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The thaw begins, and I’m off to California

Posted by on December 24th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

It’s not too pretty
out there.
(Photo © J. Maus)

After a morning snowfall, the Big Thaw seems imminent.

I just got off the streets and it’s nasty out there. On some major streets snow, there are big ruts from bus and car tire track bordered by icy, slushy, dirty snow. I’ve been taking the lane, but at times when it’s too uncomfortable (and I feel a car breathing down my neck), I try to move over, only to nearly slide out back into the passing car (lesson: hold your ground in the lane, but watch out for those manhole covers!).

On side streets, the packed snow is slippery and it’s tough to see where the good lines are. There are also concave tire ruts that will keep you on your toes.

Adding to these challenging conditions is the fact that no one seems to be heeding PBOT’s latest advisory to only take essential trips. I rode by Lloyd Center and the place was packed. Broadway looked like rush-hour as usual, and not everyone is driving as cautiously as they should.

And now, as I look out my window, the heavens have opened up again with some serious rainfall.

Yes, the next phase in this once-in-a-generation storm is the big meltdown. The streets will soon be rivers of slush and ice chunks for the next few days (hope you have some extra brake pads and a good set of fenders).

Although I think it’d be kind of fun to see what happens next (not really), I’m headed to California with my family for the holidays.

BikePortland.org will take a day or so off and then we’ll be posting stories and photos as per usual (actually, things won’t be completely normal until I get back to Portland after the New Year). After Christmas, I’m looking forward to taking a look back at 2008 with my annual “Year in Bikes” roundup and we’ve got some other interesting stories planned in the coming week.

Elly, Juli and I wish you and yours a festive and warm holiday!

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. 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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Todd Boulanger
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Todd Boulanger

Jonathan – thanks for another great year. And thank your family for sharing you with us up here.

Travel fast and safe…I do not want to see you and the family on TV sleeping at the airport.

John Lascurettes
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Happy Holidays, Jonathan, and thanks for all you do at bikeportland.

Travel safe.

Oh Word?
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Oh Word?

This has become one of my favorite websites…

Speaking of riding in the snow, does anyone have info about riding conditions on Springwater Corridor?

Michael M.
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Michael M.

“I rode by Lloyd Center and the place was packed.”

On a more positive note, both the MAX out of downtown and the #12 bus into downtown were packed when I took them today, and in neither case was it anywhere near rush hour. Traffic (auto traffic, that is) seem pretty light to me, especially downtown, and on NE Sandy Blvd., which is pretty well cleared. But you’re right, some people are driving faster than they should be.

Enjoy your trip!

Refunk
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Refunk

Safe holiday travels, Jonathan. No overdosing on sunshine, hmmm? As always, thanks for BikePortland.

buglas
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buglas

Bikeportland is like a friendly local pub for cyclists with a reach far beyond Portland. Thank you, Jonathan, for being our host and for keeping an ear to the ground for news that we might otherwise miss. And thanks to all the rest of you for keeping the conversations alive.

Happy holidays, and safe cycling to one and all.

Natty
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Natty

Joyeux Noël à toutes et tous!!

Enjoy your brief time with winter … two days following a fresh 15″ of snow, we now have freezing rain / rain … just to mess with the skiing.

Mark Allyn
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Enjoy your time in California!

Thank you for BikePortland!

Luv

Mark

patrickz
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patrickz

Have a safe, smooth trip, and thanks for BikePortland.

Martha R
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Martha R

Do I detect a note of complacency that you’re ditching town just before the onset of slushy muck? Well, I suppose you’re entitled to it — enjoy your vacation, and thanks for your great reporting!

(By the way, it just started snowing here in SE…you might just return in time for the thaw after all)

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Jonathon and Familly-
Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year.
-Jim

ambrown
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Happy Holidays! I was very happy to unwrap my new green bikeportland shirt under the tree this morning. Santa kicks butt.

Paul Tay
Guest

Snow? What snow? Ha ha, it’s 72 here. We’re all in shorts, getting a nice tan line! Wish you guys were here to do the World’s Only ALMOST Nekkid New Year’s Eve Critical Mass!

djkenny
Guest
djkenny

Have a lovely trip to CA. I just got back from celebrating the holidays in San Jose. Well…actually we were “supposed to be back” in Portland on the 23rd, but our flights were cancelled until Thursday due to the weather… so we just made a longer trip of it and spent Xmas eve with my family and went clubbing the night of Xmas after spending the day walking around the so so SJ downtown.

The whole time my fiancee and I stayed in downtown SJ I was wishing I had a bike to ride.

Some brief, light showers the week of Xmas, and mostly sunny skies… with temps in the mid 40’s. I found the streets still only so so for bike riding with only a few bike lanes (I am originally from SJ and was never very impressed with the infrastructure for cycling), and most of the people on bikes were in the sidewalks as a result…but I would have taken all the lanes I could to take advantage of the nice weather!

Hope you had a great trip. I am tempted to ride to work tomorrow but I think I might take the bus after reading your post. Thanks for the riding experience update John and hope you had a great time.

Scott Mizée
Guest

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the BikePortlanders!

Jonathan, Juli, Elly and Company Thanks for all you do! We appreciate it more than we tell you.