Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

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!

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  • Todd Boulanger December 24, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    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.

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  • John Lascurettes December 24, 2008 at 3:48 pm

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

    Travel safe.

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  • Oh Word? December 24, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    This has become one of my favorite websites…

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

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  • Michael M. December 24, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    “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!

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  • Refunk December 24, 2008 at 5:24 pm

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

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  • buglas December 24, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    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.

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  • Natty December 24, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    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.

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  • Mark Allyn December 24, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Enjoy your time in California!

    Thank you for BikePortland!



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  • patrickz December 24, 2008 at 10:20 pm

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

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  • Martha R December 25, 2008 at 10:44 am

    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)

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  • Anonymous December 26, 2008 at 12:45 am

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

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  • ambrown December 26, 2008 at 2:40 am

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

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  • Paul Tay December 26, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    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!

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  • djkenny December 27, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    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.

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  • Scott Mizée December 28, 2008 at 6:56 am

    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.

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