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Peebo the Bike Commuter





Last Build Date: Sun, 05 Oct 2014 04:33:35 +0000

 



why not here?

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 15:49:00 +0000

Really, it's not about the bike.

Seems redundant to post a video like that and think of it in terms of Bend, OR.  After all, we regard ourselves as an uber-fit town.  But, all of these runners, bikers, hikers, skate-skiers are for the most part, driving to work, driving their kids to school, driving down the street to the store.

Some might say that's a poor example.  And, not everyone is an uber-athlete.  Those citizens are also driving everywhere. 

What can the city or county do to "drive" more transport to active, instead of passive?  I'm asking you.  What?



everyone can share

Fri, 16 Apr 2010 03:03:00 +0000

Door hangers, or handle-bar hangers.  I figured I stood a better than average chance of a beat-down if I were to go attaching them to one's car/bike.  Posting them is safer.  Courtesy cuts both ways.(image) (image)



not that kind of cyclist

Wed, 14 Apr 2010 16:59:00 +0000

As you navigate the streets of Bend, either in car, on bike or foot, or by bus, please note that while most bike/walk advocates want people to get out of the car and bike/walk, we want you to do it in a smart fashion.

Riding down the sidewalk, using cross-walks, no helmet wearing, i-pod listening to, against traffic, not keeping a proper look-out, is NOT the kind of biking at issue. That kind of biking is a hazard to all commuters, regardless of mode. Rogue riders make it hard to advocate to receptive listeners.

Please take a moment to distinguish in your mind between what I describe above and the responsible road-way user who rides with traffic, on the street, using a bike lane when possible, (could be wearing a helmet if they are an adult, and choose to), not wearing an i-pod, and are actually paying attention to traffic...all traffic.



typical response

Wed, 14 Apr 2010 16:56:00 +0000

Transportation Secretary LaHood's sea change that I mentioned before has drawn the typical republican (read=eight-year-old) response.

Actually, my eight-year-old daughter is smarter than most republicans.



put that thing away

Wed, 07 Apr 2010 22:40:00 +0000

When riding in downtown Bend, I really enjoy nice weather days, because people have their windows down. That means, when I roll up alongside and spy they're using a cell phone, I get to say, and have heard, "Put that cell phone down." Pointing at them helps.

The younger the person, the more likely they are to do so without saying anything. Although I haven't had anyone not put their phone down. Older people, like my age, and male, are likely to say something smart-allecky, but they put it down anyway.

Love the nice weather...



top down

Tue, 06 Apr 2010 21:21:00 +0000

Last year, I wrote cultural change, corporate or otherwise, must come from the top down.


Now, it looks like that change agent is here. Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood announced last month that bike and pedestrian modes are now equal with motor vehicle as to priorities.


Equal.


Transportation for America released a study that points to a majority of citizens favoring more transportation options than wider highways to move traffic.


Groundswell is upon us. When the next instance of $4+/gallon happens, we will be thankful this top down cultural shift of priorities has paved the way, so to say, for more options; healthier options.

Now, visit craigslist.org and find your next bike on the cheap.



even in salem

Tue, 06 Apr 2010 19:33:00 +0000

Yes, even in Salem, progressive use of the bicycle as a way to strengthen youth does more than tone muscles. Although that doesn't hurt.



product endorsement

Tue, 06 Apr 2010 01:00:00 +0000


I have been 90% bike commuter since I left for law school in August of 2006. Before that I was sporadic, but in the 90s, all I had was a 1990 Nishiki Olympic 12 speed and a Diamond Back Ascent mtb. The mtb is gone (my brother took it with him to college one year and at one point sold it for food). My bike is similar to the one depicted here. I did not have the secondary brake levers or the rack.


I got rid of the gearing and went to a single speed coaster to minimize my upkeep. In spring of 2007, the tire Drew gave me was so thin, it picked up a piece of glass and kept it hidden from me while I changed the tube three times, wondering what kept popping my tube.


Once I brained up and found the hunk of glass, I realized I would have to buy a new tire. So, I researched the superest dopest most awesomest tire that a commuter could want. I wanted a tire that could take bullets to keep me from flatting on the way to class. My research turned up the Specialized Armadillo All-Condition tire.


I paid top dollar for the 700X23c tire that went on my Nishiki. Since then, I have not flatted, pinched, or punctured at all. I weigh roughly 200 pounds, and most of that is in my bum. So, the rear tire has to stand up to quite a bit. I have lost 2 tubes since installation, but in both instances, the cause was the valve breaking. That tells me the tube valve will fail before the tire allows the tube to puncture.

