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How are you doing?

Posted by on March 27th, 2020 at 9:41 am

Selfie from a pre-dawn, Tuesday morning ride up on Rocky Butte.

Hi everyone.

I wanted to take a minute and hear how you’re holding up amid these crazy times.

Are you riding? If so, what has your experience been out there? (Or maybe you’re lucky enough to be able to ride inside.)

If you’re not riding, how has that impacted you?

I’m also curious if you think there are more/different things BikePortland can do to be a helpful community resource right now. I’ve been working hard to keep a steady flow of stories here on the Front Page and sharing daily content on our three social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). I would love to hear your feedback: What would you like to see more of? Less of?

Please stay well, stay home, and stay connected to BikePortland. I appreciate everyone’s continued support.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and 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

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9wattsEl BicicleroSteve ScarichJolly DodgerBjorn Recent comment authors
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Champs
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Champs

Were I single with a job still waiting for me on the other side, this would be a dream.

In my reality, a few hours alone in the hills is an eternity of total isolation for my companion. We need each other now more than ever to share in the laughs and the tears at much closer range than opposite ends of a phone.

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

Not riding. Not going outside. Catching up on as much as possible so when it is truly over, there will be mucho more riding possible. Want this to be truly over, not fake over.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

This won’t be “truly over” until we have a vaccine, which is more than a year away. We need to adapt right now to this new reality. Things will start to open up a bit in the coming months, but we could go right back to these same measures if we get another spike. As long as you are social distancing, there is no harm in riding a bike or walking/running outside right now.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

No, we don’t know what it will do, but we know what it has done. One case in Wuhan has started this whole deal. Even total lockdown, China-style has only “flattened the curve”. As long as one person is able to spread this thing, we can only hope for a) immunity, via recovery or vaccine, or b) effective treatments to reduce the need for hospitalization or ICU stays.

Speaking of what people are doing with their lives, our response to the virus can change, such as less travel, sustained, but less restrictive “social distancing”, more quarantining/isolation of known cases—if we had better testing coverage to find out where it might be, but with an estimated R0 value of 2.5-ish**, there is little chance of staying ahead of it. Even epidemiological models done by actual epidemiologists show that even if we extend our current policies of “lockdown”/social distancing for 60 or more days, we are only postponing a resurgence around October. There is no tapering to 0, only a temporary flattening until people mingle again, then those that are still alive and not immune will all be right back where we are today. Subsequent flares could reasonably be expected to be smaller, due to presumed immunity for those that have had it and recovered, but we don’t even know whether that is a thing, or if it is, how long immunity lasts before this virus mutates like seasonal flu and immunity is moot.

A lot of folks are deciding what to do with their lives now based on this kind of information.

**R0 is the rate of transmission from one person to others. For seasonal flu it is about 1.3. This means that after 5 “generations” of transmission, one person with the flu could end up infecting about 3 or 4 others. Whereas one person with COVID-19 would end up infecting 97 others after the same amount of contact.

9watts
Subscriber

It sure about that zero sum aspect you mention,
Have you read this?

https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

This is a really good article. Pretty much the aggregation of all the individual theory articles I’ve read over the last couple of weeks. Yes—it all depends on how big the “hammer” we use now is, and how well we start actually keeping track of what is going on as far as current cases and spread. Then it depends on treatments developed during that time, and immunity by whatever means it can be had. Ultimately, it seems like “eradication” or the virus “just going away” are not baskets into which I would put any eggs.

9watts
Subscriber

Agreed.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

I’ve been WFH, but trying to “ride home from work” on the days I normally would have commuted to the office. It’s a different experience riding around the Skyline/[Old] Germantown/[Old] Cornelius Pass area with no panniers than it is riding over Sylvan into town and back with 10 extra pounds of baggage. I’ve had to adjust to the handling of my bike, especially when standing on the pedals, but it sure bumps up my average speed! I’ve seen very few other cyclists on my routes; don’t really know how traffic compares, since I haven’t ridden these routes for years. I don’t think I’ve seen any driving that’s been too crazy, especially on Skyline. A large proportion of the vehicles I encounter are apparent farm trucks, and their drivers have been careful.

Haven’t been out in the car for a couple of weeks…

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

So hate the permanent reply “feature”… This is not a reply.

rain panther
Guest
rain panther

I’ve been working from home, and believe me I don’t for a moment take for granted that I’m able to do so, but I find I’m really missing my typical M-W-F bike commute, which adds up to > 6 hours/week. You’d think it’d be simple enough to still get those hours – I mean the math is easy – but somehow the day has a way of getting away from me. Plus, it’s just plain weird out there and feels sort of eerie and discomfiting to me, which can tend to suck some of the motivational wind from my sails. Think I will be able to sneak out for a decent ride today, though. Hopefully the weather will be just temperamental enough to discourage throngs, but not outright miserable.

