Category: Bicycling

  • Bike Detours

    Bike Detours

    I like riding a bike because it’s so easy to take a quick detour. I can take a picture or two, enjoy a chilly beverage, pick handfuls of blackberries growing along the path, or just notice the view. I did all today.

    May your detours be as enjoyable as mine. :-)

  • Dear Motorist

    Dear Motorist

    While biking to work this morning, a white pickup truck nearly ran me over. It would have been his1Her? I never saw the driver. fault and done while he was breaking the law.2ORS 811.340 Fortunately I saw it (him) coming3It’s amazing how many stupid driver tricks I’ve been able to predict or detect and avoid. I guess it’s true: the one that gets you is the one you don’t see. and was able to avoid the collision.

    I considered a chase,4Adrenaline is an amazing performance-enhancing drug. but know road rage never goes well for anyone. Instead, I noted the truck pulled into a parking lot near where I work. I wrote a short letter, printed and signed it,5Yes, there was a real human being on that bike. Not some anonymous nobody. then walked and stuck it under the truck’s wiper blade.

    July 1, 2014

    Dear motorist,

    Your life almost got a lot more complex this morning. Mine could have ended.

    When you turned left from 48th Avenue onto Cornell you were in the left turn lane. There was a car to the right of you, which is a lane that can either turn left or go straight. I was behind that car on my bike.

    The car in front of me went straight. Maybe that confused you into thinking that yours was the only lane that turned. Maybe you knew both lanes could turn left but only saw the car beside you go straight so you thought you had a clear path. You knew you wanted to turn right on Elam Young Parkway and had limited distance to merge right. So you did it in the intersection.

    In either case, it’s clear that you didn’t see me, on a bike, turning left, next to you. Only because I braked and veered6I’ve replayed this incident over and over in my head, trying to remember exactly what happened. It’s still fuzzy, and I’m unlikely to make it more clear. My normal route is from the middle lane (the rightmost lane that turns left) across the intersection and ending up in the bike lane exiting the intersection. It’s normally a fun intersection on the bike because Cornell’s banking makes this route downhill. I don’t know how much I had to veer to avoid a collision, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. For example, a couple of weekends driving up the Gorge, a vehicle driving next to us drifted into our lane. Next thing I knew, we were moving left, automatically and without thought. The brain is crazy cool that way. This morning I remember looking left and seeing the truck really close. This was confusing as normally there’s nearly a full lane of blank space between me and the car to the left as I turn. Veer, dodge, just luck? I don’t know? did you not run over me.

    Please be more careful next time.

    Sincerely,

    I hope this makes the motorist think,7And I hope this blog post makes you think. Let’s be careful out there. and maybe, just maybe, be a little more careful next time.

    • 1
      Her? I never saw the driver.
    • 2
    • 3
      It’s amazing how many stupid driver tricks I’ve been able to predict or detect and avoid. I guess it’s true: the one that gets you is the one you don’t see.
    • 4
      Adrenaline is an amazing performance-enhancing drug.
    • 5
      Yes, there was a real human being on that bike. Not some anonymous nobody.
    • 6
      I’ve replayed this incident over and over in my head, trying to remember exactly what happened. It’s still fuzzy, and I’m unlikely to make it more clear. My normal route is from the middle lane (the rightmost lane that turns left) across the intersection and ending up in the bike lane exiting the intersection. It’s normally a fun intersection on the bike because Cornell’s banking makes this route downhill. I don’t know how much I had to veer to avoid a collision, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. For example, a couple of weekends driving up the Gorge, a vehicle driving next to us drifted into our lane. Next thing I knew, we were moving left, automatically and without thought. The brain is crazy cool that way. This morning I remember looking left and seeing the truck really close. This was confusing as normally there’s nearly a full lane of blank space between me and the car to the left as I turn. Veer, dodge, just luck? I don’t know?
    • 7
      And I hope this blog post makes you think. Let’s be careful out there.
  • One Year On Sage

    One Year On Sage

    One year ago, my family surprised me with a new bike for Fathers’ Day. They’re pretty awesome that way. :-)

    Since then, I’ve ridden “Sage” quite a bit1I guess I’m awesome that way… ;-) and bragged2Or “shared personal accomplishments with close friends and family.” I like it! quite a bit on the way. Here’s my year in review.