I also determined at one point that the tires on my 20 year old Cannondale touring bike needed replacing.(image)
Same thought process here, but the research was already done. FYI, I have this bike setup to haul a Bob trailer. So in spring of 2008, back I went to the bike shop that liked to give discounts to members of Willamette's racing team. I needed the 10% off, because the tires were each $50. I bought this bike from a friend for $50. Since then, same result. No pinch flats or punctures. In fact, since I went to these tires, I have never flatted on either bike. Typically the valve stems fail in the garage as I am pumping up before I ride.
I consider the extra dollars spent on these tires to be worth the money saved in tubes, time, frustration, and confidence.










even in alaska?

Mon, 05 Apr 2010 16:07:00 +0000

"The idea is to make biking more convenient and less dangerous so that more people do it." -article

Excellent premise. And this is from Alaska, cold land of the very long dog race, where sometimes people die while competing, and the mid-night sun. They want more biking and they appear (at least from this article) to have the ground-swell behind it. My sister recently moved there to attend nursing school at UA - Anchorage and is riding her bike in the dead of winter, which doesn't end for a while yet. She must be nutty.

Spending money to put more people on bikes and fewer in cars makes a trickle-down sense, more so than George H.W. Bush's trickle-down did. Fewer cars means fewer emissions, means less wear on roadways, means smaller lines at lights, means healthier citizens (yes, that is possible, even in Bend), means more parking for tourists in downtown, means easier parking for employees in downtown, means always finding a place to park. Always. Want to save money by not driving? Walking or biking will do it for you. Personally, walking may not be a money saver, if time=money. That makes biking the money maker. It saves you money, makes you healthy (healthy=money saving could be another post), and is about equal in terms of time as a car.

But, you think to yourself, I don't want to arrive at work sweaty/wet/snowy/grimy. A valid response to this statement is, you don't have to. When one goes skiing, fishing, kayaking, or snow-shoeing, one wears the proper gear. Biking or walking is no different. Equipped with weather-proof pants and jacket, which one might already own for different sports/activities means you are already equipped!

One way to make it safer is to get more people to do it. Wait, what? Read on. If more people are riding or walking, we increase our collective visibility to those in cars. Drivers learn to be more watchful for cyclists and walkers because they know we are everywhere. This was the way in Portland. When I was bike commuting there in the early 90s, I never saw anyone else riding my route (turns out my route sucked for safety, had no shoulders and blind curves. I was lucky to outlive my foolishness), so drivers were not expecting a cyclist. But now, cyclists are everywhere in Portland and thus are expected everywhere.

1. Maybe your gear closet already has items that can cross over from one sport to bike/walk commuting. Don't spend more money for bike gear, no matter what The Source tells you. This makes it convenient to you.

2. Safety in numbers. This makes it safer for you.

Make it convenient and safe. Now get out there and do it.



doh

Wed, 31 Mar 2010 19:02:00 +0000

Here is what a poor lock job looks like (outside the D&D, I think):

(image)
True, the owner was locking a Huffy and the lock looks more expensive than the bike, but that would suck to come out and find your wheels gone.

Lesson learned, run the lock through the wheels AND the frame.



distract this

Wed, 31 Mar 2010 18:49:00 +0000

Oregon recently enacted a Distracted Driver law, prohibiting cell phone use while driving a motor vehicle, a Class D infraction. There are a few exceptions, like using a blue-tooth, law enforcement, people who operate a vehicle as part of their job, and others. See ORS 811.507 for a full list. Question...are drivers who wear a badge or drive truck for a living immune from distraction? Just asking.

Now consider this thought which I have been mulling over for a month or so...When a person gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, after drinking say 3-4 pints and is legally over the limit, one might argue that they were unable to formulate the necessary intent to drive under the influence. (Good luck with that, by the way.)

However, assuming one is not drunk, use of the cell phone that does not fall under an exception is a conscious choice to defy the law, distract oneself, and put the lives of others in danger. I have no stats handy, but one would have to be living under a rock to not understand the concept of a distracted driver. It seems to me that the fine associated with a Class D infraction is laughable.



back in the saddle

Tue, 05 May 2009 02:53:00 +0000

Well, after a 15 month or so hiatus from this blog, I return.

My change of heart about burdening you with my thoughts came about when I was at High Lakes grade school last Friday, handing out prizes to students who biked or walked in to school. I was looking after the Green Lake corner of the school, handing out 13-14 prizes. That was all the "traffic" I got.

What I did see was plenty of SUVs queueing up in front of the school to drop off one kid. This was not a scientific count, I did not have a counter, nor did I have a control. But, the majority of cars/rigs were dropping A kid off.

