Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘seattle’

102, 103 & Counting: Hot ridin’ in the old town

In Bicycling on July 29, 2009 at 5:50 pm
Not even the high for the day!

Not even the high for the day!

Wife: “Where are you going?”

Me: “It’s Wednesday. You know I go to the Wallingford Farmers Market on Wednesdays.”

Wife: “You’re going to take your bike?”

Me: “I always bike to the farmers market.”

Wife: “Are you crazy?! It’s going to hit 100!”

Me: “We cyclists are tough.”

Wife: “There is such a thing as heat stroke you know.”

Me: “Cyclists don’t get heat stroke. They create their own breeze.”

Wife: “I can see the headline now: Avid Cyclist Suffers Aneurysm In Heat Wave”

Me: “Miraculously Rides Through It and Arrives Home Safely.”

In happier times...

In happier times...

And so it goes in the World of the Misunderstood Cyclist. When you love to do something like ride, little things like heat waves don’t get in the way. Heck, if torrential downpours and freezing whiteouts and foot-deep snow and roadways full of black ice don’t stop us, why should a little extra sunshine? Besides, we’re doing our part to reduce global warming and climate disruption so this kind of thing — the hottest day on record in Seattle history — won’t happen for future generations.

So don’t call us nuts. Call us responsible. Call us sensible. Call us on our iPhones…

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SF v. Portland: Who’s the Cyclingest of Them All?

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Commuting on June 29, 2009 at 2:37 am

San Francisco bike policy is picking up momentum. Mayor Gavin Newsom, a true progressive who’s running for governor, is a big bike booster. The city Planning Commission and MTA (Municipal Transportation Agency) just gave thumbs up to the SF Bike Plan, prompting this observation from Newsom:

“Already 6% of our commuters are bicyclists; that’s more than any other city in America. We know when we add a bike lane we see about a 50% increase in use. Fifty-four percent of  greenhouse gases are transportation related, the tailpipes of these cars you see behind you. Even those of us who are not bicyclists will get the benefit of this because of the air we breathe and the benefit of the example that we will leave to our children to get more physically active as well and to look at bicycling not just as recreating but as a pragmatic way of getting to and from places of work, to and from places we need to go.”

So I guess the burning question of the day is: Does SF now trump Portland as the most cycling-centric city in the U.S.? I’m assuming Newsom’s stats are correct but wonder if Portland isn’t actually ahead (here‘s an unsourced citation putting Portland at 6 percent mode share; BikePortland.org cites 8 percent in this post last fall). My home base of Seattle isn’t too shabby in the commute department btw. Cascade Bicycle Club, which it should be noted is the nation’s largest local club, estimates commuting at a respectable 4.2 percent.

Having bike commuted in San Francisco as well and ridden in Portland, my observation is that Portland is by far the easiest to get around in, but it’s also the smallest and most compact. So the stats may not be the whole story.

More SF links from Streetsblog:

Mayor a yay and nay.

Dancing, make that cycling in the streets over MTA vote!

Happy Bike to Work Day! The gods must be cycling…

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycling on May 15, 2009 at 12:11 am
Ride fast ... Live slow...

Sunshine is predicted!

One more time now:

Bike to Work Day rally, 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. at City Hall.

Bike to Work Day after-party, 4 to 7 p.m., Ballard.

Cascade Bicycle Club’s full event schedule.

Now get out and RIDE!

It’s opening day on Tiger Mountain!

In Mountain Bike Trail Reviews, Mountain Biking on April 13, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Tiger Mountain is my favorite ride in the Seattle vicinity, so I’m sorry to be out of town for the big seasonal Tiger opening today, two days before tax day 2009. For years I’ve had the pattern of paying taxes, riding Tiger and then going to the Downhill Zone to buy a new bike with my refund.

Well those days are over, kinda, starting with the refund thing not keeping pace with the price of a new bike! And I’m not too broke up about being in California this year, as I’ll be riding all over and going to the big Sea Otter Classic in Monterey this weekend.

Hopefully someone over on the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance e-group will post a review of First Day on Tiger. When I left town there was a lot of question about whether the road would be snowed in. And I know up at the top trailhead of Iverson, downed trees have blocked the entrance much of the past couple of months. (Note: The EMBA web site has this to say about Tiger.)

Let’s face it, it’s been a lousy winter. I wouldn’t expect Tiger to be too hospitable till sometime in July, given the ravages of snow, wind and rain. But if you don’t mind becoming a human mudball, it’ll be fun as always.

Daily Roundup: Drive to Work Day! Seattle shut out, More Sea Otter, Fluidride Cup this weekend

In Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking, Videos on March 31, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Cascade Bicycle Club is promoting “Drive to Work Day” on, er, April 1st. ‘Nuf said. But while you’re chuckling, duck on over to the Seattle cycling club’s site and, in all seriousness, take the 2009 “Report Card on Cycling” survey. It’s quick and will be of tremendous help in setting cycling’s agenda for our city.

Alas, Seattle was shut out in the League of American Bicyclists’ “Bike Shops of the Year” awards. Astoundingly so. I can’t think of a city with more diverse and numerous bike shops than Seattle.

The countdown to Sea Otter madness continues with updates from Mountain Bike Action magazine and Bike Rumor, which has the trailer to the world premier for Freedom Riders, a film about trail-building on Forest Service land. Worth the watch!

PinkBike has a Fluidride Cup photo mojo going, check it out…

Today’s Ride: No Country for Old Cyclists

In Bicycling, Today's Ride on March 20, 2009 at 6:37 pm
Accidental bather

Accidental bather

I was out making my usual rounds through the U District when whoa! a mini-Katrina! It got really dark, then fat raindrops started falling and within 138 seconds I was in a veritable deluge. I ducked into Fluidride to sit it out and founder Simon Lawton asked if I needed anything. Um, what did he have in a complete change of clothes?