    • I biked 3,207 miles. The number seemed really big to me, but then I looked at some math. At nine miles each round trip, I get more than 2,100 miles just on my daily commute. With lunch rides and a family vacation where I rode 200 miles in a week, the miles really add up.
    • I went through some parts: 1.5 sets of tires, 1.5 sets of brakes, and a chain. Rotating the tires probably could have made them last longer, but it’s amazing how much broken glass was embedded in my tires3And not causing flats. Bike commuting tires are awesome these days. by the time I swapped them out. I probably should have gone through more brake pads. I’ve heard of going through a chain, but had never done it before. I do clean and oil my chain at least once a month, but in the winter, I probably should do it a lot more often. Oh, and I broke a spoke. When I had it repaired, they were surprised it had been my first.4I didn’t take it as a weight comment, I’m just tall. And I’ve stopped jumping so many curbs.
    • We went “low car.”5Well, as low car as a family can go when all the kids have their own cars. But they use them. When our family minivan finally died after 295,502 miles, we didn’t replace it. Suzi now drives the CRV; I bike.
    • I slowed down a bit. I used to think I commuted at 15-18 mph. Yeah, maybe. But that was in a more hunched down, uncomfortable posture. Now I sit up and enjoy the view. I stop at Starbucks on the way.6Yeah, I’ve done that for a while, not just the last year… I take a bunch of pictures.7Ditto. And when someone blows by me, I think of Linda Ronstadt.8Yup, and her song, “Blew By You.”

    Year two starts now. I wonder where Sage will take me. :-)

    • 1
      I guess I’m awesome that way… ;-)
    • 2
      Or “shared personal accomplishments with close friends and family.” I like it!
    • 3
      And not causing flats. Bike commuting tires are awesome these days.
    • 4
      I didn’t take it as a weight comment, I’m just tall. And I’ve stopped jumping so many curbs.
    • 5
      Well, as low car as a family can go when all the kids have their own cars. But they use them.
    • 6
      Yeah, I’ve done that for a while, not just the last year…
    • 7
    • 8
      Yup, and her song, “Blew By You.”
  • Portland to Portland

    Portland to Portland

    Today, I passed another milestone on my new bike:1Well, it was new almost one year ago. Two more days to go. 3,198 miles! What is the significance of that number, you might ask? Perhaps I’m a pair of miles premature for my pride?2No, that will be another opportunity to share personal accomplishments with close friends and family, in other words, brag. :-D

    No, my fine friend, because 3,192.7 is the distance from Portland, Ore. to Portland, Maine.3According to Bing maps. Sometime this morning, on my ride to work, I was figuratively riding off the Maine State Pier into the Portland harbor. Splash!

    • 1
      Well, it was new almost one year ago. Two more days to go.
    • 2
      No, that will be another opportunity to share personal accomplishments with close friends and family, in other words, brag. :-D
    • 3
      According to Bing maps.
  • Photo Spot, A Year Later

    Photo Spot, A Year Later

    More than a year ago, I posted my last “photo spot picture.”1Across the street from the Hillsboro airport. NE Veterans Road is now done, cutting through the field. You can just make out the lights in the distance. It’s a great road, curvy to keep traffic speeds low. It features Hillsboro’s second cycle track2Our cycle track is a raised bicycle path adjacent to the road. It makes traveling by bike feel safer. In some respects, it probably is. No more can a distracted driver drift unawares into the bike lane. Unfortunately, I suspect the raised edge will “suck” a drifting car onto the bike lane. Time will tell. A square curb would stop cars from drifting but would make biking near the edge much more dangerous for those on bikes. and a separate pedestrian pathway. A traffic circle controls and routes traffic without stop signs or signals and bicycles can either take the road or merge with pedestrians.

