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Icy biking open thread: Share conditions and your experiences

Posted by on December 9th, 2016 at 9:25 am

A cold sharrow on the North Michigan neighborhood greenway.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

With a bit of snow yesterday and rain overnight, Portland is a sheet of ice this morning. Are you still riding?

I went out this morning and found the most challenging thing was getting from my backyard shed to the main street. Larger roads seem to be safest in terms of ice, but they also have more drivers on them.

For the second day in a row local government agencies and school districts are closed. This is good from a safety perspective because it takes the majority of auto trips off the road. As we find every time it snows, when snow falls and streets get tricky to navigate they become the quiet and livable spaces we all dream about. It’s amazing how much better people drive when they fear for their own safety!

What are the streets like in your neighborhood? Did you ride this morning?

If you plan to ride in these conditions, the City of Portland has published a map of the routes they plow and apply de-icer to. Keep in mind that while these roads might be less slippery, they will also have more auto traffic:

For more tips about how to bike in these conditions browse our “ice biking” archives.

โ€” Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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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 โ€” Jonathan

  • BrianC December 9, 2016 at 9:38 am

    When it gets close to 32 degrees, I pretty much put the biking on hold. I have the option of using a combination of walking, WES and MAX to get to my current client. So that is what I’m doing this week.

    A couple of years ago, while working down town, one of the guys I was working with fell under the Burnside bridge and landed on his side. The ball of his femur was driven up through his hip, shattering it and requiring extensive surgery. ::sadface:: In recovery, his surgeon told him that another rider had suffered the exact same type fracture the same day. Slipping on one of the painted green bike boxes…

    So I’m just too chicken to ride when there is a possibility of ice. Especially with the combo of water on top of ice…

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  • RH December 9, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Yeah, I don’t ride when there is ice. Even if I rode as slow as a snail, there are always cars that can slide and hit me.

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  • Pat Lowell December 9, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Yeah, I will bike-commute in pretty much any other conditions, but ice is a hard NOPE.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. December 9, 2016 at 9:46 am

    I rode year-round in Chicago, but Portland doesn’t maintain the roads or even sidewalks in the same way Chicago does, so I won’t ride in ice here. Even walking is treacherous โ€“ I typically just walk down the middle of the street. Not too many cars out today, thankfully.

    Snow is no problem, though โ€“ I had a nice ride to the hardware store yesterday to pick up some sidewalk salt.

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    • Andrew December 9, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      Keep in mind that snow and ice are the exception here, not the norm. It would be foolish for the city to maintain a fleet of plows and de-icers that only get dusted off once or twice a year.

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      • lop December 10, 2016 at 2:50 pm

        I saw a little truck driving down the eastside esplanade and turn onto the spiral ramp to the hawthorne bridge westbound spraying something the day before the snow. Did that help at all?

        A fleet of plows that can clear every road in the city in 24-48 hours might be overkill. But a few to clear some of the most heavily used roads/bike paths/sidewalks would be a reasonable compromise. Especially of equipment can be added on to existing garbage trucks or pickup trucks that the city already owns. Although for sidewalks I assume it’s the property owner’s responsibility to clear?

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        • mh December 15, 2016 at 1:31 pm

          City doesn’t own the garbage trucks in Portland – all private businesses that are assigned districts for residential customers.

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. December 15, 2016 at 1:36 pm

          clear some of the most heavily used roads/bike paths/sidewalk

          The city already does this, or at least claims to do this.

          PBOT Snow & Ice Priority Routes

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  • dan December 9, 2016 at 9:49 am

    I will ride (slowly, carefully) in snow, but today’s conditions don’t seem viable. Working from home ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Jagur December 9, 2016 at 9:53 am

    My schwalbe ice spikers render this weather moot. Seriously, it’s hilarious how normalized and safe the bike is with them.