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

I too am privileged to be able to work from home full time. I am paranoid about eventually getting laid off, but executives at our company are still saying we’re doing well financially for now. Meanwhile, I’ve been pitching into artist friends’ Patreon accounts, buying online services or products from local business where I can. I got in a ride last Saturday before I had some melanoma hacked from my calf on Monday — so I have to stay off the bike per doc’s orders for another week and half. I’m walking better now (was walking like a pirate with a peg leg for a while) and look forward to getting some afternoon rides in to break up my work day. Sitting at my desk all day, day after day, has been playing havoc with my sense of time.

Middle of the Road Guy
Subscriber
Middle of the Road Guy

Heal up!

hotrodder
Guest
hotrodder

One thought. After we get to the other side, lots of businesses will realize that telecommuting works very well. If that’s the case, it’s a win because lots of people will need a lot less cars, buildings, parking lots. Of course, that means that many of us who commute by bike will need to figure out ways to make sure we get the bonus endorphins that the work commute gave us for free.

Middle of the Road Guy
Subscriber
Middle of the Road Guy

That is definitely one positive outcome that may arise. Unfortunately, businesses may also realize they no longer need as many people to do the same work, or not in the same geographic area. Sometimes calamities spur efficiency measures that would not normally have been required in better times.

hotrodder
Guest
hotrodder

I’m not working. Not laid off yet, but I may be when it’s all said and done…
Doing a lot of long walks, (I’m seeing homes and streets I never knew existed just a couple of miles from my home) riding when it makes sense (I’ve been to Rocky Butte and Tabor a lot lately, too!) and puttering around the house. Kindle has been a good friend, too.

One
Guest

Last night I rode up to Pittock Mansion through the neighborhood.

My way home was interesting. I rode Burnside to Grand to MLK to Rosa Parks. I was only passed by 7 cars (And two of them were police officers.) I NEVER ride on those streets (Other than Rosa Parks) and it was delightful.

Also, it feels lawless outside. I’ve ridden my bike almost everyday, and driven my car twice in the past 15 days. I’ve seen folks in cars who must have gotten the message that cops won’t come unless someone is getting murdered. As there are very few people driving, a good percentage of them are moving about as if they can do anything with no consequences.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

I work in defense manufacturing, so I’ve been driving every day on I-84 (have to get home and help my work-from-home spouse with the kids as soon as I can). Anyway, I’ve lost track of the times I’ve been passed at 100+ mph in the past week or so. Something that was a rare occurrence before this happened. There was a double-fatality on I-84 Tuesday (police said speed was a factor), and I saw a minivan that had hit a utility pole at highs speed at 53rd and Stark Wednesday. I wouldn’t be surprised if traffic fatalities remain about the same right now, even though VMT is way down.

Fred
Guest
Fred

I have been out a couple of times in my car, once on I-5 and once on Hwy 26. I can’t believe how fast some people are going and I have seen some scary tailgating.

Been out on my bike a few times, last time was through the west hills, Council Crest and Pittock Mansion. Lots of people out for walks and chatting at a safe distance. I have encountered a handful of pedestrians walking along the middle of the street. As I approach I slow way down and say hello, good afternoon, etc. I have had a few folks get cranky with me for some strange reason, but most people are nice and wave or say hello back.

Glenn II
Guest
Glenn II

Working from home, not biking as much, gained 3 pounds. The traffic out there reminds me of this area during the 1990s, which makes me realize we’ve been frogs in the slowly-heating water ever since.

Bryan
Guest
Bryan

last week did not ride and drank beer. this week wake up and start riding at 6:30am. this week has been much better. new exploration every day. very few people out between 6:30 and 7:30. found your rocky butte photo opp this morning, powell butte, trolley trail, east bank, springwater trail – got some others in the works for next week. riding alone and early seems to be low risk in our current environment.

Brian
Guest
Brian

This is the official Spring Break for me, and I have been riding about 2 hours per day. I’ve mostly been sticking to bike paths to natural destinations where I can chill a bit and decompress, and it has been good riding. Trying to also quickly learn how to do online teaching/learning as next week we move to this model for who knows how long. Getting out has really helped with some anxiety around this change. You have been doing a great job (thank you!) and I don’t really have any suggestions for improvement.

Middle of the Road Guy
Subscriber
Middle of the Road Guy

I’ve been lucky to be a telecommuter for a large health care company for several years so not much of my routine has changed at all.

