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Weekend Open Thread: Riding in the Rain Edition

Posted by Elly Blue (Columnist) on November 8th, 2008 at 10:39 am

Bike Move for Ernie
I'll be helping a friend with a
rainy bike move today.
(Photo J. Maus)

What are your plans for this rainy weekend?

I'm planning on some quality time at home, catching up on laundry and other projects.

But this morning I'm going to venture out in the rain with my trailer and panniers for a bike move. Emily Wilson, veteran bike movee (hers was the first official Move By Bike event in Portland, and she's never looked back). You might think that moving someone's earthly belongings by bike in the rain wouldn't be a whole lot of fun -- but wow, would you ever be wrong.

If you're looking for an interesting afternoon bike fun event, check out the Awesome Architecture NE PDX ride, a two hour tour of architectural oddities in the outer northeast. The ride leaves at 1pm from Jim and Patty's Coffee at 4951 NE Fremont.

And don't forget to check out the always spectacle-laden Cross Crusade. This weekend, the action is very close to home at Portland International Raceway in North Portland.

Sunday, my big plan is to hitch up the trailer again and do some bulk grocery shopping.

What are your bike plans this weekend? Do you see this weather as a logistical challenge to overcome or an opportunity to enjoy some time at home?

If you're going out by bike, how are you planning to keep yourself and your cargo warm and dry?

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Comments
  • Kathleen McDade November 8, 2008 at 11:34 am

    I am not going out in the rain. I've been verging on sick all week and finally stayed home from work yesterday. :-) I do need to get a new tube and install it, though...

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  • Adam November 8, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Do you have your demo Madsen yet? Moving would be a great test for those. Worked great to take a coworker up to the corner store for some snacks!

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  • Donna November 8, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    I am on the hunt for a simple armwarmer/fingerless glove pattern. Any tips, knitters?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) November 8, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    hey Adam,
    yes, I have my Madsen demo.. but this story was written by Elly Blue, not me.

    I have been testing it though.. but more with kids than cargo. today I had three kids and a violin in it. i'll have a review on monday or tuesday.

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  • Refunk November 8, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Ha! Almost helped with a bike move!

    Dropped by Emily's (who doesn't know me from Mr. McCain) new digs to say hi and was warmed by the sight of the great grazing herd of bikes and trailers in the yard, the bike-ish rain gear strewn all over the house, and the happily-schmoozing people. For next time, I've been instructed to camp out at the start point the night before...

    As for weather, it was accommodating (warm) and what do you mean, dry? This is the Pacific Northwet - if you can see through it, it's not "rain."

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  • Lynne November 8, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Rode to the Portland Velo ride, rode, had a BIG sticky bun at Maggies in Forest Grove, finished the ride, rode home. 61+ miles. In the rain. Amazing rain. Downpours. Headwinds. My shoes squished. Under the Showers Pass jacket and long sleeve wool jersey, all was fine. Good thing it wasn't really cold, though :-)

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  • John November 8, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Architecture!
    Rain, schmain. The sun saw fit to shine down upon the architecturally curious Shifties. It was sunny and warm the whole ride, if a bit windy in a couple spots. We even got to tour the innards of a geodesic dome, a little Bucky Fullerness to feed the inner geek...

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  • danredwing November 8, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    No riding today, but I will be riding to church tomorrow morning...pretty short, 4 miles roundtrip, and then back into the new week...hoping the forecast clears up a little!

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  • Kathleen McDade November 8, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Donna, not a knitting pattern, but I did see armwarmers made from recycled sweaters on Etsy, and thought that was a good idea (and I'm sure I've got a scrappy sweater around here somewhere).

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  • JH November 8, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    I look outside, it's pouring rain, so I put on all of my rain gear and my stupid clip-on fenders, then I finally make it out side and the damn sun comes out.

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  • TonyH November 9, 2008 at 6:52 am

    Home with a cold. I cleaned/serviced one of my bikes yesterday. Today, sunday, I'll hitch up a trailer and brave the trip to the store.

