Splendid Cycles Big Sale

Photos: Seen on the Hawthorne Bridge

Posted by on June 1st, 2011 at 10:51 am

Yesterday, while parked mid-span on the Hawthorne Bridge looking at the high water on the Willamette River, two people caught my eye.

The first was a guy talking on his phone, weaving around the path (which was full of other people) without a care in the world (note how perturbed the other guy biking past him looks)…


In case you’re wondering, it’s not crystal clear whether or not Oregon’s cell phone law, ORS 811.507, applies to people riding bicycles (the law specifically references “motor vehicles”).

And then there was the guy below; riding along with no hands, balancing himself on his pedals out of the saddle…

No hands-50

I hesitate to draw too many conclusions about the state of bicycling in Portland based on these two examples. One thing they do prove to me is that there’s an extremely broad spectrum of riding behaviors going on out there.

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 โ€” Jonathan

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Paul
Guest
Paul

Commuting home last night a cyclist riding upright hand free blasted through the SE 34th and Lincoln stop. There would not even be a way for him to react if someone else pulled out in front of him. Odd.

esther c
Guest
esther c

Well, one thing when you’re on a bike instead of in a car, when someone yells at you to hang up and pay attention to your riding they might actually hear you.

Tomas Quinones
Guest

I’ll gladly pose for picture of me riding the Hawthorne, no handed, one hand with coffee, the other with my kindle.

OnTheRoad
Guest
OnTheRoad

I saw a guy on SE 13th near Sellwood antique row riding with a Big Gulp in one hand and fiddling with his cell phone in the other. That wasn’t you was it?

twistyaction
Guest
twistyaction

Yay, more people on bikes! Just what we were asking for.

Both pictured behaviors are self correcting, it’s just a matter of time.

Severin
Guest

Good to see! This means that bicycling is becoming more and more like walkingโ€“ accessible, safe, normal and not some sport where you are all geared up and racing to work. While it can be annoying when people weave or talk on phone obliviously, to me it’s a sign that things are getting better. In cycling the standard deviation in speed, I’m guessing, isn’t very big and so any ‘forced slowing down’ due to inconsiderate cyclists isn’t going to be a big deal. Well, that’s my opinion anyway.

peoples republic
Guest
peoples republic

Would you feel the same way if this guy was in a car? I can’t see how someone being unsafe, distracted and rude is “Good to see” in any form when controlling a vehicle.

Nick V
Guest
Nick V

Of course neither one wears a helmet. They both deserve whatever happens to them, but hopefully they don’t drag anyone else to the ER with them.

David Parsons
Guest

Well, *lots* of people in Portland don’t wear helmets, and not very many of them lawndart themselves despite risky(?) behaviors like riding no-handed. Wearing a helmet might be a sensible plan (I certainly won’t ride my bicycle without mine planted on top of my head,) but the stupid behavior here is skittering all over a fairly narrow roadway while chatting on your cellphone; that rider would be just as much of a hazard to traffic if he was wearing a helmet as he is right now.

Steve B
Guest

Nope, no one deserves to be in a crash, helmetless or not.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

If someone does something stupid that induces a crash, I would feel safe in saying that they deserved to be in that crash.

noah
Guest
noah

Chris, maybe you mean they simply shouldn’t be too surprised that they crashed?

Hart Noecker
Guest

But if they’re wearing a helmet, then they get to annoy everybody with their story of how they’d have been killed without it, lol.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

Ah, so if I get hit by an inattentive driver while walking across a crosswalk without a helmet on, I deserved it?

How come people only seem to “deserve” injury or death when they are on a bike? Does anyone realize the number of pedestrians killed by cars far outweighs the number of cyclists killed? What’s the real risky behavior? What or who is really doing the killing and maiming? Who deserves to get run over?

Jim F
Guest
Jim F

Paul
Commuting home last night a cyclist riding upright hand free blasted through the SE 34th and Lincoln stop. There would not even be a way for him to react if someone else pulled out in front of him. Odd.