Also fortunate to have set up everything I need at home for a workout – Kettlebells, dumbbells, BOSU & Stability balls, Wahoo Kickr (adding a Climb for my birthday), Zwift and Big Ring VR on the big screen.

I want to ride outside but will limit that to once a week to minimize risk. Mainly, I miss the ability to ride with friends on the weekend – it’s just not worth it right now.

Going through my photos of past cycling trips an reminiscing…and probably going to start planning the next big adventure.

rain panther
Guest
rain panther

I’m with you as far as missing the occasional weekend ride with friends. I’ve been invited to do 2 person, socially distanced rides, but have been hesitant to accept. On one hand, intuitively it seems relatively low risk if we were to follow strict rules of engagement, but in practice those rules might be tough to hang onto in the midst of the multitude of variables that comprise an actual, real world bike ride.

Middle of the Road Guy
Subscriber
Middle of the Road Guy

It just seems like it’s the smart thing to do for a weeks. Now if it was mid-July and gorgeous out, I would probably have a different attitude.

If there is a positive in this, it is that sometimes it is good to get our habits and routines shaken. It can make us appreciate more the things we took for granted, as well as discover new things we’d not normally gravitate to.

I feel far worse for those who are truly being impacted more than those who have to give up a ride with friends.

rain panther
Guest
rain panther

Well said. There are many reasons to feel fortunate.

Suburban
Guest
Suburban

Rocky Butte !

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

Did that on Saturday! What a beautiful day to have done it too.

Jon
Guest
Jon

I’ve been riding outside for 1-2 hours per day. I miss being able to ride with friends. I’ll continue to ride outside unless we are given explicit orders to stay inside. Everything I have read indicates that exercising outside solo is extremely safe.

Gil Johnson
Guest

After closing my taekwon-do school two weeks ago, I mostly am working from home and going into my studio two to three times a week to work out or make instructional videos for my students. Bicycling, then, has been my major means of exercise and stress relief. I’ve been biking 10 – 20 miles almost every day. Last weekend, the multi-use paths like the Esplanade, Waterfront Park and the Springwater were too crowded by bikers, skateboarders, skaters and pedestrians to allow social distancing, so I am sticking to the nearly empty city streets. It also gives me an opportunity to observe people and businesses in various neighborhoods and puzzle why some are open and some closed. And bicycling is one thing you can do with a friend and always maintain at least a six-foot gap.

Catie
Guest
Catie

I haven’t ridden my bike in weeks. The storage room in my apartment building is very awkward with several doors around a corner. This is a hassle to go through normally, but now imagining covid on every doorknob or surface, I’d just rather not. I know I’ll get over that feeling eventually or into a good sanitizing routine while getting my bike but for now I’ve been just sticking to walking. I have nowhere to go anyways.

jonno
Guest
jonno

I’ve been a tech sales telecommuter and frequent traveler for the past several years so only thing that’s changed for me is no flying and my wife and I have to work around each other in the house. I thought I’d have a lot more time to ride but it seems like work has ramped way up which is a good thing in the bigger picture. Unfortunately I haven’t been out on my bike all week except for some trails at Rocky Point on Sunday which were a much-needed respite. I hope to get out this Sunday as well, road or trail. In the meantime daily walks have been my go-to on the quiet streets of Sellwood.

q
Guest
q

I’ve noticed something while walking my dog. We live next to a park, but after last weekend when it was packed with groups of people, including many who looked like they haven’t come to a park in years (based on their 1980s walking outfits among other things) we avoid the park and walk through the neighborhood.

The neighborhood streets are almost deserted of cars and people. People there are extremely courteous as far as keeping their distance—crossing the street to avoid walking past others, etc. There are never groups.

In contrast, there are far more people walking and biking in the park, and many are just clueless. They still come in groups, they don’t move over at all when they pass, they come across others and HUG, and they still congregate in the tennis courts, picnic shelter and children’s play structure. There’s no signage telling people those places are closed, but Parks still sends a staffer driving through regularly to ticket people who haven’t paid for parking.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Since my wife and both work from home – and thankfully are still employed – not too much has changed for us. Except now the kids are home when we’re working. Being home all the time means more housework, plus juggling childcare on top of the actual job. So I’m absolutely marveling at all the stories I hear of people who suddenly have all this extra time to do spring cleaning, lots of baking, catching up on their streaming media, etc. Sure isn’t the world for those of us who have school-aged kids and are still fully employed.

That said, I can’t complain, precisely because I’m still fully employed at this point. Also my Spring Break starts tonight, so looking forward to enjoying lots of more relaxed time with the family for a week.

