Tour de Lab September 1st

Hi fair-weather riders! I’m glad you’re here

Posted by on April 1st, 2016 at 12:27 pm

bike traffic in portland-5

It happens every year. As the sun finally peeks out and the streets dry up, the roads in Portland bloom with bike riders like the cherry blossoms in Waterfront Park. Isn’t it beautiful?!

Unfortunately not everyone thinks so.

What also happens every year is I get emails and hear grumbling from people who bemoan this time year because “they” have invaded the bikeways. “They” are the “newbies” and fair-weather riders who have no interest in braving the wet and cold winters but are eager to pedal when it’s nice out. I don’t think there’s any shame at all in being someone who only chooses to bike in nice weather.

So this year, instead of sharing complaints from readers who say these less experienced riders need to “learn how to ride damn it!” I’ll just say, “Hello there and welcome! Is there anything I can do to make your ride more enjoyable?”

(Please: Before you start growling at that person in front of you who might be a bit slow or wobbly or unpredictable, just take a deep breath and be thankful they’re on a bike.)

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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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

106 Comments
  • Adam H.
    Adam H. April 1, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    More people riding is always a good thing. No need to alienate others for not being “hardcore” enough. Remember, no matter how badass you think you are for riding all year, there is always another city with worse weather and people riding through worse weather conditions. We have it relatively easy in the PNW.

    Safety in numbers.

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      A. Grant April 1, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      Here here. Forget fair weather riders. I’m just happy to take the studded tires off my bike now that the snow has melted.

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      middle of the road guy April 4, 2016 at 10:46 am

      I finally agree with you on something.

      It’s not a competition or a litmus test of who is more progressive or liberal. It’s just people on bikes…people of all persuasions enjoying the weather. That’s what diversity is about.

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    Andy K April 1, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    If you think newbies on bikes are a problem, you should see 16 year olds who just got their drivers licenses.

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      Tom Hardy April 1, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      My grandson in The Dalles was informed that he needs 175 hours of driving logged as a student for a driver’s license. That should be enough but it is not in Portland and there are not many bikes in The Dalles.

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        colton April 1, 2016 at 1:53 pm

        Assuming he’s under 18, Oregon DMV requirements are 100 hours. (or 50 hours plus a driver’s education course)

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        Mao April 1, 2016 at 6:42 pm

        Not a lot of anything in The Dalles.

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        Pete April 2, 2016 at 11:58 am

        Actually TD has quite a few bike lanes, and you’ll only see the number of cyclists riding there go up. Gorge Roubaix invades there this weekend too.

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        Pete April 2, 2016 at 11:59 am

        TD even has a roundabout with sharrows in it! 🙂

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. April 1, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      Move the driving age to 18.

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        Tom Hardy April 1, 2016 at 3:19 pm

        Adam. Unfortunately moving the driver’s age to 18 only exaggerates the motorists (older) inattention span and their disregards to riders.

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        Eric Leifsdad April 1, 2016 at 3:19 pm

        And the helmet law and e-bike age to 10 (maybe with 250W limit.)

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        lyle w. April 2, 2016 at 9:33 am

        Start heavily enforcing the texting/phone ban, and then maybe we can talk about that.

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      B. Carfree April 1, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      And the eighty-year-olds who won’t give theirs up.

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        CaptainKarma April 2, 2016 at 9:31 am

        Even airline pilots have a supreme-court-fought right against age discrimination in forced retirement of licensing. My flight instructor was over 80. I would fly with him if he had a patch on one eye and a broken leg and was hungover.

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      Ron April 1, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      Yeah! Comment of the week!

