cycling

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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April 20, 2009

Great Day For The Union Street Bridge Opening

Saturday was the official grand opening of the Union Street Bridge, and while I can’t say much about what happened on the Riverfront side of  things, I *can* report about how things went on the West Salem side, where people stopped for refreshments and information.

Members of the PacificPedaling.com team arrived on the West side of the bridge to set up the tent that would provide refreshments and information for people after the parade and attendees came across the bridge. According to the wrap up article in the Statesman Journal, Salem is on it’s way to bicycle greatness. I’m not so easily convinced, but the bridge is definitely a great step forward.

But on Saturday, the crowds were definitely bigger than I thought may have turned out, with waves of people continuing across the bridge for quite a while. We darn near ran out of cookies, but had TONS of coffee and hot chocolate, and enjoyed getting to see everyone who was wanting to celebrate the big day.

Ideally, the opening of THIS bridge will be a great springboard for the next plan on the table which connects the south end of Riverfront park to Minto Brown. You can find out more about that the Friends of 2 Bridges blog. Also, I won’t reprint all the information, but the SJ article does do a good job of pointing out a bunch of information about bikes and cycling in Salem, including a Blueprint for Better Biking, links for bike maps, education, organizations as well as safety tips for drivers and cyclists alike. Hop over and read the article if you haven’t already.

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March 26, 2009

Here Comes The Sun – Me And My Stupid Cold

sickinbed

So, the sun is finally out, and I’ve managed to get myself sick once again. The rain was just pouring down at the beach the first part of the week, and it managed to shape the tickle in my throat into a good little cold. I really wanted to get out last night, but it was a bit windy, cold, and rainy…and I really just wanted to rest. Today however, I’m feeling a little better, and thinking if the weather holds…I’m gonna get out. Are there any rules to whether or not you should ride when you’re sick? I can’t seem to find any.

I stumbled on an older thread on BikeForums and basically read what I always hear when I ask this question, or stumble upon the topic…

  • Stay home and rest, get better first so you can ride at your best
  • Get out and ride…sweat that sickness out
  • No fever, then ride. Fever, stay home.
  • If you called in sick, stay home, don’t ride.
  • If you called in sick, what better day to go for a ride!
  • If it’s in your lungs, stop. If it’s in your head, ride, but be safe.

I’m going to take all of this under advisement. But as for now, if the weather holds, and I’m not passed out. I’m gonna get out this afternoon/evening, even if only for a short ride. If you have any advice, feel free to let me know.

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March 3, 2009

Amazing Race Host Sets Off on Amazing Ride

phil

I used to have a problem with reality shows…I watched too many of them. I don’t nearly have as much time anymore to kick back with the latest edition of who’s selling their soul to what network for a quick 15 minutes, but I do still hold a soft spot for one of the original’s, The Amazing Race.I always thought ol’ Phil Keoghan did a great job with the show without being too dramatic, sappy, or overplayed. He didn’t suck.

Turns out, I’ve got even more reasons to like old Philly. He’s gonna pedal his bike across the country, and for a good cause:

The Amazing Race” host Phil Keoghan is about to embark on a cross-country bicycle trip to raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis. Keoghan will set off from Los Angeles on March 28, average 100 miles a day, and arrive in New York on May 9 — the day before “The Amazing Race” finale airs on CBS.

Nice job Phil, way to go. I hope we get to hear more about the trip along the way!

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December 31, 2008

Favorite Cycling Memories from 2008

Nate on the Monster Cookie...one gear.

2008 was full of great memories out on two wheels. I got to spend a decent amount of time with my wife out on our bikes — from relaxing rides down to the Saturday Market on our single speeds,  to her first rides of any real distance on a road bike. It was also the year I decided to build up my own road bike from the frame up after buying a Cinelli Spirit frame off of Ebay to learn a little than just how to change a flat. Somewhere in the midst of all the riding and tinkering, I also took the plunge and put my name on the waiting list for an Ira Ryan frame, which I should be getting early in 2009 sometime.

But I think the story I love to tell the most from 2008 is when my buddy Nate decided to ride the 62 mile Monster Cookie ride with me back in April. You can click that link to read the full report, but in case you missed it, here are the nuts and bolts. Nate is a mountain bike rider, mostly getting all nutty out at Black Rock. He’d never been on a road bike before…ever. I suggested he just ride his mountain bike, as it was going to be flat, and we didn’t have to set any land speed records, but he said he’d rather not, and would do it if I had an extra road bike. At that time I didn’t have anything extra, except for my 925 single speed.

Keep in mind, we’re talking about the ride, literally the night before the ride. I mention the single speed to Nate on the drive back home from dinner in Portland and he decides he wants to ride it when we get home. He hops on it, rips up and down the street a couple times and says, “I’m in.” So the next day, Nate goes out and does 62 miles, with one gear, without ever having been on road bike before…and made it. His butt was a little sore around mile 40, but he lived to tell.

I’m looking forward to 2009! Big things, big things! Happy New Year to All!

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December 4, 2008

Brisk Sunny Winter Mornings

We continue to be blessed with absolutely beautiful winter days this week. This morning there was frost on the ground, and the air was barely above freezing, but the sun was beginning to peek out from behind the hills and trees, and everything was golden and alive. I’ve been having fun with my iPhone and the CameraBag app that allows you to put a vintage funk on your photos with several different filters. Here are several cool photos from the road this morning, using the ‘Lolo’ filter on my iphone. It really wasn’t quite as dark as it seems here, but that’s just part of the filtering.

