Bike Commute Challenge

October 8, 2009

Bike Commute Challenge Afterparties!

Got this email this morning from Salem Bike Maestro, Eric Lundgren, wrapping up the Bike Commute Challenge with a Portland and Salem party to celebrate the month of commuting by bike. Read on to get the details!

Hello BCC Captains!

It was epic! More people than ever from the Salem-Keizer area
participated. Portland is having an after-party this evening, and
we’ve pulled one together for tomorrow night!

(Originally we tried to organize something for Thursday, too, but we
had to change gears.)

Check out local rankings, meet and mingle with fellow bike commuters,
and reward yourself with a frosty beverage compliments of Widmer
Bros.!

The party will be at the brand new downtown Indigo Wellness Yoga
Center, at 155 Liberty Street NE.
http://indigowellnesscenter.com/
It’s best accessed from the alley behind the Reed Opera House. The
social will start at 6:30pm and last until about 8pm. Stop by on your
way to dinner or a movie!

There’s a bike rack at Indigo –
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/10/bike-rack-at-indigo-wellness-opening.html

But that’ll fill up quickly! So use the other racks on Court and
Liberty. The studio does have a lovely new wood floor, so no street
shoes please – and especially no cleats! – on the inner, studio floor.
(The front foyer’s just fine.)

Thanks to Indigo Wellness Center for the space and to Debbie for help with it!

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September 29, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – New Old Fenders for the Bike Friday

The Bike Friday with its new old reused fenders.

The Bike Friday with it's new old reused fenders.

This morning I needed fenders for the Bike Friday in a hurry. I’ve been putting off ordering special fenders for the BF because a) I still don’t really like fenders on a bike (I know, I live in Oregon) and b) they are $60 for the fenders from the manufacturer made to fit my bike. Now, I’m not one to hesitate to spend money on parts I need, but when I don’t like fenders, I just can’t bring myself to dropping that kind of cash for them. But alas, the rain is here today, I needed fenders, so I improvised.

Over the past couple weeks, we’ve been doing some cleaning in the garage, and I’ve contemplated tossing out miscellaneous orphaned parts that seem to have no further use or life left in them. We’re trying to keep the clutter down. At the same time, we’re big fans of recycling so I’m happy to say that today I recycled a couple of mismatched fenders into ‘new’ fenders for the BF, and yes, they are ugly, but functional. Not that it matters, but here’s where they came from.

Front fender off of my Ira Ryan road bike from its rainy commuter days.

Front fender off of my Ira Ryan road bike from it's rainy commuter days.

My front fender came from my used Ira Ryan bike I purchased earlier this year. The previous owner had turned it into a bit of a rainy day commuter bike, and had done some custom fitting to get them to fit just right, but had left the front fender off when I picked it up. Luckily, it more or less fit, but I had to chop about an inch off of the end with the mud flap. My chop job is ugly, but the flap was dragging on the ground, so it had to go.

Rear fender off of a Jamis road bike. Not a perfect fit at all, but functional.

Rear fender off of a Jamis road bike. Not a perfect fit at all, but functional.

The rear fender came off my wife’s Jamis flat bar road bike. They were giving her some fits and she doesn’t do much road biking in the rain, so they came off the bike last year. Numerous times I almost threw them out, but today I took the sliding mount of the front fender, slid it onto the rear fender, and attached it to the BF. You can see that it’s not a very good fit to the shape of the wheel, but it covers enough area of the tire to keep the water off.

I was worried that the size of the fenders made for standard road tires would not provide ample coverage for the wider tires on the Bike Friday, however, most of the water (at least this morning) flies off the center of the tire, and the fenders do fine for that. I did notice however that I’ve created some great skewers by having to reshape the fenders so much. If only I had some marshmallows and a campfire….

On both fenders, I now have skewers that can be used for roasting marshmallows or hot dogs at the drop of a hat.

On both fenders, I now have skewers that can be used for roasting marshmallows or hot dogs at the drop of a hat.

Eventually, I may order some correct fenders if I find a decent deal. I read somewhere that some Dahon fenders might work that sell for $20. Or perhaps I’ll wait until the next election, and just make some fenders out of the coroplast campaign signs in every lawn down the street. In any case, for today, I’m dry, even if I look a little ugly doing it.

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September 28, 2009

Feels A Bit Like Bike Finals Week!

Quick iPhone snapshot of Portland builder Ira Ryan holding my custom cross frame.

Quick iPhone snapshot of Portland builder Ira Ryan holding my custom cross frame.

