Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Weekend Open Thread: Rain in the New Year

Posted by on January 2nd, 2009 at 10:34 pm

First we had an insane snow and ice storm and now I hear that the Portland region is being pelted with record rain.

A few hours ago, reader John P. sent me this photo of the Springwater Corridor
Trail (at mile marker 10.5) along with this comment:

“The cool thing about riding it right now… there’s so much oil and crap floating on the water you don’t have to worry about oiling your chain later.”

What’s it like up there? Please don’t hate me, but I’m typing this from the warm and dry confines of Orange County, California. (I’ll be back on Monday. If the Portland weather has got you down, check out my photo gallery from California (actually that might just depress you more).)

Beach ride in California-23

Me, hanging out on the
Seal Beach Pier.

Seriously though, rain or no rain, it’s the first weekend of 2009 and I hope many of you have plans to ride. (I was happy to read a nice article in the Oregonian about the BTA’s annual New Year’s Day Ride.)

I’ve ridden a few times down here in Cypress, California and I’m headed out again tomorrow morning (a ride to the beach with a friend from high school).

Please use this post to share your bike plans for the weekend. How are you doing with the harsh winter weather so far? Have you hung up the bike and hit the bus/train? Or are you toughing it out?

How are the conditions up there? Has all the debris and gravel been cleaned up from the bike lanes? Are you thinking of buying a paddle for your commute?

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. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Matthew Denton January 3, 2009 at 1:09 am

    There was 2 inches of snow this morning in North Portland. I saw a person riding, but she had one foot dragging the entire time, and was only doing about 4 mph, so I took TriMet. My bus didn’t have chains, and got (temporarily) stuck a couple times when we stopped to pick people up…

    Downtown had a trace of snow, but wasn’t very interesting. In Beaverton it was clear that the creek had jumped it’s banks earlier, and the roads were covered with 1/4 inch of ice in the morning, so even walking was difficult.

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  • Scott January 3, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Sheesh, enough with the snow! I’m moving to Portland from NH in a couple of weeks to get away from New England winters. I was in the city in mid-December when the first freeze hit – I think I was one of th only people who wasn’t thrilled with it. 🙂

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  • Dave January 3, 2009 at 8:58 am

    The rain in Portland isn’t too bad at the moment, there isn’t too much standing water around.

    Some of the bike lanes around are still pretty messy, some coming down Terwilliger from OHSU and into downtown still have chunks of ice in them and/or an inch thick layer of gravel. Roads downtown and in SE Portland seem pretty decent at this point, though there is still some gravel hanging around.

    I was personally out on my bike again as soon as I felt it was safe 🙂 It’s so much more enjoyable than taking the bus.

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  • Joe January 3, 2009 at 9:12 am

    I was thinking shorts?? haha

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  • Maculsay January 3, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Received my first flat in five years (and yes I ride a whole bunch, as I’m car-free) – but not from storm-related crap. Broken glass next to the Winco recycling center. Almost forgot how to change a tube.

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  • beth h January 3, 2009 at 10:23 am

    After nearly a week and a half off my bike, I was so happy to ride again that I pushed myself hard this past week, and today I’m off the bike nursing a vicious head cold. Grr.

    Hopefully I will ride tomorrow. Happy weekend!

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  • Zaphod January 3, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Where 15th goes under the freeway (the road might change names at that point) there’s a low point that had like two FEET of water. Cars would turn around and bail before crossing, a smart move. I could pop on the sidewalk and keep from riding in the murky unknown. Pretty wild.

    Later at 8pm, the roads were transitioning to ice and our family rolled slowly and cautiously home on dualing Xtracycles after nice and cheap “burrito night” with friends.

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  • JT in the Army January 3, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Not sure why someone would say that water pollution is “cool”, but whatever.

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  • Stig January 3, 2009 at 11:52 am

    I used my new MTB on my Friday commute for the first time. There was half an inch of snow on the ground and the power went out in my home as I prepared to leave.

    SE 92nd had flooded and was closed between Powell and Division so I needed to take a detour from my 205 bike path detour. 2.1″ knobbly tires kick up a heck of a lot of water and without a front fender I was covered from head to toe in oil, unspent fuel and grit.

    After getting cleaned up I discovered I had a slow puncture. The offending foreign object broke apart when I tried to extract it from outside of the tire- grit. An interesting day to be sure. I’m ready for clean streets and Spring.

