Monthly Archives: June 2007

Cycle Oregon 2007 – The Weekend

We rode in our second Cycle Oregon Weekend ride this past weekend. Honey and I have done 7 different Cycle Oregon Week long rides, and 2 different Cycle Oregon Weekend rides. There are some definite differences and similarities between the two distinct events. It is helpful to have an understanding of just what you are going to get out of a cycling event. It allows you to adjust your approach to the effort, and to better match your expectations to the realities.
Some pictures during our Vernonia ride
Our list of thoughts about this ride and the differences between the two events. In no particular order. Continue reading

Stub Stewart State Park Cabins

The Stub Stewart State Park opens in July. It has been 30 years since Oregon has opened a new state park and this one is huge. 1,650 acres of hills and forests. And, the answer to the obvious question….. L.L. “Stub” Stewart served nearly 40 years on the State Parks and Recreation Advisory committee and the Oregon Parks Recreation Commission. He was also a state legislator and served three terms in the House of Representatives in the early 50′s. This last week the park was made available to the Cycle Oregon Weekend bike ride, and we got to tour through the park as they finished up construction. One thing you notice right away, is that a lot of the park is built on the hillsides, so there is a whole lot of up going on as you ride through thecabins.jpg park. The aspect of the campground of most interest to us is the 15 unit Mountain Dale Cabin Village built near the top of the hill with great views towards the west. The cabins are neat and clean and should provide a good base for a day of hikes/rides/and whatever else you may want to do.  The village is located down off the main entry road, and should prove to be a fairly quiet and perhaps a little detached from the all the comings and goings as the activity around the campground heats up.  Each cabin has the following amenities:
Electrical outlets, lights, heat, smoke detector, picnic table and fire ring, covered porch with a bench, futon, set of bunk beds. (I think you are going to want to bring your own bedding.) Table and 4 chairs. We came home and reserved our very own cabin for a two night stay. There are still days available, so act now while the rooms are still nice and new.  And here’s a few little tips: Only cabins 2 & 3 have a front step, for all the others you can wheel right to the door, so if that’s important to you for any reason, take note.  Cabins 5,6,7, and 8 are a little more remote, as such they are also a little farther away from the communal restroom located in the middle of the traffic loop. The cabins with the higher numbers have the best views out to the west, so if that’s important, try for 13, 14, 15.
Here is where you can make reservations.

Bike There! with Metro’s new bicycle map

Metro’s Bike There! map has guided cyclists through the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area for 25 years. We are long time residents of the Portland area, and as such can usually find our way to most spots without the need for a map. That said, we still have used these maps for many years and find them quite handy for mapping out the details for our routes throughout the city. The maps are indispensable for determining the safest routes. For years, we have had one of the laminated wall maps posted at the back door of our house where we can refer to it easily as we leave home. Plus, Honey is much more comfortable setting out for a ride when she has a clear sense of how she is going to get there. A new 2007 edition of the award-winning map is now available. The map is a region-wide guide to designated bike lanes and multi-use paths that link people and places across city and county boundaries. Selected through streets where bicyclists share the road with motorists are rated for cycling suitability. Bike There! will help you plan bike-friendly routes to work, school, shopping and your favorite parks. Biking is economical and healthy for you and the planet. So pump up your tires and get out on your bike to enjoy nature in your neighborhood. Here more information on the maps, and how to get one.

Shopping on our bikes, not in our car.