This is going to be a bit of a crazy week here at Pacific Pedaling. In addition to crazy work and home schedules, there’s a lot going on heading into the first weekend of cross racing. I’m dropping off some parts to Ira Ryan to finish wrapping up my custom cross frame in time to get a couple days of riding in before my first cross races this weekend. I hate to post such a crummy photo, but I only had my iPhone with me the day I popped in to take a look, but I’ll post some soon, I’m sure. It’s hard to tell from the funky photo above, but I used the same paint codes as my wife’s restored 78 Ford pickup:

Speaking of racing this weekend, I’m still officially in doctor prescribed ‘time off the bike.’ It was suggested that I stay off for a full week, but I couldn’t quite give it up completely, so I did my commuting riding and just kept spinning, and laid off the running and leaping stuff for a few days. Gotta get back at it this week though…I know I have no idea what I’m in for this weekend. Also looks like we’ll have some rain both days at Heiser and Alpenrose, so it should be at least a taste of some cold and slippery riding.

Aside from the previously mentioned time of the ankle, I’d been having some decent days of skills practice. I built some portable barriers (post soon) and have found a lot of great places to practice different skills in the Keizer Rapids park – dismounts, barriers, run ups, stairs, descents, gravel, dirt, sand, grass and what not. I told James last night that I still haven’t done a ton of off camber cornering, and I know that will be my weak point going into the weekend…well, that and just being slow in general. If everything comes together this week, it should be a fun weekend.

After hours I’m working on wrapping up the 1963 Aristocrat trailer and hope to have it for the team where space allows on cold and rainy days! Also, this is the last week of the Bike Commute Challenge for the month and I’m proud of everyone at the office who has taken on the task of replacing at least some of their car commutes with bike commutes to work!

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September 24, 2009

All You Need To Know About Bike Happenings in Salem and The Willamette Valley

Once again, local Bike-ologist, Eric Lundren has sent out the good on what’s going on in Salem, and the surrounding areas in the upcoming days and weeks. The PacificPedaling.com gang will be kicking off some racing at the first Willamette Valley Cyclocross race in Dayton at Heiser Farms next Saturday, and will also be at many of the events listed below….Eric, take it away:

Is this the last hurrah for sun and heat? I hope you’re able to get
out and enjoy it! With the Bike Commute Challenge wrapping up and the
Peach of a Century, the good bike times of summer are almost at an
end.

Breakfast on Bikes – Sept 25
Peach – Sept 27th
City Council and Riverfront/Boise – Sept 28th
BTA Bicycle Safety Education – starting in October
BCC Afterparty – Early October
Commercial Street Striping Plan – October
Battlecreek Cross – Oct 24th
Halloween BonB – Oct 30th
Union Bridge Closure – Nov 2009 – May 2010
Cyclocross Championship – Nov 7
BCC updates at Pacific Pedaling
SBC Sunday Rides
———————

Breakfast on Bikes – Friday, Sept 25th
We’ll be at the North Office Mall Building on Winter street NE from
7am to 9am with coffee, pastries, and fruit for you!

For complete details, see –
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/09/breakfast-on-bikes-september-25.html

Thanks also to our sponsors – please support them with your business!
Cascade Baking Company
Coffee House Cafe
LifeSource Natural Foods
Salem Bicycle Club
Willamette University Sustainability Council
———————

Peach of a Century – Sunday, Sept 27
http://salembicycleclub.org/content.plx?page=majrides
The ride includes a full Century Route (100 miles), a Metric Century
Route (62 miles), and new this year–a 75-mile route. Each route
starts and ends at Chemeketa Community College. The full century route
is challenging with some steep hills. The Metric Century and 75-mile
routes offer flat to rolling terrain with some moderate hills. The
routes follow low-volume roads past the farm fields of the Willamette
Valley, through forested foothills and rural communities east of
Salem. Day of ride registration is $23.
———————

City Council to Hold Hearing on Riverfront Park – Monday, Sept 28
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/09/city-to-close-carousel-entry-at-state.html
http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20090923/NEWS/909230416/1001
As part of the Boise redevelopment project, there’s a proposal to
close the entry to Riverfront Park at State Street and to create a new
one a little south of it off of Front street. Look for more
information on Friday on the Breakfast Blog once the City Staff Report
is posted. Without additional improvements for bikes and peds, the
proposal will make access to the park and bridges more rather than
less difficult.
———————

BTA Bicycle Safety Education – October 5-9 and thereafter
Robert Fox and the BSE team start up again! The first school will be
the Jane Goodall Environmental Magnet program at Waldo. Look for news
and call for volunteers from Robert.
———————

Bike Commute Challenge Afterparty – look for a date in the first
couple of weeks of October!
———————