I didn’t think stop signs applied to bikes, at least based on the riding habits of the majority of my fellow riders (am I the only one in town who stops at the stop sign @ Interstate when going south through the transit mall near the Rose Garden? Honestly, I have never once seen anyone stop at that stop sign)(my theory is that these riders need to build up a good head of steam so they can blow through the stop sign at NE Oregon at a high enough rate of speed).

sabernar
Guest
sabernar

You should check out Ladd’s Addition. I’ve never seen anyone, besides myself, stop at those stop signs.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

i’ve never seen anything stop at those stops signs: cars, delivery trucks, bikes, pedestrians, runners, dogs, squirrels etc.

Michweek
Guest

I stop!!! I always have one or two others pass me, but I stop!!

Jacob
Guest
Jacob

I hate it when I stop at a sign and somebody blows passed me. Makes me want to Cinzano them.

Greg
Guest
Greg

I have to say that I am guilty of blowing through those stop signs around the circle, but I do at least slow down to check for traffic. I don’t feel that that is the worst place to blow through a stop sign, it should be a yield anyways, it is a round about and that is why they are used in Europe to prevent traffic. I do not go through every stop sign and especially traffic lights that is just ridiculous!

Rain Panther
Guest
Rain Panther

That’s right, Nick. Unhelmeted cyclists deserve to be crushed! Smash their unprotected skulls, I say!

Nick V
Guest
Nick V

If you say so. My point was that they couldn’t possibly be more blatantly indifferent to their safety or anyone else’s.

Rain Panther
Guest
Rain Panther

Who’s with me?!

was carless
Guest
was carless

Is this the pirate thread or something?

Allan
Guest
Allan

Boo to you all for judging folks. Guys just getting around town and having fun while doing it. Biking is quite safe, perhaps made less so by the grate to the left on the bridge. Yay people enjoying life on bikes!

Matt
Guest
Matt

Agreed. People need to relax a bit.

beth h
Guest

Fellas — there’s relaxing, and then there’s not paying attention.
Until we solve the argument of whether a bicycle is a vehicle or simply a toy — and there are still a few states where it’s the latter — we don’t really have the luxury of playing around on bikes AND simultaneously demanding to be taken seriously by motorists.
Unfortunately, our demsnds to be taken more seriously — by motorists, elected officials and planners who design and redesign our infrastructure — require that bicyclists take the higher road of due dilligence every time they are on a road shared with automobiles. It sucks, but that is life.

Brian e
Guest
Brian e

Well, at least with the high water, they won’t have far to fall if they tumble off the bridge.

bikeyvol
Guest
bikeyvol

I see people blowing through stop signs, I see people stopping and putting their feet down at stop signs. It’s a big mix. Folks hogging the bike lane / path just poking along, folks in the kit riding a TT in their own mind on same said paths. Let’s just be safe out there kids.

cold worker
Guest
cold worker

i ride “no-hands” all the time. sometimes standing like the fellow in the post. bfd. this is now a crime amongst us cyclists?

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

What do you do when something (car, child, squirrel) darts out in front of you from behind a parked car?

daisy
Guest
daisy

The no-handed bunnyhop.

cold worker
Guest
cold worker

thanks for the concern about my safety. i don’t know? i grab the bars? i am 35 and have been on a bike of some type nearly daily since 5 (seriously, almost everyday. since 5.) i have a pretty good handle on my biking skills. i’ll ride no handed if i like. what if my rear wheel is making an unknown noise and i’m looking at it and something jumps in front of me? what if i’m looking at lovely flowers in a yard and something jumps out in front of me?

lets not act like something as completely inconsequential as riding no handed is a thing we need to get in hysterics about just because jonathon has framed it that way in this post.

007
Guest
007

Just don’t do it near me.

eljefe
Guest
eljefe

What’s wrong with riding no hands? If you are skilled and experienced at it, you are still in control. It is entirely possible to steer with your thighs on the saddle, and their is a sweet spot of speed where balance is self correcting. Why assume the guy is out of control? I once tied my shoe while riding.
Then there’s the guy in my neighborhood who commutes on his unicycle… I for one salute those who bring a spirit of play to the cruise.