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    • Brent December 9, 2016 at 10:18 am

      Exactly right. I am a New Englander (originally West Coaster and wanna-be PDXer once I raise my “weirdness quotient” high enough to be allowed to move :-). Unlike the folks in Northern Vermont, we in southern New England oscillate above and below freezing frequently during the winter so we can get quite a bit of icing on the roads and on the trails.

      I have a set of Schwalbe Winter HS 396’s on my cross bike. I didn’t want to spring the big bucks for a set of Ice Spikers for the cross bike when I have a fat bike for serious snow. The HS 396’s work great for longer road rides where icing is intermittent or merely a possibility, typically on early morning rides before work. I wear my MTB knee and elbow pads when riding on the roads in ice conditions so that if I crash, I can get a padded surface on the ground and avoid taking the impact directly on a hip. In a mild winter, it’s easy enough to change tires back and forth a few times depending on weather conditions, so I don’t have to wear out the studs if we have a week of milder weather.

      Around this time of year, my fat bike gets 5.0″ Vee Snowshoe XL studded snow tires. They are not as good in fresh powder as other studded tires, but they were half the cost of the biggest names in studded fat bike tires. I feel like I have better traction/braking on snowy and icy roads on the fat bike than I do in my car (a Chevy Suburban 4×4 with snow tires). I crash all the time in powder (which is a big percentage of the fun) but have never even come close to crashing on the road with the fat bike/Snowshoe studded rig.

      Now all I gotta do is learn to play the flame-belching accordion while riding the fat bike in the snow like that guy in Portland, and they’ll approve my residency permit practically instantly! I hope the Darth Vader mask is optional…

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      • Gary B December 9, 2016 at 11:36 am

        ^ this guy gets it ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • rachel b December 9, 2016 at 2:31 pm

        Don’t you dare! We’ve got about fifty thousand of those flame-belching, accordion-playing fat bike, snow-riding guys wearing Darth Vader masks now. And each and every one of them ‘unique.’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

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        • rachel b December 9, 2016 at 6:59 pm

          eep–clarification: not discouraging the move! just the garb. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • peejay December 9, 2016 at 11:03 am

      I’m also riding around on Schwalbe studded tires, and it’s just magic! The only time I fret is when I have to put my foot down or dismount, since I don’t have nearly the traction of my tires on my shoe soles.

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      • Eric Leifsdad December 9, 2016 at 1:12 pm

        you can get slip-on studded oversoles for your shoes

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        • David Hampsten December 9, 2016 at 2:17 pm

          Or drive sheet metal screws into the soles of your shoes, and remove them when everything thaws. An electric screw driver really helps.

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      • Tim December 9, 2016 at 4:50 pm

        Since I don’t need my studded bike tires very often, they are kind of a novelty item, but it is so fun to ride past the stuck cars and sledders, who look at me like I must be nuts. now I need the chains for my feet.

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    • BrianC December 9, 2016 at 11:31 am

      Back in the day… We used to take MTB tires and drive sheet metal screws from the inside, up through the knobs. Then you’d layer up several passes of duct tape on the inside of the tire and mount them up on a pair of old rims.

      Great on snow ice. Not so great on bare cement…

      Fun times!

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      • GlowBoy December 9, 2016 at 3:06 pm

        Handmade screw-studded tires are of course not even remotely comparable to most of the commercially available models. Most of the commercial models (I’m partial to the Schwalbe Marathon Winter) roll and handle quite well on pavement, though they do take more effort to spin up due to their extra weight.

        I I used studded tires (and most of the time, just one in front) for the last 12 or so winters I lived in Portland, and never understood why more people didn’t. Admittedly I commuted to the westside, where morning frost is more common, but still. After falling on a frosty curve I realized that $75 investment would pay for itself so many times over. What’s a broken pelvis run these days?