So, we were looking for a bike ride route for our weekend ride that would allow us to ride our bike and do our errands, and Honey says, why don’t we do a loop that includes inner SE Portland so we can stop by the Portland Nursery which is on SE Stark. “I would just like to look around and get some ideas” she says. And I hear, “I would like to pick up some plants, because I have some ideas”.  Which means, I had better be prepared, and I hook up our two expandable grocery panniers to the back rack. As we approach the nursery, the rain clouds open up and forcing a mad dash to the espresso stand just outside the nursery. We drink our hot coffee under the covered areas of the tropical plant section and as we wait for the weather to clear. This gives Honey ample time to find plants that she would love to see in her garden. She is reluctant to ask about carrying some home, so I assure her that those two plants she likes will be easy to take home. This opens starts her on a roll, and I am powerless to stop her til she has collected 8 plants she needs to have. In the meantime, I have found a half dozen 5 foot bamboo poles that would be perfect for a blueberry netting cage. TheTiedowns1.jpg bamboo poses a little challenge since I hadn’t prepared for possibility of strapping poles to my bike. But with the nursery’s generous donation of some pretty cool little adjustable tie down straps, I was able to easily strap the poles to the top bar of my bike, with the poles sticking out under my seat and straight out the back. This is one more reason IPlantPanniers1.jpg personally like the straight top bar design as opposed the the sloping top bar design. With the plants snugly packed into the open top panniers, we were off. This adventure, coupled with our walk out to the retrieve our take/bake pizza, we enjoyed a productive, car-free day.

MS Ride in Oregon and Washington

We have done the MS ride in Oregon several times. I have a couple of friends how do this ride every year as part of teams. They raise an incredible amount of money for the MS society. I have to admit I am not a very successful fund raiser for these events. You can only hit up your friends and co-workers so many times before they tire of your solicitations, and possibly start to avoid you. But, having said that, it is still a great cause and it is an easily attainable goal to generate the funds needed to participate in the rides. It is a ride we recommend you participate in at least once. It is a well run event, the organizers treat you well and they truly appreciate your efforts. Plus the last time we did the MS ride, George Hincapie was there to ride with us and that was really cool. We actually passed him on the road. OK, he was coming back from a loop and we were going out on the loop, but technically we passed him.

The Oregon ride is August 4-5, 2007. The ride starts and ends at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon

Here is the link for the Oregon MS ride that we have done.

The PR folks for the Washington MS ride sent me this information on the Washington ride.
We have not done the one in Washington, but would love to give it a try soon.

As many as 2,000 cyclists, including some living with the challenges and uncertainties of multiple sclerosis, are expected to pedal for the cause during The Group Health MS Bike Tour Sept. 8 and 9 in La Conner. The National MS Society, Greater Washington Chapter, hopes to collect $1.25 million from the fund raiser, one of about 100 rides in 48 states to support MS programs and research. With approximately 100,000 participants raising $67 million nationally, the ride has become the largest organized cycling event in the country.
The local tour – sponsored by Group Health Cooperative and Point B Solutions Group – starts and ends in La Conner and offers riders a choice of routes through scenic Skagit, Whatcom and Island counties. The money raised goes to programs and services for the 50,000 people living with or affected by MS in Western and, as well as research into treatments, a cause and a cure.
There is no cure for MS, but advances in drugs and treatments have helped people live with and manage the disease.

David Byrne is a bicyclist!

I have always admired David Byrnes talent and imagination, including the work he has done with the “Talking Heads”. David also takes time to post his own ” musings, reviews, polemics, tour logs, drawings, dreams, etc.” in his blog, the “David Byrnes Journal”

Today, he talked about his love of bicycling. Here are some interesting thoughts:

  • I have been riding a bicycle in New York City for almost 30 years! For transport, not for sport
  • A ride across town gets the adrenalin going as one heads to work or to the studio in the morning. By the time one arrives for a meeting one is fully awake — blood pumping, on alert — having often just had 3 near-death experiences.
  • But, if one pedals at a relaxed pace and stays away from the snarled traffic as much as possible (cars and trucks raise the surrounding temperature) one can arrive more or less dry, but with a healthy glow.
  • Now there are markings on some streets indicating imaginary bike lanes (imaginary because the traffic and pedestrians often ignore the markings) but they are there in spirit, at least.
  • Bikes as a means of local transport has worked elsewhere; the mayor of Bogota, Enrique Peñalosa, relieved traffic congestion AND made his city more livable by converting streets to bike/pedestrian use and by adding dedicated bus lanes. Of bike lanes he said, “If an eight year old kid can’t ride on it safely then it isn’t a bike lane.”
  • After a few years of riding in New York I discovered a folding bike and I began to take it on tour with me every couple of years. I realized I could then explore the city where I’d be performing that evening
  • There’s a feeling of freedom that comes with cycling in a big city which is very important, as one can feel trapped by the routine of touring, work, or even travel. Trapped in a neighborhood of hotels and offices, or a neighborhood of tourist attractions, one can escape — quickly and instantly — and ride along the levees in New Orleans (pre-Katrina) or through the back streets of Grenada. (In New Orleans I rode to the Decadence Ball, an outdoor affair that admitted guests on two conditions: if they were in costume or were naked. I guess my helmet and odd fashion sense qualified as a costume.) Even if freedom is an illusion the physical sensation of riding does a pretty good job of making it seem attainable for a moment.

