Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Weekend Open Thread: Let it snow!

Posted by on December 20th, 2008 at 10:00 am

Snow scenes-3

Bike lane snow angel.
(Photo © J. Maus


Lots of fresh and fluffy snow out there this morning.

Please use this post to report what your plans are and what the riding conditions are like in your neck of the woods.

Here at the Maus House we’re bundling up for some sledding and snowman making. I hope the snow keeps up so I can get up to the hill for some SnowBombing Sunday night.

Enjoy the weekend and stay warm.

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  • John C December 20, 2008 at 10:38 am

    I hope the snow sticks around after the 25th. That’s when I come home for the Holidays! I can’t wait.

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  • Anonymous December 20, 2008 at 10:39 am

    Eye my fendered cross bike for a snow ride. I have used it all week with great success and no falls. BB

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  • Anonymous December 20, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Eyeing my fendered cross bike for a snow ride. I have used it all week with great success and no falls. BB

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  • Gabriel December 20, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I rode (again) from SE 30th & Burnside to Broadway and 15th. Not real far, but far enough in this weather!!

    To be quite honest, it wasn’t too bad. I just took it REAL slow while breaking, and had to remember not to “burn-out” when starting up again. I’ve found while riding the last couple days that the real problem isn’t the weather, it’s the DRIVERS!! Near Lloyd center, the damn shoppers are giving me about 4in of space IN THE SNOW!!! WTF? Calm down please XMAS shoppers. My close call ratio increased ten-fold (literally) on the rides home, due ONLY to the cars being impatient and rude. So far the weather hasn’t stopped me. Just be patient and aware, and stay out of whatever you feel is dangerous. It’s your right.

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  • joel December 20, 2008 at 11:10 am


    snow just over an inch deep everywhere, and more on the way.

    i just rode the cargo bike from mlk/killingsworth out ainsworth to denver, and then denver to lombard, to pick up a load of firewood (about 150 lbs or so), and then rode back. took an hour, counting loading and conversation. about to go back for another. then, im gonna run my recycling up to new seasons concordia and cash in the refundables, and then ride over to se to do some errands.

    ive seen more bikes on the road on that short short jaunt into north than i saw on my commute all week. these conditions are way better for riding than theyve been all week, and while its cold, i encourage everyone to get out and try it if they want to. you can ride fast, but just dont do anything sudden – turns, acceleration, braking, none of that. its a hell of a lot of fun.


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  • Dave December 20, 2008 at 11:18 am

    It’s really nice out – I went out on my Electra Amsterdam to both New Seasons on Division and Trader Joe’s on Holgate, and being careful and not making any sudden moves, I didn’t have any problems with slipping or sliding. The crunch of the snow under the tires is a wonderful sound. And it’s so beautiful outside…

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  • Sauce December 20, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Rode down Division this morning into work, and car traffic was movign real slow which was very nice. My cruiser performs great on the snow, and at times I had to brake to keep from passing cars in front of me!

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  • mabsf December 20, 2008 at 11:29 am

    I rode my Brompton to work down SE Salmon St and it was lovely thanks to the custom studded tires my husband built yesterday.

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  • james December 20, 2008 at 11:38 am

    I am considering making the commute to work via bike today. I ride a Bianchi Fremont fixed with skinny slicks… Does anyone think it’s worth a try? or should I just stick to trimet? I’m on the west side and have to ride down barbur blvd for a few miles. All week i’ve just been taking the lane.

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  • patrickz December 20, 2008 at 11:56 am

    (NE, bet. Knott and Fremont)
    What beauty!
    Not much I can do with either of my narrow-tire steeds, but I bet I could make nice long tracks on X-C skis in the Rose City Golf course. Have fun and be careful, everyone.

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  • Andrew H December 20, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    I rode out a little ways out NW Skyline on Friday afternoon. It was bare pavement until just above Willamette Stone, then it was slushy.

    Mountain bike off-road tires would have done fine. I was a bit uncertain on smooth city tires on my hybrid.

