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Open Thread for riding conditions (12/18)

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 18th, 2008 at 8:10 am

Snow scenes from 12-17
A snowy bike lane on
N. Rosa Parks Way.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Snow has just begun to fall across the Portland Metro area. But luckily, so far, the big freeze that was predicted for last night/this morning hasn't happened.

Like we've done for the past few days, please use the comments below to share details about the riding conditions where you live.

How will you get to work today?

Thanks for your feedback.

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Comments
  • a December 18, 2008 at 8:18 am

    I got back on the bike this morning (fixie w/ slicks). I ride from close in NE to downtown. It was pretty quiet traffic, and I took the lane on Vancouver, down the B'way ramp from B'way Br

    A lot of gravel and far less ice on the main roads...my street had black ice.

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  • beth h December 18, 2008 at 8:24 am

    After my spill on Tuesday, I have experienced a surprising amount of stiffness and soreness, particularly in the morning before I stretch.

    I stayed home yesterday. Today I plan to go in by bus and hope to leave by around 4 pm.

    On the plus side, the big white flakes falling outside my window right now remind me of my childhood winters in Philadelphia. It's dicey traveling, but beautiful to behold. Be careful out there, no matter how you get around.

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  • E December 18, 2008 at 8:39 am

    When I left this am, it was wet and relatively warm. The streets were fine - water and gravel, nothing my tires can't handle. Very little traffic in St. J's. I got up on the sidewalk for a stretch and THAT was a bad idea - all slippery slush.
    Now the snow is falling again so who knows how the evening commute will go.

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  • G.A.R. December 18, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Looked for my Wabi Woolens this morning and then I remembered that I don't have any. I rue my lack of Wabi Woolens this morning. Planning to brave the roads before noon, though we have a snow/rain mix falling here on Mt Tabor that could turn to something slick by then and certainly by dark. Maybe I will have my bike on Trimet!

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  • Patrick December 18, 2008 at 8:39 am

    As of 8:15 comming from Alameda Ridge to the Brodaway Bridge--OK riding. The roads aren't slick and auto traffic is light. But it could ice over any minute though.

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  • toddistic December 18, 2008 at 8:49 am

    28th and ainsworth to downtown, via alberta, vancouver, broadway. a thin layer of snow was starting to accumulate on the ground as i rode in. i saw two maybe three tracks of bike tires in the freshly fallen snow. it felt a little colder today.

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  • Carrie December 18, 2008 at 8:59 am

    From Piedmont to downtown on my fixie with slicks - no problems at all other than gravel.

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  • neverysummer December 18, 2008 at 9:03 am

    At 7:00am: Clinton, through Ladds to downtown was smooth sailing. Lots of gravel, but I just took it easy.

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  • Hollie December 18, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Westmoreland and Woodstock/Reed College this morning are just like a normal Oregon December morning-- wet. The bike lanes are sketchy, but there aren't many cars out yet, so it's pretty safe to take the lane.

    Of course, it just started snowing again and the temperature seems to be dropping. 'Nother "anybody's best guess" forecast today.

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  • Jeff P December 18, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Same set up and route as No. 4 in the previous thread [SW Pdx]:

    Road edges were less friendly this morning; the slush, slop and chop piled from cars is not easily ridden through. Traction is good but it grabs the wheels. Skinnier may be better today to cut through the soft slop.

    Work the far side if you can beat that transition zone or just hang to the right of the now mostly bare car tracks; the cars seem to be good at going around knowing it is just slush to them [plush they relish being able to splatter that stuff on you as they go by]. This was all lower elevations.

    Anything that falls today should not be a problem as long as a rider doesn't get caught up in the remnant piles lurking below.

    Stay on top of your bike; braking is good; even pedal strokes; clear/amber lenses to keep the flakes from your eyes. Enjoy.

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  • a.O December 18, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Great to be back in the saddle today, even if it was through freezing rain. I'll take it over the bus. Springwater along the river was clear, looks like that might not be the case this evening.

    Saw substantially more people riding over the Hawthorne this morning than in days past even though it was still really cold -- and did I mention the freezing rain? So that disproves the hypothesis that people weren't riding only because it was cold.

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  • ethan December 18, 2008 at 9:33 am

    The first flakes began to fall just as I hopped on the bike this morning. I relish rides on the Esplanade like today's because when else can you have the whole darn thing practically to yourself!?! Anyhow, all went well until I was almost at work, when an accumulation of slush and ice on my crank pushed my chain onto the lowest gear, while simultaneously causing my chain to slide over the rear sprockets -giving me almost no ability to keep moving! It was at this point that I wondered what precautions I should have taken, though a brief stop and a manual (clumsy gloved) shift into a higher gear allowed me to arrive safely at my destinations. I guess I should've read some of the early posts about getting ready for freezes? Perhaps it is beter not to shift much or at all because empty sprockets will have frozen over?