        I know a lot of people (especially refugees from snowier climes, it seems) dismiss studded tires because it “hardly ever snows” in Portland, but my experience says otherwise. Sure it doesn’t snow very much, and some years it doesn’t snow at all. But most years it snows 2-4 times down to sea level. And gets icy at least a couple times – not always from an ice storm, but simply that last night’s rain froze on the pavement when the sky cleared overnight and the temperature dropped below freezing. And then there’s frost, which is often more common in the drier winters when it doesn’t snow much at all.

        Overall, my experience was that on average, there were 15-20 mornings per winter when snow, ice or heavy frost made the roads slick enough to be dicey for cyclists. So over the course of a few years I figure my studded tires cost me about A DOLLAR per slippery morning. Now most of those mornings I would have gotten through just fine without studs as most cyclists do. But with studs, I didn’t even have to worry about slipping. That made them worth every penny to me. Your mileage may vary.

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  • John Lascurettes December 9, 2016 at 10:08 am

    I rode in 2008 (and a few times since) in ice with studded tires. They actually work really, really well. I just keep them on my beat up hard tail for just such occasions.

    Yesterday worked I form home so I didn’t need them.

    Only reason I did not pull them out for today is I plan on playing poker and drinking tonight, so I took a bus to work and will bus or Lyft home. On the bus ride in, I didn’t see a single bicycle rider. I don’t blame anyone, the ice is pretty thick.

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  • jeff December 9, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Rode home fine last night in the snow, no problem on a MTB hardtail – just a little east wind. chance. didn’t even make it 5′ out the door.

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    • John Lascurettes December 9, 2016 at 10:09 am

      Yeah, snow and ice are definitely different beasts on a bike.

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    • Gabriel Trainer December 9, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      Yeah, I took my hardtail last night out as well, it was fun riding home! A little bit of black ice on Williams but nothing too bad

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  • I wear many hats December 9, 2016 at 10:12 am

    the knobbies work great for snow and slush, but ice requires studs or chains. it helps to ditch the clippless pedals and ride flat pedals, and to lower pressure to the minimum amount possible.

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  • Dick Button December 9, 2016 at 10:14 am

    I biked to work today on slick tyres no less! The trick is to keep to main roads and avoid bike lanes, those are iced over and not likely to have been plowed.

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  • Stephen Keller December 9, 2016 at 10:15 am

    I did not ride yesterday (normally a bike day) and instead worked from home. It was beautiful and cold in the morning; made me wish I’d gone ahead with the bike. I just wasn’t sure how coming home was going to work out. Turns out it would have been dicey in the neighborhoods. This morning, I could hardly walk down my driveway. Wheeled conveyances were pretty much out of the question. I may have to look into those Schwalbe ice spikers that Jagur mentioned.


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  • rick December 9, 2016 at 10:25 am

    It was great to have a temporary 7 foot bike lane in certain places of SW Oleson Road yesterday with light car traffic driving at much safer speeds.

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  • rick December 9, 2016 at 10:27 am

    PGE and Wash. Co dropped the ball yesterday with leaving big branches from a downed tree on SW Scholls Ferry by the Portland Golf Club so I moved those to the ditch.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty December 9, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I rode in; I have thin slick tires. I stayed off Clinton, and on roads with more traffic. Rode in the areas where cars had cleared a path. Nothing froze last night so there was no hidden ice. I walked across the Hawthorne Bridge and a couple of other places, and did not ride anywhere I wasn’t on bare pavement. Traffic was light so I had my choice of lanes. Should be clear sailing by this afternoon.

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    • soren December 9, 2016 at 10:50 am

      there was so little car traffic it was probably one of the safest days to commute by bike.

      i did have someone driving a green subaru with a coexist sticker honk at me for violating the mandatory sidepath law on SW moody.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty December 9, 2016 at 12:32 pm

        You’re not violating the law if you leave the bike lane because there’s an obstruction in it (in this case, ice).

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        • soren December 11, 2016 at 1:45 pm

          this fanciful interpretation of the mandatory sidepath statute has not prevented people from being cited previously.

