[See the updated Snow Day photo gallery]
Woke up this morning to a winter wonderland…and it’s still falling!
Wow. Excuse the excitement, but for someone that grew up in Southern California it’s pretty amazing to bare witness to real snowfall in my own backyard.
After the girls and I took out the sled and cruised the neighborhood, I took the Puch out for a little snow-biking.
The silence and slow pace were a welcome change to the usual hectic morning traffic.
Here are a few more photos:
Happy Snow Day. If you rode to work or around your neighborhood, let us know how it went. I didn’t see any other cyclists out during my brief jaunt…but I think I’ll leave now and venture downtown to see what I can see…
I think I may have seen you on my way to work. I gave up on my road bike at around 7th and Stark. I started to slide, put one foot down onto another sheet of ice, and ice-skated with my bike over to the sidewalk. I decided that I should walk the rest of the way to work. Any techniques or suggestions on riding in the snow? I noticed the areas with more snow build-up and less traffic seemed to be smooth, not-so-slick, comfortable to ride in, but any spot where the traffic has packed the snow down, I just can’t keep my bike from sliding all over the place.
that wasn’t me you saw…I’m up in North Portland.
As for advice. I’d just say relax, have fun and slow down (maybe padded clothing would be good too 😉 )!.
I might go out with my snowboard, I am up at Mt. Tabor.
Love the peace and silence.
Ciao and have a great day!
I rode in from NE Alberta to the Pearl at about 8am without too much difficulty, on my roadbike with slicks. You just gotta take it slow, ride sidestreets, avoid packed snow whereever possible. Clean, untracked snow is a much nicer ride, if you can find it. Definitely avoid intersections where a lot of cars stop; the snow gets packed down to ice. Take to the sidewalks if you need to.
As I passed a group of garbage trucks this morning, I hear: “Those people! Always gotta be on a bike!” Damn straight!
If you check the Forums, under Tips & Advice, there is a thread about black ice that has many good tips and impressions. Lower tire pressure, fatter tires, and extreme alertness are all quite helpful, and, as I may have mentioned before, studs will let you laugh at the ice. Be careful, and have fun – it’s a wonderful feeling to keep rolling when most of the city stays home.
Sorry, my mistake – that thread is under General Discussion. Some good advice in there.
I walked across the Ross Island Bridge to work and was passed first by Fred Hansen (TriMet director), who looked stressed, and then by two cross country skiiers making good time!
I hauled out the Schwinn Heavi-Duti with the fat knobby tires and pedaled my way in to work through lovely, silent flakes of white. I took the “short” route (6 miles one-way) around the Esplanade and got to work long before the car-bound commuters. I have to confess to a large amount of smug satisfaction as I pedaled up Harrison from the river while all the cars slid back down. I know I will probably pay for that later – the whole “pride goeth” thing – but all I can say is I was goething a lot better on the snow than any of those combustion-engine guys!
zoobomb @ 11am!
Jonathan — you inspire me. I promised Sweetie I’d take the bus but I am Sooooo tempoted to get out my Peugeot beast and give it a go.
Happy Snow Day –B
Heath saw one guy — just one — coming down Terwilliger on a bike this morning. He was predictably livid!! 😉
As for me, I wouldn’t dare ride in this, but good luck and stay safe to all those who do!
Broke out the SS cross bike, threw in a little MAX and man that was fun!
Rode to the MAX, got off at the Rose station (the Yellow line ended there today) and then rode across the Steel and up the river and up to the park blocks. So much fun! So much fun!!
The knobbies rocked in the snow.
zoobomb @ 11am!
Bring a sled!
I made my normal commute from about Reed College to Beaverton this morning. One hard crash and an extra 10 minutes but I had fun the entire way. My only fear was lunatic motorists but I gave them a wider berth than normal and didn’t do anything super-quickly. Have fun out there. Fatter tires do fairly well in the snow.
Bruce – I am impressed – that’s quite a commute even without snow 🙂
I am going out in the snow soon.
I think today I may ride my Fat Chance Mt bike, with only a rear.
Doing wheelies in the snow is fun…..
ya- I only have really thin road tires. I unfortunately can’t avoid heavily trafficked areas with my work commute. I had fun in the neighborhoods before I hit burnside and sandy but the roads are packed ice at that point- I just got told to close up early and go home for the day- so I guess I get to have another go at it.
I commute to the airport from NE Alberta I had no problems as long as I stuck to side streets. 47th and columbia was another problem as it was an ice rink with two large semi trucks blocking the road. I used my cross bike with tubulars with a low pressure of 40 psi. I do have a set of hand made studded tires but I didn’t think we would get this much snow so I didn’t put them on. For the ride home I maybe wishing for them.
Rules Were Meant to be Frozen!
Went to the gym on my bike at 545AM. It was just starting to snow and it was a lovely ride with plenty of dry pavement to be seen. I never imagined how much snow would fall in just 2-hours.
At 8AM I walked 2miles to work (beats waiting for buses running snow routes) and left my bike locked up (and exposed to the elements – the weather and the criminals – gulp!).
