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(Sunny!) Weekend Open Thread

Posted by on June 5th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Mult. Co. Bike Fair - MCBF '09-102

Action from last year’s Multnomah County Bike Fair.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Hard to believe… but it actually feels like summer! Sun is shining bright, nice little breeze, perfect bike weather.

I was out this morning and the streets were teeming with bikes. Use this post to share your adventures, promote rides, report on events you’re at, whatever. Tonight is a big night for bike advocates with the Alice Awards (and an alternative too). Feel free to post comments about either of those events.

Follow me on Twitter for live announcements of scuttlebutt, award winners, and other tidbits from the Alice Awards.

Check out our Weekend Guide for ideas.

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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patrickz
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patrickz

I just knew it…
The Weekend Open Thread might come a little later, what with the Summit and then all the SUNSHINE!! I knew Jonathan would light up for the territory at the first warble. Happy freckles, everyone.

Jim Lee
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Jim Lee

North along the Springwater by the river this morning and almost got run down twice by “Get out of my way, here I come!” types.

First could have been a head-on, had I not been in “wide peripheral” vision mode. I was maneuvering slowly to pass walkers, and a hotshot coming at me did not like my using the middle of the path to do so. I had timed it and tucked back to the right out of his way well before he arrived, but that did not stop him from getting on my case.

Second was another pass, a couple of slow and wide tricycles, one a weird wobbly little thing I had never seen before, ridden by a little girl. I signaled before moving left and glanced that way too, again using the middle of the path, only to nearly be tail-gated by an idiot trying a double-left pass.

We can be our own worst enemies, people!

craig
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craig

Wish I had something positive to report…

Just over an hour ago, I was nearly a victim of reckless driving by a City of Portland employee driving a large road crew truck that pulled a trailer carrying a piece of heavy equipment to deliver to the work being done today on the new Going Street bike boulevard (“green street”). As I rode south from Going on 20th ave, I saw the turning–nay, whipping left from Prescott onto 20th without slowing down. I was at that moment about 100 feet from Prescott–had I been another 80 feet further on, I would have been jelly under his wheels.

I made the “slow down” hand gesture (flat hand, palm down, slowly patting the air down), and silently mouthed the words (from still 75 feet away) “slow down, asshole”. The driver turned and looked at me as he passed. I stopped my bike to watch his truck. When he slowed to turn onto Going, I turned around to see if I could find a foreman to speak to.

When I asked one of the crewmen for the foreman, he directed me to a man driving a roller on the next block, smoothing a new speed-bump for the bike boulevard on Going. When I asked if he was the foreman, he said, “I’m the one who’s in charge here right now.” When I mentioned the truck, he said it was “not one of his…probably the Water Bureau,” so I turned around to get the identity of the truck.

When I went back to ID the vehicle, the driver and his partner (a big moose) came walking toward me side-by-side on the sidewalk where I was, so that I couldn’t pass. When I stopped and put my foot on the pavement…

– DRIVER: “I don’t appreciate being called and asshole”.

– ME: “I don’t like having my life threatened by your speeding around that corner.”

– DRIVER: “I wasn’t speeding, I was only going 20.”

– ME: “20 miles per hour, around a tight residential corner, in a large truck, pulling a trailer with heavy equipment on the back? That’s reckless driving and it’s illegal.”

– THE PARTNER (the big moose, about 20 inches from my face): “You guys [bikes, I presume he meant] are the most dangerous people on the roads. And you’re riding your bike on a sidewalk right now, and that’s against the law.”

– ME: “No it’s not, because I’m not downtown.”

– PARNTER: “You don’t know the law.” (ironic ignorance likely unintentional)

– ME: “Actually, I’ve become nearly an expert on the laws of this city and state related to riding my bike on the roads.” [I’m not, but I couldn’t help myself] I’m going back over to your foreman to let him know about this [as I snap a photo of the driver getting back into his truck, capturing the vehicle ID].

– PARTNER: “Let’s just call the police and see who’s breaking the law.”

– ME: “Great, you do that.”

– PARTNER [to the driver]: “We should do it, this guy’s probably got warrants.”

(Not sure if this is worthwhile reading to any of you, but I’ll continue, if for nothing more than to get the stress out of me…)

So I went back over to the “man in charge right now” and told him that it was, in fact, a PBOT truck. I explained about the corner, about my calling the driver an asshole, and about their confronting me. He disagreed with my claim that it was reckless and illegal for his driver to take a tight residential corner without slowing at 20 miles per hour, in a large truck, pulling a trailer with heavy equipment on the back. I said I guess I needed to talk to his supervisor, and he gave me the name and number of Peter Schillaci (street maintenance supervisor for the Portland Office of Transportation Maintenance Group, 503-823-1706 Pete.Schillaci@trans.ci.portland.or.us–I found their org chart here http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?a=186583&c=39619).

I rode down the sidewalk and stopped about a block further on to call the number, when the “man in charge” came roller-ing over in my direction on the bare pavement, such that I couldn’t hear the phone, so I hung up and rolled about 30 feet away, phone in hand, when he yelled over at me, “you’re riding and using a cell phone [I wasn’t], does that seem right?” I called and left a voicemail message for Peter Schillaci when I got home, just before typing this email.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but admit I am disappointed and less than impressed by the crewmen’s attempts to indimmidate me, and truly irritated by the “man in charge” being totally unresponsive to my complaint; what’s more I am frightened by the reckless driving and the anti-bike attitude.

