Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 12th, 2008 at 9:43 am
visible with a poncho.
(Photos © J. Maus)
Monsoon season is upon us in Portland. When you jump on your bike these days, you never know what awaits you; wind, rain, leaf-strewn (and slippery) bike lanes, or all of the above (no ice yet, but that’s coming too).
This time of year presents challenging conditions for two-wheeled travelers. The good news is that there are others willing to share tips to help make your riding safe and enjoyable throughout fall and winter.
Biker-genius-advocate Michelle Poyourow of the BTA offered some great leaf-riding tips on their blog last week. Wet leaves can present a slew of slippery and tricky situations for bikers. Here’s how Poyourow deals with them:
lurks beneath them.
1. Do your braking before you hit the leaves, and then ease up on the brakes as you go over them. Especially if you are executing a turn – do it very slowly, but whatever you do don’t brake while turning.
2. Avoid accelerating on leaves.
3. Avoid braking on leaves.
4. Hey, just avoid biking on leaves altogether! Remember that it is perfectly legal, not to mention fair and safe, for you to leave the margins of the road and get out there in the middle if you need to avoid a hazard. The key to doing this is that you absolutely must:
a) look behind you first to make sure you’re not going to cut anyone off, and
b) signal before you do it so the motorists understand and sympathize.
5. If you encounter dangerous leaves, let your local maintenance crew know. In Portland, the phone number of maintenance needs (like sweeping glass or leaves, fixing potholes, or repainting lanes) is (503) 823-1700. (The Portland maintenance crew is really wonderful; be nice.) For other jurisdictions, see our list of maintenance contacts.
To learn more, check out the BTA’s free (bring a few bucks if you don’t want to feel guilty for eating pizza) Winter Bike Commuting Workshop this Thursday night. They’ll discuss how to stay visible on dark commutes, how to stay dry, basic winter riding tips, and more. Details:
Winter Bike Commuting workshop
Thursday, November 13th, 6:00 – 7:00 pm
BTA office (233 NW 5th Ave.)
RSVP! to stephanie[at]bta4bikes[dot]org
Evan Ross from Portland Bicycle Tours says the workshop will include an a basic overview of safe commuting skills and some specific techniques for a more confident ride. Attendees will also get a discount on accessories after the workshop. Here are details:
- Commuting 101 Workshop — Free!
Friday November 21st @ 5:30 pm
Clever Cycles (908 SE Hawthorne)
Sign up by contacting Evan Ross at intrepidexperience[at]gmail[dot]com or call (360) 643-3684.
If fear of riding in challenging conditions is keeping you off your bike, these workshops might be just what the doctor ordered.