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‘Day without the bicycle’ follow-up: How to make 1/3 of Portland’s bikers vanish

Thursday, August 7th, 2014
bike count decline

The other day I did a fun post with some back-of-the-envelope math to estimate what it might look like if every Portland bike commuter switched to a car for one day. Here’s a tidbit I didn’t have room to include: massive temporary shifts from bike to other modes already happen regularly.

They happen every time it rains. Rain eliminates about one in three bike trips citywide, to be precise.

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Portlanders pedal through the storm

Monday, September 30th, 2013
Rain rider
Undeterred.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland was pelted with a serious storm this weekend. High winds and heavy rainfall lasted throughout all of Saturday and Sunday and while forecasters say the worst is over, this morning’s commute was far from a cakewalk.

But like always when the weather turns tough, there are still a lot of Portlanders who will bike right through it. I headed out with my camera this morning to capture some of the action.

Sideways rain hammered the bike commuters I saw this morning in north and downtown Portland. Yet while the number of riders was down significantly from an average weekday, there was still a relatively steady stream of people on bikes. In addition to rain and wind, they had to dodge fallen tree limbs, curbside lakes, and all manner of debris on the road. (more…)

What are your best tips for staying warm and dry?

Monday, October 22nd, 2012
Rider in the storm.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)r

OK folks, it has begun. After an unnaturally long spell of dry and sunny weather, some wet and cold weather is here. This morning’s commute was probably the toughest one since the end of last winter. While I’d love to think that we all pay it no mind and continue on our merry biking ways, it does have an impact.

The bikeways are much less crowded than they were just a few weeks ago. Last week was the lowest count of trips on the Hawthorne Bridge recorded since the new counter went in back in August and Saturday’s 1,536 trips was the lowest ever recorded. But, as a photo shared by the BTA this morning shows, lots of folks are still riding!

For those of you who press on through the darkness, wetness, and the cold, what are your secrets? (more…)

Wet Weather Open Thread: Conditions, your tips and more – UPDATED

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

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Wet weather open thread

Thursday, December 9th, 2010
Flooded bike lane and shoulder on N. Williams tonight.
(Photo © J. Maus)

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Winter riding: Staying warm and dry on a budget

Friday, November 6th, 2009
Bike to Work Breakfast-3
Raingear comes in all styles, forms
— and budgets.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Now that the rain has arrived in earnest, it’s time to get the daily wet weather riding routine down pat.

For many of us, that isn’t going to include shopping for a new, name brand rain jacket and pants, fancy washable wool, or a new bike with disc brakes.

Fortunately there are plenty of local options for staying warm and reasonably dry without going broke. (more…)

Bemer Pague; a defender of “cycle paths” over a century ago

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

[Editor's note: This is our second column by Oregon bicycle historian Eric Lundgren. He last wrote about T. T. Geer, an Oregon Governor a century ago who was an early adopter of the bicycle for commuting and touring. This column is about the career of Bemer S. Pague, a weatherman, bicycle advocate, and lawyer from the same period -- including a case he won against a cart driver who tried to use a cycle path.]


Bemer S. Pague

Writing about rain in the national imagery of the Pacific Northwest, historian Richard Maxwell Brown notes that during the late 1800s “the specter of incessant rainfall epitomized in Webfoot lore seriously handicapped efforts to attract settlers.”

In his “landmark” Biennial Reports of the Oregon Weather Bureau, Forecast Official Bemer S. Pague “provided exhaustive data on precipitation and temperature in minute detail [and] revealed that Portland’s rainfall was not at all excessive.”

According to Brown, Pague “played a pivotal role” in refuting the myth of Portland’s dismal raininess.

That’s not the only time Pague was pivotal. Bemer S. Pague was also a bicyclist. (more…)

Weekend Open Thread: Riding in the Rain Edition

Saturday, November 8th, 2008
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. (more…)

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