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

The Commute From Hell (was heaven on a bike)

Avatar by on December 14th, 2016 at 11:16 pm

A bike rider finds a good line between traffic on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd this evening. Photo shared by  River City Bicycles on Instagram.

A bike rider finds a good line between traffic on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd this evening. Photo shared by River City Bicycles on Instagram.

I have never seen anything like what happened on tonight’s evening commute. A few inches of snow has led to utter chaos on roads throughout the Portland region.

Schoolkids trapped in buses until way past their bed times, multiple car pile-ups, dozens of cars just abandoned on the side of the road, people hitch-hiking or giving up on their cars and walking several miles to get home, standstill traffic on I-5 and Highway 26, five to seven hour commutes with people passing out survival snacks to strangers. You know those traffic maps news stations show every night? Almost every major highway was deep red until about 10:00 pm. Like a traffic blood bath.

My social media timelines were an amazing contrast — full of complete and utter misery for people inside motor vehicles, and then sheer joy and glee from people who were lucky enough to be on a bike.
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Ted’s snow pictures and movies

Avatar by on January 3rd, 2016 at 5:05 pm

When I saw the weather was snowy this morning I tortured my indoor-only kitties and then geared up to go bicycling with my cycling friend Jeremy, aka @kitchen.

We met down by Voodoo donuts. The lack of a line meant we actually went in to buy a few to fuel ourselves. I had a tiny cruller but Jeremy went for one of the largest donuts they have.
[Read more…]

Snow day means biking bliss in Portland

Avatar by on January 3rd, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Snow Day 2016-7.jpg

Peninsula Park.
(Photo by James Rohl)

Portlanders woke up to the first real snowfall of the season this morning. The white powdery stuff was sticking to streets and beckoning us out into before most of us had finished our first cup of coffee.
[Read more…]

Mix of snow, slush and ice make for tricky biking conditions

Avatar by on February 11th, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Bad biking conditions made the evening news.

With the worst of the snow and ice storms behind us, the roads are slowly returning to normal. That is, unless you are trying to walk or bike.

As auto traffic volumes return to normal, people are finding that the conditions of bike lanes, neighborhood greenways, and off-street bike paths are full of a dangerous mix of slush, snow, and ice. This isn’t a surprise given that it’s the current policy of the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to only plow major roads and arterials. [Read more…]

Only 32 bikes crossed the Hawthorne Bridge Sunday, counter says

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on February 10th, 2014 at 2:15 pm

The Hawthorne Bridge bike counter on
Friday, in a lull between the storms.
(Photo by Roger Geller.)

Mother Nature finally found a way to keep Portlanders off their bikes on Sunday: a foot of fresh snow followed by a dangerous ice storm.

The Hawthorne Bridge bike counter (which was donated by Cycle Oregon) detected only 32 pairs of wheels crossing in both directions during the entire day. It’s by far the lowest total recorded since the counter was installed in August 2012.

On Friday, the counter picked up 308 bikers, the second-lowest weekday traffic to date after Christmas Day, 2013. On Thursday, when the storm hit midday, 1,773 people made it across the bridge westbound.

[Read more…]

Stormy street conditions report for Monday, February 10th

Avatar by on February 10th, 2014 at 10:41 am

Stormy roads 2-10-14-5

Slush. Yay!
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

As we enter the fifth day of a major storm here in Portland, the snow that has accumulated since last week is now beginning to melt. Over the weekend, temperatures stayed below freezing and the metro area was covered in a layer of ice. Those conditions presented a set of challenges on their own. Now, with temps climbing just a bit above freezing, the Great Thaw has begun in earnest.

I rode from north Portland to downtown this morning and here’s what I experienced…

Residential streets remain a big challenge to ride on. It’s easier with larger, aggressively treaded tires; but for the most part a lot of snow and ice still remains. PBOT does not plow residential streets, and they don’t get much auto traffic, so they will be the last ones to be clear of snow and become easier to ride. Neighborhood collector streets, like N Ainsworth shown below, are a bit better as long as you take the lane and ride in the wheel rut created by auto traffic.
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Riding the icestorm in Portland: A few tips

Avatar by on February 9th, 2014 at 10:27 am

My snow bike

My chosen tool for bike fun today.

With the City of Portland and other agencies telling everyone to stay indoors due to the sheet of ice that has blanketed our town, I couldn’t wait to leave the house this morning and see if I could still ride a bike.

So, I went out to my shed, pulled down my mountain bike and headed out. Turns out it’s not as bad as I expected. That being said, if you do plan to play around the neighborhood on your bike today, here are a few tips to consider.

  • The bike I’m using is a 29-inch mountain bike with 2.2-inch knobby tires. Either a similar mountain bike or a fat bike is highly recommended.
  • Lower your tire pressure to get more traction. Less air means more of the rubber and knobs on your tires will come in contact with the ground. More contact the better.
  • [Read more…]

Snowstorm updates and open thread

Avatar by on February 8th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Phillip Ross knows how to take
advantage of a snow day.
(Photo courtesy Phillip Ross)

Snow! It’s everywhere and it keeps coming down! I know many folks in other parts of the country more accustomed to snow are laughing at us; but here in Portland the amount of accumulation we’re seeing is pretty rare. It’s stayed cold and dry enough for several days that the entire city is covered in several inches.

To us, this is sort of a big deal.

Parks and streets have been transformed into winter wonderland scenes and with the weekend upon us, and many events cancelled (including The Worst Day of the Year Ride, see below), people are getting as much snow-play in as they can. And for many of you, that means biking. Very fun biking.[Read more…]

Snow Day ride report: Friday, February 7th (Photos)

Avatar by on February 7th, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Snow day 2-7-14-3

This woman had reason to smile. The sun popped out and the roads were nearly empty in and around downtown as she rode over the Burnside Bridge.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

With yesterday’s storm finishing up over night, we woke up to several inches of snow covering Portland streets. Before the next storm makes it way to us something this evening, I headed out today to see what was going on. [Read more…]

Riders brave severe winter storm (Photos)

Avatar by on February 6th, 2014 at 6:02 pm

First snow day of 2014-17

Conditions were tricky on the Hawthorne Bridge, with some people opting to walk their bikes.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

What happens to all of Portland’s bike riders when the worst snow storm in years hits the area? I was curious too so I spent a few hours out there with my camera tonight.[Read more…]