Brian
Guest
Brian

I think this article was more in reference to the fact he was doing it on a bridge, with a somewhat low railing, in a very constricted space, with hundreds of other cyclists around. It’s all about the context.

commuter
Guest
commuter

I’ve had to deal with this more and more on my commutes. With rising gas prices and nicer weather on the way, its just going to get worse. People like them make me wish for fall and winter when all the fair weather riders are off the roads but by then I’m left to contend with the aggravated drivers from a summer of erratic cyclists.

Ok, I’m done with my rant ๐Ÿ™‚

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

These self-absorbed dangerous bicycle riders are the same people who are driving autos in dangerous and self-absorbed ways.
These unthoughtful or rude cyclists might reflect poorly on the cycling community to those who think that Portland cyclists are a homogeneous communist power block; however, on the whole, we are much safer with these idjits on bicycles instead of in autos.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

+1

Roma
Guest
Roma

commuter
I’ve had to deal with this more and more on my commutes. With rising gas prices and nicer weather on the way, its just going to get worse. People like them…
Ok, I’m done with my rant ๐Ÿ™‚

You’ve had to deal with what exactly? More cyclists? So cycling is ok as long as people ride how you think they should ride? Neither of these people are breaking any laws in these pictures, nor do they appear (in my opinion) to be ‘erratic’…ok maybe the dude with the cellphone could be a little unpredictable. I’ll give you that.

Anyway – I believe it’s this elitist attitude of cyclists that keeps more people from cycling. Ride and let ride. Until there’s a helmet law or a ‘no riding no hands’ law, people should feel free to do both.

commuter
Guest
commuter

It has nothing to do with elitism or breaking laws..just safety and common sense when using a shared resource.

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

You can drive with your knees but that does not make it a good idea.

Apply your logic to drivers and see if it makes sense. Legal or not, these people are being selfish and appear to be completely ignorant of how others are forced to react to them. You have a responsibility to others to operate your bicycle safely.

Just like you do in a car.

Paul in the 'couve
Guest
Paul in the 'couve

The consequences of crashing a car outweigh the consequences of a bike accident by 1000 fold at least. Other than that I don’t have that much problem with a auto driver steering with his/her knees on an open section of highway for a moment when there are few around to be harmed.

was carless
Guest
was carless

I totally agree. We should tax cyclists so that only the hardcore among us will continue to cycle!

Keep the roads cycle-free I say! Arrr!

007
Guest
007

Just don’t ride like a moron, as if you’re the only one on the road. Hang up, hold on and STF up.

Ed
Guest

photo 1: stupid man.
photo 2: show off and waiting for an accident to happen.

Carl
Guest
Carl

Okay Jonathan, I’ll bite.

Cell phones, no hands, no helmets… I LOVE IT. This is what “people” look like when they’re not parading around as “cyclists.”

Also: isn’t the “other guy” in the top picture Mark Ontiveros?

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

I too thought that was Mark…..but he’s missing his Tarmac.

BIKEDUDE67
Guest
BIKEDUDE67

…have been riding a bike in the streets of PDX for most of my 43 yrs……….have we REALLY gotten to the point to where we want to micro-manage/judge HOW people ride a frigg’n bicycle ????……..maybe cycling in Portland has become a case of ” too much of a good thing” ????? ….no ??? No slam on Jonathan or anything but ,…serious???? DUDES !!!! Come on, man………lighten-up………..you can always get back into a car…….