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  • dudeluna December 9, 2016 at 10:31 am

    rode in from hollywood to south waterfront. NE 47th to Glisan to NE 28th was fine but slushy. NE Ankeny was a wreck, although i tried for a few blocks (2.10 MTB tires, no studs). Saw a guy pulling a trailer that seemed to be doing ok. Went back over to Burnside, then Sandy/NE 7th to Hawthorne. The Hawthorne westbound onramp(?, flyover?) was slushy until the sidewalk portion, then bare singletrack on the sidewalk. waterfront path from Hawthorne to Tilikum was fine, Tilikum was manageable, and Moody was a little worse but manageable. Hoping for warmer temps for the ride home.

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  • bradwagon December 9, 2016 at 10:32 am

    A bit of westside perspective. Rode this morning from Beaverton to Tigard around 9. 40mm gravel tires at ~40 psi. Neighborhood streets were very slow going (bike not heavy enough to crunch through ice crust) but main roads had clear driving lanes… essentially just a really wet commute at that point. So if you don’t mind riding in traffic lanes (opposed to the slushy / icy bike lane) 90% of your trip will be fine. Just go easy once off the main roads.

    If it was all as icy as some of the roads in my neighborhood I would likely not ride. Doesn’t happen enough for me to invest in studded tires… But then again my work is flexible when the weather is bad.

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    • bradwagon December 9, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Also should say I rode the opposite direction yesterday afternoon. Very few cars on the road and took Fanno Creek Trail which was awesomely quite / vacant in the snow. Same bike setup as above gave me no issues in any snow conditions.

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    • rick December 9, 2016 at 11:55 am

      Did you ride on the Johnson Street boardwalk in Tigard? Was there flooding on the path of the Fanno Creek trail?

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      • bradwagon December 9, 2016 at 3:11 pm

        No boardwalks (I find the trail is just too slow compared to riding the roads through downtown Tigard and take the new path along the WES tracks instead of Johnson St.). From North Dakota to Greenway park they only flooding was the usual spot at the bend about a quarter mile south of Scholls Ferry, under Scholls Ferry was just barely wet from creek, imagine it’s probably got a couple inches after todays melting but is likely still ridable.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty December 9, 2016 at 10:33 am

    BTW, they took Biketown bikes offline yesterday, and they were still unavailable this morning.

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    • Jen December 9, 2016 at 11:19 am

      I rode one home yesterday in the snow and ice. Although the gears were frozen (at least it was in a medium gear), it was quite stable. I fell down only after I dismounted the bike.

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  • Dawn December 9, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I rode on Wednesday and saw several people wipe out near the Tilikum due to frozen fog on the ground (it was fine up in the lower 30’s/Clinton, but a complete ice and black ice situation past 11th/12th). I decided to work from home yesterday and today.

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  • Andrew Kreps December 9, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I was surprised to find no ice mitigation on the paths leading up to, away, and over the Tilikum Crossing, including the Lafayette bridge. The stairs were basically impassable, but thankfully both elevators were in service. I suppose I expected to see grit or sand, or something.

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  • Nick December 9, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Hillsdale/Multnomah Village solid ice on neighborhood roads this morning. No problem w/ the old mtn bike set up w/ studded tires. These tires only get used once or twice a year here, but man is it worth it.
    BHH and Vermont St were clear in the car lanes; bike lanes are chunky or slushy.

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  • EricIvy December 9, 2016 at 11:08 am

    I went out at 3 looking for trouble (fun) Biked from Kreston to Laurelhurst and then to Clinton area. Saw one skier, and plenty of bikers. Passed one guy doing an endless wheelie on an MTB on 34th. Put a huge smile on my face. It wasn’t Nathan Jones. By 10 PM the roads were zambonied and i fell twice hard without warning. Safer to get grip on the edges of the road where there was snow or even the crustier sidewalks or lawns if it was really bad. Had a great time!