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    Paul Atkinson April 1, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Copied from a widely distributed social media post by Matthew Peach, on the topic of welcoming new folks into the culture (leaving the original context, editing only for sensitive readers):

    —-

    LET’S MAKE SOMETHING PERFECTLY CLEAR.
    Punk-rock shows are not a f****** fashion runway. Dressing up in studs and spiking our hair is fun. It’s a lot of fun. We get to joke around and piss off the squares and throw beer-cans and lace up boots. It’s also a great way to recognize people you don’t already know who might have the same taste in music as you. But when that 13 year old kid shows up at the gig with a torn-up pair of Nike’s and a flannel shirt and you give him s***, you can come answer to me. This kid is just as scared and confused as you are as a grown-ass adult. You were that kid once. You weren’t born with spurs and boots on yer feet. You were nervous at yer first show. That kid yer picking on for his RANCID patch just paid money he scrounged up from couch cushions to see a local band play because it was hard, fast and loud and he liked that.
    Make that kid feel at home. Wrap yer arm around his neck. Swing him around the pit. Throw him up on the stage and stick the mic in his hand and say “here, freshcut. YOU sing this one!”
    You were that kid once too.

    —-

    I’m pretty sure this experience transcends cultures and applies just as well to bicycling as to punk.

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      Carl April 1, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      That’s beautiful.

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    Abide April 1, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I’m glad for the fair weather riders too. When I get stuck behind one, I curse the city for forcing such great numbers of us to use such narrow bike lanes and so few staples.

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    daisy April 1, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    I’m not sure if this is from fair weather folks who don’t know cycling etiquette or year-round folks who are feeling extra impatient with slower folks, but it seems like there’s been an increase in people on bikes passing way too close and without any kind of verbal warning.

    Yesterday I was on Naito and someone passed me in the bike lane, while a car was also passing! It was way too close and startling.

    If you’re going to pass someone in the same lane, first, are you sure there’s enough room?

    If there is, a quick “Passing!” or “On your left!” or your bell can go a long way towards not scaring them silly.

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      Tom Hardy April 1, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      Day before yesterday I was riding and I passed 6 riders, one at a time and they were all wearing earbuds. they could not hear “On Your Left!”. Of course I passed about a hundred pedestrians on the Esplanade and Springwater that were texting as well. They did not notice me yelling in their ear while I was less than 2 feet away. They cursed me when I found a spot to pass.

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        Mark smith April 1, 2016 at 7:19 pm

        Get a bell. Yelling is for children.

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          Chris I April 1, 2016 at 9:08 pm

          Bells are for children.

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            Mark Smith April 1, 2016 at 10:03 pm

            Guess these reviewers and users are children.

            What, you want to remove every horn in cars and result to yelling?

            Please, get a flipping something that makes. Yelling is so Donald Trump.

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          Adron @ Transit Sleuth April 4, 2016 at 10:41 am

          I’m a grown adult, I have a voice, no need to cower behind a little bell that’s dramatically less noticeable than me stating to someone my intent to pass or for them to “heads up” so they don’t walk into me or someone (or something) else.

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          • Adam H.
            Adam H. April 4, 2016 at 11:41 pm

            Sounds like you need a loud Dutch bell. 😉

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            Russ April 5, 2016 at 10:49 am

            My bell has been a game-changer. At first, I’d yell, “On your left! On your left!” or “Passing!” or “I’m comin through, look out!”.
            Then I got a bell. Ring it from a distance, and the texting pedestrians part like the red sea. Fant-fricken-tastic.

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            El Biciclero April 5, 2016 at 11:37 am

            “Cower”? Really? I think this comes down to a matter of preference, not “quien es mas grownup”. There are days when my voice is worn out, or it’s windy and people won’t know what I’m saying when my bell is an unmistakable audible signal to the pedestrians I’m supposed to yield to. On rainy days, when my bell can be reduced to a weak “tink-tink”, I’ll use my voice, too. If someone is pulling out in front of me, or about to sideswipe me with their car, you’d better believe it’s my loudest possible voice every time. Horses for courses, as our English friends like to say.

            The last thing we need is a bell vs. voice vs. horn debate. Save the fighting for helmets, hi-viz, and flashing lights.