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  • velo December 18, 2008 at 9:33 am

    I rode from SE near Reed though Ladds to Downtown at about 8:30. It was pretty easy if sloppy and gross. The snow was falling hard and I wished I had goggles. My ride which normally takes 20-22 minutes took 29 which was much faster then yesterday.

    Still on the mountain bike running low tire pressure and I did hit the odd patch of ice. A road bike would have been OK, but the ride home might be exciting! 2 in tires at ~40 psi worked great. It it freezes up I'll drop them down to 25 psi for the ride home.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) December 18, 2008 at 9:37 am

    I just got to my office in the Central Eastside after riding from North Portland/Piedmont n'hood.

    I rode down Interstate and then onto the Esplanade and then up Salmon.

    It was snowing heavily when I left my house but then things got wet and slushy by the time I arrived.

    no ice that I could tell just yet. riding is fine... but I just hope I can ride home safely.

    I am riding a long wheelbase bike with a 20-inch rear wheel in the back and 2.2-inch tires with low pressure.

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  • Paul Manson December 18, 2008 at 9:46 am

    I rode in from Mt Tabor to Lloyd District and it was fine. Sleet started at SE 39th and then turned to snow by 28th. The roads were wet, but not slick. Of course today was the first time this week I left the goggles at home.

    On a fixie with studded tires - the thing is a ice animal.

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  • Nate December 18, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Rode in from near Reed through Ladds and to inner industrial SE on a road bike with slick 28s. Gravel/sand in the bike lanes made it a bit sketchy at times (especially coming off the light at Powell), but otherwise wasn't bad. As I came through Ladds and up Clay the snow/slush was already beginning to accumulate, which makes me think I may be bussing it home.

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  • Minna December 18, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Montavilla to Brooklyn @ 8:00am-8:30am:

    Finally got on my bike (mountain bike with 1-1/2" slick tires, considering lowering the psi) after a few days of bussing it.

    Roads north of Burnside were slushy and the freezing rain/snow was sticking. Just south of Burnside and everything was relatively clear but there were patches of gravel along Lincoln/Clinton.

    The snow is sticking in SE now. Might be bussing home tonight.

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  • Jeremy R. December 18, 2008 at 10:02 am

    I rode in from the SE to the SW water front and everything was fine. I have wider rando tires in storage, but my 28mm deflated a little handled things well. The waterfront had some ice/slush sections which were no big deal, and I mostly just took the lane. Tonight's ride may be a bit more difficult, but if it is slush, it should not be too bad. I think tonight I will switch to some 38mm vittoria randos for the morning.

    Be careful around corners with the loose gravel, and be safe on the way home.

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  • K'Tesh December 18, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Slush in the Beaverton Transit area, Slush in the Tigard Transit area...

    Was snowing hard a moment ago (and sticking).

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  • Mark Allyn December 18, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Started out from SE42nd & Clinton at about 7AM. Wet pavement and light drizzle.

    Uneventful ride to downtown/Goose Hollow and then MAX to Hillsboro Airport.

    Snowing lightly when I got off. I had a dentist appointment close to Hillsboro Airport that lasted until 9:30.

    when I got out, there was some slush and standing water in the road; wet snow coming down; temperature still above freezing.

    Uneventful ride from the dentist to work (about 1 mile).

    I am at Intel Jones Farm campus; just about the only one in my section of the building.

    Now the temperature is falling. When it hits just above 32, I will be heading back home to SE Portland via MAX.

    Mark

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  • mmann December 18, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Rode the road bike out to Gresham at 7 on wet streets - had to take the lane to avoid some old ice, but otherwise fine. However, looking out the window I think the ride home might be more challenging. May have to Max it.

    Paul (#15) a fixie with studs would be the ultimate ice machine!

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  • js December 18, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Apologies to the guy on the Poprad who had to hang back due to lack of fender extender on my mountain bike this am. Actually it is fenderless, but I think we were both having a good time. It was a fun ride with much of the ice replaced with snow. I am hoping for more of the white stuff. My skis are waxed and ready for the commute!

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  • jv December 18, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I rode out of NE (around Alberta) at around 9:10 today on my semi slick 26" tires. Snow was sticking, but not too thick and I had decent traction. Got first (bike) tracks out of the residential streets and saw a few other tracks on Vancouver. Headed downtown it started getting much more slushy, and I began to get some chain skipping due to snow/crud accumulation in my rear cassette. Got to work and put my bike inside to melt it off. Not too bad really, I think Monday was a sketchier day.

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  • SJ December 18, 2008 at 11:10 am

    7am from NE Fremont to SW 10th on 120psi slicks. Dodged some slush, mostly gravel in bike lanes. After three days off the bike, it felt great to ride to work again.