    Pix at http://drop.io/redbike

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  • JeffM December 20, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    This may sound like an ad, but I was just out on a shopping trip with my new Yuba Mundo, and it’s an absolute dream on the snow. I cruised along with nary a slip, feeling like I was the most stable vehicle on the road. We bought the bike to carry cargo and got a snow freedom vehicle in the bargain!

    My biggest problem was figuring out how to keep the scarf from slipping off my nose…

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) December 20, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    I’m with you Joel.. it’s magical outside! we’re having a lot of fun here in north portland (at Rosa Parks and Michigan).

    walked to the market and chatted with a few bikers… including our friend Curt who was on his way for a ride on Council Crest with his MTB.

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  • Natty December 20, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    We have another foot of snow coming our way tomorrow … that’s make for a tough commute Monday morning … might have to ski instead.

    Our for a brief ride this morning, but at -20C (-5F), it quickly turned into an extreme ice cream headache 🙂

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  • Natty December 20, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Oops … The previous post should have read … that’ll make for a tough commute …

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  • Donna December 20, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Anyone been downtown and noticed whether the Saturday Market is running? Neither their website nor their voicemail mentions the weather…

    If they’re there, I’m riding. Christmas waits for no snow. 🙂

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  • Murray December 20, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Just got back from a short jaunt up and around Mt. Tabor. Took my cross bike out with very low air pressure in the tires. No problems at all except the COLD! That east wind is really nasty right now.

    My fingers are still warming up.

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  • joel December 20, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    only downside to this for me is that both psu and hillsdale farmers markets are cancelled this weekend 🙁 i was really looking forward to bringing some oregon produce from vendors there down to my parents for the xmas visit, so that was a bummer. guess ill just have to mail it later.

    i think weve almost got 2 inches here at ne mlk/killingsworth, and still falling. the birds are having a huge party at the bird feeder megaplex, the fire is roaring, and im getting all toasty for the next excursion!

    now i start wondering what the airport is going to be like next weds! eek.

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  • chris December 20, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    I hate it. I have a road bike without knobby tires, and I haven’t biked for a week.

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  • endurance December 20, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    i have a fixie, 700 x 23 not much tread. today was easy riding, however my bike lock froze again. the only days that were bad for me were sunday night and monday all day. so yes james, it is well worth riding, save the $2 and have fun!

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  • joel December 20, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    speaking of riding in the snow…

    has anyone even seen one of the supposed ups bikers yet? im beginning to think they may have pulled the plug on that cause of the weather…

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  • Mark Allyn December 20, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Rode from SE42nd & Lincoln to SE 12th & Akeney (2 Friends) and back; including a stop at Citybikes’ used parts room for some more bike gears for my illuminated jewelry.

    The studs did quite well and I had no problems except some drivers.

    One SUV driver was fishtailing like crazy on Division and 41st. What did he do? He floored it. Wheels spinning, he ended up doing a 180 and went back the way he came. Fortunately there were no peds nor bikes near him.

    Saw two motorists go thorugh red lights without slowing.

    Chatted with the few bicyclists that I saw.

    It seems to me that whenever there is something like this going on, the bicyclists who stay out there are more willing to chat with each other. It’s like a community of its own.

    Also, very surreal.

    I cant wait to go out with the lights tonight!


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  • seth December 20, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    the conditions are sweet!!! Started from Woodstock at 9am, rode over to Leif Ericson, took that to Germantown road, then back again. Riding MTB with low pressure, standard knobbies. Awesome day for a ride! Traction is a lot better than you would think, no crashes in almost 5h of riding.

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  • mmann December 20, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Just returned from a outer limits/downtown loop on a mtb. Started on east side of Tabor and rode up the trails and over. Saw 3 other mtb-ers. Down Lincoln to Ladds, across Hawthorne Bridge, back on Burnside-Belmont-back streets. Only dumped the sled once; stupid almost-buried light rail tracks on SW 6th. My bad. West of 39th the riding was fabulous – smooth, dry, good traction. Besides the Tabor bikes, I only saw 2 other bikers out: 1 mtb and one road (cross?) bike (w/Team Beer sticker) on the Hawthorne Bridge. But the corral on Belmont was pretty full.
    East of 39th the combination of brutal wind and snow has created a kind of minefield of alternating drifts and black ice – very slow going. Got my first bike riding snotcicle!