“Oh, I see,” he said. “You’re here for 30 minutes of shopping!”

The showroom is coming along, with an ETA of a week from Sunday. This is the one with the track lighting, black interior and the new line of white Evil bikes, including the Revolt with Dave Weagle’s DELTAsystem. We’ll keep ya posted!

Hey it's Seattle...what d'ya expect???

Hey it's Seattle...what d'ya expect???

Eventually the rain let up and I continued over to Fremont, then made the long slog up Fremont hill to Phinney Ridge and home. Fremont hill is a thing of joy, of course. Not really that bad, you can kind of zone out because there’s plenty of shoulder clearance for traffic to pass by, and the grade, although steady, is nothing like Denny or Queen Anne. When I commuted to and from The Seattle Times back in the day, I rode Fremont several times a week, often after dark had descended. Wish I’d had the kind of HID or LED lighting then that they have today.

Today’s Ride: Going north!

In Bicycle Commuting, Bicycling, Today's Ride on March 12, 2009 at 11:11 am

The mountain was out

The mountain was out

Went up north for variety, doing my standard Green Lake/Phinney to U District connector but then heading the long climb up 15th N.E. to Maple Leaf, site of the reservoir tank everyone can see from everywhere. The views on a chilly but sunny day were magnificent from this promontory, even if I-5 tends to get in the way.

One question I often get asked is, “Aren’t there too many hills in Seattle for cycling?” My response: There aren’t enough! Hills are the straw the stirs the drink, the journey to the destination. Now am I going to ride up Denny Way or Queen Anne Ave. N.? Not if I can avoid it (which is easily done). If you want to get up high in Seattle there are several ways to skin the cat. They do involve climbing, just less grade.

But riding hills keeps one healthy and fit, and provides a daily sense of challenge in a contemporary lifestyle that can easily become lazy, humdrum and uninspired. I sum up my attitude this way: If the world were flat, I wouldn’t ride a bicycle!

Daily Roundup: Seattle’s Bike Friendly Biz, Ventana’s Sherwood Gibson, Riding the “Flats”

In Daily Roundup on March 8, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Biking Bis has the scoop: “The Biking Bis headquarters neighboring city of Seattle had the most bicycle friendly companies — three, following by San Francisco, Portland and Madison, Wisconsin, with two each.” Children’s Hospital, Washington Bike Law/Anderton Law Office, and Avtech Corp. Ferndale’s Kona also got a nod…

Made to Order (MTO) Bikes: “Your company, and I hesitate to use the term “boutique,” but being a popular high-end brand that isn’t one of the big three, have truly maintained the “handbuilt in the USA” standard, do you face any challenges in keeping things American?” I’ve met Sherwood, and visited the Sacto–area shop, where I picked up my El Saltamontes Electric Super Dust XC frame. Way cool…

The man himself

The man himself

Bike magazine reviews the FlyPaper pedals. Crazy!

Apparently they do work

Apparently they do work

Morning Roundup: Seattle Seeks Comments, Racing Up, LA Bike Summit, Rider Down

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Commuting, Bicycling, Daily Roundup, Rider Down on March 4, 2009 at 8:56 am

City of Seattle: “Comments needed for a safer Nickerson.” They’ll be putting in bike lanes on Nickerson, which can get a bit dicey heading out toward the Ballard Bridge. Open house tonight (Wed. March 4) at Seattle U. You can also add comments to the Web site queue.

Bike Rumor: “Racing up despite economy.” Sea Otter registration (April 9-12) is particularly strong.

BikePortland: Elly Blue is headed for the Los Angeles Bike Summit this weekend. The increase in bike commuting in the city of Angels apparently is outstripping the city surface streets’ capacity. Sound familiar?

Biking Bis: “A lifelong cyclist, advocate and bicycle shop owner is hospitalized with internal and spinal injuries in Winston-Salem. A motorist ran him down while he rode his recumbent bike home from work about a week ago.”

Today’s Ride: Tour de LBS

In Mountain Biking, Today's Ride on March 3, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Not a huge ride today, although the weather was again unexpectedly mild. In the Northwest, “mild” means some sunshine came out and it got above 50.

I dropped down Fremont Ave. to the Burke-Gilman Trail and tooled around the north end of Lake Union, winding up over in Montlake. The Montlake Bike Shop is a cool place to see eye candy; they carry Santa Cruz and Ibis and usually have a demo bike or two in stock. Having the opportunity to demo a new bike is nothing to turn your nose up at these days.

This was almost a “tour de LBS” (local bike shop) day. I stopped in at Fluidride by the shipyard. They’ve expanded westward, breaking through the wall and setting up a glass counter with repair stall behind. The added room is nice; the former shop was a real cubbyhole — pretty dark and cramped. They’ve got so much elbow room now that they’re setting up a special “Evil Bikes” display: All black, with track lighting, to show off the new Evil line’s white-on-white. White is a great bike color btw, something I never appreciated till I got the custom pearl white finish on my Intense 6.6. Fluidride carries not just Evil but Cove, Transition, Kona, Iron Horse and just about all high-end lines except Santa Cruz. The expansion is not quite all in place yet but will be rockin’ when finished.

I also swung by Downhill Zone and Gregg’s Greenlake Cycles, missing R+E Cycles because of an errand detour. Let’s see, that’s five bike shops within what, a 3-mile radius. And I didn’t even take in Free Range Cycles or Cascade Bicycle Studio in Fremont! Or Recycled Cycles on Lake Union! Bike shops, they’re everywhere in Seattle!