I work for a public utility, and I sat in a committee this year with our fleet drivers to develop driver training materials specifically to address operating fleet vehicles safely around citizens on bike and on foot. From that experience I learned that it’s almost universal among fleet truck drivers, this naked hostility toward people on bikes. And it’s not for no reason: as we learned from the TriMet driver last month, fleet drivers can too easily kill vulnerable road users, and that puts those drivers in a position of extreme responsibility and high tension, which generates resentment.

I understand (even if I don’t condone) the driver and is fellow workers rallying to cover their own asses; I’m not naysaying loyalty. But I hope Pete Shillaci calls me back, takes my complaint seriously, and gives it the attention it merits. No way those crewmen will admit any of what happened, and will make up some false shit about me. Nonetheless, Mr. Shillaci should expect them to do that, because it’s a normal response from a person accused.

What do I really expect from reporting this? Nothing. And that’s the reality that I think merits further attention.

Mark C
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Mark C

Jim Lee, I agree. I generally try to avoid the Springwater unless it’s early in the morning. Not the place to be riding 20 mph if there are a lot of other folks around.

Anyway, went out for a long ride with some teammates today through Scappoose, Vernonia, and Hillsboro – 124 miles total. What awesome weather for it!

Lady L
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Lady L

I went for a short ride along Padden Parkway. It’s not bad until you reach the huge intersections. Dedicated right-turn lanes should be eliminated, but I will become a zombie stripper before that happens here in Clarkansas.
It was nice ride anyway.

mtmann
Guest

Did the Pioneer Century today – carless this time, which equaled 154 miles, 8.5 hours saddle time, and me feeling totally whupped. But what a glorious day for a ride!

Candice
Guest
Candice

My boyfriend and I did our longest bike ride yet: 62 miles. We started out in Lents, biked up to Sauvie Island, biked along the westside of the island to the Wildlife Reserve, and then biked back. It was BEAUTIFUL and we got totally sunburned. Totally worth it! 🙂

Lady L
Guest
Lady L

Craig,
So sorry for the incident. Trucks should not be speeding in neighborhoods like that.

I was riding out on the street with some 7th grade kids this week in Vancouver for a bike safety class. Some guy in a big truck with a “NoBama” sticker buzzes by the kids at 50 miles an hour.

Red Five
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Red Five

Jim Lee:

I hear ya man…way too many Tour de France wanna-bes using public paths as their high speed training grounds. The more logos on the bike clothes, the bigger the douchebags. Get outta my way! I’m Lance Armstrong!

Joe Rowe
Guest
Joe Rowe

I’ve had 5 big city trucks nearly run me down in the last year. I’m gonna put these numbers in my cell phone and call both the next time it happens.

Mayor’s office, in charge of transportation…(503) 823-4120

Home base of most trucks….
PH: 503-823-1700
Stanton Yard 2929 N Kerby

trail user
Guest
trail user

Craig:

The GoPro Hero helmet camera is for sale at Costco for 99 bux! Small, waterproof to 180′, lightweight, reliable and designed for action shots. Best bang for the buck camera and makes asshole drivers into angels.

BURR
Guest
BURR

Way to step on the thread, Craig! How was the rest of your ride? Isn’t there a close calls section for this sort of discussion? (if it even was a close call; 100′ away by your own estimate doesn’t really sound like it to me…)

trail user
Guest
trail user

Something important came out of Craig’s post — the need for helmet cameras and the availability of quality ones at Costco for cheap. If more cyclists had cameras on their helmets, drivers would think twice about being idiots behind the wheel. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLHQ1eoY808 granted he’s on a motorcycle, but same thing.

trail user
Guest
trail user

If any legal eagles read this, what’s the law regarding officers seeing a camera on your helmet and randomly requesting to see footage for whatever reason they conjure up. Do you have to comply? Would that fall under search and seizure? My camera doesn’t have a screen to view footage.

Also, I rode part of the Pioneer Century this weekend, breathing hard past nauseating cow pastures.

beth h
Guest

The Portland Rivendell/Bridgestone Owners’ ride attracted a dozen affirmative rsvp’s in advance. Sunday dawned gray and very rainy. Still, Most Riv owners are a hardy lot and come equipped with fenders and rain gear, right?

Apparently, the rain was too much. Besides myself, two people showed up for the ride, and neither lived in the neighborhoods where the ride began or ended. We admired each other’s bikes, laughed at the rain that came in waves and slapped against our rain gear, and enjoyed a LOVELY ride that took us through several eastside neighborhoods (Woodlawn, Sabin, Alameda, Cully, Laurelhurst and Ladd’s) before ending up at the Lucky Lab for lunch.

We had a lovely time! Brief discussion hints at perhaps planning another Riv ride for sometime in the fall.

craig
Guest
craig

Followup to me/Craig#3:

Mr. Schillaci called me back just two hours later, said he had already heard from his driver, apologized to me, and said he would make mention in his next tailgate crew meeting of the need to drive carefully on corners and in residential streets. He stopped short of agreeing that the driving behavior I described was reckless and illegal, but that’s how that goes.

Please, if you see a City of Portland vehicle driving safely, catch the vehicle number from the door or tail, call the numbers Joe Rowe#10 gave above, and if you have the wherewithal, capture as much of the moment and/or what follows on photo/video/sound.