Riding in the Snow

Portland has had its share of snow over the years… And it doesn’t stop people from biking. Check out the coverage of past storms and snow commutes below

Don’t fear the frozen sunshine; embrace it! (Inspiration and tips for snowmageddon)

by on February 8th, 2019 at 2:04 pm

This man embraced the snow on a ride up North Williams Avenue during a storm in February 2014.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Snow is already falling in Seattle and it’s headed our way. The National Weather Service says we could get up to four inches by Saturday. And there’s more snow, ice and cold temps in the forecast all next week.
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Weather conditions update: Icy patches abound, freezes temps continue, more snow on the way

by on February 6th, 2019 at 1:21 pm

Westbound bikeway on North Rosa Parks Way just before I-5.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

How’s the weather treating you? Are you still riding?

The snowmaggedon news coverage, business and school closures, and myriad warnings from local agencies have kept some people from driving. That’s created lower than usual auto traffic — a good thing for people on bikes. But, the conditions pose challenges for bike riders too. With several inches of new snow in the forecast, I thought it was a good time to check in about the weather.
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Need inspiration to keep riding? Our readers have you covered

by on February 21st, 2018 at 6:27 pm

It hasn’t been easy — but in many ways it’s been thrilling.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This morning on Twitter we asked our friends if they were still riding through the snow and ice. It was great to see all the responses. People shared photos and tips about how they fared.

Here are some of those replies:
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How to keep little bike passengers cozy in the cold

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on February 20th, 2018 at 10:40 am

Lots of layers is a good start; but there’s much more to keeping them comfortable.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

You’ve decided to start biking more with your little ones. You’ve found routes that work for you. You’ve got your bike set-up figured out.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

And then you look outside and realize it’s 35 degrees.

Pedaling my heavy bike keeps me warm, but it’s a different story for my non-pedaling passengers. They need at least one extra layer when it’s cold outside. That’s one of the many things I’ve learned over the years.

As we get our first major snow storm of the year, this week’s post is all about how to stay warm and dry while biking with kids. First, I’ll go over the things you can put on your bike, then I’ll share the things you can (hopefully) put on your kids.
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City’s new snow and ice plan still doesn’t include greenway plowing

by on February 1st, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Whose streets?

No plows coming soon.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

After severe storms unleashed havoc on our roads and heaps of criticism on the City of Portland’s response, Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman laid out a new plan at a city hall press conference a few hours ago.

PBOT Director Leah Treat told us last week the City was, “Specifically going to look at expanding our de-icing and plow routes to include neighborhood greenways.”

Unfortunately, this new plan doesn’t do that. Instead of plowing residential streets that are the backbone of our biking network, Commissioner Saltzman announced two other changes to the City’s storm response plan. After resisting the use of salt due to environmental concerns, PBOT now says they plan to use up to 100 tons of it on at least three major roads during upcoming storms. This “largest use of road salt in the modern history of Portland,” will be a test to see how effective salt is at keeping roads free of ice and snow. In addition, they’ve announced an 30 percent expansion in the number of lane miles that will be plowed.

We knew the salt decision was coming; but it’s the plow route we were most curious about going into today’s press conference. As we reported last week, not only were bike lanes and bikeways left piled with snow during the storm, they’ve been covered in gravel for weeks.
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Is the bike shop open? Are the bike lanes icy? An open thread for post-storm intel

by on January 12th, 2017 at 1:58 pm

I-205 path at SE Foster Road.
(Photo: Patrick F.)

It looks like the worst of the snow and and ice and cold is finally behind us. According to my weather app we should be back to the normal 50s and rain by next week.

But with a foot of snow still on the ground and cold temps sticking around, our roads and paths will be a mess for quite a while. That means it will be tricky getting around town and some of our favorite destinations won’t be open for business. With that in mind, it’s time to share what you know about local routes and destinations.
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Biketown bike share vs. Snowmageddon

by on January 11th, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Riding bike share in the snow

Bike-skiing down the North Interstate Avenue hill was the highlight of the ride.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

How does Biketown, Portland’s bike share system, stack up against other modes of travel during extreme weather? How would it work — or would it work at all — during a major snowstorm?

Those were the questions that have been on my mind after my brief foray on a Biketown bike late last night.

This morning I wanted to give it a real test. With twice as much snow on the ground as there was last night, I rolled over to my local Biketown station. My goal was to get downtown and back. Here’s what I learned…[Read more…]

Portland is absolutely covered in snow: Let’s go ride (and walk and play)!

by on January 11th, 2017 at 8:25 am

Time to ride.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Here we go again.

A record amount of snow has fallen in Portland. There’s over a foot in some places, it’s still falling, and forecasters say it’s not going anywhere.

Most of the city has shut down. Schools, government offices, and many businesses can’t stay open because driving is so hazardous that people simply can’t reach destinations (imagine if more of us lived closer to where we work!). This means our streets are mostly quiet and calm — perfect for us to enjoy as should always be the case.

What does all this mean for you? Are you still biking? What are your plans for today?[Read more…]

It’s a nice day for a bike ride

by on December 15th, 2016 at 1:26 pm

Saw lots of smiles (and a lot of MTBs) out on the streets this morning.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland is still covered in a layer of snow after a storm last night.

If you can manage it, the biking is quite nice. Roads are much quieter than usual because people are driving slower and schools and many businesses are closed.
[Read more…]

Don’t blame the weather for this mess (or snow plows, or bad drivers, or…)

by on December 15th, 2016 at 9:58 am

Portland made national news last night — and this image told quite a story.

Welcome to the morning after.

After a few inches of snow fell on Wednesday afternoon, our region’s transportation system ground to a halt. Major freeways, arterials, and even many neighborhood streets were either completely gridlocked or impassable due to abandoned cars left in scrap heaps of twisted metal and broken dreams. Thousands of people were stranded for hours and backups continued on Highway 26 until midnight (midnight!). Thanks to an Associated Press story, the insanity of it all has brought us national attention.

Now we’ve entered the autopsy stage where everyone is trying to figure out how it happened.

The Oregonian broke it down to five reasons: We don’t use salt on our roads; people don’t carry chains; people don’t know how to drive in the snow; Portland doesn’t have enough snow plows, and transit is, “not equipped for hilly Portland.”

Sigh. Of course they forgot to mention something.

Here’s the inconvenient truth: Our over-reliance on single-occupancy motor vehicle use has real consequences. It leads to lots of injuries and deaths, it poisons our lungs, and it makes our transportation system extremely fragile and inefficient.
[Read more…]