When I was in corporate software, one of the principles of change I learned about was that to change corporate culture, one must get the management to change. Culture won't change unless the president embraces and exemplifies the change.

It's the same way here. Commute Options can sponsor and hand out all the prizes they want, but unless the parents lead by example, change won't happen. As a society, our children will not learn to affect change unless their parents show them the way.

A handful of parents are doing it; leading by example. I considered what might be holding others back from getting away from driving a large vehicle to transport a small child. There is a network of school buses, that operate regardless of the number of children on the bus. High Lakes is an area school where most of the student families live within a few miles. Why is it so hard to carpool, bus, walk, or ride to the school?

People are lazy. Too lazy to make a change. Too lazy to spend a few extra minutes each day arranging a smarter transport plan. It is too easy to simply get into the car and ramble down to the school. We do not nor should we, need to drive everywhere in this town. Bend is a relatively flat town, with a 3-5 mile radius, and during rush hour, can be navigated easier and faster on two wheels, than by four.



freedom

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 02:31:00 +0000

Next time you have to wait through three cycles of lights...anywhere in Bend...think about all of that personal freedom you are realizing by being in your car. How much mobility you have over the world.

Now picture me passing you in the bike lane.

Booya.



zeroing in on local

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 02:21:00 +0000

I was talking with my wife today about getting local with our grocery shopping...she pointed out that Newport Market is the cheapest around, if you walk or ride your bike.

Good point. True, you do pay a bit more there, but for some things, you do not pay any more than you would elsewhere. You do get better quality for the most part. What you certainly get is better service, especially in the wine and meat departments. I hope to leverage my law degree into a job at Newport selling wine. It could happen.

It is no longer feasible to drive down to Fred Meyer's to shop their better prices. The gas is killing us (us=people in general). But for those of us who did not buy into the southern deschutes sprawl that is, say, River Rim, we are better off eschewing the car and riding down to Newport or Devores, paying a bit more per item, and burning no gas.

Is that commuting? Hell yes. The wisdom of alternative transport does not start and end with the work day.

Look at the recent article on the bulletin's site about the development program for the Bactchelor parking lot. Nowhere did anyone talk about alternative transport for the roadway engineering. Interesting.

If we can get 5% of us on bikes, maybe 6%, you will see a decrease in roadway traffic. That also means less risk. As my wife pointed out, not driving to Fred Meyer's means less of everything, gas, risk, hassle, headache...

I found an interesting video at http://www.celsias.com/2007/05/15/designing-cities-for-people/ ...scroll to the bottom. The f word is used 4-5 times, so keep your volume under control.

OK...enough random thoughts for now. Have a great weekend.

Get out there and ride...there is no someday.



3hird

Sun, 03 Feb 2008 03:54:00 +0000

(image)
My wife had to buy chains for our Nissan 240 SX (her car is ruby pearl) just to get up the driveway.

Most of the year, we get 30mph+, but in the winter, bad winters mind you, the car sucks for traction as it is rear-wheel drive. It is fun to drive in the summer, challenging in the winter.

Chains just to get up the drive. Dang. Bend has had feet of snow recently. I am surprised the city did not hire her to plow roads with her low profile.

She (my wife) has blood pressure that is so low, she cannot get warm in the winter, otherwise, I would get her studs for her bike.

Old Man Winter wins this round with my family. He has yet to beat me over here in the valley. I did have to walk to school one day recently. I had biked a couple of blocks when i noticed I was biking on ice. I got off and walked most of 1.75 miles. Sketchy to say the least. I need some yaktrax for my bike shoes when I am forced to hoof it.

Wife left the chains on so she can roar off at a moments notice, 14 inches on the streets nothwithstanding. I hope she does not chew up the garage floor.




yes, but how can I help?