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      Cyndi April 1, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      I ride year ’round, but I’m not what you would call a fast rider & I also ride a slower bike. I have been passing pedestrians on the Hawthorne Bridge & had someone try to pass me at the same time AND someone try to pass all three of us. That’s scary. I would ask people to please wait a couple of seconds so there are fewer people abreast, to make everyone feel more comfortable. And please, please, please call out as you are about to pass. I will gladly pull over as far as I can or even pull off & stop if I know you are there. I have counted along my rides on how many people let me know in some way they are passing me & it runs only 2-3 out of every hundred people.

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        Ben April 1, 2016 at 4:27 pm

        Everyone needs to chill out for the five minutes it takes to cross the Hawthorne. I’ve had guys—they’re always men—pass me on the right because I was giving too much space to pedestrians.

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          seRider April 1, 2016 at 6:08 pm

          I see it as people bringing their f n car driving attitudes to biking. Can’t stop! Can’t slow! Gotta go go go! Yes it’s fun to go go go but in the city, you got to adjust your attitude/expectation of speed sometimes or you’re a butthole.

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          soren April 1, 2016 at 9:16 pm

          passing safely on the right on the hawthorne bridge is 100% legal.

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            Brian April 2, 2016 at 6:59 am

            Yep. I do it all the time, but always in a safe and respectful way.

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              Karl Dickman April 3, 2016 at 1:09 pm

              I try to avoid it if I can, but if there’s a lot of space (both lengthwise and widthwise–I usually try to give a minimum of 6 ft) to complete the pass I will. This is also where a verbal announcement beats a bell. “On your right” makes it clear where I plan to be, whereas a bell could be interpreted as “please move to the right so I can pass on your left.”

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      lahar April 1, 2016 at 2:37 pm

      That happens year round, but for the life of me, I really do not understand why someone won’t say on your left or pass on the Burnside Bridge without checking for traffic first or pass when I’m turning a corner.

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        SE April 3, 2016 at 1:47 pm

        Sometimes I call “on your left” … ped hears it “as jump left immediately”,
        have changed it to “bike passing your left”

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          Sio April 4, 2016 at 5:17 pm

          I had this experience more than once and so I just say passing.

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            Eric Leifsdad April 4, 2016 at 5:34 pm

            I shout “DING DING!” for that same reason.

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      mh April 1, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      And goddamnit, unless you’re riding on Williams, don’t pass me on the right.

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      JeffS April 2, 2016 at 10:34 am

      No other mode of transportation requires a verbal warning of a pass. Not the car that passed you 30 seconds before I did, and not the person who walked around you in the grocery store isle.

      I’m sorry some people are scared and oblivious. They’re not my responsibility though.

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        Karl Dickman April 3, 2016 at 1:31 pm

        Cyndi is specifically talking about the Hawthorne bridge; other people have brought up Springwater. In both places, you have an extreme range of travel speeds, from 2-3 mph walkers to cyclists going 20, 25, or even 30 mph. On Springwater you have bidirectional traffic. I can’t imagine how the elaborate dance of everyone trying to go at their preferred speed is possible at all without announcing passes.
        The rules that everyone should follow are these: 1.) Never give less than 3 ft of space. 2.) Announce any pass where you are giving less than 6 ft of space, passing on the right, in a mixed mode area (Hawthorne bridge, Springwater), or where the lane of travel is wider than 6 ft. Most people don’t like being passed too closely. That’s not obliviousness, that’s just personal space, and you need to respect it.
        I’ve broken these rules myself. I was approaching a red light and coming up on a cyclist who was going about 5 mph slower than me with a car coming in the other direction. I passed her with about 3 ft of space without announcing my pass. I knew as I was doing it that it was a silly thing for me to do. She caught me at the light and calmly and politely said that she would appreciate an “on your left.” She didn’t have a problem with passing, she just wanted warning that I was about to be in her space.

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        El Biciclero April 5, 2016 at 11:44 am

        But it is an actual legal requirement of a bicyclist overtaking a pedestrian on a sidewalk and probably on a MUP, although that is less clear. On the street, when passing other bicyclists, it can be considered either courteous or rude, unfortunately.