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  • Kiri December 20, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Brought up the beach cruiser from the basement low and nice wide knobbily tires – and have been riding around NE – way too much FUN! Going back out to get some panda video action.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) December 20, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    I just got back from a long ride through NoPo. Mississippi, Willamette bluffs, Kenton. My eyes are sore from the sideways snow flurrys.

    In some spots I was riding through several inches of dry snow. I talked with several people out riding. One guy on MTB headed up to Forest Park. Then on the Bryant Bridge there was a little bike traffic. Three of us were either coming or going to Fred Meyer. We stopped to trade stories and look down at I-5 traffic.

    It’s fun out there now…but I wonder what will happen tonight. I can’t believe it has not stopped coming down all day!

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  • Jeff WIlls December 20, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Stayed inside today- woke up with a bad cold & went back to bed without breakfast. Woke up around 11-ish feeling a little better, but they cancelled the OHPV club holiday party so I still have no reason to go outside.

    It’s 23 degrees and blowing 15mph. I think I’ll watch from indoors.

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  • Stig December 20, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I took the mountain bike out on the springwater today. The hybrid 2.1″ tires didn’t shed the snow that well but they got me around.

    I encountered six ATVs being ridden (illegally) on the springwater including one group headed into Powell Butte. What were they thinking?! Surely the trails are not wide enough. They certainly weren’t city staff.

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  • Meg December 20, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Donna, the Saturday Market is indeed running. I passed it on the MAX today. Craziness! I salute the persistence of those vendors!

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  • Sean Denham December 20, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    I just finished a ride from SE 39th and Taylor to 11th and W Burnside, and back. My Specialized Enduro Mt. bike with High Roller tires tackled the snow like a champ. With disc brakes and aggressive knobs, I didn’t have any trouble stopping or going until the end. It is starting to get too deep to ride now, unless you have can ride in the ruts left by the few cars out there. Like many of you, I witnessed my share of driver stupidity, can’t change them so just be wary.

    Ride On

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  • Jon W. December 20, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    I went riding frm NE 33rd & Killingsworth over to Tabor,down Hawthorne, quick Stop at Veloce to 33rd QFC and Home. Fun ride on my Kona Jake Cyclocross pit bike. I added fenders and broke down and bought studs. The ride was great fun except from the sidewind Gusts! The studs are Schwalbe Snow Studs from Bike tires direct. They worked great.

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  • joel December 20, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    well, just got back from a ride from ne mlk/killingsworth to roughly se 39/hawthorne. outbound was still pretty awesome, just motor on and plow through it – speeds the key on the cargo bike – the front wheel kinda floats, and you just muscle through it at the rear. headed back, there was now a bunch more snow (im guessing theres 3+ inches on the ground now (nws says 2″ as of 4pm) and snowing harder – stopped at new seasons concordia, and then headed down emerson. the thick stuff on some of the side streets is kinda interesting – started to run into issues not with snow depth, but with the unseen tracks of car tires beneath the snow – theyd catch the rear at inopportune times. had to put a foot down a few times, even. still rideable, though, if youre up for a workout. its pretty damn fun.

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  • Leaf Slayer December 20, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    I rode in to work again today. N. Portland to NW. I left the house around 7:30 and it was amazing out. I noodled through Overlook and then down Interstate which had no traffic. I went across Steel Bridge rather than Broadway just because I had extra time. Barely in cars on the road but the few that were seemed to be cautious.

    My bike continues to perform well in these conditions. 700x37c tires, singlespeed, and upright bars.

    I’m at work now (5:40) and will probably leave early as it’s slow here. Getting home should be interesting.

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  • Fred December 20, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Took the MTB out near Gabriel Park in SW at 3pm and later at 4:30pm. The second trip out the snow was too deep, 5 to 6 inches in places, to ride. Gotta love the imaptient SUV driver honking at me to get out of the way.

