Sunday, December 14, 2008

PDX powder!

To begin, yes, I have become the Rivendell Reader of the bike blogosphere. Oh, wait, the Reader is still really good when it finally shows up. Anyway...

It actually snowed enough to count here! The grass had to really fight to keep from being almost totally subsumed. For my readers from places with an actual 4th season instead of just an extra shade of gray, the picture below shows what happens to people's minds without a real winter to cool them down. Ah, icy grass sledding, I remember it well from my own youth in east Tennessee.

I was out early and had the first northbound tracks on the path. The snow was perfect this morning. Nice, cold powder and a decent bike is like your first bike ride and first snow all at once. It's really amazing how totally quiet and smooth the ride is. The Dutch bike did great, even though I don't have the best snow tires on it. I can't believe I biked so many Montana winters without discovering drum brakes. Between that and the super rearward weight distribution, I was even able to handle some pretty steep hills without slippage.

The only slight annoyance was that PDX people often feel the need to shout something at a snow biker who's just minding his or her own business. "You're brave!" was second only to "You're crazy!" Seasoned snow bikers know full well that either one makes an embarrassing slide out highly likely until one's safely out of sight. Before I loaded up some sweet directors' chairs scored at the thrift, one kindly old physicist decided to postulate an entire theory on what would happen when I tried to pedal away. Then I rode away without incident. To be fair, his static model probably failed to account for my 20 pounds of wobbling rear ballast, which I believe created a gyroscopic effect that made it impossible to fall. In fact, my bike's still standing straight up in the yard with the chairs wobbling on the rack as I type.

Enjoy what weather you have. Oh, and given this blog's frequency, merry Christmas, and happy Easter!


Anonymous amsterdamize said...

sometimes I feel people abroad on Dutch bikes get to be more Dutch than I am :)

Keep it up and hopefully you'll post before Easter ;)

12:56 PM  
Anonymous craig said...

Joe, I'm trying to deliberately advance the use of the word "cycler" as a substitute for "cyclist", which I think better suits the cause of increasing bike use over car use, especially in Portland.

This was my diatribe on a couple months back:

"...there's nothing wrong with the word "cyclist" for those who like it.

But I think that for some, "cyclist" sounds too difinitive, like a chosen identity or perhaps a devoted hobby, versus just being the way that someone transported themselves that day; it even has a ring self-importance or elitism.

Whereas "cycler" is more everyman--it sounds active instead of difinitive, and therefore more inviting, open, available, and adoptable by non-cyclists.

Not everyone identifies with being a "cyclist", but everyone who gets on a bike is, for that moment at least, a "cycler".

And if they're a "recycler" as well, great! Perhaps they'll adopt that practice as a way of life and eventually take it seriously enough to become a true recyclist!"

2:36 PM  
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