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    Andrea April 1, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Yes! Welcome back (or to) riding! I like having more eyes around.

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      Tom Hardy April 3, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      Al the more to watch you with my lovely!

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        Dan A April 4, 2016 at 9:29 pm

        Ew.

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    Matthew B April 1, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Welcome back, please remember that in Tom McCall Park and Eastbank Esplanade there are a lot of pedestrians, especially at lunchtime and late afternoon/early evening on weekdays, and from about 9 a.m. until the evening on the weekends. Cyclists have to yield to pedestrians, so if you are going for your Strava PR, make it very early morning or hit the Naito bike lanes.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. April 1, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Fast bikes use Naito, right? 😉

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        Paul Atkinson April 1, 2016 at 1:51 pm

        Yeah, those signs don’t mean a lot to me. “Fast” has quite a nebulous meaning.

        That said, common courtesy dictates that we don’t go whizzing through the increasingly dense hordes of Portland sun-seekers who left the path so tantalizingly empty all winter but now meander six wide during our commute. Rather than “fast bikes use Naito,” I prefer “share politely or ride where you don’t have to.”

        I’m not actually sure which path I prefer this time of year. I strongly prefer the protected path, but it’s a lot slower than it was a month ago.

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  • TonyT
    TonyT April 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    The more bike riders (and walkers) there are, the safer it is for all of us. Data supports this.

    Also, not only are these folks on a bike now, but when they get in a car, they’ll be that much safer as a driver because of their biking experience.

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      rachel b April 1, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Hear, hear, Tony T! Good points. I do like the increased safety (from cars) provided by a passel o’ cyclists! Not so fond of the danger created by impatient cyclists and inattentive newbies.

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    Bald One April 1, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Time to start the detour over to 11th / 12th Ave in order to avoid the E Esplanade to get N-S through town.

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      Tom Hardy April 1, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      I strongly prefer going on the overpass by Benson. been doing that since 1958. Oh yes fair weather riders. Did that for years but the last few I have been feeling the cold too much and have been seeing too many blind motorists driving cars in bike lanes.

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      lyle w. April 2, 2016 at 9:35 am

      Whenever I think about using the esplanade… two things go through my head: Is it sunny? Is it the weekend and not raining? If either is yes, I’m not using it.

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    Dan A April 1, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Sorry I’m not brave enough to bike commute year-round. Maybe when drivers learn how to drive when it’s raining (or when the sun is out), or when there are more protected routes. I’m afraid of everything west of Washington Park once the weather gets bad. But it was so great to get back out on the bike yesterday!! Looking forward to the Go Lloyd hub opening in a month…

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      JIm April 1, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Not a criticism, Dan, but I often feel safer in the winter in the dark because I feel like I am more visible to drivers due to lights and reflectors on my bike. Also drivers seem to show a little more respect to folks who are braving the elements trying to get where they need to be. It takes some fortitude, but the rewards for gutting out the winter are considerable. But obviously it’s not for everyone!

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        Dan A April 1, 2016 at 3:00 pm

        I leave at 5am in the morning, and ride home at 3pm. I’m not concerned about riding in the dark on the way in when there is little traffic, but I stop riding westward in the fall when the sun gets low in the sky. We’re completely unable to hold drivers accountable for their inability to see when they are driving towards the sun. It’s risk management.

        I’m also constantly tweaking my route to avoid areas where I’ve had close calls. I used to ride NW 14th from Burnside to Marshall to the Broadway bridge, but I’ve been nearly right-hooked on 14th a ton of times, so this year I’m getting off 14th at Couch and taking that to the Steel bridge instead, even though it’s a lot slower.

        Maybe someday I’ll get up the nerve to commute year-round, but I don’t think my wife would like that very much.