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  • Tony H December 20, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    What a day! I loved riding today, although I took a spill by Trader Joe’s (stay off of the front brake, people!). I went shopping at TJ’s, New Seasons, and Cash & Carry. My trusty BOB trailer finally has ‘snow’ on it’s history. Anyway, coming home in the late afternoon was magical; it looked like a layer of glitter upon the snow.

    I am attempting to make snow chains for my tires. If this works, I’ll post my results.

    Be safe, everyone.

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  • MitchK December 20, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Discovered another fun use of my BicyleR Evolution trailer by giving rides around the neighborhood to my children and two of their friends (two at a time in the Rubbermaid tub).

    “This is like Indiana Jones!” shouted one of the little ones as she sang her version of that movie’s theme song.

    It was a fun diversion from the day’s main attraction of sledding at the local (sloped) park, because we didn’t have enough sleds to go around.

    PS: This is fun and I’m loving my studded tires but I’m also looking forward to our return to wet and grey. Out west near Beaverton, bike lanes and shoulders are mucked up, effectively narrowing the roads for bicycle riding.

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  • mark December 20, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    had fun riding today on my mountain bike. the tires aren’t the best cause they’re semi-slicks, but with low pressure they work pretty well. only problems are taking off and the drivers giving me room. I can’t believe they get so damn close to me. I almost ate it in front of some cars going across the bridge over I-84 from the Hollywood Fred Meyer. I did slip and couldn’t get my foot out of the pedal in time and landed on my right thumb. I’m actually pretty sure it’s broken. swollen and can’t move it and it hurts like crazy. then I went for another ride. I can’t get enough!

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  • chuck December 20, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    just got done going out to play in the snow with emily on the sidehack. it was a blast going downhill, but difficult to keep up my momentum on the flats and hills, especially with a passenger. may try to make some studs for it to bomb on sunday, and if I can make it to goodwill, I may have a ski bike up and running.

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  • Zaphod December 20, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    The 700c Xtracycle could climb anything (as it had ~30 pounds of coffee on board. The front wheel was all over the place though. Generally it rallied and I did a full loop around NE SE and back. The tires have more of a texture than a tread. The absence of traction was intermittent and generally it was smooth sailing. And with the quiet and drifty effect, it felt like sailing. There were times when the snow was so thick coming down and the glasses so foggy that I was in a surreal otherworld. I just kept pedaling with the confidence that everything would work out. The Xtra is so predictable when it slides and recovery is easy.

    Surely I could deflate the tires to improve traction but I’m so happy to not have the slightest risk of a flat tire. Nothing could be more dire than trying to fix a flat in a blizzard.

    Totally beautiful out there, I dig it.

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  • mabsf December 20, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    I left work a few minutes before 4:00 pm and made it more or less ok to Sunnyside, By then the fine snow had changed to wet larger flakes. It took me about 10 minutes to make the 4 block from Sunnyside to 39th – I was debating cutting over to Belmont, where the snow might be more packed down.
    No riding possible after that: I got stuck in snow drifts, had to close my eyes because of blowing snow… Miserable! I made it home around 5:00 — 60 minute for my 15 minute commute!

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  • Lillian December 20, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Just rode at 8PM in NE from 11th and Jarrett to 27th and Alberta- normally a blink of an eye distance, but I literally had to push my bike in some spots (I’m riding the mountain bike). The gusts of wind made the ride more difficult. Sticking to the arterials where snow is packed down made the ride slightly faster. The key is just to keep moving, when you stop you start to slide.

    Impatient drivers on Killingsworth including one that shouted “You’re going to get yourself killed!” I felt like shouting back “You too, if you don’t put chains on your tires!” Why do people drive in this weather? Ugh.

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  • jim December 20, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    post a picture of your ski-bike for us

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  • chad December 20, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Rode to New Seasons on Rosa Parks around 6pm and had one of the best, but most cardiovascular, one mile rides of my life.