Share the Road

For all the years I have owned and operated a motor vehicle I have never felt the need to get involved in the vanity/specialty license plate thing. But things change. If and when these plates come out, we will be all over it. We will get them for us, we will likely give the kids money to get them for their cars, maybe even offer to pay family and friends to convince them to get them as well.

The Share the Road license plate bill passed the Oregon House on Friday, meaning that SB 789 is off to the Governor’s Desk. This bill creates a new license plate that will be designed to encourage people to share the road. The bill states that each plate will cost $5 per year of registration at the time of purchase. So if you are re-registering your car and buy two plates, it would cost $20 (2 plates for two years.) On your new car if would be $40 extra, 2 plates for four years. You will not have to pay again when you register your car in out years. The bill calls for BTA and Cycle Oregon to help lead the design, funding, and promotion for the plate.

Also, ever hear or say, “Bicyclists don’t pay for roads”? Well , in the Metro area, 85% of the money that goes to new transportation projects (not maintenance) over the next 30 years will come from non-vehicle funding sources – property taxes, urban renewal dollars, system developments charges, etc. These are fees and taxes we all pay, not just drivers. And local governments depend on them to keep modernizing our transportation system.

And, while there are cyclists who do not own cars,  many by their own choice,  most cyclists do own cars out of some necessity, which means that they are drivers too.
I’m just sayin……

Some July Bike Events

The Night Ride
Once known as the Midsummer Night Ride will be held July 7th. Riders will get glowing necklaces and tshirts, Tire Flies, a Disco Dance Party rest stop, a Filmed by Bike bike-in-movie rest stop (with hot popcorn!), and of course donuts at the finish line.
The ride benefits the BTA and runs on volunteer power – so if you can help out, theywould be grateful!
Volunteers get free registration, plus tshirts and donuts! You can check out the volunteer shifts online – almost all of the shifts allow you to ride the course – and you can even sign up to volunteer online.

I-205 Detour ride
On Friday, July 13th, TriMet is hosting a bike ride, a bike giveaway and a party to celebrate the opening of the I-205 bike path detour route. The ride will start near I-205 at 5:30 pm, and will end at the party at Clackamas Town Center. In addition to refreshments, they’ll be giving away a new Trek Lime bike from Bike Gallery, Pink Martini concert tickets, TriMet monthly passes, a Clackamas Town Center gift card, two entries into Cycle Oregon’s 2008 Weekend Ride, bike tune-ups, cycling club memberships, and more!
After the detour opens, if you have questions or concerns about it you can write to Diane Goodwin (GoodwinD@trimet.org) at TriMet, and she will forward them on to the right person.

World Naked Bike Ride on Pedalpalooza schedule

Pedalpalooza is underway here in Portland. It is a great event that serves to celebrate the use of bikes, and to elevate the level of awareness and usefulness of the bicycle as it may relate to how the drivers of Portland can cooperate with the bike riders of Portland. I am not alone in thinking that any event that promotes such cooperation is a good thing. And, I think I am not alone in thinking that there may be some aspect of other people riding naked that could be appealing. So, when I saw the “World Naked Bike Ride” on theNakedRide.jpg Pedalpalooza schedule, I was intrigued.” Solely for artistic interests of course. That being said, we enjoy riding with padded bike shorts and certainly have no plans to ever ride our bikes with out shorts of any kind. Still, my proposal to Honey that we go check out this “promotional event” went something like this. Me: “Honey we should go check this out”. Honey: “Ummm, I don’t think so.”
I was ok with that sternly cold veto of my proposal, but really for different reasons. Honey simply doesn’t really want to see it. My thought is that while a group of people riding naked through town may increase interest in some of the public, it really does little for promoting the use of, or safety for bicyclists. Are there parents out there who are anxious for their kids to ride bikes so that one day they will grow up and ride naked? Should we expect that onlookers will see these cyclists and say to themselves, hmm, I guess bike riders aren’t that crazy after all. Anyone care to differ?