I did some riding around the neighborhood this morning. I love snowdays — people are so sociable and cheerful, even the folks heading to work. I was out on a fat tire bike, and I just stuck to sidestreets and going slow. It was big fun — the back wheel did lots of slipping but I never went down.
This one day justifies a single speed 29er — big tires, low pressure, disk brakes, one gear will get you anywhere today, albeit at a slow pace. SE Portland was pure joy off the main arterials, downtown was fun in a different way. Watch out for fishtailing buses, however. Tri_Met seemed unprepared.
A beautiful day to ride, easier than walking, easier than busing. PSU is lovely today, all fun.
I rode in from NE PDX to NW Portland (Montgomery Park). I did trade in my fixed gear for my SS mtn bike though and I had no problems skidding out> I took it slow & steady and actually had significant traction. Plus it was a hoot! The way home may be a bit more difficult though.
I did hate to leave my house this morning as my wife & kids were just heading out for sledding down the hill in front of our house!
i rode from n portland at around 7, going towards john’s landing. i was about the only one out there that i saw, and conditions were slow but not too bad. the cars were having a worse time of it than i was. i made it all the way past the south waterfront construction when the school i work at called- school was closed for the day. closing at eight doesnt help much for someone who starts at 8:15 and commutes by bike. soooo i turned around and went back home. conditions were better going home- i found it easier to ride where the cars had driven with chains, as long as i kept a consistent line. i impressed myself by making it up interstate without incident. i was riding my ss road bike with armadillos- sure wish i had my mt bike. 12 miles, 2 hours, 1 crash.
i had an awesome ride this morning…6 miles to psu, and 6 more back when it was closed. i think a fixed gear mountain bike is probably the safest thing to be riding. you can just resist instead of breaking, so you don’t lock up the wheels when you slow down. i was riding on main streets over what was clearly hard packed snow/ice with no problems.
What a hoot, my first time riding in real snow. My bike is somewhat of a hybrid, 700 tires fatter than road but skinnier than MTB. I wasn’t sure how it would go but it was fantastic. Fresh snow was definitely the best traction. Lots of sliding, but no falls. School was closed, but I made it to the bank and New Seasons, no problem. I didn’t buy eggs–wasn’t feeling that cocky. 🙂 Saw two other bikers and a few skiers. Maybe I’ll take the skis out later…
Today is sooo awesome! Rode around in the snow with my brother on our cross bikes… deffinetly works better on unpacked snow.
My buddy has an (HUGE) old schwin cruiser that we rode around aittle bit aswell, did surprisingly well in the snow.
All about the cross bikes today! Just got back from 3 hours of fun in the snow on 35c x 700 knobby tires with low pressure and it was so much fun. The riding is even better where the cars have not tracked the powder yet. It’s 1pm and still snowing. Get out there and ride!
I commuted from NE 23rd/Alberta to downtown at around 7:30 p.m. on my Amsterdam and it was an absolutely lovely ride. As other posters have mentioned, fresh snow has pretty good traction. I didn’t slip at all.
Bike boulevards are great, and especially in the snow. I had very little auto-interaction until N. Flint, and thankfully the cars were driving very cautiously and it went quite nicely.
Riding over the Broadway Bridge was a cinematic treat. All white and gray, still and haunting. I felt like I was in a Bergman film.
I don’t have a good snow bike, so I skiied in to work instead. It was great! (though much slower than a bike)
I just hope that they don’t plow the streets before quitting time…
I made it out into the snow, but only got about a mile from home before work called and said they were shutting down. Yeah – snow day.
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.
Hope you all are safe and snow-happy. Stay warm.
Brilliant ian! I’m going to have to try that.
I took my cross bike out today and had blast! I live in Woodstock and rode over to Mt. Tabor and then back down SE Lincoln towards the Clinton area.
Lincoln was great for biking due to the packed snow. Stopping was sketchy a few times. Fortunately I have tubeless tires and had the tire pressure really low which helped with traction.
Have fun today and be safe everyone!
Ditto. Ian is on to something.
Thats a great Idea Ian, I left my place downtown at about 9 this morning on my fixie and had a great time until about 1 this afternoon. Rode out to Sellwood and grabbed my dad for a nice ride around the city for a couple hours. The fixed brake sure was better than the cantis on his cross bike. I am going to try the zip ties tomorrow morning if needed.
I’d like to thank the nice people at downtown Bike gallery for being open early this morning, for having a nice selection of cyclocross tires and putting them on for me!
Slapped some treads on a spare set of wheels and threw them on Maude, my fixed Surly, and went for a spin. What fun! Lots of skid practice! Rode from NW down the waterfront to the Hawthorne, turned around, got a cappucino, some pizza for lunch, and home. Of course, it was so much fun I had to come up with another excuse for a ride, so this post comes to you from the NW Lucky Lab where I now enjoy a Super Dog.
Ride it while it lasts! Once it freezes up to an ice rink, no more fun.
Work was cancelled so rode home, broke out the mountain bike and took my dog shanti on a ride through the park. Hopefully motivated some of the drivers to ride as they saw me having so much fun on the bike. Nothing like cutting fresh lines through the snow!