    I’d use Veterans Drive if it took me where I wanted to go. Once NE Belknap Court is extended to meet Veterans,3Or should I say, if NE Belknap Court is extended… this could be my preferred route to work. Well, maybe. It wouldn’t go through Dawson Creek Park. And it wouldn’t go by Starbucks. Okay, I probably wouldn’t use it at all… ;-)

    I don’t bike by the photo spot much anymore. Cornell has narrow car and bike lanes and some curves—and a dangerous intersection with Brookwood Parkway. Instead, I bike north of the airport on Evergreen, which recently also received some love from our local civil engineers. It’s been widened, with a couple of feet of buffer space between the rightmost traffic lane and the bike lane. No longer is a 4X4 pickup with its wheels on the paint stripe going to have its trailer-appropriate mirrors extending into the bike lane. That’s huge! For me, it’s worth riding the extra mile to avoid Cornell.

    • 1
      Across the street from the Hillsboro airport.
    • 2
      Our cycle track is a raised bicycle path adjacent to the road. It makes traveling by bike feel safer. In some respects, it probably is. No more can a distracted driver drift unawares into the bike lane. Unfortunately, I suspect the raised edge will “suck” a drifting car onto the bike lane. Time will tell. A square curb would stop cars from drifting but would make biking near the edge much more dangerous for those on bikes.
    • 3
      Or should I say, if NE Belknap Court is extended…
  • Biking Recap for May 2014

    Biking Recap for May 2014

    My May Bicycling Accomplishments

    • May is my best month of the year, so far. Actually, May is my best month ever! — 471 miles. I think I was getting a little excited about biking more than 3,000 miles in a year and wanted to make sure I hit my goal. Turns out, I hit it easily. Which leads me to…
    • I have biked 3,060 on Sage, and Sage isn’t yet one year old. Expect a full report in a couple of weeks.

    Mileage Summary

    DistanceTime / Bike
    471Biked in May12,985 – 2,514
    1,063Biked in 201422,514 – 1,922
    3,060Biked on Sage32,985 + 75

    How is your 2014 so far on the bike?

    Keep pedaling!

  • 3,004 Miles, So Far

    3,004 Miles, So Far

    Last Fathers’ Day, my family surprised me with a new bike. Since then, I’ve been riding “Sage” for commuting and for exercise. Last December, I was proud to report that I had biked 2,162 miles in 2013.

    A few weeks ago, I realized that I could start my year anywhere, not just January 1. If I started my year at Fathers’ Day, 2013, 3,000 miles was in reach. As of today, I have biked 3,004 miles and all of it on Sage.1Yes, I know the bike computer says 2,929 miles. I broke my last computer with 75 miles already on Sage. That’s about the distance from Portland, OR to Orlando, FL. And there’s still some time before this year is up. Maybe I could go from Portland, OR to Portland, ME.

  • Daily Commute

    Daily Commute

    The sun in my eyes on my daily commute.

  • Happy National Bike Month

    May is National Bike Month and a great time to get out your bike, dust it off, and go for a ride. To start the month, I rode to work and went for a lunchtime bike ride. Woo hoo! ;-)

    Will you join me and ride your bike at least once this month?

  • Biking Recap for April 2014

    Biking Recap for April 2014

    My April Bicycling Accomplishments

    • April is my best month of the year, so far: 220 miles. :-)
    • I have biked 592 miles this year. Last year at this time, I’d only biked 95 miles, and the year before, 189 miles.

    Mileage Summary

    DistanceTime / Bike
    220Biked in April12,514 – 2,101
    592Biked in 201422,514 – 1,922

    How is your 2014 so far on the bike?

    Keep pedaling!

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Brent Logan