Sat, 02 Feb 2008 18:36:00 +0000

Below is an email I sent to a friend who was thinking of converting his Cannondale mtb to a commuter. He lives in Hillsboro and commutes 8 miles round trip. He asked me to put together some wisdom on outfitting for commuting in the rain...something I have a little experience with. Edited for anonymity...*********************************Start now. In spite of the rain, soldier on.Bike – yer Cannondale is fine for it, but switch to slicks, anywhere from 15-25 per tire.Get some fenders, another 25Get a tune up, 35-65Maybe a new chain will be needed? 35-60 depending on level of qualityYou have a rear rack? If not, 15-25Weather proof panniers – I say, go big and get top of the line gear. Well, I would say that about anything you get, but especially for something you want to be weatherproof. Look at http://www.jandd.com/ for top-notch panniers. Anything that goes on a rear rack and looks like a dry bag, ought to do well.Messenger bag – Same site, http://www.jandd.com/ for messenger bags. That is where mine is from. Never regretted getting that model (largest size).Lights – MARS Blackburn, LEDs, rear 5 reds with 2 yellow side markers…I actually ride with two of these on my Commuter. Headlight, I have two four-LED whites mounted on my commuter.Batteries – get rechargeable AAs and AAAs for your lights.Headlamp – either wear on your helmet front with clear LED cover, or wear on your helmet rear, with red LED cover.Pedals – get some simple pedals to go with your cycling shoesPumps – get a floor pump, a two hander, for the garage if you do not have one already, and get a small hand pump to attach to your bikeUnder seat bag – put yer tools and your spare tubes (always 2) and your tire removal kit in hereClothes – Take yer work clothes in your panniersCycling Pants- Spend some money on good gear. I have pants from http://www.nau.com/, they work like champsCycling Jacket – jacket is from http://www.craftusa.com/ and worth the extra coin.Gloves – get some winter gloves when it is butt-arse cold, otherwise, simple riding gloves will doHelmet cover- for rain, I use the shower caps from hotel rooms…free, elastic rimmed, they work awesome…on warm days, even if raining, forget it, because your helmet will not breathRiding cap – get a thin, slim head cover to wear under your helmet to retain heatCycling shoes – something simple that you can wear into a store while on the commute home…three Velcro strap styleWaterproof booties – wear these over your socks...keeps your feet dry, even if your cycling shoes are soaked. Put these on, then step into your cycling pants, then put your shoes on.Lock – I use a small, Kryptonite U-Lock designed for motorcycles, along with their 7 foot, thick braid, cable lock with loops on both ends. Get both tires looped through with this thing, and through the frame and no one will messHelmet - more vents the better, spend no more than 50Reflective stickers – buy some and stick them on your fenders for more visMaybe your riding jacket should be fluorescent yellow for high vis?Get a bell to put on your handle-bars.Looks like a lot, and it is, and will cost cash. But, you should be able to get you a lot off of craigs list or ebay. The nice thing is that once you buy an item, that is it. You do not do a lot of spending all the time, as you would for a car.My wife usually gets me whatever I want (off ebay, etc.), because I save so much by not owning a car.Give it a week or two, and you will never look back. Soon, you will be riding everywhere for every errand and feeling righteous the entire time…and you should.Now get after it…[...]



done and done

Sat, 02 Feb 2008 00:36:00 +0000

Yesterday I had to give notice at my law firm. A medium sized firm by Salem standards, there are eight attorneys doing mostly insurance defense and some PLF stuff. All of them excellent practitioners and true gentlemen.

While I am bummed about no paychecks coming in, I felt it was necessary to focus on school. No more double trips in for work and classes. I am in for 17 credits this semester, 5 finals and two papers. Something had to give.

The upside, is that with the heavy load, and summer school, I get out of law school a semester early and take the Feb. bar exam next year.

The other upside, is that summer school is in Italy. Florence, Italy, actually. Not bad.

Wife and child are flying to Europe after my finals and we get two weeks to play in southern Germany, Switzerland, and northern Italy. How sweet is that?

I will be sure to report on cycling and commuting over there.



rain rain rain

Thu, 31 Jan 2008 17:34:00 +0000

Wow, I have been focusing on law school and time simply flies.

I have nothing really important to blog about. It is raining like crazy and hovering just above freezing...has been all week.

Just to mention, I have been spending time on www.bikeportland.org, watching the posts and keeping up on the issues. Most of the people on the site just like to post vitriolic comments, showing how "smart" they are. Bah.

If they spent half of their energy advocating for their position at council meetings or congressional representatives' town hall meetings, they would do more good. Could this be representative of society? we are too lazy to do the work and simply want to post from the luxury of our offices? I expect better from bike-commuters, since they are not afraid to get out and brave traffic.



back in the cold

Fri, 14 Dec 2007 16:24:00 +0000

Finals are over and I am back in Bend. I have been here three days now and today is the first I have ridden (my wife's converted mountain bike). I have been driving her car around for a few days and noticed a few things.

First, it is nice not having law finals hanging over my head. I had five stretching over two weeks and a third Monday. Nothing like getting my money's worth.

B, drivers in Bend are much more agro than the drivers in Salem. Forget about drivers around bikers, I am simply talking about drivers around other drivers. It is not like I did not know about Bend like this. As much as it wants to keep it, the small town charm is gone and appears to be replaced with...not necessarily a bunch of bastards, but close. Maybe it is because people in Salem accept their fate; they live in Salem. Maybe people in Bend cannot accept that it is OK not to get through the intersection first.