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  • hemp22 January 3, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    In my last 2 days of riding, I got one flat (first one in like 2 years), and one broken spoke – both from remnants of tire chains being in the piles of gravel in the bike lanes…
    None of the bike lanes on my commute have been cleared yet (out in Beaverton).
    The snow yesterday didn’t stick around long enough to be an issue. A little bit of rain & puddles don’t bother me so much – but I’ll be glad when the bike lanes are clear of debris again.

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  • Jeff WIlls January 3, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    I got out for a short ride across Vancouver and back. It’s nice and cold, but at least it’s dry. The New Year’s Day ride was just as cold, but raining. Stupid me, I forgot to wear my rain gear.

    BTW, Jonathan, I’m a Invader From California, too. I had lots of fun 25 years ago riding in the Los Angeles “rivers”: http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/aerocoupe/pages/river11.htm


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  • Joe January 3, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    gravel sucks i think everywhere, feel like
    some cities just don’t care! careful if you ride near it. yes i also got a flat.

    ohh eyewear helps 🙂

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  • John Peterson January 3, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    uummm pollution is not cool—irony— it sucks that even though johnson creek floods like every 5 years or so, the city or DEQ or the property owners refuse to do anything about it. Why can people store toxic crap (acres of junk cars) in a flood plain?

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  • RJ January 3, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    You know, I think a bit o’ harsh weather is great for making every other day a sunny day.

    So I say, RIDE IT!

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  • Jose January 3, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    The weather in Alban and Corvallis today was gorgeous. I saw quite a few people riding on the streets.

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  • Crash N. Burns January 4, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Let’s see… It’s Northwest Oregon in the winter. With the jet Stream rising and dropping and weather coming from the North, err South, wait, North. Is that an Arctic wind coming from the East? Yes, all colliding over Portland, an area also known as a temperate Rain Forest. Welcome to winter in Oregon. welcome to Oregon for that matter. Are there any natives here?

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  • Bent Bloke January 4, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    I’m really getting tired of this snow. Haven’t bike-commuted in over 3 weeks now, although I did get in a pleasure ride on the 31st. I was hoping to make Friday’s 1st commute of the year by bike, but woke to an inch of slushy snow.

    And now it’s snowing again! Grrr!

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  • E January 4, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Well I was missing my bike big time over the holidays, so I rode 3 miles through the slush on Friday. I got a nice long ride in on Saturday too, while it was dry. Lots of gravel, a few chain parts, some potholes, but my fat tires don’t mind. Lots of fresh clean air and nobody on the road!!

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  • tasha January 4, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    I, too, am getting sick of the snow. It is snowing again in NE! I rode in 2 days last week, but I’m getting sick of taking the bus on the days I usually ride and I’m still not ready to invest in a mountain bike (although if this weather becomes a regular Dec/Jan occurance, I might for next year). It really makes me appreciate the rain, though, because at least you can ride in the rain, even if you get soaked, it is less dangerous than snow and ice. I miss biking so much – enough snow, bring back the rain!

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  • matt picio January 4, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Cycle Wild did a camping trip this weekend to Stub Stewart State Park – awesome fun, stayed in the cabins at the park. With 7 people in a cabin, it worked out to $5.50 per person. Heat, electricity, lights, and a bed – lots of fun playing in the snow!

    Details forthcoming, and pictures!

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  • a.O January 5, 2009 at 6:46 am

    I just returned from a weekend in New Orleans, my old stomping ground. I was quite surprised to see people riding bicycles around the French Quarter and a bit Uptown as well. Most of them were old cruisers but there were a few fixies and mtn bikes as well. You never saw that before the storm. And I never thought I’d see it in NOLA. I guess the change wasn’t all bad.

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  • Bent Bloke January 5, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Yay! The snow melted! Wonderful ride in this morning, but man did I get filthy. Sweepers haven’t made it to Outer SE Division yet. Couldn’t even see the white stripe separating the bike lane from the traffic lane for much of the way. Glad I wore my rain pants and booties.

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  • Ken Wetherell January 5, 2009 at 9:27 am

    I rode from West Linn to Joe Bike to upgrade my Yuba Mundo from the six-speed to the 18-speed version. The greatly improved gear range made the hills on HWY 43 great going up and down! The Mundo, with its awesome fat tires, handles the gravel, mud, branches, and other storm debris quite nicely. 🙂

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  • carless in pdx January 7, 2009 at 2:37 am

    No really, you can stay in OC if you want.

    Californians are always encouraged to stay in California! lol 😉

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