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  • Cecil November 9, 2008 at 7:10 am

    On Saturday I did the Velo ride with Lynne and a surprisingly large contingent of others (last year, Lynne and I were often the only members willing to ride in the rain),

    I rode to the start as usual, so ended up with just under 84 miles for the day, at least 70 of which involved rain of some variety, ranging from drizzle to "Ow, that hurts when it hit" downpours.

    Thanks to my SP jacket and wool jersey, my upper half was warm and dry the entire time. The lower half? Well, it was warm. For the first 40 miles or so, my shoes and booties had held off the water, but from there on I had a little lake sloshing around under each foot. Bless wool socks . . .

    After the Velo ride, I stopped at Lynne's so that she could bust out her electrical skills and replace the spade connectors on my headlights that I had mangled (don't ask how - it's too embarrassing). Those lights came in handy on the ride home from Lynne's, which involved a very dark descent through Washington Park.

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  • beth h November 9, 2008 at 8:36 am

    After riding to Verboort last weekend with the Oregon Randonneurs, this weekend I've stayed off my bike. Did yard work yesterday and today I'm playing in a community band concert that's too far away to ride to. Perhaps if I have time after the concert I'll run a couple of quick errands by bike...

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  • Lynne November 9, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Re #3, knitting patterns. Join ravelry (www.ravelry.com), which is free, at which point you have access to a massive database of patterns and projects and knitters all around the world... There is even a cycling forum (two wheeled knitters).

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  • patrick November 9, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Donna, go to Knitty and check out the "dashing" patttern-- its' a very long fingerless mitt that works as an armwarmer as well.

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  • Kt November 9, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Wow, thanks, Lynne!! I'm also (always) looking for interesting cycling knitting patterns.

    I've also had good luck at knitting.about.com... but am really interesting in ravelry.com now!

    As for bikey stuff: I changed a tire and cleaned and lubed the drivetrain of my commuter. Sparkly clean and ready to go! :) Also swapped from the usual headlight to my extra awesome fall-winter light.

    Sure, it took me a couple of hours to properly clean and shine him up, but I was taking my time and wanted to make sure I did a good job.

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  • KJ November 9, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    DOnna:
    I have a few tips!
    One: Join ravelry.com and you can search the pattern database there (for ideas of what a pattern looks like in different yarns and where to find the pattern etc. it's awesome.)
    and two:
    knitty.com have two great patterns, "dashing" http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEspring07/PATTdashing.html and "Fetching" http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer06/PATTfetching.html

    I love dashing and you can make them longer simply by adding an extra cable or two. I think Knitty has some other patterns too.

    Hope that helps. I love the fingerless gloves I made last year (the dashing pattern) they are in alpaca mohair, so warm and fuzzy.

    good luck!

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  • Cecil November 9, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Lynne failed to mention that at least one Portland frame builder can also be found haunting the ravelry.com threads (or yarns . . )

    Nor did she mention the post-apocalyptic zombie group . . .

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  • Thomas Le Ngo November 10, 2008 at 10:21 am

    I started my weekend off by wiping out on wet leaves Friday evening. Not fun!

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  • Zaphod November 10, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Wet leaves can be sketchy. Paying close attention to surface and "reading" it is an essential winter riding skill.

    When approaching a leafy or otherwise slimy section there are two options:

    1) Get your speed down *before* you're in it and gingerly roll through without relying on too much traction.

    2) Ride it like you stole it. Coming into a corner too hot, ride with little to no braking and arc through the corner expecting to slide a little. Pressure on the outside pedal and body loose equals more stability.

    Your tire only has so much traction. If you are braking, you leave less available to make the corner. But if you are on a steep hill then if you don't brake, you may have too much speed later and then have a bigger problem.

    This is a race style technical skill and you certainly can end up on the pavement with this approach. But confidence in handling such situations is a good tool to have if you do find yourself unexpectedly in one.

    If you want more confidence riding around in the leaves and slime, practice in a field or head out to a cyclocross race and give it a go.

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  • E November 10, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Hey I saw that cargo bike with 3 kids and a violin... I wondered if that was you! Guess it was! :D

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