Third, my daughter's grade school rocks. The principal is out in the halls greeting parents, in the parking lot directing traffic and knows the names of all of his kids...900 of them. The only time I saw my grade school principal was for disciplinary reasons. I saw my Principal's office quite a bit. We were on a first name basis. In high school, my relationship with the dean of discipline deepened to one of great emotional attachment. His day was not complete without a visit from me.

Next, riding in the Bend weather is awesome...no sweat. It is way too cold to sweat in the morning chill.

I am chilling with my coffee at Thump, awaiting an old friend to see if we can find anything to catch up on.

Lamentably, another cyclist was killed in Oregon yesterday. http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_121307_news_pedestrian_struck_powell_.110101f0.html

That is another one too many in this state. Every time something like this happens, my awareness ramps up, no matter what town I am in.

Enough for an early morning post. School starts on the 7th of Jan.



video

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 16:48:00 +0000

http://bikeportland.org/2007/11/08/siobhan-doyle-is-my-hero/#more-5850

This is the Oregonian video of the second biker struck at NE Interstate and Greeley?

Share the road...that cuts both ways.



not lazy, just lawyerly

Sat, 03 Nov 2007 20:18:00 +0000

So, I have not been diligent about posting, but I never promised to be.

Law school beckons.

Today was a first, though. I was riding to the local community college for the Professional Responsibility Exam, through fog. After the fog condensed on my clothes, the moisture froze as tiny ice crystals.

That is cold.

It was a little warmer on the ride home after the test...and everyone was very nice on the road.



two a day

Mon, 15 Oct 2007 03:33:00 +0000

I rode out yesterday with a class-mate for a quick two-hour jaunt through the south Salem hills.

As we rounded a curve, two massive brutes of the canine persuasion came across the road at us. My classmate was leading and they could not get to him, so they focused on me. They got within a few feet of me before I finally was fast enough to get past and away. Thank you, Mr. dog owner, for letting your menaces off-leash, free to harass.

Next time, I will be on the lead around that curve. Another example of why it never pays to be a follower.



death in the afternoon

Mon, 15 Oct 2007 03:20:00 +0000

I have been silent and non-blogging for awhile. Law school calls and the burden is heavy...too heavy to ignore at this price tag.

But, the fatal collision in Portland last Friday necessitates a posting. Read about it here: http://bikeportland.org/2007/10/12/hundreds-join-solemn-burnside-procession/

Two things about this accident that strike me. One the cyclist was not paying attention to her surroundings. The reports indicate the truck had his signal on. She should have seen it. Owning the bike lane does not mean one gets to play ignorant, as though enshrouded in a protective blanket against liability.

Second, Portland designed some bike lanes and motor-vehicle turn lanes to coexist peacefully in this scenario, by forcing the car/truck to cross the bike lane, yielding to cyclists, into a turn lane. Those cross overs are painted blue inside the bike lane. Drive around the Coliseum and Rose Quarter, they are all over. The city should move to make this their standard. Quickly.

The driver of the truck? What could he have done differently? Likely nothing. All vehicles have blind spots. More mirrors on his rig? When do we draw the line. At some point, it becomes unreasonable. We cannot catch everything. Small comfort for the driver who innocently was part of a fatality.

I investigated enough accidents in my insurance job to know that typically, more often than not, someone is not paying attention, driving too fast, using a cell phone or some such activity that had they been actively driving, actively aware, they could have avoided the accident.

I wish I could been in Portland for the memorial ride.



name caller

Sat, 22 Sep 2007 01:53:00 +0000

My friend read this blog and jokingly called me a commie. Whatever that means.

I am not advocating for the redistribution of wealth or resources. I am advocating for changing the way we think.

We are one of the most advanced, educated, free-thinking countries in the world...and yet we are shackled to a way of life that is choking us.

While one might agree in the abstract that we need to do something, that same person will get into an SUV that seats seven...to drive to work alone. How hard is it to see the foolishness of this behavior? Are citizens that blind to what is happening?

This is a war we are in and there are those of us who are not living like my grandparents did through WWII. They conserved, made changes, tried to go farther with less.

This war, we consume, drive more, buy and consume more. That defies logic.



two a day

Tue, 18 Sep 2007 18:15:00 +0000

Still not convinced you should convert to pedal power for your commute?

You could spend less on an outfit to bike-commute than you spend in one month on your car. (assuming you have a car payment)

There is no someday.