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  • Tom Hardy December 9, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Staying in this year.
    I did put my 700/23 studs on that I put together 10 years ago. If I do go out, I am ready. Otherwise I cannot walk out of my driveway.

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  • Gabbi December 9, 2016 at 11:23 am

    In 8 years of bike commuting in Portland the only two times I’ve gone down have been on black ice–the first time managed to catch myself at the knee and walked with a limp the rest of the day, the second time went all the way down and cracked my helmet. I don’t ride on ice anymore. Lucky enough to be able to work from home more or less productively–my neighborhood just east of 82nd is still a sheet of ice so even the 3/4 mile walk to the MAX is questionable.

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  • Kyle Banerjee December 9, 2016 at 11:26 am

    “Itโ€™s amazing how much better people drive when they fear for their own safety!” –From the article


    While challenging from a handling point of view, I wasn’t worried about the very few other drivers I saw last night nor the ones I encountered this morning. Traffic was very light and people are using their heads. But you still need to be careful. Ice is no joke and can cause sudden violent crashes even at low speeds.

    The ride home last night was outright fun. I originally worried about the Marquam Hill descent, but control was adequate. By the time I got into town, it had softened up that and there was enough space due to the total lack of traffic you could play around a little. Peds seemed entertained and shouted words of encouragement along the entire path with even a couple “Woo hoos” and thumbs up.

    This morning, NoPo was ice and/or a heavy mix that was like pedaling through sand depending on where you were and Interstate was icy debris except in the main vehicle lane. The pavement up Broadway was in good shape and traffic was virtually nonexistent except maintenance.

    I rarely get passed by cyclists, but one passed me as I began the Marquam Hill climb. He rode in from Northeast and said MLK was decent but the side roads were no good. The Marquam Hill climb should have been no big deal, but instead it was no fun. Traffic lane was fine, bike lane was full of icy debris. I was having real trouble getting people to pass me even when waving them through — some were afraid to pass me even when I came to a full stop at the side and continued waving.

    I encountered ZERO buses or MAX trains going in any direction last night once I hit Interstate (except one disabled one) and none this morning until I was on Marquam Hill. There is something messed up when what should be core infrastructure gets hosed in conditions you can ride a bike in.

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  • todd boulanger December 9, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Jonathan – thanks for the map:
    so this does raise a question (in my transportation planner’s mind) does PBoT have a snow / ice map that reflects the “situation” that high priority bikeways are often on secondary/ tertiary arterials but these routes received “secondary” level of treatment or resources?

    Should not these “primary” bikeways due to their regional significance receive a higher priority for snow and ice management?

    Additionally these secondary routes become even more important in day 2 to 4 of snow events, since bike lanes on primary arterials are often blocked due to their defacto use as “snow storage” zones in this region (other cities like Vancouver do the same thing).

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  • Gary B December 9, 2016 at 11:39 am

    “they become the quiet and livable spaces we all dream about.”

    Definitely quiet, although the amount of ice detracts from the livability, too! Couldn’t even walk somewhere in my neighborhood without slipping and falling.

    That said, I’m loving it!!

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    • Kyle Banerjee December 9, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Even walking on smooth ice, particularly on inclines can be tricky.

      Microspikes are a godsend that make even running on such surfaces safe and fun.

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    • rachel b December 9, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      Love love love the quiet and the absence of frenzied people, constantly on the go. Ahhh. Peace! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Ted Buehler December 9, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Make sure you lower your seat. Easier to prevent a fall by just sticking a foot on the ground to stabilize yourself. And if you do fall, you won’t hit as hard…

    Ted Buehler

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  • Spiffy December 9, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    no studded tires so I didn’t even try… was just snow when I got home, but ice rain when I came back from getting food…