Commercial Street Striping Plan – deferred to October, date TBD
The proposal to put a bike lane on Commercial street downtown
continues to be discussed and negotiated. Look for more in October.
———————

Battlecreek Cross – Saturday, October 24
Part of the Willamette Valley Cyclocross series. Check out racing at
the old golf course! Full information here –
http://www.buylocalcycling.com/2009/09/willamette-valley-cyclocross-series-.html
———————

Breakfast on Bikes – Friday, October 30th
Last hurrah at the Union Street RR Bridge! (see next item…)
———————

Union Street Railroad Bridge Closure – November 2009 – May 2010
As part of the lead abatement project, the Union Street RR Bridge will
be closing the first of November. So enjoy it in October before you
have to go back to the Center Street Bridge!
———————

Oregon State Cyclocross Championships – Saturday, Nov 7th
At the Fairgrounds. For complete details see the release –
http://pacificpedaling.com/2009/09/04/oregon-bicycle-racing-association-awards-2009-2010-cyclocross-championships-to-salem/
———————

Over at Pacific Pedaling, Paul’s got a sweet series on the BCC – his
team, friends, and his experiences. Check it out!
http://pacificpedaling.com/tag/bike-commute-challenge/
———————

Don’t forget about the Salem Bicycle Club daily rides, especially the
Sunday afternoon High Wheeler rides at 1:30pm! They’re a great
introduction to club riding. For more information see the weekly
rides schedule – http://salembicycleclub.org/calendar.plx?id=1
———————

Finally, if you’ve made it this far down, here’s a couple of inspiring
multimedia bits for you.
Here’s the Community Cycling Center’s “I Ride” Campaign along with an
amazing bike.
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/09/better-than-oktoberfest-biketobeerfest.html
The Widmer Bros also talk about bike parking and what bicycling means
to their business.
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/09/beer-baron-boosts-bikes-and-business.html

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September 14, 2009

Bike Commute Challenge – Midway Update

bikelog

Today marks the halfway mark of the September Bike Commute Challenge, so time for some updates to how our office challenge is going. We will not break any world records with a small office of 5 people, and 2 of whom live out of town (Silverton and Tualatin,) and 2 of the 3 doing the challenge don’t work in the office every day of the week. Also, the three of us riding all live fairly close to work, 5-8 miles round trip. That being said, we are still doing a great job of knocking down some commutes. Here are some numbers for you since the start of the challenge….

3 out of 5 office folks riding as many days as they can.
18 team commutes so far the first 14 days of the challenge.
128 miles logged commuting so far.
75 – 100% commuting ratio for each participant.
3 flat tires last week alone commuting!
5000+ calories burned.
100 lbs CO2 saved.
3-4 bikes in the office on any given day!

I’m sure there are tons of other numbers we could squeeze out of the statistics so far, but the great thing is that we’ve got people riding to work, feeling good, and having fun! I think I figured out my flat issue last week. I had one legitimate flat from road hazards, and then discovered that the spare tubes I was sold in Arizona on my cross country trip, were the wrong size for my Bike Friday funky tire size. Just barely, but enough to cause two bursts after only a day or so of riding. I found the right tube size, and now have my spares a-plenty!

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September 9, 2009

Of Clown Shoes and Blown Tubes – Commute Challenge Update

Since Monday was a holiday, yesterday kicked off Week #2 of the Bike Commute Challenge. I had multiple meetings during the day, so I was looking forward to logging some good miles for work. Since my wife calls my Bike Friday folding bike my “Little Clown Bike,” I figured I’d wear my shoes that always feel a little like clown shoes for a perfect match. Still figuring out this whole iPhone video formatting, so this is a little funky with the vertical format.

Clown Shoes On My Clown Bike from nwduffer on Vimeo.

I headed out for a meeting with a business over in the Industrial Parkway area (which is only a couple miles from my office) and all the way in I kept thinking “if I make it out of this without a flat, it will be a miracle.” But, make it there without a flat, I did. Two hours later I was headed back to the office, and just got off Industrial and turned onto Cherry Ave, when I heard that nasty pop and hiss that no cyclist likes to hear, and went flat instantly.

Back at the office, the Bike Friday with its first flat.

Back at the office, the Bike Friday with it's first flat.

It was at this moment that I realized I had broken one of my own rules for the month, and I was not prepared. I had seen my spare tube sitting on my desk at home and thought “I need to put that in my bag,” but of course didn’t. No patch kit on hand, and it wouldn’t have mattered, I didn’t have a pump or Co2 with me, so I started walking. Only about 1.5 miles back to the office, so no big deal…call it cross training. On the way I texted a couple co-workers just in case they happened to be heading to lunch and wanted to swing by my way, but didn’t hear back from either until after lunch, so I just hoofed it back.