Over and Doubt
Guest
Over and Doubt

IDK, but clueless weaving cell-phone dude could put every ped and biker on that side of the bridge in danger from collision and/or a stitch-inducing trip down onto the grated motor lane. Methinks we DO want to manage and judge that bizniz.

dan
Guest
dan

Guy weaving with cell phone=irritating and potentially dangerous. Guy riding no hands, standing up=don’t see a problem with that as long as he’s in control (which he does appear to be)

Alan 1.0
Guest
Alan 1.0

cell phone=irradiating ๐Ÿ™‚

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Gee, whaddayaknow? Look at a cross-section of cyclists, and you’ll see people doing just as much stupid crap as if you look at a cross-section of drivers.

marshmallow
Guest
marshmallow

What’s the difference between the guy riding no handed and skateboarding? We don’t go around admonishing helmet-less skateboarders do we?

dan
Guest
dan

Differences in steering mechanisms between the two modes of conveyance. A skateboard can’t change direction 30 degrees on a dime. If the no-hands bicyclist makes a mistake, the bicycle can. Still don’t think he looks like a problem though.

marshmallow
Guest
marshmallow

That’s true but some frame designs are inherently more stable and less “racy” due to head tube angle, fork rake, and other factors. Maybe this guy has one of those bikes that’s slow to turn.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

perturbed guy is probably just concerned about the safety of his kid on the trail-a-bike… if he had a bell then he wouldn’t have to worry…

but yeah, cell phone guy shouldn’t be riding in the pedestrian section of the bridge path, and that’s not a good path to be weaving on… but again, if people had bells then they could warn this guy that they were coming up behind him…

dude with no hands looks cool and is having a good time… more power to him!

sometimes I weave and bike with no hands… no big deal… I stay in my lane if there is one, and I stop swerving if people ding or yell behind me…

Over and Doubt
Guest
Over and Doubt

So a bell solves everything because dudes zoned out on cell phones 1) just sure-fire respond to the little dingy-dingy 2) by becoming steady and reliable rather than even more squirrelly—eh, Spiffy?

S brockway
Guest
S brockway

Looks like “Natural Selection” to me.

marshmallow
Guest
marshmallow

Maybe cell phone guy is just full of beer.

BURR
Guest
BURR

maybe y’all should just MYOB

marshmallow
Guest
marshmallow

That’s exactly what I tell the cops as he writes my ticket.

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

When someone else puts my safety at risk, MYOB no longer applies.

BURR
Guest
BURR

the only risk here is putting your foot in your mouth on a bicycling blog

007
Guest
007

BS

Nikana
Guest
Nikana

So back when there was a photo of that guy hacking through a bike lock you ended up blurring out his face because you were more concerned about what the man was doing than actually trying to identify him. Shouldn’t you protect these peoples identities as well? This is actually about the behaviors they’re engaged in not trying to identify them right? I love what Bike Portland does but I don’t see the merit in this post, especially as a front page post. Most likely everyone on this site has left their house at 1 point and has seen a car, bike or person on foot being less than safe. I don’t need to read Bike Portland to know that other people engage in behaviors that I would consider risky.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

Thanks for the comment Nikana,

I blurred that guy’s face because, after hearing feedback from readers, I decided I didn’t like getting involved with a legal matter and a suspected criminal.

In this case, I feel these photos are much more innocent. Just people biking and doing nothing illegal. I shared them because I thought others might like to see them. That’s it. I’m not passing any judgment on either person other than documenting their exceptional behavior.

Mike
Guest
Mike

I’d argue that the behavior is anything but exceptional. I see this kind of disregarded or obliviousness riding quite often in NoPo and SE.

JAT in Seattle
Guest
JAT in Seattle

But didn’t you originally post the hacksaw picture exactly so the suspected thief could be identified? I never understood that. It wasn’t the exceptionality of his lock-hacking behavior (sadly) – it was the illegality of it that brought it to your attention and by alerting us to it you were increasing the likelihood of his apprehension – the only thing exceptional was that he was caught in the act on pixels – then you back-tracked.

But as for these two… Yes, there’s an extremely broad spectrum, as there is among motorists. When some joker in a Dodge Challenger burns rubber taking off at a green light, it’s not illegal, but I prefer my transportation corridors not to be playgrounds.

(but then I’m a crank)

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

Exhibition of speed. Thats a charge I’m actually worried about. I drive a pickup, and on a wet road from a light, I can spin the rear tires at will. Or not at will trying to get up to speed after a freeway metering light.