    FoPo was a sheet of ice this morning, except my sidewalk which I salted last night…

    last night witnessed a couple drivers being stupid while I waited at 72nd and Holgate… the sidewalks around every intersection on Foster were iced over for 20′-30′ on each side… and the actual side streets were packed ice… Holgate sidewalks were also a sheet of ice…

    ice, ice, and more ice, since about 6:00pm last night…

    every bus was running late this morning…

    time to order studded tires…

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  • Sio December 9, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Wow! I’m so proud of those who find safe ways to get around by bike here. Kudos!! I ride from SE Portland into the Pearl, about 6 miles. My biggest challenge is heading West since it’s downhill and the wind came from the East. Many East-West streets were ginormously worse than North-South in terms of being sheet-ice. I rode the Tillikum to cross the river. Going up was ok. Coming down… well I would not dare attempt any of this if it weren’t for studded tires. Typically, I’m on a road bike with skinny tires and I’m simply not capable of riding it on ice. I don’t think simply having the right bike or tires is enough to get you around. Knowing where to ride as well as how to ride is especially important. It’s great that there aren’t as many cars on the road but for some reason, the ones who are especially heavy on the gas pedal haven’t decided to stay home. All in all, I live for this! I love the adrenaline rush. I feel like a superhero when I make it to work on time. I rode pretty heavily during the summer and was worried I was starting to get burned out. The opportunity to ride in a more challenging set of conditions makes me crazy happy. Equal emphasis on both crazy and happy.

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  • Max Miller December 9, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Rode the MTB on Lief Erikson yesterday in 5-6 inches of beautiful powder. No problems at all except for crossing the iced up streetcar tracks on the way home. I’m heading out for another ride this afternoon. If you air down and go slow there’s no reason to fear the ice…

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  • Eric Leifsdad December 9, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    The zigo trike was a fun ride over the hill to the grocery store. Some hockey rink spots on the sidewalks and parking lots — maybe some chains or zip ties on the rear tire would have been good for that.

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  • Jim December 9, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    In my deep south Portland neighborhood yesterday, there were two trucks driving up and down the street purposefully fishtailing and sliding around corners. Sigh.

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  • Let's Active December 9, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Coming in from NE was pretty fun: Fremont to 15th to Broadway to MLK. But what was up wth the steel bridge? Closed at 7:45am and again at 4:15pm. Overall, a great day. As Soren says, very little auto traffic!

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  • Kyle Banerjee December 9, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    One thing I must say gave me a laugh was seeing people in monster 4WD trucks acting like they had handling problems at intersections.

    They acted more timid after seeing me pedal through smoothly ๐Ÿ™‚

    I had fun riding home last night, but the ride home tonight was worse than expected except downtown which was totally fine. The top deck of the Steel Bridge was actually worse than last night — it was so slick I actually had to walk a bit (I don’t have studs). Public transit was still hopeless but I saw people waiting so presumably it was running. Not a single bus or MAX passed me in 8 miles though I saw a couple buses downtown.

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    • Mike December 9, 2016 at 10:37 pm

      They weren’t acting – they were actually having handling problems. My monster 4wd truck was losing traction as was my new Outback with Blizzaks.
      I thought it was funny when I saw people having trouble walking – don’t they know a bike is the way to go?!

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  • Terry D-M December 9, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    I did pull out and dust off the knobby tired mountain bike, but did my normal Thursday Night Ride. I’m from Wisconsin and learned how to ride on this stuff.

    I did wear leather boots and jacket….and make sure you can flat foot the street so you can coast through ice.

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  • chris December 10, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    any tips for people who wear glasses? i have bad vision and when it’s cold my glasses fog over from my body heat vs. cold air, so I either can’t see through foggy glasses or take them off and can’t focus on anything.