Re: the above comment that “telecommuting works so well”. Having done this for five years (with an employer where very few other people telecommute, FWIW) I’d say yes and no. It works, but there are challenges. Besides the obvious stuff about avoiding distractions, everyone has to make an extra effort at communication, social interaction and team cohesion. Hallway conversations and quick stops by an coworker’s desk to quickly solve a problem together no longer happen. I think a lot of employers are going to notice an incremental drop in teamwork and productivity, and will need to fine-tune their approach to get fully back up to speed through all this. And for many, there’s less work to be done right now so that may be okay.

Anyway, it’s doable, but will require a period of adjustment for many as this extends out for many weeks – as seems likely. I do share the hope that it will become more widespread and we’ll see a lasting reduction in car use out of all this.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Still riding, but being very watchful. I feel like I’m seeing more doofuses driving poorly than I usually do. Seems like the new freedom of the road is too much for some people to handle.

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

20+ MPH speeding over the posted speed is the thing I’m seeing a lot of when I’ve ventured out.

q
Guest
q

I wonder if there’s some self-sorting happening. People who obey rules are staying in. People who don’t aren’t. It’s not all-or-nothing–of course the rule-followers are going out some–but it could be a higher percentage than normal of people out driving are rule breakers. Whatever reason they’re going out is more important than quarantining, and whatever reason they have for going fast is more important than any speed limit.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

I think you nailed it. The sociopaths who drive dangerously are exactly the kind of people who will ignore public health orders. I really wish the police would step up enforcement. They could hand out reckless driving tickets all day long.

David Hampsten
Guest

I last worked in 2008, laid off in the last Great Recession, and I’ve been volunteering ever since. The Covid-19 restrictions match my current lifestyle to a T, so I’m probably one of the very few people out there virtually unaffected by the changes, except I no longer attend large in-person meetings and TP is still amazingly hard to find.

I did help organize a 15-person Zoom conference related to an upcoming downtown trolley on Wednesday, the kitschy type of bus you would expect in such as low-status community like mine. The meeting involved participants from our two public universities, city staff from three departments, and various community advocates. It went very well and was so productive that we may try to keep doing such meetings even after we’ve all recovered on April 10th. (My city wanted feedback on an upcoming RFP in April, for an expected September roll-out. The two unrelated universities have effective veto power with our 9-member city council.)

It broke 80 today for the first time this year, so everyone was out and about – I’ve never seen so many bicyclists here except during the annual ride of silence, and lots of people were chatting in groups on lawnchairs in their yard, but sitting more than 6 feet apart.

Ride safe y’all!

Asher Atkinson
Guest
Asher Atkinson

Missing my daily commutes for sure, and not putting in any big efforts on my weekend rides. These adjustments I can deal with, but missing early morning streaming of the spring classics and Giro D’Italia, now that’s a big change….

Your bikeportland coverage is great as usual, so just keep up the good work and stay positive.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

I’m not dead yet!!!

Ken S
Guest
Ken S

I’ve been lucky to work for an engineering firm that can get 90-100% of work done remote, but I’ve realized my bike commute really anchored my day.
It’s been an interesting challenge to come up with my own daily routine, from scratch.
A combo of walking the dog, garden chores, some rides, and a stationary bike have kept me from feeling too cooped up.

I did a long ride, yesterday, just to see what the city looked like. Drivers were surprisingly well behaved on skyline and Willamette blvds.
Empty stores and restaurants were erie.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

My wife works in the health care field. I am very worried about things like if she will be asked to do something unsafe because there isn’t enough protective gear. I am lucky to be able to work from home and therefore am rarely leaving the property except for daily walks. Please stay 6 feet from anyone not in your household and stay home if you can to help protect healthcare workers.

Jolly Dodger
Guest
Jolly Dodger

Doing caviar delivery. Watching the slow closures while working, weekly. Just two Sundays ago, dining rooms were still serving. Half as many restaurants still offering delivery as this time last week. Get it while it lasts. I’m sure some owners ate deciding whether it’s business smart to order more inventory…or if so, how much. I saw today about a school being converted into a truck stop for the incoming freight. There are bound to be supply chain economic disruptions at some point. Stock up if you’re not prepared to leave the city if things get bad. We may be “here” for a while.

Steve Scarich
Guest
Steve Scarich

I still ride as much as normal, 4 or 5 days a week, 40 miles, on the road in Bend. I am retired and live alone, so the virus has affected me relatively little. Laundromat shut down, grocery stores packed and tense, so I go once every two weeks. I am heading out on the road now; last weekend, MANY more road riders than usual, all but one groups keeping social distance, but one group of racer-types riding in a tight pack.