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A winter wonderland on two wheels

Posted by on January 16th, 2007 at 4:16 pm

[For more images, see my Snow Day Photo Gallery.]

Wow. What a day.

After my post this morning, I headed back out for a longer ride. I ran into lots of cyclists and got my first taste of urban snow-riding. Busting new tracks through the fresh powder felt awesome…but the stinging snow in my eyes wasn’t.

Snow Day!

Thanks to everyone who shared their experiences. The best tip of the day came in as a comment from a reader named Ian:

“Before departing, I attached zip-ties around the rear wheel of my trusty fixedgear – one between each spoke, wrapping around the tire and rim. Just like chaining up. It worked great, even on the packed snow.”

Great idea Ian.

The other great idea comes from everyone who made it up to Washington Park to join the Zoobomb crew for a day of sledding, libations, and yes, snow-bombing! I didn’t make it up to the hill, but here are my photos and notes from the road…

I camped on the East side of the Broadway Bridge for a while. I met a guy named George who was headed downtown to “just play around and have fun.” That’s the spirit George. I also snapped a shot of BTA office manager Christopher Duran, pressing on through the driving snow (at least I think that’s him).

Snow Day! Snow Day!

Then, after checking out the scene on the Esplande, I set off for Stumptown Coffee on Third. It was pretty quiet other than a few messengers hanging under shelter waiting for calls to come in.

After that, it was off to assess the Zoobomb Pile. And there it was, just as I’d hoped…all covered in snow:

On my way home, a man named Amir and his son Adrian caught my eye playing in the snow on their bikes in Jamison Square:

Snow Day!Snow Day!

Crossing the Broadway Bridge I ran into messenger Ayla Holland (yes, that Ayla Holland). She was pushing her fixie through the bumpy snow so I got off and joined her. It was great to share a snowy bridge walk with another cyclist.

Hope you had a fun day. Now let’s hope things don’t get too nasty overnight. If this city freezes tonight, we’re in for an interesting day tomorrow…

===
[Note: Something screwy is going on with my photo pages, so if you ever get an error message, you can always go directly to my photos on Flickr.]

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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sheldonbikeseattle.org » Chaining up?Mark JohnsonbArbarooLyle Recent comment authors
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Christopher Duran
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Christopher Duran

Hey Jonathan-

I was so focused on not wiping out that I forgot that I saw someone taking my picture this morning. I should have known it was you. Who else would be laying in the snow on the Broadway Bridge taking pictures of passing cyclists 🙂

Chris

andy
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andy

Yup, it was a hell of a lot easier coming over the Broadway bridge this morning than it was going home- I had to push my bike from the bottom of the Lovejoy ramp to Flint before I could saddle up again. After that, no problem! (Although I gotta get me some of those zip ties.)

Jeff
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Jeff

jonathan, nice shot of the lone cyclist heading over the RR down to the Esplanade – captures the essence of a Portland snow day.

Sara
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Sara

That was my first day of snow biking, and it was so much fun! It was a lot easier going in to work than coming home, but coming home wasn’t too bad on the right roads. I hope tomorrow isn’t worse than it was tonight.

Burr
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Burr

I’ll walk until the snow melts, then we’ll see how long it takes PDOT to clean up the gravel in the bike lanes this time around…

Cecil
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Cecil

Tomorrow is shaping up to be pretty icy – I’ll ride on snow, but ice is another beast entirely – I’ll have to wait and see what the morning brings, of course, but tomorrow may be a walking day -esp. because I have no zip ties with which to augment my snow tires . . . Ian deserves a “Toeclips” award just for that idea!

Andre
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Andre

It’s a great idea if you ride fixed or disk brakes but it’s not going to work for rim brakes. I really think it’s a cool idea though.

tonyt
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tonyt

Indeed, it was a lot easier this morning on the untracked snow then it was later. The car tracks, and foot prints on the waterfront especially, were pretty challenging. But the climb up Mississippi was easier than expected.

Gimme more!

joel
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joel

Regarding the eyes: I got tired of trying to find sunglasses that would do the trick. I finally realized that motorcyclists and 1920s racers had it right and got me some Bobster Bugeye 2 goggles: http://www.bobster.com/Catalog/Product.aspx?ItemCode=BA2C31AC. They’re pretty comfortable, really inexpensive given other options and reasonably anti-fog in most conditions. Plenty of similar options out there, and worth giving a shot, especially if you wear contacts or have had Lasik and your eyes are wind-sensitive.

Kronda
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To all those cyclist complaining of snow in your eyes today, I have a suggestion 🙂

http://flickr.com/photos/ephany/360280378/

Lyle
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Lyle

Wow!
That ziptie idea really would have helped me out in the sloppy stuff yeseterday.

I’ve been riding on sheer ice for the past week or so up here in Vancouver. Pretty much all the other commuters I would see on my route have stopped.

The one thing I did was deflate my 700×25 tires down to about 60psi for the ice. the larger contact patch seemed to help a bit… and whenever the front end would get pushed over by an ice rut I would just shift my weight backwards and keep powering on.

I’m glad to see there are so many cyclists out and about in the snow down there =D

bArbaroo
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bArbaroo

I love riding in the snow! It’s such a novelty here in P-town but a welcome one – few cars, lots of people out on foot, views of snow men and igloos (yes check out the corner of NE 48th and Brazee)the muffled sounds – all good stuff and definitely great from the seat of a bicycle.

I rode my cross bike yesterday and it was perfect for the conditions. My tip for riding in snow is SMILE!

Mark Johnson
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[…] Found an interesting comment/post over at BikePortland.org: […]

sheldon
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sheldon

Watch out for the bike lane on NE Weidler between MLK and Grand. The fine folks at Washman decided to shovel all of their snow in a big pile onto the bike lane.