    38 pounds of Schwinn Suburban did great once again and did even better once I picked up a gallon or so of milk and put it in the panniers. The front end was a little squirrelly (wish I had a front rack to put some weight in), but after a few blocks I realized I just had to think of my front tire as a rudder that would carve my way through the fluff and all went pretty good from there on out.

    Will more than likely be hauling my gear to a gig at the Kenton Club tomorrow afternoon in the Volvo, but if I can fit some skis on our Burley trailer and make it to the show and back with my bass amp in tow I’m gonna seriously be thinking about putting me and my Suburban in this year’s Iditarod.


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  • finamin December 20, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    on a bicycle
    sailing through the snow,
    nice bit of heaven

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  • Hollie December 20, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Threw some knobbies on the Xtracycle and my partner rode his Salsa full suspension MTB. We spent a good part of the day riding around, making up excuses to go places because we were having such a good time. Let’s see, we went from inner SE to Lloyd Center, then up to NE 20th to SE Ankeny for a stop at City Bikes. We then headed over to Palio in Ladd’s Addition for warm drinks.

    Most of the day it was like riding in normal conditions, maybe with a little extra drag. That changed when I went out for my last ride a bit after 6pm and it was very nearly too deep to ride– 6″ or so. Front wheel was all over the place, but my lovely Xtracycle stayed the course and my butt never met the ground.

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  • METROFIETS December 20, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    What a great day for riding in the snow on cargo bikes.

    Check out some photos of the day at the links below.




    @Joel – I second your comment! 9 feet of bike with weight in it is a dream to ride in the snow. As the snow began to drift I could just bomb right through without a problem. No studs or low tire pressure needed with the Big Apple tires.

    Headed over to the Kennedy School for a dip in the soaking pool and later dinner. Heading home at six pm was tough but fun. Took the kid too – she loved it! Of course she was snug as a bug inside the SNOW DOME. She even fell asleep on the way home!


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  • Edwin December 21, 2008 at 12:11 am

    here is my bakfiets snow ride


    I will be back out in the morning for more snow fun

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) December 21, 2008 at 6:38 am


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  • joel December 21, 2008 at 7:42 am

    this morning is going to be a bit more interesting, though!

    walked out the back door to a good 6″ of snow, with a nice ice crust on top. you could hear my footsteps cracking and booming through the quiet. trees have about 1/8″ of ice on them, and are drooping ever so slightly.

    this, my friends, will make for some interesting riding. but first, i need to scoop out the basement stairs. birds are sliding off the bird feeder roof…

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  • jim December 21, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Anybody out there still believe in global warming?

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  • Shawna December 21, 2008 at 8:56 am

    What is it about snow that makes the “what global warming?” trolls come out?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) December 21, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Hey Shawna. Jim isn’t a troll. He comments often.

    And Joel, I can’t wait to hear how you do in the snow. I don’t think many people will even try to ride today!

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  • joel December 21, 2008 at 9:07 am

    jonathan – im anticipating challenges today. but i still have to get my returnables to the store… doesnt riding a cargo bike 30 blocks on ice with a garbage can full of glass sound like a GREAT idea? 🙂

    heh. i think ill be trying a test run before attempting that, though. in the meantime, its time to bust out the waffle iron!

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  • jim December 21, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Actually Jonathon I do look a lot like a troll

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  • jaime December 21, 2008 at 10:25 am

    I’ve been using my fixie the last couple of days. 700×35 “city” tires (some decent tread). I tried zip ties and they worked great. I can now see why others recommend fixies in theses conditions. The fixie has much better control especially at lower speeds. It’s a blast..my wife thinks I’m nuts…she’s probably right.

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  • Paul December 21, 2008 at 10:45 am

    I am running Schwalbe Snow Studs, the 700×38 size, on my fixie and it is a great way to get around. But last night the snow was too deep to try – so the x-country skis came out. Maybe today I can get around by bike, but I am not sure.

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  • finamin December 21, 2008 at 10:49 am

    on an old peugeot
    churning thru the snow,
    buried trolley tracks!