I’ve had one of the Torelli’s sitting in my office for months, with a pump attached to the frame, so I pumped up the tires on it, and rode it to my next errand. Snagged a late lunch, grabbed my spare tube, and headed back to the office. If you can’t have a spare tube handy, the next best thing is a spare bike I guess! Of course, as it turns out my Bike Friday wheels are 18″ and my spare tube is 20″! I went ahead and stuffed it in anyway, pumped it up and just kept the pressure to about 65 lbs instead of cranking it up to 100, and made it home fine.

I’m still batting 1000 in the bike commute challenge for the month. I know we’re about to get some rain soon, but I’m determined to make it the whole month, and possibly beyond!

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September 3, 2009

The Dangers Of Commuting By Bike

bee

I know, you were expecting to come in and see me all road rashed up, weren’t you. Sorry to disappoint! I got back to the office after lunch, felt like something was in my helmet (actually felt that way for about a mile or so) and ran my hand through my hair to have this little fella fall out! I’m really surprised he didn’t sting my head or my hand.

On a more positive note, two co-workers joined the team and had their first commutes of the month today. Great job Deanna and John!

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September 2, 2009

Day 1 – Bike Commute Challenge and Some Tips

Conrad's front wheel...flat on his first day of commuting.

Conrad's front wheel...flat on his first day of commuting.

I won’t update every day this month about the Bike Commute Challenge, but wanted to post about the happenings of the first day, and encourage as many folks to get out and ride this month, but also to help others ride where you can. My commute is not that long, just about 5 miles round trip, but I tend to talk myself out of riding because of other meetings, or gear that I need or like to take with me. I figuring out ways to make all that happen this month on my bike…perhaps even beyond the month. At any rate, the first day of the challenge left me with three things I thought would be worth noting in helping others to ride to work.

1. Let The Information Flow! – A friend of mine was considering riding a bike to work, but had no idea what he needed. “I guess I need a commuter bike, tell me about what I need.” Turns out, he had a perfectly good commuter bike already – my old Trek Navigator, (my full review here) which has a rear rack and everything. Only problem is that his wife has decided she loves riding it, and so it’s not available for his everyday use. After a lengthy email about good options for a commuter, and how I would ditch the shock for a rigid fork anyway, he ended up at the local shop, picking up another Navigator, in a different color.

Although he chose a bike that wasn’t on my top list for a commuter bike, I was happy to go round and round with the information on what could or would make a good commuter bike. I started out by telling him that he already had a great commuter bike in the Trek, BUT if he was going to look at a new bike (and who doesn’t love looking at new bikes!) I could give him some options. Turns out, that while I prefer the efficiency of a rigid fork for commuting, his back prefers the softer ride of the shock. Makes sense to me. At any rate, share as much info as you have with other people interested in riding!

2. Be Prepared to Help Out! – I typically take just enough to save my butt on the road because I hate carrying around a ton of stuff. A tube, a patch, some air of some sort, my cell phone. I’m good to go. I was just headed out the door to a 9 am meeting when my buddy Conrad called and said he had a flat tire on his bike, on his first day of the Challenge. Conrad lives further away from work than I do, and has hills and busy bridge to get across, so I’m stoked that he’s giving bike commuting a shot. I tried to remember what he was riding and thought he was on a mountain bike, so I grabbed a spare tube from my supply rack, some additional air, and tire tools, and threw them in my bag for the ride in. Turns out that he was on 26″ wheels, but using more of a road tire than the ginormous tube I had, but my office was just a block from the coffee shop where we met. I had a patch kit in my office, so we walked back there, found the hole in the tube, patched it up, and sent him on his way.

Later that day Conrad posted this picture with the caption, "Off to lunch at Ventis." Warms my heart.

Later that day Conrad posted this picture with the caption, "Off to lunch at Ventis." Warms my heart.

I also sent him out the door with some CO2 and an inflator just in case the patch didn’t hold. Although I can’t carry a tube for every occasion, it made me think I should try to carry some extras, especially during this month when there could be more folks needing a hand.

3. If You Can, Loan Out a Bike! – Nearly everyone I know that really gets into cycling, has more than one bike hanging in the garage. I’ve actually been thinking about clearing house a little, but am kind of glad that I haven’t quite yet because as it turns out, I think they’ll come in handy this month. In fact, one of my buddies at work said “I’d ride, but my brother took back the bike I was using. If you had one to loan me, I’d do the challenge.” DONE!

So today I’ll be dusting off the old Redline 925, and making sure it’s in tip top shape so he can ride to work this month! Do what you can to provide information, help out where you can, and even loan someone a bike if it will help them get out and ride! See you on the road!

