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.
Once again, our good friend Eric Lundgren has opened the floodgates of bike related information for the area. Check out all the great information listed here! Thanks Eric!
You know spring is here when we start getting multiple bike events on the same day! Choice and even some crowding on the weekend schedule is welcome news indeed.
And even more welcome was US Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood’s important national policy change, which you may have seen already: “Today, I want to announce a sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice…This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.”
Sunday, March 28th – Kidical Mass
The second Kidical Mass ride starts at Faye Wright School at 1pm. Bring your noise makers! Kazoos, maracas, bells, tambourines, homemade & otherwise. For complete details see Kidical Mass Salem.
Monday, March 29th (Meetings also on April 5 & 6) – Neighborhood Center Mixed Use Zoning Meetings
Learn about a new zoning concept for walkable neighborhoods. Make sure bikes are accommodated!
Thursday, April 1st – Vision 2020 Open House
You’re invited to a Vision 2020 Open House. Learn more about sharrows, new bicycle signage along Chemeketa street and the Union St. Railroad Bridge, and the other projects that are part of the Vision 2020 project.
Monday, April 12 – City Council
Council meets and on the agenda is scheduled to be the first round of crossing improvements funded by Keep Salem Moving Bond. These are mainly pedestrian crossings, but some of them are on significant bikeways and all of them promote traffic calming generally.
Tuesday, April 20th – MWVBTA Meeting
The Mid-Willamette Valley chapter of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance meets the third Tuesday of the month. Check the Breakfast Blog for agenda, location, and time.
Sunday, April 25th – Monster Cookie
It’s time to start thinking about the first major ride of the season! The course is flat with a few rolling hills takes riders from the Capitol over back roads to Champoeg State Park and back to Salem. You can register here!
Sunday, April 25th – Kidical Mass
The third Kidical Mass ride!
Friday, April 30th – Breakfast on Bikes B on B moves to Mission & Winter.
All May – Walk+Bike Challenge Month
Register your school for Walk+Bike Challenge month! This statewide event is a friendly competition that encourages students to walk and bike to school for the whole month of May. In 2009, 60 schools and over 4,000 individuals participated in the event.
Saturday, May 15 – Union St. RR Bridge scheduled to reopen!
Local man about town on two wheels, Eric Lundgren, fires off his ever informative update for what’s going on in and around the Salem area in the bike world. Thanks Eric! (Be sure to visit The Salem Breakfast on Bikes blog if you don’t already read it!)
It’s cold! But it’s beautiful, and if you’re dressed right it feels great!
Not so many date-bound events this time of year…but lots of bits of news!
Kat’s planning Kidical Mass rides for Salem! These are short rides
for families and kids, not more than 5 miles with stops at parks and
for ice cream and fun stuff! To learn more or to volunteer to help
with planning see – http://kidicalmasssalem.blogspot.com/
I heard about AuctionPDX.com on the radio the other day and was pleasantly surprised to see a few bikes in their list of items. They currently have 5 items in their Bikes category, with retail values ranging from $400 to $1150. The highest bid (at the time of this posting) is currently under $300 on any of the items, with some of them ending this afternoon. If you’re looking to pick up a new bike for someone for Christmas, or just for yourself, it’s work taking a peek. These are provided by Portland area businesses, such as River City Bikes, and winning bidders will pick up bikes at the location specified. There are also some other items in the auction list that may be of interest to you.
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!
My commute to work is fairly short…about 5 miles round trip, and mostly through residential until a short section which I call the gauntlet, but that’s fodder for another post. Yesterday I had to head just South of town to Bush Park, and realized I would have to cross a section of Commercial street I hate, down at Mission Street. There are 3-4 lanes down there, leading to a blind spot hill with a stop light right over the hill. In addition to the blind spot hill just before the light, the road bends a bit, and then traffic can go straight, left, or right at that intersection. It’s nasty and if you ask other cyclists, has a reputation for being dangerous.
As I headed up Commercial I decided I would turn left one street earlier, on Leslie, so I checked traffic, which was clear and started crossing lanes. Before you get to Leslie, a left turn lane appears and 3 lanes become 4, and I was just about to move into that last lane from the 3 lane on the left hand side, when a car came along side me in the lane and went by at a slower speed and gave me some helpful advice.
The gentleman in the sedan slowed down so he could squeeze by me on the right (I had already started shifting left in my lane and was on the left edge, so I could get one more lane over) and as he went by, and a little close for comfort I might add, he shot his arm out and pointed over the roof of his car as if to say “get over on the right side of the road buddy.” I wanted to yell out something, even a sarcastic “thank you” or something, but then for a minute questioned my own understanding of bicycle rules of the road. So I got home and looked it up. Turns out, I was doing everything fine.
Take a look at the photo above…that’s me in the illustration above, well not really me, but that’s what I was doing. Now, it might have seemed, because I was moving over yet one more lane, that I was hanging to the left of the lane I was in, but I was actually headed toward the last lane in the road. At any rate, I’ll be sure to ‘take the lane’ more obviously next time, and yet, I’m sure I’ll still have plenty of folks trying to help me understand my place in the world as a bike commuter.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love getting my monthly update from the Man Who Know Everything About Bikes in Salem, Eric Lundgren. Not only does it inform and remind me of what’s going on, but it allows me to pass along his nuggets of knowledge to everyone out there visiting PacificPedaling.com From Eric’s latest email:
The big story in July is the Commercial Street Restriping Plan. The
plan offers the prospect of substantial progress on making downtown
more bike-friendly. It’s scheduled to go to City Council in August.
Make sure August 10th is on your calendar!
(It’s hot, too – so stay hydrated & cool!)
Breakfast on Bikes – Friday, July 31
Commercial Street Striping – Monday, August 10th
Short Track Racing at Fairgrounds – Mondays
Bike Commute Challenge Kick-off – Thursday, August 27th
Kick-off Bike Parade for State Fair – Friday, August 28th
Free Bike Parking at Salem Saturday Market
Salem Bicycle Club introductory Rides
Bike Commute Challenge Kick-off – Thursday, August 27th
Save the Date! Don’t have all the details confirmed yet, but we plan
on having beer and pizza for bicyclists. Get the BCC posters, other
workplace materials, and meet your fellow commuters! Look for
information on the Breakfast blog and for a special email later in
Kick-off Bike Parade for State Fair – Friday, August 28th
Free parade! Costumes and decoration encouraged. Meet at the State
Fairgrounds in front of the Pavilion off of Sunnyview Rd. at 5:30,
parade starts at 6. The bike drill team will be participating.
Additional practices to be announced. Here’s a brief bit about their
first outing, the Monmouth-Independence Fourth of July Parade – http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/07/fourth-of-july-parade.html
The summer bike counts are going strong, and some counts are already
in. If you are interested in volunteering, please let me know! There
are still some sites available, and in doing counts we’ve identified
some needs for additional counts. Here’s a story on one count at
Liberty S and Commercial SE, where we learned the intersection was
even more difficult than we thought. If you have a work-around you
particularly like, drop it in the comments! http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2009/07/liberty-s-and-commercial-se-dysfunction.html
Salem Bicycle Club introductory Rides – Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons
The Keizer Family Ride leaves Cummings Elementary School at 6:30 pm on
Thursday evenings, and the Sunday afternoon High Wheeler ride leaves
the red lot at 1:30pm on Sunday afternoons. For more information see