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  • jim December 21, 2008 at 11:06 am

    how is the thing with the zip ties around the wheel working out?
    I was thinking too (for foot brakes)that if you took some small rope or twine and just weave it around the tires all the way around the rim it would be like a chain. maybe go back the other way again to get a diamond pattern

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  • ericbuilds December 21, 2008 at 11:25 am

    i rode from n mississippi x skidmore to ne 28th x sandy. 3.5 m. tough riding – had to walk parts of it. traction w/ 28c slicks is not a problem. flotation in the deep snow is a problem. serious workout – fun though. i’ll be putting on 35c knobbies for the ride home.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) December 21, 2008 at 11:44 am

    report from daily excursion:

    I’m in Piedmont, near Rosa Parks and the I-5.

    – several inches of powder are now sitting below a 1/8-inch layer of ice. everything is entombed in a frozen layer.

    – biking is tough. I didn’t try (could barely open the door to our shed!).

    – saw two riders. both had mtbs with knobby tires.

    – i think things will get worse before they get better, with freezing trickles now coming down.

    scenes from Sunday (12-21)-5

    – can’t wait to hear about everyone’s adventures and see photos/videos!

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  • Eileen December 21, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Jim, you can’t be that ignorant.

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  • fredlf December 21, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Yesterday, (Sat) rode the MTB from NE (Grand & Skidmore) to Rocky Butte. It got windier and icier as I headed east. Turned around at the bottom of Rocky Butte when the gusts got hard enough to stop me dead in my tracks. Blew home real fast though! Only dumped once on a sheet of ice when the front wheel got knocked sideways by some crud. Definitely felt harder than 12 miles usually does!
    Drivers were few and varied from too terrified to do anything but grip the wheel and stare straight ahead to lots of smiling and waving and thumbs upping. Pretty fun afternoon on the bike!

    Today (Sunday) I’ll use the old post-holers (feet) to show the dogs the park and then ride the trainer indoors while looking at videos of sunny rides in Nevada.

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  • daniel December 21, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Fun out there today with 2.2″ knobby tires on my 29er. No problems with main streets, while the snowpack on the side streets was a little tricky to bust through in spots. Gonna try to ride downtown tonight pending no ice sheet. Maybe Forest Park tomorrow! Thanks to all the car drivers going slowly, or better yet, not out at all for a change.

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  • Tony H December 21, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    My wife and I walked around Ladd’s this morning. We saw a couple of knobby-tire MTBs, but saw more folks on skis! We observed how wonderful it is when there are hardly any cars out; most people were walking in the streets, not on the sidewalks. It’s wonderful how one’s view of a neighborhood is enlarged when one is not confined to the sidewalk.

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  • gracie December 21, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Was out walking yesterday and saw a few bikes – mainly ones with studded tires. Interestingly, few of the riders were wearing helmets. Maybe they think the snow will prevent head injuries 🙂

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  • Kt December 21, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    We’ve got about 7-10 inches of snow with 1/2 inch of ice on the top out here in Tigard… we went out to clear the driveway, and get the ice and snow off the roof of the box truck, and decided that it was time to go inside and stay warm. Definitely not biking weather! 🙂 I have no idea what the main roads look like, but our street is total crap. Great for tobogans and cross country skis, not so good for wheeled vehicles! 🙂

    Stay safe out there, everyone, and warm too! I’m enjoying reading about your adventures.

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  • toddistic December 21, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Tried to ride today but the deep snow with the ice on top made it literally impossible. i rode about half a block on some snow pack left by some tires but still was very difficult. I’ll give it another shot later today…

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  • bDave December 21, 2008 at 1:07 pm


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  • Paul Tay December 21, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Hey, whydon’tcha guys build IceBikes at the Joan of Arc or maybe at the Elk Statute? 😛

    Hey, instead of Christmas, how ’bout the winter version of PedalPalooza? :)~~~

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  • Ted December 21, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I was out riding at 2AM, took a lot of energy just to go 3 miles.

