ll miss getting to visit when we’re gone on our trip, but look forward to seeing what other markets are across the country!

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May 28, 2009

Riding The Mosier Twin Tunnels Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail

My buddy Darrell on an early morning Mosier Twin Tunnels ride.

My buddy Darrell on an early morning Mosier Twin Tunnels ride.

Last weekend we found ourselves staying in Cascade Locks, in the Columbia Gorge for the holiday weekend. The weather was great, and the time with our friends and family was relaxing and fun. On one morning, my buddy Darrell and I headed out towards Hood River to do a little ride he’d picked off his to-do list, the Twin Tunnels ride from Hood River to Mosier. For more about the ride, and history of the trail….please keep reading… More on Riding The Mosier Twin Tunnels Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail

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May 27, 2009

May 2009 Breakfast On Bikes And Tons More!

I’m so glad to see more bike and cycling activity kicking up in Salem. First off, a reminder that this Friday, May 29th, Breakfast on Bikes be at the North Office Mall Building on Winter street NE from 7am to 9am with coffee, pastries, and fruit for anyone riding their bikes into work. As the weather turns nicer, the crowds are growing larger….hope to see you there.

Also, local cycling guru, Eric Lundgren sent over a current ‘What’s Happening’ list pertaining to tons of bicycling items and events in the area. Who knew we had so much going on? Be sure to check them out below!

Friday, May 29th
Breakfast on Bikes – North Mall Office Building
Between 7am and 9am enjoy free coffee, fruit, and pastries on your bike commute!
Thanks to Cascade Baking, the Coffee House Cafe, and LifeSource Natural Foods
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/05/breakfast-on-bikes-may-29th.html

Wednesday, June 3
The Downtown Vision 2020 Bike & Ped Workgroup meets between noon at
1:30pm in the Pringle Community Hall.
http://www.cityofsalem.net/CityCouncil/CityProjects/Vision2020/ExpandOptions/Pages/default.aspx

Saturday, June 6th – ongoing
Salem Saturday Market Valet Bike Parking
Ride your bike to the market and leave it with the bike valets while
you shop!  Friends of Salem Saturday Market kicks off this great
service the first Saturday in June.
http://www.friendsofsalemsaturdaymarket.org/Home/events

Wednesday, June 10th

Free Bicycle Legal Clinic
Learn about when it’s safe to “take the lane,” about “citizen
initiated traffice citations” and all about the law and bikes.
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/05/pedal-power-free-legal-clinic-june-10th.html

Saturday, June 13th
Bicycle Education:  Traffic 101
League Cycling Instructors Robert Fox and Gary Obery teach a day-long
course on how to be a better and safer bicyclist in traffic.
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/03/want-to-be-better-biker.html

June 11th – 27th
Portland Pedalpalooza
If you’re going out of town, catch some of the amazing rides and bike
culture up north.
http://shift2bikes.org/cal/viewpp2009.php

Sunday, June 28th
Fairview Circuit Races
Bike racing right here in Salem!  There are rumors about extra
entertainment options, so be sure to look out for more news later in
June!
http://www.obra.org/flyers/2009/salem_fairview_circuit_race.html

Quarry on Skyline Road
Marion County is holding a hearing this afternoon on conditional use
permits for a proposed rock quarry to go in just off Skyline Road.
Truck traffic may impact bicyclists on Skyline.
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/05/proposed-quarry-to-impact-skyline-road.html

Continuing Saga of Jobs and Transportation Act – HB 2001
Track the week-by-week story of the big transportation package.
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/search/label/Legislation

Commercial Street Restriping Plan
One of the first fruits of the Downtown Vision 2020 Bike & Ped group
is a proposal spearheaded by Kevin Hottman and Gary Obery to restripe
Commercial through downtown to make it more bike friendly.  As it
moves to the wider community, it will need your support in June and
July.  Watch for more!
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/05/commercial-street-plan.html

Bicycle Parking Regulations at the State
DAS proposed new parking regulations this and at a hearing this month,
bicycle advocates argued that one of the best ways the State can
effectively support its goal to reduce single-occupancy motor vehicle
commuting is to supply a plentiful mix of highly visible short- and
long-term bike parking.  The deadline for public comment was extended
and hopefully this will result in improved bike parking options for
employees and visitors to State facilities.
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/05/under-new-rules-state-proposes-to.html

Every Sunday at 1:30pm
Salem Bicycle Club Introductory High Wheeler Rides
Check out Club riding!  Every Sunday at 1:30 the Salem Bicycle Club
offers “high wheeler” rides of approximately 25 miles and few hills.
No rider left behind!
http://salembicycleclub.org/calendar.plx?id=1

Every Thursday at 6:30pm
Salem Bicycle Club Family Rides
Every Thursday the Salem Bicycle Club offers a short ride of 10-12
miles for families.  Bring the kids, the tandem, the tag-along!
http://salembicycleclub.org/calendar.plx?id=1

End of June
Bicycle Count Project Training and Kick-off
It’s almost time for the second annual bicycle count!  More riders are
everywhere, and let’s document the increase!  Look for more
information mid-June.

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May 19, 2009

Tips for Motorists AND Cyclists As The Weather Changes

commuterbikeAs the weather gets nicer around these parts, more and more bikes start showing up on the road, even here in the Salem/Keizer area, where I don’t often see all that many bikes. But the sun makes people happy and gets us all out enjoying the weather in new ways, and I can’t think of a better way than by rolling out on two wheels. That being said, any cyclist that ventures out onto the public road system knows that it’s at least tricky out there, and sometimes can be downright dangerous. Or it can at least feel that way. I’ve read tons articles about safe cycling on the road, and rights and responsibilities of the cylcist, but today I read a really great article that I wanted to share. Please read on for more… More on Tips for Motorists AND Cyclists As The Weather Changes

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May 18, 2009

Pedal Power Free Legal Clinic – June 10

pedal-power-coverEric Lundgren sent me a reminder today for the upcoming Pedal Power Free Legal Clinic on June 10, at the Salem Public Library. From Eric’s site:

“On Wednesday, June 10 from 6pm to 7pm, at the Anderson Room in the Salem Public Library, Ray Thomas will share his wisdom and wit in this 60-minute clinic on bicyclists’ rights and responsibilities on the road. A question and answer period will follow.

Learn the legal basis for sharing the road. The clinic will cover what to expect legally and practically from motorists. It will also discuss what motorists, pedestrians, and other bicyclists should expect from bicyclists. Hear about Oregon’s bike law basics, get inside info about insurance, and learn what to do if you’re in a crash.”

For more information, be sure to read the full post over at the Breakfast on Bikes blog.

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May 15, 2009

Today Is Bike To Work Day. Pedal To The Office!

Riders on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, courtesy of the Oregon Parks and Rec.

Riders on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, courtesy of the Oregon Parks and Rec.

Today I wish I worked a little more of a distance from my office. I really only have a round trip of a few miles, but I’d love to knock out 20 miles on my way to the office, especially on such a beautiful morning. Guess that’ll just have to happen after work!

At any rate, get out and ride today! Or catch the Saturday Market tomorrow…it’s going to be a beautiful weekend!

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