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August 27, 2009

Bike Commute Challenge and So Much More Coming Up!

bcc09_home_gfx

Local bike information guru Eric Lundgren has once again deployed his wisdom and knowledge upon us with everything going on you would ever want to know about in the bike and cycling world. Enough of my rambling….I’ll let Eric take over:

Happily the sun has driven away the misty rains! I’m not ready for fall!

This weekend offers a crazy amount of bikey goodness! Don’t forget
the Bike Commute Challenge Kick-off Party tomorrow night and Breakfast
on Bikes.

BCC Kick-Off Party – Thursday, August 27th
Breakfast on Bikes – Friday, August 28th
State Fair Bike Parade – Friday, August 28th
Bike Racing at the Fair – Saturday, August 29th
Ginger Ninjas – Monday, August 31st
City Council – Monday, September 14th
Breakfast on Bikes – Friday, September 25th
Peach of a Century – Sunday, September 27th
Thursdays, ongoing – Keizer Family Rides
Sundays, ongoing – High Wheeler Rides

Bike Commute Challenge Kick-Off Party – Thursday, August 27th
Come on out to Indigo Wellness and meet some of your fellow commuters
over Widmer and Straight from New York pizza. We’ll have
opportunities to sign up for commute workshops and exchange tips and
hints. Folks will also be available to help with route planning. The
evening’s informal – so drop on in between 5pm and 7pm, 3276
Commercial Street SE. No bike, no beer! Thanks to Indigo Wellness,
Widmer Bros., and Straight from New York Pizza!
For more information see:
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/08/bike-commute-challenge-kick-off-next.html
http://bikecommutechallenge.com/

Breakfast on Bikes – Friday, August 28th
We’ll be at 12th and Chemeketa between 7 and 9am. Thanks to Cascade
Baking, Coffee House Cafe, LifeSource Natural Foods, Willamette
University, and Salem Bicycle Club. For map and additional details
see:
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/08/breakfast-on-bikes-august-28th.html

State Fair Bike Parade – Friday, August 28th
Kick-off the Sesquicentennial edition of the Oregon State Fair!
Parade meets at 5:30pm at Pavilion off Sunnyview. For complete
details see:
http://pacificpedaling.com/2009/08/20/oregon-state-fair-bike-parade-friday-august-28/

Short Track Bike Racing at Fair – Saturday, August 29th
The LifeSource Natural Foods Salem Mountain Bike Short Track Series
completes its final night of racing during the fair! Come out to the
races! There will also be BMX, Black Rock Mountain Biking Association
demonstrations, and other bike events. For information on the races
see:
http://www.buylocalcycling.com/2009/07/salem-mountain-bike-short-track-series-.html
For other bike events at the fair see:
http://www.oregonstatefair.org/things-to-do/sports-health-and-rec

Ginger Ninjas – Monday, August 31st
Look for the Ginger Ninjas Pedaling Revolution Bicycle Music Tour on
Monday evening. We’re talking xtracycle-powered music! They’ll start
at the State Fair about 6pm and then move downtown for some
semi-secret shows. (Hints: Venti’s, Coffee House Cafe, The Space, the
f-stop, and possibly Riverfront Park.) They played Sunday Parkways in
Portland a couple of weeks ago.
http://gingerninjas.com/tour/bicycle-music-festivals/

City Council considers Commercial Street Striping – Monday, Sept 14th, 28th
Be sure to put September City Council meetings on your calendar!
Public Works will be introducing the plan to restripe Commercial
street downtown to accommodate bicycles, and there will be debate.
It’s important for bicyclists to attend Council and show that bikes
matter! More details will be forthcoming.

Breakfast on Bikes – Friday, September 25th
B on B will be on Winter street in front of the North Mall Office Building.

Peach of a Century – Sunday, September 27th
The final event ride of the Summer for the Salem Bicycle Club! It
offers 62, 75, and 100 mile routes in the rolling hills and farmland
around Salem. Registration’s open now! For complete details see:
http://salembicycleclub.org/content.plx?page=majrides

Thursdays ongoing – SBC Keizer Family Rides
September’s the last month for the Salem Bicycle Club Keizer Family
rides on Thursday evenings. Meet at Cummings Elementary School at
6:30pm.
For calendar and details see:
http://salembicycleclub.org/calendar.plx?id=1

Sundays ongoing – SBC Introductory High Wheeler Rides
Every Sunday at 1:30pm meet at the red lot for a short introductory
club ride of 25 to 30 miles. No rider left behind.
For details see:
http://salembicycleclub.org/calendar.plx?id=1

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