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          Dan A April 1, 2016 at 3:10 pm

          That’s not to say those are the only reasons I stop in the winter — I have almost as many lame excuses as someone who doesn’t ride at all. I’m usually pretty burnt out by the time October comes around, with a a 30mi round trip, 3000ft of climbing, 3x a week. Going to bed at 8:30pm and getting up at 4:30am is not fun either (though it makes for an enjoyable ride). The riding starts to get in the way of my CX schedule, and then there is the constant cleaning of my bikes (not a problem for the typical commuter, but I am a neat freak, and that means a thorough cleaning after every rain ride).

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      • Ovid Boyd
        Ovid Boyd April 1, 2016 at 4:30 pm

        I do too. I think it’s just something about the winter rain making me feel safe and cozy, even when I am wet and freezing. It just feels slow and comforting to me.

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          rachel b April 1, 2016 at 8:34 pm

          🙂

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        Tom Hardy April 3, 2016 at 8:34 pm

        Yes I noticed that going down Sylvan on Scholls Ferry. In a 35 zone they will push you if you are on the bike at 45, but in the rain they drop of at about 30 and you don’t see them until The light at the bottom if you did not clear it first.

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    Erin April 1, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    I agree with this post in general! welcome back fair weather riders! BUT we all year round and fair weather folks need to show better courtesy and bike etiquette to everyone in the lanes, on the paths and even on the sidewalks! BikePortland i would love to see this post followed up by a rules of the road and general etiquette reminder for all cyclists – a refresher for those of us who have had the road to ourselves all winter and maybe a first time education for new/returning riders!

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  • Ovid Boyd
    Ovid Boyd April 1, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    I’ve been overjoyed to see more cyclists.

    Of course, I’ve only seen one or two cyclists a day. I even saw a second bike parked at my worked a couple days ago. I do my daily bike commute on Airport Way. I’d love to be swamped over here!

    As an added bonus, ODOT just smoothed out bumps on the bike path over here this very morning, (I reported it a few weeks ago). It is safer now, join me!

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    RushHourAlleycat April 1, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    I’m a fair weather rider, but fair for me is quite cold because I overheat easily, and lots of space because I’m antisocial. So I like winter better. But I confess it felt great to be riding around today

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      rachel b April 1, 2016 at 8:37 pm

      Winter people are best! 🙂

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        mh April 1, 2016 at 9:13 pm

        Rain is the nine month normal, but no more ice or snow riding for me. I want to go at least ten years before my next concussion.

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          rachel b April 2, 2016 at 12:00 am

          Agh! Ouch. 🙁 I do love the rain, though. 🙂

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  • Anne Hawley
    Anne Hawley April 1, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    I love it when the new and fair weather riders come out, because even though I’m neither, I am slow. I like having the company.

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      Val April 2, 2016 at 10:32 am

      Me too! I am pretty slow on those switchbacks down to the esplanade, just along from where this picture was taken. And I’m just usually wearing my office clothes. I try to keep as far to the right as I can, to let faster people past, but I have been sensing annoyance. But I commute by bike in basically all weather. I did wimp out on those icy days and take the bus.

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      Catherine Feta Cheese April 2, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      Indeed a mistake to equate slow, wobbly or in civilian clothes with inexperience or fair-weatherness. Slow bikes & damp plaid can be part of a year round, all weather, hardcore commute, ridden from a combination of grim economic necessity, toughness of character and joy. The wobbling might set in around mile 14 (of 15 rt) on the return home.

      As for the crowded Esplanade in summer (or the current pre-summer) I avoid it by taking NE 3rd — wide, quiet in the evening and good sight lines.

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    Michael S April 2, 2016 at 5:05 am

    Spot on. Same over here in Berlin. Welcome fair-weather riders of every corner of the world. 🙂

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    SE April 2, 2016 at 9:51 am

    The “fair weather” riders don’t bother me, it’s the “Lance Wannabe’s”

    I’m a careful passer , especially groups of peds . Often I’ll call the pass and if no reaction, will just then wait for an opening. I’ll pull left to pass and at the same time the LW makes an unsafe pass around me.