    A couple tips (probably reposts, but here they are)
    * Lower your seat, most or all the way down. You can use your feet to stabilize yourself when you start to skid out. And if you fall, the smaller the distance your butt has to fall, the less the pain.
    * Use the knobbiest, widest tires you have
    * Put it in the granny gear and leave it there, you don’t want much speed, you want a lot of torque.
    * Stick to side streets.
    * On side streets, ride in the center of the street when possible. If you’re riding on the right or left side, your bike will always be drifting down into the gutter on account of the slope of the street. (Move well off to the side when cars come by, obviously).
    * If you wear glasses, rig up a visor for your helmet to keep the freezing rain off.
    * Wear mittens, not gloves. Your fingers will be much warmer.
    * If you wear a scarf, keep it tucked in, and if it ever starts hanging loose stop IMMEDIATELY and get it tucked back in again. Don’t want that catching in the front wheel and yanking you and your bike to the ground.
    * Avoid any street with even moderate car traffic. Ride the sidewalk, walk the sidewalk, take a side street. It’s really not worth risking getting creamed by a clueless driver just to save yourself a couple minutes. Assume any and all cars will start doing cookies.
    * Go on midnight rides, the streetlights + snow make the world bright and cheery at night.
    * Have fun, stop and talk to people.

    -Ted in The ‘Couv

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  • Ted December 21, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    * Wear wool pants. Mens dress pants from thrift stores are great. If they’re long enough they’ll hang way down over your boots and keep snow from getting anywhere hear your skin.
    * Wear long undies under the dress pants.

    BTW, the ZooBomb Bike Pile is the cover photo for today’s Weather Story in The Oregonian

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  • anna December 21, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    actually we should really try harder to educate people that a fuzzy euphemism like “global warming” really needs to be replaced by “climate change”. otherwise, you all wanna help migrate my family out of the subtropics before our island is under water?

    I too hate when people get all smart aleck about the issue especially when there are discussions at science conferences about taking down flags from the UN displays because those countries won’t exist in a foreseeable future.

    now, back to enjoying bike adventures….

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  • joel December 21, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    snow bike experiment report:

    after excavating the shoe pile to find cleats, cleat plates, and shoelaces to put together a set of half-size-larger winter shoes (yes, i have a pile of 6 or 7 pairs of my favorite mountain bike shoes from the late 90s… what?), and taking a spin around my neighborhoods unplowed (and mostly undriven) streets, i discovered the following:

    1. single speed mtb – geared 32/16, fat knobbies (2.1), low pressure (probably 30ish) – way better on packed snow, but bogs down when crushing the crust on the deep stuff, snow builds up on top of the rims etc

    2. single speed cx – geared 42/18, thin knobbies (32mm), medium pressure (50psi – i had lobster claws on, and was feeling lazy) – pretty good on the packed stuff, but way better through the deep stuff, even with a crust. ive got aero-section rims, and yeah, no snow sticking there.

    both bikes i was able to ride at a near-normal pace on the straights. turns were a bit dodgy, but the cross skills pay off. its all about just keeping the power on – the mtb almost had too low a gear, cause this stuff is more about muscling through the snow rather than spinning, which will just dig you a hole. ease on the power, and then keep it on, steady.

    the cargo bike still works pretty well, but the deeper snow has me hitting the cargo bed on snow buildup, which isnt exactly favorable to forward motion.

    all around, after not even a mile of spinning several bikes around the neighborhood, im sweating up a storm – if anythings gonna keep me from more riding today, its the idea of sweat-soaked clothes in 20-degree weather. bleah. but its hella fun out there, and i think if i do decide to go out on errands, itll be on the mtb, cause its most conducive to silliness right now.

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  • brian b December 21, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Zip-ties are better.
    When/if they break open they won’t wrap your hub/chain/crank for the instant unexpected brake…

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  • Paul Tay December 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    #70, Ted, in Tulsa, side streets are much more dangerous. City crews clear the major arterials with sand and salt real quick, not the neighborhood streets.

    Okies may not know how to drive on ice. But, we shore know how to complain LOUDLY about it.

