Archive | October, 2007

Mapping our troubles

29 Oct

I am sitting here at my desk with the neighborhood cat snoring next to me. I’m catching up on headlines that I’ve missed while out of town. I would have to say I am please with most of the Oregonians coverage of bike safety in Portland. They have some interesting videos, a call to logic in commenting and a map or bike collisions in portland from 2003-2006. I’ve found this map interesting and I would suggest checking it out. If you click on the icons it will tell you the details of what happened, if you zoom into the map you will see more icons too.

Catharsis

25 Oct

One thing the last couple weeks has taught me is how awful people can be when they feel protected by the anonymous nature of the internet. In an effort to personally deal with the deaths in the last two weeks I read as much as I could. I wanted to know why and how and in doing so I broke one of my rules for the internet. Don’t read blog or forum comments. It’s just really not worth it. I do on some blogs like bikeportland.org or bikesnobnyc where the comments usually tend to be interesting and thought out or in the care of bike snob they are funny and include some gentle ribbing. I read on these last two weeks comment in the Oregonian and local news channel sights. And by the end of it my stomach was in knots. I was physically ill by the disregard for human life, not to mention the amount of false information out there. I know there are some people who take great joy if being so awful but really it seems totally uncalled for. I know this isn’t a majority of people in this world but it is still terrible.

As a note I am heading back to Yakima, Wa tomorrow for a Funeral and may pick up my coverage there again.

Link about Tom Potter from below mentioned comment.  Crosswalk sting 

Glad to live in Portland

23 Oct

I’m back and I am oh so happy to be back but I am fighting the urge to scream fuck at the top of my lungs.  Another Cyclist has died in our city. Another wonderful person the kind that “lights up a room”. Brett Jarolimek was someone who I never met but get the impression I would have thought was wonderful.

I was nearly in tears when I first read about the what happened. Then I get back to town and my roommate tells me Brett was a PNCA alum. He graduated from my school in ’03. Two members of the PNCA family in two weeks.

Now if you would excuse me I am going to go scream into a pillow.

Also now that I’m back and playing catch up I am scraping the rest of the Yakima, Wa posts I had planned.

Cycling in the Apple Capital

22 Oct

Here is what I know so far The Yakima Greenway runs ten miles along the river.  The Greenway looks like a beautiful ride which I will try to fit in today the downside of this path it how removed from the core of the town it is.  Along the river there is also a mountain bike trail at Cowiche Canyon.  That being said I can find no information about bike lanes or any other kind of bike related infrastructure.  There are moderate hill most are no worse than any on Portland.  Many low traffic streets around the city but many dead ends as well as regular need to cross busy streets without the aid of a light.

This part of Washington is also know for it’s wine and encourage out of towners to come in for cycling wine tours but I know of no guided or mapped tours in this area.  As far as recreation goes There are two main events on Yakima.  The Valley of the Sun Triathlon, which is in it’s 25th year but is canceled for 2008.  There is also a relay race including road and mountain biking called the Gap 2 Gap.

As far as I can tell there are only two bike shops in Yakima.  Valley Cycling and Fitness which has been around for ages and the newer start up Revolution Cycles.  Revolution cycles proposes to be the “real” bike shop for cycles and seems to be involved in some community riding events.  The Chinook Cycling Club (note: there web site doesn’t full work with firefox) works on some rides with Revolution cycles and since they are at on end of the Greenway perhaps I will stop in.

So that’s Yakima Washington I wouldn’t recommend it but now you know.  I’ll tell you what the riding like when I take a break from my family.

Gold Star Bike City vs. All American City 1994

21 Oct

I just had a death in my family so I have headed East a bit to Yakima Washington. Yakima is known world over for it’s apples, Portland is known world over for it’s bike friendliness. I brought my bike with me this trip because I couldn’t stand to leave her in Portland and I figured I would do a little comparison to remind myself and other Portlanders that we are indeed luck.

My first goal is to find bike friendly space in this town. I know there is a paved trail that spans part of the river but is it useful? Do bike lanes exist here? I will speak with my uncle a retired road racer tomorrow to info. As well as riding and researching myself.

Rebuilding the wheel

20 Oct

I was getting sick of being the broken spoke bandit so yesterday with a friend a new rear wheel was build.  We used a tough touring rim and butted spokes.  A new used hub and we repacked the bearings.  I also want to clarify that by “we” I mean mostly my friend.  I have never done these particular before so it was nice to see how in works in person.

This can’t be normal

18 Oct

I feel I’m being exposed to all the things that could happen to me. In the last week one of my classmates was killed in a bike collision with a car. One or my classmates that I know quite well has been in a bike accident, she has had some teeth knocked and I’m not sure of what else. I just heard today and have no real idea of her condition. And yesterday I was nearly hit by a car crossing the street on foot, across a sidewalk no less.

I don’t know how I feel about all these things beside hopeless. I don’t intend to let this idea foster in my mind. I will be back on my bike as soon as the repairs are done (tonight hopefully). I am not discouraged but I don’t feel neon clothing is as silly as I once did. I feel more confrontational on the road as of late but I can’t explain to people in cars why I am paranoid of them.