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December 3, 2008

Enjoy Christmas Lights By Bike

Today is actually shaping up to be a decent day. It’s not going to be overly warm, but a high in the low 50’s isn’t too bad for December riding either! As I was driving home last night, I noticed that many of the homes in our neighborhood were already sporting lights and decorations and thought it would be a great idea to get out one night on two wheels and take them in a little more leisurely.

If you’re in the Salem/Keizer area, you can join in on Wednesday Night Light rides each night in December, with a Keizer Lights specific ride planned for December 17. From the Salem Bicycle Club site:

The ride starts at the BiMart in Keizer. Decorated bikes are encouraged, but not required. Bring a can of food or other donation for the Marion-Polk Foodbank. We will stop at Jackie’s and Doug’s for hot chocolate and cookies during the ride. Call Joanne Heilinger 503-399-9652 for more info, Wednesday December 17, 6:30 pm, Distance 10 miles.

If you want to go it alone, you can even check out this MapMyRide route for your own Christmas light adventure.

If you’re in Portland, you can hit an annual favorite of ours, Peacock Lane, on December 14 for a car-free night. As previously reported at BikePortland.org, the night before the official opening on December 15, will be for pedestrians of all sorts. Visitors on bikes may have a lane specifically for them, or may just be asked to walk them.

With the mild weather we’re having through the end of the week, this is a great time to get out and see some festive lighting on two wheels!

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December 2, 2008

Great Recycled Bike Gift Ideas

Now that we’re into the holiday season, you may be looking for what you can get (and/or make) for that favorite cyclist in your life. You may enjoy browsing through the recycled, eco-friendly gifts at Resource Revival. Located in Mosier, Oregon (yeah, I had to Google Map it too….) artist Graham Bergh runs the business from an idea he had while on his bike.

“The idea for Resource Revival sprung from my imagination in 1991 when I got a flat tire while biking to my recycling job. That inner tube became a cradle for my stereo speakers and after three years of tinkering with other ideas Resource Revival was born in 1994.
Now we collect tons of discarded bicycle parts every year from bike shops all over the United States.  We clean them using mild detergents, sort them into more categories than you can possibly imagine, and craft them into the cool products you see on our website.”

In addition to their retail store, where you can find sweet gifts like the chainring clock pictured above, Resource Revival also sells promotional and awards products that can be customized with your logo or message. You can also download the sweet free recycled bike part virtual clock for your Mac or PC. Here’s mine on my desktop:

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December 1, 2008

Joining Up With The “Fattys”

I suppose I could just be thankful to find some people to identify with when I say today that I’m planning to join up with Team Fatty for next years Livestrong Challenge. But, for those that aren’t familiar, Elden Nelson runs a site called FatCyclist.com, and has been keeping the cycling world apprised of his brave wife Susan’s battle with cancer on his blog.

Elden pointed out a few weeks ago that the top fundraising teams for the Livestrong Challenge last year brought in 250,00 – 300,000 dollars last year, and that he had a dream to break both those records. If he could get 1000 members to join his team, and each raise 1000, then Team Fatty would be able to raise a million dollars for cancer research and advocacy. He wants to do it for Livestrong, and he wants to do it for Susan.

So, I’m officiallly breaking my promise to myself to not do Livestrong again (simply because I hate asking people for money,) and am going to sign up for Team Fatty, and begin inviting friends and family to be part movement that Elden has begun. If you’d like to be involved in the Team Fatty effort, you can read more about the official start of the team in the FatCyclist post for today. In addition to helping support the cause, there are prizes to be won, and more that can be done beyond just signing up to ride and raise support. I’m just waiting to hear back on some scheduling information before I select which city I’ll be riding in. No Livestrong in Portland, so Seattle or San Jose seem like the next best two options. If I can’t arrange to ride with Elden’s group (wherever that may be,) perhaps I’ll be able to link up with Keijro in California and avoid the monsoon we both endured in 2007!

More news to come about registration later on!

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November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Thoughts and the Friday After

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and we’ll be spending it with family and friends, enjoying a day off to hang out, eat, and enjoy the company of those we love. I’d love to hear any of the plans that you have for the holiday, but mostly I hope everyone is able to recognize those things in life we can be thankful for, even in tricky times.

I’m daily thankful for a wonderful family that loves and supports me, and allows me to get out and ride and even gets out there with me from time to time. I’m thankful for good friends and good food, and those moments when they all come together. I’m thankful for our business, and the opportunity it affords me to write about the wackiness of loving bikes and riding them. I’m thankful for my inter-friends too; those who’ve stumbled here somehow and taken the time to read, and come back to see what’s going on here. Generally, I realize I’m a pretty blessed person in every way possible.

On Friday, when many people will be out knocking each other over for discounted Disney movies and waffle irons, I plan to do a few things….in no particular order.

1. Sleep in a little bit – I may get to to do this Thursday as well, but every non-holiday is up and going by 6 am, so I’m looking forward to relaxing at least an extra hour. If nothing else, maybe enjoying a nice cup of coffee in bed with that gorgeous blond lady that lives here.

2. Stop by Breakfast on Bikes – If I get up with enough time to swing by, I’m planning on running down the the Gilbert House to check out the B on B that is right around the corner from my office.

3. Not Hit Any Black Friday Stores – for some reason I’ve never really been a Black Friday shopper, so that’s not all that difficult for me anyway. If you want to join the actual Buy Nothing Day cause, start out at Wikipedia and read more about that.

4. Put Some Miles in on Two Wheels – so far the weather looks like it might be agreeable, so after B on B, I’m hoping to get out for a couple hours and just ride. Best way to spend the day after Thanksgiving.

5. Come home and hang with the Fam – no plans for Friday means taking care of stuff around the house. Maybe a movie, and cleaning the garage.

Hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy your day after!

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