My Mom saves a lot of stuff.

My parents are downsizing.  Living in the same home for 56 years gives you an opportunity to save a lot of stuff.  Those of us who are involved in more moves have to face the decision points where we have to ask, ‘Do I really need this?’  Well mom hasn’t.  Until now.  Anyway it has been fun going through things, reminiscing, giving stuff back to people that gave it to them in the first place.  And just generally assigning stuff to people simply because for some reason, someone thinks that someone else should have it.

I think people save things for several reasons.

  1. Family, historical, monetary or sentimental value.
  2. “I may need that some day.”
  3. Doesn’t seem right to, or haven’t gotten around to, throw it away.

Here’s a mail from Mom, proving the value of #2.

“Saving everything as I do CAN BE a laborsaving device …… I just found a Fathers Day card from last year from each of you kids, and they are now on display on our TV so you don’t have to get another one for him this week!   They are undated and look brand new.   Just as funny as they were last year too.     So now you have each been saved $3 and 41cents and probably 7 minutes time and Dad is enjoying the cards.”

Cyclist Tim O’Donnell struck.

Timothy O’Donnell, 66, a Portland Velo rider, was struck and killed Saturday while on a club ride. Tim was riding on Northwest Cornelius-Schefflin Road when he was hit Saturday by a 2006 Dodge Avenger while signaling a left turn onto Long Road, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Cyclists are regular people, that we all know and love. It is sad and tragic to see people being struck and killed, while using public spaces that they have every right to use. It is senseless and wrong for oregonians to lose their lives due to the arrogance and stupidity, caused by the actions of unqualified drivers . We hope that each time a cyclist loses their life while riding their bike , an action we all recognize provides so many benefits and so few costs, that somehow some good can come from it. It is usually in the form of some increased awareness. Most of that awareness fades from peoples consciousness, but hopefully, with each tragic event, a little more remains each time.

Here is one such respnse: from Mike Rasmussen

Q&A: which of the following is punishable by death and which is
punishable by a few hundred in traffic fines:

a) Drifting left within your traffic lane while signaling a left turn
b) Driving with a suspended license, passing a no passing lane,
careless driving

On Sunday June 10 Tim O’Donnell was one of five cyclists on a
Portland Velo ride. He made a left turn signal and drifted to the
left. The driver was driving with a suspended license and chose
to pass the group of five cyclists. In the process her vehicle
struck Mr. O’Donnell. The collision killed him. Under current Oregon law, with its high bar for criminal negligence,
it is unlikely that the driver will face any more legal repercussion
than the fines associated with the traffic tickets.

Hopefully a bill before the legislature will be passed that would
increase the penalties for “offense of infliction of serious physical
injury or death to vulnerable user of public way” including jail time.

I strongly encourage you to contact your legislator in support of
this bill.
The following links provide more information to aid you in making an
informed decision. Time is running short on this bill, a phone call
might be more effective than a letter or email. My call literally
took less than 30 seconds. That’s a tiny cost.

Description of bill:
http://www.bta4bikes.org/docs/hb3314.a.pdf

BTA Call to Action on the bill:
http://e2ma.net/map/view=CampaignPublic/id=7840.614225164/rid=6cb3f378
27944f42ad8759720c6e5c55
aka
http://tinyurl.com/2s7k5k

Find your legislator:
http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/

BikePortland.org story on Tim O’Donnell’s death and reaction:
http://bikeportland.org/2007/06/09/fatal-crash-in-washington-county/