811.125ยน
Speed racing on highway

(1) A person commits the offense of speed racing on a highway if, on a highway in this state, the person drives a vehicle or participates in any manner in any of the following in which a vehicle is involved:

(a) A speed competition or contest.

(b) An acceleration contest.

(c) A test of physical endurance.

(d) An exhibition of speed or acceleration.

(e) The making of a speed record.

JAT in Seattle
Guest
JAT in Seattle

Oh, crap – that’s pretty much every Cat 6 rider out there – and probably me too…

(greatest legal cite ever, by the way)

kww
Guest
kww

So, if someone is probably doing something illegal like stealing a bike, the face gets blurred? Hey, it’s your blog, but I don’t agree with being polite to thieves.

Whyat
Guest
Whyat

I see a lot of people in PDX going as far out of their way as possible to let everyone know that they are riding without their hands- sitting as straight as possible with their hand clenched behind their backs, standing on their peddles… to each their own, but most kids I knew learned how to ride no-hands when they were in grade school. I for one am not impressed.

captainkarma
Guest
captainkarma

(CNN) …the World Health Organization…now lists mobile phone use in the same “carcinogenic hazard” category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/05/31/who.cell.phones/

Just thought I’d throw that report from yesterday into the mix.

Someone please chloroform me out of my misery when I get run over by a leaded gas engine exhaust belching car driven by a pre-cancerous cell-phone zombie.

random rider
Guest
random rider

I don’t see anything wrong with either behavior if both are aware of their surroundings and in control of their vehicle (bike). I sometimes ride no-handed on NE Going, but I wouldn’t do it on N Williams during rush hour or on the Hawthorne Bridge if its crowded.

Holding and talking on a cell phone while riding a bike isn’t necessarily dangerous, but if he was weaving with others nearby that sounds like a hazard.

Basically, if their actions create a higher potential for creating a collision that involves others then they aren’t behaving in a responsible manner and shouldn’t be doing it.

RonC
Guest
RonC

Is it really that hard to just pull over if you need to talk on the phone? Impaired operation of a vehicle, be it motorized or not, can put you and others in danger. No hands guy at least looks like he’s paying attention to what he’s doing.

-j
Guest
-j

While I am not going to defend the riding style of any particular user, I just think it is kind of funny how the responses to this are in context. When I see photos of people riding bikes in Copenhagen or Amsterdam, there are often lots of helmetless bike users riding with no hands, ladies talking on cell-phones, people riding two/three per bike. We seem to generally accept that the European carefree style of cycle culture is an indicator of the end goal for bike advocates. But when someone in Portland starts employing the same carefree attitude towards cycling, the safety police come out of the woodwork. As someone else noted, many behaviors are self-correcting, though potentially annoying. I think people riding fast in spandex with helmets on the Esplanade to be pretty annoying, and potentially more dangerous than a slow-moving cell phone talker due to the speeds involved.

Paul in the 'couve
Guest
Paul in the 'couve

++ Amen

Jolly Dodger
Guest

Fair weather bikers…the sun comes out, so do the sketchy riders…i like that “self-correcting behavior” line…

dwainedibbly
Guest
dwainedibbly

Looks fun. Makes me wish I was riding right now instead of reading some blog…. ๐Ÿ™‚

bumblebee
Guest
bumblebee

Jonathan’s intentions aside, I would not appreciate having my photo posted on a blog for public scrutiny.

felix
Guest
felix

Lets take photos of random people and post them on the internet for critique! Now thats journalism. Slow news day ehh?

ed
Guest
ed

Hi Jonathan,
Please re-read your own piece from only a few days ago (http://bikeportland.org/2011/05/17/the-oregonian-strikes-again-and-its-not-just-about-the-numbers-53106)?

Then look at the way you worded this editorial piece.

“. . . weaving around the path . . .without a care in the world . . .”

“I’m not passing any judgment on either person other than documenting their exceptional behavior.”