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  • Gabriel December 18, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Rode from SE 30th and Ankeny, to Lloyd Center at 10am. Coming up 20th, there was a white Jeep who needed to pass me with about 6 in of clearance, even though we were both in deep snow/slush. I caught about a bucket full of road slush all over, and got in front of him at the Sandy intersection (heading north) to ensure he didn't try and inch by and slush me again. 1st time might have been an accident, but then he almost knocked me over to slush me AGAIN! Sucks 'cause all I could do is flick him off. I wish I could've thrown my bike at his head.

    Oh, could you please NOT give my e-mail address to the Police?

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  • Moo December 18, 2008 at 11:25 am

    My ride was excellent - from NoPo to inner eastside - JM's route I believe...seems these t.v. weather persons are just too full of themselves for actually predicing Sunday morns' freezey precip. Now they're just piggy backing all over each oters' forcasts, and completely taking us all for a ride (no pun intended). They actually cruised up to Woodland Washington last evening, just to get a shot of some reporter sticking her frozen hand into 3" of snow. Come on, let's get back to reality!..this ain't nothin'.

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  • Joel December 18, 2008 at 11:31 am

    I rode to downtown fro se 18th and alder with nary a slip! I only wish I would have opted to use the bike with fenders instead of the bike with knobbies, oh and its sunny out right now.

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  • joel December 18, 2008 at 11:38 am

    havent left the house yet (day off), but ill be heading out later to either dove/lewis or all the way up to the portland audubon society (from ne mlk/killingsworth) to drop off an injured bird - how conditions are will determine how far i go - but currently i dont see anything being a real impediment to me getting all the way to audubon, especially with slushy snow on the ground, temps rising again, and me on the cargo bike. long wheelbase + low center of gravity = awesome.

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  • Ashley December 18, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I rode to Citybikes this morning (27" tires, no knobs) from SE Holgate just as the snow began. There were some slushy parts, but nothing to bad, totally ridable. Rode to downtown without any trouble, just watch for the remaining ice patches. In many places I had to take the edge of the lane to stay out of the ice/gravel chaos in the bike lane. We'll see how tonight goes...

    Glad to be riding again!

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  • R-diddly December 18, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    4 miles from North Portland to Lloyd Center at 8:30 am via Vancouver and side streets. Big flakes falling slowly and getting sucked under my visor into my eyes. About an inch of accumulation on the less-traveled streets, not much at all on Vancouver at that point. Powdery on top, and in places, slushy underneath. I enjoyed it quite a bit... I got some 2.1" studded tires from Universal Cycles yesterday based on the tip from this site. I got the 2nd-to-last pair they had in stock. They said they'd sold about 20 pairs that day. 294 carbide steel studs per tire... probably overkill, but it's WAY FUN. I had a nice relaxed ride, felt totally safe everywhere including the side streets and sidewalks I often use, which were much more tranquil & pleasant and almost a "winter wonderland." Really looking forward to more snow & ice!

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  • Joe December 18, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Wilsonville morning ride in, the bike lanes are full of ice and and wet! rode
    outside in main lane some. going home will be interesting its cooling off alot.. ice is out in force.

    be careful!

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  • Dan December 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Like many, glad to be back on two wheels.

    Started out damp on NE 102/Glisan heading towards NE 122nd/Whitaker. Not much ice left, even in the residentials, just damp roads. Heading North along 122nd around 8am, I saw a nice big dark cloud looming above the I-84 overpass. Turns out it was sleet. The balaclava helped, but still took a little beating on the nose. Made it to work before the snow started, but the sleet was piling up pretty good.

    Work let us out early, so I shot over to biketiresdirect around 11 to get some real booties (finally). The fresh snow just put a big stupid grin on my face the whole way. Ended up taking the 205 trail home and was the only one putting tracks down. Had a great time and only slipped a little on a speed bump that was covered with hardpack from cars.

    Set up was a mountain bike with conti traffics (1.95 I think). Went out full pressure, but dropped the rear to play in the snow - worked phenomenally. Good times!...but glad to be in if it's going to ice up later. Safe journeys to everyone out there.

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  • Nature Boy December 18, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    After falling over repeatedly in front of my house on my oldschool schwinn cruiser a few days back, I became dismayed by the conditions this morning and walked to work. If this keeps up, which I believe it will, I'm going to attempt zip ties around my wheels to provide traction. With any luck, my awesome idea will actually be awesome.

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  • mark December 18, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    rode my single speed peugeot mountain bike to work yesterday in the NW industrial area. Yeon and St. Helens rd. is a scary area to ride a bike in normal conditions, let alone snow and ice. but it was mostly ok, not much traffic on St. Helens, but I had to ride in the main road since there was solid ice in the bike lanes early in the morning. coming home down Front was fine, if not a little wet. people at my work look at me in shock when I tell them yes I still rode my bike to work even in the ice. I love it.

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