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      soren April 8, 2016 at 9:36 am

      i do this all the time. i see a slow* rider passing an even slower rider. i move into the big lane, pass with a 6+ feet of separation, and still get called out for making us all look bad.

      *i love slow riders.

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    Mark smith April 2, 2016 at 11:17 am

    JeffS
    No other mode of transportation requires a verbal warning of a pass. Not the car that passed you 30 seconds before I did, and not the person who walked around you in the grocery store isle.
    I’m sorry some people are scared and oblivious. They’re not my responsibility though.
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    That about sums up your view.

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      JeffS April 2, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      Who else would I be speaking for? Are you here to stand up for the scared and oblivious?

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        Mark smith April 2, 2016 at 10:22 pm

        Everyone should walk backward so they can hear a silent bike coming up on them? All so you don’t have to fix I n your handlebars a 7 dollar bell? I see.

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          Tom Hardy April 3, 2016 at 8:39 pm

          Bells didn’t work as the bud wearers stopped covering the path and looked for their phone ringing that they were texting with in their hands.

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          flightlessbird April 3, 2016 at 10:07 pm

          they are startled if you yell something, ring a bell or do nothing at all. there is no etiquette to this situation. This is a societal problem of being detached for your surroundings. I don’t let it ruin my day. I think, personally, it is safer to say nothing and have them be startled when they are behind me, rather than ring and bell or say something and jerk them into reality right when I need them to be predictable…

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          El Biciclero April 4, 2016 at 12:05 pm

          I have a $12 bell on my handlebars that I use often. I like to ding once while I’m several feet back, then again as I get closer just to give the pedestrian some ide…oh, shoot, that guy’s wearing earbuds and can’t hear me; I’ll just go as far wide as I can, but, dang, he’s doing his own funky dance there, so I guess I’ll hang back and wait for him to catch some other clue and move aside. Rats, now here comes somebody up from behind, are they going to p…frack! give me a break! I guess my notion of “safe passing” is quite different from that dude’s. Oh well, now pedestrian guy sees me and I can go around…

          This is a typical interaction I have had several times on a MUP. The only etiquette I wish we could observe would be to travel as far right as practicable, slow down in the presence of pedestrians, and only pass on the left when there is enough room to give a couple of feet of space.

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            Dan A April 4, 2016 at 9:32 pm

            Many peds don’t know they are supposed to walk on the right. Sigh.

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              El Biciclero April 5, 2016 at 9:49 am

              I wonder how clear it is that such paths are Multi-use, and whether people know what that means. We seem to start by creating paths trails (and they’re great to have sometimes) that are too narrow, and then expect everybody from stroller-pushers to dog walkers to tween giggle-fests to bicycle riders of all ages to shuffle past each other without incident. On my way home from work—especially now that the weather is nice—I traverse a trail segment that can be full of dogs on long leashes, strollers, skateboards, toddlers on trikes, younger kids on training wheels, old folks walking side-by-side, what-have-you. All of that stuff is fantastic, and is why we should have such trails! The problem, however, is that those old folks walking side-by-side, or one parent next to their toddler will take up almost 2/3 of the trail width, leaving not enough room to pass safely. And I’ll tell you who gets the stink-eye if I ding my bell, or don’t ding my bell, or pass at 5 mph or pass at 3 mph, or stop completely waiting for a kid or dog to move over…

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        Mossby Pomegranate April 3, 2016 at 8:26 am

        I feel the same way…got tired of calling out “LEFT” only to be ignored and see people are wearing ear buds. I just quietly pass and leave plenty of room.

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    Carrie April 2, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I ride year round, but find myself riding slower in nicer weather. More flowers to look at, the ride is more pleasant so don’t need to hurry to stay warm or get out of it, and it’s just Way More Fun with more people out on bikes. Remember — most of do this because deep down it’s fun, especially if the alternate is driving a car!