You are undoubtedly passing judgment.

If you were offended by Rose’s “framing and word choice” and “poisoning what could have been a perfectly interesting” story you should take a long look in the mirror.

Alternatively if you “prefer to talk about the credibility of our work” you should at least strive for internal consistency.

I don’t mind that you have an opinion on the riding behaviors of certain individuals. In the end it is regrettable that pieces like this do little โ€œto inform the community and to inspire productive dialogue.โ€

You can do better.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

ed,

I appreciate your comment but I completely disagree with your accusation. I was there watching this guy and “weaving around w/o a car in the world” is an accurate description of my opinion about what I saw.

I don’t really feel that’s very opinionated. Who says weaving without a care is a bad thing or a good thing? I made no judgment, I simply pointed out that his style of riding made it seem like he wasn’t aware of/and or didn’t care about other people around him.

Your comparison of this to Joe Rose’s piece is totally off base and without merit in my opinion .

And Felix.. It actually wasn’t a slow news day. I just thought the photos were fun/interesting and wanted to share them. I had no idea how people would receive them and I certainly didn’t post them just for the critiques.

k.
Guest
k.

Sorry Jonathan but ed is making a good point here, and very similar to ones I’ve pointed out to you in the past. You are much more than straight ‘news’ you know; you are an editorialist as well, as are most bloggers these days.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

K.,

I have never claimed to be only “straight news” (whatever that is) nor do I shy away from admitting that I editorialize on this site at times.

Chris
Guest
Chris

ON YOUR LEFT!

Try it…it not only works better than a bell, it also scares the shit out of idiots on cell-phones.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

or on your right (ducks).

ed
Guest
ed

Jonathan,
I disagree. The reference to your piece about Joe was used to illustrate a point. That point is that ones choice of words has meaning.
IF you has simply describe the fellow with the cell-phone as “weaving” that would have been reportage. Saying that he’s doing it “without a care” is editorializing. Adding that the person behind him looked “perturbed” continues this. In neither case do you, nor I, know their emotional states. By adding this layer onto your commentary you’re implicitly judging them and attempting to influence reader’s opinions.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

ed,

we can agree to disagree on this one. I think you are analyzing this story way too deeply. Again, this story wasn’t meant as some sort of straight news/ “reportage” type story. It is commentary. It is my opinion about what I saw. I have a very high level of respect for you and other readers and I assume that people understand the context of a story and can judge it for what it is.

Thanks for reading.

007
Guest
007

I didn’t think you were being judgmental. The two pics sure reminded me of two types of riders I don’t like being around. I’ve yet to see a biker on the phone ride in a straight line or not take up more than his fair share of space. Talking on the phone while riding a bike is asinine.

deborah
Guest
deborah

The weaving cellphone user is annoying and dangerous. He clearly wasn’t able to control his bike enough to get over so others could pass. Maybe he didn’t even know others were behind him! Though I agree he’s FAR less dangerous on a bike vs in a car.

was carless
Guest
was carless

One of my more embarrassing bike accidents involved me trying to text message while biking… front tire caught on a driveway edge and flipped me over the handlebars.

Luckily, helmet – landed head-first, flipped over backwards in the middle of the street, with my feet pointing towards the way I was cycling.

Yeah, not my best moment, and was definitely the last time I ever used a cellphone while biking!

zappafrank
Guest
zappafrank

Just adding to the Stop Sign discussion. There is NO WAY I am going to stop at every stop sign if there is no oncoming traffic (bike, car, pedestrian, whatever), and especially if it is a residential area. It is just plain silly and a waste of energy.

JAT in Seattle
Guest
JAT in Seattle

really? no way in all caps? none whatsoever in any circumstance? you can’t imagine any possible scenario in which you would stop at every stop sign? (cars outlawed & 95% of stop signs eliminated? police state with mandatory license plates for bikes & video surveilance at every interseaction for instance?) that is fantasic commitment to your ideals. You are a righteous zealot of physics, sir, and i commend you!