Monthly Archives: April 2013

Things you might see while biking: total goofball

bike hauling

Speaking of hauling. Why haul one bike up the stairs when you could take two?? :)

By the way, if you’ve never been over the staircase that crosses the SE railroad tracks on SE Lafayette St, I heartily recommend it. Most falling-apart-feeling pedestrian bridge ever:)

In which stasia carries lots of stuff to the zoo

Today was the first day of what I fondly call “hauling season” at work: the season in which I schlep whole shit-tons of heavy objects to the zoo.

trek n burley(Today on the way to work through Washington Park, Burley in tow:)

For the next few weeks, most of my haul will be copious amounts of food. (Such is the hazard of working with teenagers: they eat a LOT. And I carry it all up to the zoo for them:)

Then after a few weeks of food haul, our trainings will end and my trailer load will shift to full-on camping gear: tents, sleeping bags, clothes–everything necessary to take kids camping over the summer. This is partly why work is so awesome. My commute through gorgeous Washington Park, complete with a trailer full of camping gear, makes me feel every time like I’m embarking on adventure, not simply going to a job. Not to mention that taking the full Burley up the hill, over and over, makes for some pretty good hill-climbing legs.

So even though the first year I worked here I sort of grumbled about carrying all this stuff up the hill to the zoo, I’ve come to look forward to it. Bring on the hauling season:)

Breakfast on the Bridge tomorrow!

That’s right. It’s the last Friday of the month, so Shift –the same folks who bring you Pedalpalooza–is serving up coffee and treats to anyone traveling by human power over the Hawthorne and Steel bridges!

If it’s at all possible for you, arrange or rearrange your commute to take you by between (approximately) 7 and 9am. It looks like the weather is supposed to be amazing—come on down!

I’ll be on the Steel bridge, so if you want certifiable hippy-shit homemade vegan, gluten-free muffins with pumpkin that came from our CSA last fall (I know, roll your eyes, you know you’re doing it, but I’ll embrace the stereotype:), come introduce yourself!

Oregon Scenic Bikeways–best thing ever!

Let me be clear that I have absolutely nothing to do with the Oregon Scenic Bikeways other than having ridden a bunch of them and liking them a whole lot. But even so, I managed to invite myself to the Scenic Bikeways Conference that happened yesterday in Salem and had a rocking good time.

…So wait, what is a Scenic Bikeway? This is something unique to Oregon (so far) and I think it’s super awesome. In a nutshell, the Scenic Bikeways are bicycle routes that are planned and submitted by local proponents to showcase some excellent biking in their region. Someone in Eastern Oregon, say, dreams up an amazing bike ride–perhaps with some excellent campgrounds along the way, some cute cities, awe-inspiring natural features–then garners local support and applies to Oregon Parks and Rec to get Scenic Bikeway designation.

Then, the route gets tested–via bike, of course. It’s evaluated both on route characteristics (what you see along the way, both natural and man-made) and route conditions (what the pavement’s like, how much traffic is there, how fast it goes). Ultimately, if it is indeed an awesome bike route that people will probably enjoy traveling, it gets recommended to and voted on by Oregon Parks and Rec for final approval.

(If you’re interested in more details, the Scenic Bikeways Handbook is actually a really interesting read. Or maybe I’m just a nerd;)

So right now, there are 9 Scenic Bikeways in Oregon with two more proposed Bikeways being voted on at the next Oregon Parks and Rec Department meeting on May 8. There are also four more potential bikeways that have applied to go through the whole process. So theoretically, there could be 15 Scenic Bikeways in the near(ish) future. If that’s not exciting, I don’t know what is:)

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The conference itself, aside from being incredibly informative for me (since I knew basically nothing about this process), was also super exciting. The room was full of the myriad people who planned and implemented all the Bikeways–and it was an interesting dynamic for me, who’s use to most people around me riding bikes in some capacity, to be surrounded by people who (as one woman said) might not be cyclists, but definitely loved cyclists.  Everyone was so psyched on the tourism dollars that being a Scenic Bikeway brought into their communities and was so excited to get people biking through their towns. How rad is that? (Perhaps I should mention that it was also at this conference that they unveiled the Bike Friendly business program, which you can read about over at BikePortland.)

It was also just sort of awesome to hear about all the thought that goes into these Bikeways. It’s easy, when you’re out and about on the road, to get annoyed about why a sign was there instead of here, or why whoever designed the route picked this godforsaken road instead of a nicer one–so it was a good reality check to be in a room full of people who really, really wanted to do what’s best by cyclists. And to hear about the challenges they face as they do so.

Anyway. I would heartily recommend the Scenic Bikeways if you’re looking for good bike travel. They range from 29.5 miles (the Metolius Loop) to 175 miles (the Old West), with varying degrees of difficulty, and they start in places all over the state. There are good, easy-to-follow maps, and if you start in Sisters, OR, you can even connect up a whole bunch of them into one giant Scenic Bikewaystravaganza:)

Rock it:)