    And, bicyclists on major arterials with heavy traffic gets lots of attention from motorists. NOBODY wants to be the good guy on the six o’clock news for nailing a cyclist.

    Roll like a crazy drunk in the middle of YOUR lane. Watch all the motorists give a WIDE berth. And, if you see a cager on the phone as he passes, hope he’s calling 911 and getting a quick bike ed session from the responding dispatcher.

    Between Santa and Biker Fox, the message is somehow getting through. Must be the chicken siht in the water. Miss all you bikey guys and ghouls. Wish you were here!

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  • Mitch Conners December 21, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Anyone knows what Springwater trail looks like?

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  • joel December 21, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    last measurement has 7″ in my yard in the non-drift area, with drifts up to 12″+, and more falling pretty steadily now.

    tomorrows ride in is going to be interesting indeed, and largely pointless, as i doubt many, if any, of our clients are going to be at work, between it being the week of christmas and the snowfall.

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  • Lapis December 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    biked from 11th/jarrett to 16th/emerson (5ish?) last night, a workout but not bad. 16th/emerson to mississippi pizza (6:30ish) was a blast but took half an hour to go 2 miles. way back (9-10ish) was rougher and had to stick to arterials to keep going without falling over. 16th/emerson to 11th/jarrett at 2:30 in the morning was only passable on the killingsworth portion. all on a skinny-tired borrowed road bike.

    i don’t mind being a pedestrian much. but i’m used to it, lifting your feet a little more is a workout. we get used to the conditions and it’ll pass. make do. get some exercise.

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  • Steve December 21, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Walking was hard, but I was moving faster than the 2 cyclists I saw on the streets. I stuck with clearance-sale Northface hiking boots, scarf, gloves and several layers of hoodies. Thought about zip ties on the boots but then how would I brake?

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  • Zaphod December 21, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Xtras in the snow are unstoppable. Contrary to the above advice, we stuck to main(ish) roads. 15th > Broadway > 9th > E Burnside … Nice hardpack snow was easy to roll. Acceleration was no worries. On occasion the front wheel would wander due to getting stuck in car tire grooves.

    Traction was due to having the kid on board for added weight. We saw a play “Big Little Things” today. They said, “We never cancel a show” and indeed the show was on.

    Momentum was extremely helpful when recovering from a slide.

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  • Graham December 21, 2008 at 6:39 pm
  • Big Wheel December 21, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Last year I read about decorating bikes instead of tees and I thought it was a great idea. Set this up yesterday.

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  • Racer X December 21, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Riding around on my bike to Portland from Vancouver was faster than TRIMET MAX on Saturday (frozen switches out east delayed our packed train for 40 minutes).

    Though for regular bi-state bike commuters do avoid the Delta Park path and Interstate Bridge for now…I had a long walk last night with the 12 inch snow drifts (before today’s snowfall) and snow plow debris on the bridge walkways.

    ODOT…when will you be clearing the walkways on the bridge and path?

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  • Edwin December 22, 2008 at 12:02 am
  • Jill December 22, 2008 at 8:22 am

    Rode all over town this weekend and it was great! The mtn bike proved an excellent steed for the deep snow, packed powder, and the ice. They close the steep roads to vehicle traffic and they were a hoot to descend, surfing through the unplowed pow pow. Painful going back up, though. Went to yoga, xmas shopping, grocery store, and even carried our skis out to the Twin Tunnels Trail (Hood River) for some xc skiing, followed by cocoa downtown. More biking today!
    Have fun out there, but be safe and watch out for sliding autos!

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  • mc December 22, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Rode in from SE 39th & Holgate on a mtn bike w. knobbie tires deflated. I tried to stay on main streets (Holgate, 26th, Madison). I found the best riding in the virgin powder! I rode behind a guy on telemark skiis that laid tracks for me over the Hawthorne bridge. Haven’t had this much fun since I was like 12!

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  • Tasha December 22, 2008 at 9:32 am

    I admire you all, but I have been using my legs to walk and snowshoe, rather than bike. I’m not really feeling the need to buy a mountain bike or nobby tires just yet. But I am enjoying the car free streets!

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