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    • eddie December 11, 2016 at 6:29 am

      I could write a book about cycling with glasses on —

      With glasses IMHO it’s all about what you’re wearing on your face. I usually have a scarf like thing which covers my mouth but leaves my nose wholly or partially exposed to the air. So I breathe into the scarf thing and the water vapor doesn’t make it all the way up to the lenses. Also experiment with different types of hats, I sometimes wear an OR goretex wide brimmed “Seattle Sombrero” which keeps the rain and snow off my face and creates an air pocket around the glasses so they don’t experience the temperature change which could encourage fogging. So the right combination of things that cover your face, experiment with time and see what works best.

      It’s also important to not over dress. Some wise people say you should feel a little chilly when you start out because your body will warm up and you won’t have to strip down as soon. I’ve noticed if I’m overdressed and getting way too warm – easy to do when you commute six miles up steep hills every day – my body produces so much heat my glasses might fog up. So having your body emanate less warmth is another way to prevent it.

      I find that no matter what i do i end up having to stop and wipe off the lenses from time to time, its just part of it. Though my friends who don’t wear glasses talk about getting rain / snow in their eyes. maybe they don’t wear hats?

      I’ve also tried ski goggles, which are a nightmare with glasses inside of them, you could also get prescription ski goggles, the latest tech probably has them fairly fog free. But they’re probably pricey. I know someone who cycles with goggles that have de fogger coating them.

      I bike literally everywhere i go in all types of weather and have been doing so since the nineties and i can tell you the ultimate solution is probably contact lenses and ski goggles… something I’m seriously considering this winter, as skiing with glasses has the same fogging issue.

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    • N-1 December 11, 2016 at 7:57 am

      I put a little cat crap (product, not literally) on my lenses, let dry, and buff. It helps a lot but not it’s not perfect. I usually apply it right before every ride where i get warm.

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      • rachel b December 12, 2016 at 12:39 am

        ….”cat crap” ? Who knew? ๐Ÿ™‚ Seriously–getting some.

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      • El Biciclero December 12, 2016 at 10:18 am

        I would be careful applying any product to coated (e.g., anti-glare) lenses, if that’s what you have…

        In the past, with my old, non-coated lenses, I’ve successfully used a drop of dish soap on the inside of each lens, smeared around and then buffed out, to combat fogging. But if your lenses actually get wet, it washes off pretty quick.

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        • El Biciclero December 12, 2016 at 10:20 am

          Also, less-wrapped frame designs that allow maximum air flow help a lot with fogging—find the side-breeze. Also, blow down when exhaling just to prevent your own breath from fogging them up.

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    • jeff December 12, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      cycling cap, pulled down under the helmet.

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  • bendite December 10, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    It might be overkill for you all down there, but here in Bend I recently put on a set of 45NRTH Dillinger 4 studded tires on my fat bike and they work beautifully. Ice sheet, powder, packed snow = no problem.

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  • lop December 10, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    The upper deck of the Steel bridge and the spiral from the Morrison bridge to the esplanade looked pretty horrible at midday Friday. Morrison itself was pretty okay. Not too much trouble getting around on Thursday (~4 miles once it started snowing) or Friday (~7 miles around midday) on biketown.

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  • esther2 December 10, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    I drove thru Missoula yesterday. It was 5ยบ with a brisk wind so I know it was well below zero with the windchill.
    I was amazed by the huge number of people I saw about on bikes. Looked like a typical day in Portland. I stopped at Albertons and counted 6 bikes parked out front.

    It was cold but no ice.

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    • eddie December 11, 2016 at 6:32 am

      Biking in subzero temps is fine because your body heat keeps you warm. its the ice thats the problem.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. December 13, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Assume everything black is black ice.

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  • e2pii December 14, 2016 at 3:34 pm


    I used to catch crap from my Albertan roommate for being too chicken to bike to work in the snow/ice in Corvallis. So I tried one day, crashed /real/ hard, and wound up with, in hindsight, (after talking about my symptoms to several other people) what was most likely a mild concussion (and a very bruised hip and shoulder). I replaced that helmet and have not biked in snow or ice since (aside from riding the MTB in 6″ of fresh powder– that hardly counts as treacherous).

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