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    eddie April 2, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Car commuting is so dull , it sucks out your soul, blunts the mind and atrophies the body. I honestly don’t understand how anyone can do it, and I feel really sorry for all the vacantly staring car commuters I see out there every day. Hopefully some of the fair weather riders convert into full timers, I bet a few do every year…

    So fair weather bikers, welcome! And if you can, switch over, join us, your life will improve immensely, I promise!

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    JL April 3, 2016 at 3:06 am

    Welcome fair weather bikers, no clogging the front of the bike box.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 4, 2016 at 9:25 am

      Hi JL,

      What do you mean by clog?

      I think Americans have a sad problem with personal space. As in, we need too much of it. I like clogging up the bike box… That’s what it’s for! I saw squeeze as many bikes into as small of a space as possible because that’s how you realize the potential of cycling. Bicycles have such a small footprint so we might as well flaunt it.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. April 4, 2016 at 9:36 am

        Totally agree. I’ve actually gotten yelled at by a person walking for passing with 5 feet. Can’t please everyone, I suppose…

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          Carrie April 5, 2016 at 4:12 pm

          There also could have been mitigating circumstances. The other evening I, gasp, ran home on the Springwater instead of riding and by the end of my run was so annoyed by the cyclists. People were passing REALLY close, with no reason (just as annoying as being buzzed by a car when they have a whole lane in which to move over to pass you) and I didn’t get a single warning via bell or voice (and I do not run with earbuds). It’s unnerving, even though I’m sure most of those cyclists were completely under control and it didn’t appear the least bit sketchy from their point of view.

          So, by the end of my run I WAS ready to yell at the next cyclist who didn’t give me some space — only because of the many who buzzed my elbow for the 45 minutes prior. So just maybe that walker was having the same bad day on the trail….

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          • Adam H.
            Adam H. April 5, 2016 at 4:24 pm

            That’s certainly a possibility. She ended up chasing me down and caught up to me at the MAX platform where I explained that I had given her as much room as I could given the trail width and was riding at a slow speed. She insisted that I should have used my bell though, but I’ve had mixed experiences with ringing my bell at people. I actually find it a bit rude to ding at someone if I can pass safely, unless I feel they are either creating a hazard by blocking most of the trail or I am worried they will step into my path.

            My guess is that she was startled by my presence, but I’d rather someone get startled after I have safely passed rather than startling someone with a bell and risk them stepping into my path.

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        Adron @ Transit Sleuth April 4, 2016 at 10:51 am

        So true sir. So true.

        I’ve been yelled at because I’ve passed only “15ft” away. Also the crux of someone crossing the street freezing because I came within 1-3 feet of the crosswalk and stopped. This is utterly ridiculous. These are completely safe distances for cyclists.

        One of the other things I commonly see, is a pedestrian stops cold on the corner seeing me approach. They basically react as if I’m an automobile. There’s no need for that, they can enter the road and begin crossing and I can easily go about them in any direction. It’s two humans interacting, it’s so unbelievably easy to do, it occurs several hundred thousand times every day in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London, New York, and other cities where people actually interact in closer proximity.

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          El Biciclero April 4, 2016 at 11:55 am

          But haven’t you heard how deadly bicycles are? And don’t you know that bicyclists “never” stop or yield to pedestrians?

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    rachel b April 3, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    SE 26th report (between Clinton & Powell): Have been keeping an eye on the bike lanes and riders and I have to say a big “thank you!” to new/fair weather riders. They’re upping the bike presence here, which has flagged of late. The way drivers drive the street is clearly altered by more cyclists. Even though it doesn’t feel very safe when you ride here, most drivers visibly slow down, move over into the center and exhibit more care when they see cyclists.

    I’m not advocating for all of us to risk our corpi around all these mercurial, twitchy drivers to get them to behave, but (based on my window seat view) the sight of cyclists on SE 26th between Clinton & Powell does seem to be a deterrent to speeding and prompts more attention/care behind the wheel. They may be pissed off, but they do slow down and get over.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu April 3, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Time for a People On Bikes feature, I think!