The ride home was not nearly as fun as the ride in – the snow on the roads had gotten packed down to the point that traction was a little iffy. But even sliding out was hella fun on the low-riding cruiser. Funny – when I lived in Vermont and HAD to ride in the ice and snow to get to school I hated it – now I am loving it. Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder 🙂
I headed downtown from SE about 8:30am, took my usual route through Ladd’s addition, and was fine for the most part. The fat tires with a lower pressure on my Breezer were great for the new snow. The way home was icier and more challenging, but I made it fine with just one fall.
There was this one guy on the bridge who was really upset I was riding slowly and wouldn’t move to the right and plow into pedestrians just so he could pass me. Maybe he didn’t realize that there was ice under that bridge snow.
Today was a million different kinds of awesome.
When I saw that school was closed, I thought about sitting at home with a hot cup of cider… then I saw this post, came to my senses, and threw some knobbies on the old MTB.
I ended up wandering NW, downtown, and around the waterfront for three hours. I’m from the coast, so this was my first time riding on snow–I’m hooked.
I left my place around 4ish to ride over to see some friends. I stuck to main roads on my track bike and had no problems except for when I hit not so packed snow.
it was nice w/ the fixed gear as you just slow your pedaling to stop. About to ride down the street to billyrays.
I did my usual commute from Westmoreland to Hillsboro (via MAX). It was great, and I saw a lot of people. I was going to ride the bus home (because family members were concerned) but gave up on waiting and just rode home. It was a lot more fun!
Update: I did it. I used a combination of bike and bus to get to and from work. So glad it did it. Riding on N. Garfield this morning was slippy-slidey hilarious FUN! Thanks Jonathan! –cheers!
awesome! when people ask me what the dealio is with the portland bike scene, this is the new link to send.
last year, during the ice storm daze, some of my friends and I went to the moon and sixpence for a while to stay warm…after a few hours and beers, we rode up the alameda ridge to my place – I think that, as a group of 4, we fell about 65 times in less than a mile! of course, we were so warm inside, we all thought it was funny.
sledbomb? oh my…
I rode to work yesterday from South Tabor to Downtown on my new cyclocross bike (thanks Santa!) and I had a great time! I only wished I had on my brimmed cap under my helmet instead of my beanie to keep the snowflakes out of my eyes.I had A LOT of fun and the views were spectacular. Fresh tracks the whole way. The ride home was a little slick in places, but I went very slow and took my time. Clinton Street was good, and I passed some cross country skiiers, too!
Today…I took the bus 😛
A few days back, after the first dusting, I commented that people out here seemed to be overreacting about all of this “ice” and “arctic conditions.” I ended my comment saying I wish I could ski to work…a wish I was granted today.
I’m happy to report that there’s a delicious silver lining to Portland’s inexperience with snow:
-People are SO excited. This is a happy, friendly place on any given day, but I’ve never seen happier or friendlier people than I did yesterday.
-The city’s bare bones snow removal infrastructure allowed people to take over the streets and have fun in conditions where cars are mostly useless.
In places where snow is the norm, nobody would’ve needed chains on their tires because the plows and salt (ick) would’ve cleared most all of the snow away the second it hit. Here, a full day after the snow fell, I can still ski to work…in the middle of the street! I love it. It makes me want to sabotage plow trucks so kids in snow country (and adults gleefully behaving like kids) can enjoy what Portlanders have been enjoying. Laurelhurst Park was cool, and I heard Tabor was cooler, but nothing beat sledding/ZooBombing down neighborhood streets (espeically those in the West hills).
I hope it stays below freezing all week. My last wish came true. Maybe this one will too?
Hell yeah snow riding was fun! I was grateful for having a season of cross to keep me from freaking out when my tires were sliding everywhere,and the ability to jump off the bike at one intersection when my tire slid out on some ice.Bike went down but I stayed upright.ta-da.I also managed to not run into my teammate while doing that so I though that was nice. I rode from my apt. on 33rd and Stanton to ristretto’s on 42nd and fremont-ok, its a short ride but up a hill and with snow it was so different. Some car that drove by me at one point was full of guys hollering(but you know in a goofy catcall sort of way-not the standard-get the #$@@$ off the road sort of way)and later they seemd to be a little stuck in the snow and I breezed by them, so appy to not be in a car. My teammate met up with me for coffee and he’d been out riding, joined me from downtown, and was all smiles about the snow. We rode on over to get some food on Alberta before splitting up, I rode up to 76th near Prescott to deliver some stuff to a friends house, before riding over to Tillamook and Flint to meet up with some more friends. I had to make my way to St.John’s so eventually I rde over to the albina/mississippi max stop and rode it out to the lombard tc and then ride from there to fessenden and buchanan. It was dark out and the roads were a bit slippery but there was little car traffic and I usually had the lane to myself. Any drivers that did go by gave me plenty of room, so that was nice. I slipped on some ice at Smith and Buchanan when I need to stop to let a car go by,this time actually falling(ice hurts!), but all in all I had a great time riding.