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    Travis Fulton April 4, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Is it still okay to hate on the four wheeled rent-a-bikes on the waterfront?

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      rachel b April 6, 2016 at 12:05 am

      YES. Yes, it is.

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    Matthew B April 4, 2016 at 10:55 am

    I feel no obligation to announce my intention to pass someone, but I feel a very strong obligation not to put other people in danger. I don’t pass on the right (except on N Williams), if it is safe to do so I move into the car lane to pass other cyclists, especially when they’re riding in the middle or left of the bike lane. If I can’t give someone 3 – 4 feet of room, I wait until I can. Yes it is nice to go fast, but hitting another cyclist, a pedestrian or motorist is going to ruin my day.

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      Sam April 4, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks Matthew B. This is how we should all ride. The more cyclist there are, the more we will get stuck in bike traffic. At least until there are significant infrastructure changes.

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    Mark smith April 4, 2016 at 11:25 am

    And thus we have have one reason why many people hate bikers. Least of not, they are yelled at by cyclists for just walking. Guessing some people just like yelling at other humans.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. April 4, 2016 at 11:38 am

      Who said anyone was yelling at people walking?

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    Ned Holbrook April 4, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Karl Dickman
    I try to avoid it if I can, but if there’s a lot of space (both lengthwise and widthwise–I usually try to give a minimum of 6 ft) to complete the pass I will. This is also where a verbal announcement beats a bell. “On your right” makes it clear where I plan to be, whereas a bell could be interpreted as “please move to the right so I can pass on your left.”
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    In the heat of the moment it’s very, very easy to misinterpret “on your right” as a command, particularly if those first two words get lost: http://bikeportland.org/2014/12/22/collision-springwater-reminder-ride-cautiously-shared-paths-123052

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. April 4, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      When I pass, I typically slow down, give plenty of room, and say nothing. I’ve found that talking or ringing my bell usually makes things worse as the person will often just step into my path. If I do ring my bell, I typically only do so when there is a large group of people blocking the path or there is someone walking in the cycleway where they shouldn’t be. In either case, I ding well in advance. When people passing me announce their presence, 9 times out of 10 I can’t even understand what they said anyway.

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    SE April 4, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    For me, the dog walkers that let out 15 feet of leash and the dog goes Left & owner is on the Right ….effectively blocking off the whole path.

    OR oncoming riders 3 abreast and chatting, giving me 18 inches to navigate.

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    Mark Smith April 5, 2016 at 1:10 am

    Adam H.
    Who said anyone was yelling at people walking?
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    Hmmmmmmm…..

    Tom Hardy April 1, 2016 at 1:21 pm
    Day before yesterday I was riding and I passed 6 riders, one at a time and they were all wearing earbuds. they could not hear “On Your Left!”. Of course I passed about a hundred pedestrians on the Esplanade and Springwater that were texting as well. They did not notice me yelling in their ear while I was less than 2 feet away. They cursed me when I found a spot to pass.

    Yelling in someones ear. Makes people fans.

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      Dan A April 5, 2016 at 8:31 am

      There are some posters here who probably shouldn’t be taken literally.

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    Beckyjopdx April 16, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Total shakey, wobbly, unsteady n00b here…esp when I put the kid in the child seat on back. I actually left my kickstand down today….and forgot to re-attach my front brake/gears. Sigh.

    I apologize in advance.

    Question: when heading east on Tilikum, my instinct is to hug the inside and let people pass me on the right.

    And thanks to the guy today who told me my kickstand was stil down.

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      Alan 1.0 April 17, 2016 at 11:17 am

      “Slower traffic keep right” is the general rule, just like for motor vehicles. Exceptions include places like North Williams with left-side bike lanes, or preparing for left turns, and the general rule shouldn’t force you into dangerous places like door zones, or parts of the road where drivers won’t see you, or off the road.

      Good for you for riding – enjoy!

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